Review: Weather Chaos
GEORGE OSBORN reviews a key location in the travel chaos hitting our fair isles
You’ve all probably seen all those Eurostar delays and cancellations. You’ve probably heard that prick from San Francisco on the BBC News complaining that the journey took 12 hours when it only takes 10 hours to get to London from the U.S. and felt sympathetic. I, on the other hand, wanted to punch his gurning face in for having such a comparatively minimal wait which was roughly a third of the time it took me to get home from Paris airport this week due to cancellations. But instead of getting too het up about Easyjet’s staggering incompetence, I felt that the only thing I could do is write a review of the place which I now call hell: Charles de Gaulle Aeroport. So let’s get this underway eh?
Well its 30 minutes out of Paris by train with three main terminals and some lovely terminals to sit around in. However, in terms of sleeping comfort I was thoroughly disappointed. Marble floors are very cold and hard to sleep on as opposed to my bed at home and as a result my sleep that night was poor. There were only tiny radiators to keep you warm too. If you want somewhere to sleep in Paris, I wouldn’t recommend CDG as a place to stay and would perhaps recommend a hotel, youth hostel or a needle saturated staircase.
An interesting array of restaurants and cafes including a Paul’s restaurant which was lovely to eat in but it was rather expensive. The airport staff seemed to be under the misapprehension that you should only use an airport terminal for a few hours before leaving and as a result they’ve missed a key opportunity to satisfy those who decide to enjoy an overnight stay at their company. Not bad, but could be improved for that elusive “My flight’s been cancelled and I want to punch everyone” market.
With the majority of the staff bi-lingual, I was thoroughly impressed by the staffs ability to understand every word of furious frustration that boiled forth from me when I found out that my promised hotel room was now gone. They remained constantly able to speak in English even when being roughly as useless as a bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran is when used to combat the Taleban in Helmand province and so for that they must be congratulated. One of them even managed to book us onto a flight for Bristol after the last flight to Luton had been cancelled and only for £193 when my return ticket had originally cost £40. They were bloody excellent frankly.
Well CDG, there is a lot of potential for goodness here but I’d recommend these changes. Allowing abandoned passengers to sleep in the comfy lounges might be one, providing food and water another and maybe just telling the people there that a flight has been cancelled and not rely on someone to phone their dad to check it’s going, find out it isn’t and then run like a panicked prick to the ticket desk to inform them. In all honesty though, it was an absolute bloody shambles and anyone who has complained this holiday that their train has been delayed a bit needs to shut their gob. For anyone who has been stuck in a tunnel, an airport or on the M20 I feel your pain.
CDG Airport – 4 out of 10