After flying to Paris in Continental’s BusinessFirst I spent a few days in Paris with friends and visited the Catacombs. The next leg of my Aeroplan award was an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo. After arriving at CDG I walked through Terminal 1 past the checkin for Swiss, Lufthansa and other airlines. Each checkin desk was relatively calm as most of their flights had departed in the morning. As I rounded the bend to checkin area 1 for EgyptAir I was met with a mass of people queued for economy and a shouting match in the relatively short, but disorganized, business checkin area.
I waded my way into the business checkin and waited behind the people meandering nearby. Some were checking in, some were just standing there, and others just looked lost. There was no single queue, it was more like McDonald’s — just line up behind one agent or the other and hope you picked the right line.
None of the checkin agents nor floor agents working the queues seemed to be managing much of anything. As it was not a single line, and you had to jump in front of a checkin agent to get their attention I finally asked one of the roaming staff where I should be. He managed to get the attention of one of this colleagues and I was checked in within two minutes after standing there for nearly twenty. Someone will have to introduce the ground folks to the concept of one line someday.
CDG Star Alliance Lounge
With my boarding pass in hand, I headed through immigration to the Star Alliance lounge. This lounge is shared by a number of airlines but at this time it was mostly passengers for my flight to Cairo.
The lounge offered a selection of food, most marked halal, including meatballs (guess they don’t make them the way I do!) tortellini, salmon pate, chicken and assorted cold cuts and bread. There were a few bottles of alcohol available for self service and a selection of soft drinks and beer.
In addition to the main lounge area there is a “quite zone” with soft chairs, although fairly upright I wouldn’t expect much sleep in them. At the bottom of the stairs, just past the entrance to the lounge was a “business center” with three computers, but I didn’t see a printer. There are two showers that you can request a key from the front desk to use.
The lounge is not an arrivals lounge for passengers terminating their trip in Paris. So the showers are only for passengers departing CDG that day.
Quiet zone with chairs for resting
A selection of small sandwiches and other cold foods
The food was adequate and the internet access through the business computers or wifi was helpful to catch up on some work and email. Overall this lounge is similar to many domestic U.S. lounges in that it’s relatively small and the offerings were about as basic as can be provided. Well not as basic as a United Club or Admirals Club, but certainly nothing compared to the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul.