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Trip Report tips from recent travel to paris

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There are several things all travelers to Paris (and Europe generally) should know:
1. I earlier warned against anyone flying United or its affiliates to Paris from Dulles and back because they, since the merger with Continental, continue to screw passengers by using the Boeing 757, a single-aisle, three seats on either side, sardine can plane for the seven hour plus flight both ways. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!! Be SURE to check the plane you'll be on to ensure it's a Boeing or Air Bus plane with two aisles (equivalent to a Boeing 767 or 777) or you will find yourself uncomfortably crammed for the long flight.
2. Now Delta also has a problem with its planes. Be SURE to check that your plane has individual screens for EACH seat, not six screens scattered through the plane that allows no choice. The attendants apologized the plane was an "old one," but this hardly mattered. That Delta would use such planes, after extracting big dollars for tickets, speaks volumes about their concern for their passengers.
3. There is a new system in effect for VAT Tax refunds that greatly simplifies the process. Instead of standing on a long line with your purchases, just take your receipt to a VAT Tax machine, which will scan the bar code on it and "validate" it. Once this is done, just put the receipt in the envelope and mail it. Nothing could be easier!
4. It greatly simplifies things to get a Customs Declaration form when you leave for Europe and fill it out with passport and return flight information. Then, the night before you leave, fill it out as necessary. It will be done and you will avoid trying to do it on the plane, a tricky thing at best. Convenient and easy.

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