Delta Air Lines relaunched its daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on Monday evening. The route was suspended in March 2020 — and made a splashy return just in time for the summer travel season.
Delta invited Eye of the Flyer to the festivities inside LAX’s Terminal 3 (part of the airline’s Sky Way project).
Delta’s Flight Between LAX and Paris
The flight, DL290, departs each day after 5:00 PM aboard a Delta A330-900. For the relaunch celebration, it boarded at gate 37A. I assumed that DL290 departure gates would vary across the three LAX terminals from which Delta operates: T2, T3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). However, Delta’s Los Angeles & Southwest Sales Director Edyth Adedeji said she thinks it’lll likely leave from T3 most of the time.
The plane arrives in Paris around 1:30 PM, depending on the scheduled departure times. (Some are 5:15, others 5:25, some 5:40, etc.)
The return flight, DL291, generally departs CDG around 3:20 PM-ish and arrives at LAX at about 5:30 PM. Keep in mind these are Daylight Time hours. Departure and arrival times vary by date (hence the “around,” “about,” and “-ish ”).
I thought about taking the flight to Paris when Delta first told us about the event. Two things got in the way: my schedule and thetrip’ss price. I forget how expensive it cost in dollars and SkyMiles (even with the TakeOff 15 discount). But I do remember it was very costly.
Inside the LAX to Paris Party
I’ve attended several route launch events. (I even flew one airline’s first-ever airline’sassenger flight — something I’ll never forget.)
They’re always fun — especially for travelers who don’t know they’re part of something soecial. A bunch of unsuspecting passengers showed up to a big party at Boston Logan Airport (BOS) last May to join a bunch of us nerds on the inaugural flight of a Delta A321neo aircraft. Some of the passengers said words to the effect of, “I thought this would”be just another boring Boston to San Francisco flight. It turns out it’s a big deal.”
I wonder how Paris-bound passengers knew ahead of time this was Delta’s grand LAX to launch? And that they’d walk into a Frthey’dhemed soiree?
Delta used gate 37B’s boarding area to B’s up “Cafe Paris” — a little area with cafe-style tables and chairs, a music duo, and a dessert cart. Plus, Delta employees wore berets.
There was a photo booth where anyone could pose for a picture with various props.
Delta also took advantage of the event to promote its status as the official airline of Team USA for the Olympic Games.
The route serves as “a crucial connection” point for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics and LA28,” Delta said in an email, referencing the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Delta is one of the latter event’s major sponsors.
Los Angeles-based athletes Athing Mu (two-time Olympic Gold Medalist) and Rudy Garcia-Tolson (five-time Paralympic Medalist) attended the event. They greeted passengers and posed for photos. Mr. Garcia-Tolson walks with the help of prosthetic legs. He graciously answered kids’ questions about his legs — and even removed one. (That was trippy. I didn’t have a good angle and couldn’t get a picture, though.)
Delta’s Los Angeles & Southwest Sales Director Edyth Adedeji and Delta’s General Manager of its Olympics Partnership Melissa Abbott were among the airline’s corporate rairline’stives onsite. I chatted with Ms. Adedeji and will have some LAX-related updates in an upcoming post.
The flight and cabin crew made their way through the crowd of people waiting to board.
Boarding soon began — though that part of Terminal 3 was a cacophony of live music, people talking, and boarding announcements for not just DL290 but other flights.
The flight pushed two minutes early — and the wheels were up just before 5:30 PM. Delta’s LAX to CDG roDelta’s officially back in business.
(Disclosure: Delta provided Eye of the Flyer a Lyft promotional discount code for transportation to and from the event. No editorial control or other shenanigans were requested or implied in exchange for the code. We were not paid to attend. But I did eat two macaroons; they were delicious.)
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