Groundog Day in Flight


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Groundhog Day, I discovered, is a great day to fly to Paris – or anywhere for that matter -because chances are you can definitely get the feeling that your in the movie Groundhog day. To begin with, CNN reports the same event over and over again. As we wait for our flight in the Dulles C wing, that furry groundhog keeps reappearing on the television monitor.

After a while you don’t even hear the recording to keep all of your personal belongings close to you – or they will be destroyed.
But the plot thickens.

We board our United 914 flight right on time. Get settled in, with our seatbelts secured. Once we’ve gotten comfy the pilot announces that there’s a technical difficulty. The plane needs to have an oil filter changed which will require us to deplane immediately. Rather than repair the problem (the parts for 777 engines are not easy to get these days), we will have to wait for another plane to arrive from Beijing.

We head back to the same airport bar where we had lunch. The same waiter takes us to our table, but this time we have a conversation with a woman headed to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. She agrees with us that Paris is a very romantic destination (if we could just get there!).

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We also meet Joanne who is headed to Paris for a three-month stay as a student. To prove it, she already has her student card. About a hundred students are waiting with us for the next plane to pull in from Beijing. Joanne tells us that she signed up for her three month program back in California. “Just about all the schools in California have a program abroad she said – I ‘ll be taking French language courses and art history.” It was thanks to Joanne that we got $5 meal vouchers from United because of the delay. I know that Joanne will do really well in Paris. Elle sait se debrouiller. (She knows how to manage).

At 9:30 pm we are once again boarding a Boeing 777, headed toward the very same seats. The same slightly overweight woman is blocking the aisle as she fumbles in her suitcase for a book.
“Didn’t you do that already?” I asked her jokingly.
“Yeah, it must be Groundhog Day.”
“Just like the movie.”
The guy sitting in first class agrees as we brush past him for the second time.
But this time, the plane takes off and we arrive at CDG. The spell is broken. Groundhog day has once again come and gone.

Even if Groundhog day is over, there’s some great deals for flying to Paris during February.

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