When you get to Paris, you should have learned a thing or three from Paris with Scott.
The flight attendants start opening those pull down shades EARLY! You will have finally fallen asleep and they are clanging though the aisles serving a strange breakfast, a hunk of cheese pressed into plastic, a croissant more like a roll and strange coffee by French or American standards. You are going to be tired. And, excited, but tired and a little disoriented.
Getting Off the Plane
Take your time – there will be lines to wait in after you get off the plane – so take your time, collect all of your things, make sure you are not leaving anything that is yours under your seat, in the seat back pocket in front of you or in your seat. Collect all of your items from the overhead bin. Ask your family and friends if they have everything – double check each other. Once you are off the plane, you are gone and anything you leave behind will be gone too.
France – You are in another country now – BIENVENU
Everything will be somewhat different – immediately. All the signs will be in French (and English), the people will speak French, the look of the toilets, the hinges on the doors, so many little things will be different and you will know you are in a different country that does things differently than the way we do it in America. France was “civilized” centuriesbefore the United States, they know how to do things too. Its okay for it to be different, don’t react badly to it, accept it as different and you will be way ahead of most visitors.
The first of your lines will be Passport Control. Only line up in the lines for “Other Countries” (Autre Pays, Pays Etranger). Do not get in a line for citizens of the European Union (EU)- sometimes above those lines there will be the sign of the European Union (circle of ___ gold stars on a deep blue field). Read above the signs above the booths at the head of the lines for yourself. People in the European Union line may be speaking English. Patiently wait and move forward – it goes quickly – and when called, approach the passport control offi cer with your passport and your [green card????___________]. The officer may ask questions, like, “Who are you traveling with?”, “Where are you staying?”. Just answer directly. He will stamp (maybe) your passport and then you move on to the baggage claim.
Move along following the signs for baggage claim (Equippage ______ and the symbol of the suitcases). If you are waiting on family and/or friends, just move away from the passport control booth and wait. When you are all ready, go to baggage claim, find the monitor displaying the number of the carousel for your flight’s bags and go to that carousel and collect your checked bags. Remember, a lot of bags look alike, so make sure you grab your bag and check the tag to make sure it has your name and home address. When all in your group have your bags, follow the signs to customs (L_______) they symbol is a head with a cap and open suitcase.
50 Euros or more
Elevators? Look for this symbol:
If you are not taking a taxi, and are taking the RER into Paris, look for this symbol:
Train and/or RER/Metro
You have to go through customs with your passport. Wait in line, they will call you, pleasant but they are security – they are serious.
50 Euros or more
helpful site: http://parisbytrain.com/tag/paris-airport/
To get it in English, click on the British flag symbol.
For more information on the symbols used, visit AIGA, the professional association for design.