If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Day One: About Last Night…Air France’s Airbus 380 New York to Paris

Air France Flight 7 380 Airbus New York to Paris

At least, there was wine.

I think of myself as one of those travelers whose attention to detail leads to flawlessly executed travel plans.  But yesterday,  I forgot one very important detail.  I spent most of the morning packing for this 8 day trip.  I arranged my suitcase, and two carry-ons down to compartmentalizing documents, chargers, reading materials with a place for everything.  I even took Viking River Cruises advice and made a photo copy of my passport–just in case.  Then I trundled off to Kennedy leaving plenty of time to catch my 4:10 Air France departure.  A really early flight, I realized, but one that put me on the first flight out of Paris for Budapest.   I happily approached the check-in counter and then I reached into my bag and….no passport.  I did of course have that copy I made but you cannot travel on a Xerox.  I knew what I’d done immediately.  Frantically I called Andrew who was in the midst of the compulsory Continuing Education courses that he takes to keep his Real Estate license in New York.   He dashed out of the class, raced to our apartment, grabbed the passport and tore  out to the airport.  In all honesty, the Air France people could not have been more solicitous or helpful and I came away very impressed.  They checked the suitcase and assured me that once the passport arrived, they’d race me through security.  Andrew

This is Dinner.  Top left Champagne, Applesauce,
Butter atop the American cheese, water, a Brownie
Pearl Couscous and Vegetables with Basil
Chicken with wine sauce and egg noodles

arrived.  We raced to the counter…only to discover that we were perhaps two minutes late.   That is how I ended up on the massive Air France 380 which carries 516 passengers on two decks.  There are four classes of service.  First, Business, Premiere Economy and Economy which has a further division into Economy Comfort and regular Economy.  I’d read so many bad reviews about Premium Economy that the $360 difference just couldn’t be justified.  The meals are identical, the seats just a little wider and the complaints a lot louder than they should be.  So I sprung for Economy Comfort which is another way of saying you will now be charged $53.00 extra to sit in a Exit Row.    Quite frankly, the immense plane is scary.  I am sure in Business and First, it’s all perfectly lovely. In Economy, it is rather alike sitting in a giant movie theater with very narrow seats that are on top of each other.  The huge advantage to the Airbus 380 is supposed to be its smooth ride.   Somewhere over Labrador, we hit turbulence that truly put that myth to rest.   The only saving grace was imagining what my earlier flight on a 767 would have been like in that monstrous

Breakfast:  Plain Yogurt, Blueberry Muffin,
Orange Juice and Coffee

bumping and shaking.   And how was the food ? ….well, I assure you that any French chef worth his salt would curl up and die before he served the amazingly mediocre Economy class menu.  There was a choice between chicken and salmon.  I don’t eat fish on planes.  Somehow I feel they are too far out of their element in every sense of the word to be any good at 39,000 feet.  Chicken, on the other hand, has wings, not very serviceable ones, but enough that they seem at home in the air.  Then it occurred to me: This food is straight American fare:  There’s applesauce (?), two miserable slices of Chillimook cheese–nothing that would suggest France.  It will be interesting to see how the flight home’s food is: It will at least be genuinely French, which has to be an improvement. Now on to Budapest.   

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