Air France-Opinion

Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Air France-Opinion

I like flying Economy Plus these days. I can fly direct on British Airways fot $1900 with a time that gets me back to San Franciso at a good time. Another option is Air France at $1300. and at a time that isgood. Of course there is a change at Paris.
Never having flow Air France I am seeking opinions.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 02:19 PM
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No, No, No! Not Air France. We went to Paris in the spring of 2010 and had the worst service both there and back. While I'm not a fan of Luftansa for the size of the planes, anything is better than Air France's service. I've had good experience with British Airways. IMO, Swiss Air is the best.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 02:28 PM
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We have just begun dealing with Air France over a delayed-baggage claim, and so far the silence has been deafening. We will never again fly with that airline--we had no choice this time because of our original British Airways' flight having been cancelled.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 02:31 PM
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I haven't experienced the Air France 'economy plus' version, but generally I think it is an excellent airline, even in economy, compared to most others. Frankly, I find Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa to be on the same level. KLM and Swiss are a notch down, and most of the others are as awful as the American carriers.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 03:08 PM
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We often fly Air France and have never had a problem. It is no worse than any other airline.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 03:49 PM
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I have flown AF a few times and I think it's great. The food and service are as good as most any coach flight (although much better than AA) and I do love the free French wine. I have only flown coach on AF so I can't help with Economy Plus questions for AF.

Underhill, I'm sorry to hear of your lost luggage troubles. I am very unlucky in luggage as just about every airline loses my luggage (I'm not kidding) and AF is no exception. I suppose I was lucky in one respect as it happened on the flight home and I got my luggage back 2 days later. I hope your problem will be solved soon.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 03:58 PM
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I've always loved Air France. Good food, good wine, and I love French movies on the seat backs too. I haven't lost luggage myself, but one time when my friend's bags missed a connection they were delivered to our villa more than an hour from the airport the next morning.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:07 PM
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I think they are actually better than "no worse than any other airline" but I generally don't have bad experiences on airlines.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:29 PM
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I prefer Air France, try to fly it when I'm flying into CDG, and have never had any issue whatsoever. That said, I also have had excellent service on BA and use them when I'm flying into the UK. Like others, my experience has been in economy rather than economy plus.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 04:32 PM
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For $600 difference I'd definitely go w/ AF. It is a perfectly acceptable carrier. I don't mind BA (and like them a lot more since they removed the 6kilo weight limit for cabin bags). What does the VS (Virgin) schedule look like out of SFO?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 05:20 PM
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I also like AF, especially when flying to and from SF, really, take it...and it's cheaper too?
I am one who dislikes BA.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:55 PM
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A few general points:

- It's generally agreed here that, though the better European airlines are just as bad as each other at handling big messups (like last year's volcano thing), AF is often in the same awful league as Alitalia or Olympic at handling mundane everyday foulups like lost luggage. Otherise, AF's generally fine.
- Connections at CDG or Orly are especially hair-raising: little time's allowed, signage and staff attitude at both are terrible and the number of flights AF can put you on if you miss the connection (assuming you're connecting to Britain) is steadily being reduced as the train gains share on the route
- BUT: BA's cabin staff have just given their union permission to organise more strikes this year, though plans aren't decided yet. So this is a good year not to spend extra money on BA
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 12:38 AM
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I'd go with AF too , Roger. I'm excited that we will be getting a direct flight from MCO this summer. We've always had good service from them. Never had lost luggage but did have a scare arriving at CDG a few trips back. As we entered the baggage claim area , saw someone with a sign with our name. Felt like the bottom fell out but when we checked , our luggage had been put on an earlier flight and was being held for us.

Jody
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 12:56 AM
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I've flown AF several times, and agree with the general consensus. It's no better, or worse than Lufthansa, but certainly better than BA.

But, and it's a big but, make sure you have PLENTY of time at CDG and have planned everything - because CDG is truly the airport from hell- and if you need to ask for any assistance from the AF staff be prepared to get no more than a sigh.

Their ground staff (indeed everyone I've ever dealt with at CDG) is trained in avoidance techniques, as apposed to any semblance of customer service.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 01:20 AM
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We use Air France as well. They're better, IMHO, than BA or KLM. They're not perfect, but they're OK.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 03:53 AM
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I prefer Air France, at least when I'm not making a connection in Paris. On the other hand, I'd rather make a connection at CDG than at London Heathrow. Just make sure there is plenty of time for the connection.

That said, I would pay more for a direct flight on just about any airline than a flight with a connection in Paris. The question is whether it is worth six hundred dollars more. For me, probably not.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 04:14 AM
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My preference is anything that will get me non-stop to my destination which has been harder and harder from Boston. For flights to France we fly Air France and have had no problems. For a couple of years in the early 2000s we were getting upgraded to Business on the trip back. I wonder if that was attributable to my husband's French surname. For business recently I have flown BA, KLM, Swiss Air, Northwest and Virgin to Europe. I didn't like KLM but otherwise was fine with the rest.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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I think the AF SFO to CDG flight is fine (making a connection at CDG is another matter - I prefer nonstop if at all possible - but maybe not for $600 - unless is was a 2 to 2 1/2 hour connection window.)

I have taken the nonstop SFO to Paris route with AF twice - the other time was with Lufthansa/United which no longer flies nonstop. Most recently in Oct., the plane to Paris was older --no inseat entertainment, on the way back we had inseat entertainment.

I have flown on the upper deck on AF - which might be "Economy Plus" now - when I flew there was no extra charge. I liked the upper deck - its more peaceful and you can use the stairs to exercise your legs. I think I read the upper deck has inseat entertainment for both planes (check out seatguru.com).

We only had a luggage issue once - on the way back to SFO this Oct, my husband's bag (along with a few others) didn't make it on the plane. It was delivered to our home the next day by special courier by 9:30 pm.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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They suck for baggage connections so make sure you have a decent sized layover. We had a 55 minute gap that the AF agent assured us would be no problem for our bags and our plane arrived early . . . we landed in our final destination at 3 pm, our bags arrived just before midnight.

And you probably know CDG is a dump, so bear that in mind.
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Old Jan 24th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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$600, lot of money
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