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France

Never trust a frenchman!

Fairytales from France


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Never EVER leave you flight ticket in the plane after landing if you have a connecting flight afterwards. That's a lesson for everybody to learn. We had to learn it the hard way...

I always thought that tickets nowadays was more of a formality, you show the ticket and they check from the computer all the information that is needed for printing the boarding pass. As it turns out, it's is not like that. At least not in Paris.

The minute we had entered the arrival hall in Paris, we noticed that the tickets for our flight to Recife, Brazil, were missing and the luggage check stickers with them. We tried to go back to the plane, but a guard didn't let us go back. Great. But no panic; soon we spotted a Finnair arrivals desk. We went there and tried to explain what had happened. The girl behind the counter said that all we needed was the numbers from our luggage stickers and we were good to go. At least that's how we understood it... She went away and returned soon with the numbers. Yup. That was easy. Now we just had to wait 4,5 hours for the next fligt. We would check in 3 hours before the flight (couldn't do it sooner) and then we would have a nice meal at some nice restaurant before our long flight to Brazil. Yeah, right...

Three hours before the flight we started queuing for the check in. The girls at the check-in counter were really slow so it took a while before it was our turn. We showed the printout of our flight plan and she started to check us in. "I need your ticket, this is not an e-ticket", she said. We explained to her what had happened, but she just kept repeating that she needs the tickets. Can't you just check from the computer that we should be on that flight? I guess not... She pointed us towards the TAM desk. TAM was the airline we were supposed to fly with to Brazil. Surely they had our information on the computer. They would print new tickets to us. Yeah, right...

So now we stood in line for the TAM desk. And it was taking for ever. But no panic yet; of course they had our info on the computer; we had booked a flight with them. Finally when it was our turn we explained our problem and that the only thing we had left was the flight plan printout and the small pieces of the boarding passes from our previous flight :). The girl behind the counter looked a bit worried but started typing on the computer keyboard. And she did it for a long time. "Yes, its working", we thought. Suddenly she informed us that it was impossible for her to print out any tickets. It had to be Finnair who should do it because they printed the original ones. "You have to go to Finnair's desk". "Well were is Finnair's desk then?". "Teminal One". "oooooh", someone behind us in the line said. "that's faaaar away. You have to take the train!". And we looked at the girl behind the desk. Yup, terminal one, that's were Finnair's desk is. Yeah, right...

So we started running. We still had about 1h 45min before the plane to Brazil would take off. We ran like crazy and finally managed to find the train. Perfect. Terminal one was as far as you could get with the train. And on we hopped.

In terminal one nobody seemed to even know what Finnair was. People kept pointing us to different desks, SAS, Air France... Finally the guy at the information desk tried to call the Finnair office, but some other airline answered. Great. Time was soon running out. The information guy reasoned that the Finnair desk must be in terminal 2D, because almost all Finnair flights took off from there. Niiice. We just came from 2A where TAM was. Would have been a liiiitle bit shorter to go there than take the train to terminal one. So we ran again...took the train... and ran again...

At one point we had to decide if we should run back to TAM or try 2D? We decided to try 2D and ran even faster. About one hour before takeoff we found the Finnair office. The guy at the counter seemed a bit angry that we had had 4,5 hours to fix this and we came that late. Well what did we know? The Finnair lady at the arrivals desk told us we were good to go! The guy made a lot of calls, searched for stuff in the computer and in some folders and had a lot of looks of desperations. The woman in the counter next to him helped him by calling to places and writing down stuff for him. It looked a bit desperate, but they really tried their best. And we just stood there really nervous looking at the watch, sweat dripping from all the running.

At some point the Finnair guy said that he can fix tickets to us. We were like "YESS". But then soon later it wasn't so sure anymore. Niiice. Were we going to spend christmas at Paris airport?

Finally he said that he can fix new tickets, but we had to pay for the new tickets. Oh my god, we thought, we had seen the prices on tickets on the net and they could be quite high this time of the year (note well that this was the 23.12). But we had no choise, we wanted to get on the plane, so we said OK.

We exchanged looks of relief when we figured out we only had to pay 50 euros each for printing the new tickets, not pay for two whole tickets!

About 35 minutes before takeoff he had finally printed the tickets. We thanked him a lot, said merry christmas and ran for the check-in.

"The check-in for this flight is already closed", we were told when we arrived at the check-in desk. GREAT. All that effort for nothing!

Luckily a girl at the desk next to ours told our check-in girl that there still was time to do the check-in. Phew! YESS!! And hey, there actually had been some help from that first Finnair-girl who looked up the luggage numbers for us. Apparently they were also needed for the check in. The check-in girl seemed to be some beginner, because it took her ages to check us in. We were looking at the watch really nervously...But finally, when it was about 20 minutes to takeoff, we got our boarding cards. YESS! Luckily the security check was fast and we arrived at the gate miutes before it closed.

BRAZIL, HERE WE COME!

Posted by AnnaMickus 15:13 Archived in France Comments (0)

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