Rather than flying back direct from Dublin, I decided to connect through Paris. For only a few dollars more in airport taxes, I added an extra leg, more miles, and an overnight stopover. Unfortunately this meant an early morning out of Dublin, the morning after a pubcrawl.
So by 7am, I had checked out of the Radisson and made my way to the AirLink bus stop, for the 30 minute ride to the airport. The bus was the first of the day, so it was pretty crowded.
I arrived at Dublin’s Terminal 1 pretty early. Terminal 1 is Dublin’s older terminal, dominated by Ryanair, and home to a few other European carriers. After a long security process, I made my way to the Anna Livia lounge, a contract lounge that serves all carriers other than British Airways and other OneWorld partners. That lounge still had some BMI signage.
I was the only one in the Anna Livia lounge and it was not particularly exciting. Usually, a lounge’s breakfast options are more than satisfactory for me—a pastry or cold cereal is fine. No such options here, though, just a vat of unappetizing yogurt, some past-its-prime fruit, and prepackaged bread and cookies. The wifi was good, though there was free wifi throughout the airport as well. There was no bathroom in the lounge, and you needed a code to get into the toilet in the hallway. I had a slice of bread, a coffee, and some water, and then headed towards the gate, as the signage suggested a long walk to the gate.
It was a long walk through the Terminal to my gate. My flight to Paris was operated by an Air France regional carrier, CityJet. Although CityJet is an Irish airline, it is owned by Air France, and most of its routes are actually based out of London City Airport. (confusing, no?) The gate was a sort of remote area for regional jets. When boarding was announced, there was a rush to the door for the walk on the tarmac to our Avro RJ 85.
On CityJet flights, you cannot select a seat until checkin. When I checked in online, I saw I had been placed in a window seat, which was fine, and got an error when I tried to select other seats. The kiosk at the airport said there were no free seats available, so I prepared myself for a full flight.
Luckily, one of the few empty coach seats was next to me. This was particularly good as there was some sort of pillar protruding out of the wall and into my seat, banging against my arm. After takeoff, the two French flight attendants came down the aisles with moist towelettes, followed by beverage service and muffins.
The short flight was uneventful, and soon enough we were on the ground in Paris. Unfortunately, we landed at a remote gate, and after the entire plane deplaned onto the bus, we had a loooong – about 10 minute drive – across DeGaulle Airport into the main terminal, where I was silently processed through EU immigration and dumped into the insanity of Terminal 2E. From there, I made my way to the bus pickup area, where I boarded the Roissybus for my trip into the City for the next 24 hours….