French Language Blog

Longues Layovers – Delayed Flights In French Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Culture, Vocabulary

I had un long vol (a long flight) back to les États-Unis a month ago to make it home for the holidays. Le vol was unfortunately delayed which led to many conversations with the staff in l’aéroport (the airport) trying to figure out how I was going to get home.

where to?” by Pawel Loj on Flickr. Licnesed under CC BY 2.0.

Je me suis réveille à 4 heurs du matin (I woke up at 4 in the morning) the morning of le vol. I originally wanted to take les transports en commun (public transportation), but les roues de ma valise (my suitcase’s wheels) had broken the day before and I didn’t want to have to lug ma valise all around Paris.

I ended up taking an Uber, but there was an unusual amount of traffic. It turned out that there was une grève (a strike) taking place slowing down traffic everywhere. Over an hour later than I expected, I arrived at l’aéroport worried I had missed le vol. I quickly walked up to le comptoir (the counter) and started asking about le vol.

A: Excusez-moi, Monsieur, est que je peux toujours enregistrer mes bagages ?
B: Donnez-moi votre billet, s’il vous plaît… Ah, en fait votre vol est retardé.
A: Ah… d’accord… alors quand est-ce qu’il va partir ?
B: Nous ne savons pas encore.
A: Et j’ai une correspondance à Lisbonne…
B: Attendez un moment, s’il vous plaît.

A: Excuse me, sir, can I still check in ?
B: Give me your ticket please… Ah, actually your flight is delayed.
A: Ah… alright… then when is it going to leave?
B: We don’t know yet.
A: And I have a connection in Lisbon…
B: Please wait a moment.

The employee left to ask someone else about la correspondence, but I could tell I was looking at une longue escale (a long layover). While waiting I started feeling nerveux (nervous). I couldn’t help but think to myself:

Mais ma famille m’attende !
But my family is waiting for me!

The employee came back with la mauvaise nouvelle (the bad news):

B: Malheureusement vous allez manqué votre vol à Lisbonne, mais vous aurez une chambre dans un hôtel avec des repas.
A: D’accord…
B: Nous sommes désolés de tout dérangement.
A: Donc il y a des navettes au hôtel ?
B: Il y aura soit des navettes soit la compagnie aérienne vous payera un taxi. En tout cas la compagnie aérienne s’occupera du transport entre l’aéroport et l’hôtel.
A: D’accord, merci pour votre aide.
B: De rien. Encore une fois nous somme désole de la gêne que ceci vous a causé.

B: Unfortunately you are going to miss your flight in Lisbon, but you will have a room in a hotel with meals and transportation to and from the airport.
A: Alright…
B: We are sorry for any inconvenience.
A: So there are shuttles to the hotel?
B: There will either be shuttles or the airline will pay for a taxi. In any case the airline will take care of the transportation to and from the airport.
A: Alright, thank you for your help.
B: You’re welcome. Once more we are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Several hours later and l’avion a décollé (the plane took off). Once in Lisbonne, an employee gave me and all the other stranded passagers (passengers) waivers for the hotel, meals, and taxi. I had a nice night of sleep after all that stress and, heureusement (luckily), was not haunted by trois esprits!

A day later than expected, feeling very tired from la fatigue à cause du décalage horaire (the jetlag) after le vol long-courrier (the long-haul flight), I was finally home to celebrate Noël et la Saint-Sylvestre (Christmas and New Year’s) with my family!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Anne Bauer Wright:

    J’aime votre narration.

  2. Lana Ashford:

    Again, I must thank you. I learn so much from your practical experiences. It has been very helpful for me.