Bordeaux-Paris in Economy on Air France : messy

Unfortunately, it is time to go back to Paris and as for the outbound flight, the trip will be on Air France in Economy. If the outbound flight was not exceptional, the return will not leave an imperishable memory either.

As a reminder: the articles related to this trip :

TypePost
#1FlightParis-Bordeaux, Air France, Economy
#2HotelRenaissance Bordeaux – Gallery Room
#3RestaurantLe Pressoir d’Argent. – Gordon Ramsay
#4FlightBordeaux-Paris, Air France, Economy

Ground experience and boarding

We arrive by Uber from our hotel with a rather large advance. Olivier’s flight to London and my flight to Paris leave at about the same time, which is convenient. We leave each other at the entrance of the terminal since my flight leaves from Hall B and his from Hall A.

It’s crowded at check-in but I only have carry-on luggage and the Sky Priority lane is there waiting for me.

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Except that …

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The terminal is indeed closed because of works and so I go to meet Olivier in hall A.

The queue is important as it is from there that all the flights leave this day (except EasyJet and RyanAir) but as it is mainly a leisure clientele the priority lane is completely empty.

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I pass the security checks very quickly and when I turn around I tell myself that not everyone can say the same. It’s really busy.

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There are few clearances which creates a high density of population at the exit of the controls, especially since there is a store barely 2 meters in front.

No Air France lounge as it is in Hall B but there is a lounge in Hall A which accepts elite passengers from airlines using this hall. Olivier is waiting for me (he travels on British Airways) but I don’t know if a deal has been made with Air France for this temporary situation. Anyway the show accepts Priority Pass members so no worries for me ( today I don’t see it mentioned on the priority pass application anymore). In the end I learnt that it accepts Air France passengers.

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The Hall A lounge in Bordeaux Merignac

Without being especially pretty, we will say that it is“clean” and airy

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That said, it’s a bit like a waiting room, it lacks variety in the configuration of the spaces even if there are some tables.

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The offer of beverages includes the basics, without more, no alcohol to my memory.

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As for the catering offer, it is very minimalist.

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Positive point it has a view on the tarmac through large bay windows, which also makes it very bright.
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But what a pity that its mini terrace is not accessible.

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Our flight is still announced on time but flight radar does not agree as the incoming flight is still in the air and well behind.

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I don’t really see how we can leave at 2:35.

The plane finally arrives at 2:15 pm and no delay is announced. I end up going to the departures lounge at 2:20 pm.

Boarding

The gate is crowded: the place is obviously not made to contain a whole A320.

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At 2:25 families are called for a pre-boarding while the disembarking is not yet finished. It will end at 2:32 pm. We are informed of a departure between 2:50 and 3:00. I have doubts.

The families called for the pre-boarding proceed down the aisle to the aircraft and a few minutes later the Skypriority passengers are called.

Stairs…how convenient for people with carry-on luggage!

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Last turn before the door of the aircraft and there, what a surprise, it is a jam! Predictable given the end time of disembarkation, the boarding was launched while the cabin was not ready!

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For sure we will not leave at 3 pm. I would like someone to explain to me one day why delays are not announced earlier when it is known that the aircraft will only arrive on the platform with a large delay and why such fanciful departure times are announced when anyone can guess that it is impossible to make a full A320 leave 20 minutes after the last passenger has disembarked. And it’s not the first time this has happened, not only on Air France but I often noticed that with them;

We finally enter the cabin in the greatest confusion. The families not having been able to board in advance, that clogs up cheerfully in the alley… neither done nor to be done.

Eventually, I made my way to my seat.

The cabin of the Air France A320

There too we find a known product but as much as I like the cabin that I had at the outset as much this model pleases me much less.

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The legroom is correct.

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The tablet is so smallthat it barely fits an iPad…

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The seat is really not wide and my neighbor, rather corpulent, overflows the armrest.

Good thing there’s wifi and USB ports.

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As for the fabric of the seat, I won’t surprise you by telling you that it is infinitely less comfortable than the one on the outward journey and that the seat itself is a bit of a “bummer”.

16h17 it is time to leave with 40 minutes of delay on the theoretical schedule.

The flight and the service

We are about to push back but an EasyJet overtakes us.

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Well, Olivier’s British Airways is pushing back at the same time. I’m not the only one who was delayed.

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Finally we will pass him and we line up on the runway to take off.

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While we take off, the flight of Olivier still did not move and seems even oriented in the wrong direction.

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Take off to the south and loop back to the north, the opportunity to admire the estuary of the Gironde.

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The service begins… cake and glass of still water for lack of sparkling water.

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Fortunately that the flight is short because we are really packed…

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Fortunately after half an hour the purser announces the near end of our torment: we begin our descent.

Landing and arrival at Roissy

Considering the speed of the descent I say to myself that we will have the right to a loop to land facing west. Impression confirmed when I see at which altitude we are when we fly over Le Bourget.

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We were told that we would land at 4:13 pm and arrive at the gate at 4:20 pm. We will have thus recovered 10 minutes on our delay, not more.

We fly over Roissy…

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And as planned we continue towards the east before making a loop to return to the airport.

Uneventful landing and a taxi that gives the opportunity to say hello to the Concorde.

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We finally arrive at 2F and we park next to a little brother …

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End of the story? Well, no. Nobody is there to handle the jetway…we will thus wait 10 minutes more before being able to disembark.

We finally disembark and with the turning of a corridor I see the former Air France lounge preparing for its future use.

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It’ s over and I’m happy this flight is finished.

The staff

On the ground: not very communicative, not really organized and communicating rather unrealistic departure times…after having taken ages to announce that we would be late.

In flight: a quick appearance and then disappeared. Barely a smile.

Conclusion

A rather chaotic flight. Not because of the delay: it happens and the staff at the airport suffers it as much as the passengers. But a real problem of communication and accuracy in communication.

Cabin at the limit of comfort, minimalist service on board. Fortunately, the flight was only an hour long.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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