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SA2011 Take 2: Rushed Cxn And Lost Luggage Again  
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7091 times:

This report is the last in my South African series from last autumn. Previous reports are here:

SA2011 Take 1: Norwich-Durban With Toddler And Inf (by signol Nov 26 2011 in Trip Reports)
SA2011 Take 1: Return To UK With BA, ET, BD (by signol Dec 1 2011 in Trip Reports)
SA2011 Take 2: Lightning And Lost Luggage (by signol Jan 3 2012 in Trip Reports)

Some photos of my first stint in SA are here:
http://signol.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11...sa2011-take-1-in-south-africa.html

And some more from the 2nd time there:
http://signol.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01...sa2011-take-2-in-south-africa.html


Route map courtesy of gcmap.com

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the almost complete lack of photos on this report. Mainly due to having to deal with 2 young children excited about flying, an overnight flight with little to see, and 2 very busy connections...

As I mentioned in a previous report, we picked this flight routing home mainly due to cost, but also the timings of the AF JNB-north flight meant that leaving the in-laws' house in Durban 3 hours before normal resulted in us arriving home over 6 hours before - see some previous reports on tha JNB-AMS-NWI route.

28/12/2011
SA562
DUR-JNB
ZS-SJF


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Photo © Gary Shephard



After a lovely Christmas with the in-laws, including plenty of presents for the children, an a BBQed (braaied) turkey, it was soon time to return home to cold Europe. We picked the South African Airways flight as most airlines were similarly priced, but last year the SAA agent had checked in our luggage all the way to Norwich, despite being on separate tickets.

We queued at checkin, and on arrival at the desk, the first problem occurred. Thanks to Amy being born after we'd booked the flight, I'd phoned up and added her to the reservation, or rather, she had a new ticket, linked to the reservation. Problem was, the agent could not find her ticket details. (The agent also said it was "impossible" to check through the baggage, as they use "different systems". Clearly not, as not 12 months before it worked, but perhaps it would involve a little extra work for her?) I was advised to go to the ticket sales desk whose system was apparently different, so they could find the PNR number. I made my way there, and joined the longish queue, and started searching through my emails on my phone to see if the confirmation email was still there. It was, so I returned to the agent, and she accepted it, tagged our bags to Johannesburg and gave us our boarding cards. Phew. We then went outside to Spur for a drink, and so Matthew could play on their climbing frame and trampoline.

After a while, it was time to clear security and head airside. We'd left it quite late, so boarding was already underway. We left our pushchair at the aircraft door as instructed and found our seats near the back. As always, Matthew was fascinated with the safety card, and looking out of the window over Mummy's lap, where Amy was strapped. Boarding complete, a manual safety demonstration was performed, and the almost full flight taxied to the far northern end of the DUR runway and took off. We'd only been airborne for a few minutes when the turbulence started - aparently this is normal for the DUR-JNB route, thanks to the Drakensberg mountains pushing up the airflow from the coast.

The bumps calmed down, and food was served. A ham roll for me with a small piece of cake, and Mummy and Matthew had the gluten free meal, a smoked salmon rice cracker sandwich. (Matthew has since had a gluten trial and has "grown out" of the intolerance). Neither of them liked the food, so I ate the fish part and they snacked on some crisps.

The flight was quite short, and the new DUR location of the new DUR airport is slightly closer to JNB, further shortening the flight, so it wasn't long before we landed and taxiied in to the gate. We found our pushchair and collected our mountain of luggage, and went out to find Tam's Uncle Bruce, who came to meet us.

28/12/2011
AF995
JNB-CDG
F-HPJA


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Photo © Wim Callaert



Our first requirement was to check in for the next 3 flights. However on arrival at the AF checkin desk, there was a problem. We could all check in for JNB-CDG, and CDG-AMS, but only my wife and son could check in for AMS-NWI - not me nor my baby daughter. The agent spent a good 20 minutes trying to sort it out, but couldn't, explaining we'd have to try again in Paris. I wasn't looking forward to this, as we had 1h20, and had to transfer from 2E to 2F. We were also given passes for the "fast track security" at CDG.

We then went for the traditional meal at Spur before our flight, before saying our goodbyes to Bruce and going through security. This was fine, and we made it easily to our gate, or rather gates, as the A380 used two neighbouring gates, one for upper deck boarding and another for lower deck. We were on the lower deck. We then noticed that our seats were not exactly next to each other - the bassinet was at the front of the cabin in the middle block of 4, so we had seats 15F and G, and also J accross the aisle. Another family with infant had seats D and E, and also C accross the aisle on the other side. Unfortunately though, the bracket fitting for the bassinet was missing on that side, so only one could be fitted. A helpful FA moved some other people around, probably from one of the other bassinet seats without a baby, so swap with. After takeoff though, these people moved on again somewhere else (not happy perhaps with our two children, though they were both good as gold on this flight, no crying at all!)

The big screen at the front showed the nose camera, and after a long taxi we took off towards the south. It has been said that the main difference from the passenger point of view of the A380 is the noise - indeed, it was so quiet. Also the overhead lockers seemed massive compared to the 747 and 777. Also, I could barely feel the movement, and the onscreen video of the takeoff seemed like we were barely moving at all, speed-wise.

After takeoff, a meal was distriputed. Matty was still eating gluten free at that point (after testing, he has since been declared allergy-free by our pediatritian!) so his and Tam's meals arrived first - I held baby Amy. I unfortunately cannot remember what the meal was, or what my regular meal was either, other than to accompany it I asked for, and received, champage to drink   After this the seat neighbours moved elsewhere, so I could join my wife and children together in the centre block of seats.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RRX1s4NQhmw/TxsqD-_BFqI/AAAAAAAAAxQ/DE3v4rxlCcY/s1600/IMAG0882.jpg

I don't remember much more, other than I managed to sleep much more than I expected. Matty slept well too, only Amy woke for feeds at various points during the night. Breakfast was served, again I cannot remember what it was, sorry. Load was close to 100%, so I was surprised when the seatmates weren't replaced by someone else again.

It was still dark when we approached CDG, and landed, and our first amount of fun began. After taxiing to stand, we all disembarked, and on exiting the aircraft, asked someone where we would pick up our pushchair. They didn't know, and a steward from the flight came and we asked him. He disappeared, and on returning said it would be on the carousel with our luggage. Needless to say we weren't happy with this, as we had a connection to another terminal, CDG has no trolleys for use with hand luggage, and the neighbouring A380's passengers, from JFK I think, had their pushchairs delivered at the gate. Well, we packed up, each adult carrying a rucksack, a holdall bag and a child, and we started out for 2F. We passed a transfer desk on the way, but they still couldn't check me and Amy in for the AMS-NWI flight! Great. Also I had put the boarding passes for the next flights that we did have in my pocket, next to a pack of baby wipes, which had leaked, making the boarding passes all wet (mouillé). Thankfully they were able to re-print them. Another 1km or so walking we came to 2F, where there was a massive queue for passport control, where a surly agent took his time in looking at our passports. Then there was security - thankfully we had the fast-track passes. Still the fast-track queue took some time. Finally we made it into 2F, found our gate, and were the last to board our flight to AMS. My wife mentioned that I must love this, rushing about airports - I replied that no, I like to take my time, relax and appreciate the airport environment.

29/12/2011
AF1240
CDG-AMS
F-GTAU


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Photo © Laszlo Fata



At least we had a row of 3 to ourselves, with Amy on my wife's lap and Matty in the middle. This flight ended up taking off about 30 mins late, due to weather in AMS, which shortened our transfer time even further... Eventually we took off after another long taxi. When the service came, drinks and a croissant, I mentioned to the FA (in French this time) that we have "une correspondance très courte", she took our boarding passes and disappeared. On returning she said she had spoken to the captain, and to ask again on arrival at AMS. By this time were were circling AMS, and landed shortly later.

On disembarking at the gate, there was indeed someone there asking if we were the family with the short connection (by this time take-off was scheduled in 20 minutes!) We were indeed. So we were advised to follow her quickly. We grabbed a hand-luggage trolley (why doesn't CDG have these?!) and walked briskly after her - Amy in the sling, with Tam pushing the trolley, and Matty on my shoulders. The agent led us to the front of the queue for passport control to enter the non-schengen zone, and the border control agent glanced at our passports and waved us through. The KL agent who had led us this far waved us on, and we thanked her, before another agent who was waiting for us beyond the passport control desks called us over and led us to the D6 gates, the bus gate area where most of the KL UK regional flights depart from.

29/12/2011
KL1505
AMS-NWI
PH-KZD


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Photo © Martin Woudstra



At this point we still had not checked in myself and Amy for this flight, so whilst we were going through the security check at the gate entrance, the agent took our boarding passes we had, and passports, and proceeded to simply print and give us all new boarding passes. I've no idea why JNB and CDG had such an issue with this before! We then were taken to the bus, which left for the Fokker apron, where we boarded our F70. This flight was packed, much more so than the evening flight we normally take.

There appeared to be some people in the seats we had been given, they too had been allocated the same seats, so we had to find another empty seat - only ones free were near the back, an A and C next to each other on the 2 side, with a D seat one row in front, which I took. I could try to entertain Matty with books and toys by reaching round behind me. Still, this was a quick flight, and the service was a packed orange juice and a biscuit, no choice, so Matt had his, and we came in to land easily. There was a slight spitting rain, usual for the UK   to welcome us home. We were last off the plane, and the passport control at NWI consists of 2 desks, of which only one was occupied. A full F70 load of passengers in front of us, it took a while. Then at the baggage carousel, nothing. Everyone else except one other guy had picked up their luggage and gone. We, and he, went to the enquiries desk, and were both told that our luggage hadn't made the connection in AMS (surprise surprise). It had made our CDG-AMS flight though. It would probably arrive either that afternoon, or the next morning, they would phone us to say. We then exited, and finding one single taxi at the rank outside, took it the 10 minutes home.

Later on, we were phoned to say our luggage and the pushchair were at the airport. They would courier it to us the next day, or we could pick it up in person, so I went back to the airport to get it. On finding the agent who had phoned, she unlocked a cupboard, and there was our luggage, and pushchair! I noticed that one of the bags' handle had broken off, and a mudguard had come off the pushchair and was missing. The agent gave me a form with a link to an online claim form, and helped me get the stuff to the car and home. I filled out the form online, and a few weeks later, a courier delivered a new suitcase, and replacement mudguard.

Conclusions

At first glance, this route is indeed quicker than having to wait 6h in AMS, but AF do sell some very short connections in CDG, this being one. Too short in my opinion - the rushing and stress were not worth it. Whilst I have a soft spot for AF as a former employee, I won't be taking this route and timing combination again. Some agents' attitudes were quite harsh, bureaucratic, not willing to help, but others did indeed go the extra mile - see the FA on the CDG-AMS flight who managed to contact KL on the ground to help us.

CDG also needs hand luggage trolleys like AMS, and more moving walkways, to make transfers easier.

KL were the stars of the show, even though they only operated our last flight (and officially we were on AF tickets). And even after the journey ended, they replaced our suitcase without quibble. They are definitely on our fly-again list!


Flights booked: none :(
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinekiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7009 times:

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
At first glance, this route is indeed quicker than having to wait 6h in AMS, but AF do sell some very short connections in CDG, this being one. Too short in my opinion - the rushing and stress were not worth it. Whilst I have a soft spot for AF as a former employee, I won't be taking this route and timing combination again. Some agents' attitudes were quite harsh, bureaucratic, not willing to help, but others did indeed go the extra mile - see the FA on the CDG-AMS flight who managed to contact KL on the ground to help us.

Personally, I gave up on CDG a long time ago. It is just too stressful, and the people are just too rude and uncaring. I am glad you made it home. Thank you for the report.


User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6809 times:

Hi Signol,

You do seem to have more than your fair share of troubles on this journey.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
as they use "different systems"

The classic response when someone isn't sure of how to do something - push them on to someone else to deal with it. But from the airline's point of view it may avoid holding up the rest of the queue at check-in by creating another queue somewhere else.  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
not me nor my baby daughter.

How bizarre. At least the agent tried to rectify the problem but it seems odd that not all passengers on the same PNR can't be checked through.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
but they still couldn't check me and Amy in for the AMS-NWI flight!

Still not? What is the point of AF and KLM being in the same "house" so to speak, if they can't do something as simple as print BPs for connecting flights? But, as you mention, the crew were willing to assist with making the connection in AMS.   

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Then at the baggage carousel, nothing.

Merde. How frustrating and the last thing you need after a tiring journey.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
AF do sell some very short connections in CDG,

Something that I have noticed when planning trips to Europe and the main reason I avoid AF. The fares may be competitive but if you miss the connection, what good is that?

Thanks for sharing,
Roy / Quokka


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6262 times:

Hi Signol,

Very nice to know how your return trip from South Africa turned out. Never mind about the lack of photos. I can use my imagination. Besides, future A.net members have to be well taken care of.   


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The agent also said it was "impossible" to check through the baggage, as they use "different systems". Clearly not, as not 12 months before it worked, but perhaps it would involve a little extra work for her?)

How disappointing! Did you tell her about your last year experience with your baggage being checked through all the way to NWI?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
so I returned to the agent, and she accepted it, tagged our bags to Johannesburg and gave us our boarding cards. Phew.

What a relief. Did you have printouts of your E-tickets with you at that time? We always have them with us. You know, just in case.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
not me nor my baby daughter
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
and proceeded to simply print and give us all new boarding passes. I've no idea why JNB and CDG had such an issue with this before!

I cannot imagine either why the issues. Because of New Year’s bug perhaps or just because KL is a more reliable airline? Look how adequate KL dealt with your missing and damaged belongings.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
After takeoff though, these people moved on again somewhere else

Probably better. Who knew they might become noisy drunk passengers.   


Quoting signol (Thread starter):
champage to drink  

One thing I like about AF, free flow of bubbly in Economy.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
After this the seat neighbours moved elsewhere, so I could join my wife and children together in the centre block of seats.

How considerate of your seat neighbours.


Thanks again for sharing. I am also glad to hear that Matthew is allergy-free. Is he with the sweet curly hair on the picture?  


Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

Nice short report Signol - flying with two young kids makes me feel nauseous! Good for you for doing it so often (and for having nice quiet children!)

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
The agent spent a good 20 minutes trying to sort it out, but couldn't, explaining we'd have to try again in Paris. I wasn't looking forward to this, as we had 1h20, and had to transfer from 2E to 2F. We were also given passes for the "fast track security" at CDG.

Ugh, I HATE it when they can't do something as simple are print onward boarding passes. It happens to often - you'd have thought they'd have sorted it out by now. And connecting in CDG sounded like a right hassle - still you and your luggage made the flight!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
My wife mentioned that I must love this, rushing about airports - I replied that no, I like to take my time, relax and appreciate the airport environment.

Ha, I hate rushing through airports - no time to stop and enjoy the views!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I filled out the form online, and a few weeks later, a courier delivered a new suitcase, and replacement mudguard.

Thats one benefot of delayed baggage - a) you can have it couried home if you want to save you carrying it and b) you can claim more easily for damage. Nice that you got a new suitcase!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1753 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5790 times:
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Hi signol,

Interesting short report, and please don't mind the lack of photos.What an ordeal and stressful experience these flights were! I find you already brave enough to travel with young children, let alone having to deal with all these ticket, bagage and connection issues. It's good to see the KLM staff went ouf of their way to try and solve the problems, their customer service at least is worth more than AF's apparently.
On a positive note: you've logged the AF A380 and that's something as well, no?

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I replied that no, I like to take my time, relax and appreciate the airport environment.

Spot on!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5748 times:

Hi all,

thanks for the comments!

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 1):
Thank you for the report.

You're welcome

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 1):
Personally, I gave up on CDG a long time ago.

I've had some good experiences at CDG, I think it mainly depends on the time allowed

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 2):
You do seem to have more than your fair share of troubles on this journey.

I know, I guess the bad luck has built up and it all came out on this one trip!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 2):
How bizarre. At least the agent tried to rectify the problem but it seems odd that not all passengers on the same PNR can't be checked through.

It might be to do with the fact that I booked the 3 seats together months ago, and added baby Amy's after she was born. Still doesn't explain why my boarding pass couldn't be printed though!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 2):
the crew were willing to assist with making the connection in AMS.

It does reinforce our positive perception of KL and their crews and staff.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 2):
The fares may be competitive but if you miss the connection, what good is that?

True. We did figure, if we missed the connection, we'd be home at the same time we would have been on the JNB-AMS-NWI KL flight. We actually arrived home the 6 hours early.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 2):
Thanks for sharing

You're welcome.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Very nice to know how your return trip from South Africa turned out

Thanks Suryo

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Besides, future A.net members have to be well taken care of

Of course!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
How disappointing! Did you tell her about your last year experience with your baggage being checked through all the way to NWI?

No, I guess we were just lucky last year. Shame there are now Skyteam airlines flying domestically in SA.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Did you have printouts of your E-tickets with you at that time?

No, lesson learned I guess!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Because of New Year’s bug perhaps or just because KL is a more reliable airline?

Who knows?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
free flow of bubbly in Economy.

It was ok for champagne, not the best I've head, but certainly not the worst.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
I am also glad to hear that Matthew is allergy-free. Is he with the sweet curly hair on the picture?

That's him   Though we cut his hair recently...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 3):
Thanks again for sharing

You're welcome!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Nice short report Signol

Thanks Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Good for you for doing it so often (and for having nice quiet children!)

Thanks, it is our annual visit to the in-laws (and grandparents). They can be quiet, but they can also be loud - fortunately not on planes at the moment!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
I HATE it when they can't do something as simple are print onward boarding passes

I know. 3 times out of the 4 long hauls on this trip  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Ha, I hate rushing through airports - no time to stop and enjoy the views!

Exactly!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Nice that you got a new suitcase!

Actually, a 2nd arrived a few days later as well... I called them and they send another courier to pick it up. I was hoping they'd say it wasn't worth it!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 5):
Interesting short report, and please don't mind the lack of photos

Thank you!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 5):
It's good to see the KLM staff went ouf of their way to try and solve the problems

Yes, KL do come out as the heros on this occasion, along with the one AF FA on the CDG-AMS flight.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 5):
On a positive note: you've logged the AF A380 and that's something as well, no?

That is true   Likely to be the only one for a while too.

Thanks all!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5176 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

Hi, R.,

good to follow you´re final SA story.
Not the easy going experience with two children and short CDG connections, but finally it worked, well done.
Anyway an interesting story. Looking forward to more South African travels..

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5603 times:

Hi Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
good to follow you´re final SA story

Thanks!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
Not the easy going experience with two children and short CDG connections, but finally it worked, well done.

Yes, it was difficult, more time would have helped, as would having our pushchair!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 7):
Looking forward to more South African travels..

Not likely now until 2013, perhaps around Easter.

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5568 times:

Hi signol

Thanks for sharing your latest report and putting it up, even with the youngsters. Nice too see the 380 in your log, I must say that I envy you on taking such a long route in the cirumstanses

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the almost complete lack of photos on this report. Mainly due to having to deal with 2 young children excited about flying, an overnight flight with little to see, and 2 very busy connections...

Oh well! in a few years we will have some very fine trip reporters under us  

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5498 times:

Hi Marc,

thanks for your comment!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
Nice too see the 380 in your log

It is indeed!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
I must say that I envy you on taking such a long route in the cirumstanses

You do envy me, or don't envy me? It was a hard trip, I must say!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 9):
in a few years we will have some very fine trip reporters under us

Hopefully so! I've set them up flight log pages already:
http://my.flightmemory.com/matthewthompson
http://my.flightmemory.com/amythompson

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27176 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4940 times:

Hey nice report  

Shame you got the Charles De Hell experience. Seems all is not fixed yet despite my decent experience last month . Just shows there is alot to be done to get people to fall in love with CDG again  


Thanks for the report.

Philip  


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4724 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Hey nice report

Thanks for your comments Philip!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Seems all is not fixed yet despite my decent experience last month

Indeed. I had a good experience en route to Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago, so rather than being all bad it is more hit and miss.

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 806 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4495 times:

Hi Robin,

There is always some adventures with your TR:
- First with your crazy routing
- Second with a not easy routing and with young kids too

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I'd like to apologise for the almost complete lack of photos on this report

don't worry that's not the most important, also you provided an excellent coverage on the previous report

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
Matthew was fascinated with the safety card

the most important reading on board thumbs up  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I won't be taking this route and timing combination again


Unless alone and in need of miles or flight sector  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
They are definitely on our fly-again list!

despite not choosing straight KLM , their customer service is always seriously taken into consideration when comparing airline options.


Many thanks for sharing your experience



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4455 times:

Hi EastAfSpot,

thanks for your comments!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
There is always some adventures with your SA Linhas Aereas">TR:

Well, the next two trips are simpler holiday and city flights around Europe   Hopefully we'll visit SA again next year.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
also you provided an excellent coverage on the previous report

Thank you!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
Unless alone and in need of miles or flight sector

True, but then I would still take later connecting flights, to be more relaxed!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
despite not choosing straight KLM , their customer service is always seriously taken into consideration when comparing airline options

Indeed, they remain my (indeed our) top airline.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 13):
Many thanks for sharing your experience

Thank you!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6862 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 4213 times:

Hi signol,

interesting report about this AF and CDG experience. I can only agree - short connections should be avoided there. You need at least two hours for a stressless transfer.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 4182 times:

Hi PlaneHunter,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15):
interesting report about this AF and CDG experience

Thank you.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 15):
I can only agree - short connections should be avoided there. You need at least two hours for a stressless transfer.

For sure - to be noted for future reference! My previous transfers at CDG, en route to / from AUH, passed without a hitch!

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 2158 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 4086 times:

Been waiting for this TR for a while, but you have my full understanding for the delay! Amazing how things start to go wrong once you have kids in tow, even if it's got nothing to do with them. Amazing that you got the mudguard replaced considering the expense and difficulty of obtaining stroller parts, at least in our neck of the woods. Such a relief not to use a stroller anymore. It's all running or Daddy's (sore) shoulders now for Alex.

Reminds me of the time that Qantas couriered a missing ~$5 umbrella back to us.

Is Matthew sharing his Daddy's aviation excitement? Alex correctly identified an A330 and an A380 the other day.   I got woken up (again) before 6am by him wanting to play with his toy airport (though he's more excited about its baggage handling facilities and boom gates than anything else). Less than a month before the annual Japan trip and Alex is so looking forward to it.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3888 times:

Hi Allrite,

Quoting allrite (Reply 17):
Amazing how things start to go wrong once you have kids in tow, even if it's got nothing to do with them

Yes, I know!

Quoting allrite (Reply 17):
Amazing that you got the mudguard replaced considering the expense and difficulty of obtaining stroller parts, at least in our neck of the woods

Well, it was Phil and Ted's, so I believe it comes from your way anyway   Well, NZ isn't it?

Quoting allrite (Reply 17):
Such a relief not to use a stroller anymore. It's all running or Daddy's (sore) shoulders now for Alex.

I wish! He does like running, but then wants a rest before the next bit. And Amy is small enough to need to ride now as well!

Quoting allrite (Reply 17):
Is Matthew sharing his Daddy's aviation excitement?

Hopefully  
Quoting allrite (Reply 17):
Less than a month before the annual Japan trip and Alex is so looking forward to it.

And only a couple of weeks before we go to Greece for a sun holiday...

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8564 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3740 times:
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Nice read, looks a bit of an experience travelling with two young children, rather you than me  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
It has been said that the main difference from the passenger point of view of the A380 is the noise - indeed, it was so quiet. Also the overhead lockers seemed massive compared to the 747 and 777. Also, I could barely feel the movement, and the onscreen video of the takeoff seemed like we were barely moving at all, speed-wise.

- You mention a good point, she, the A380 just seems to float after takeoff, as you say, it seems like she is barely moving at all.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
on exiting the aircraft, asked someone where we would pick up our pushchair. They didn't know, and a steward from the flight came and we asked him. He disappeared, and on returning said it would be on the carousel with our luggage. Needless to say we weren't happy with this, as we had a connection to another terminal, CDG has no trolleys for use with hand luggage, and the neighbouring A380's passengers, from JFK I think, had their pushchairs delivered at the gate.

- Hmm, not good, lack of uniformity.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I had put the boarding passes for the next flights that we did have in my pocket, next to a pack of baby wipes, which had leaked, making the boarding passes all wet

- Joy - not!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
My wife mentioned that I must love this, rushing about airports - I replied that no, I like to take my time, relax and appreciate the airport environment.

- Indeed you are right, all this rushing around is no fun, especially for us enthusiasts.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
a slight spitting rain, usual for the UK   to welcome us home

- The weather here this last 4-6 weeks just sucks!

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I filled out the form online, and a few weeks later, a courier delivered a new suitcase, and replacement mudguard.

- Now that is pretty good, well done AF/KL.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
At first glance, this route is indeed quicker than having to wait 6h in AMS, but AF do sell some very short connections in CDG, this being one. Too short in my opinion - the rushing and stress were not worth it

- CDG is not great to connect through IMO, plus these short connections as you point out is stress in the making.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3563 times:

Hi Mark,

thanks for your comments.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
Nice read

Thnak you.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
Joy - not!

I know, this one was either my fault, or the fault of the baby wipes manufacturer for having a poor, leeky opening. Would never happen with their usual brand, Pampers  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 19):
The weather here this last 4-6 weeks just sucks!

True, though this was in December after Christmas. I think we've had our summer for the year already, in March, just a long autumn now!

Thanks for the continued comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinewin1290 From Thailand, joined Jan 2012, 280 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3277 times:

Hi Signol,

Thanks for the nice read trip report. The transit at Paris sounds quite stressful, but very nice for the assistance you got given during the transit in Amsterdam.

Quoting signol (Thread starter):
It has been said that the main difference from the passenger point of view of the A380 is the noise - indeed, it was so quiet. Also the overhead lockers seemed massive compared to the 747 and 777.

So far, I am still waiting for my first flight with the A380. I hope it will come soon  
Quoting signol (Thread starter):
I noticed that one of the bags' handle had broken off, and a mudguard had come off the pushchair and was missing. The agent gave me a form with a link to an online claim form, and helped me get the stuff to the car and home. I filled out the form online, and a few weeks later, a courier delivered a new suitcase, and replacement mudguard.

Did you have the bag taken for repair or did they send you a brand new suitcase? This happened to me once when travelling on BKK-LHR with TG and TG sent a courier to collect my bag in Bristol and and redelivered back fixed a few days later.

Thanks for sharing,

Win


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

Hi Win,

Quoting win1290 (Reply 21):
Thanks for the nice read trip report

Thank you!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 21):
The transit at Paris sounds quite stressful, but very nice for the assistance you got given during the transit in Amsterdam.

You've hit the nail on the head  
Quoting win1290 (Reply 21):
So far, I am still waiting for my first flight with the A380. I hope it will come soon

It is certainly an experience!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 21):
Did you have the bag taken for repair or did they send you a brand new suitcase?

They couriered a brand new case, and I threw the old, broken one out.

Thanks for the comments!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6608 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Hi Signol!

Interesting to hear about your experience back from South Africa.

Having two connections seems like a lot of trouble but odd that AF/KL had problems checking you in all the way when they are essentially the same carrier.

When you travel with children, always make sure to have extra time and two hours is probably good for a person traveling without children.

Bad that the bags didn't make it but good that you got a replacement bag for the damaged one.

I would try to cut down on the number of connections the next time if possible.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2327 times:

Hi 777Man,

Quoting The777Man (Reply 23):
Interesting to hear about your experience back from South Africa.

Thanks!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 23):
Having two connections seems like a lot of trouble but odd that AF/KL had problems checking you in all the way when they are essentially the same carrier.

I know, I wondered if it was related to the infant ticket that I had to buy separately and add to the booking. Still, our final leg was ticketed by AF on their codeshare flight number on the KL flight.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 23):
When you travel with children, always make sure to have extra time and two hours is probably good for a person traveling without children.

Yes, we realise that   We were trying to get home as soon as possible - but the extra connection was too short.

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
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