Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Paris - Jan 7 - stuck at CDG

Early start to catch an 0915 plane to Paris, then on to Mulhouse, all on Air France. Ha! We had reckoned without Heathrow's queues (for take-off) and Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport's inter-terminal transfers. We make Terminal F (coming in) at the exact time the Mulhouse flight departs, and the transfer to Terminal B takes fully 35 minutes. There is quite a lot of activity at the transfer desks as passengers re-book missed connections - must happen a lot. It's the first airport I've seen with specialised busses, able to hold a whole planeload by the looks of them, with bodies able to be raised up to the airbridge level. Obviously a desperate measure to ferry round transfers, although the busses don't seem to be moving at all. But our inter-terminal shuttle has to crawl along behind baggage trolley tractors, wait for cross traffic, and dodge freight and airline food vehicles. Doesn't say much for the general level of organisation: mostly these streams are kept well segregated. Ho hum. We have a late afternoon flight to Mulhouse booked instead of the one we missed, and we re-schedule Monday's (coming) flights out of Stuugart, to allow a whole lot more time, and to allow a later flight to London. For we mustn't miss that Miami flight early Tuesday.... Two cafe-au-laits in quick succession restore the optimal blood/caffeine ratio. No wireless internet acccess in the terminal. Mais naturellement. But of course. CDG's stylised layout map, we notice, resembles a porcupine's outline. We think we now know why.

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