2 – Air France Domestic
For many years this domestic route has had ranked n1 of the trips done, despite it does not represent any interest on normal basis, a TR
of flieger67 stopping at MPL
and showing this wonderful little city, reminded me how important counts this place for me. Hence you are strongly advised to discover or read again the Markus Journey to Montpellier where he caught the essence of this student laid back town:
Trip Reports Premiere, The CR-K Alas CRJ1000 (by FLIEGER67 Mar 13 2011 in Trip Reports)
when booking this trip, it was utterly shocking how high AF
priced the segment, some €161 rtn a month and half prior the date (in France better forget about the o/w fare with the national flag carrier). It would have been easier to book the whole trip together but the price rocketed to nearly £400 or equivalent...argh
So keeping in mind that, i bought the uk-paris-uk trip, and then i realized that a Travel Discount Certificate offered by KLM last October being worth €50 could help reducing the bill. In a meantime yield management were hardly working as now the ticket would cost a mere €192 (€142 including the TDC)...that's was still a steal but no choice as no future intentions flying AF
Moreover the TDC can be redeem only in those related airlines Travel agency so for Edinburgh, it applies only for the Airport...
BTW, high speed train TGV fares were higher or not connecting correctly with the 10H15 CDG
the seating was set up to offer a half decent pitch. It was nice to be back on a PROPER plane.
They were not having any of it. I took my seat 16A and was joined by a guy who was about as excited as me with the change of aircraft
2.1 – to Montpellier
The journey started under an immaculate blue sky. Exceptionally Dad drove me to the platform, because it was Orly, a couple of hour earlier than the flight due to his other commitment to pick up his wife from the train station afterwards. there was no better day to fly as the weather forecast indicated sun all over France...
Last time when i was frequently travelling domestic, all MPL
flights departed from hall 1and2, and it was always nice to see Spanish or Portuguese metal close to our. Sadly time has changed and now checkin must be done at the Hall 4 next to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean flight desks. With one hour to go i proceed to the J/Elite line, empty, compared to the one on the left. The blond agent greeted me with a nice manner, before telling me that if there is a queue it was for a good reason. Surprised i replied her by asking if her counter was closed, and exactly confirmed the opposite to the only STE/STEP and J. I was probably not in accordance with her profile of the average frequent flyer, but this was no excuse to treat me like a dumb first time flyer Well, it would have been so nice to just ask if i was one of the member.
OLCI was done, but she yet had to print the BP
. After 5 mins i collected the travel doc and strolled around. Looking for a good seat with view on the apron and active landing runway 6, the panes type prevented from catching anything worthy. As my mum can not resist to macaroon, there was a choice of the little light green cart of Laduré, quiet busy, or next to it the Maison du Chocolat. The later turned out as a good option with an assortment of chocolate stuffed macaroons, i've sampled the raspberry one: absolutely terrific!
South Terminal with AF
Heathrow from West terminal? Good to know
Getting a wee gift
still not ready to replace the manned counters
For all of us who are nostalgic
Enjoying a refreshment €4,50 for a demi
At 15h10, it was time to set off towards the security checks, rather quiet, and there a lady agent in her late 30's was working with meticulousness as never seen previously, she was asking politely and kindly to every passenger the routine questions. Indeed, through all the experiences questions are not even sentenced as simply “Any liquid?...” but not for her. Certainly she had been recruited very recently, or probably a passion for her job, anyway she had a great attitude.
The departure lounge was bright and sunny, with an overpriced bar, Internet access computer desktop or One can enjoy Free wifi for 15 min here. It is also fitted with comfy brown armchair And finally a better view to the traffic.
ADP improvement: dep lounges equipped with Playstations, out of order of simply unplugged?
Boarding through a jetbridge was called on time, as usual for family with young kid, UM
, and travellers in need of assistance then by row starting from the rear of the aircraft. With seat 25A i was among the first. A positive point for a wider choice of newspapers. Something which always amazed me to see some travellers, grabbing and manage reading in 1h time on board, 2 to 3 newspapers, the complimentary airport magazine and having a nap... well as soon at it's free...
Air France AF7550
Paris Orly – Montpellier
Distance: 364 miles
Airbus A320 F-HBND
a standard smiley greeting welcomed us, while awaiting the line moving forward the plane, i pulled out my camera for a quick shoot. Fortunately the male F/A saw me and winked me, what did it mean? Then with a smile he asked if like the cabin, ah ok.
The fabric a darker blue colour of the Recaro seats look and feel very nice and clean, giving the whole plane a very modern feel.
When the seat was reached, the noisy reason appeared of the unavailability of the row 26, it was entirely dedicated to the UMs.
Also a couple has switched places before the boarding completed, so resulting to a compulsory move in the opposite direction to the front of the aircraft.
looks like Airbus fitted with the new seat
the seats were thinner no recline and a mini tablet
then time for spotting with few exotic-sounding airlines from the former French colonies (mostly in Africa)
Transavia B738 F-GZHE
behind the Brit Air Fokker, Royal Air Maroc waiting for ATC clearance
Tunisair 737-600 TS
Air Algerie B737-500 7T-VJJ
Aigle Azur A320 F-HBII
Wow, breaking off the North African routine Cubana IL96
cleaning was far to be perfect
Splendid livery Air Caraïbes A330
Active take off runway 8, a great choice for the left side
End of runway 2 and AF
the Seine river
Surrounded by la Marne River, the lovely city of Champigny
La defense, Eiffel and Montparnasse Tower
Seems empty and disused, a forthcoming Ryanair destination?
Complimentary newspaper and safety card
Happy mix, apparently provided on LH
The pilot switched off the seatbelt sign only when half of the cabin was fed, which i found extremely late. Of course it makes sense when turbulences are part of the trip but in these conditions. On a short flight like this it leads to long waiting time for the toilet.
The only event of this flight was flying through a cloud, with no visibility on the ground, it lasted 10 min, afterwards the unlimited visibility and the sun took over the sky.
Flying over a newly awarded Unesco World Heritage Site: Les Causses
the Zenith (yellow tent under wingtip), Decathlon and Ikea stores at Odysseum nearby A9
landing on time, runway 13L, best views on left seat when north wind
Welcome to Montpellier, Temperature 28°C local time 17h00
General view of the arrival hall
This represent the cross of the Languedoc (or Occitane)
If the check-in was a tiny black spot on the whole experience, i've found the new seat rather comfortable despite its thickness. The ludicrous width of the amrests must imply a perpetual elbow battle with the neighbour, but luckily today there was no need as the next seat empty.
2.2 – Sète: a town - island
As we received an invitation from some very old friends living near Beziers, 75 km away. We decided to split the journey and stopped - over at the city of Sète. The First french mediterranean fishing harbour is aslo called The Peculiar Island, and is hometown of the famous french singer Georges Brassens. As there is too much to show the pictures will focus exclusively on the Mount St clair dominating the town.
Heading to the Top at 175 m/ 574 ft
so called “le Vieux port” ....
EUKOR is the biggest overhere
Commarit, here “the Marrakech”, cruises 4x weekly to Tanger – Morocco
This channel is commonly used for water tournaments
the Pond of Thau, famous for the Bouzigues Oysters
La pétanque, a national sport
Rather quiet the best Beaches are on this side
a tiny part of land
Distance to London: 940 km
Distance to Brussels: 910 km
2.3 – Leaving Montpellier with AF
has definetely lost its sparkle nowadays is not what it used to be. And probably everyone here would like to relive past glories dating back when Air Littoral was based here offering a transnational network, AOM/Air Liberte were fiercely competing with AF
for the benefit of the passenger, and when the flight to London was operated by the venerable carrier flag of the Queen, British Airways. I feel sorrow to realize that now passengers are merely suggested a narrow choice of operator reduced to AF
in domestic, Low-cost (and Iberia) to Europe and the North african airlines such as Air Algerie, Air Arabia and Air Méditerranée.
The last born here BmiBaby, opening middle of juin a new direct link to Manchester, follows the trends which categorizes MPL
as low cost destination.
2010 saw 1,1800,000 pax here while during the greatest years it has reached 1.75 millions passengers.
I woke up about 5:15 am or so for this early flight i was schedule to take, i woke up slightly earlier than usual because my mum was dropping me off at the airport then heading to work. We arrived at the Airport just before 6:00am. At this time, the terminal was already surprisingly busy and far beyond than the majority of the passengers were at the AF
The J line was fast, until the lady decided to call all Lyon remaining passengers, which has considerably slowed down the process.
The lady was explained why there was 2 tickets for a such short trip to EDI
but finally understood the high level of importance of check-in the luggage all the way up to Scotland. While processing the OLCI, no seat changes could be done, that was annoying, but 7F
was perfectly fine on the first leg.
OLCI ticket, with no seats choice
awaiting for the first sunlight
towards departure gates and arrival hall
Clearly a monopoly on the morning flights
Post security, it's divided into 2 quarter departures lounge, gathering each of the dusty useless Duty free shop. One side has got the nice view the sun and the bar, the other none of this, obviously CDG
departs from than one.
At 6H45, a PA on the departure lounge acquainted all passengers to CDG
of a computer failure, postponing the boarding for 30 min. A quick calculation showed that it would allow only 15min between cdg 2F and 2E before the beginning of boarding and 30 min before the last call. tight
Air France AF7550
Paris Orly – Montpellier
Distance: 381 miles
At 7H15 then we all herded inside A318, after selecting a newspapers, picking a refreshing towels and standardly being greeted.
The cockpit announced a further 10 min delay, related to the similar issue at CDG
, the main concern was i the connecting is tight will the luggage follow as it is 2 seperate ticket. I've got a travel insurance with my credit card but it only works to or from UK...so had to wait and see
The cabin was fitted with the old traditional blue fabric AF
, seat with recline were wider and amrest provided with an ashtray, the tablet was twice bigger than the previous flight.
The cabin crew ladies wore a bright sky blue uniform, rather attractive but seemingly older than the dark blue. Or the summer version?
With no other choice than waiting, 2 birds were spotted here
A321 F-WTAX unknown, his last routing was eventually AUH
Unfortunately no reg, is it for maintenance or storage?
The local headlines
90% of the takes off are done from Runway 31R, today no exception with only 40 min delay, i regretted the right side (without choice though), but not for long. Seat belt sign has been switched off after the crew served food, is it to help theme during their duties?
Airport overview and the town of Carnon
Seaside resorts: Port Camargue, Le Grau du Roi, and la Grande Motte
Nimes Garon Airport
Breakfast served, a second pastry has been generously offered
A cabin full, showing the old cabin seat
touchdown occurred at 9h00, hoping to be out by 9H15
supremacy: same tail on probably the same type
Europairpost B737 F-GZTC
landing, while EZ
It's hard to remember where the aircraft docked up, for sure not at a T2F jetbridge and everybody rushed to get out from here. Unfortunately a bus was engine on and doors opened... it has ruined the main benefit of seating in the front area, and aslo the smallest chance to catch the connecting flight.
The positive side of being bussed to the arrival: hello KQ
Luggage area at 2F
Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki