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Holiday to America !!! Part One !

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  • Holiday to America !!! Part One !

    So here is a bit about our trip.
    This trip was from the start going to be chaotic, we were all flying on nearly different flights, which was better for me, no annoying parents or brother but i had to put up with my sisters. My parents told me to look for flights to somewhere sunny, my sisters told me to look to New York.
    So i found flights to Hawaii with a 3 day stop in New York for a relatively cheap price. The problem was, only 3 seats were left, and i had to have an Army Cadet Parade on the day after we departed, which i could not miss.
    So after a LOONG discussion and talk with my parents and my friends parents, it was agreed, that it was cheaper, and easier for me and my sisters to stay behind and fly 3 days after my parents and brother.
    Then to get to Hawaii i told my parents that i wanted to fly alone.
    So i found myself a flight, and my parents INSISTED on Unaccompanied Minor service, im 15 FFS !, anyway i eventually talked them out of it.
    After calling various airline, a traveller age 15 was able to fly alone without assistance.

    So on the Monday my parents flew out on Delta to New York, and me and my 2 sisters all went over to my friends house.

    On Thursday, my friends Dad drove us to Terminal 4, and asked if we wanted him to come with us to check-in or drop us off.
    We didnt mind, so he dropped us off and went.

    Airline - Air France
    Route - London Heathrow to Paris CDG
    Scheduled Departure - 16:00
    Actual Departure - 16:35
    Scheduled Arrival - 18:10
    Actual Arrival - 18:15
    Aircraft - Airbus A321
    Seat - 28A
    Class - Voyageur

    So we headed over to check-in and found the desk, and queued up.
    I checked out printed itinerary and we had the tightest of connections in Paris, ONE HOUR !
    When we got to the front of the desk, the check-in agent gave us the weirdest of looks, who wouldent, here we are 3 15 years old, wanting to travel over to the States without an Adult. She eventually checked us in and wished us a good flight. Then we headed up through security and into the departure lounge. In the departure lounge i followed my sisters around the various shops, and eventually got bored at looking at the same crap but in different shops, so i went and sat down with ALL of our stuff.
    About an hour later my sisters came and they had about 10000000000000000000000000000000000 bags of crap each with them.
    They had blown half of they're money HERE.
    At 15:15 we headed to our gate, and there was the plane already there.
    The new Air France is cool and i like it, and this plane was especially clean, had a PERFECT white patch around the logo, but the rest of the plane needed a GOOD wash
    Boarding was called at 15:45 and was quite quick, only about 55 people on board today.
    Normal checks and then i was walking through the door.
    Greeted by the HOTTEST flight attendant ive ever seen, who directed each passenger towards the seat.
    "Down Zat Vey and To Zee Vright"
    I walked back and saw 2 more flight attendants, one helping passengers put bags in overhead lockers, the other just standing and greeting passengers further back. I walked past them both, and a fourth flight attendant stood in the rear galley facing the front, greeting passengers some more as they walked further back. I took the window seat of row 28 and sisters sat in the 2 next to me.
    One of my sisters started to panic about our connection, and that if we missed it we would be stranded in Paris.
    We had a safety demo, then pushback, and then a 15 minute taxi/wait until we were on the runway. A good take-off and we rocketed into the clouds.
    Just as my sister had freaked out, a flight attendant approached us and asked if we had a connection.
    We told her the flight number (AF and destination and everything else, and she said that we should wait until everybody had disembarked when we've landed, so that they can organize some transport to the other gate.
    Is that good or what ?
    So problems solved.
    For our "Lunch" we were served a Croissant, just on its own, and a drink.
    Wasnt the tastiest or the biggest of meals.
    I got a coke with it.
    The crew made it not even nearly to the back before i could see land.
    A then hurried inflight service, and just as i saw them reach the rear galley, we bumped downwards, we had already started descent.
    A quick descent and a smooth touchdown onto the runway, then followed by a 10 minute taxi, and we parked up at the gate.
    We waited until everyone had left, and then the flight attendant took us to door, where we were told to follow this man,Who then took us down some steps, off of the jetway and into a little minibus.
    he said this as we got in "your not meant to get this, but as your 15 we are providing this to you. Are you flying to New York?"
    So they were treating us like Unaccompanied Minors ?
    Oh well at least we got there.
    We were driven to the gate, and took up some steps into a jetbridge.
    After a quick discussion in french between the man who drove us and the Pursur of AF 8 , we were welcomed on-board.
    We boarded through door 2L.
    The flight attendant told us that Premiere and Affaires had just boarded, and we were the first Voyageur/Premium Voyageur passengers on-board.
    I took my seat, which had limited legroom because of an Equipment box.
    On my seat was an amenity kit. Ear Plugs, ear-bud earphones and eye mask.
    Then we saw the rush of Voyageur Passengers racing to their seats.
    My PTV had just a blue screen with Air France and its logo in the bottom right corner of the screen.

    Airline - Air France
    Route - Paris CDG to New York JFK
    Scheduled Departure - 19:10
    Actual Departure - 19:30
    Scheduled Arrival - 21:10
    Actual Arrival - 21:45
    Aircraft - Boeing 777-300
    Seat - 28A
    Class - Voyageur

    When the rush finally finished, the crew prepared to go.
    After the safety demo we taxied for about 15 minutes before we got to the runway.
    After holding for a further 5 mins, we taxied onto the runway and did the quietest and most comfortable take-off ive ever had.
    My seat was VERY comfortable, but for some reason i had a kind of stick, sticking out from inbetween my armrest and seat, which was poking me. Very Annoying to say the least.
    The seat size was shocking, i mean me and my sisters are 15, and we are fine to get into the seats, but other passengers seemed VERY uncomfortable, and one passenger even complained that the seat was uncomfortable. The Flight Attendant moved him.
    When the seat belt sign went off, my ptv changed from the Air France logo, to the main screen.
    I decided not to use the AF AVOD, as it is pretty bad, so instead i watched Jarhead on my iPod.
    Jarhead finished in perfect time for the first snack service.
    No hot drinks were available.
    A small packet of pretzels or crackers and a coke.
    It got darker and darker outside.
    2 hours later, the meal service. No special meals to be served so immediately we were given Spaghetti Bolognese or Honey Chicken.
    The Chicken quickly ran out, so i ended up having the Spaghetti which was perfect.
    The spaghetti portion was bigger than the chicken portion.
    It came with a piece of Garlic Bread, a small box of sliced fruit and a piece of chocolate cake.
    About 2 hours later the crew handed out mini boxes of peppermints.
    The main meal was very tasty.
    I watched a few more movies and relaxed and slept to kill time before we started our descent.
    About and hour and a half before landing, we hit some HEAVY turbulence.
    The seat belt signs were turned back on and the crew disappeared.
    I heard a strange rattling and vibrating noise when we were in the turbulence.
    The turbulence stopped, the noise stopped, the crew re-appeared, the seat-belt sign stayed on and we started our descent. The turbulence lasted around 25 minutes. It was rather scary, especially (as bad as it sounds) after the AF crash in the atlantic not long ago.
    The crew made some announcements in French and English, told us about customs in JFK and about visas.
    The crew were very helpful, and were very efficient in what they did.
    The only point where i didnt see any of them was during the turbulence, the rest of the flight, there was always one of them to be seen.
    Descent was smooth, and we made a few left turns before we put the gear down and made a smooth landing into JFK.
    JFK was in complete darkness when we landed, which was kinda unusual for half 9 at night.
    The crew told everybody to stay seated, and they did a VERY organized disembarkation system.
    Premiere & Affaires.
    Passengers with Connections
    Premium Voyageur
    Rows 23-31
    Rows 35-43
    Rows 44 - and the rest

    I was part of the first group, 23-31. We said goodbye to the flight attendant at the door and then headed to customs. Then through to collect our bags.
    The bags had beaten us to the baggage reclaim, and after worrying if our bags were connected safely in CDG, our bags were first out.
    Then we walked into the arrivals hall to see my Dad waiting to pick us up.

    Air France's rating.

    European :
    Aircraft - 10/10
    Service - 7/10
    Punctuality - 9/10
    Comfort - 10/10
    Entertainment - N/A

    Overall - 8/10

    International :
    Aircraft - 10/10
    Service - 10/10
    Punctuality - 9/10
    Comfort - 6/10
    Entertainment - 5/10

    Overall - 7.5/10

    I would fly Air France again, and the prices are very low. I would recommend Air France if you want a good service,good crew,good price and good on-time record. But not if your looking for in-flight entertainment and a comfortable seat. The A321 Seats were comfortable but the Long haul seats had limited legroom due to equipment box and were very uncomfortable.

    Hope you enjoyed
    Part two will be up later