The legendary Charles de Gaulle

After I’d booked my ticket on air France for my trip to Amsterdam and Barcelona people warned me a about switching flights at Paris Charles de Gaulle, notorious for its complicated Connections and missed flights.

When I flew to Amsterdam two weeks back I was wondering what the fuss was all about – i got off the plane, ground staff told me where I should go, there were no lines at either security or passport control and I had reached my onward boarding gate well in time and with zero hassles.

On my return journey today though, things weren’t so smooth. To cut any suspense I made the flight – I’m writing this sitting inside the plane. But it wasa rather complicated journey that got me here.

The earlier flight landed at nine and they made announcements for passengers connecting on 10am flights so I assumed I was very well in time for my 1040 flight. And with that in mind I didn’t particularly hurry up, though I didn’t particularly delay things also. And then I realized things weren’t going to be as comfortable as I thought.

The passport control was extra long – the longest I’ve seen in a European airport (total of four data points). Took at least 20 minutes. Past that I thought I’ll find my gate – but then I dead end where I was told I had to take a bus to go from the L wing of terminal 2E to the M wing of the same terminal! The bus ran once every ten minutes or so.

Anyway I got my bus rather quickly but it was full – almost over packed! It got me to my terminal in about ten minutes which weren’t particularly pleasant! I was there by around 9:45.

After a quick visit to the restroom and some breakfast (the food on the morning flight was hardly sufficient so I grabbed a croissant and hot chocolate at the airport) I got to my gate only to see boarding was already almost complete!!

I guess I was among the last passengers to board! The good thing though is that the flight is largely empty (the only other time I’ve seen an international flight so empty was a dragon air from Hong Kong to Bangalore in 2010) and the seat next to me is empty!

I hope to have a peaceful flight (have got Neal Stephenson’s the baroque cycle for entertainment) and I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon!!

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