Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) – Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
STD: 12:25 PM ATD: 12:47 PM
STA: 2:15 PM ATA: 2:16 PM
Aircraft: Airbus A319 (OK-NEM)
Flight Date: November 30, 2016
Class of Service: Economy
Seat Type: Standard
Seat Pitch: 31 inches
Seat Width: 18 inches
Meals: Cold meal in Business Class, meals for purchase in Economy Class
In-Seat Outlets: No
IFE: None, but drop down screens display flight map
Thank to a miscommunication on Delta’s part regarding my ticket with KLM (it’s a very long story and I’d rather not get into it), I ended up taking the long way home to New York. Instead of the route I had initially booked (PRG-AMS-EWR), I was rerouted (PRG-CDG-ATL-JFK).
We got to the airport at around 6:30 to catch our initial flight, and at that time, the airport was pretty empty, with only a few people checking in. The building was festively adorned with Christmas decorations.Looking for a Snapshot of the trip? Jump to the Takeaway
After spending some time at the Erste Premium Lounge, it was finally time to board our new flight, so we made our way back down to the main terminal at 11:45 AM.
We got to the gate at about 11:50, just minutes away from our initial scheduled boarding time and found that they were nowhere near ready to board. Though our gate sign was not updated to reflect the delay, they eventually made an announcement to let everyone know that we’d be boarding later than scheduled since the plane had not yet arrived.
About 10 minutes later, the plane finally pulled up and the passengers from the previous flight deplaned.
At around 12:10 they made an announcement that they were ready to begin the boarding process. The boarding area was split into two sections – one for Sky Priority passengers (which includes Business Class and SkyTeam Elite passengers), and one for Economy Class passengers. Oddly enough, both lines were being boarded simultaneously.
The seats were set up in a 3-3 configuration, including those in Business Class, but, as with most intra-Europe flights, the middle seat was blocked off.
Thanks to our ticketing issue, they weren’t able to book us Business Class seats (not that we cared at this point, nor did it matter on a short flight like this, where the difference in class is minimal), but no one ended up sitting next to Brian and I so we ended up having an empty seat on our row.
The seats were standard for this type of of aircraft – the seat pitch of 31 inches and seat width of 18 inches is about what is to be expected for a plane this size with this configuration in Economy Class.
There were no personal TVs or in-flight entertainment of any sort on this flight, just tray tables on the seat in front of you.
The seat in front of me had a small metal button protruding from the seat which acted as a coat hook. If everyone had a meal or beverage on the flight, this would probably be problematic, since you (and your neighbor) would have trouble extending the tray.
At about 12:40 PM, the doors were shut, we pushed back and began our taxi to the runway. As we taxied, the drop down screens came down and played a safety demonstration video. During the flight, these did not play any entertainment, it just displayed a route map of our flight.
After a few minutes of taxiing, we took off at 12:47.
Since this flight is a fairly short one, no meals were served in Economy, though meals (and beverages) were available for purchase at about 8€. And as I’d mentioned earlier, there was no in-flight entertainment available on this flight.
It would be hard to comment on the level of service on this flight, since the Flight Attendants were mostly concerned with selling meals rather than serving (and there was not more than they were going to get done on a flight this short), though I wouldn’t say I felt the service to be anywhere near exceptional by any means.
Halfway through the flight, I popped into the lavatory, which was pretty basic (no lotion available here!), but was clean and well-kept.
At around 2:11, we landed at CDG, and arrived at our gate at about 2:19 PM.
Overall, this was a pretty uneventful flight, which is about what can be expected for a 1.5 hour flight. Though I would have appreciated a beverage and snack service while we were in the air, it was perfectly fine. Though this flight was booked as part of a longer itinerary, the average cost of this flight (one way) ranges from 60-100 USD. In comparison, Air France flies the same route, with ticket prices ranging between about 40-90 USD, but serve a light snack and offer a beverage service. Low-cost carriers EasyJet and Vueling also offer a nonstop service between these two cities, though I imagine those to be similar to this flight in terms of service.
I’m surprised that a national carrier offers such a low-cost carrier style service, what with payment required even for beverages (they’re making American legacy carriers look good). Since this is such a short flight, it’s not actually an issue, though this experience certainly doesn’t entice me to fly them again. Given the similar price points, I’d probably opt to fly Air France instead on this route if given the choice.
Check in: 3/10 – Not to get into the details here, but considering the issue I had with my ticket, I’d have to rank this poorly.
Lounge: N/A – Czech Airlines (oddly) does not operate a lounge out of Terminal C in PRG
Boarding: 6/10 – Delayed and disorganized
Food: N/A – They don’t serve a (complimentary) meal
Seat: 7/10 – As expected
Cleanliness of aircraft: 10/10 – Clean upon boarding. Lavatory was well maintained.
Crew: 7/10 – Average, nothing stood out about this crew.
IFE: N/A – There was none.
Elite recognition: 5/10 – Considering they don’t even board SkyTeam Elites ahead of everyone else, I’d have to rate this poorly. Really no other Elite considerations in any way – associate at Check In didn’t even let me know where the lounge was.
Flight Timeliness: 7/10 – Departed late, landed around scheduled time of arrival
Overall Rating: 35/60 (58%) ★★★★★
Do be honest, the rating seems harsh, but it’s probably about right. This doesn’t even factor in the fact that I’d expect there to be an airline-operated lounge at a carrier’s hub. Long story short: I should try to fly Air France next time.