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Air France Non Stop vs. United or Delta SFO-CDG Which way to go?

Air France Non Stop vs. United or Delta SFO-CDG Which way to go?

Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Air France Non Stop vs. United or Delta SFO-CDG Which way to go?

I am planning a Thanksgiving break trip to Paris departing from San Francisco to CDG.

There is an Air France non stop flight to CDG from SFO that looks like a great schedule.
My only hesitation in booking this flight is the negative reviews of Air France that I have read on various websites.
Does anyone have any recent experience with Air France, either positive or negative?

Our other choices for the same general price are United or Delta but they both have one stop. I have flown the United flight to CDG so I know what to expect there, but not Delta. It looks like Delta has older aircraft as well.

Any recent experiences that you could share would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Air France is our preferred airline for CDG. For one thing, terminal 2E is a dream compared to the others. And, to me, it's worth the extra for a non-stop flight. There's also virtually no chance of your checked bags going astray.

I have never had a problem with Air France, and the food is better.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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For me, it would be hands down, Air France. The times I have flown to Paris on AF have been great. I just returned from a trip to Canada on Delta and what a mess - not just with my flights, but other flights as well. One of my flights was delayed 3 hours which would have made me miss my connecting flight. Other flights were also delayed or canceled. In Delta's defense, a great agent worked hard and found me an alternate flight, but then my luggage was lost for 2 days.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:42 PM
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IMO - I would always take a non-stop flight rather then stoping, especially to Europe. We don't have that option out of DEN to Paris, I did fly Air France several years ago and United recently and I would fly Air France.

What were the negative reviews?
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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I really like Air France, except when I have to make a connection in CDG which IMO is a nightmare. For Paris, they would be my first pick.

If you can get on their new 777's these are the way to go. Great planes and even economy is not the cattle car it is on DL and United.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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Air France and Delta are codeshare partners along with several others. I fly them all the time as they are the most convenient from Asheville. I hate them both! Flying is just not fun..that is one good reason for my longer stays. I don't eat on them either.

Joan
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Air France without hesitation, at least if you are flying economy.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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I have flown both Delta and Air France into CDG. Air France was better in every way. Especially the food.

I don't know where these "negative reviews" are, but AF would be my choice (unfortunately, I've only flown coach - no idea about other classes).
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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No question, Air France. Even in economy, it's pretty decent. If you book soon, you can pick your seat as soon as you book. In economy, if it's the same plane they use from LAX, there's a couple of seats that are only two in the row vs. three -- must more comfy!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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I always fly Air France, it is my preferred airline. It is way better than United. I find it hard to believe both AF and Delta have two different flights with the same itinerary as they codeshare and are partners, but I guess you never know if Delta has one that involves changes.

I cannot even imagine what kind of airline would make me take a flight with changes over a nonstop one if the price were the same.

I really disagree with someone's preference above for the 777. I hate that airplane and really prefer Airbus. The B777's AF uses have pretty thin cushions in my experience, I don't remember them being that hard on Airbus planes(I just took two long flights on AF, both on B777s which I hate).
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for all of your replies.
I guess that answers my next question whether or not they let you pick your seat when you book the flight.
Do they make you pay extra for that?

One more question...When booking Air France in the U.S., did you get hit with a foreign transaction fee?

We booked British Airways for my daughter who is in Paris now studying abroad and we were surprised that the booking was made in Europe and we had to pay a foreign transaction fee on our Visa.
PLUS, we had to pay for her to select her seat when we booked her flight because she was traveling with two friends and we wanted to make sure they sat together. We paid for BOTH flights...SFO to LHR and LHR to CDG. Separate charges for each seat! I thought that was a rip.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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You can book an Air France flight using delta.com because they are partners and codeshare. Is there a reason you can't book thru Delta? Is there a price difference or something?
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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The Air France and Delta flights each have their own flight #, but it is the same flight, same plane. Not 2 different flights. They usually alternate in directions. I have the 'pleasure' of flyhing them often!

Joan
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:42 PM
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I'm a long-time Delta SkyMiles member who's been accumulating tons of miles by flying the SFO-CDG AF segment, most often to fly to Spain and Italy.

A lot of times, flying AF to those countries is cheaper than flying to CDG, even though the SFO-CDG flight is the same.

If you fly Delta with one stop, your trip time is at least 3 hours more. During the summer months, they fly a 747 and the rest of the time, they fly an A330 or A340. In either case, you get personal screens even in economy and the food is better as noted. In fact, you get a selection of wines, champagne and beer.

I just flew SFO-SLC, SLC-CDG and it's an inferior product. However, the one advantage of the one-stop flights is that you depart SFO in the morning (as opposed to the AF leaving at 3:30 or 4:30, which can be a good thing) and arrive fairly early in Paris so you can connect to another flight in the morning. With AF, you end up connecting in the afternoon so you arrive in Spain or Italy in the afternoon or evening sometimes.

One thing though, I wouldn't invest too much in accumulating miles on Delta any more. They are last or next to last in having low-milage award flights, so their SkyMiles is now widely called Skypesos.

Kind of a shame if you plan to fly to Paris a lot because neither AA nor UAL have direct flights to Paris.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Check that the AF flight is really AF and not Delta flying a codeshare flight.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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A foreign transaction fee. Be careful of the credit card you use.
My credit union doesn't charge a fee nor does my Capital One except for the standard 1% Visa and MasterCard charge.

There are very few exceptions to that fee but there are some out there if you know where to look.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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I know AF has a USA site, so I presume as long as you book through it, the transaction should be in dollars and you'll miss that foreign transaction fee. There is a link to it on their homepage.

I'm taking my first flight with AF next month from LAX-CDG, and we're connecting on from there with them. Glad to have read this post with those weighing in who are far more familiar than me. Mine was booked through Expedia and there was no fee to speak of, so that might be another way to avoid it. Bon chance!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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I used a credit card that would normally have a transaction fee, but there was none when I booked our upcoming flights on the Air France website. I was able to select our seats - no charge for that.

You might also have a look at www.1800flyeurope.com. Their fares were about the same for this trip, but over the years I've saved a fortune with them for the same AF flights. Unless there's a significant difference, I always book directly with the airline.

When booking, you can tell whether the flight is operated by Air France or Delta.

Connections are risky and vary from inconvenient to a huge headache. If your connecting flight is cancelled due to weather (no matter the airline), you may or may not get on the next flight and you may not receive a hotel voucher. I avoid connections whenever possible.

Sign up on the Air France website for the widget. While I was watching fares, I received a code for 10% off. Sometimes, fares are significantly different in one or both directions if your dates are flexible.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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I've taken both Delta and AF from SFO to CDG and prefer AF.

In addition to reasons cited above, I *greatly appreciate* the calm and quiet that pervades the AF flights -- initial announcement, hello from the pilot, possibly a dinner announcement, and then the landing notice.

On Delta flights there has been incessant announcements, flacking the Duty Free Cart, multiple announcements (generally in a rather grating voice) for every conceivable small thing.

CDG is another matter....
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 11:08 PM
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Non- stop trumps all other options, IMO.
The one and only time we had a stop (JFK-London-Paris), our luggage was MIA for 2 weeks, which means we got our suitcases back when we were already back home ....

Non-stop is the way to go.
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