Sometimes it takes three


That’s the number of times D and I passed through border control at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in 24 hours.  I think that this could only happen in France.  Here’s how…

Air France currently operates only one flight daily from Paris to Toronto: flight AF356.  That flight usually leaves Paris around 2 pm CET and arrives in Toronto around 4 pm ET.  D and I have gotten so used to the routine of checking in, dropping off our luggage, and getting through border control/customs that we could probably do it with our eyes closed.

Delays when travelling are nothing new for us, especially when travelling to/from France.  Our most recent and memorable one had us waiting 4 hours for our luggage.  It doesn’t bother me and I try not to get worked up about it.  After all, what can I do?  Plus, pretty much anything can cause a delay: weather; late/missing passengers; technical issues/required repairs; striking mechanical workers.

Guess which one caused the rescheduling of Wednesday’s flight AF356.

After having arrived at the airport at 10:57 am, courtesy of an early train from Avignon, D and I had figured that Wednesday would be a very full day.  To pass the time, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Brasserie Flo located on the departure level of Terminal 2F.  (The confit de canard was really good!)  As we had already checked in online we only had to drop off our baggage at the appropriate time.  We quickly and easily passed through border control and with a stamp to our passports we headed to Gate 49.

Around 5 pm D and I learned that our flight, which had already been postponed from 2 pm to 6 pm, was rescheduled for Thursday morning.  We had to clear customs again — passport stamp #2 — before picking up our emergency travel kit and hotel and meal voucher.

On Thursday morning, after breakfast, we headed back to the airport where we got our new boarding passes and cleared customs again — passport stamp #3.  Our flight, the now renamed AF356A, was scheduled to leave Roissy about 30 minutes after the regularly scheduled Thursday flight.  You can imagine the confusion at the terminal as Thursday’s AF356 was scheduled to leave around 1:30 pm from gate 44 and AF356A was scheduled for gate 54.

It didn’t end there as Air France didn’t want us to leave just yet.  Once everyone had boarded the plane the charming voice of our captain advised us that, upon inspection of the plane, the mechanics noted that a brake had to be changed.  (Yes, the same striking mechanics needed to do work on our plane.)  The 747, which had arrived from Montreal that morning, needed a new brake.  Finally, after an hour-long delay our pilot advised us that we were ready to take off.

Air France operations at Charles de Gaulle air...

Image via Wikipedia

The rest of the trip passed without incident — yes, the new brake worked fine — but I admit that I had a moment on Wednesday where I was ready to succumb to wallow.  D quickly snapped me out of it but the majority of the passengers weren’t so lucky.  On Thursday, several passengers still hadn’t gotten past the event.

So I want to know: what are your coping techniques when your travel plans take a turn for the worse?

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Categories: sanity/insanity, travel

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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