CDG unscheduled stopover

Old Dec 6, 08, 12:45 pm
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Question CDG unscheduled stopover

My family is booked to return on Christmas Day via VIE-CDG-IAH. Checking AF site, my 45 minute connection is terminal 2D to 2E. I recently saw AF announcement of free Paris stopover so I inquired. Since I was already ticketed through my TA, there would be $250 change per ticket. I declined.

So, hypothetically, assuming my 45-minute interval is already tight, what are the chances my family will have the spend Christmas Day in Paris ? Since in my limited flying experience, I've always scrupulously avoided missed connections, what can I expect procedurally? AF only has one daily flight to IAH; can they require that we be rebooked on a non-direct flight same day? I've already checked the flight for 26.12 and it's pretty empty. Also, if we carried on essentials to make it through the night, can AF or I contact IAH to lock up our substantial number of bags (large family ending 15 day trip) at baggage claim? Or will the bags fail to make the scheduled flight also and we'd have them with us overnight?

If we arrive at approximately 0930, what can we expect time-wise for clearing security, customs, transport, etc. to reach central Paris and get in some sightseeing? Will it be worth the hassle?

Finally, I'm a non-elite longtime OnePass member and didn't plan to join AF afinity program for this single transaction. Would it make any difference in the scenario above in terms of accommodating our needs? TIA.
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Old Dec 6, 08, 1:30 pm
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I misconx in CDG with AF on a 45 min conx. If your flt arrives on time or nearly ontime, AF won't offer comp (hotel, food). It doesn't matter to them if you sat waiting for the aircraft door to open, the lines were long to pass into the terminal or even if this should be a valid conx at Roissy. If your intention though is to misconx, walk slowly, say it took a long time to deplane etc. They should understand the "45 minute conx time" is enough justification because theoretically boarding closes on the transatlantic flt at your landing time at CDG. They may try to reaccomodate you on the 1240 CO flt or a conx flight via ATL but tell them you won't take a 767 overseas (the CO flt) and you won't make a conx. This is what I did and they were willing to reaccomodate me the next day. I had to make my own accomodations though.
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Old Dec 6, 08, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Catusa View Post
I misconx in CDG with AF on a 45 min conx. If your flt arrives on time or nearly ontime, AF won't offer comp (hotel, food). It doesn't matter to them if you sat waiting for the aircraft door to open, the lines were long to pass into the terminal or even if this should be a valid conx at Roissy. If your intention though is to misconx, walk slowly, say it took a long time to deplane etc. They should understand the "45 minute conx time" is enough justification because theoretically boarding closes on the transatlantic flt at your landing time at CDG. They may try to reaccomodate you on the 1240 CO flt or a conx flight via ATL but tell them you won't take a 767 overseas (the CO flt) and you won't make a conx. This is what I did and they were willing to reaccomodate me the next day. I had to make my own accomodations though.
I think it's fair to say you were relatively lucky. If the flight was on time and it is indeed a morning connection, they might indeed feel unimpressed that you didn't make it and will certainly reallocate you on DL connecting or on CO. You would stand a stronger chance if you were connecting late evening to Singapore or something like that. Also do bear in mind that if yo managed to convince them to only put you on the AF flight the next day, a last minute decent hotel room in Paris between Christmas and new year is not likely to be cheap, most restaurants will charge a fortune for lunch on Christmas day and many will be closed on the evening.
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Old Dec 6, 08, 4:28 pm
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Further to what orbitmic said, and with which I agree, also bear in mind that the chances your checked luggage will fly to IAH without you are virtually zero: if you fail to show up at the gate for your connecting flight they will not load your luggage, or, if your bags have been loaded already, they will offload them.
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Old Dec 7, 08, 9:17 am
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Thanks

Thanks to all for the information. I realize it's a risk, but we're an adventuresome lot. A fond memory is an overnight chat at McDonalds in Berlin with fellow vacationers from Michigan because no rooms available on May 1 holiday. The boys really want to see the Eiffel Tower and, being college students, don't know when they'll be able to afford the trip themselves. I'll advise how the strategy turned out. Maybe the Austrian flt will run late (yeah right- odds on that!) and there will be no other alternative.
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Old Dec 7, 08, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by roneyc View Post
Thanks to all for the information. I realize it's a risk, but we're an adventuresome lot. A fond memory is an overnight chat at McDonalds in Berlin with fellow vacationers from Michigan because no rooms available on May 1 holiday. The boys really want to see the Eiffel Tower and, being college students, don't know when they'll be able to afford the trip themselves. I'll advise how the strategy turned out. Maybe the Austrian flt will run late (yeah right- odds on that!) and there will be no other alternative.
You also need the next flight to be on time! If it is delayed by 1/2 hour or more it will be harder and harder to explain you got lost in the airport so I'd recommend not raising your kids' hopes too much until you can celebrate the success of your tentative Paris operation!
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Old Dec 8, 08, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
You also need the next flight to be on time! If it is delayed by 1/2 hour or more it will be harder and harder to explain you got lost in the airport so I'd recommend not raising your kids' hopes too much until you can celebrate the success of your tentative Paris operation!
I can imagine the OP becoming the cause of the delay. Carrier will probably wait a few mins too long for them to turn up, then start missing slots, then offload the bags.

Saving grace may be that if the connecting baggage is in an 'obvious' place as the last to go on, and quickly and easily taken off.

Personally I'd ask at VIE during check-in, perhaps mentioning the offer that you saw and meant to call about. A suitably friendly agent may make it all official for you.
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Old Dec 8, 08, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by EsherFlyer View Post
I can imagine the OP becoming the cause of the delay. Carrier will probably wait a few mins too long for them to turn up, then start missing slots, then offload the bags.

Saving grace may be that if the connecting baggage is in an 'obvious' place as the last to go on, and quickly and easily taken off.

Personally I'd ask at VIE during check-in, perhaps mentioning the offer that you saw and meant to call about. A suitably friendly agent may make it all official for you.
This is indeed a very real risk. Also bear in mind that if, as is quite likely, some other passengers on same flight as yours from VIE are connecting to the same IAH flight and make it with plenty on time to spare, your misconn argument might be a hard one to sell...
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