Air France

Old Oct 18th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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a colleague of mine flew AF from Paris to Rio. Right in the middle of the Atlantic ocean one of the TWO engines broke and went out of order. He told me that the speed suddently was reduced and they could hear almost no noise of the other engine !
The panic on board was never evident but covered by an absolute silence for the next 3 hours, when they did their emergency landing in Fortaleza, the first approach to land after the ocean !
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 07:07 AM
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Flew AF's new 340 last month. Enjoyed the new tv screen that came to within 6" of my noise when the seat in front was reclined, and it was reclined for just about the entire trip. Food catered out of Pearson was the worst I have experienced; much, much better return flight. Never heard of my agent's request for low-fat meals; ran out of chicken on the return flight after having served a mere 50 people. Friendly staff, however. Never again.
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 07:38 AM
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I am flying them in a month and I am not so sure its a good idea to go fishing for opinions with your ticket in hand.

I have never read rave reviews on AF. I did fly a connecting flight to Florence Italy about 2 years ago. My flight from NYC was Alitalia. Gotta tell you on that connecting Air France flight the food was so good I had to tell them. I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT ON ANY AIRLINE. They also told me the food was a test for AF. They had not used this food before and it looked like I was on the air craft (midweek) with a lot of business professionals. It was a treat because I was not stopping in France and it was a gourmet French meal but yeah a microwave gourmet meal so use your imagination here. This may have been a fluk.

Listen its almost always better to bring your own food on these flights. What you eat might taste ok but it never has food value and so I suspect does not help with jet lag. ALWAYS BRING WATER and hand sanitizer or wipes too. Its never a cake walk but its not really jail time either. You get off the plane you are in PARIS. ooh la la!
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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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I remember reading one of the AF air/hotel packages brochures a few years ago where they say all the meals served would be gourmet French meals. I failed to find that that was true. The meals that I got served in the cheapest class had French names, but they didn't taste 'gourmet' to me. What happened to those test meals I wonder?

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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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"I am getting ready to leave for a Direct flight from Atlanta to Paris with air France."

You are doubtless confusing "direct." They are not the same. "Nonstop" means you don't stop. Big surprise. But "Direct" means that you do stop but do not change planes." If you actual;ly booked a direct flight, it is probably not what you want.

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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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richardsonsnm,
Sorry to hear of your poor AF first class experience. I flew AF in business from LAX to CDG earlier this year and while the service wasn't overly attentive, I found it to be polite and professional.

The seats on the other hand left much to be desired. 48" seat pitch just doesn't cut it anymore when compared to other airlines' transatlantic service, but they're slowly, slowly, ever so slowly working on their cabin retrofitting.

The food was also dreadful. I had some sort of processed chicken product for dinner and breakfast was indistinguishable from an economy class meal. I figured that they must save all of the good stuff for the first class passengers

I'm flying AF again in December but in the opposite direction (CDG to LAX) this time. I know they'll still have the old seats but I hope that at least the catering ex-CDG is better than ex-LAX!

Oh and one other thing I found very strange was that there was no toothbrush/toothpaste in the business class amenity kit.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 06:58 AM
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We flew Air France 9/30/05 from SFO to Athens with a short stop over in CDG for an hour. Our luggage was lost somewhere between Paris and Athens. They couldn't locate it or tell us when we could have it. We continually checked on its status and they could tell us nothing. It showed up 5 days later. We have tried to get reimbursed the 100 Euros per person that their paperwork clearly states is owed to us for immediate/basic needs and we have been unable to do so despite multiple efforts through various mediums. So ... while the flights themselves were fine, the luggage debaucle on our honeymoon was a bit of a nightmare and now they won't even give us the money for the clothing/toiletries we needed for the 5 days we were without our luggage!
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 08:04 AM
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We flew AF from Paris several weeks ago and found it to be a cut above Delta which we usually fly due to living in Atlanta. The food was much better and we really liked the aircraft--the huge one with a second level-- which holds about 400 people--it was very new and superclean. However, we had to land in Miami because this plane apparently does not fly into Atlanta. It added length to the trip but we also found Miami to be more pleasant going through customs, etc than Atlanta which is always a bad experience.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 01:06 PM
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I fly AF twice a month long haul, they are not so bad once you get to know how to work the system. I used to get frequent free upgrades from Rio to Paris, and collecting miles with them has never been easier, spending them is even easier. Flying from the UK to US is only 50,000miles + tax for me that is 2 1/2 flights.
I am now travelling to Angola where things are a bit backward so you expect things not to be as smooth. But AF is definitely not the worst airline, I have flown a lot and TAAG Angola's national airline is an experience - never again!
For those travelling through CDG be aware this place is a haven for lost luggage, I never travel with anything other than hand luggage while on business, going on vacation they usually prioritise my luggage as I hold their platinum FF card. Now they are linked with KLM I would try and use them, better lounges, in flight service, and one of the best airports in Europe - Schipol.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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We just came back from Italy and we flew Air France. Food and flight attendants were wonderful but my baggage was lost for four days. In fact about 20 people on my flight also had their luggage lost. We were told we would have it returned the next day and we were given a number to call. I used 2 phone cards during the four days and never got through to the airport. The woman who owned the holtel tried every number in the book and she could not get through. We had to take the train back to the airport to find out that my luggage had just been four (day 4). No apology- nothing!
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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We have never had those problems as some of the posters mention. The roll of the cards or luck, I guess.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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Except for one unfortunate occasion, we have always flown AF from DC to Paris to Marseille. It's never been great nor horrible - at best, it's mediocre!

However, with the possible exception of Singapore Airlines, how many of the carriers offer really exceptional service these days?

The seats are getting smaller (or my tush is getting larger), the meals are merely sustenance, the flight attendants seem gravely unhappy with their career choice, and many of the passengers dress as if they just rolled out of bed and onto the aircraft. Not a pretty picture, no matter which airline you choose.

Certainly first or business class are a step up from economy, but let's face it, the whole airline business lacks the panache and luxury of the early days of transatlantic flight (and I'm not harkening back to Howard Hughes' days).
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Sorry to continue on a negative note, but I just remembered a particularly painful AF experience and am compelled to share. The lines for the toilets were particularly long and irksome, and had been for quite some time. My lovely (but elderly) Mother (AKA Traveling Companion #1), had weaved her way down the aisle to the line a number of times but gave up on her quest because of the length of the lines. Finally, she realized that the AF flight attendants were not allowing any passengers to use an alternative toilet - when asked if she could use it, she was curtly told "Non!" At the age of (then) 85 and faced with no plausible reason not to use the vacant toilet, Mother "stormed the barricades" (as it were) and marched into the unoccupied compartment. She left in her wake some very flustered and apparently unhappy members of the AF staff and a cheering line of fellow passengers . . . a scene reminiscent of "Les Miserables"! Bottom Line: When faced with immoveable AF flight attendants and an unoccupied toilet, damn the good manners your Mother taught you and proceed full steam ahead! Mother and most of the other passengers were relieved that she did!
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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I'm surprised at your experience. I have seen many an older woman on AF and we all reliquished our place in line for that elderly person.
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Old Nov 6th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Oh that you were on that flight with us! Generally, we have found that people (especially non-Americans) are very mannerly and respectful towards the elderly - because of Mother's age, we have often been moved to the head of the line going through airport security and are usually asked if we would like to board the plane first.

However, on this occasion I think that the others in the line had themselves been waiting so long that they were hesitant to give up their places in line. The dour-faced AF flight attendants were very rude to my Mother as if daring her to push her case to use the vacant WC. She did and we all cheered! It was a "one-off" experience that we hope not to repeat.
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 02:18 AM
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"The dour-faced AF flight attendants were very rude to my Mother as if daring her to push her case to use the vacant WC."

Air France must be having their personnel trained by Air Canada these days.
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Old Nov 24th, 2005, 02:15 AM
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"The dour-faced AF flight attendants were very rude to my Mother as if daring her to push her case to use the vacant WC."

As an American Expat who has lived in France for three years I applaud your mother for doing "the very French thing" and standing up for herself, especialy for her simple dignity.

A taxi driver in Paris once told me "In France priority is yours for the taking ". Boy did she make that statement ring true!

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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 05:17 AM
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I'm happy to report that the recent catering ex-CDG was far better than what I experienced going the other direction (ex-LAX) earlier this year. Also since my last AF flight, they've added a toothbrush/toothpaste and hand cream to the business class amenity kit.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 07:40 PM
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I had a poblem in Rome with Air France loosing my luggage but I must say they were very fair in compensating me for my problems` I would definitely fly with them again.
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Old Dec 15th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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We've flown with Air France a few times, even with connections, and I guess we have been fortunate not to have lost our luggage. But it seems as though AF is notorious for doing this.
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