“Best Deal to Paris”
Flight from Washington, D.C. to Paris
- Number of Stops:
- 1 stop in Madrid, Spain
- Date of Flight:
- February 2010
- Seat Class:
I have flown the IAD to ORY via MAD 11 times since Dec 08 on Iberia. I find this to be a very enjoyable flight for several reasons.
Flight to Paris
Check-in: Iberia check-in is pleasant, the line goes quickly, and there are usually 6 agents working to speed up the process. It must be noted now that I have never checked-in a bag, not because I'm scared, but because I pack light and it wasn't needed. But as far as I know, there is no checked bag fee.
While the departure from IAD is usually a little late (from 30-45 minutes behind), the time is made up in the air and arrival in Madrid is as expected.
This is an older airline with no individual tv's. Leg room is a little larger than I expected and the seat is adequate. The head rests do not have the little flaps to "hold" your head like some other airlines (ie, United's flight to Paris does.) I like these little flaps, so that's why I am mentioning it here :)
I must mention also, that I have never flown this flight when it was full. I usually have at least 2 seats to myself to stretch out on and nap for the flight.
The meal was tasty and free wine was given. The stewardesses were very pleasant, helpful and cheerful.
Arrival at Madrid:
Immigration in Madrid is always a breeze - I'm talking 5 minutes or less to get your stamp!!!!! It's great. There are always plenty of friendly officers working to speed up the process.
The train system between terminals in the airport is clean and quick. There is about 3 minutes between trains. The flight to Paris leaves out of the JKL area, the gate has never been the same on any of my flights. The gate of departure to Paris is announced about 30 minutes prior to boarding time on the board. If you're a smoker (I am) there are plenty of smoking areas in the terminal to utilize. Shopping and food is abundant, too.
Flight to Paris:
90% of the time leaves on time. These planes are smaller (to be expected) and once again, "adequate". Meals and drinks to be purchased only. The flight is so short, there is barely enough time for the stewardess to make it down and back with her cart before we land.
Arrival to Paris (Orly):
If you do not know about Orly, you're missing a calm and quick airport. Orly is compact, quick and close to Paris. No immigration/customs to go through (because it's part of the Schengen). So you get off the plane and that's it!
Transportation to the center of Paris:
The Orly bus is convenient and what I always took. It's cheap 6e and plenty of room to store luggage.
Flight back to IAD via MAD
Check in at Orly:
The line at Orly moves a little slow, but the process takes about 30 minutes to check-in. If you compare this to CDG where the check-in on U.S. based airlines can be up to 2 hours, this is a amazing. It's less stressful and more time can be spent in Paris as opposed to the airport. I always have a clearer mind when I fly through Orly. CDG has the tendency to panic my mind.
Flight to Madrid:
same as the flight to Paris.
Connecting in Madrid:
Same as connecting earlier, except backward. The exit stamp is given in Madrid and is a quick process.
Flight to IAD:
same as the flight to Madrid with one exception. I have faced delays leaving Madrid. One time the delay was 3 hours after we had already boarded - they had to re-fuel the plane.
Some quick thoughts:
I thought I stumbled upon a gem with this flight. The prices are rock bottom.
A few amenities are lost ( n flight personal tv's, older airplane) These amenities are more than made up with the stewardesses and the delightful Madrid airport.
Even though a few delays are always expected, I would much rather fly through Madrid than through London or, for the fact, in the winter, a northern airport. Weather delays are rare in Madrid, as opposed to the northern European airports where they are common.
Also, Madrid is a very lovely city if you want to go into the city via the train/metro system that connects the airport to the city.
I have recommended this flight to my family, husband and friends and now you!
Book this flight, you won't regret it!