12 June 2003
Had the possibility of being able to modify our reservation as much as we wanted and after four changes (!), we decided on the 16:45 shuttle flight to Orly. (We wanted to spend two days spotting in Toulouse, but after baking in 90 degree sun, no shade, and uncertainty about test flights of certain aircraft we decided to leave earlier.) We had noticed a couple of the flights had been cancelled earlier in the day, so we were not entirely surprised that our aircraft was an A321. Lucky us we had seats in the last row, 36. As we passed security towards our boarding area, we noticed our plane just arriving into the gate around 16:20. Clearly we were not going to be blocking off on the dot but it seemed as if everyone was working to get the plane back out as fast as possible. An A321 cannot be that easy to board that quickly though, it is a rather long aircraft! Actual bloc off was around 17:00 ... what is funny is that the aircraft that was supposed to do the 16:15 shuttle flight actually arrived AFTER ours! A short 50 minute flight up to ORY, we were on the blocks around 18:20. On the shuttle flights, there is only one cabin, so even for the A321, the number of flight attendants was also 5.
- by Chris Liao