I have a general rule. If you can pay to fly direct, generally fly direct. There will be a time when you are very young and very old where you have the luxury of time but no financial ooph. Then you fly via via via but otherwise, try go direct.
So I had to fund a holiday for two and I had to break the cardinal rule. I had to go via via via.
I refused to go via Charles de Gaulle because that airport is infamous at losing either me or my luggage or both. It is impossible to get round that squashed doughnut shape quickly enough to make connecting flights (or have your luggage moved onto them) if you are even slightly delayed from your start point.
So we went via Dubai. I generally avoid anywhere connecting that is firstly in a desert and secondly starts with a D (and thirdly but not exclusively usually hosted in a place where they cut your hands off for theft and women are lesser citizens). So for me that means I generally don’t go via Dubai, Doha, Dakar and Abu Dhabi (I know the D is in the wrong place) – or Accra for that matter (A apparently being the other letter to avoid.)
Airflight was fine. Good in fact. But I remembered why I don’t do via. You land in a timezone that is in the middle of the night EVERYWHERE, including the place you are in, which just adds to the jetlag.
Bits of the airport smell like curry for some inexplicable reason and you can’t tell if it’s due to other weary passengers or a food house. Despite ‘duty free’ and ‘tax free’, many things are not particularly cheap. And noone really needs to own a giant Toblerone. Or, for some very strange reason, plastic containers making up jumbo litres of flavoured water when diluted out and mixed up. Or dates. (not the fun other half kind, the fruit type) Or alcohol. Or luxury brands you couldn’t afford BEFORE you went on holiday – and which don’t become MORE affordable just because you are in an airport.
The edges of the building, near glass doors or escalators onto atriums, are very hot. Because outside even in the middle of the night it’s over 30 degrees Celsius. But don’t worry. The inside areas are very cold. So you wish you had stolen the airplane blanky, such is the airconditioning.
Over half the restaurants, aesthetics AND branding looking like they have escaped from a mall in London. With excessive tourist prices to boot. Due to the jet lag/time lag issue, these restaurants live in some twilight limbo and serve breakfast next to supper according to diners needs.
Staff all clearly never see sunlight, working these strange graveyard shifts, and mostly appear Filipino, Indian, the odd Caucasian, the so called ‘locals’ clearly have better things to do, like SLEEP.
I’ve heard if you actually exit the airport prices drop (temperatures no doubt rise unless you are in airconditioning.)
Whatever. Personally, so far, that is another step too far for me.