1st Class vs Coach to France

Apr 12th, 2007, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
If you are on a budget and live near Seattle, then you should investigate Zoom Airlines to Paris, flying out of Vancouver. A Premium Economy ticket (36" of legroom, versus the 38-40" you'd get on BA or Virgin for their premium economy) would cost about $1100 US (June prices). There's a shuttle bus between the Seattle airport and Vancouver airport (or you could take the train.

$1100 US is a reasonably good price for a flight from the West Coast with more legroom than the usual coach seat. Premium Economy on BA would cost you $2200, and you'd have to transfer in London. Regular economy class flights on Expedia show a range of $1200 (with one stop) to $1500.

The tradeoffs with flying Zoom are that you have to get yourself to Vancouver (but, hey, make a virtue of it and spend a day in Vancouver) and the flight stops once en route to Paris (in Calgary) - but you don't have to connect; it's just a stop to pick up passengers. Go to www.flyzoom.com.
Kate_W is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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I'd double check about Zoom. I'm hearing about financial issues with them.

Mike in Toronto
Michel_Paris is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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I believe you only get more legroom in PE in Zoom, not the wider seats or extra recline on BA, Virgin and SAS.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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I don't think that is such a great price (kate's post about zoon).

I fly from Seattle nonstop to London on BA for about that price. Having to get to/from Vancouver (3 hours) at the start/end of a Europe trip, and having a stop in Calgary along the way, would not be worth a bit more leg room to me.
suze is online now  
Apr 12th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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I bought tickets in BA's Premium Coach departing from SEA in May going to London Heathrow, returning in June for about $1100. But that was almost a year ahead of time, in order to use miles to upgrade to Business class. I looked for September just now, and, if you're flexible on dates, the fare's about $1550. (Probably includes the fuel surcharge that we avoided.) To Paris, it's about $1800.

But Air France is starting a non-stop Seattle to Paris this June. Beats changing planes, especially in Heathrow.

I've never flown Air France, so don't about the seating, but BA is VERY crowded in coach. If I, at 5'3", think the seat pitch is too short, I can't imagine what it's like for tall people. See what they say about AF at www.seatguru.com.
Mimar is online now  
Apr 12th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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....."From SEA, seriously consider premium economy on BA or SAS."

I vote NO to first class or premium coach. I agree with the fly cheap, sleep cheap eat well philosophy.

SEATAC to CDG is actually a shorter flight that Houston Intercontinental to CDG. (about 10-15 miles) The perception of length is often more than the actual great circle route that the plane will take. I went Air France IAH to CDG roundtrip in coach last September and it's OK. (~ my 18th trip to Europe)

Two pieces of advice:
1. Drink lots of water on the flight. MOST of the jet lagged feeling is from being dehydrated from the cabin atmosphere on long flights.

2. Get some Ambien (not Ambien CR) and try it before your trip to see how you like it. It has made a real difference in being able to get at least some sleep on these flights.

( I have been on coach and on the "Business/First" and will no longer pay extra ($ or miles) for a bigger seat and better food on the airplane.
Fibonacci2358 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 09:35 AM
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I'd rather go to Europe three times a year in coach than one time in 1st class.

Though I do love it when I get bumped up!
StCirq is online now  
Apr 14th, 2007, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I'd recommend you fly Silverjet (all business class) from Newark to Luton airport in London, then take a cheap flight for the (very) short hop across to Paris. Or you could even take the train from London to Paris which is amazing, very fast through the Channel Tunnel and a great experience. You'll have your cake and eat it: get the luxury of flying in a premium cabin on the long transatlantic sector and save a fortume compared to the usual business class fares. You should be able to get a fare on Silverjet for not much more than $1000 return which is a bargain for business class. If you know what dates you want to fly and don't plan to change them you get the best fare. Check out their web site and don't be put off the way the fares on the front page are in UK pounds, you'll get a quote in dollars:


flystephanie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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There is also a First Class carrier directly to Paris. L'Avion flies from the East Cost (I can't recall where) to Orly. Fares can be very reasonable. I don't know much about it, but....
CarolA is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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You may have been able to fly to London from SEA for the price I mentioned (but you didn't say if you flew in Economy or Premium Economy). The prices I pulled up and compared were for the same dates, using June 2007 as an example. Obviously, there are sales from time to time (and you can often get a better deal by booking far in advance) - but I've noticed that trans-Atlantic fares in summer have been skyrocketing in the last 3 years.

As the various replies on this thread have revealed, what kind of fare is "worth it" depends on what you value and what is uncomfortable or comfortable for you. Thank goodness we don't have "votes" on how we travel, because I wouldn't want to live with fibonaci2358's "no vote" (although s/he can do whatever s/he chooses). I don't mind connecting in London to get to Paris because a) PE is worth it to me; b) I enjoy an hour or two of shopping at Heathrow; and c) PE flights contribute to keeping my British Airways top tier status, which means I get to check in at the 1st class desks and use the 1st class lounges. (And I also value those parts of the experience a lot, too, because I make at least a dozen trips a year.) So, I won't be flying Zoom any time soon. My sister would drive or take a train for several hours to take a flight with PE because she has severe chronic back pain. The trip to Vancouver wouldn't be uncomfortable, but an 10-11 hour flight in coach would be impossible.

parisbound07 shouldn't fly out of Vancouver or Calgary unless a) it's a good value or b) she can otherwise find some value in going there.
Kate_W is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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If you want to fully enjoy yourself, no question about it - fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to London, spend the night at the Heathrow Crowne Plaza with it's marvelous huge warm swimming pool and terrific room service, catch a cheap flight to Paris the next morning. You hit CDG refreshed and ready for Paris. It's heaven.
judyserienagy is offline  

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