Boarding Chaos in Paris

 
Old Aug 1, 01, 5:54 am
  #1  
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Boarding Chaos in Paris

We came back from Paris on Sunday (AA #45 - 12:00 Noon Departure) and the scene at the gate was worth a warning to all.

#45 was assigned to gate 41, where an Air Canada 747 was actually parked awaiting an 11:50 departure. IE: I knew we were in for the dreaded "bus to the plane on the pad" departure proceedure. At 11:15 the AA gate agent, announced (at low PA volume and in a heavy French accent) that the gate would change to #40 which is 3 feet from #41. A mass shift of all AA pax to #40, and an actual "real estate" argument between AA Gate personnel and Air Canada personnel.

Moments later the AA flight starts to board with NO ANNOUNCEMENT WHATSOEVER. No FC or BC priority, no "Groups" - NO ANNOUNCEMENT, just a gate removed and a shoving match to get through the gate and to the first bus!

I actually missed some of the stringent "gate police" I've run into in the States! Why can't AA get their people in Paris trained better?

The only saving factor was that the on-board crew was great, they had the AC cranked up and the hot and steamy bus ride ended in a nice cool (almost chilly) 777.
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Old Aug 1, 01, 8:56 am
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And they wonder why people crowd around in front of the boarding agent. Hope the flight was calm.
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Old Aug 3, 01, 6:38 pm
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When in Paris, do as the Parisians.

I went to high school for 2 years in France. I learned how to be very good at pushing and shoving through lines. It was the only way to get lunch at the cafeteria.

Fortunately, I unlearned these habits on my return to the U.S. Consider the gate situation in CDG as part of the cultural experience, not something to get worked up about. Far be it from AA to try to change French culture!!!!!

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Old Aug 3, 01, 10:02 pm
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Same almost holds true in PEK or any airports in China.... I once read a very interesting article on one of those UA magazines during flight about the "Art of Cutting in Line" in China...



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Old Aug 4, 01, 12:47 am
  #5  
 
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Oh yeah. I was waiting for the China Embassy visa line to open in Hong Kong. When the doors finally opened, 20 mins late, everyone made a mad dash for the 20 feet to the counters. One woman attempted to hurdle jump the rope line but caught her foot. SMACK she went down on her face, pulling down the entire rope line. Meanwhile the rest of the crowd, myself included I'm embarrased to say, trampled her.

Everybody pretended nothing happened. One of the workers quietly put the rope line back up, as if this was an every day occurance.
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Old Aug 4, 01, 1:29 am
  #6  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by PaulSEA1:
When in Paris, do as the Parisians.

I went to high school for 2 years in France. I learned how to be very good at pushing and shoving through lines. It was the only way to get lunch at the cafeteria.

Fortunately, I unlearned these habits on my return to the U.S. Consider the gate situation in CDG as part of the cultural experience, not something to get worked up about. Far be it from AA to try to change French culture!!!!!

</font>

I've had similar experiences on AF at CDG -- doesn't surprise me in the least.
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Old Aug 5, 01, 12:15 pm
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Years ago I experienced a similar attempted free-for-all in Miami during boarding for an AA flight to Paris. The AA personnel did a pretty good job of maintaining order though.

As an aside, the same thing happened at what was then Euro Disneyland. Disney is of course the worldwide kingdom of lines. As to how one handles the lines, its just what you're accustomed to. Many people walked through the lines snaking between people toward the front using any available space. Meanwhile, the Americans and British visitors patiently queued in line. We all quickly wised up, however.
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