Main reason for this weekend trip to Paris was my sons immediate need to visit Eurodisney before he´s starting his school life in September. The chance for me to try out AirFrance another time.
STR (Stuttgart) - CDG (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
AF 1409 operated by AirFrance A319 F-GRHM
Scheduled: 10.10. // 11.30
Actual: 10.20. // 11.25
Gate 310 Seat 12A
Load Factor: 80%
Fare Adult: 152,08 EUR Fare Child: 123,08 EUR
Photo © Tobias Rose - Hamburg RettopS
Photo © Peter Kesternich
Delivered to AF 24.05.2000
Once again at the airport by car, to early for a convenient train connection.
Parked at P2. Inside the terminal at 8.30. am. Crossed T0,1,2, heading for T3 where AirFrance handling is done by Stuttgart Ground Services. 2 desks staffed, one biz, one eco. Roundabout 10 pax in front and some 7-8 minutes to wait. A couple with 4 children and lots of bags had some trouble at the Biz check in, I heard that they´re rebooked from BA about the LHR chaos the day before and they are not really lucky about the situation. 20000 pax at LHR and they are not amused about a unconvenient connection, unbelievable.
A young female checked us in, not unfriendly but a bit annoyed. 3 pax, 2 bags, all the details inclusive Flying Blue in the system. Only seconds later I hold our boarding passes to CDG in my hands.
We crossed security, strict as always and gone directly to the gate area, not far from our assigned gate 310.
Interesting was a MD90 from NordicLeisure operating to PMI.
Our plane from CDG arrived ontime and parked at the finger gate.
F- GRHM this time, leisure flight No. 14 on the A319 and the first on this plane.
I followed the activities and had a short look to the next gate, where a young male operated the boarding procedure of the AY/Finncom flight to Helsinki.
It was fellow A.Net member Ndebele. I waited till he finished his work and later we had a nice short chat about our passion, his work today and my upcoming trip to Paris.
Hi Alex, hope you are well.
Boarding started early at 09.40 without an announcement about groups or rows and goes quick forward.
A friendly middle aged male welcomed us at the front door, total 3 male and one female FA on the plane.
All together friendly. The plane looks a bit oldfashioned with its fabric blue seats but was clean and in good conditions. IMO the seats were
more uncomfortabel than the leather seats on HLX or Germanwings the last time.
Biz was good loaded with typical biz travellers, eco also with the typical friday crowd, weekend travellers like my party, CDG connectors and some french biz people on the way back home.
A friendly welcome from the flightdeck till boarding was completed with flight details, like flight-time, wheather and route. Pushback at short after 10 am, taxi in western direction alongside T 1 and then down the whole apron and the runway for a runway 25 departure in western direction.
The classic safety procedure during taxi without screens in french and english.
One aircraft in front (Germanwings A319) one arrival (LH B733) and a powerful departure follows.
The seat-belt sign goes off quick and we reached our cruising altitude roundabout 10 minutes after departure. Flight route: STR/North of SXB(Strasbourg)/CDG. Flight time 1 hour.
Some shakers with the seat belt sign on as we crossed the rhine valley, earlier and later a calm flight.
Service: French cookies, well known from other reports and one round with free drinks, wine or beer inclusive.
Approach to CDG runway 26L started early, 20 minutes ahead of arrival, some heavy clouds there but
no more shakers and a soft touchdown , normal brakes, no thrust reversers.
Photo © Spacelag
A long taxi follows,
we parked outside opposite T2D. Deboarding by one of these famous big escalator busses and arrival
at T2. Some 10 minutes to wait for the bags with a bit of confusion around the other pax, they dont know if its the right baggage area, but it was clearly announced on the screen,
where is the problem?.
All the times I was there, T2D was full of people, also this time. We walked in direction T2E, the RER train station is in the middle between T2D and T2E, down the stairs and welcome in Paris, the ticket machines accept only coins today. A huge long queue in front off the 5 staffed desks for RER tickets,
30 minutes to wait and then a quick run to Denfert-Rochereau station to connect to the subway,another change at Trocadero and at the hotel at 2 pm.
I booked the Radisson SAS Boulogne Paris by Ltur online and payed 305.-- EUROs, 2 nights BB, not cheap,
but Paris is expensive and the hotel is newly opened in early July this year, well designed and good located not to far from the city-center A side note: Breakfast per day per person booked in the hotel = 22.-- EUR x 2 nights x 3 pax = 132.-- EUR!. A clear sign for todays hotel policy, sell the room cheaper without breakfast and push the breakfast fare.
We had enjoyable 3 days there.
CDG (Paris-Charles de Gaulle) - STR (Stuttgart)
AF 2508 operated by AirFrance Airbus A320 F-GKXI
Scheduled: 19.05 // 20.25
Actual: 19.15 // 20.20
Gate: D62 Seat: 27A
Load Factor: near 100 %
Photo © Rez Manzoori - FlightLineImages
Photo © Markus Moßhammer
Delivered to AirFrance: 19.03.2003
We leave the hotel at short after 3 pm, connecting with the subway to the RER station, no problems during the subway ride. At RER Denfert-Rochereau the screens showed the next train to CDG ontime
5 minutes later and the next delayed. RER arrived, we settled down, the doors remained open, nothings going on. A announcement in french followed: There is a bomb threat at a station on route to CDG, all pax can leave the train now for other travel opinions, this train terminates in Luxemburg station.
What to do now, I read my book and the train departs. Most of the pax leave at the station.
A kind of a non-real situation, you drive in the dark tunnel under paris with only some people around to a train station nearby a bomb threat only weeks after the London bombings.
Another announcement only in french: Some problems, this train stops next at Gare du Nord.
The train stops in the dark tunnel, then moves forward, crosses 2 stations without people and as I read my book further I realized that we had passed the closed stations.
Another announcement: Charles de Gaulle airport.Nothing more. What does it mean?. The train departed, we crossed the next 2 stations quick without a stop and at the end the train goes without another stop direct to CDG, IMO they had all the trains in the city after the closing and no material at CDG, so we had a very quick ride to CDG.
CDG arrival at 4.45 pm, changed to T2D, another problem there, all the people crowded in one part, half of the terminal closed by police, another bomb threat, who knows.
T2D is really undersized for this masses of people flying there all day round.
The screens showed check in at counter 11 for STR, 2 agents and some pax there, check in for MUC announced. I asked the very friendly middle-aged female for STR and she picked my tix, no problem,she said, we wait for the last MUC pax but I start STR for you now, no time to wait, very friendly beneath the situation around.
Crossed security, stairs down to the bus gates for the smaller planes, IMO the best place with good views to the action outside and not to much travellers.
I checked for a gate change at 6.15 pm, gate was ok and a bus parked with our flight number and destinantion down the stairs. Back at the gate with my party at 06.30 pm and boarding started at 06.35,
half an hour ahead of the planned departure time.
Some 5 minutes to wait in the bus, we´re driving along the parking positions ahead of T2D and E, a A320 was planned, some A320s parked there, we travelled along till the end, where to go know?
The driver stopped, called by phone, a female agent entered the bus, turnaround and the whole row down again in the other direction, another turnaround and stopped at the second parked plane.
I had a nice chat with a french busnines lady during our bus cruise and she knows about 2 bomb threads today, not the best day for travel around Paris.
F- GKXI , a new plane for me and leisure flight No.21 on the A320.
Welcomed by a friendly older female at the front door, same interior like on the A319, the fabric blue sigma aeroseats, very clean plane, in real good conditions.
A welcome from the flightdeck during all the pax boarded, Mr. Henry Leconte, this time as pilot flying, the plane filled up. I expected a good load, the AF booking system stated mid last week a fare near 700.-- EUROs, eco fully booked, only biz available.
Pushed back and taxi alongside the whole T2 against the broken down part of the new Terminal.
What about the traffic there: Countless widebodies, action all around.
No screens around, the classic safety demonstration during taxi in french, english and german.
We´re number 2 for departure from 26R after a AF/Cityjet BAE146 and had to wait for a AirSeychelles B767 on short finals to 26L.
A long take off run, departure with a left turn over the city of Paris, the Eiffel tower clearly visible.
Again some shakers mid flight, later a calm flight. The same route like on Friday backwards.
Service: A sandwich and a free round of drinks, alcoholics inclusive. 4 FAs on board, 3 male, 1 female
Approach to STR started 20 minutes ahead of arrival, were flown low south along the airport, a left turn and final approach to runway 25.
A hard touchdown with some thunderstorm clouds in front, the plane shaked around, IMO were not with both main gears on the ground at the same time. No thrust reversers, normal brakes, leave the active quick and saw a SkyAirlines of Turkey B737 rotating over us.
A finger gate this time, the plane had the night stop in STR.
Said goodbye to the friendly FA´s. 5 Minutes to wait for the bags and on the way back home with some interesting Paris impressions. IMO one of the most exciting cities in good old Europe.
Conclusion: Not the cheapest fare, but acceptable for a classic airline without LoCo comparison on this route. Ontime flights, friendly people in the planes and on the ground.Im impressed about their planning, the announced types of planes from booking early April in service.
No problem for me to fly AF again till know.
Comments and critics always welcome,