Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CDG airport's friendly security staff

I wasn't looking forward to my transit at CDG this afternoon. It isn't my favourite airport (although I would rather transit in Paris than Heathrow). I usually go through terminal 1 - which always reminds me of an ant farm with all the tubes connecting the various levels - but as I was traveling with Air France all the way to Ho Chi Minh City, I would only have to transit between terminal 2F and 2E. They are much newer than terminal 1 but it's a long walk from F to E and there are no luggage trolleys for transiting passengers. I was carrying my camera bag as well as an overnight bag, so I had sore shoulders by the time I got to 2E's security check. By that time I had decided that CDG was an airport that I definitely didn't like.

But my opinion was somewhat tempered by the time I got through security. They were extremely efficient - and surprisingly friendly. In fact in all the travels I have done, it would be probably the only airport security that I would describe as friendly.

That is not to say it was an easy transit. Everything had to come off - jacket, belt (but fortunately not shoes) and for the first time ever I was asked to remove all the items from my camera bag - camera body, lenses, flash unit, chargers and filters - and place them on a tray to be separately scanned. But the security staff were polite, smiling and friendly - and all spoke good English, apologising for the 'inconvenience' - and then wished me 'bon voyage' as I left the security area. Traveling would be much less of a hassle if all airport security staff were as friendly.

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