Europe 2012: Leaving Paris to Amsterdam: The flight with KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines

From my last post about Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, I’m back barely 30 hours later to catch my flight to Amsterdam. I took the same shuttle to the airport and there were many confusion on heading to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.

I was lucky that I headed out very early. The hotel shuttle stops at several hotels and at each hotel, and the passengers are never quite sure where to go. It’s the airport that they are heading to yes, but they will still end up asking the driver “terminal 1? Terminal 2? I’m going to Belgium/Norway/Amsterdam/China. Which terminal should I go to?”
More often than not, the driver themselves do not know which terminal. So the confused passenger will stand at the door and not know whether to go on the shuttle or otherwise, and the driver will wait impatiently for him/her to make up his mind.

Frankly I wish these travelers would do their research beforehand. Perhaps the CDG airport could help by erecting a huge FAQs board, have more information counters or give out flyers IN ENGLISH – “All about Paris Charles de Gaulle airport“. Or maybe there’s one that I’m not aware of?

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It gets worst at the Terminals. The shuttle will first arrive at Terminal 1 followed by Terminal 2. Everyone on the shuttle will ask the driver, “My flight is to XXX, should I get down here or Terminal 2?”. Then a whole long strings of questions and more delays as every passenger stood confused on whether to exit or not.

Here I would like to do my part (some sort as a guide to my readers & friends) by sharing what I know and experienced while I was at Paris  Charles de Gaulle airport.

If you are flying with KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines  or Air France, just go to Terminal 2. 

Terminal 2 is the dedicated KLM – Air France hub. That means it’s a dedicated KLM-Air France terminal for ease of transfer between these airlines especially for connecting flights.

Now that we got that sorted, here’s my experience at the Paris CDG airport – departure. If you compare it to my previous post of when I first arrived HERE, you will realize there’s a huge difference!

BELOW: Checking out and heading to the airport via the hotel shuttle.

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Sights and scenery along the way to airport.

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As I have mentioned before in my previous post, Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is humongous.  O_O

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Almost there!

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I was dropped off at the same shuttle stop.

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When in doubt, head to info counter. There weren’t many in the airport and from my previous experience I know only of this one so just to be safe I dropped to say hello and checked on my flight.

Paris - CDG Airport - info counter

Turned out that it wasn’t really necessary after all. This rather cool machine was sure handy.

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I was at the airport really early (10am Paris time)  as I wanted to go to Paris city again.  I think I have mentioned before in my post that going to Paris from an airport hotel in CDG area = 2 hours.
1. 15-20mins wait for hotel shuttle to arrive at hotel
2. 30 minutes (or more, depending on the amount of passengers getting on the shuttle) to reach Paris CDG airport
3.  20 mins – walk from pick-up point of hotel shuttles to “Paris by Train” – where the trains are
4.  15 mins – queue to get your ticket at the machine (it’s normal to see a queue in front of EVERY machine). Be patient and make sure you have time on your side as it’s a certainty that there will be tourists in front of you and they will take some time to figure out the usage of the machine, plus fiddle with their coins while paying.
5. 20 – 30 minutes wait for the RIGHT train to come along. Please note that being at the correct platform doesn’t mean every train that passes that platform is going in the same direction as the ticket you bought.
6.  40 minutes to get to Paris city, depending again on which stop you choose.

So let’s see. How long was that? 2.5 hours?
Well, thereabouts for sure. You might shave off 30 minutes if you’re lucky i.e having the waiting time at  each stop lessen by 5 – 10 mins.

My flight is at 4.20pm Paris time so I planned to get back by 3.00pm Paris time.

KLM ticket - Paris - Amsterdam

But first, to check in my huge luggage. Here I am heading to Terminal 2F as informed on the screen.

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The departure terminal is so bright and nice in comparison to the terminal I arrived in.

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What did I say about HSBC? 🙂

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It’s a wise decision to check- in online prior to any flights.

Internet check in - flights on KLM and Air france

Now this is cool. These machines allows you to print your own luggage tag and boarding pass! This sure lessen queuing and waiting time.

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Check out the machine! It’s simple to navigate and the menu instructions were very concise and clear.

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I’m terrible with machines so if I could do it, anyone can! 😛

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I’m a gorgeous globe-trotting female, thank you very much! 😛

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This is freaking cool, all your details are extracted and displayed on screen.

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Here comes my luggage tag!

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And now my boarding pass! 🙂

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Easy-peasy wasn’t it? KLIA, please have these machines installed soon alright??

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Done with checking in of luggage, I tried to catch the train to Paris city.

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Sigh. The perpetually long queue at the ticketing counter.

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So I tried the machines, which also has a snaking queue. Anyhow, this is how the machine looks like.

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It was 11.00am Paris time then. After much deliberation, I realized there won’t be much time for me to get to the city, walk around and get back. Furthermore, it’s Euro 9.25 each way = RM37 x 2 = RM74.

Thus I decided to go to Ikea instead, which was only a short train ride away (and cheaper too!). Since I’m IKEA Malaysia’s ambassador, I thought an article about the IKEAs overseas would be fun. That’s the story for another post so here I have have fast-forwarded to the time I arrived back at Terminal 2F for boarding.

BELOW: The boarding area of Terminal 2F.

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I love the boarding area. It was so very spacious, clean and bright. There were cafes and ample seats to ease your wait..

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Thoughtful onveniences such as power plugs are much appreciated!

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Hungry? Grab a bite here. All the cafes displayed scrumptious sandwiches, pastries as well as hot dishes like pasta.

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PAUL is EVERYWHERE in Paris! There’s one in Terminal 2F, outside the boarding area.

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And another one INSIDE the boarding area!

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La Maison du Chocolate – a famous chocolatier, which I just had to buy some!

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The washroom was clean, despite the heavy human traffic. There were different sections for grooming, shower and toilet cubicles.

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In need of any toiletries? Buy it from this machine: condoms, tampons, toothpaste and toothbrush, Stain protector stick (I kid you not!) and razors.

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For once waiting for boarding was comfortable and non-stressful.

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Next, Amsterdam!
And here’s my overall video of the trip; do watch! 😀

Wackybecky’s Europe Adventures 16th -23rd May 2012 was made possible thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Malaysia.
A fun travel prediction app to try –>http://www.travelpredictions.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KLMMalaysia
Website: http://www.klm.com/travel/my_en/index.htm 

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More of Europe:
The BEST of macarons and croissants in Paris – the legendary Pierre Herme!
The extravagant once in a decade FLORIADE – world’s biggest Horticultural Expo at Venlo, The Netherlands – a must visit!
Smoking weed in Amsterdam – a video.. – You only live once! :DD
PART I – Walking Food Tour in Paris!
PART II -Paris Food Walking Tour – a gourmand’s dream!

NOTE:

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is offering travelers 3 additional weekly flights out of KLIA to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, its home airport beginning on 29 October 2012 until 30 March 2013.

Part of KLM’s new winter schedule, the additional flights from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam depart at 9.35 a.m. every Tuesday,  Thursday and Sunday, arriving at 3.20 p.m. the same day.

The additional winter flights will depart from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 12.35 p.m. and arrive at 7.35 a.m. the following day.