Monday, December 9, 2013

Thursday, Dec 5 departure

I was exhausted last night and since I had already packed, I was able to sleep from 9-4 this morning. 

At 4.55 Assumi and Alessio were waiting for me by the door and carried down both bags, each which weighed in at exactly 23 k. The travel scale I carry really reduces last minute stress. 

Taxi fare was 28€. They used to charge extra for each bag they need to load but this morning I saw 5€ surcharge. I believe it's 23€ normally. 

Checkin at the new airport was a breeze. Boarding passes print at the automated terminals and one can now pay with credit card for an extra bag, at the baggage check.  In the previous terminal, I had to check-in, leave the line with both bags, stand in line at the cashier, and then cut to the front of the first line to leave the bags. 

Today,  just to be sure,  I weighed the bags at an empty check station. I always want to avoid a public unpacking while in line. 

The flight left on-time at 7.15

Today was the earliest transfer I've ever experienced at CDG. The tram from CityJet, an Irish run airlines, dropped us outside terminal 2G about 9.35. 

We went through French passport control.  I followed the signs to E2 Terminal. It was a short walk, and there, three attendants held signs for various Terminals. Checking the board I saw  the flight for Air France, departing on time from M28. 

8 of us waited in the M line for just over 5 minutes. A short ride and we were dropped at another entrance. Through the glass partition of the corridor I could see we were parallel to the security checkpoint. Avoiding a second security check saved a good 20 minutes of transfer time. The old circuitous route made us go from the tarmac, into the general airport, back through security and onto the boarding gate. This new airport configuration is really time saving for all passengers. 

After a quick left turn, we were inside of a big bright glass enclosed shopping mall. The shops gave an illusion of being wall-less. There were a generous number of comfortable padded chairs dispersed throughout. This new terminal is similar to the one Rome. 

With a quick stop at a dispenser I bought  a desperately needed large sized Evian. Cost 2.5€. I always make sure I gave plenty of loose change for use in CDG. I'm sorry I had no time to more look around more closely. The board was blinking 'embarquement'. It was 10.00. 

I love Air France. The economy section has generous leg room and the attendants are thoughtful. However, with the sagging economy, I earn only a percentage of frequent flyer miles, rather than full miles, when purchasing an economy ticket. It's impossible to reach Silver level now. 15 trips in one year! Who could survive the jetlag? 

In past years, I enjoyed early boarding privileges, with Silver level. But with Ivory level, it's not so bad. Air France has adopted a Southwest Airlines approach to boarding in LAX. In Paris, with so many passengers transferring, most of us arrive racing from other terminals or gates and are just grateful to be standing in any boarding line. 

The flight looked almost empty in the back section today. Mid-flight, I saw at least 10 people sleeping across three seats. 

Air France always has an interesting collection of foreign films, with English  subtitles. In the return flight, I watched these, with Haagen Dazs ice cream! The flight attendant brought them through the cabin, twice.  

It always feels strange. I left Firenze on Thursday morning at 7am and I have arrived in Los Angeles at 2 pm, on Thursday. The hours of travel have been reduced to just 6 hours. 

Tom Bradley Terminal is undergoing a major renovation. Passport control is twice the size it used to be. It doesn't appear they have twice the number of agents yet. 

I'm always asked if I've been visiting family! I know if I answer yes, that will send me through the comprehensive agriculture control line. I respond that have been to language school, which is also true. 


I brought back enough books and audio books to keep me occupied for a few months. 

Sent from my iPhone

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