Subject: Re: Airport woes
Hello Ziners,

My experience at Charles De Gaulle trying to use the RER into town was about as bad as it gets. The automated ticket machines don't take bills or credit cards, only coins, and 8 Eur in coin is something most travellers aren't carrying around with them, not to mention the weight. Euro coins are heavy!

I had about 6 Eur in coin, and lots of large bills, but I was nevertheless stymied at every turn. I considered waiting in line for a live ticket agent, but could see that that would take 45 minutes. I tried asking for change in the coffee shop for a 50 Eur bill (not the best thing, I agree) and was refused, then tried buying something in the coffee shop with the same bill and was again refused. Their attitude was they weren't going to make change for me, period.

By chance I then bumped into the person I'd sat next to on the flight to CDG, complained about how difficult things were, and she gave me two euros on the spot. Give thanks to the kindness of some strangers.

About the airport luggage carts, there is an interesting policy here in Chicago. In the domestic terminals they cost a dollar or two, but in the international terminal they're free. Apparently our mayor liked what he experienced on his international travels, and thought it was a courteous and thoughtful way to welcome international travellers to his city.

Joel, in Chicago