scorecard
  1. Home
  2. entertainment
  3. news
  4. I flew from LA to Paris to see Taylor Swift. I was only in the city for 48 hours but it was worth it and easier than I expected.

I flew from LA to Paris to see Taylor Swift. I was only in the city for 48 hours but it was worth it and easier than I expected.

Kelsey Vlamis   

I flew from LA to Paris to see Taylor Swift. I was only in the city for 48 hours but it was worth it and easier than I expected.
  • I left LA on a Thursday, saw Taylor Swift in Paris on Saturday, and returned to LA on Sunday.
  • The Eras Tour was as good as everyone says, but I was disappointed one album was left out.

I'm not exactly what you would call a Swiftie — so why did I fly 11 hours each way from Los Angeles to Paris for a couple of days just to see Taylor Swift on the opening weekend of the latest leg of her record-shattering Eras Tour?

For one, my soon-to-be mother-in-law invited me on a girls' trip and bought great tickets. Two, because I have been a fan of Swift's for years. (I saw her open for Rascal Flatts in 2008. Yes, open!) And three, because, well, who wouldn't want to see the biggest pop star of her generation at the top of her game?

In 2023, Swift's Eras Tour was estimated to have generated more than $1 billion in ticket sales, the most ever for a tour. Even her film adaptation of the show drew in $250 million, making it the highest grossing concert film of all time. And in the US alone, the Eras Tour was estimated to have generated $5 billion in economic impact.

Taylor Swift is an event, and I didn't want to miss it.

Flying nonstop from LA to Paris on Air France was a breeze

I flew from LA to Paris on Thursday, May 9, and only had to take two days off work — not bad for a trip to Europe. My Air France flight left LAX at 3:20 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Paris the following day, Friday, at 11:15 a.m. local time.

I had an aisle seat in Premium Economy. While nothing like the first-class cabin, where the seats fully reclined into a flat bed, the premium economy seats were wider, had more leg room, and reclined a bit further than the seats in the main cabin. It also had a footrest that could be extended out.

At the start of the flight, Air France offered complimentary glasses of Champagne to all passengers, which I passed on. During dinner, I did have a free glass of red wine, which to my surprise, was actually pretty good.

Dinner was served less than two hours after takeoff. I had mushroom ravioli, which was served with a salad, soft French cheese, biscuits, a roll, and cheesecake — all of which were much better than what I'm used to having on flights. There was coffee and tea service after dinner, which came with a piece of dark chocolate.

I watched "The Lord of the Rings" for the 100th time before and during dinner, which made the time fly by. After the meal, the lights dimmed in the cabin, and it was time to try to sleep.

Armed with eye covers and noise-cancelling headphones, I was able to sleep for around five hours or so, even though it was probably only around 6 p.m. my local time when I fell asleep.

I woke up only when the lights had been turned on, and breakfast was being served, around an hour and a half before landing. Breakfast was a warm spinach and cheese pastry, a roll with butter and jam, orange juice, a fruit cup, and a yogurt drink.

I watched more "Lord of the Rings" and the flight landed on time.

Paris was full of Taylor Swift fans

We went straight from the airport to our hotel, had lunch at a café, and were walking to the Eiffel Tower by around 3 p.m. local time.

I was feeling a little sleepy, but it was surprisingly tolerable. The weather was amazing in Paris and there were people everywhere taking in the sunshine.

Swifties were also everywhere. I spotted plenty of Swift merch and the beaded friendship bracelets that have become a staple of the Eras Tour — which was unsurprising, considering some 42,000 people were expected to attend one of the four dates at La Defense Arena.

It was clear the Swifties had come from all over too, including other countries in Europe and the US. Swift was even expected to attract five times as many luxury American travelers to Paris than the Olympics will when it kicks off in the city in July.

Speaking of the Olympics, several areas near the Eiffel Tower and other surrounding areas had temporary scaffolding, as seating and other infrastructure are being put in place to host the games.

After walking around Paris all afternoon, we went back to the hotel to take a quick nap, and then went out for dinner at a classic French brasserie, La Rotonde de la Muette. I had beef tartar with french fries that was so good it alone may have made the trip worth it.

Struggling to stay awake by the end of the evening, I went to sleep that night around 11 p.m. and slept a solid 11 hours — which I am convinced helped me get through the next day and avoid jet lag.

I woke up Saturday morning ready to go. After an amazing café breakfast, more walking, shopping, and croissants, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the concert.

The concert was over three hours, and she played songs from the new album

Before we even left the hotel, an adorable little girl from the US approached us and asked if we wanted to trade friendship bracelets, the first of several times that would happen that night.

We took an Uber to La Defense Arena, located northwest of the city center and about 15 minutes from our hotel. As we got closer to the arena, the streets were packed with people and police.

The huge crowds outside the arena, waiting to buy merch or lining up to be let in, were decked out in sparkles, sequins, and cowboy hats. I spotted several outfits that looked almost exactly like ones Swift has worn herself, or that were clearly inspired by a specific album.

We finally got in around 5:45 p.m. With our tickets, we had access to a quite bougie lounge that had free food (delicious) and drinks (also delicious). Inside the lounge, we spotted a famous TikToker whose videos of the show that night racked up millions of views, and I casually started chatting to a former top executive of one of the big five tech companies.

We stayed in the lounge while watching the opener, Paramore. When the countdown appeared on the screen for Swift, we went to our actual seats, which were right outside the lounge, stage left.

I won't describe the concert in detail — there is, after all, an entire movie of it — but needless to say, it was as striking as everyone says. The set pieces, the outfits, and the dance numbers were all incredible.

But the real sight to behold was Swift herself, running up and down the stage in heels for more than three hours, never appearing out of breath or even very sweaty, frequently smiling so big and expressing so much gratitude that it was easy to forget this was just one of dozens of tour dates.

There were also some changes to the show, most notably the addition of songs from her new album, "The Tortured Poets Department."

I was shocked and a bit disappointed to realize Swift was not playing any songs from her first album. I was also baffled to learn that she's never explained why she chose to omit her self-titled debut that launched her into stardom from a tour meant to celebrate all the eras of her career.

Theories abound (though most of them also apply to her second album, "Fearless," which she did include), but perhaps the most convincing is simply that the album is not very popular with her fan base compared to her newer work.

But besides making this millennial feel a bit old and a little sad by not playing those songs, the show was still great.

I flew back to LA just two days after arriving and somehow avoided jet lag

We went back to the hotel right after the show to get some sleep before our flights. My Air France flight took off from Paris on Sunday, May 12, at 10:40 a.m. and was set to land in LA the same day at 1:05 p.m. local time, some 11 and a half hours later.

The flight went almost exactly the same as the first, with dinner served less than an hour and a have after take off — this time, it was a mashed pea vegetable dish, salad, roll, biscuits, and a lemon pastry. I watched more "Lord of the Rings" until the lights went out and it was time to sleep again. (I finished the entire trilogy during the flights to and from Paris.)

Surprisingly I was able to sleep on-and-off for around four hours, until eventually the light came back on and it was time for breakfast, about an hour and a half before landing.

We again landed right on time at LAX. I got through customs in about 15 minutes and took an Uber home. It was around 3 p.m., and I was definitely feeling a little bit out of it. Still I forced myself to stay awake and just lounged on the couch the rest of the day — something that I think also helped me avoid jet lag.

I went to sleep at a normal time that Sunday night, about 80 hours after I had first taken off for France, with 22 of those hours spent in the air.

I woke up Monday morning well-rested, feeling exactly how I do after a normal weekend.


Popular Right Now




Advertisement