Here’s the report of my Journey from Lille (France) to Austin, TX on the 28th of june.
I hope you enjoy.
Lille being just 50 minutes far from Paris CDG railway station by TGV high speed train, Air France , and other airlines codeshare with the French SNCF railway company, which means you get your boarding passes for your onward journeys from CDG.
“Flt” 1- AF 7208
Lille Europe (Railway Station) – CDG (Railway station)
I arrived early at the station and proceeded to the check in desk. The lady booked me on an earlier train which made me arrive 20 minutes earlier at CDG.
It was 2-deck TGV which was nice as I was on the upper deck. I slept most of the ride.
Flt 2 – AF36
I arrived at CDG2E and proceeded to the Business Class counter to leave my bags. The agnt in Lille told me that I was allowed to go to the C counter even though I was travelling Y. Anyways, the check in agent told me it wasn’t the case, but he nevertheless checked my luggage in through Austin.
I was really glad to find out that my flight would leave from gate E69 because it meant I woul board via the new S3 satellite , also called La gallerie Parisienne , which had been inaugurated 2 days earlier.
Before that, I had to go through Passport control and the line was huge. There was only one desk open for EU travellers, and I think 2/3 for other citizens.
I made it at 9h45 and headed to the new metro station where I would take a small train to E69.
The ride is very short. I guess 45 seconds. I arrived at the boarding lounge and there was no queue at the security. It was however very thorough.
I then took the stairs and arrived in the lounge.
It was not finished at all. Actually, only 2/3 gates were operating. I took some pictures, made my last phonecall for a while to my lover, and then proceeded to gate E69, where there was not much queuing as well.
I was greeted at the door by three very classy FA, as they were all on the plane. They directed me to my seat 36L, second row after door 3R. I sat for a few moments, and a FA came and asked me in English if I didn’t mind to be reseated on the left side.I do look like an American but I am French and people mistake all the time. No problem I said. Apparently many people hab been separated and the crew was trying to reseat everybody. It took quite a while to complete boarding and doors were closed at around 11am, and we pushed back soon after.
I realised that we used one of the gates fitted to accommodate the A380 so I took a picture.
Safety demo was shown with FA pointing out the exits. I like the bored face they make when doing so.
We waited a bit and took off facing west on the northern runway.
We got the amenity kits (eyeshades, ear plugs, refreshing towel and headsets) as well as the menus.
The Aperitif was served : Drinks plus pretzel which were pretty good, followed, one hour into the flight by the meal service.
(Leaving French Coast)
Everything was good except Camembert which I hate. I guess they want to make their meal look like a French one.
The plane was full so I wasnot able to move around the cabin whenever I wanted, and I took the opportunity to do so when my seat mates got up.
I had a nice chat with a FA who asked me what I was going to do in Houston. I replied, I was going to do an internship at the University of Texas, in Austin.
Went back to my seat, as my seatmates looked like they were waiting for me. I sat, tried to watch a film but the selection was really great, and I found the 777 to be so noisy that I had difficulty hearing. So I read, slept, worked a little bit.
I then went to the rear galley as I was getting really hungry and I hate some sandwiches and some Haagen dazs ice creams, which were pretty good.
FAs were now starting to prepare the cold meal prior to arrival. It was good but not very plentiful. Oh well… I had eaten so many sandwiches that I didn’t mind to much!
We then started our descent to IAH but suddently, the plane started to bank right and I realized we had been put on a holding pattern. The captain came on the PA and said that due to a violen thunderstorm in IAH, we had to wait.
He also explained that we would have to divert to MSY or SAT if nothing changed within the next 30 minutes. Things changed and after 20 minutes we began our approach to IAH. It was quite bumpy, as the captain had warned, but however nothing to worry about, as he also told us.
We eventually landed in Houston, and docked at terminal E. I said goodbye to the nice FAs, and rushed to the passport control. There was a long queue again and I found out that one of my classmates was also on the plan. I said to my self, thank god we were not neighbours on the plane. It would have been so boring.
While queuing, another flight arrived, it was a BA flight from LGW ( a report about that flight the same day has been made: BA Club FCO -- IAH (by Davescj Jun 30 2007 in Trip Reports)
I queued with my classmate who was affrait about our connection to Austin, I just wanted to tell her , “and so what? We just can take the next flight”. I am not anxious when travelling, and I dislike people being anxious with me.
Our bags were here when we arrived at the carousel. We had been waiting 45 minutes at the immigration.
We went to the Continental transfer desk, and turned out that out that our flight had still not left, and boarding was not yet commenced.
We went to gate C1, and waited for boarding.
Flt 3 - CO341
The flight was supposed to leave at 435p but it was delayed again by 45 minutes.
We boarded the old 737-500.
I must say it’s always weird to transfer from a widebody to a narrowbody. FAs seemed quite friendly. However they were not as classy as the previous AF ones. What I noticed is that everything was more casual. For instance, the overhead bin above me would not lock, so almost everybody (I’m exaggerating) tried to lock it, and was joking with the FAs. About that , it was decided to empty the bin and leave it open for the rest of the flight.
We pushed back and waited for a while before take off. By now, I was pretty tired, so tried to sleep. No service, as the flight was very short (30 minutes), and bumpy too. We arrived in Austin at 6pm.
Went to the carousel to find out that our bags had not made it from IAH to Austin.
The agent told us we would be delivered the same evening, which was not made. They wer delivered the day after at 8pm. I wrote a letter to complain, don’t know if anything will happen…
Overall, the flight on AF was great, except maybe for the IFE.
The flight on Continental was just too short to judge. It was just weird for me to see that the FAs didn’t move from their jump seat during the entire flight.
Any comment will be welcome. Look for the return trip: AUS-ATL on DL (MD88) and ATL-CDG on AF (744).
Thanks for reading!