Udo
Topic Author
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:08 am

It took me a while, but here comes my return trip report (first part MUC-CDG-JFK can be found here).

After spending an entertaining time in Manhattan departure day had finally come for my girlfriend and me. We left the Radisson JFK at 11.00 and the shuttle took us directly to Terminal 1. Air France check-in would not open until 12.45 so we sat down at the glass front in the restaurant area upstairs. Unfortunately only few aircraft passed T1 during that time but it was better than nothing. Air France’s F-GSPO was parked at gate 7 and I knew it would be our aircraft for flight 023 to CDG. In the first moment I just saw the round last letter and feared it would be F-GSPD again, the aircraft I already had on 9/11.

Terminal 1 is very convenient, a large hall in modern architecture. Air France check-in is located on the opposite side of the counters visible here:


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Photo © Kamil Macniak



We went in line at 12.20 to make sure we were the first passengers to check in – I had planned to get the very last row in the B772 where only two seats are located side by side. Exactly on time a female AF employee called us and within few minutes we had our boarding passes, with seats 48A and B. I was wondering why the B772 had the same number of rows as the B77W, but later found out AF simply has left out some numbers.  idea 
Interestingly, she told us there were no more window seats left on the connection to MUC, but I decided to deal with that later.

Spotting at JFK
After leaving behind our heavy luggage we immediately went back to the AirTrain and headed for Terminals 5/6. There’s a glass front close to the walkway between the AirTrain station and Terminal 6 – I had seen that place the night before but the main disadvantage was that many travellers and airport staff pass by there. And since binoculars are regarded as a dangerous weapon in these days by certain Americans it’s a bit risky to stay there longer than ten minutes. After a DTW flight delay (full story here) and an “interview” by Homeland Security (full story here) in September I didn’t want to risk missing my flight later in the afternoon due to a possible stupid security check or whatever.  biting 
However, while walking to that glass front one level above the AirTrain station I noticed a corner with elevators – and with stairs located directly behind, almost out of sight. I hadn’t seen that corner at night and found out it was a perfect place for spotting. Usually all travellers take the elevators and nobody would come around. Due to dark green glass, nobody would see us from the street level or from the walkway to the Terminal. The place is high enough to provide great views of one runway, half of the jetBlue ramp, plus of many aircraft taxiing to other Terminals. A similar place can be found above the AirTrain station at Terminals 2/3.
Here’s a pic taken from the staircase at T6, with five different jetBlue tails:



We spent about three hours up there and I got many goodies. Examples were Aerolineas A342 (LV-ZPJ), Aerosvit B763 (UR-VVF), Emirates A345 (A6-ERA), Cathay Pacific A346 (B-HQB), Egypt Air B772 (SU-GBY), Italian Air Force A319 (MM-62174), Loftleidir/Israir B763 (TF-FIC), South African A343 (ZS-SXE) and many more. JetBlue sent in two of their latest tails (N605JB & N607JB), I got 31 new birds of their fleet alone. Including some limited spotting from the hotel and from the AirTrain I could catch 90 new regs in only a few hours.  hyper 


12. April 2005
New York (JFK) – Paris (CDG)
Air France AF023
17.10-06.00 (16.59-05.59)

Boeing 777-228ER
F-GSPO (c/n 320), delivered 02/2001
Tempo, seat 48B




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Photo © Jeamourra Franck
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Photo © Cence jojo




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Photo © Vivian A Watts
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Photo © K.H. Ng - HKAEC




Ground
Security checks didn’t take very long and weren’t special, so we found ourselves at Gate 7 shortly after 16.00. We sat down at the front end and I could get some more regs. Boarding was started on time and before entering the plane I used my binoculars to get some last Delta regs. An older man, apparently waiting for his Austrian flight to Vienna, starred at me and seemed to be concerned…how I hate that happening at a US airport! You never know whether these guys call the cops…  mad 


Flight
As usual on AF, we were welcomed with a friendly “Bonsoir Madame, bonsoir Monsieur” and walked down to our row. Back there, another smiling male F/A welcomed us. I sat down, took out my binoculars, my little notebook and the AF fleet list to mark F-GSPO. The F/A saw it and had a longer look at me. One minute later he came by and asked me whether I were an aviation fan – wow, in contrast to several American F/As I have met he was the first one to realize immediately what I do.  thumbsup  I said “sure” and started talking to him about my hobby. We had a nice conversation about Air France, aircraft types, destinations and much more. I showed him the pictures I had taken of AF planes and the food served on the flights before – he found that very funny. We realized we had found a “friend” on this flight. (To make it easier to distinguish between F/As, I’ll call him J. from now on)

Thanks to the last row, there was not only more seat pitch but also more space to the sides. Boarding was completed early and many seats remained empty, especially in our section. I guess load factor in Economy was around 70%, the “early” afternoon service to CDG doesn’t seem to be very popular.

F-GSPO was pushed back even before 17.00 so I was confident we would arrive at CDG on time. I still didn’t like the idea to change planes within one hour – at CDG you never know. We taxied to the runway without further stops and turned in for take-off. The GE90s roared and a few moments later our T7 lifted off into a beautiful blue sky. Too bad we were seated on the right side so we couldn’t have a last look at Manhattan. We flew an immediate left turn and headed north over the coastline.



JFK is well visible on this picture:



Only minutes after reaching our cruising altitude drinks and pretzels were served. Before I had decided what to drink, J. came along and asked: “Champagne for you? Champagne?” I was surprised Air France still serve Champagne and our choice was clear. J. filled up our glasses to the brim to make sure we get enough…  champagne 

The IFE system seemed to be the same as on the B77W, the screen showed the “Programme Bleu” menu. Audio-Video-on-Demand was not yet uploaded, but surprisingly many more features were available which did not work on the B77W. So in addition to several movies there was a good choice of TV series (including McGyver ) and some funny games. I also used the “Your opinion” feature.

After some 40 minutes in flight, J. ran by and gave us three “Planete Bleu” items which they usually hand out to kids. “Souvenirs for you!”, he said. We were really surprised about finding two different bags with playing cards, pens, stickers inside, plus one small red pillow. Nice stuff for any collector!  Smile

Finally, it was dinner time, and we had chosen to try the fish (the alternative was beef). The meal consisted of penne with salmon and cream sauce, prosciutto with melon, cheese, yogurt and a lemon poppyseed cake. All tasted great and together with some rolls it was really enough.



After dinner I continued to play some games and listened to music. Suddenly, J. showed up again, smiled as usual, and gave us two packages. Cabin lights had been dimmed already and we switched on our personal lights. And big surprise: the packages turned out to be amenity kits from L’Espace Affaires, two blue/grey bags with lots of nice stuff inside. A truly cool present!  Cool
Some more time passed and – we could have known it – J. came by again. This time he gave us one red package, an amenity kit from L’Espace Premiere. “I could only get one, they are counted”, he explained. It got better and better, that’s what I call personal service!  eyepopping   bigthumbsup 

Drink service had been stopped after a while, but as we were seated in row 48 we could get out as often as we wanted without disturbing anyone. In the galley section just two meters behind here was a self-service bar and we could drink as much as we wanted. They even had a bottle of champagne there in the beginning, but it didn’t survive very long.  drunk 

While hanging around in the galley section my girlfriend sat down on the door – usually a place where you aren’t allowed to sit. While I was standing on the other side of the cabin (out of sight) one of the younger F/As always looked at her and smiled at her. She then gave me a sign and I moved over – she told me about the guy and we had a good laugh. But guess – as soon as the very F/A realized I belonged to her he suddenly came by and told my girlfriend that she should not sit down there!  laughing 

Later in the flight we waited until J. showed up in the galley again. Prior to the trip my girlfriend had taken some handicraft textile butterflies just in case we need a small “present”. The moment had come and we handed them out to J. to say thanks for his gifts. He was really surprised and smiled all over, even put the items on his shoulders for fun. Then he said: “Thank you so much, let me kiss kiss you!” Before my girlfriend could say anything he kissed her on both cheeks, in typical French style. She was a bit confused in the first moment, but well, no problem, that’s how they say thanks.  Wink

Breakfast time had come, though I still didn’t feel hungry after the rather filling dinner. As it’s common in France, it was a small breakfast, consisting of a pastry, yogurt and orange juice and coffee.



Breakfast trays were collected quickly and descent into CDG was already started. It was still dark outside, but because of this we had great views of endless lights in and around Paris. After parallel approach with (most likely) another AF B777 we touched down early. I was really confident about our connection but then we taxied around for a really long time. I couldn’t see anything in the darkness but it was clear soon we would be parked at a far off remote position.

Buses were waiting outside and a gangway was brought to the aircraft. As I had expected the crowd didn’t move anytime soon and I was getting more and more concerned about the connection. In the meantime, J. came to our seats and we could talk some more minutes. I asked him about his favourite destination he answered that would be Buenos Aires, no doubt. Then he told me some six destinations where he would fly to in the coming weeks.

As the crowd started moving I asked him about taking safety cards. “Sure”, he said and opened a bin with a huge bag full of safety cards. “How many?”, he joked and handed several brand new ones to me. Then we thanked him for the great and personal service and he just smiled and said “Oh no, no need to say thank you, you’re welcome!”  Smile Why can’t all these well know rude and uncaring F/As learn some lessons from him?  listen 

We were among the last passengers to leave the plane at around 06.15 and I wasn’t amused seeing the crowded buses which should take us all the long way to the terminal. While walking down the stairway I suddenly saw a guy holding up a sign saying “MUNICH”. We approached him and he asked us for our names. He looked at a list and said: “Ok, I’ll will accompany you to your gate so that you get your connection!” Wow, again Air France’s customer service really surprised me.  Wow!


13. April 2005
Paris (CDG) – München (MUC)
Air France AF1422
07.00-08.35 (07.04-08.38)

Airbus A318-111
F-GUGH (c/n 2344), delivered 12/2004
Tempo, seat 17F




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Photo © Kevin Minter - Mint Photography
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Photo © Korbinian Klinghardt




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Photo © Bastiaan Smeets
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Photo © Paul Massey




Ground
No other passenger seemed to be bound for MUC and the AF employee took us to a minivan parked only 10 meters from the aircraft. One last look at the large GE90 and we got into the car. The guy spoke some French into his radio and then really pushed the car. At high speed he drove us across the airport and again we realized how far off the aircraft had been parked. After crossing some taxiways we were stuck behind a slow baggage cart. Our driver tried to overtake him regularly on the left side, but there was traffic. After some seconds he moved the minivan to the right and overtook the cart by even leaving the marked road. Express Transfer across CDG, now that was fun!  bigthumbsup 

Finally we arrived at Hall 2D and followed our guide through an empty area of the terminal. Nobody was waiting at passport control and within one minute we found ourselves in the middle of Hall 2D. Then our guide showed his ID at security and we didn’t have to wait at the end of the queue. The checks were fast and we were accompanied onwards to our gate. It was 06.40 and boarding had already started some minutes ago. He talked to the lady at the counter and then said “Bon voyage!” I was still amazed by that service and glad we had made it on time to our gate. I’m quite sure we wouldn’t have been able to get our flight when we had been dependant on the buses. My guess is we saved some 20 minutes in the end – we arrived at 06.40 and boarding was finished at 06.55. So thanks Air France for saving the A318!  relieved 
The aircraft was finally confirmed when I had a short look at the computer screen while waiting for my boarding pass receipt. I read F-GUGH = mission accomplished!  thumbsup 


Flight
The bus brought us the aircraft where we had to wait some more minutes until final boarding started. Most passengers seemed to be business travellers, wearing suits and being in hurry apparently. Again a warm welcome on board and we walked down to row 18. The interior is not different from any other of AF’s A32X aircraft, but the cabin still looked very new.


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Photo © Antoine Ossadzow



Though we had seats B and C but I didn’t bother about that any longer. A guy already sat in A and when I said “Good Morning” he only moved his lips a bit and looked pissed – well then I was quite sure he was a German.  ill 
I soon realized the plane wasn’t full at all – two rows around even remained totally empty. After some minutes I asked a F/A whether boarding was completed. She said “Yes” and we decided to move one row forward. Some other passengers looked at us as if we were aliens – they were definitely annoyed that we were faster in conquering an empty row!  tongue 

Engine start-up was really quiet and after a few minutes our “baby bus” headed for departure. We had to wait in line for a while but finally were cleared for take-off. Surprisingly – with engines still relatively quiet – the A318 accelerated really powerfully, much better than A320s or A319s I have experienced before. The A318 lifted off early and climbed steeply into the clouds.

It didn’t take very long until service started and we were served a typical French – meaning small – breakfast. We could take a (fresh) pastry from a basket, later drink service followed. I decided to try a hot chocolate this time. We were still full from the meals on the longhaul flight, so it didn’t matter. However, if you are hungry you should take some extra croissants…  Wink



The remaining flight was uneventful and I killed the time by listening to some music with my MP3 player. I was a bit annoyed that the window was dirty outside so pictures were no option, unfortunately. But I would have been really disappointed about flying AF and not getting at least one dirty aircraft.  biggrin 

On approach to MUC we passed through some turbulence and soon touched down at runway 26L. Minutes later we arrived at our gate and it was time say good bye to the “baby bus”. Nice ride, it’s definitely my new favourite in the A32X family. Even better if you additionally get PTVs like on Frontier…well, just joking!  blockhead 



Conclusion
Air France is totally different from what I experienced in former times. They really care about customers, you get friendly and professional F/As and ground staff all over, adequate entertainment systems, tasty food and clean, comfortable cabins. Plus they offer competitive fares and have a satisfying frequent flyer program. What else do you need? Way to go Air France and SkyTeam!  bigthumbsup 



Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:18 am

Nice Udo! Very seamless two reports! Nice to know that your girlfriend becomes an integral part of your reports.. mine was sleeping throughout on the flights we took and 'blocked' me from any movement  bigthumbsup 

I realized that AF staff is particularly friendly if one knows french despite being a foreigner.. I like that airline, too.. the mentality of the staff is desirable.

Quoting Udo (Thread starter):
never know whether these guys call the cops…

Probably he was a cop... hysteria times 100 at every American airport, along with 'random controls' if they employ White American Security staff (i.e. colored people like me) - much more professional in Europe and here


Keep on going with your reports! Your profession having studied literature has positively shaped your writing! Nice job!
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
jsnww81
Posts: 2294
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:34 am

Very nice work Udo! Well-written as usual. I'll get the chance to fly out of JFK one of these days... it's frustrating living in Chicago, we can get nonstops to pretty much anywhere in the world *except* JFK!

Don't worry about hassled by Homeland Security; they're not singling you out as a foreigner. They question and hassle just as many of us "natives." I was questioned by an onboard air marshal for taking photos out the aircraft window while we were at cruising altitude. Land of the free, indeed.  sarcastic 

At least you're back in Europe, where common sense and tolerance toward aviation enthusiasts prevails!
 
AlitaliaMD11
Posts: 3704
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:19 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:10 am

I had that same salmon meal that you had on a JFK-CDG flight last November, it wasn't very good.
No Vueling No Party
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:39 pm

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 3):
I had that same salmon meal that you had on a JFK-CDG flight last November, it wasn't very good.

Quite frankly, I think I had exactly the same dish on CDG-NSI.. the fish was nice, the noodles too, but the sauce...  Wink
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
The777Man
Posts: 5911
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:42 pm

Excellent report, Udo!! I agree with that Air France is an excellent carrier! I had two great flights with AF in Janurary this year IAD-CDG-ARN on 772 and 319.

Thanks also for the pictures! Very nice! I remember the hot chocolate and the pastry just like that.....

The777Man
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
 
Udo
Topic Author
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:57 pm

Hello everybody and thanks for all comments!

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 1):
Nice to know that your girlfriend becomes an integral part of your reports.. mine was sleeping throughout on the flights we took and 'blocked' me from any movement

Subin,
I'm glad I could "integrate" her into aviation, she really starts to like it! Maybe you can get a "deal" next time you travel with your girlfriend? Nice dinner or concert tickets for 10 hours of spotting?  biggrin 

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 1):
I realized that AF staff is particularly friendly if one knows french despite being a foreigner.. I like that airline, too.. the mentality of the staff is desirable.

I realized it already helps to simply use "Bonjour, bonsoir or merci". They feel honored if you use some of these terms and it pays back. The more French you know, the better. But in contrast to earlier trips, nobody at AF seemed to have a problem when addressed in English.

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 1):
Probably he was a cop... hysteria times 100 at every American airport, along with 'random controls' if they employ White American Security staff (i.e. colored people like me) - much more professional in Europe and here

Yes, I can well imagine how colored people are treated even more often like suspects. What a shame it has come so far!  mad 

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 1):
Keep on going with your reports! Your profession having studied literature has positively shaped your writing! Nice job!

Thanks a lot, I'll do my best!

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 2):
Don't worry about hassled by Homeland Security; they're not singling you out as a foreigner. They question and hassle just as many of us "natives." I was questioned by an onboard air marshal for taking photos out the aircraft window while we were at cruising altitude. Land of the free, indeed

James,
I know they address anyone who looks suspicious, no matter where he comes from. It's annoying but that's what we have to get used to in these days.  embarrassed 
Did the air marshal request the camera? Or did he ask you to stop taking pictures?

Quoting Jsnww81 (Reply 2):
At least you're back in Europe, where common sense and tolerance toward aviation enthusiasts prevails!

Well, not everywhere. No problems at all in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Czech Republic or others. But it can be uncomfortable in Spain or Italy.

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 3):
I had that same salmon meal that you had on a JFK-CDG flight last November, it wasn't very good.

Gordon,
the fish was a bit dry - it was heated too long - but the rest was not bad at all. But tastes are different!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Thanks also for the pictures! Very nice! I remember the hot chocolate and the pastry just like that.....

Lars,
So you also tried the hot chocolate? That's not offered very often. And the pastries are really excellent...but too small!  Wink



Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:24 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 6):
Nice dinner or concert tickets for 10 hours of spotting?

If she pays for either, I might give it a try  bigthumbsup 
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
DALelite
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 7:00 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:07 am

hi udo, i am ever so glad that you and your girlfriend have had a great passage over the atlantic on AF. it just reminded me how DL service used
to be 10 - 15 years ago. i am happy that such great service still excists.

regards: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
 
patroni
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 7:49 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:11 am

Hi Udo,

nice trip report! I was amazed to see so many praising words about AF's service as my colleagues told me it is rather mediocre in Economy. But yesterday I received my new FlyingBlue card and actually thought of giving them a try  Smile

How's the legroom onboard the 777? I don't care at all about PTV, am not really looking for good food on a plane, but need to have some space in my seat. Last month I flew with LX's A330 to YUL. legroom as such was fine, but the guys in front of me put their backrest in the rearmost position so that I had them nearly lying on my lap...

Cheers,
Tom
 
9V-SPF
Posts: 1340
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 6:42 pm

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:45 pm

Thanks for posting another fantastic report, Udo...and for making me SOOOO damn jealous once again...  irked   Wink
Why? Well, let´s have a look:

-A girlfriend who likes aviation (that´s almost like a "6er im Lotto")
-Getting treated like a king by an AF F/A
-Private limousine service in the middle of Roissy
-Getting the A318 despite a short connection time at CDG
-...
-...
-...

I mean, how lucky can you get?  Wink

Seriously, what a great service provided by AF. Proves once again how much certain airlines (which have a homebase geographically not so far from France) can learn in these times.

Btw, I agree with you that JFK´s Terminal 1 is a nice building but it totally lacked any kind of facilities when I was there last time, especially after the security check. For those who don´t have lounge access, the only possibilty to fight an empty stomach is a crappy bag of crackers accompanied by a rip-off priced bottle of Coke...  Sad

Keep up the good work with your reports, they just can´t get any better!  thumbsup 
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:05 am

Another great report with great pictures! I am glad to read another good report about Air France and their very friendly crews, this airline is not only great for regular passengers but also for aviation enthusiasts like us, one reason for me to choose them as often as I can.

Quoting Patroni (Reply 9):
How's the legroom onboard the 777?

No the best to be honest, when I flew JFK-CDG I had two ladies on front of me and they reclined their seats during the whole flight, it was almost impossible to sit there comfortable. But I didn't care, I simply went to the self service bar and had a few beers as well as a nice chat with other passengers.

You should definitely try Air France, they offer together with Swiss the best Economy Class product among all the European airlines in my opinion.

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
the only possibilty to fight an empty stomach is a crappy bag of crackers accompanied by a rip-off priced bottle of Coke...

Don't complain about the price of a Coke in JFK's T1, in January I bought there a box Marlboro Lights, the price: 9 USD.  Wow!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:16 am

Hello Udo,

Thanks for this excellent trip report! German quality as usual  Wink

Thanks for posting info on JFK regspotting. I saved the info, in the hope that I'll be able to go there in one of the coming years.

About the last row in the AF B772: is there a big difference in seatpitch? A disadvantage is that you can't recline your seat (or were you able to recline it?).

Anyway, it must be awesome to be accompanied by 1) a girlfriend who accepts spotting (quite amazing actually), and 2) a fantastic cabin crew member (those ammenity kits must be nice collectors items!).

About your CDG-MUC flight: didn't they offer you a second pastry? Maybe if you asked? About the hot chocolade milk you got: I've never seen something like that on a plane!

Also excellent that you got to fly the A318. And a private race on the CDG-tarmac must be nice too!

Regards
Frederic
 
Udo
Topic Author
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+p

Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:18 am

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 7):
If she pays for either, I might give it a try

Subin,
Hey, that's mean, isn't it?  Wink Make sure your girl doesn't read that - you might face a hard time!  box 

Quoting DALelite (Reply 8):
hi udo, i am ever so glad that you and your girlfriend have had a great passage over the atlantic on AF. it just reminded me how DL service used
to be 10 - 15 years ago. i am happy that such great service still excists.

Markus,
Thanks a lot! I remember my first flight to the US back in 1993 on Delta, they were really good, nice F/As and personal service. Haven't tried them again since.

Quoting Patroni (Reply 9):
I was amazed to see so many praising words about AF's service as my colleagues told me it is rather mediocre in Economy. But yesterday I received my new FlyingBlue card and actually thought of giving them a try

Tom,
Thank you! I'm sure the crew I had is not the average which you get at AF. But in general AF's Eco product is really good, even without "personal" treatment. Give them a try! FlyingBlue is another advantage in these days.

Quoting Patroni (Reply 9):
How's the legroom onboard the 777?

That depends. If you are seated somewhere in the middle it's as cramped as everyhwere else. But try to get an exit row or the last row (48) where you find less seats but a better pitch and more space around. But be aware not all exit rows have a window.

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
Thanks for posting another fantastic report, Udo...and for making me SOOOO damn jealous once again...

Daniel,
Thanks a lot for your nice comments! I'm sorry I made you jealous, but who knows, maybe it's my turn to say so next time you go on tour!

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
-A girlfriend who likes aviation (that´s almost like a "6er im Lotto")

Indeed, I'm really happy about that!  Smile Imagine a worst case scenario, hardcore spotter like me and aviation-opposing/uncaring girl...would be "difficult"...  covereyes 

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
-Getting treated like a king by an AF F/A

That was pure luck, there's probably only 1 in 1000 like "our" J.  Wink

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
-Private limousine service in the middle of Roissy

Never had thought of something like that before. But it was not intended to be a private shuttle - a third passenger bound for MUC didn't show up (according to our driver). He/she probably overlooked the sign, went to the bus and ended up missing the flight.

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
-Getting the A318 despite a short connection time at CDG

The mission almost failed. But there still had been something to be made up for: after a delay Air France once denied me boarding the long-awaited Conti DC-10 in 1999 - and I ended up in the "famous" Ibis Roissy and in the B741 twice (though i wanted to combine DC-10 and B741).

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
I mean, how lucky can you get?

Hmmm...if I had made my trip two weeks earlier I could have taken AF's A332 (missing type) instead of the B772 (already flown ago)...plus jumpseat landing? Just kidding!  drunk 
Of course I had big big luck with that trip.

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
Seriously, what a great service provided by AF. Proves once again how much certain airlines (which have a homebase geographically not so far from France) can learn in these times.

I fear hope is lost for our national carrier...  down 

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
Btw, I agree with you that JFK´s Terminal 1 is a nice building but it totally lacked any kind of facilities when I was there last time, especially after the security check.

That's true. I'm glad they have the AirTrain now which can get you to any terminal in only few minutes. Terminal 4 is quite attractive, many shops and restaurants.

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 10):
Keep up the good work with your reports, they just can´t get any better!

Merci beaucoup! I'll do my best!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 11):
Another great report with great pictures! I am glad to read another good report about Air France and their very friendly crews, this airline is not only great for regular passengers but also for aviation enthusiasts like us, one reason for me to choose them as often as I can.

Patrick,
Thanks! When you are back you must tell me about Continental, I'd like to know how they currently compare to European and other American carriers. Haven't heard anything negative about them - except for their "alcohol" charge.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Sabena332
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:29 am

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
About the hot chocolade milk you got: I've never seen something like that on a plane!

I forgot to mention it in my earlier reply, I was also surprised that they offer hot chocolade in the plane, I never saw this before. Of course I will ask for it on my next Air France flight, it is a nice alternative to the usual coffee or tea.

Quoting Udo (Reply 13):
When you are back you must tell me about Continental

Of course I will tell you about them. I am also very curious because it is my first flight on them, hopefully they won't dissapoint me since I am used to the high Air France standard. Big grin

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
9V-SPF
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 6:34 am

Quoting Udo (Reply 13):
Thanks a lot for your nice comments! I'm sorry I made you jealous, but who knows, maybe it's my turn to say so next time you go on tour!

Well Udo, I´m terribly afraid that this won´t be the case as my next trip to the US will be on.................................................guess whom....................................................................................................Lufthansa  weeping  . FRA-BOS in August and I´ll stay there for 7 months so you´ll have to wait a bit for...err...tempting reports written by me. (The four university colleagues who will accompany me to Massachusetts weren´t too obsessed (to put it mildly) by the idea of a FRA-AMS-MSP-BOS routing that I had suggested  Sad  Wink and I didn´t want to split up the group.
Well, at least I´ll finally complete MY mission MD-11 in two weeks on a ridiculously cheap AMS-CDG flight! Big grin

Patrick, you´re flying to NYC on Continental? You definitely have something to look forward to. In my opinion, CO is by far the best US airline, especially their ground service impressed me when they managed to make my (hurricane influenced) Florida trip as convenient as possible last year. Enjoy your CO 777 (I´m glad they were still using my long awaited 764 when I took them Big grin)!

Daniel
 
Udo
Topic Author
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:07 pm

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
Thanks for this excellent trip report! German quality as usual

Frederic,
thanks a lot!  Smile

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
Thanks for posting info on JFK regspotting. I saved the info, in the hope that I'll be able to go there in one of the coming years.

JFK is a great place, would be even worth to spend some days just for spotting thanks to these new locations. Are you a reg spotter or do you take pictures?

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
About the last row in the AF B772: is there a big difference in seatpitch? A disadvantage is that you can't recline your seat (or were you able to recline it?).

Seatpitch and space to the sides is clearly better. And we were surprised to find out the seats do recline in that row!

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
those ammenity kits must be nice collectors items!.

They really are. But I guess if you kindly ask them to get one after landing, they might hand out one or two. I noticed many kits were left behind in Business and First.

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 12):
About your CDG-MUC flight: didn't they offer you a second pastry? Maybe if you asked? About the hot chocolade milk you got: I've never seen something like that on a plane!

You can take the pastries out of a basket and I'm quite sure it would be ok to take two or a third. Probably depends on the particular F/A. The hot chocolate was a surprise indeed. And tasted good, it was Nesquick.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
Of course I will tell you about them. I am also very curious because it is my first flight on them, hopefully they won't dissapoint me since I am used to the high Air France standard.

Watch out for the air marshalls when you order too many drinks...  Wink

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 15):
Well Udo, I´m terribly afraid that this won´t be the case as my next trip to the US will be on.................................................guess whom....................................................................................................Lufthansa

Oh...but the flight should be tolerable with some beers...  drunk 

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 15):
FRA-BOS in August and I´ll stay there for 7 months so you´ll have to wait a bit for...err...tempting reports written by me.

Why not book a trip on jetBlue from BOS? They are worth it!

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 15):
The four university colleagues who will accompany me to Massachusetts weren´t too obsessed (to put it mildly) by the idea of a FRA-AMS-MSP-BOS routing that I had suggested

These guys have no idea what they miss!  embarrassed 

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 15):
Well, at least I´ll finally complete MY mission MD-11 in two weeks on a ridiculously cheap AMS-CDG flight!

That sounds great! RG MD-11 on such a short flight...I hope they push it at take-off! Nothing climbs like an '11!  hyper 
How do you get to AMS and back from CDG?


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
mrniji
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:10 pm

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
hopefully they won't dissapoint me since I am used to the high Air France standard.

But you have also travelled LH lately... so see it positively: things can only get better Big grin

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 15):
Well Udo, I´m terribly afraid that this won´t be the case as my next trip to the US will be on.................................................guess whom....................................................................................................Lufthansa

My sympathy...  Sad
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
9V-SPF
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:32 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 16):
Why not book a trip on jetBlue from BOS? They are worth it!

I´ve already thought about this and if I have the time and money, I´ll give them a try!

Quoting Udo (Reply 16):
How do you get to AMS and back from CDG?

I´ll take the train up to Amsterdam in the morning, visit the city for a couple of hours before heading to Schiphol´s terrace. I´m already thinking about what kind of suicide I will commit if RG decides to send a 777 on May 14th...  Wink
After two nights in wonderful Paris, I´ll take Germanwings back to CGN (was very cheap when I booked it Big grin)

Btw, Thanks again for your EMail, Udo!  Smile
 
Sabena 690
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sun May 01, 2005 5:06 am

Hi Udo,

Quoting Udo (Reply 16):
JFK is a great place, would be even worth to spend some days just for spotting thanks to these new locations

You write: locations. Are there other good spots like this one? I'm always interested!

Quoting Udo (Reply 16):
Are you a reg spotter or do you take pictures?

I'm one of those people which you can find at an airport from morning till evening, often at the same place all the time, with a pair of binoculars, a logbook, and something to write; in other words: a regspotter  Wink Big grin

Regards
Frederic
 
Udo
Topic Author
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Tue May 03, 2005 12:10 am

Quoting 9V-SPF (Reply 18):
I´ll take the train up to Amsterdam in the morning, visit the city for a couple of hours before heading to Schiphol´s terrace. I´m already thinking about what kind of suicide I will commit if RG decides to send a 777 on May 14th...

Sounds like a great trip - I wish you best luck with your 'Mission MD-11'!!! Trip report heavily requested!  Smile

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 19):
You write: locations. Are there other good spots like this one? I'm always interested!

Yes, I meant two locations. You can find that "hidden" spot behind the elevators one level above the AirTrain stations at both Terminal 5/6 and 2/3.

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 19):
I'm one of those people which you can find at an airport from morning till evening, often at the same place all the time, with a pair of binoculars, a logbook, and something to write; in other words: a regspotter

Hey, the same with me!  bigthumbsup  Where do you collect your regs at home?


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Sabena 690
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Tue May 03, 2005 2:35 am

Hi Udo,

Thanks for the additional JFK info!

Quoting Udo (Reply 20):
Where do you collect your regs at home?

Do you mean how I log my registrations?

Well: I have Excel files for each aircraft type (A320-series, B737-series,...), and I log every new registration starting with the c/n. And with one push on the A-Z button, you can put all c/n's in a chronological order.

I also have a registration book (NOT the JP, but the INTAG 2005, which is not only better than the JP, but I also happen to know the author  Wink). The INTAG 2005 is also much cheaper.

Are you only into airliners (like I am), or do you also log bizjets?

Regards
Frederic
 
mindscape
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Tue May 03, 2005 6:11 am

Hi Udo,

Great report !
I will follow your report structure for my next trip report  Wink
I believe you are keeping a kind of agenda (excel spreadsheet) on which you list all the airlines and aircrafts you were in, don't you ?
If so, on which airline and which aircraft type did you travel the most ?

Regards,
Mindsc@pe
 
AirWales
Posts: 434
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Wed May 04, 2005 7:59 am

Great report - nice pics of JFK. That Pain au Raisain on the way to MUC looked pathetic!!
 
Lindy
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Thu May 05, 2005 2:34 am

Nice report Udo.

I have stayed at Radisson JFK before. I also had airport side windows overlooking cargo ramp.

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
Udo
Topic Author
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+

Thu May 05, 2005 10:08 pm

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 21):
Well: I have Excel files for each aircraft type (A320-series, B737-series,...), and I log every new registration starting with the c/n. And with one push on the A-Z button, you can put all c/n's in a chronological order.

Sounds good! I don't use lists but have single files for each airline.

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 21):
I also have a registration book (NOT the JP, but the INTAG 2005, which is not only better than the JP, but I also happen to know the author). The INTAG 2005 is also much cheaper.

I have never heard about the INTAG - can you give me a link? I have used the jp for many years and I'm really satisfied. But yes, it's expensive...

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 21):
Are you only into airliners (like I am), or do you also log bizjets?

No, just airliners (starting with Embraer 120/Saab 340 as the smallest types I collect). What do you do after a change of registration or just operator?

Quoting Mindscape (Reply 22):
Great report !
I will follow your report structure for my next trip report
I believe you are keeping a kind of agenda (excel spreadsheet) on which you list all the airlines and aircrafts you were in, don't you ?
If so, on which airline and which aircraft type did you travel the most ?

Mindscape,
thanks a lot! That's true I keep all "my" aircraft in a list. Just have a look at my photo album, there are all exact aircraft I have been on. Some of them flown multiple times.

Quoting AirWales (Reply 23):
Great report - nice pics of JFK. That Pain au Raisain on the way to MUC looked pathetic!!

Tim,
Thanks! Yes, it was small, but tasted good.

Quoting Lindy (Reply 24):
Nice report Udo.

I have stayed at Radisson JFK before. I also had airport side windows overlooking cargo ramp.

Rafal

Rafal,

Merci! The Radisson is a nice hotel. Unfortunately I couldn't look at the airport itself (room faced Manhattan), but I evening arrivals passed the window.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Sabena 690
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Fri May 06, 2005 2:18 am

Quoting Udo (Reply 25):
Sounds good! I don't use lists but have single files for each airline.

Isn't that quite difficult? For example: imagine that you saw a Sabena A319 a few years ago, and you want to know whether you've seen this aircraft again in the colours and reg of another operator (Finnair for example). If I understand you well, you have to check your Sabena log first, followed by a check of your Finnair log.

Quoting Udo (Reply 25):
I have never heard about the INTAG - can you give me a link?

http://www.eps-aviation.com/products...tion=showproduct&id=160&q=&type=69

Quoting Udo (Reply 25):
No, just airliners (starting with Embraer 120/Saab 340 as the smallest types I collect). What do you do after a change of registration or just operator?

I start with the Saab 340, no EMB120 and Jetstream for the moment.

When the reg changes, or the aircraft get's the titles of another operator, I log the aircraft again.

For example CS-TMW: saw this aircraft in TP and LK colours:
1667 CS-TMW A320 LK DUB 17/07/'03
1667 CS-TMW A320 TP BRU 17/04/'05


And when everything changes:
29074 ES-ABH B735 OV FRA 3/07/'04
29074 F-GJNT B735 AF FRA 5/07/'03


Regards
Frederic
 
KL808
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Fri May 06, 2005 4:28 am

Hey Udo what a fantastic report indeed. You are lucky just as 9V-SPF mentioned. Its very rare nowadays to find flight attendants that are really nice and sympathetic to our hobbies. Its very kind of him to give you amenities from up front.

Quoting Udo (Thread starter):
After a DTW flight delay (full story here) and an “interview” by Homeland Security (full story here) in September I didn’t want to risk missing my flight later in the afternoon due to a possible stupid security check or whatever.

Hahaha I still remember this one.

Quoting Udo (Thread starter):
Thanks to the last row, there was not only more seat pitch but also more space to the sides

On any aircraft that offers 3-x-3 seating, I also always ask for the rear of the aircraft where you get the 2-x-2 seating. Some how I prefer this config the best.

Nyways, great report Udo. Where are you going next?

Drew
AMS-LAX-MNL
 
Udo
Topic Author
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Wed May 11, 2005 4:40 pm

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 26):
Isn't that quite difficult? For example: imagine that you saw a Sabena A319 a few years ago, and you want to know whether you've seen this aircraft again in the colours and reg of another operator (Finnair for example). If I understand you well, you have to check your Sabena log first, followed by a check of your Finnair log.

It's not a big problem. I only keep current fleets and not those who went out of business. I then take the aircraft (e.g. Sabena) into "storage" until they are assigned again. Then they get a small remark with former reg and about the airport where I once logged them with their previous identity.

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 26):
When the reg changes, or the aircraft get's the titles of another operator, I log the aircraft again.

The same for me. I usually do not change short-term lease operators when colors remain the same and only small titels are applied (e.g. Air Atlanta).

Quoting KL808 (Reply 27):
Hey Udo what a fantastic report indeed. You are lucky just as 9V-SPF mentioned. Its very rare nowadays to find flight attendants that are really nice and sympathetic to our hobbies. Its very kind of him to give you amenities from up front.

Drew,
thanks a lot! It's true these F/As are rare and who knows when I meet such a person next time.

Quoting KL808 (Reply 27):
Nyways, great report Udo. Where are you going next?

I don't know yet, but I have some new "mission" ideas.  Wink



Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Toulouse
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Wed May 11, 2005 5:11 pm

Hi Udo,

Excellent report. Really enjoyed reading it. Glad you enjoyed AF, I have only had good experiences with them myself, yet I do here some contrary reports around.

Wonderful about your girlfriend also and her interestin aviation. Bit like myself, my wife is an aeronautical engineer... a dream come true for me!
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
flpuck6
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RE: JFK-CDG-MUC: B772, A318 & Great AF Service (+ Pics)

Sun May 15, 2005 12:31 pm

Excellent report Udo ... as the others have already said!

As someone who works for AF, I am glad to know you had such a good experience ... there are more than just one of those types of F/A's on Air France!

I am even jealous that he gave you an Espace Premiere kit!!! He definitely did treat you like a king.
Bonjour Chef!

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