I got to Charles de Gaulle’s shuttle center in terminal three at about 6:20AM, just over an hour before my flight. Charles de Gaulle is hands down my least favorite airport in the world, so I guess I shouldn’t have let my cheap side get the best of me by taking the first hotel shuttle instead of booking an earlier cab.
I literally sprinted to check-in in terminal 2A, which is probably about a ten-minute sprint. While the terminal as a whole was eerily calm, British Airways check-in was an absolute zoo.
British Airways check-in
I tried to use one of the kiosks to check-in, though after entering all of my information it told me I needed to see a representative. There was an agent assisting with the kiosks, and when she saw me walk away she asked if everything was alright. I explained the kiosk wasn’t working for my ticket, at which point she went to a kiosk with me and did the same exact thing again, and not surprisingly it didn’t work either.
I then got in the business class check-in line, where there was about a ten minute wait. With just a couple of minutes to spare before the check-in cutoff, I had my boarding pass in hand and proceeded through passport control and security. Fortunately, much like the rest of the terminal, passport control and security were empty, so I was through in a matter of minutes.
I even had enough time to briefly check out the lounge that British Airways uses in Paris, which is the American Admirals Club. The Admirals Club is located all the way at the end of the terminal in the retro/futuristic building… I can’t decide which.
Walkway to Admirals Club
Futuristic or retro?
At the Admirals Club was an American agent (both in terms of the airline she worked for and her nationality) who told me I’d have to head to the gate soon. It was nice to get a bit of Texas in my morning right in the middle of Charles de Gaulle.
Admirals Club entrance
I just dropped in to snap a few pictures. The snack selection was fairly basic, consisting mostly of croissants, pretzels, etc.
Admirals Club snack selection
After a few minutes there I headed to my departure gate, which was A45, about a five minute walk.
By the time I got there boarding was well underway with no priority boarding lane in sight, so I got in the queue.
Queue for boarding
British Airways 303
Paris (CDG) – London (LHR)
Sunday, June 5
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Seat: 2F (Club Europe)
Once aboard I settled into 2F. A French gentleman was already seated in 2D, so this was the first intra-Europe flight I had in a while where I actually had a seat opponent (though the middle seat is blocked, so it doesn’t really matter).
View from 2F
Boarding finished up within about 20 minutes, at which point the captain got on the PA, welcoming us aboard on behalf of him and his “senior first officer.” Help me out here, but if the first officer is so damn senior, why is he flying the right seat of the smallest mainline jet British Airways operates? The funny thing is I heard the same announcement on the outbound as well. I’m guessing it’s just the captain trying to be nice, though it doesn’t make any sense to me.
The captain also announced the flight time as being 45 minutes.
After a fairly quick taxi to the runway (long by any other airport’s standards, short my Charles de Gaulle standards) we were airborne.
View after takeoff
About five minutes into the flight the flight attendants sprung into action to serve a hot breakfast.
On one hand it’s impressive that British Airways serves a hot breakfast on a 45 minute flight, though unfortunately it was the dreaded mystery egg and sausage dish, the same one I had a couple of weeks earlier from London to Vienna. At least the croissant tasted good and it was served with a smoothie.
We started our descent only minutes after leveling off, as the 18 year old girl from Dallas seated immediately in front of me started talking to the flight attendants in the jumpseats right across from her. She explained how her mom was one of American’s most important frequent flyers, and her mom had booked her to fly from Paris to Rome via London, “because no airlines fly that route nonstop.” Maybe not with your mom’s AAdvantage miles…
As we began our final descent we picked up a bit of chop thanks to the cloudy skies over London, though arrived at our gate at terminal five about 10 minutes early.
After deplaning I headed to the transfer center and boarded the bus bound for terminal three, where my connection to Miami would be departing from.