MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10725 posts, RR: 38 Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 13271 times:
This is a picture story of my latest A380 adventure.
As per usual, I had to set myself on the first flights on this route.
Part 1 - Getting to Paris CDG to catch the A380.
I had to make a very early start from home to make it to the airport on time for the 6.25 AM flight from Nice Côte d'Azur Terminal 2 that would get me to CDG in time.
The Riviera Bus Lines have a 1 Euro all night bus service on the weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Menton all the way to the airport via Monaco and all the coastal towns, mostly for clubbers and late night workers. This was my luck. Other than leaving the house in the middle of the night I did not have to worry about anything.
I was right on time for the bus and ready to go.
The Bus: Nr 100 dubbed "Noctambus" the weekend night bus service for the noctambules (clubbers).
This bus was a crucial element for my trip as there is no other transport to be found at this time in the night.
The bus got me to Terrminal 1 at the airport a little past 5.00 AM without trouble. It is a long way with many stops to pick up passengers, mostly all young people, so it takes time. At least there was no traffic along the way from starting to ending point. I then had to take the free shuttle to Terminal 2 to check in for my flight to CDG. I got both boarding passes to CDG and back to NCE as this was going to be same day travel.
The timing was perfect.
Boarding gate A18 -
Aircraft Airbus 319 to CDG Seat 5A
View from seat 5A
Terrminal 2 aka "the flying saucer" as we start taxiing
Terminal 2 gates
Flight cleared for take-off
Inflight magazines and safety card
The flying sea horse (l'hippocampe) Air France logo
Inflight service: drinks with two chocolate chip cookies. Minimal breakfast service.
Landing at CDG
Taxiways F and N always allow a beautiful view of Concorde F-BVFF the most majestic, most fascinating and fastest passenger transport aircraft in History.
Concorde FF in a misty rainy early morning
On the way to Terminal 2F
We deplane at a remote stand. My favourite way of getting off an aircraft, always great for pictures.
We are then taken to the terminal by bus.
CDG 2F building
Connecting flights information
AF1980 Gate E53
Going from one terminal to the other can be quite a distance. It is always good to allow sufficient time between flights.
See you all soon for Part 2 of my trip report. Flying from CDG to LHR on Big AF!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10725 posts, RR: 38
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 12566 times:
Hello folks! There is still lots more to come...
Ready for Part 2?
First to Fly the A380 once more... this time with Air France!
How it all came about.
Air France launched a 79 Euros roundtrip fare on their A380s on the CDG-LHR-CDG route during the Summer. The airline's goal was to make these very attractive and very low cost flights affordable to most people and give them a chance to fly on board the biggest passenger plane.
As many members here had decided to fly this route at different dates I thought this would be a wonderful way to sample the Air France 380 and see what it feels like to experience such short flights on an aircraft I knew since the very first day of commercial flights with Singapore Airlines SQ380 charity flights on 25 October 2007
Arriving at Terminal 2E flight information panel
showing a AF1980 on-time departure Boarding time 9.20 AM
When I got to Terminal 2E my first duty was to go to Gate 10 to see about the meet-up with MIAspotter and maybe other forum members on the flight. I waved a sign that said exactly this:
"AF1980 - AF1981
I fly with...
12 June 2010"
written in big black letters on a white sheet of paper.
MIA spotter came shortly after and introduced himself. We headed to the gate as nobody else seemed to show up.
As we made our way, this was the first AF 1980 sign in the departure hall
We had to take a train to get to the gate area.
On the way, we see three pilots coming from another flight.
In the gates area we noticed that there was not only one A380 but two. They were F-HPJB (our aircraft) and also F-HPJC. F-HPJA was expected from Johannesburg later in the day.
Taking a closer look at Big AF while waiting
Aircraft registration: F-HPJB
Flight deck crew: Captain Mr Eric Joppé First Officer Mrs Patricia Haffner
Cabin crew: 17 total between the lower and upper decks. Chef de cabine principal: Mr N'Guyen
My seats - Economy class (Voyageur)
CDG-LHR (lower deck) seat 14L
LHR-CDG (upper deck) seat 86B
There were trucks and equipment all around. The aircraft was getting serviced for the flight.
The new Air France livery suits the A380 rather nicely.
The boarding gate monitors showed an on-time departure
The gate area was getting filled with passengers. This was going to be a very full flight.
Most passengers never flew on a A380 before so the aircraft was a real curiosity to them.
Lower deck seating plan - LD boarding is done from gate E53
Interesting reflection in the windows
There is quite some activity around the aircraft
More and more people were coming to the gate area. Passengers were starting to line up for the flight.
A gate agent was calling people to board in a particular order according to their seat numbers and waving a sign with row numbers on it.
The boarding process is somewhat slow.
Views from the jetway
We all took our turn getting on board and I got to my 14L Eco "SkySuite".
The blue textile had a nice feel to it but the space between the seats is rather tight.
As there was still time I asked the flight attendant in charge if I could step ahead to the First Class section for pictures. She obliged with a big smile on her face. I must say that my polo shirt from the first Singapore Airlines 380 flight to London Heathrow was a tremendous success with the cabin crew. I took a small hop to F for pictures.
My question is... will this be enough privacy for those who want/need to work during these long/ultra long haul flight?
I did not want to linger toolong in the next cabin as I figured time for departure was getting near so I went back to my 14L Eco-Skysuite with a big smile saying thank you to the flight attendant once more on the way.
A view from my window.
Doors were locked, instructions were given to the cabin crew to prepare for departure. This is the IFE screen.
Leg room is rather tight. I would really advise tall people to fly in Business Class.
Forward Economy cabin on the lower deck. There is not one empty seat.
The massive wingspan with the engines.
Getting ready for taxi and take-off. Flight safety demo.
Ready for take-off. Tail camera view. This is a great feature by Airbus. You can program the view from 3 different angles.
We taxi and find some sisters. The first one is Qantas Sister 380. Hello Big QF!
Taxi-ing to the gate
The IFE monitor says "Goodbye See you soon". Yes very soon, on the flight back to CDG. Only I will be upstairs.
I was in no rush so I waited to get pictures after passengers had deplaned.
Galleys. All nice and clean.
Charming flight attendants with one ground staff
Some of us went to see the captain to have our flight certificates signed. Mr Eric Joppé is a true class act!
In the distance I could see my Big SQ Girl.... she was mine... oh mine...
We came to Heathrow on board beautiful luxurious 9V-SKB for the very first A380 commercial landing in Europe!
Singapore Girl you're a great way to fly!
Even Concorde flew with the Golden Bird on her tail.
In the terminal after the flight stretching my legs and walking around.
This very first A380 flight from CDG to LHR Terminal 4 was a jolly good adventure.
Stay tuned for the next part of the trip! There is still a lot more to come!!
Part 3 of my trip report will be coming soon!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
gpbcroppers63 From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 11325 times:
Nice report on the outbound leg of this trip. Sounds similar to what Philip and I experienced the day after. Did you prefer the upper deck or the lower deck? We preferred the upper deck as it seemed much airier and less like a cattle car.
According to one of my colleagues, my problem is that I'm addicted to travel!
MIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2649 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7761 times:
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11): Good to know you have had a great companion of MIAspotter.
Thank you Akhmad! I also enjoyed MadameConcorde´s company on the trip, it would have been good to meet up with the other a.netters as well, but as it has been said, there were so many people, it was impossible to recognize them.
Quoting gpbcroppers63 (Reply 10): We preferred the upper deck as it seemed much airier and less like a cattle car.
Agreed, I also liked the upper deck the most, the little economy section at the rear will be my preferred choice should I ever travel again on the AF380 (long haul hopefully)
I am also preparing a trip report, but since there are so many here already, I am not sure if I should post it.