Trip Reports & Reviews

SLOWER THAN THE TRAIN! Domestic Flying in France!

Noel

Noel Philips

My Air France flight from Lyon to Paris ended up taking more than twice as long as a train would have for the same journey!

The airport at Lyon was deserted at this time of the morning. I’d been dropped off by the hotel shuttle at the wrong terminal and headed through the deserted airport to where I needed to be.

Once through security I needed coffee.

I enjoyed my coffee as I watched the sunrise over the airport.

Soon it was time to head down to the gate to find out exactly which aircraft I’d have today.

It seemed that Flightradar was correct – my ride up to Paris was a CRJ1000. I was pretty disappointed that the aircraft had been swapped, it was still a new aircraft to me but one that I could take pretty easily.

My ride today was 8 years old, delivered to Brit Air in 2011. Air France’s regional division Hop inherited the aircraft in 2011.

Fairly soon we were called for boarding and I headed across to my ride.

The CRJ1000 is the longest variant of the CRJ. Inside it seems to go on forever.

Our departure time came and went, and it soon became pretty clear that we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Loud banging came from under my seat, and a group of confused aircraft technicians stood scratching their chins outside the aircraft. An announcement was played in French which was received by groans throughout the cabin.

30 minutes after our scheduled departure time, another man turned up outside with a roll of duct tape, which seemed to do the trick – and the captain came on, this time speaking in English.

And so we sat and waited, and waited some more – before we were finally pushed back, 90 minutes past our scheduled departure time.

As we finally got airborne from Lyon, let’s take a look at our route today.

We flew northwest on a pretty much direct heading towards Paris. Flight time today was a brisk 43 minutes, at a cruising altitude of 22,000ft.

Our flight up to Paris was for the most part pretty clear, with a bit of turbulence in places.

Leg room on the CRJ isn’t too great, but for a short flight I didn’t find it too bad.

The snack service started soon after takeoff, and I took a coffee and an orange juice. There were a couple of cake bars given out too.

Pretty soon we began a gentle descent, and the city of Paris appeared on the horizon.

The scenery on approach to Orly was pretty nice, we flew over castles and old French towns before touching down smoothly on runway 26.

There’s an old Concorde parked up to the south of Orly airport which was nice to see.

My ride up from Lyon to Paris today cost me £152.10, although this was actually a return flight that was cheaper than the single fare of £165. This works out to just under 200 USD, for a flight of 243 miles – making a cost per mile of 62 pence.

To be honest, if I had to make this journey again I’d take the train over the plane any time. The train from Lyon to Paris takes under 2 hours to go right into the centre of the city, and starts at just 45 Euros, meaning it would have taken a fraction of both the time and the cost.

Hop seem to be decent enough once you’re airborne, but this was far from a pleasant first experience of the airline. I arrived into Paris late and frustrated.