Flying France

I’m in France! How crazy is that?

I took a plane from SFO to CDG on July 5th with United Air. I’ve never flown with United Air before, but if you read my blog post from last year about my trip to Korea, you might remember that I love flying on planes. It gives me that happy feeling of going on vacation. I love flying with Asiana Airlines so let’s see if United Air matches up! Before that though, here are some pictures from the San Francisco Airport.

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I had a lot of time before boarding the plane so I walked around the terminal.

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Browsing through shops is always fun, especially when it’s duty free shopping!

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Funny story: My dad bought me pastries from Paris Baguette, but I accidentally left them in front of security check. Clearly, my trip was off to a great start. On the United Air website, the only meal listed for my ten hour trip was lunch so I stood in a line to buy food at this Italian cafe. Turns out United Air gave us two meals (more on that down below)!

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Okay, let’s get in the plane!

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On each seat were a pillow and a blanket already placed for each flyer.

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After we were in the air, the flight attendants handed out napkins, water bottles, and little snack packets with pretzels, nuts, the works. Pretty good!

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They also offered an additional beverage of choice. Usually I’m not a coffee drinker, but I asked for some coffee anyways. The flight attendant asked if I wanted black coffee, to which I responded “with cream please.” Instead of cream, she added milk. I think they didn’t have cream, but that was alright with me. She also handed me two packets of sugar. I added both packets, but the coffee was still very bitter. Sadly, it was too bitter for me so I couldn’t finish it.

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Then came lunch, which consisted of teriyaki chicken and rice, a salad, bread and butter, gelato, and another drink of choice. The chicken and rice was good, the spinach and beans salad was bitter and not really pleasing to my tastebuds, but I needed to take in some veggies so I ate it anyways, and the bread I didn’t eat. The flight attendants accidentally gave me two gelato tubs, but I only ended up eating one. My drink of choice: orange juice. I wouldn’t say the food preparation was visually appealing, but it was edible. Again, the chicken was pretty good!

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However, one thing I would have liked to see United Air utilize that Asiana Airlines does is a printed menu. The captain would say through the intercom that food is going to be served and would list the two options, but it was hard to hear. Many people kept asking the flight attendants what the options were again. The announcement only listed the main course, but not the sides so I didn’t really know what I was getting for sides. There wasn’t a lot of side variety either. Also, I felt that United Air was not prepared in terms of food service because at each meal, the flight attendants kept saying that they ran out of a particular food. It’s understandable when things go unplanned, but it was a bit astonishing to see it happen at every meal. Seemed a bit chaotic.

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The picture above shows what United Air served for breakfast. Again, the captain listed the main course of the two options: omelette or pancakes. As mentioned above, the flight attendants ran out of pancakes while serving.

If I remember correctly, I think I finished three fourths of the omelette, the potatoes, had some of the yogurt, skipped the muffin, took a bite of the sausage, and some of the fruit. The cheese inside the omelette was clumpy and the sausage had the texture of an overmicrowaved one. I couldn’t finish my omelette because I started feeling a bit sick, but to be fair, I can’t stomach American egg breakfasts very well.

After about ten hours, I finally landed at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris!

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To go to the baggage area, I went up through this tunnel (shown below).

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I had bought train tickets online prior to my trip from CDG to Lyon, where my cousin lives. I stayed with her for a week and then went backpacking through Europe on my own. I had an hour and a half to get off the plane, find my luggage, and get on the train. Keep in mind that this was my first time at this airport let alone the continent itself and that I had to switch terminals to even get to the TGV train station. Plus, I spoke minimal French. No pressure.

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Is it just me who finds it interesting that the terminals go from one to three to two?

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I found the shuttle that took me from terminal one to terminal two.

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Somehow, I managed to ask around and get on the train in time. Since I was under a lot of pressure due to the train departure time, at this point, I was breaking out in cold sweat.

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This is the SNCF train that took me from Paris to Lyon!

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Each seat comes with a tray table and a footrest, and every two seats has a container for trash. I thought that was a nice addition since it gives people who are finished eating a place to put their trash and in turn keeps the train clean.

Here are a few pictures of the views from the train:

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The train wasn’t a non-stop train so I had to listen carefully to the announcements to know when to get off. First, the announcements were in French and then English, but since it was said in a French accent, it was hard to understand. All I heard was “Lyon Part-Dieu,” and I immediately got off. Luckily, I got off at the right station and was able to meet my cousin!

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I’ll be posting more photos from my backpacking trip through Europe! Thanks for reading!

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