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Ooh La Lille: An A.net Meeting & A Strike  
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5916 times:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/44cdc9a2-8434-45ef-a25a-02c60640e577.jpg

How to beat the winter blues? Well, the best way is by planning trips for the long summer months that lie ahead. Back in January fellow a.netter Flieger67 & I looked into some options for a daytrip and settled on Lille in Northern France. After briefly considering flying in and out of Strasbourg, we eventually chose Basel/Mulhouse as our start/end point, booking the tickets as French domestics.

Planned was MLH-ORY, then with the AF bus to CDG where we’d pick up the TGV to Lille and to fly back the route was LIL-LYS-MLH. The MLH-ORY leg cost 80E (I paid a little extra to get the miles) and the LIL-LYS-MLH flights were 120E. However, as we know too well on A.net, things don’t always go to plan.

This was the booked route, thanks to gcmap.


Fellow member MSS658 heard about our plans and very kindly offered to meet us in Lille, despite the fact that he’d be in the middle of important exams. Well, local guidance is always great, so we were looking forward to a successful day out.

Monday June 10
With a departure time from Basel an unusual 08.50 I’m not sure how the traffic will be on a Monday morning and set off at 06:00 for a journey that normally takes 45minutes. Well, today is no different and I pull into car park F3 on the French side before 07:00, way too early. I head to the terminal for some people watching.

There’s a luggage wrapping service on offer at check-in and the woman who works there must be bored to tears. She has no customers and plays with her phone the whole time.

Here are today’s departures

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille022.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille021.jpg




I notice that the early morning service to Lyon is cancelled and am quite relieved that we didn’t book this one: it would have been an option to fly MLH-LYS-LIL. Little do I know what lies in store…..

Shortly before 08:00 Markus arrived and no sooner have we greeted each other he proceeds to tell me that our evening flight from LYS-MLH has been cancelled: he received an SMS from AF. I subsequently found out I had received an e-mail sent the night before informing me too. An air traffic control strike in France is planned from tomorrow, but it seems that some flights later today are going to be affected. We don’t have a lot of time on our hands, but head to the AF ticket desk to ask about our options. The lady is very helpful, she doesn’t bat an eyelid at our amusing itinerary and offers us the option of travelling LIL-CDG on the TGV and then flying CDG-MLH. Well, it’s the easy way, but not very exciting and it means Markus loses out on his new departure airport. He enquires about the direct LIL-SXB flight, which ironically was one we did consider during the booking process. Yes, there are seats available, so we take them. The lady has some trouble changing our bookings, as it seems that someone elsewhere is trying to access them at the same moment. She promises us she will make all the necessary changes, but we don’t have a new print out in our hands. Will this be a problem?

After that it’s time to head through security and straight to the gate.

This is what today’s trip now looks like:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/map2.gif

The “Super Connie” and hiding behind her, Twinjet for Marseille or Toulouse
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille024.jpg

MLH-ORY
AF7335
ATR-72 F-GVZN
STD 08:50 / ATD 08:55
STA 10:05 / ATA 09:59
Seat 5A
My 2nd flight on the ATR-72 and the first on this aircraft


First glimpse of our aircraft
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille026.jpg

Boarding starts nice and early at 08:25. The registration seems vaguely familiar from our trip to Pau last year, as we later realise though it’s one letter out and so a new aircraft for the log!

Just the rear stairs on the ATR
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille027.jpg

Sort of under the wing
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille028.jpg

Boarding
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille030.jpg

We are able to take our time on the tarmac photographing, nobody bats an eyelid (something we will only appreciate later in the day). The purser even seems concerns that Markus is so busy taking pictures that she asks me whether he intends to board the plane  

I already have a neighbour on my original seat of 18A so we move towards the front where there are a few empty rows. It’s mainly biz travellers on this morning service to Paris.

Bags of legroom
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille031.jpg

Although the plane is still in AF colours, the crew are wearing the HOP! Uniform. Flying time to Paris will be 1hr5 where it’s a fresh 13C. 2 female FAs are in the cabin today.

Cabin shot
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille032.jpg

We pushback before our STD and take a short cut to runway 15, where we take off at 08:55.

Turning


Bye bye Basel

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille037.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille039.jpg



Some views of the city

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille040.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille042.jpg



The green Alsace landscape
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille043.jpg

Inflight service. You used to get a small croissant or pain au chocolat, cost cutting is everywhere.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille046.jpg

Unsurprisingly there are mainly business travelers on this service. We take the opportunity to catch up on our news and confuse the FAs by changing seats.

First glimpse of the Paris area


A big queue of traffic


Finals




We land at Orly early, it’s a very smooth touchdown but is somewhat spoiled by some heavy braking action afterwards.

Traffic. This Open Skies 757 is a regular here
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille051.jpg

Corsair
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille052.jpg

AF of course
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille053.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille056.jpg

As well as a visitor from the UK
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille054.jpg

Deboarding views

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille058.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille057.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille059.jpg



The not so impressive baggage claim
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille060.jpg

One out at arrivals we head for the coach service that will take us to CDG. We just miss one as it’s full, but no problem, we have enough time.

Our coach for CDG. My ticket was purchased online for 18Euros.


Just like in the air, the last row is the preferred choice for A.netters. The coach is full and the legroom abysmal. There’s some heavy traffic on the motorway but it keeps moving and we are at CDG about 40 minutes later.

Arrival at CDG
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille063.jpg

From the coach stop we have a little trek through CDG until we reach the TGV station.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille064.jpg

Incredible arrivals boards
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille065.jpg

Feeling a bit peckish, we stumble upon a branch of Paul the bakers and purchase some delicious apricot Danish pastries.

The TGV station
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille066.jpg

TIDS!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille068.jpg

Busy scenes on the platform
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille069.jpg

Lucky us, it’s the right station!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille070.jpg

Train layout for the Lille service
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille071.jpg

And here she is
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille072.jpg

The coaches have seen better days
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille073.jpg

Getting on the TGV reminds me of the many trips I used to make on Eurostar to and from the UK. I’d forgotten just how fast these things go. We whizz through the French countryside, the cars we pass on the motorway appear to be crawling along.

An hour later we pull into Lille Europe station, where Marc is waiting for us.

Arrival at Lille Europe

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille074.jpg



http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille076.jpg



Despite having used the Eurostar service numerous times, there is something very special about seeing a train service from London when you’re on the other side of the Channel.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille077.jpg

Marc is the perfect tour guide today:

Walking towards Lille centre


Lille’s huge shopping centre. Just as I pop across to Germany for my shopping, the Belgians visit Lille (Note to self: this place is a reason alone to return to Lille one day!)
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille079.jpg

The other station, Flandres
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille080.jpg

Some impressions:

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille081.jpg




http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille084.jpg



http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille086.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille087.jpg



Flowers are big business here

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille089.jpg




Spot the trip reporters  http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille088.jpg

Part 2 to follow…..


"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5882 times:

It’s time for a leisurely lunch and what better choice when you’re in France than a creperie. Delicious it is and the waiter is somewhat intrigued by the 3 of us, our mix of languages and need to capture everything on camera!

After that, it’s time to walk off the calories around town.

The local AF office
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille091.jpg

…with some very cute advertising for Hop!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille090.jpg

They obviously don’t remove the Christmas lights here
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille093.jpg

Some local detail on the buildings
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille094.jpg

In the old town




Paul is full of sweet treats & delicious bread


The cathedral. The façade is rather strange, as if it’s only temporary. However, once inside, it’s most impressive

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille099.jpg



http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille100.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille101.jpg





A model inside the cathedral


Flandres station, but this time in the sun. The Christmas lights have been left here too.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille108.jpg

Marc has left his car at Lille airport but needs to head off a little earlier so we bid him goodbye and spend another hour strolling around the town.

Main square
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille109.jpg

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille110.jpg

Restaurant de Flammkueche: that sounds so wrong and so very un-French
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille111.jpg

This couple were having a struggle with their plants
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille112.jpg

Exactly an hour after Marc we catch the bus to the airport, which leaves from outside the big shopping centre (just as well there’s no time to visit any shops!). The service is pretty busy and costs 8Euros for the 30minute ride.

This is where the bus drops us off

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille115.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille117.jpg



FIDS


On arrival at Lille we decide to try the check-in machines with our original booking reference. It doesn’t work. I even get the alarming message that I am too late and check-in has closed, this of course refers to the LIL-LYS leg, which has just started to board. We heard over to the check-in desks, explain the problem but the lady can’t help us either and sends us straight to the AF ticket desk.

It soon becomes apparent that woman at the ticket desk speaks no English. So, it’s down to me to convey our complicated problem in French. Thankfully she understands and starts tapping away on her keyboard. Until the problem is solved, nearly 10 minutes pass. During this time, she takes 4 attempts at spelling my name before deciding that Markus’ is somewhat easier; has to get her supervisor to help and generally shakes her head a lot and utters “mon Dieu” on several occasions. It seems the problem is they have to manually unload us off the LYS flight before anything can be done. Finally it works and with a flurry of excitement she sends us over the check-in desk, where we are presented with 2 boarding passes for the SXB flight. The relief is huge.

Not much traffic on the tarmac
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille116.jpg

Busy terminal, there was a flight departing to Fez with the sort of passengers who only fly once a year.

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille119.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille120.jpg



There’s a bit of a wait at security, not least because of the above mentioned Fez flight.

Lille airport is nothing special airside. In fact it’s tiny. There’s just one duty free shop and some snack machines, not even a bar or café.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille121.jpg

There’s even a microwave to heat up what you’ve bought
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille124.jpg

There’s that cute HOP! advert again
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille122.jpg

Terminal view
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille123.jpg

LIL-SXB
A53436
F-GUBC, E145
STD 19:00 / ATD 19:24
STA 19:55 / ATA 20:06
Seat 5A
My second flight on the E145 & the first on this aircraft


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille125.jpg

There’s a small delay announced on our service, but when you’ve got good company it doesn’t really matter. We start boarding shortly before 19:00

The first glimpse of today’s plane
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille128.jpg

Our neighbour is a bit bigger
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille127.jpg

This is the last shot I manage of our aircraft…..
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille129.jpg

…before being confronted with the ramp agent from hell. No sooner have I taken the above picture than she comes storming towards us, waving her arms about “No photos! No photos!”. We’re on a small airfield in France, boarding a domestic flight and are perfectly harmless, but this lady obviously enjoys telling us off. However in a way we have to smile, this isn’t the first surprise of the day and won’t be the last.

It’s a light load on this flight, less than 50%, so we choose row 5. There’s another delay on the ground as the pilot is waiting for the final paperwork and this seems to take a long time. Cpt. Pascal Lecomp apologises for this and the male FA looking after us today brings round some refreshing wipes. The plane is still in AF colours, but the uniform is HOP! as is the flight number.

A view into the cockpit


This evening’s traffic at Lille
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille131.jpg

Legroom
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille132.jpg

Finally, we pushback at 19:20 and trundle along to runway 26, where we take off 5 minutes later.

Errr, wrong way!
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille133.jpg
Leaving the Northern French countryside behind

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille134.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille135.jpg





It’s a short hop (excuse the pun!) to Strasbourg where it’s a cool 15C.

Inflight service
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille140.jpg

The FA is very attentive, we also get offered boiled sweets before landing.

After descending through some thick clouds, we eventually see land again

http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille143.jpg


http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille144.jpg



Nearly there
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille145.jpg
Touchdown at Strasbourg is 15 minutes behind schedule and there isn’t much activity on the tarmac this evening.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille146.jpg

Just a sole flight from/to Tunis
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille147.jpg

Au revoir! http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille150.jpg

Strasbourg really is a tiny airport. Here’s baggage claim & arrivals, just separated by a small barrier, something I’ve never seen anywhere else.
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille151.jpg

There’s a cafe and newsagents, a ticket machine for the train and that’s about it.

Lots of cancelled services the next day
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille154.jpg

We have over 20 minutes to wait until the next train runs to Strasbourg. Here’s the passage along to the station:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille152.jpg

Entzheim station
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille153.jpg

Our train is quite a modern little thing, typical regional two coach job and it’s pretty full this evening.

We arrive at Strasbourg station after a 10 minute ride at 20:50 and a quick look at the monitors reveal we have just 2 minutes until the Basel trains departs. Once on the right platform, I thankfully spot a conductor and ask if we can buy a ticket on the train. We have no idea how long we’d have to wait until the next train and don’t want to miss this one. He replies, yes, it is possible and mutters something else which I don’t understand first time round and have to ask him to repeat. Yes, I can buy tickets on the train, but only because I have blue eyes. Ok, no time for flirting, let’s get on the thing before it leaves.

The journey down to Basel takes 1hr20 and at every station more and more passengers leave. It’s a scenic run through the Alsace on this long summer’s day. Thanks to lack of vegetarian sandwiches on offer at Strasbourg, our dinner-to-go consists of crisps and chocolate. Time flies by and before we know it we are pulling into Basel SNCF station. The best bit? No ticket check, so we get the ride for free. We’d been talking about writing to AF to ask for the money back for the train ticket but we longer have to bother.

At Basel the SNCF & SBB stations share the same building, although they have separate entrances and there is still a customs check for arriving passengers on the French side. Passport control was done away with when Switzerland joined Schengen. Despite the late hour, there are two quite intimidating officials to meet the train. I’m glad they don’t stop us, I don’t fancy answering the “Where are you coming from” question today!

Basel SNCF at night
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille155.jpg

The very empty SBB station
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m249/hanval/Lille/Lille156.jpg

We have a 15 minute wait for the airport bus and after the first couple of stops we’re the only people left on board, which is not surprising as there are no departing flights from Basel at this time of night. On arrival there are lots of passengers all waiting to get on the bus to take them back into the city: yes, easyJet from MAN just landed.

After paying our car park tickets we head back to F3 just as it begins to rain and less than 45 minutes after setting off I am back home shortly before midnight, exhausted.

The verdict
Well, sometimes things just don’t go to plan. We were really lucky that the strike wasn’t in full force, or else the whole trip probably would never happened. We were re-booked promptly by AF and even though there were a few worrying moments at Lille, everything worked out ok. In fact, the whole day was quite an adventure! Plus it was a real combo: 2 flights, 3 train rides and 3 bus journeys!

I really liked Lille, a very pretty town and it’s certainly somewhere I’d consider visiting again, maybe for the Christmas market.

Thanks
To Marc, for meeting us despite exam stress and showing us around the town. We both really appreciated it!

To Markus, for his company, a great day out and for making sure we made it back to Basel as planned.

If you’ve read this far, then please leave a comment. They’re much appreciated!

Many thanks & happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3361 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5717 times:

Hi Hannah!

Looks like you had a busy and adventurous daytrip! Lucky you managed to put everything together as your trip fell to pieces! Only a true a.netter could handle it! A friend of mine was nearly abadnoded in PEK the other day (and 20 school kids under her charge) as EY cancelled the flight. She had an awful time tring to come up with alternatives, and EY were awful.

I'm always amazed how AF have managed to keep such an interesting and varied domestic network when BA has ditched everything bar a few core routes out of London.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Here are today’s departures

Interesting how the cancelled LYS flight has a gate assigned.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5600 times:

Hoi, H.,

great and as promised to follow this story from you´re point if view.
Also the pictures, well done.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Sort of under the wing

That´s how I like it, you know.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The purser even seems concerns that Markus is so busy taking pictures that she asks me whether he intends to board the plane

Not that this happened sometimes before to me!.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Spot the trip reporters

Well these guys have a good time with perfect company this day out.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
To Markus, for his company, a great day out and for making sure we made it back to Basel as planned.

My greatest pleasure and for sure a supernice day of travel together also with close to local company at Lille.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5429 times:

Hi Gab,

Thanks for your reply.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Looks like you had a busy and adventurous daytrip! Lucky you managed to put everything together as your trip fell to pieces! Only a true a.netter could handle it! A friend of mine was nearly abadnoded in PEK the other day (and 20 school kids under her charge) as EY cancelled the flight. She had an awful time tring to come up with alternatives, and EY were awful.

Yes, it was quite an adventurous day! That sounds an awful situation that your friend found herself in, especially with 20 kids in tow. At least we weren’t too far away from home plus I had an experienced a.netter with me!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
I'm always amazed how AF have managed to keep such an interesting and varied domestic network when BA has ditched everything bar a few core routes out of London.

Indeed. Amazing how many routes there are still left to try in France. Just a shame AF are making it so difficult to collect miles on them now….

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Interesting how the cancelled LYS flight has a gate assigned.

Very observant, I hadn’t even noticed that  

Markus,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
great and as promised to follow this story from you´re point if view.
Also the pictures, well done.

Hope you didn’t have to break off from your packing to read it!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
That´s how I like it, you know.

Of course.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Not that this happened sometimes before to me!.

No, never ever!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Well these guys have a good time with perfect company this day out.

And I had a good time with these guys!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
My greatest pleasure and for sure a supernice day of travel together also with close to local company at Lille.

Yes, a great day, despite the unexpected.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5406 times:

Hi Hannah! It seems like despite the various hurdles you guys had a great time. Nice photos of Lille, a place we don't get to see here all that often.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
This was the booked route, thanks to gcmap.

Nice papillon-shaped route! Too bad the strike ruined it!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
ramp agent from hell. No sooner have I taken the above picture than she comes storming towards us, waving her arms about “No photos! No photos!”. We’re on a small airfield in France, boarding a domestic flight and are perfectly harmless, but this lady obviously enjoys telling us off.

I really don't understand the paranoia about taking photos on the apron. Is the airport a joint military-civilian one? If not then what kind of "intelligence" can one gather by taking photos of an aircraft sitting on the apron?

I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks a bunch!

Stojan



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1788 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4983 times:

Hello infodesk!

How nice to read about your latest travels. Fortunately things didn’t go too wrong that day, thanks to your both travel minds working seamlessly together to find a good solution and thanks to the folks at AF for rebooking you appropriately. And yes, indeed Lille is quite a nice place but did you know it actually stands closer to Flanders than it does to France?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
and plays with her phone the whole time

Don’t we all have this habit nowadays or am I just speaking for myself here?

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
s we later realise though it’s one letter out and so a new aircraft for the log!

   That was a near miss...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Corsair

Oh, the Corsair family is wearing a new coat? First time I see it!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
My ticket was purchased online for 18Euros.

That’s not what I would call a bargain...

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Spot the trip reporters

Too easy!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
FIDS

Despite being a regional airport, LIL seems to have a fair amount of traffic.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4366 times:

Hey Hannah

Interesting report, I was really looking forward to this one. It was a pleasure meeting you guys in LIL.
Too bad about the problems on the return, glad to see things got sorted out eventually.
HOP seems to be nice and definte price-quality wise.

greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27309 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

Hey Hannah  

Great read and report as usual. Weird you posted the Super Connie ! I was looking at old pics and was wondering how it was doing since I saw it in BSL . Great to see .  

Lille a nice place to see, I once did Waterloo - Lille on the Euro Star !

Thanks for another nice report.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineaerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2860 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Funny enough, I was in Lille in January also, I saw some people walking around with big cameras in an indoor market & wondered if there was a.netters around...

I also took a crazy itinerary to get there...DUB - ZRH - BRU on LX & a train which I missed but eventually made it there on another SNCB service!

I'd like to try HOP! from BCN to LIL as my friend is living there. I could also take VY. Pity LIL is so boring...was looking forward to a quirky little airport.

Lille is really pretty I agree, was very cold when I was there, -6C!

Thanks for the report.  



Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4190 times:

Dear Hannah,

What a great French day adventure with Markus and Marc! Their good companion did surely make up to the hiccups you experienced!  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Fellow member MSS658 heard about our plans and very kindly offered to meet us in Lille, despite the fact that he’d be in the middle of important exams. Well, local guidance is always great, so we were looking forward to a successful day out.

How kind of Marc! That's what I call true friendship!   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Here are today’s departures

Look at the Easyjet flight to LGW! Nearly five hour delay!   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The lady is very helpful, she doesn’t bat an eyelid at our amusing itinerary and offers us the option of travelling LIL-CDG on the TGV and then flying CDG-MLH.

Good on her!   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
so a new aircraft for the log!

Congratulation!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
We are able to take our time on the tarmac photographing, nobody bats an eyelid (something we will only appreciate later in the day).
Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
…before being confronted with the ramp agent from hell. No sooner have I taken the above picture than she comes storming towards us, waving her arms about “No photos! No photos!”. We’re on a small airfield in France, boarding a domestic flight and are perfectly harmless, but this lady obviously enjoys telling us off.

Geez, Madame Ramp Agent! Can you just follow the example of your MLS colleagues? Get a life!   


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The purser even seems concerns that Markus is so busy taking pictures that she asks me whether he intends to board the plane  

Sweet!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Bags of legroom

Wow! One could think you were secretly upgraded.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You used to get a small croissant or pain au chocolat, cost cutting is everywhere.

Just a tiny cookie to go with your drink.  


Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
TIDS!

I love this expression!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
(Note to self: this place is a reason alone to return to Lille one day!)

Go Sport? Great!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Spot the trip reporters   

Hello Markus and Marc, you walked past the sign of my favorite beer, Kasteel!  


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
They obviously don’t remove the Christmas lights here
Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
The Christmas lights have been left here too.

Probably trying to attract you to return to Lille and watch the lights in full glory during Christmas time.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
So, it’s down to me to convey our complicated problem in French. Thankfully she understands and starts tapping away on her keyboard.

Way to go, Hannah!   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Finally it works and with a flurry of excitement she sends us over the check-in desk, where we are presented with 2 boarding passes for the SXB flight. The relief is huge.

I can imagine it. What a nerve cracking experience!   


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
There’s even a microwave to heat up what you’ve bought

Never seen that elsewhere.  


Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
There’s that cute HOP! advert again

The painter is doing a great job in advertising the brand this way!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Yes, I can buy tickets on the train, but only because I have blue eyes. Ok, no time for flirting, let’s get on the thing before it leaves.

What a naughty conductor!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
Thanks

How sweet of you to do this!  


Thanks for sharing and have a great week ahead!

All the bests,
Suryo  

[Edited 2013-08-12 10:40:33]


Friends forever
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 720 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4108 times:

Hi Hannah,

great report about an action packed day, even with a.net company, very nice. Glad to read that in the end everything worked out somehow well, despite the strikes. Even if it was not planned like that still nice for me to see a report about SXB, my secret home airport   .

Nice pictures from Lille, somehow I always thought it to be a rather boring industrial city, but your pictures proved me wrong. Looks like I have to visit it as well someday.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineSCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 1152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4084 times:

Interesting report. I was in Lille a few months ago and, to my surprise, I kinda liked it.

Why didn't you try Volotea out of LIL? I was thinking to go one day to LIL (I now live in Paris) by TGV then fly Volotea somewhere to fly their B717 (never flown one).... so log a new airport, a new airline and, specially, a rare B717.


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

Hi guys,

First of all thanks for your feedback and sorry for the late reply, I was off walking at the weekend!

Stojan,

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
Hi Hannah! It seems like despite the various hurdles you guys had a great time. Nice photos of Lille, a place we don't get to see here all that often.

A few hurdles, but it all worked out and makes for a good story!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
I really don't understand the paranoia about taking photos on the apron. Is the airport a joint military-civilian one? If not then what kind of "intelligence" can one gather by taking photos of an aircraft sitting on the apron?

No, I don’t understand it either, but that particular lady obviously wanted to throw her weight about.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 5):
I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks a bunch!

Thank you leaving your reply!

Nils,

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
How nice to read about your latest travels. Fortunately things didn’t go too wrong that day, thanks to your both travel minds working seamlessly together to find a good solution and thanks to the folks at AF for rebooking you appropriately. And yes, indeed Lille is quite a nice place but did you know it actually stands closer to Flanders than it does to France?

It could have been a very different story! The only bit of Belgium I’ve ever seen was the inside of Brussels-Midi station, but the architecture is certainly reminiscent of Flanders.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Don’t we all have this habit nowadays or am I just speaking for myself here?

I hope I’m not quite as bad as she was  
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
That was a near miss...

Too close for comfort……

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Oh, the Corsair family is wearing a new coat? First time I see it!

Quite smart, isn’t it?

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
That’s not what I would call a bargain...

No bargain, but preferable for me than finding my way around Paris on the metro.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 6):
Despite being a regional airport, LIL seems to have a fair amount of traffic.

Oh yes, there’s a fair number of flights on that board.

Marc,

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):
Interesting report, I was really looking forward to this one. It was a pleasure meeting you guys in LIL.
Too bad about the problems on the return, glad to see things got sorted out eventually.
HOP seems to be nice and definte price-quality wise.

Great to see you too & looking forward to the ZRH meet.

Philip,

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Great read and report as usual. Weird you posted the Super Connie ! I was looking at old pics and was wondering how it was doing since I saw it in BSL . Great to see .

Thanks. It’s been in ZRH for the last few days too – had a nice view of it from the terrace.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
Lille a nice place to see, I once did Waterloo - Lille on the Euro Star !

Haven’t been on Eurostar for so long, really must do a trip again.

Aerdingus,

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9):
Funny enough, I was in Lille in January also, I saw some people walking around with big cameras in an indoor market & wondered if there was a.netters around...

It seems that Lille is a bit of a secret a.netters destination!

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9):
also took a crazy itinerary to get there...DUB - ZRH - BRU on LX & a train which I missed but eventually made it there on another SNCB service!

Your itinerary was a bit more exotic  
Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9):
I'd like to try HOP! from BCN to LIL as my friend is living there. I could also take VY. Pity LIL is so boring...was looking forward to a quirky little airport.

Yeah, the airport was a bit of a letdown. Didn’t know they flew direct to BCN from there, certainly a route worth trying out.

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 9):
Lille is really pretty I agree, was very cold when I was there, -6C!

Perhaps I’ll pass on the Christmas markets after all  

Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
What a great French day adventure with Markus and Marc! Their good companion did surely make up to the hiccups you experienced!

Oh yes, it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun alone.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
How kind of Marc! That's what I call true friendship!

  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Look at the Easyjet flight to LGW! Nearly five hour delay!

Sadly not the first time I’ve seen that flight with such a delay…..

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Geez, Madame Ramp Agent! Can you just follow the example of your MLS colleagues? Get a life!

Nope, she obviously has no life  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Wow! One could think you were secretly upgraded.

But I can assure you there were no upgrade surprises at the gate this time  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Just a tiny cookie to go with your drink.

Very tiny.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Go Sport? Great!

So will you accompany me on my Lille shopping trip?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Hello Markus and Marc, you walked past the sign of my favorite beer, Kasteel!

A sign of god taste!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Probably trying to attract you to return to Lille and watch the lights in full glory during Christmas time.

It might just be a tactic that works.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
can imagine it. What a nerve cracking experience!

It was. We were very relieved to see those boarding passes.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
What a naughty conductor!

But at least we didn’t have to pay  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Thanks for sharing and have a great week ahead!

Dank u wel Suryo and you too

Captain,

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
great report about an action packed day, even with a.net company, very nice. Glad to read that in the end everything worked out somehow well, despite the strikes. Even if it was not planned like that still nice for me to see a report about SXB, my secret home airport

Danke. Yes, it turned into a bit of an adventure but all ok in the end! SXB is still rarely featured here on airliners, but has some quite interesting flights, especially French domestics.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 11):
Nice pictures from Lille, somehow I always thought it to be a rather boring industrial city, but your pictures proved me wrong. Looks like I have to visit it as well someday.

Worth a visit for sure.

SCQ83,

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 12):
Interesting report. I was in Lille a few months ago and, to my surprise, I kinda liked it.

Yeah, nice little place, isn’t it?

Quoting SCQ83 (Reply 12):
Why didn't you try Volotea out of LIL? I was thinking to go one day to LIL (I now live in Paris) by TGV then fly Volotea somewhere to fly their B717 (never flown one).... so log a new airport, a new airline and, specially, a rare B717.

Well, we didn’t really look into it to be honest. Perhaps a reason to return one day….!

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3744 times:

Quoting infodesk (Reply 13):
So will you accompany me on my Lille shopping trip?

It would be a pleasure.  



Friends forever
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3628 times:

Hola Hannah!

Great report from this original trip around Northern France.

What would France be without strikes? So you got to taste the whole French ambience at its best, strike included, it would be like coming to the Med and not having a hot sunny summer day.

Lille looks a nice town, I have only been thorugh the train station on a London-Bruxelles train some years ago but it looks like a nice place to stop.

Glad the incident got solved and great to have a train ride for free in France, it was a compensation for the cancelled flights.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1177 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3569 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Hannah!

Another nice report from your side provided with many nice pictures   It sure looks like you had an adventurous day, good to see it all turned well.
It looks like you had 2 enjoyable flights on HOP despite the short delay on the second flight. Great idea to include some train rides in this trip, they sure sound relaxing  
Lovely pictures of Lille as well, it looks like a nice city. How nice of Marc to join you guys despite the exam stress!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
The lady is very helpful, she doesn’t bat an eyelid at our amusing itinerary and offers us the option of travelling LIL-CDG on the TGV and then flying CDG-MLH.

Good to hear the lady was helpful. I had an incident a couple months ago that made me miss my AF flight at CDG. The lady at the ticket desk was most unhelpful and very rude, not the way you treat your Gold members!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Well, it’s the easy way, but not very exciting and it means Markus loses out on his new departure airport.

You mean Markus hasn't been to all French airports yet? Wow..

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Just the rear stairs on the ATR

A nice feature of the ATR  
Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
You used to get a small croissant or pain au chocolat, cost cutting is everywhere.

KL/AF had to do a lot of cost cutting!

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
Spot the trip reporters

The lady on the left?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 1):
They obviously don’t remove the Christmas lights here

That being in the summer? Wow haha

Thank you for another enjoyable report and looking forward to the next one!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

Hi Hannah,

nice report with good destination pictures! Lille looks nice. Good to hear that your trip wasn't screwed up.

Quoting infodesk (Thread starter):
…before being confronted with the ramp agent from hell. No sooner have I taken the above picture than she comes storming towards us, waving her arms about “No photos! No photos!”. We’re on a small airfield in France, boarding a domestic flight and are perfectly harmless, but this lady obviously enjoys telling us off. However in a way we have to smile, this isn’t the first surprise of the day and won’t be the last.

Ah, how ridiculous. I'm wondering if this will ever change. It's France, not North Korea!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

More replies, super!

Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 14):
It would be a pleasure.

Something more for the “To-do” list then  

Roger,

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 15):
Great report from this original trip around Northern France.

Thank you Roger.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 15):
What would France be without strikes? So you got to taste the whole French ambience at its best, strike included, it would be like coming to the Med and not having a hot sunny summer day.

Oh indeed, they certainly know how to strike. Although I’d rather have a cool & cloudy day in the Med than a strike in France!

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 15):
Lille looks a nice town, I have only been thorugh the train station on a London-Bruxelles train some years ago but it looks like a nice place to stop.

Passed through a few times myself on the Eurostar so it was good to finally see a bit more than the station.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 15):
Glad the incident got solved and great to have a train ride for free in France, it was a compensation for the cancelled flights.

Certainly and one problem less trying to get the money back from AF….

Brendan,

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
Another nice report from your side provided with many nice pictures It sure looks like you had an adventurous day, good to see it all turned well.

Good to read your reply. Yes, it could have been a very different story…..

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
It looks like you had 2 enjoyable flights on HOP despite the short delay on the second flight. Great idea to include some train rides in this trip, they sure sound relaxing

Planes & train combos are always fun, aren’t they?

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
Lovely pictures of Lille as well, it looks like a nice city. How nice of Marc to join you guys despite the exam stress!

Yeah, really kind of him & much appreciated!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
Good to hear the lady was helpful. I had an incident a couple months ago that made me miss my AF flight at CDG. The lady at the ticket desk was most unhelpful and very rude, not the way you treat your Gold members!

That’s really bad, especially when you’ve got status. They should go out of their way to help you.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
You mean Markus hasn't been to all French airports yet? Wow..

And I believe there are still a few missing from the log!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
A nice feature of the ATR

Indeed.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
KL/AF had to do a lot of cost cutting!

The evidence is everywhere

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
The lady on the left?

In that case she’d be a new member of the group!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 16):
That being in the summer? Wow haha

Perhaps the guys who remove the lights went on strike too?

PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
nice report with good destination pictures! Lille looks nice. Good to hear that your trip wasn't screwed up.

Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
Ah, how ridiculous. I'm wondering if this will ever change. It's France, not North Korea!

Sadly I fear as long as there are ramp agents who want to throw their weight about it will be an ongoing problem.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 1033 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3167 times:

Hello Hannah, great report. Looks like you guys had a great day out. Always love flying and training in France myself too   Good that you were able to proceed with trip inspite of the strike. Lille seems like a nice too, only visited the Lille Europe train station once briefly in between changing trains.

User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

Hi Robert,

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 19):
Hello Hannah, great report. Looks like you guys had a great day out

Thank you and yes, we sure did.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 19):
Always love flying and training in France myself too Good that you were able to proceed with trip inspite of the strike

When it works and there are no strikes, then it's great!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 19):
Lille seems like a nice too, only visited the Lille Europe train station once briefly in between changing trains.

Worth a visit if you have the chance.

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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