Adam T.
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ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:55 am

This is a trip report about the flights I took on my trip to France. It's pretty long.

Air France flight 307
Atlanta-Paris CDG
Date:June 4th-June5th, 2003
Scheduled time of departure: 9:35 P.M.
Actual time of departure: 9:45 P.M.
Scheduled time of arrival: 11:50 A.M.
Actual time of arrival: 11:10 A.M.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Registration #:F-GSPC


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I was so excited because of this trip! Not only was this my first trip to Europe, but my first ride on a widebody since I was 5 years old! To make it better it was a Boeing 777!!! We went with a group, and our tour leader told us to meet her in front of the Air France ticket counter at 6:30. My family and I had driven down from North Carolina. You ask why we didn't fly out of CLT? It's a long story, but to make it short, our tour leader said it would be easier if we all just flew together because if my family and I had flown out of CLT the tour company could not guarantee we would be on the same flights. But anyway, we left early to try and beat the Atlanta traffic, we pulled up to the terminal at 4:00, about 5 1/2 hours before our plane was supposed to leave, so we went and hung out in the atrium until the rest of the group showed up.
Check in took about 20 minutes. Then security took about 10 minutes. This was my first time at the airport in Atlanta, and I just love it, it's very clean, modern, and nice! The train idea under the terminals is a great concept! Since we were flying Air France our flight left out of Terminal E. So we got to the gate and hung around there for awhile until boarding. Boarding took a little while considering that it was a full flight. I tell you that there was not one seat left on this plane, at least in Tempo. So I sat down to find out that I did not have a window seat, but then a Mom and daughter realized that they were not seated together, and I was next to the Mom so I volunteered my seat, and switched with the daughter. Sat down and persuaded the guy next to me to switch with me so I could have the window, not the best thing. The guy in front of me just laid his seat all the way down right after we took off from Atlanta. We took off from Atlanta at 9:45 P.M., only 10 minutes late. WOW....Is this plane powerful or what Wow!, it really does push you back into the seat. And the little personal televisions with the flight tracker is AWESOME!!! I really enjoyed that. Not too long after takeoff we were served a beverage, and for dinner we were given a choice between spicy Cajun chicken or veal, I took the veal, it was pretty good. It came with noodles, a shrimp salad, French bread, cheese, and a cherry tart for dessert, and of course water, and a cup of coffee or tea. Then shortly after they turned out the lights and told everyone at the window seats to shut the blinds. This was my first flight over the Atlantic, and let me tell you it was not as easy as I thought it would be. I slept for maybe 2 hours straight, but after that I was on and off, I just could not get comfortable at all. About an hour and a half from landing in Paris we were served breakfast. I honestly cannot remember what it was...sorry  Sad . I have to talk about the flight crew on this flight, they were very professional and nice as can be. They were always smiling and were not snotty at all! Great job!!
So as we flew over the French coast we began our escent into CDG. Flying over the French countryside is beautiful! We landed at CDG at 11:10 A.M., 40 minutes early! This whole time I was looking for Concorde, didn't see her.
We taxied to a spot across from the terminal and parked. Yes, you guessed it, we were picked up by one of those weird big a$$ busses, the one that rises up to load and unload, and then goes back down to drive. It was interesting, no doubt about it, but in my opinion it's a hassle, either that or I'm just used to going right on the jetway. So we got off the bus thing and went into the terminal, and scrambled to find our connecting flight to Nice. CDG is a pretty confusing airport if you ask me. We had to take a bus to Terminal 2F to catch out flight, and it took awhile, by the time we got to our gate the plane was getting ready to leave.

I give AF 304 an A! The plane was very cool, but cramped, and the flight crew was excellent, and the food was pretty good!

Air France flight 7704
Paris CDG-Nice
Date: June 5th, 2003
Scheduled time of departure: 12:35 P.M.
Actual: 1:10 P.M.
Scheduled time of arrival: 2:10 P.M.
Actual time of arrival: 2:30 P.M.
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Registration #:F-GFKF


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After running around through CDG we made it to our gate in Terminal 2F to catch our flight to Nice. This aircraft was full, but not completely. I had more legroom on this flight so it was more comfortable. The A320 seemed like it had aged a bit though. We taxied out to the runway for takeoff, still looked for Concorde but didn't see her. By this time I think everyone in our group other than myself had fallen asleep. I was seated in 20A. After takeoff we flew right over Paris, and I saw the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe from the plane, got a picture of it. Not too long after we were served a beverage and a snack which was a sandwich in French bread with either ham and cheese, or just cheese. I had just cheese, it was actually very tastsy! Very different, I talked with a lady from Florida who was seated next to me. She had flown from Sarasota to Atlanta, then to Paris, and was headed now headed to her final destination of Nice, where she would drive to a little village near Monaco. She had flown on one of the Delta flights from Atlanta to Paris. Ironically, I would see her the next day in that same little village! It really is a small world!
I kept falling asleep but would wake myself up because I wanted to see the Swiss Alps, and see the coast of the French Riviera from the plane. Saw both!
The approach into Nice is really cool. On the approach we flew over Cannes, and then flew down the coast for the approach.
The flight crew on this flight was nice, but not as nice as the flight from Atlanta to Paris, but still professional.
We landed in Nice, went through French customs, and got on the bus to go to the hotel.

I give Air France flight 7704 an A as well! Good flight!

Spent about a week in France, went to Nice, Monaco, Avignon, and Paris.

Air France flight 304
Paris CDG-Atlanta
Date: June 12th, 2003
scheduled time of departure: 3:55 P.M.
actual time of departure: 4:50 P.M.
Scheduled time of arrival: 7:20 P.M.
Actual time of arrival: 8:00 P.M.
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Registration #:F-GSPS


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Got to CDG at about 1:00 P.M., and guess what I saw when we were driving in? CONCORDE!!!!!!  Smile, that was one thing I really wanted to see on this trip. Yes I know it's not flying passengers anymore, but it's still making appearances! We checked in for a flight, said goodbye to our tour guide who had been with us since we had gotten to Nice. Check in took awhile, and they looked all through my bag, then we went through security and went to the gate. Got a couple of pictures of Concorde! Bought some souvenirs at the gift shop and before I knew it we were boarding. This time the plane was parked at the jetway, we didn't have to take one of those buses. One thing that I really liked about CDG, and NCE was how the jetways there are glass...It's just really cool! They use a lot of glass in France for both their airports and TGV stations. I was able to get a window seat again for this flight, seat 38A.
This plane was pretty full, but not completely, maybe 8 or 10 seats left in Tempo. I also was able to have more legroom! I don't know what went on, but we left Paris almost an hour late. We took off at 4:55 P.M. and were on our way to Atlanta. We flew over the English channel, London, England, and Ireland, and of course we crossed the Atlantic. The crew on this flight was great! We had the funniest flight attendant, she was so sweet and funny! The flight crew was very professional! I give them an A++!!
For our meal we had a choice between Salmon and beef, I had salmon and it was with potatoes, with French bread and cheese, and a peach cobbler for dessert, and of course water and a cup of tea or coffee. Couldn't sleep much on this flight either, couldn't really get comfortable. We flew over the coast of Canada, and over the eastern U.S.A. We landed in Atlanta at 8:00 P.M., 40 minutes late. Going through customs took awhile, but it was great to be back in the U.S.A. We had to get our bags and take them with us through customs, and then put it back on the belt for it to unload in the main baggage claim area, I really didn't understand that  Confused
On the train back to the main terminal some idiot broke one of the doors on the train. So we went back up to the main baggage claim area and picked up our bags, said goodbye to the friends we had made on the trip and headed home.

I give Air France flight 304 an A! An A for the whole trip flying!!!!

My trip to France was wonderful, and Air France made it even better. My only complaint was that on the 777's it seemed like the seats were a little too cramped. The A320 felt more roomy in my opinion. Just my opinion...Don't jump down my throat  Smile.

Hope you enjoyed it...Feel free to ask questions  Smile
Adam
 
teva
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:26 am

Adam,
It is a very good report. Thank you very much for your nice comments about AF and France.
I just have one question: how did you come back frm NCE to CDG?
By bus? By train? With another airline?
I hope you will come back to France soon, and visit other areas. In this case, do not forget to visit Le Bourget Air&Space museum. You will see and visit 2 Concorde !
1 is a prototype. You can still see the testing equipment, and the special material that has been added when it was used to follow and observe a solar eclipse. The second you will see just arrived Saturday, and will be displayed in a few month.
LBG is 20 minutes away from CDG by bus (Except maybe this week... with the airshow...)
should you have any question to plan a trip to France, don't hesitate to look at my profile and contact me
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
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United_fan
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:46 am

Nice report. Do you speak french ? How is France for an American that doesn't speak it like me?
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
TriStar500
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:10 am

Thanks you for a nice and detailed report!  Smile

It somewhat surprised me that AF offers a snack service on domestic flights. The last time I flew domestically within France (CDG-BOD-CDG a few years ago), there was just drink service. Quite unusal to see a carrier improve its service nowadays!

And isn't it somewhat unusual to get a trip itinerary with an uneven number of outbound (ATL-CDG-NCE) and inbound (CGD-ATL) legs?
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
Jumbolino
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:34 am

First @Adam - real great and THAT detailed report I enjoyed it very, very much. And my question I have you can read above - how you made the way from Nice to CDG ?! (one leg is missing in your report - car, train (TGV) ?)

@TriStar500
a few airlines improve there service now after cutting down everything after 09/11 for example the LH catering in Y was much more better a few weeks ago than in 2000 (both non-domestic, but short haul).


Jumbolino.
Kind Regards, Jutta.
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:07 am

Nice report, I enjoyed reading.

I am glad that you made good experience with Air France, I will fly AF on Saturday (DUS-CDG-JFK-CDG-DUS) and now I am looking really forward to it.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
TriStar500
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 6:37 am

@Jutta,
Indeed that is interesting to hear. I was under the impression that our European flag carriers are trying to cut cost wherever deemed necessary in order to compete with the LCCs and improved modes of ground transportation (e.g. TGV, ICE). I certainly haven't seen any improvement in the ONBOARD (notice I am not talking about service upgrades on the ground e.g. self- oder internet check in) -service since the early to mid 1990's.  Smile

@Patrick,
You know that someone who boasts about his travels will have to write a trip report about it!?! Big grin

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
 
Adam T.
Topic Author
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:43 am

Thanks to all the responses, the first question I will answer to everyone is that I took a bus from Nice to Avignon, and then after spending one night in Avignon, I took the TGV from there to Paris. I know this is an aviation form, but I just have to say that I LOVED the TGV, it's AWESOME!!!! I told our group leader that the French must be known for inventing high speed passenger vehicles for plane and train.

To Teva- I will definately be going back to France sometime, I didn't even see half of what I wanted to see in Paris. I will definately put Le Bourget Air&Space Museum on there! And I will contact you if I need any help!

To United_Fan: France was not that bad. I was harrased by a few stupid teenagers who were being just immature. I don't speak French, but alot of stuff there is also in English. I found that I could tell what it meant when reading it because they have some English words in it. It depends on where you are. If you are in a really touristy area you will be fine, if you go to a little French village in the middle of nowhere...not sure about that. I recommend though that you master about 5 or 6 French phrases before you go. E-mail me through my profile and i'll tell you them and give you some more advice!  Smile

To Tristar500- About the weird itinerary. The tour company we went through handled everything...even the seating assigment which I voiced my opinion about. But yeah it was weird, but interesting. When I go to Seattle and Portland next month I will fly into SEA , but when I leave I will fly out of PDX.

Thanks for all the positive feedback! Hope you enjoy your flight on Air France Patrick

Adam  Smile
 
Adam T.
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:50 am

OOPS....I just remembered one thing I left out in the trip report...and anyone that is used to air conditioning on the plane take note. On the 777 there was NO AIR CONDITIONING. Paris is the same way, but from what the locals told me it's only hot there for 2 months and either cool or cold the rest of the time. Anyway, no air conditioning made the flight a little less comfortable, especially since they were both pretty full flights. Just wanted to add that in.
Still a great experience!

Adam
 
swiss-airplane
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:24 pm

Hey Adam
very good trip report and very interesting. Hope you saw somehting from the Swiss mountains.. smile
cheers
Mike
 
flpuck6
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:16 pm

Adam,

Great report.

As an employee for AF in the USA, I am so pleased to know that you had such a great trip with us. I agree with you that our flight attendants are truly friendly, genuine, and effective. The food is indeed good, for airline food.

Of course, the puncutality has a lot to be desired, but out of CDG, there are so many elements that go into an int'l departure that it's not always easy to get the on time on time departure. I just flew back from CDG yesterday (Tuesday) and we left 2 hours late.

Thanks again for your report.

p.s. aren't our 777s awesome  Big grin

[Edited 2003-06-18 15:18:50]
Bonjour Chef!
 
airplanetire
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Thu Jun 19, 2003 11:24 am

I really enjoyed your trip report! Air France is an airline that I would love to fly on. My mom flew them a few years ago and enjoyed it. Of course she's no flying nut like we are, so I'd probably enjoy it even more!  Smile

In response to the somewhat weird routings, I have heard that tour groups often do that. Last summer I took a trip with our school's French and Spanish classes (I was in the Spanish class.) to Spain and France. We flew on British Airways from ATL to LGW and then continued on BA from LGW to BCN. We stayed in Barcelona for a few days, went to Carcassone for an afternoon, Nimes for a few days, Avignon for a morning, and Paris for a few days. We flew on Delta from CDG back to ATL.

-Airplanetire
 
The777Man
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:17 pm

Great report! I love the Cote D'Azur myself and go there every year in January. Have flown on AF 7704 several times.

FYI: F-GFKF is an Airbus A320-100 and they are quite rare. Only about 30 or so were produced. They don't have a winglet like the A320-200.

The777Man
Flew on F-GFKE in Mar03.
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
Adam T.
Topic Author
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Fri Jun 20, 2003 1:42 am

Thanks for the Information 777Man, I did notice that on the A320 that it did not have the winglet. Interesting to know that it's a rare aircraft!!!!
Thanks
Adam
 
RicardoMexico
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:23 am

Hi Adam
Very, very, very nice report. Your trip report brought to my mind a trip to Europe in November 2000 for many things you mentioned: Arriving and connecting at CDG, AF service, Cote d'Azur, Paris, TGV, concorde, mmm I miss all that. I got my ticket with AeroMexico but it included some flights operated by AF: MEX-CDG (AM), CDG-OSL (Operated for AF by an airline I don't remember), then travel by train in Europe, and returning from CDG-MEX (AF). In that time AF operated its flights to Mexico on B747, but now they use B777. So I really want to try AF again with the B777 even that the legroom space would be not as confortable (I also remember the legroom space was better on the AM B767 than in the AF B747), etc. I had to connect in CDG to OSL but I didn't have any trouble at CDG, it was so easy to me, my only trouble was that I arrived CDG about 8:30 AM and the departing flight was about 12:30PM, and I felt very sleepy that I had to drink so many cafes and croissants. When returning, I also remember that departing took a long time at CDG, never know why, and I thought we were going to arrive late to MEX, but it does not happen: we arrived on-time to MEX. Hope to fly with AF again soon.
A member of SkyTeam!
 
Adam T.
Topic Author
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RE: ATL-CDG-NCE, CDG-ATL On Air France

Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:39 am

Hey RicardoMexico,
Thanks for sharing your experience as well. Thinking back on it, CDG probably would not have been so bad if I had been traveling by myself or just with my parents. I pretty much figured out what gate the plane was leaving from, and figured out that you had to take the bus to get to the Terminal, but no one in the group really wanted to listen me, considering that I was the only Commercial Aviation geek in the whole group. I argued with one girl who kept insisting that the earlier flight to Nice was ours, and I said "look at your ticket, we are on Air France flight 7704". Plus, I didn't think we had enough time to connect in the first place. Our plane was supposed to arrive CDG at 11:50 A.M., and the flight to Nice was to leave at 12:35 A.M. Thank god the flight from ATL got in 50 minutes early.
Adam  Smile

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