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Mayday, Where's The CRK? HEL-ORY/CDG-SXB  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7486 times:

Introduction

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/title.jpg

Norwegian keeps ramping up the HEL base operation, established in the beginning of the Summer 2011 season. For this summer season we got a fourth “based” aircraft (in quotes as they don’t really have a traditional base here as the planes that are “based” at HEL keep being rotated quite frequently) and of course a bunch of new routes (and a bunch of suspended ones but hey, you are not supposed to ask about those!). One of these routes was the rather predictable flight to Paris’ second airport, Orly.

If you ask me Paris doesn’t have any good airports, but at least ORY offers some interesting connections to domestic French destinations and of course lots of flights to the Maghreb countries. Oh well, for me the first point sounded good, especially since Air France’s regional partner Brit Air operates the CRJ-1000 or “CRK” in GDS jargon into ORY. So I set myself a mission: catch the CRK leveraging this convenient and affordable new way to reach ORY.

Things started by booking the outbound flight - I settled for the 1st of May/Labor Day/Valborgs or whatever name the celebration to slavery, work, solidarity and being helluva drunk is known to you - that is conveniently a public holiday in many countries in Europe, including Finland and I wasn’t too keen on any celebrations this year, having seen it all many times before. And since Norwegian had a conveniently timed early evening flight on the eve, 30th of April I decided to go for it - the flight to ORY cost only 36 EUR which can be considered to be some sort of bargain! It wasn’t quite the inaugural but second or third flight on the route instead, but since Norwegian doesn’t seem to celebrate their inaugurals much it would be just fine for me.

That flight arrived sufficiently late at ORY to make overnighting there a necessity so I limited my CRK searching for the next day. Quite soon after that I went for Markus’ favorite route, ORY-SXB and booked the morning flight to Strasbourg, operated by Brit Air with the desired CRK for around 55 EUR - domestic French flights are usually rather attractively priced and this was no exception!

From SXB I had two main directions to go - east or north. To go east would mean taking a train to Karlsruhe (or even to Stuttgart), saying hallo to CaptainRed and and then flying from FKB somewhere. I came very close to booking the new Ryanair flight to RIX from there, but somehow I’m growing more and more weary of flying with them, haven’t flown since last July actually! Anyway to go north sounded much interesting - I found a nice open-jaw itinerary with AFKL for a good price where SXB-AMS would be operated by Régional with the E135, a very rare type in Europe (and one I’m only flown once previously) and then a bog standard KLM 737 on AMS-HEL. But as usual I waited around too long and the fare jumped up some 100 EUR, too much for me, so back to the planning table it was.

The idea of flying Régional in addition to Brit Air still appealed to me so I settled for an afternoon flight down to MRS with their ERJ-145, available for under 50 EUR. Finally the homeward journey was covered with an open jaw ticket from LH, flying MRS-FRA-HEL and using the return segment to start another crazy journey later this year, total around 175 EUR.

So I was all set...

…for a month or so after Expedia notified me about AF canceling my ORY-SXB flight! Oh dear, here we go again. Apparently AF decided to cancel a bunch of business oriented flights on the 1st of May as it is a big holiday in France as well (you know, liberty, egalitarianism, brotherhood and all that...). Looking at the schedules I had exactly two options: either get a refund and catch the TGV train instead or catch a flight from CDG. While I really like the TGV flying still appealed to me more, so I asked to be rebooked to the morning CDG-SXB flight operated by Régional on an Embraer 170. No CRK and no Brit Air for me, bugger that, but at least Régional would still be a new airline and I still had some time to visit Strasbourg city, something I definitely wanted to do.

Finally I switched over to a far crappier hotel near CDG and was all set. Here’s what the map eventually turned to look like - it wasn’t much different to begin with, just move that CDG line to ORY instead:

.

Monday 30.4.2012

Today being the second or third biggest drinking day in Finland (and most certainly the biggest in-your-face drinking orgy) the roads are already crowded with fallen comrades as I make my way home from the office. At home I gather last of my trash and head out to the airport with my usual bus. At the empty T2 while queuing for the ATM for some spendola I take a look at the departure board and get a small shock seeing that my flight is now scheduled to departure at 17.10 instead of the originally scheduled 17.35! I actually checked the time from the original booking confirmation the previous day to be sure and it said that - of course I failed to notice nor remember the schedule change notification I’d received some time ago...

Oh well, I still have enough time and there aren’t too many people here so I quickly pass security, do my usual silent protest march thru the stupidly placed duty free shop, buy a bottle of water and head for a pint nearby the announced gate 29:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_.jpg

I’m surrounded by people speaking French so this seems to be the correct place - albeit that there is no plane parked on the jetway. Sure enough after the first sip of my nectar there’s a gate change announcement to 26 and a huge stampede forms for it, including the whole flight crew of my flight (as a matter of fact one can see the pilots on the above picture). I however enjoy my pint before making a leisure stroll towards the gate - yes, that indeed is a Norwegian tail:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_1.jpg

And here’s the plane in its full glory:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_2.jpg

Some young guy is waiting to take the exact same photo from my (admittedly very good) spot, looks like another plane geek. I think he is French.

Over at the gate there’s already a queue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_3.jpg

Everyone is queuing for the right hand podium so I use my cunning superpowers and decide to start my own queue for the left hand one - there are two gate agents so they will be using both, I’m sure of that. My tactic of course works fine, and after waiting around for ten minutes or so boarding is finally called, just seventeen minutes before SDT, rather latish I reckon.

HEL - ORY
DY5836
B737-800 LN-NOD
Seat 15F
17.21 - 19.41


I’m one of the first ones to walk down the jetway, first giving a little nod to LN-NOD since it is the first time we are getting intimate like this, then greeting the cutish young purser in Estonian (she seems to be a bit surprised but replies in the same language) and finally plopping down into my favorite seat, 1F (for which I actually drove to the airport in the morning to check in before heading for work) - or so I thought:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_4.jpg

The caterers arriving - make sure you load plenty of beer:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_5.jpg

There seem to be lots of infrequent fliers on this flight (well like most DY flights I’ve taken, actually) so things are taking their sweet time. Eventually a Russian family arrives and the woman tries to say something to me in Russian and then in broken English. They seem to have seats 2DEF so I insist that no, this is row 1. One of the FAs comes and asks for my boarding pass, so I show it to her and whoops, indeed this is row 2. On this particular plane row 1 only has ABC (weird, the rows have always been somewhat disaligned and the newer ones do designate these very same seats as 1DEF) - I’d just boarded on autopilot and went to my usual seat. So I’m left without a seat, sweet.

After a bit of a powwow with the FAs they try to make me sit on 1C, I refuse (I try that seat and for some reason it is far narrower than a normal seat, rather uncomfortable for a big guy like me) on the grounds that I really want both my window and legroom. I ask for an exit row - they answer that boarding is still ongoing so let’s see, maybe. While one of the FAs heads to check from the gate agent I try to sweet talk the purser into letting me to ask the pilots for the jumpseat in the cockpit but she refuses, all in good spirit though! Soon the other FA comes back, says something about the gate computer being down and not showing which seats are allocated or not. So some more waiting, during which I try to help one of the FAs to explain to the new occupants of 2DEF that no, no kids are allowed on the bulkhead row and they definitely should put their hand luggage to the overhead bin but the bling bling mother has decided that I’m her worst enemy and almost hisses at me so I decide to stay back (eventually they switch with the people on 2ABC and everyone but me is happy).

The FA explains to me that the equipment was switched to this “older plane” (indeed, no Boeing Sky Interior on this 738) on short notice (I guess it explains the gate change) and it has a slightly different seating configuration. I say to her “Well, at least it’s got Internet!” to which she agrees (see, these Estonians are so wired or rather wireless nowadays...).

Finally boarding is completed and she gets the full manifest, takes a look and asks me to follow her to...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_7.jpg

...the jackpot, the whole exit row 15 just for me, I can live with that! I grab 15F in the hope of seeing the Dutch coastline on that side of the plane and potentially a glimpse of CDG during our approach for ORY.

Yes, the legroom is a bit better than the bulkhead - I still prefer the bulkhead for two reasons: 1) no wing and engine blocking the view down below and 2) you get faster out of the plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_6.jpg

Load is around 80%, half the pax seem to be Russians (just like with the Ezy CDG flights, remember those?) and there are plenty of screaming kids around, lovely.

The captain makes a mumbled announcement, mentioning something about a delay but anything else is hard to make out - I guess the plane switch and assorted rigmarole took their sweet time. The purser announces our flight time as 2h50mins and not much else.

Push back is eventually just eleven minutes late, but as we are right in the middle of the first wave of AY’s Asian departures there’s a bit of a queue for departure.

That winglet looks gorgeous:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_8.jpg

“Bergen” going to AMS - I should be taking this evening KLM flight in less than three weeks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_9.jpg

Must-have-a-717-in-a-report:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_10.jpg

The queue for 22L:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_11.jpg

Luckily we aren’t as heavy as thos AY longhaul birds so we enter the runway at a further intersection, speed up and head for the skies - take off is at 17.35:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_12.jpg

Turning right for noise abatement reasons - 04L/22R on sight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_13.jpg

I really like that reflection:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_14.jpg

Very soon the seat belt ding goes off which also means that we are now able to get online - so I open my personal airshow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_15.jpg

This sets the tone for the flight - plenty of work and trip reports to catch up on together with a couple of malt beverages:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_16.jpg

Moody shot of a guy sleeping on the other side:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_17.jpg

Routing is the usual between Finland and West Europe, good to follow using my private airshow though - basically across the Baltic Sea to Visby, Kalmar and Helsingborg in Sweden, moving on to Danish airspace, crossing the northern part of Zealand and Fyn directly overhead the city of Odense, high on my TOVISIT list and then down Jylland to the North Sea where a gorgeous view of the island of Sylt and the Hindenburgdamm basking in the late rays of the sun is to be had:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_19.jpg

Cabin view from a “lavatorial visit” like someone obsessed with toilets puts it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_20.jpg

From the Netherlands onwards the skies are overcast so no further views. The flight just seems to drag on and on until finally around two and half hours into the flight I can finally feel descent starting. The captain makes another muffled announcement, explaining something about “delay” and “lots of traffic” or similar, expecting us to land in around half an hour or so.

Descending thru thick clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_21.jpg

The sun still shining up here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_22.jpg

Bonjour, France:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_23.jpg

The approach takes forever and we keep taking weird turns every which way. Eventually it becomes apparent that the Paris weather is far from good and probably that is causing some higher than normal minimums for any traffic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_24.jpg

Finally we turn back (at one point we were more than 50 kilometers straight east from ORY!) and commence our approach into Orly.

Lé electricite:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_25.jpg

Lé cite:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_26.jpg

Lé project:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_27.jpg

Lé depot:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_28.jpg

Lé aeroport:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_29.jpg

Landing onto a very wet Orly is finally around three hours and five minutes after take off, quite a long time for this route. I honestly cannot say which runway we landed on - either 24 or 26 but which one - I strongly suspect the latter, though. Anyone?

Taxiing to Orly Sud:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_30.jpg

Wait until tomorrow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_31.jpg

Ok, go on, rub it in:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_32.jpg

Sud looking quite empty:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_33.jpg

Paris and around

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_34.jpg

The walk to the luggage hall and exit is a very long one, taking us right in front of this Lé easyJet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_35.jpg

...and another Norwegian just arriving:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_36.jpg

It’s been a few years since I was here the last time but the terminal looks just as rundown and worn as back then - this low ceiling makes it feel very claustrophobic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_37.jpg

The next quest is to get to my hotel, just one RER stop before CDG. ORY has OrlyVAL, an automated shuttle train thingy connecting it to the nearest RER station, Anthony - which conveniently is on the same line as CDG. The tickets of course are quite a rip off - you pay a large premium for the airport service:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_38.jpg

Well, the alternative would be this - les cars Air France with their own cool waiting lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_39.jpg

...but that service is even more expensive and the one time I took it my almost lost my legs due to the abysmal legroom in the bus. Seriously it is worse than on any plane I’ve ever taken!

Boarding:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_40.jpg

Sud in all its glory:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_41.jpg

After a brief stop at Ouest, Air France’s home at ORY the train accelerates for a long stretch before reaching the RER station. I’m actually quite surprised by how rural it all seems - since ORY is basically on the edge of the built up area of Paris I assumed there would be more houses and other developments...

Waiting for the next RER:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_42.jpg

The next one is an express service to CDG which doesn’t stop at Parc de Expositions where I want to get off so I ride it as far as Les Halles and then hop out to wait for the next one.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_43.jpg

Before I’d ever been to Paris I read about the RER from somewhere and that description made it sound like a cutting edge transport system ready for the 22nd century or something. Well, that image quickly vanished from my head the first time I rode it and it certainly doesn’t feel any better this time - dirty, crowded, noisy trains covered in graffiti which spend a lot of time going forward at a speed even my late grandmother could’ve outwalked during her last years... you name it. Not exactly a world class public transport system, but admittedly it does get the job done.

The train gets very empty somewhere between Le Bourget and CDG:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_44.jpg

Finally after an hour or so I reach my stop, being the only one leaving the train and pretty much the only person around. There’s a couple of kilometers to walk in the rain down these spooky but well lit paths:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_45.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_46.jpg

Well, nothing to fear really as the only thing keeping me company are the around two hundred rabbits I see during my trek. Eventually I reach the other end of the path and walk down the street in my soaked shoes (so much for checking the weather forecast...) past an impressive array of logistic facilities, warehouses and empty roundabouts. Oh and some Romanian gypsies who have managed to overload their crappy car with all kinds of junk imaginable, to the point it can only do around 20 km/h...

Soon I’m at the edge of the “Hotel Area Paris Nord 2” or whatever it is called - wedged between Lé Motorway and the aforementioned logistics area. My hotel is there, but more importantly there’s also the promise of food:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_47.jpg

Out of dedication to a certain “Mannen av faux” I just have to have this:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_48.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_49.jpg

Then it is time to walk next door to my hotel. CDG airport (well the whole of Paris actually) isn’t exactly well known for affordable hotels and I was on a tight budget here. Unfortunately my usual crib, the Mercure which one used to get quite easily thru Priceline for 50 EUR failed to make an appearance. So I booked a room at one of the the Premiere Classe hotels around - for a pre paid 29 EUR this seemed to be a very nice bargain.

Well, more like Peasant Class is what I say:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_50.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/First_51.jpg

The cheerful girl at the reception confirmed that yes, even though my room is prepaid I should still shell out 29 cents (yes!) for the “city tax”. I was tempted to ask what city since all I saw was a highway, warehouses, hotels and a couple of chain restaurants but asked instead whether she was kidding me but apparently she was dead serious about this so I shelled out the whole amount.

Well, seriously speaking the hotel wasn’t that bad - if all the facilities worked it would be okay for that price but the advertised free wifi didn’t work at all, only a single lamp out of the three in my room worked, the soap/shampoo dispenser in the toilet had last been filled around the time Mitterrand was still going strong with his socialist day dreams and I had serious problems getting hot water from the shower in the morning. Additionally the soundproofing was non existent and there were lots of noisy kids and teenagers running up and down the corridor but personally that doesn’t bother me at all - if I’m tired I sleep like a rock no matter what the soundscape around me is and I tired I certainly was!

Tuesday 1.5.2012

I get up shortly before seven, try to shower to my best ability in the cold and soapless shower, pack up my trash, give another unsuccessful try to the wifi and head out. The hotel is offering buffet breakfast for only 6 EUR but judging from the description it is just all the coffee, juice and croissants you can eat - I can get all of these from the AF lounge anyway plus the queue for breakfast is around as long as a Ryanair boarding queue in Spain an hour before departure so no thanks.

Luckily the shuttle bus is waiting outside but the driver tells me that non, he doesn’t sell tickets. So back inside to purchase a ticket from the reception for 5 EUR (bugger, the Mercure et. al hotels have a free shuttle. Maybe I should walk down the street to the Hyatt or the Ibis properties next door to try my luck) and go back outside. The driver was kind enough to wait for me (and people keep saying the French are rude) and is now happy to let me in into his chariot.

Arriving at CDG, one of the ugliest things made out of concrete since the Berlin Wall:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_1.jpg

Some fifteen minutes and a completely pointless (but mandatory, thanks to lé trafficplanning) circuit around CDG 2CDEF and maybe more we stop in the central navette stop just above the TGV and RER stations.

Real classy:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_2.jpg

I have this weird idea in my head that to reach 2G (where all AF regional flights are departing from) one has to catch the shuttle bus from 2E. With that in mind I head downstairs ready to walk to 2E but confusingly the signs for 2G point back up so that’s what I do and realize that there’s actually a navette that goes round all the terminals:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_3.jpg

Here be dragons:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_4.jpg

Once the bus turns up I momentarily get very confused because all around me there are these blonde, tall Vikings speaking a language usually overheard while sipping lattes at the trendy cafés of Södermalm or Grünerløkka - weird!

I also have this weird idea in my head that T2G is right next door to the terminals E and F - which turns out to be quite the opposite - we dive into a tunnel under part of the apron and drive down the road for quite a lengthy time before finally stopping in front of the terminal - now I’m starting to understand Markus’ problems of connecting from here on a delayed flight...

Hmm, not sure what to think:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_5.jpg

Inside quite sterile but on okay commuter terminal I guess:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_6.jpg

Thanks to having Skyteam Gold status my OLCI boarding pass is tagged with “SkyPriority” which is SkyTeam’s fancy marketing (TM) term (TM) for getting priority on everything else apart from a lapdance from a hot FA (that costs extra). Here it leads to me being guided to a separate priority lane at security - well a bit pointless really as the check point is empty anyway and this lane just simply feeds right in front of it, bypassing any queues. Well at least it saves me around 20 meters of pointless zigzagging...

Flights - I didn’t realize AF did flights to Scandinavia from this terminal, well that explains the people in the bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_7.jpg

Inside - quite basic but modern look and everything seems to be sparkling clean:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_8.jpg

I make a beeline for the AF lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_9.jpg

A most friendly pair of lounge attendants welcome me in, making sure to call me “sir” at every possible opportunity, quite funny actually. The lounge is quite a small one and mostly packed, but I manage to share a table with an older gentleman. Time for some breakfast:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_10.jpg

I love those Minute Maid cans.

Several reviews of this lounge I found explicitly mentioned that there’s no alcohol - but what do I see in the fridge - plenty of cans of Heineken:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_11.jpg

Lounge view - had to be a bit sneaky due to the number of people. And no, that woman is NOT a Finn despite wearing what appears to be a well known Finnish design shirt:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_12.jpg

These seats are getting a bit long in the tooth:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_13.jpg

No matter what Jonas says about lounges I got rather bored at this one - there’s no free wifi (but the airport gives you 15 minutes of free access, how generous!) although they have computers you can use to go online. So after drinking around four cups of coffee (I have to help Finland to keep its #1 global coffee consumption position although I guess these cups will be added to the French tally instead), eating a bunch croissants and drinking canfuls of Perrier I bid au revoir to the friendly reception lads and head out.

In the meantime the terminal has gotten significantly more crowded:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_14.jpg

They have a system where the gate number is only announced twenty minutes before departure. This is very punctual, so at 9.15 a gate number flashes up for my flight.

Left or right:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_15.jpg

Right for me today. Ok, keep rubbing it in, will ya:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_16.jpg

Nice variety of types:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_17.jpg

The gate area, you walk the stairs down to the gate, kinda like at LCY:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_18.jpg

Stopping at my gate I take a glimpse out thru the tinted glass and get a nice surprise:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_19.jpg

Yes, not only is is the scheduled Régional Embraer 170 but they decided to send a special liveried one! Very nice for me.

The plane is F-HBXP, an ex Alitalia Express bird which has been flying for Régional only since February.

Downstairs boarding is yet to begin, but in five minutes or so we are good to do. The gate agent addresses me in French but after seeing my ID card switches to English and I confuse her more by thanking her in French anyway...

Now with proper colors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_20.jpg

Once more:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_21.jpg

CDG - SXB
AF7760 Operated by Régional CAE
E170 F-HBXP
Seat 2A
9.37 - 10.33

A middle aged but extremely petite, chic as only the French can be and overwhelmingly friendly female purser greets me at the door (come to think of it I never saw her colleague during the whole flight!). SkyPriority also entitles one to a seat up front on these domestic single class Air France (marketed) flights so here’s my seat 2A with 2B thrown in as a bonus gift for frequent readers - very stylish:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_22.jpg

Side view, I really like these seats - somebody with Alitalia Express experience can you confirm whether these are the same seats they used:

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7484 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_23.jpg

Plenty of legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_24.jpg

And of course those trademark huge E-jet windows make this Finn one happy camper (and even more so when it turns out that there’s nobody next to me):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_25.jpg

Load is maybe 60% on this flight. The captain announces a flight time of 50 minutes and it being cloudy and ten degrees at Strasbourg. Push back is two minutes early and while waiting for the tug to be disconnected I snap this shot of three Air France regional affiliates, Régional, Brit Air and CityJet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_26.jpg

Actually I almost managed to shoot a photo of all the AF regional affiliates as this Arlinair taxied past just seconds after but alas I wasn’t able to get a photo of all of them at once:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_27.jpg

Heading for 26R, I’m sure that is more than enough for this nifty little E-jet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_28.jpg

We start our take off roll right as this bird comes in for landing on the parallel 26L - very nice view even though I almost broke my neck looking backwards:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_29.jpg

Hmm, looks orange to me:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_30.jpg

Yes, it does:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_31.jpg

Even:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_32.jpg

Sorry, we won:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_33.jpg

Off we go:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_34.jpg

Love this angle:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_35.jpg

The area where I spent my night - see it’s all motorways and logistics:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_36.jpg

Le Bourget or LBG:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_37.jpg

I guess this is part of the collection of the museum:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_38.jpg

We fly directly overhead the centre of Paris, performing a lazy left hand turn. Sadly there are plenty of clouds around so views are less than stellar, but here’s a shot of the river Seine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_39.jpg

Another one of these wing and engine combos:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_40.jpg

Stylish if a little bling bling due to the gold color:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_41.jpg

Service is the standard French domestic one - some cookies and a drinks round. After asking for coffee the purser insist I also take some water with it - who am I to argue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_42.jpg

I read my book and enjoy the coffee and very soon we are already descending, with an announcement of some turbulence to be expected on approach due to high winds (and there’s plenty during our initial descent).

A nice looking lake in the middle of a forest:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_43.jpg

Passing very close to the Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base, a former USAF facility:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_44.jpg

Some very nice looking hills covered in thick and lush forest:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_45.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_46.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_47.jpg

Lé solar panel:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_48.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_49.jpg

Strasbourg seems to have its fair share of projects as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_50.jpg

The very impressive cathedral rising above everything, the train station in the foreground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_51.jpg

What on earth is that - a downed UFO?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_52.jpg

A water filled quarry:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_53.jpg

The military part of the airport - appears to be closed:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_54.jpg

Landing is on runway 23, total flight time around 45 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_55.jpg

The terminal building, rather interesting architecture:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_56.jpg

It being a public holiday quite a few Régional Jungle Jets are parked on the apron:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_57.jpg

Notice people standing up and the seat belt sign being on - I always feel awkward at these situations stubbornly sitting down until I hear the telltale ding:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_58.jpg

Yes, HSBC is everywhere:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_59.jpg

I thank and say farewell to the lovely purser and head into the terminal. One last shot, thanks for the comfy ride:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Strassbourg_0405_2012/Second_60.jpg

This report will end here - it already has plenty of pictures and Strasbourg being such a photogenic city plus some excellent approach shots around Marseille justify a second part for the next flights.

Conclusions

Norwegian once again offered a reasonably comfortable flight for an excellent price and almost on schedule (well on the original schedule at least!). Shame about that seating hassle at HEL, I can’t really understand why the gate computers didn’t beep when it turned out I had an invalid seat assignment - that is usually the case. Despite that a perfectly fine flight and the wifi access is always a bonus.

I was very impressed by Régional. Sure Brit Air and the CRK would’ve been somewhat more interesting (and the original purpose of this trip anyway...) but the special liveried E-jet and the overwhelmingly friendly purser more than made up for it! A very nice plane, good comfort, clean cabin, sufficient and friendly service for a flight of this duration and excellent fare - nothing to complain really!

Stay tuned for part 2 featuring the trip home via MRS and FRA plus some pictures from Strasbourg! Happy contrails!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3035 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7179 times:

Nice report Mr.R! Lookiung forward to the next part!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
…for a month or so after Expedia notified me about AF canceling my ORY-SXB flight! Oh dear, here we go again. Apparently AF decided to cancel a bunch of business oriented flights on the 1st of May as it is a big holiday in France as well

So annoying. It's not like they didn't know May 1 is a public holiday. A few years ago I was booked PVG-CPH-LHR on 24 Dec. I was told about 6 weeks out that as it was Christmas Eve, the flight was cancelled. Come on! Christmas was the same date last year wasn't it?! Grrr

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally boarding is completed and she gets the full manifest, takes a look and asks me to follow her to...

Nice to get some good legroom there, even if you get get on the nerves of the Russians!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé aeroport:

Actually it's "l'aeroport"

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, not only is is the scheduled Régional Embraer 170 but they decided to send a special liveried one! Very nice for me.

Well, at least you got something special, even if you did miss the CRK



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7179 times:

Hello FlyinFinn76

Nice part 1. Shame the CRK plan didn't work out!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé electricite
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé cite
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé project
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé depot
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé aeroport

Excellent faux French!

Looking forward to reading about your return journey.
Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2203 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7065 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Things started by booking the outbound flight - I settled for the 1st of May/Labor Day/Valborgs or whatever name the celebration to slavery, work, solidarity and being helluva drunk is known to you

In America, every day is Labor day. Everyone labors all the time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Norwegian doesn%u2019t seem to celebrate their inaugurals much it would be just fine for me.

Ah, yes. Of course.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally I switched over to a far crappier hotel near CDG and was all set. Here%u2019s what the map eventually turned to look like - it wasn%u2019t much different to begin with, just move that CDG line to ORY instead:

Yes, but much worse, anyway... Just thinking about CDG makes me wanna throw up!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Today being the second or third biggest drinking day in Finland (and most certainly the biggest in-your-face drinking orgy) the roads are already crowded with fallen comrades as I make my way home from the office.

Wait... Isn't that every day in Finland?  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very soon the seat belt ding goes off which also means that we are now able to get online - so I open my personal airshow:

Not bad by Norwegian. They have too much money, I say.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Moody shot of a guy sleeping on the other side:

LOL. Very artistic.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh and some Romanian gypsies who have managed to overload their crappy car with all kinds of junk imaginable, to the point it can only do around 20 km/h...

Gypsies are subsidized by the French government, you know. They get free trips to Romania plus 200 Euros or something. They use half of the money to return to France. Gypsies love France for that reason.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I also have this weird idea in my head that T2G is right next door to the terminals E and F - which turns out to be quite the opposite - we dive into a tunnel under part of the apron and drive down the road for quite a lengthy time before finally stopping in front of the terminal - now I’m starting to understand Markus’ problems of connecting from here on a delayed flight...


Well, I've never seen 2G, so... I have no idea where it is. I still think it's an urban legend, actually.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Out of dedication to a certain “Mannen av faux” I just have to have this:

Faux-filet. Is not really meat, is something else, monsieur.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Flights - I didn’t realize AF did flights to Scandinavia from this terminal, well that explains the people in the bus:

Well, all "regional" aka RJ flights, non?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
What on earth is that - a downed UFO?

I remember seeing something like that in Helsinki, I think-i.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This report will end here - it already has plenty of pictures and Strasbourg being such a photogenic city plus some excellent approach shots around Marseille justify a second part for the next flights.

Yes, keep us posted.

Thanks for writing.


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1709 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6956 times:

Hey there Peter Finnländare Anno 1976, nice report. Bugger you didn't feature the return segments in it also! But oh well beggars can't be choosers as you always say  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
One of these routes was the rather predictable flight to Paris’ second airport, Orly.

Interesting that they cut that route from ARN and opened it up from HEL, suppose that's due to Finnair's monopoly on the route?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I settled for the 1st of May/Labor Day/Valborgs or whatever name the celebration to slavery, work, solidarity and being helluva drunk is known to you

Well apart from having time off work/school, those holidays stink!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but somehow I’m growing more and more weary of flying with them,

Nice to hear that my criticism on this vermin of the skies, airline of crooks, idle class air travel company, etc, have had an impact on you  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and using the return segment to start another crazy journey later this year, total around 175 EUR.

Will those segments be part of the crazy Japanese adventure? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
so I open my personal airshow:

Nice of your employer to let you bring his computer on your holiday trip! Did you manage to attend any conferences via web in-flight? Or whatever you need to do online since you so desperately crave for wifi.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Cabin view from a “lavatorial visit” like someone obsessed with toilets puts it:

One always has to have a reason to take a shit!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
wedged between Lé Motorway

It's called L'autoroute...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, more like Peasant Class is what I say:

Looks perfectly fine to me, at least for spending the night. When you described it as a dump I'd have expected it to look much worse, and besides at least you didn't have to share a room with two drunken US college peeps conducting loud fluid exchanges.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Maybe I should walk down the street to the Hyatt or the Ibis properties next door to try my luck)

I tried that once in MXP, or well the other way round i.e hitchhiking. The driver stopped, told me to fuck off and drove away.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Inside quite sterile but on okay commuter terminal I guess:

Looks like a depraved budget terminal á la Ryanair. Your description clearly gives me the idea of CDG as the world beyond 2F. Place really looks like a mess, and I'm so glad that I haven't had to make any long transfers at that airport in the past. Both the ARN and CMN flights have always departed from 2F, for the last 10 years or so.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Thanks to having Skyteam Gold status

Firstly it's called Skyteam Elite Plus, secondly it's FlyingBlue Gold.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
fancy marketing (TM)

Jesus™

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Another one of these wing and engine combos:

Looks like your flying your usual beloved & preferred SAS!

Looking forward to the next part!

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6847 times:

Hi FF

nice to see you back on your travels, and great report as usual!

Norwegian looks, well, normal. Weird how they swiched aircraft without informing you.

Ah, the RER. I used it every day to get to work when I worked in Paris - Denfert Rochereau to Roissypole. That was 1999-2000, and they had the same trains then, and they were getting old.

I have a room booked in a Premeiere Classe in June, they're ok is basic. Like our Travelodges. I stayed in one in Nice, just near the airport - it was on the top few floors of an office building!

CDG 2G looks quite basic, a bit like the old T9 (now T3). Nice flight though on Regional. Looking forward to the rest, I visited Strasbourg once on a school exchange, then again on an Interrail trip.

Thanks

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1084 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6714 times:

Hi P.

Very nice report... not sure if I imagine improved picture standards? Not that they weren't excellent before!

A nice journey indeed although I was definitely no clearer about where exactly you went on your mystery hotel-stop. Looked very sinister!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The tickets of course are quite a rip off - you pay a large premium for the airport service:

A theme? All French flights seem to include some very overpriced airport transfers. I was peeved when I saw the price at CDG. So much so I avoided going into the city.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Several reviews of this lounge I found explicitly mentioned that there’s no alcohol - but what do I see in the fridge - plenty of cans of Heineken:

Now... I know your not as cheap as me or Jonas... but you didn't fancy taking any along for the ride? And I'm surprised you chose not to start early...

As you can see alcohol firmly on the mind now I have began my sentence in Saudi!

Luke!!!



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6643 posts, RR: 78
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6458 times:

Hi P.,

another really interesting report! Too bad you missed the CRK this time. But I guess you'll still get that type at least 10 times before I will board one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I came very close to booking the new Ryanair flight to RIX from there, but somehow I’m growing more and more weary of flying with them, haven’t flown since last July actually!

No FR for you since July? Shock!  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I really like that reflection:

   Very nice shot.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very soon the seat belt ding goes off which also means that we are now able to get online - so I open my personal airshow:

Hey, great feature!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I also have this weird idea in my head that T2G is right next door to the terminals E and F - which turns out to be quite the opposite - we dive into a tunnel under part of the apron and drive down the road for quite a lengthy time before finally stopping in front of the terminal - now I’m starting to understand Markus’ problems of connecting from here on a delayed flight...

Yes, I departed from that terminal last year. The location is horrible.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Several reviews of this lounge I found explicitly mentioned that there’s no alcohol - but what do I see in the fridge - plenty of cans of Heineken:

Ah, Heineken everywhere...   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Side view, I really like these seats - somebody with Alitalia Express experience can you confirm whether these are the same seats they used:

The database can help to answer many questions. Here's a picture taken on EI-DFL (now F-HBXP) in 2004:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Daniel Werner




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1310 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6305 times:

Thanks for sharing!
You've been at the Premiere Classe Paris Nord or something, right? I would rather recommend the Premiere Classe Villepinte Parc des Expositions, which is right in front of the RER Station Parc des Expositions. I've been in both and I prefer the Parc des Expositions, since it's cleaner, they have free wifi, and it's less chaotic. No Shuttle but the RER right in front. I usually stay there and it perfectly fits my needs. However I agree that it is as basic as it can get.

The "UFO" is actually a public swimming pool. It's called "Piscine Tournesol" (Sunflower Swimming pool) and In France quite of few of these were built in the 70's. IIRC it's a plastic roof with plastic windows in it. And when summer comes, half of the roof slids on rails and therefore it makes it half open and the whole becomes an open air swimming pool. Was probably quite modern 40 years ago or so   Check out here: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piscine_Tournesol


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1110 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6086 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi FF,
Another excellent report with great pictures as usual. A nice and enjoyable read  
Too bad you missed the CRJ-1000 but this special E-170 livery sure makes up for it a bit

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really like that reflection:

lovely shot!

Looking forward to your next part

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5925 times:

Hi guys, good to see so many comments already. Thank you, every single one is greatly appreciated!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
I was told about 6 weeks out that as it was Christmas Eve, the flight was cancelled. Come on! Christmas was the same date last year wasn't it?! Grrr

I guess they play with fire here - try to see if they get enough bookings to make it worthwhile and if not - then they have a convenient excuse to cancel the flight! Not very customer oriented but that's the airline business for you!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Well, at least you got something special, even if you did miss the CRK

Yeah, I'm not so irked about it any more, enjoyed the substitute ride far too much...

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 3):
Excellent faux French!

Well French is a ridiculously easy language - simply take the appropriate English word and add "Le" in front of it  
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
In America, every day is Labor day. Everyone labors all the time.

Hah! Well this will soon be reality in France as well as they have to realize the party is over and it is time to tighten the belt, no matter what Mr. "My last name is a sauce" Hollandaise says.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Yes, but much worse, anyway... Just thinking about CDG makes me wanna throw up!

Good point, not exactly one of my favorite airports even though it has its moments and as a pure O/D airport it is okay.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Very soon the seat belt ding goes off which also means that we are now able to get online - so I open my personal airshow:
Not bad by Norwegian. They have too much money, I say.

Well, rest assured that as soon as they get people hooked on the service and the whole fleet equipped they will start charging good money for it.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Gypsies are subsidized by the French government, you know. They get free trips to Romania plus 200 Euros or something. They use half of the money to return to France. Gypsies love France for that reason.

Something similar took place in Finland a couple of years ago as well. They took to money and the ferry tickets to Tallinn, went there and came back a day or two later...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Well, I've never seen 2G, so... I have no idea where it is. I still think it's an urban legend, actually.

Trust me, it does exist.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Faux-filet. Is not really meat, is something else, monsieur.

Soylent Green.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Well, all "regional" aka RJ flights, non?

Oui.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
What on earth is that - a downed UFO?
I remember seeing something like that in Helsinki, I think-i.

Yeah, we have the rock church over here, although it is quite a bit larger than that one.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Bugger you didn't feature the return segments in it also!

Well this one is already long enough without that part.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Interesting that they cut that route from ARN and opened it up from HEL, suppose that's due to Finnair's monopoly on the route?

They stopped the ARN-ORY service? But yeah, you have to try a route for a while to see whether it makes (financial) sense and of course routes with a virtual monopoly (the AY flights are codeshared with AF so there are two carriers after all and KF has served HEL-CDG on and off every now and then) are of course good candidates for making a buck or two, especially if the destination city happens to be the world's favorite tourist destination (why, I wonder...).

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Nice to hear that my criticism on this vermin of the skies, airline of crooks, idle class air travel company, etc, have had an impact on you  

I've never much cared on other people's opinions and always done things my own way. And trust me Jonas, your criticism or option on Ryanair or anything for that matter don't affect me in any way. Never have and never will.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Will those segments be part of the crazy Japanese adventure? 

As a matter of fact they will take me to FCO in September so do the math.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Nice of your employer to let you bring his computer on your holiday trip! Did you manage to attend any conferences via web in-flight? Or whatever you need to do online since you so desperately crave for wifi.

No, as I said most of the time was spent commenting on trip reports on this very forum - never enough time for that so flights are a good opportunity to do so! And I don't need a permission from anybody - like they say in the US Army: "don't ask, don't tell".

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
One always has to have a reason to take a shit!

Jonas, please! If your mother knew what you are saying here she'd wash your mouth.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Looks perfectly fine to me, at least for spending the night. When you described it as a dump I'd have expected it to look much worse, and besides at least you didn't have to share a room with two drunken US college peeps conducting loud fluid exchanges.

Well the cleanliness and everything was okay, but the facilities were seriously lacking. If you have three lamps in your room I expect all three of them to be working. If there's a shampoo dispenser in the room I expect it to have some shampoo in it. If they advertise free wifi and give you the passport for it in the room I expect it to work.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Looks like a depraved budget terminal á la Ryanair. Your description clearly gives me the idea of CDG as the world beyond 2F. Place really looks like a mess, and I'm so glad that I haven't had to make any long transfers at that airport in the past. Both the ARN and CMN flights have always departed from 2F, for the last 10 years or so.

Yes, CDG is an ugly mess. 2E/F are quite okay and connecting there is a nightmare unless you are doing it within the same terminal in which case it's not too bad even though you have to reclear security even on intra-Schengen flights which sucks.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Firstly it's called Skyteam Elite Plus, secondly it's FlyingBlue Gold.

Whateva.

Quoting signol (Reply 6):
nice to see you back on your travels, and great report as usual!

Thanks.

Quoting signol (Reply 6):
Norwegian looks, well, normal. Weird how they swiched aircraft without informing you.

I'm not very impressed with their ground handling in Finland, to be honest with you.

Quoting signol (Reply 6):
Ah, the RER. I used it every day to get to work when I worked in Paris - Denfert Rochereau to Roissypole. That was 1999-2000, and they had the same trains then, and they were getting old.

Argh. I guess you get used to everything though... And being British I guess you know something about crap trains  .

Quoting signol (Reply 6):
I have a room booked in a Premeiere Classe in June, they're ok is basic. Like our Travelodges. I stayed in one in Nice, just near the airport - it was on the top few floors of an office building!

Weird concept. But yeah, had everything worked and been stocked up in the room it would've been okay for me and good value for money. Right now it left a lot to be desired.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
Very nice report... not sure if I imagine improved picture standards? Not that they weren't excellent before!

The new IPhoto is quite good in its automatic picture enhancing filters and my camera gets some excellent pics when the lighting conditions are good like here.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
A nice journey indeed although I was definitely no clearer about where exactly you went on your mystery hotel-stop. Looked very sinister!

It's a dedicated CDG hotel area wedged between the Parc de Expositions expo/warehouse/industrial area and the motorway leading to CDG from Paris, a couple of klicks south of CDG. The normal way to reach it without a car is to take the shuttle from CDG but I was looking to save some money so I got off at the Parc de Expositions RER stop which meant a two kilometer walk thru the area. Since it is mostly industrial it was deserted this late at night.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
A theme? All French flights seem to include some very overpriced airport transfers. I was peeved when I saw the price at CDG. So much so I avoided going into the city.

Yes, this irks me to no end. It is actually cheaper to go to Versailles with the RER than to CDG even though it is much further. The Parc de Expositions where I got off is the last stop on the RER before CDG. A ticket from central Paris to this stop is around 5 EUR cheaper than to CDG, now that is a rip off!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 7):
Now... I know your not as cheap as me or Jonas... but you didn't fancy taking any along for the ride? And I'm surprised you chose not to start early...

Well no beer that early in the morning for me. Had they had some bubbles it would be a completely different story... And speaking of the lounge the fridge is right in front of the front desk so there was no way to avoid having the attendants seeing you do this and I'm sure they wouldn't like it. And I can buy a cold beer in a supermarket for a Euro in France anyway so no need.


Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Too bad you missed the CRK this time. But I guess you'll still get that type at least 10 times before I will board one.

Yes, I'm hatching some plans but not sure when I will manage to fit it in, though!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
No FR for you since July? Shock!  

Well they just haven't fitted into my plans and better airlines have had just as amazing bargains so no need really. Although when it comes adding obscure airports to your log there's no better than FR!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
The database can help to answer many questions. Here's a picture taken on EI-DFL (now F-HBXP) in 2004:

Thanks, so these indeed are the AZ seats just as I suspected. Was too lazy to check it myself.

Quoting reifel (Reply 9):
You've been at the Premiere Classe Paris Nord or something, right?

Yes.

Quoting reifel (Reply 9):
I would rather recommend the Premiere Classe Villepinte Parc des Expositions, which is right in front of the RER Station Parc des Expositions.

Thanks for the tip, would've saved me the hike. There are plenty of PCs around CDG I see...

Quoting reifel (Reply 9):
I've been in both and I prefer the Parc des Expositions, since it's cleaner, they have free wifi, and it's less chaotic.

Well my hotel also was supposed to have a free wifi, but it just didn't work.

Quoting reifel (Reply 9):
The "UFO" is actually a public swimming pool. It's called "Piscine Tournesol" (Sunflower Swimming pool) and In France quite of few of these were built in the 70's.

Merci, every day is a school day! Maybe it also was supposed to double as a fallout shelter or something, it certainly looks so!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 10):
Too bad you missed the CRJ-1000 but this special E-170 livery sure makes up for it a bit

Definitely, this whole thing didn't really leave a bad taste in my mouth at all.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5795 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Nice to see another report from you and too bad you missed out on the CRK but looks like you had some nice flights.

Looking forward to your return report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5011 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5795 times:

Hey, P.,

that was for sure a good and interesting Saturday evening read.
Also when you dont catch the main target here.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

That flight arrived sufficiently late at ORY to make overnighting there a necessity so I limited my CRK searching for the next day. Quite soon after that I went for Markus’ favorite route, ORY-SXB and booked the morning flight to Strasbourg, operated by Brit Air with the desired CRK for around 55 EUR - domestic French flights are usually rather attractively priced and this was no exception!

Good to know and also my impression if you book it well in advance. Btw. three more CR-Ks on schedule during the next weeks.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, seriously speaking the hotel wasn’t that bad - if all the facilities worked it would be okay for that price but the advertised free wifi didn’t work at all, only a single lamp out of the three in my room worked, the soap/shampoo dispenser in the toilet had last been filled around the time Mitterrand was still going strong with his socialist day dreams and I had serious problems getting hot water from the shower in the morning. Additionally the soundproofing was non existent and there were lots of noisy kids and teenagers running up and down the corridor but personally that doesn’t bother me at all - if I’m tired I sleep like a rock no matter what the soundscape around me is and I tired I certainly was!

Hah, like you´re description. Sounds like a special place.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Well, the alternative would be this - les cars Air France with their own cool waiting lounge:

Free with Skyteam Gold status, you know?.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I also have this weird idea in my head that T2G is right next door to the terminals E and F - which turns out to be quite the opposite - we dive into a tunnel under part of the apron and drive down the road for quite a lengthy time before finally stopping in front of the terminal - now I’m starting to understand Markus’ problems of connecting from here on a delayed flight...

Sure it is, remember that trip to Brest close to a year ago.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):


A middle aged but extremely petite, chic as only the French can be and overwhelmingly friendly female purser greets me at the door

Lovely, the way I like it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Stay tuned for part 2 featuring the trip home via MRS and FRA plus some pictures from Strasbourg! Happy contrails!

Looking forward to this one.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2472 posts, RR: 15
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

Hi Petteri

Another nice trip report, thanks for sharing! Too bad the CRK was cancelled? Maybe another try on IB.
Good to see you got the EMB170 instead.
CDG Terminal 2G looks more like the RER station than a terminal...

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 5536 times:

Bonjour Monsieur P.

great report, I was looking forward to this one. SXB is quite familiar to me, having done a couple of flights from there as well, and also been there quite often for picking up or dropping of other people. A nice little airport. Too bad you missed the CRJ-1000, but that E-170 from Regional was for sure nice as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the flight to ORY cost only 36 EUR which can be considered to be some sort of bargain!

Wow, that's a great rpice for a flight of this length. Good to see that Norwegian also offers some of these bargains occasionally.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
To go east would mean taking a train to Karlsruhe (or even to Stuttgart), saying hallo to CaptainRed and and then flying from FKB somewhere.

That of course would have been a very good idea   But then I have to admit that MRS is probably a little more exciting than FKB.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
the jackpot, the whole exit row 15 just for me, I can live with that!

Lucky you. Free seats around, a couple of beers, free wifi and nice FAs, sounds like a fun flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really like that reflection:

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So I booked a room at one of the the Premiere Classe hotels around - for a pre paid 29 EUR this seemed to be a very nice bargain.

Yeah, these Premiere Class hotels are all around France (mostly in not-so-nice industrial areas and near the highways). Not really premiere class quality-wise, but usually a clean bed and shower for a decent price.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, not only is is the scheduled Régional Embraer 170 but they decided to send a special liveried one! Very nice for me.

That's indeed a nice looking bird. At least some compensation for missing the CRK.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some very nice looking hills covered in thick and lush forest:

Hey, I actually recognize this area. Have been there quite often. That little town on the second picture is Saverne, in the foreground there's the Rhine-Marne-Canal crossing the Vosges mountains.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The very impressive cathedral rising above everything, the train station in the foreground:

Great picture. I have done a few approaches to SXB myself, but unfortunately never had a view like this.

Now looking forward to read about your experience in Strasbourg   ...

CaptainRed


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5362 times:

Another great report as usual.

Funny that you've reported on CDG-SXB-MRS, I'm booked on those exact flights as well for October. Looking forward to the seconc part!


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5132 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Bonjour Flying F,

Excellent stuff! And to answer your title question: I haven't a single clue!
I'm glad to see your French is improving by the minute as well. 2 solid flight performances where the AF one gets the bonus points for the special livery!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
One of these routes was the rather predictable flight to Paris’ second airport, Orly.

Why is that?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I settled for the 1st of May/Labor Day/Valborgs or whatever name the celebration to slavery, work, solidarity and being helluva drunk is known to you

Quite some people had the same idea, no need to take a day off = very convenient. The latter is however quite a poor show.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but somehow I’m growing more and more weary of flying with them, haven’t flown since last July actually!

Come on, I hope one of these will see you flying one again. Maybe just to see again how good it actually is on other airlines. But I don’t want to say Ryanair is bad airline. Let’s call it ‘basic’ and that’s an overstatement  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
first giving a little nod to LN-NOD

I got the pun!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
then greeting the cutish young purser in Estonian (she seems to be a bit surprised but replies in the same language)

You and confusing people: it hs to done. And you speak some Estonian as well?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
While one of the FAs heads to check from the gate agent I try to sweet talk the purser into letting me to ask the pilots for the jumpseat in the cockpit but she refuses, all in good spirit though!

You can’t blame a man for trying... Too bad that a ride on these seats had become virutally impossible nowadays.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Load is around 80%, half the pax seem to be Russians (just like with the Ezy CDG flights, remember those?) and there are plenty of screaming kids around, lovely.

The best way to start your short holiday.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé electricite:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé cite
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé project
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé depot
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé aeroport
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bonjour, France
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé solar panel

I’m glad to see your French is improving. Now work some more on the spelling  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
you pay a large premium for the airport service

Talking about a steep price: that is one! That reminds me of the extra they charge for taking the train to BRU as well: they call it ‘Diabolo tax’. Diabolic it is for sure!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
plus the queue for breakfast is around as long as a Ryanair boarding queue in Spain an hour before departure

So I guess that means the cue was long beyond imagination?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
making sure to call me “sir” at every possible opportunity

They are obliged to because of your headwear. French tradition.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
o here’s my seat 2A with 2B thrown in as a bonus gift for frequent readers - very stylish

I consider myself part of that group, so thanks. Stylish indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I snap this shot of three Air France regional affiliates, Régional, Brit Air and CityJet
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Arlinair

I never realised they have quite some regional divisions. Must be even more confusing to non-frequent flyers.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26500 posts, RR: 58
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5076 times:

Hey P ,

Very nice report . Indeed the design of CDG must have left architects with their hands in their heads! Not the best thing every built. Cold and grey . Never impressed me.

The outside of the Air France lounge looked promising but when you got inside the compact design and torn seats were really shocking ! I think I prefer the old ancient one I was in back in March .

I love the E Jet interior though so nice to see it .

Thanks for the report .

Regards

Philip  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4928 times:

HI all, good to see so many comments, thank you!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Good to know and also my impression if you book it well in advance. Btw. three more CR-Ks on schedule during the next weeks.

What a lucky bugger you are! As a consolation price I think I will go and fly some more 717s...   Actually two flights on those booked within the next week.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 13):
Well, the alternative would be this - les cars Air France with their own cool waiting lounge:
Free with Skyteam Gold status, you know?.

Markus, please tell me you are kidding? Seriously? Man, I wish I'd known this beforehand - then I'd taken one of those without batting an eyelash and then the shuttle from CDG, that would've cost only 5 EUR! The legroom might still be crap but if its free crap I'll tolerate it  .

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Another nice trip report, thanks for sharing! Too bad the CRK was cancelled? Maybe another try on IB.

Yeah, plenty of plans also for another try with Brit Air - I definitely want to log that carrier sooner than later. But too little time, you know...!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
CDG Terminal 2G looks more like the RER station than a terminal...

Well it is much cleaner, doesn't smell of urine nor had those weirdos hanging around like most RER stations at least in central Paris seem to have...

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
A nice little airport.

Yep, very compact, everything works fine and the architecture is interesting.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
Wow, that's a great rpice for a flight of this length. Good to see that Norwegian also offers some of these bargains occasionally.

I booked this right after they announced the route and the seats came up for grabs - the best moment to catch cheap seats on Norwegian (but not with Ryanair).

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
Hey, I actually recognize this area. Have been there quite often. That little town on the second picture is Saverne, in the foreground there's the Rhine-Marne-Canal crossing the Vosges mountains.

Ok, thanks. I knew somebody would help me with this. Was too lazy to look it up.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 15):
Great picture. I have done a few approaches to SXB myself, but unfortunately never had a view like this.

The weather was great for air to ground shots and I was lucky to be sitting on the right side (or left side in this case!).

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 16):
Funny that you've reported on CDG-SXB-MRS, I'm booked on those exact flights as well for October. Looking forward to the seconc part!

Really? Same plane types scheduled as well? No CRK for you?

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
Excellent stuff! And to answer your title question: I haven't a single clue!

Luckily Markus had!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
One of these routes was the rather predictable flight to Paris’ second airport, Orly.
Why is that?

Well DY serves (or has served in the case of ARN) it from every all the Nordic capitals (and some regional Norwegian airports as well I think) and Paris remains to be world's favorite tourist destination (no idea why) so it's kinda obvious they would try they luck on the route, isn't it?

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
irst giving a little nod to LN-NOD
I got the pun!

I knew you would!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
You and confusing people: it hs to done. And you speak some Estonian as well?

Like most languages - I can be polite and order myself a beer. And then some. Makes your life much more convenient abroad.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
Talking about a steep price: that is one! That reminds me of the extra they charge for taking the train to BRU as well: they call it ‘Diabolo tax’. Diabolic it is for sure!

Hah, that's certainly an appropriate term!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
So I guess that means the cue was long beyond imagination?

Oui.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 17):
I never realised they have quite some regional divisions. Must be even more confusing to non-frequent flyers.

Well I think casual flyers don't care - they simply see the AF logo and (usually) the AF colors on the plane and that's it for them. Lufthansa has the same amount actually - Cityline, Augsburg Airways, Eurowings and Contact Air (or Germanwings nowadays but that's a special case).

Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Very nice report . Indeed the design of CDG must have left architects with their hands in their heads! Not the best thing every built. Cold and grey . Never impressed me.

Tell me about it. Never liked the place much. My first time making a connection at a foreign airport was actually at CDG - like they say, the best way to learn to swim is to jump straight into the deep end of the pool - either fear of death will do its magic or evolution shall fulfill itself and remove you from the gene pool  . You know what happened to me.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

Hello P!

Great report as usual!
Good to read that you had a nice domestic flight on Regional, and a decent enough flight on DY.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite soon after that I went for Markus’ favorite route, ORY-SXB and booked the morning flight to Strasbourg

Good idea!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I still had some time to visit Strasbourg city, something I definitely wanted to do.

Yup, good idea! The city center sure is beautiful!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
first giving a little nod to LN-NOD since it is the first time we are getting intimate like this

I like how you phrased that.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
on the grounds that I really want both my window and legroom.

Another good idea. As I experienced in early March, the legroom is not very nice on those older DY 738's.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
That winglet looks gorgeous:

Agreed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The sun still shining up here:

I really like that picture.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So I booked a room at one of the the Premiere Classe hotels around - for a pre paid 29 EUR this seemed to be a very nice bargain.

I've stayed at a Premiere Classe hotel once as well. Coincidentally it was actually in Strasbourg. My experience was pretty much the same, a spartan but decent enough room for a small amount of money.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, not only is is the scheduled Régional Embraer 170 but they decided to send a special liveried one! Very nice for me.

Congrats. A good looking special livery as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This report will end here - it already has plenty of pictures and Strasbourg being such a photogenic city

Very much looking forward to it.

Martin


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4442 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Really? Same plane types scheduled as well? No CRK for you?

Yeah, really. Although it is november, I realise now. Flight times are a little different, as well as the plane types - must be a winter schedule thing. Flights are operated by a CRJ700 and E145.


User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4286 times:

Bonsoir Pierre,

Merci pour un réport très bien écrite avec beaucoup des belles images! C'est dommage que tu n'as pas pu voler avec le CRK, mais peut-être une autre fois?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(and a bunch of suspended ones but hey, you are not supposed to ask about those!). One of these routes was the rather predictable flight to Paris’ second airport, Orly.

What - are you suggesting that ORY is one of the suspended routes?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Quite soon after that I went for Markus’ favorite route, ORY-SXB and booked the morning flight to Strasbourg, operated by Brit Air with the desired CRK for around 55 EUR - domestic French flights are usually rather attractively priced and this was no exception!

I must say flights between France (specially the riviera) and the Maghreb countries have quite decent pricing as well (I'm interested in those as I have a trip to Tunisia coming up - catching Nouvelair on the way there!).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Apparently AF decided to cancel a bunch of business oriented flights on the 1st of May as it is a big holiday in France as well (you know, liberty, egalitarianism, brotherhood and all that...).

Oui: liberté, egalité et fraternité!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh well, I still have enough time and there aren’t too many people here so I quickly pass security, do my usual silent protest march thru the stupidly placed duty free shop, buy a bottle of water and head for a pint nearby the announced gate 29:

Hey, should I be worried that your pilots were enjoying a drink as well?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(as a matter of fact one can see the pilots on the above picture)

Damn, you beat me to it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Some young guy is waiting to take the exact same photo from my (admittedly very good) spot, looks like another plane geek. I think he is French.

How did you come to that conclusion? Did you ask him?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Over at the gate there’s already a queue:

Looks familiar. I boarded a fully booked LN-NOV at OUL yesterday. Despite the inbound flight was delayed by a quarter of an hour or so and a delay was announced people started queuing well ahead of original boarding time. It was quite amusing to watch actually. I wonder why I never see it on other airlines? (U2 and FR excluded).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m one of the first ones to walk down the jetway, first giving a little nod to LN-NOD

It's nice to give a nod to LN-NOD (I did so in March on HEL-RVN) but once is enough. That's the good thing about the rotation of the HEL-based planes that you have a good chance of scoring some new regs on the way!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The caterers arriving - make sure you load plenty of beer:

But loading plenty of free beer would be even better, no?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The FA explains to me that the equipment was switched to this “older plane” (indeed, no Boeing Sky Interior on this 738) on short notice (I guess it explains the gate change) and it has a slightly different seating configuration. I say to her “Well, at least it’s got Internet!” to which she agrees (see, these Estonians are so wired or rather wireless nowadays...).

Wow, what a story! It almost reminds me of the hassle I encountered on BT not long ago - only that this it was at a somewhat more human hour and apparently dealt with in a more professional way!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Load is around 80%, half the pax seem to be Russians (just like with the Ezy CDG flights, remember those?) and there are plenty of screaming kids around, lovely.

Good to see this new route making more money than it is burning! Actually I was quite surprised to see that DY is apparently putting an end to its game on the HEL-CPH route (but then again I have no problem understanding that people prefer the 717 on the route!)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“Bergen” going to AMS - I should be taking this evening KLM flight in less than three weeks:

I guess you took it today?


Always good to see a 717 (albeit just one) - seems like they spend most of their ground time in CPH and the stops at HEL are quite minimal nowadays.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Must-have-a-717-in-a-report:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé electricite:

L'électricité.


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé cite:

La ville.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Lé project:

Please, it hurts! French (used to) be a beautiful language.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, the alternative would be this - les cars Air France with their own cool waiting lounge:

So almost like our Finnair City Bus (only that the AF one features a lounge?)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
plus some excellent approach shots around Marseille

Hey - looking forward to that one (or more like trying to find the right time to read it in the nearest future). You should've waited for a couple of weeks before heading home via MRS - it would've given you the chance to 1) explore the French countryside and 2) spot a 717 a MRS and 3) possibly fly home on it?  

Finally - the CDG hassle - will probably cause some nightmares and sure makes me less enthusiastic about my upcoming transfer (and first ever CDG experience) in the nearest future - but I'm sure it'll end up just fine!
Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4120 times:
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Nice read and pictures P, shame about loosing the CRK but these things can happen, as you well know, with the best laid plans.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
If you ask me Paris doesn’t have any good airports, but at least ORY offers some interesting connections to domestic French destinations and of course lots of flights to the Maghreb countries

- Agreed, though ORY does have spotting facilities.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
. I came very close to booking the new Ryanair flight to RIX from there, but somehow I’m growing more and more weary of flying with them, haven’t flown since last July actually!

- Congrats, that's impressive!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I found a nice open-jaw itinerary with AFKL for a good price where SXB-AMS would be operated by Régional with the E135, a very rare type in Europe (and one I’m only flown once previously)

- Still missing the 135  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, seriously speaking the hotel wasn’t that bad - if all the facilities worked it would be okay for that price but the advertised free wifi didn’t work at all, only a single lamp out of the three in my room worked, the soap/shampoo dispenser in the toilet had last been filled around the time Mitterrand was still going strong with his socialist day dreams and I had serious problems getting hot water from the shower in the morning. Additionally the soundproofing was non existent and there were lots of noisy kids and teenagers running up and down the corridor but personally that doesn’t bother me at all - if I’m tired I sleep like a rock no matter what the soundscape around me is and I tired I certainly was!

- That is not a great looking hotel room, just can't go that low myself, I must be a snob!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
CDG, one of the ugliest things made out of concrete since the Berlin Wall:

- The wall looked better.....

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Yes, HSBC is everywhere:

- Taking over the world, at least the jetways!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days ago) and read 4000 times:

Hi all, good to have more comments, thank you!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 20):
Good to read that you had a nice domestic flight on Regional, and a decent enough flight on DY.

Yeah, quite impressed with Régional actually. Would be nice to compare it with Brit Air to see if they are on the same level but not this time then...

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 20):
Yup, good idea! The city center sure is beautiful!

+1.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 20):
first giving a little nod to LN-NOD since it is the first time we are getting intimate like this
I like how you phrased that.

Hey, I have my moments!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 21):
Flights are operated by a CRJ700 and E145.

Actually I have a sort of a recollection that my CDG-SXB flight was originally a CRJ-700 as well before being switched over to the E170.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
C'est dommage que tu n'as pas pu voler avec le CRK, mais peut-être une autre fois?

¿Que?

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
What - are you suggesting that ORY is one of the suspended routes?

No. After rereading that I realize I could've rephrased that to be a little bit clearer.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
I must say flights between France (specially the riviera) and the Maghreb countries have quite decent pricing as well (I'm interested in those as I have a trip to Tunisia coming up - catching Nouvelair on the way there!).

I know, I know. I'm currently coming up with a nice plan featuring something like this for October.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
Hey, should I be worried that your pilots were enjoying a drink as well?

No drinking, just hanging around the gate area with that "Can't you see I'm a pilot!" aura around them.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
Some young guy is waiting to take the exact same photo from my (admittedly very good) spot, looks like another plane geek. I think he is French.
How did you come to that conclusion? Did you ask him?

We exchanged a few words, his English had an accent which sounded quite French to me.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
But loading plenty of free beer would be even better, no?

Obviously.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
Good to see this new route making more money than it is burning! Actually I was quite surprised to see that DY is apparently putting an end to its game on the HEL-CPH route (but then again I have no problem understanding that people prefer the 717 on the route!)

I'm not sure if they are really canceling it outright or just haven't yet decided whether they will continue operating it throughout the winter season. Although I do suspect it is the former case, unfortunately.

As for making money it all boils down to the average fare (plus any money spent on BOB, although judging from what I saw there weren't too many takers) the pax were paying. I think Mr. Kjos mentioned after DY started at HEL their break-even load factor on the HEL routes was only around 50% but that was back then and I guess the economics on these longer routes must be quite different to the short ARN & OSL hops.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
I should be taking this evening KLM flight in less than three weeks:
I guess you took it today?

Yes, if today is last Friday  .

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
Please, it hurts! French (used to) be a beautiful language.

France used to be a beautiful country before all these housing projects got started and filled with errr... certain types of people.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 22):
Finally - the CDG hassle - will probably cause some nightmares and sure makes me less enthusiastic about my upcoming transfer (and first ever CDG experience) in the nearest future - but I'm sure it'll end up just fine!

Wel it will be fine in the end, but a rather frustrating and a bizarre experience along the way. Certainly nothing relaxing about it. As an O/D airport it is just passable, but as a hub - non!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 23):
- That is not a great looking hotel room, just can't go that low myself, I must be a snob!  

Yeah I know the feeling. But if you think about it - I spend around eight hours in that room, seven of those deep asleep so there's not much you really need (but good shower facilities are one thing which this room failed to deliver, I give you that!).

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 23):
CDG, one of the ugliest things made out of concrete since the Berlin Wall:
- The wall looked better.....

With the graffiti, yes! Maybe an idea for ADP - call in some people from the Projects to decorate it?


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1423 posts, RR: 33
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3926 times:

Hi P,

Nice to see you catching a Regional flight. Only logged them twice so far, but both of those flights were good. Great that you got the E170 special livery, it looks very classy and I guess it makes up for not getting the CRK.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Very soon the seat belt ding goes off which also means that we are now able to get online - so I open my personal airshow:

You have to admit that's pretty cool, isn't it?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
have this weird idea in my head that to reach 2G (where all AF regional flights are departing from) one has to catch the shuttle bus from 2E. With that in mind I head downstairs ready to walk to 2E but confusingly the signs for 2G point back up so that’s what I do and realize that there’s actually a navette that goes round all the terminals:

Yeah, I remember taking that shuttle bus. It even went all the way round to the staff parking lots. Not the sort of thing I'd like to do with a tight connection. 2G is ok though, functional and modern.

What a saga with the seats on DY. At least it was (finally) resolved to your satisfaction.

Looking forward to part two with your photos of Strasbourg - a lovely city.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
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