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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Air France, Charles DeGaulle Airport and Rude Parisians

Our connection in Paris the other day en route from Miami to Chennai and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I typically fly BA or Lufthansa to India so this was a new experience for me, especially considering we flew on Air France from Miami to Paris and were catching a Delta flight from Paris to India. My mother booked the flight and she has a strong objection to ever connecting in Atlanta, so we took this routing, changing airlines in the middle.

My horrible flight from Miami on Air France arrived (A flight highlighted by rude French flight attendents, and a disorganized boarding at Miami, unlike all of my previoys flights on European carriers) and we were escorted by bus to a main area, where nobody gave us any info but Beth noticed that Delta was in terminal 2E so we finally found a bus goiung there. That bus seemed to circle the airport forever until we finally got to what we assumed was our terminal (2E). With a small connecting window since our flight from MIA was late I was really worried about missing the connection on Delta. Then after going through security where a rude French woman was trrying to harrass us and claim she did not speak English, we were put on another bus that seemed to go to the extreme end of the airport where four Delta planes were sitting far away from any other aircraft. One of these planes was our flight and we barely made the last call for the flight. Even once we tried to get on the plane the rude Parisian person at the "gate" (or in front of plane since for some reason Paris lacks jetways) was trying to tell us we had given the wrong boarding passes until we finally forced the issue. The Delta flight was great (unlike AF), which was especially surprising considering how bad Delta's domestic sevrice has been the last few times I've flown them. But I think they obviously take more pride in their flight to India (which I've been told are the biggest money makers, or maybe realistically the flights that lose the least money for the bankrupt carrier). DL was actually better than BA or LH service which was shocking.

The whole experience was like a bad movie- slap stick humor with no real point. Anyway, after this experience I know why people both in Europe and in America hate the French so much.

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.