BOS-CDG in coach: AF & AA questions

Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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BOS-CDG in coach: AF & AA questions

It's déjà vu all over again; I posted a similar question just about one year ago.We ended up flying AF last fall [thanks for the great advice, Fodorites!] & were happy with the choice.

So, why am I conflicted this time around ? AF is now using 747 instead of the 340 that we flew last year. Given the choice between AA/763 and AF/747 (all else is equal), I'm leaning towards AF again, but would love to hear others' thoughts.

The issue is hubby's height(6'8")& cranky back. Sure, legroom would be nice, but, hey, this is economy we're talking about, so we won't kid ourselves on that score !

Of greater concern than legroom is whether the armrests go up, vs. being fixed.If he can have a little wiggle room to reposition occasionally, it makes it a lot easier on both back and legs. Therefore, we're targeting moveable armrests.

So, finally getting to my questions:
1) Can I trust that all seats will have moveable armrests, unless SeatGuru says otherwise ?
2) Any thoughts, given the situation I've described, favoring 1 airline over the other ?
3) Any specific seat recommendations ?

I don't wish to over-think this, but as we are not familiar with the 747, I thought I'd ask. Thanks for any tips or warnings you'd care to share.

Gotta love those lower fares for late fall ! Bon voyage à tous !
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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On most airliners, armrest goes up except in the bulkhead rows, where the tray table and/or personal video screen are stored in the armrest.

AA's 763 should be more comfortable than AF's 744. 2-3-2 seating vs 3-4-3. Wider seats, and 1" more pitch.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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Thanks, rkkwan. I hadn't even checked out the row config comparisons yet---good point.

Also in AA's favor, I like being able to see the seat availability chart, which I cannot do w/AF.

Thanks again for your helpful reply !
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:07 AM
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If you're not already, sign up for AA's frequent flyer program. It doesn't take that long to rack up enough miles for upgrades.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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Agree with Carrybean about signing up for AA's Frequent Flyer Program. Also, you might want to look at getting an AAdvantage Award credit card. We charge everything to our card; it cost us $50 per year but we have been able to use miles for upgrades the last couple of years. Granted, it will also cost you $300 each way plus 25k miles, but on our trip to Frankfurt in September, if we clear the waitlist for our upgrades, it will still only cost us $1300 total plus 50k miles ROUNDTRIP for Business Class.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 11:08 AM
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In general the only seats that don't offer armrests that raise are those in the bulkhead and exit rows, and not always in the exit rows. Tall folks should always avoid the bulkhead rows as there's nothing to put your feet under.

I don't think the coach seats on the AA 767 are that swell - crummy legroom throughout. The 2-seat outboard sections are tolerable for 2 pax together.

On the other hand if you get a 3-seat section with nobody in the middle, best of both worlds.

Just one other thought, but would involve a connection. We swear by the morning AA flights from BOS to LHR. Flying during the day just makes it so much easier on the body, and you can always get a cheap hotel at LHR on Priceline. Leave at 9 in the morning, into a hotel by 9 pm or so that night, sleep in a bed, then short flight (or train ride) to Paris the next morning - no jetlag, etc. Works like a champ.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies & the info.
To Carrybean & bettyk, I've been an AAdvantage member since early 90's, when I traveled a lot for business. Once that opportunity ended (different job), my remaining miles expired. We've begun building again with trips to the Caribbean, but not enough so far. The ccard is, of course, a great idea.

Gardyloo--I agree that the AM flight is tempting. A few weeks ago, when coach fares were over $1Kpp, we were about ready to pounce on a deal with EOS, even though it would have meant connecting at EWR.

But just last week we started seeing the great low fares on nonstops from BOS, so now we're ready to just suck it up---'it' being the discomfort of cattle class---& be glad we can go for $250 less pp than we paid last fall. That savings equals a whole lotta kir, vin & cassoulet !

The comments about armrests are also much appreciated, & will help us avoid them. The one remaining thing I think I want to investigate before booking is the upper deck of the AF 747. I've read others' posts indicating it can have a roomier 'feel,' even if it's not.

Thanks again to all who replied.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Upper deck on the 747 will be quieter (from engine and from other passengers), but with a 3-3 seating, it's not going to feel roomy. Because of the curvature of the fuselage and tiny overhead baggage bins, I think it will be worse than a Continental 757.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Also, I don't know exact numbers, but many of the AF 744s have business class upstairs, not coach.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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rkkwan---
<<I think it will be worse than a Continental 757.>>
Yikes, I've made THAT trip to Europe, wouldn't want to repeat it. You are probably right---just standing up (upstairs) could pose a serious challenge for the big guy. And if it's Biz Class only, that would explain the SeatExpert graphic showing all 2's for upper deck seating. Guess it will be difficult for me to know the exact config without calling AF.

Thanks !
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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As of a couple of months ago, there was only one AF 744 remaining in the old 3 class configuration with business class seating upstairs (sold as coach). I don't know if it's still around but even if it is, there's no way to tell which flight it might show up on. All other 744s are reconfigured with coach seating upstairs now.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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lifes2short,
On seatexpert, you need to look at the 2 class seat map.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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Thanks, Patty, for the advice about checking the 2 class aircraft. Unfortunately, I have solidified my title of she-who-cannot-pull-the trigger. Those amazing, luscious fares I was seeing the past few days are, alas, gone. I snoozed and 'losed.'
It may be time to re-examine the Eos situation.
Thanks again, All, your tips will come in handy one of these days !
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