I decided during a quiet month at work to head across to St-Denis for a quick one week vacation in the paradise for randonneurs, l'ile de la Reunion.
AF was dead full and denied boardings that day so I headed to YMX to take TS instead.
A good seat the emergency exit Door 3R with the emergency slide that can be used to reat my feet...
No extraordinary service, but good as usual on TS. Food in small portion but acceptable.
Took the free ADM shuttle to head from YUL to YMX as I knew I would take AF on the way back. I was the sole passenger on board, and probably the only one of the day.
Arrival at Terminal3, "the Hangar". But not bad as it is quite close to the RER B station taking me to ORY.
AF688 -ORY RUN
742 - F-GPBI
Not quite new the 742, and somewhat cramped with a 23-27-422 config. More pax in there as in the 744 (13-58-324 or 40-393)! Entertainment on board at best average, but I don't care that much when I slept for about 7 hours of the 11 hour journey. Arrival at Gillot at 5h30 am. Lengthy discussion with the PAF official who probably did not see many Canadian passports in his career. This airport is in construction as well, and I had to walk about 25 minutes to get to the bus stop heading to St.Andre.
772 - F-ORUN
This flight was supposed to look ok with 80 seats remaining, but Air Austral decided otherwise. They already had one airplane out of service (F-OPAR) with engine issues since 5 days. Then, their second airplane (out of a fleet of 2 longhaul) had an engine breakdown in JNB (it made first page of the newspaper the next day!). Flight cancelled. Ran to AF to try to make it, I was not alone, and did not make it. The only other option was Air Bourbon and I missed this one as well. Had to sleep at Gillot, since all bus/taxi service end at 20h30. They also close the airport at night, so I stole a bench, brought it outside and set a bivouac for the night. Other people went to rental car building and slept on counters there.
Went along to try the morning AF flight. I could have stayed the day and try the UU975 of that evening, operated by European Airlines, but I said to myself that Air Austral caused me enough problems and that I should head to PAris as fast as possible.
Gillot is not that big on an airport with 20 counters
Again, cramped, but excellent food. After my rough night, I again slept a fair portion of the flight. The day flight is not that popular, even considering a fair proportion of the disgruntled Air Austral pax of the day before took this flight. Left St.Denis before heading to Kenya, Sudan and Lybia. Nice view all along comparable to the beauty of the Canadian North when heading from the Pacific to Europe. Hit the Mediterrenean at Benghazi heading towards Sicily with the Etna in eruption.
Ended up missing my CNX to YUL,as we arrived at 18h10, while AF348 leaves at 18h55 from CDG. I wandered around downtown Paris before taking the last RER to CDG at 01h00.
I camped again, but I avoided terminals 2C and 2F, full of campers like me waiting for morning flights. I instead headed to Terminal 2E, very quiet with only 6 flights a day (4 CMN +2 IST). Beautiful terminal, it reminded me the T1NEW in YYZ, same checkin config, but oh well, they have other problems.
Much more space on the 744. I asked for upper deck, and was happy to find that very few people asked for it. ITJ is the only Y class upper deck as of now(a NEV). It was somewhat full downstairs, but we were only 14 upstairs. The window seat has a little table on the side, practical for many items`honestly quite a good value for Tempo pax. Food extraordinary.
Arrival on time in YUL, and customs were surprisingly quite efficient, I was out of YUL after 28 minutes.