US Airways Club Charlotte
US Airways Envoy Class Charlotte to Paris
Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Star Alliance Lounge Paris
Air China Business Class Paris to Beijing
Air China Business Class Lounge Beijing
ANA 787 Business Class Beijing to Tokyo
Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport
Tokyo Narita Airport Hello Kitty Check-in
EVA Air Hello Kitty Business Class Tokyo to Taipei
EVA Air The Star Lounge Taipei
Taipei Airport Hello Kitty Gate
EVA Air Hello Kitty Royal Laurel Class Taipei to Los Angeles
We headed to the airport at around 6PM, and again walked to the train station and then took the inter-terminal train from terminal three to terminal one, which took about five minutes.
From the station we turned left and followed the signage towards Air China’s check-in counter.
While the terminal was mostly pretty empty, the Air China check-in counter had a massive queue which stretched around the whole side of the counter.
Fortunately there was no wait in the business class line. Check-in was efficient, and we were quickly issued boarding passes, lounge invitations, and priority security passes.
We headed towards passport control, which we were through in a matter of minutes. From there it was off to the Star Alliance Lounge.
At the entrance we presented our invitations but were also asked for our boarding passes, which had to be scanned. Kind of makes me wonder why they bother issuing invitations if you have to show your boarding pass anyway.
The first class lounge is located on the same level as the entrance, while the business class lounge is located one level down, which is rather unfortunate since the elevator in the lounge was broken.
There is a nice outdoor smoking area downstairs and to the left.
The lounge itself isn’t especially nice. While the furniture is fine, the lounge has low ceilings and is way too small for the number of passengers it’s intended to accommodate. Air China, ANA, and Asiana all have flights departing around the same time, so the lounge is packed in the evenings.
There’s a small business center with four PCs over by the entrance as well.
The food spread itself is actually quite good, though that might just be because I love desserts and I love ridiculously good baguettes, both of which the lounge has in spades.
The spread featured hot options, including a meat dish, vegetables, and soup.
Then there were cold options, like cheese, finger sandwiches, meat, and salad.
The lounge also has an open bar.
And then of course there are the standard packaged snacks you expect in a lounge.
I hadn’t eaten while on the ground in Paris and wasn’t especially hungry, though couldn’t resist the rather tasty-looking chocolate tart, which was even tastier than it looked.
WiFi in the lounge was generally slow, though I did manage to get a bit of work done. I was texting my mom from the lounge, and when I told her I was flying Air China she wasn’t very pleased — “Benji I am not sure if Air China is a good choice. I worry. I have not heard anything good about them. You should fly the Kitty plane instead.” After assuring her they have a good(ish) safety record and promising I’d text her upon landing she was a bit more at ease, I think.
We left the lounge 50 minutes before departure (at 7:30PM) given that we still had to clear security.
Charles de Gaulle is a generally crappy airport, though there’s something I love about the ridiculous moving sidewalks that probably should really be escalators, given that they “curve.” When walking on them I always feel like I’m about to get on Space Mountain at Disney World, or something.
While the general security queue was fairly long, the premium lane moved much more quickly. Our flight was leaving from gate 57, which was rather crowded. At around 7:50PM boarding began, starting with first and business class.
I’m not gonna lie, I was really excited to try Air China!