Posted by: jewelinthelotus | October 7, 2012

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Originally uploaded by DebDuncan13

Heading home. I left at 9:30 a.m. and thought I would be at the airport no later than a 11:00. HA little did I know the adventure was about to begin Paris style! I walked down to the metro got on my first train. I had a little difficulty finding the second train and got my suitcase caught in the ticket station doors. Fortunately, someone was willing to run their ticket through to open the doors and I was on my way. The third train is where it started. First, I couldn’t find the train heading to the airport. Then once I did find the platform, I found it odd that CDG (airport) was not lit up on the monitors. However, I saw a lot of people with suitcases so dismissed the red flag warning in my mind. After about 15 minutes no one with suitcases was getting on a train despite three having gone by and people were starting to look anxious. I went to the monitor and could see there was something about CDG trains and a bus at Mitry. However, that was all the French I could make out. At that time, I overheard a gentleman tell the woman behind me in English that the trains were not running. We had to go to Mitry and catch a bus. At this time it was 10:45. An Italian swearing loudly caught my attention because he spoke English. I walked over to him and he was talking to two French men in English about the whole situation. He said to one of them, “I will follow you.” I thought to myself, I’m following them! I asked the French guy who spoke English what was going on and he summarized what I had just heard – no trains! So on the next train we got on. Well, mid-way to Mitry there was an announcement that the French man I had latched onto translated to me and the Italian that now we had to get off at Aulnay-sous-Bois. So we did! BIG MISTAKE! No buses. It would take an hour. So we got off the train to Mitry and now had to wait for the next one. The next one was at 11:20. I started to feel my first wave of panic! Missing an international flight was not what I wanted to do.  I felt sorry for the other French guy who was now in our little group. He was going to Toulouse for his birthday party! His flight was at noon. I didn’t see anyway he was going to make it! However, Alberto, the Italian kept us all entertained with his humor. At least we were laughing! Once we were at Mitry we got on the bus. They were passing out snacks and juice boxes for the trip! Was this some way to compensate for the stress a lot of people were experiencing. Of course, since I thought I would be at the airport with a ton of time to spare, I had not looked up which Terminal I needed to go to once I arrived. There were two Air France pilots on the bus and they seemed to think I should go to Terminal 2. One thing I learned about the French. If they don’t know the answer they will either 1) get angry and not answer; or 2) give you an answer even if they don’t know. Well #2 was the situation. Both said Terminal 2 and the Italian confirmed it as that is where he goes when he flies to NYC. Well, WRONG. So I wasted 20 minutes getting to the correct Terminal. Once I arrived at Terminal 1 at 12:35, United had closed to bag check boarding. The tears started to build. I ran to the United customer service desk and I said if I don’t need to check my bag can I still make it. She made a call and said, “yes, yes, they will wait, but you need to run.” She gave me a special pass to by-pass general security and gave me directions where to go. I ran! Once at the security she directed me to, I was the only one there! PHEW. I lost an expensive face cleanser to the insane no sense 3 ounces rule, but that was it. It was better than trying to find another flight that no doubt many were doing due to the train debacle. I was seated by 12:50 p.m. Fought back tears of stress and relief! Flight left at 1:05. The guy next to me offered me piece of gum, which I accepted and then settled in for the 8 hour flight to Newark.

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