Monday, July 23, 2012

Flying the "Phoenix" again

I am sitting at Charles De Gaulle airport in France and if I have my gate number correct, then tonight I will be flying home on this baby. It will actually be the second time that I fly on this monstrosity of an aeroplane. On my way from South Africa I was also on the Airbus Industrie A340-600. I remembered watching that Air Crash Investigation series on TV where on of these aircraft belonging to Quantas had to do an emergency landing and I couldn't help but wonder if the problem has been solved after that episode. I think it had something to do with the Rolls Royce engines, but I don't want to get into that discussion now as I have to get onto this one in a couple of hours and I don't want to jinx anything.

When I selected my seat the first time, I wanted to sit upstairs. Little did I know that the upstairs is mainly for the better classes in Air France, the ones I obviously cannot afford, with only a few Economy Class seats at the back where the boot of the plane is supposed to be. We got in at the front and as I was walking towards the back I was rather impressed with the seats and layout. I thought we were heading into a better more comfortable way of travel all together. I got a rather disappointing surprise when I realised that I was walking through all the Air France classes from "Affaires" (Business class), through "Premium Voyageur" and eventually to good old "Economy Class" where I found my seat right at the back with exactly the same size seats that you would find on any other Air France flight. I was rather an embarrassing moment after I was so pleased with the bigger seats only to end up where the poorest of the poor usually sits...Cattle Class.

See the minute blue blocks at the end of the aircraft for Economy "Squeeze-in" Class

I have no idea if I am sitting downstairs or upstairs tonight. Frankly I couldn't care, as long as I can get home safely I will sit on the floor if I have to.

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