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Coming Home...CDG-AMS-DTW-CVG  
User currently offlineTwoLz2Rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 438 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

After my 7 week summer school in Dubai and 6 day summer vacation in Paris, it was time to come home. I visited all the usual tourist attractions in Paris, the Louve, Notre Dame, Sorbonne, Eiffel Tour, Les Egouts de Paris, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur (I think you get the idea). My vacation in Paris was highlighted by the Tour de France. I was able to see the final eight laps in Paris and see Lance Armstrong!
I spent all morning trying to find the best spot and I ended up at the end of the Louvre (closest to the river) and got some great pictures! It was a vacation that I will NEVER forget! I left my hotel in Montmartre for the Gare du Nord a little earlier then anticipated (about two hours). I easily purchased my overpriced train ticket to CDG, passed though the gates (thankfully the handicapped one was working so I didn’t have to try to squeeze myself and luggage through the skinny gates). I waited about 5 minutes until the train arrived. Threw my luggage on and took a seat. The train ride was uneventful, the usual, tunnel, singing gypsy…it was nice. When I got off the train I made my LOOOONG trek to the F terminal. When I eventually found the KLM check-in desk I was promptly told that I still had 1.25 hours till I would be able to check in. I just spent the time looking out between the two F terminals and talking to people on my cell phone. Eventually I was able to join the already long line.

KL #1234
Departure Time: 1:35pm
Arrival Time: 2:55pm
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8
Seat: 24A

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Photo © Rez Manzoori - FlightLineImages

When it was finally my turn, I loaded my luggage to the belt and handed my passport to the agent. He must have been new because there was someone looking over him and it took about twice as long as it should have (he kept asking me for my paper ticket when I told him SEVERAL times I had an e-ticket). I would have asked to get a more direct flight to CVG but I figured it wasn’t worth the hassle. After about 20 minutes, I got my tickets and passport then headed to security. After security I waited by F24 for my flight to start boarding. While waiting I met a small group of seniors who were traveling to Nice (we shared the gate). When it was time to board, they only announced the Nice flight but since we figured out that we were to depart at the same time, we just joined the line. It seems like a good idea to have the one ramp split into two at the bottom but the boarding line was confusing and LONG.
Walking on the plane I was warmly welcomed by the F/A then headed to the back to find my seat. We were luckily able to push back before the AF flight. We taxied to the runway quick and didn’t have to wait. We took off into some rain clouds so it was a little bumpy but as we leveled off above them it was smooth. The service on board was fantastic, we were served this onion bread sandwich that had turkey and cucumbers with I am guessing mayonnaise and a small orange juice. It was delicious! Since it was a short flight, the F/A’s were a little frantic passing them out and collecting the trash. In AMS, we landed at the FARTHEST runway again but the taxi was nice because on a different runway on our way to the terminal, I saw a KL 747 and NW DC-10 take off! It is pretty impressive seeing them speeding down the runway then take off right over you! Once we reached the gate, I hurried back over to the E concourse to find my gate.

NW #47
Departure Time: 4:35pm
Arrival Time: 7:10pm
Aircraft: A333
Seat: 12A

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Photo © Eric Daugherty

Once I arrived to my proper gate, my passport was scanned and I was escorted to a questioning stand. Since I had a Middle Eastern stamp in my passport, I was asked many questions. After my interrogation all of my travel documents (ticket, passport, itinerary, International Student ID, AND drivers license) were taken to a large man who had handcuffs and a gun. I seriously thought I was going to be taken to “the special room”. When she returned she handed me all my documents, then told me to have a nice trip. Three different couples passed at a different stand in the time I was standing there. So with some time left till boarding, I just relaxed changed into some more comfortable cloths and waited.
Boarding was very quick. The flight was at about 90% load, which left some open seat, luckily the one in front of my had no one in it so I could stretch my foot through the wall and seat. Taxi and take-off were uneventful. Once in the air the in-flight “exercise” program (which seems better suited to be played at the end of the trip or offered within the AVOD) was played and the F/A started passing out drinks and pretzels. About 30 minutes after the trash was picked up, dinner was served:

Chicken or Fish
Fresh fruit
Warm roll

I took the chicken and it was remarkably good. It was served with spaghetti and pasta sauce and melted cheese on top. It was so good (and because they had extra) I was offered and accepted another. Soon after dinner trays were collected, the lights were dimmed and I like usual, watched movies. The service wasn’t as good but it was still better the people have expressed, someone walked around and asked if they wanted water about every hour. When I got thirsty I just walked up to the galley and the very nice F/A gave me what ever I wanted. About an hour and a half before landing (somewhere over Canada) hot towels and ice cream was passed out. We landed parallel with a 757-300, which was pretty cool. I also saw a 747-400 at the hanger and an AF flight to Paris taxiing to the runway. The gate area was a little busy so we had to wait about 20 minutes before we could pull up to the gate. Passed though immigrations relatively quickly and checked my bags through to my next flight. I came up to the terminal to find a 747-400 still at the gate. I guessed one of the flight to Japan got cancelled. I looked for the board to check my final flight back home.

NW #3507
Departure Time: 932pm
Arrival Time: 10:42pm
Aircraft: Avro RJ-85
Seat: 5A

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Photo © Freight-Dawg - Airside Photography

After riding the train to waste time, the plane I just got off of (which was going to CDG) was right across from my flight home. I called SO many people since it was free and no longer $1.99 per minute. While waiting for boarding, the F/A were sitting and being very loud at the gate. When we started boarding I was the last person to get on (about 20% load). It was SO nice to be in the row that transitions between first class and coach after my long cramped flight from AMS. Since the load was very small we were able to leave the gate about 5 minutes early and there was no wait for taxi and take-off. The service on this flight was the worst of any flight I’ve been on. The F/A for coach (the same one being loud at the gate) was more interested in talking to the first class F/A about her other house in New Hampshire. For having about 10 people in coach, I only saw the F/A when she passed out the drinks and when she collected trash. It could have been more personable for such a little amount of people. On approach to CVG, I was welcomed back with a downtown view of Cincinnati all lit up, it was nice. Landing was a little rough and taxi to the gate was quick. Since I was up front I was able to get off the plane quick.

Walking from the A concourse to baggage claim all I could do was smile as I knew my family would be waiting for me. Right at elevators up to baggage claim I saw my family all waving and yelling my name. After hugs all around, we headed up to baggage claim and picked up my bags while telling stories of Pairs and my flights. When we arrived home, I could hear my dog barking and scratching at the door and it was nice to be home although I really started missing Dubai and Paris a lot. Home is where the heart is!

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTwoLz2Rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2582 times:

Pictures from Paris, sorry for the blurry Tour de France picture

User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

You know I must comment on this report.

Because I am from Europe but now live in the USA I have alot of emotions when im coming back to the USA.

1. I shed a tear because Europe is in my heart and my home..and i never want to leave.
2. I am glad I am coming home to America because I love this country and I get a good feeling when I start seeing out United, AA, CO, DL etc. birds at European airports and thinking that they are from where I live and represent me. Just an emotional feeling when you park at FRA and you see a United 777 taxing by going back to Chicago or Dulles.

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