Bonjour from Paris! We’ve had great trip so far in Paris (that unfortunately ends today) and while I had a free moment, I wanted to share some tips I learned on this trip flying on American Airlines and staying at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome.
– For those traveling on the AirTrain to JFK and going to American Airlines (terminal 8), get off at Terminal 1 and switch to the inter-terminal AirTrain instead of riding the AirTrain all the way around to Terminal 8. You will easily save 10+ minutes.
– Interesting note on TSA Precheck. My wife changed her last name after our marriage and we even went to the Global Entry office to update her name there too. However, when checking in for our flight, I had TSA Precheck but she did NOT. I tried to sneak her past the TSA Precheck line with no avail but the agent said I could use the priority lane (usually reserved for elite or first class passengers). So we approached the priority line, I told the agent manning the line I had precheck and she didn’t and we were sent over here, all she replied was “That Sucks” but still let us through!. I was surprised this worked and honestly not sure the reason behind it but I’ll take it.
– If you fly AA internationally, try to take one of their new Boeing 777-300 planes. Even in coach, I fit fine (not always the case at 6’3”, 210lb) and it had a great entertainment system. Service was good too. For 20k miles one way to Europe, its unbeatable.
– First impression of Paris was not good. I almost got scammed by following what I thought was a taxi driver to his car as he told me all other cabs were “pre-booked”. I then realized this was a scam and promptly just ducked into the nearest actual taxi. Then checking into the hotel was fine but the concierge forgot to obtain a museum pass for us (after replying to emails before we left they would have it for us at checkin) and then tried to tell us we shouldn’t get one and it wasn’t a problem. I did not appreciate the concierge’s defensive attitude but it worked out in the end.
– After 4 days here, I can say I actually really like Paris and I look forward to returning. There is a ton to do and it is a great city to walk around in. Food is excellent as well.
– I will touch more upon this in a future post but I don’t think I would recommend the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome at 30,000 Hyatt points a night. Don’t get me wrong its a great hotel but with so many other options in this city, I don’t think its worth the high cost in points. The service (outside the concierge is great) but the rooms are small, the breakfast overpriced at 50 EUR and the place had a stuffy kind of feeling (that happens when people actually pay the 700-800 EUR nightly rate).
– Lastly, highly recommend taking a cooking class while you’re here if your into that sort of thing. We did a French desserts class and it was a blast! I swear my Creme Burlee was better then the restaurant’s where I had it the night before.