Sounds like you've set it up well! There's one other thing you (or anyone reading this) should know about that XL flight from Paris. You get on the plane and half of the people on it are going to the village at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. This means two things:
First: the flight there is OK because you arrive in San Sal first. But the return is hell because you get on in San Sal and then you fly to the DR. There, you wait during a 3 hour layover for all the people from Punta Cana to join the plane. There is a waiting area with Duty Free, etc., but it's not air-conditioned and it's pretty miserable. (But this stop is required before the plane takes off back across the Atlantic because the San Sal airport doesn't have the equipment, etc. to certify the plane for a trans-Atlantic flight.)
Second: because you are also travelling with people who are going to Punta Cana (with an excellent mini-club), the plane is packed with shrieking, coughing little kids. It's a 9 hour flight of hell. Plus, when I last did it back in 2003, I am SURE it's how I caught the bronchitis that ruined my first week of diving.
Although I don't know yet if I'll have the cash to go back to Columbus this summer, I did play around with the prices on the internet last week. Ironically, it is CHEAPER for me to book a ticket from Paris to Atlanta (where my family lives) and pay for the flight to FLL and then on to San Sal vs. taking the direct flight from Paris on XL!
I am often amazed on the pricing differences on the different CM websites. The basic rule of thumb is this: if I am travelling to the N. American zone, it's cheaper for me to do my own trans-Atlantic flight and book through CM USA. But if I'm going to a village in Europe or the Middle East (Egypt, etc.), then it's cheaper for me to book through the French CM site.
Have a great trip!
Dive now; work later!
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