Airline decision

Apr 8th, 2009, 08:39 AM
  #1  
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Airline decision

We're planning a trip to Paris and Loire valley in September using AA miles or Amex miles. We are flying business class and are familiar with AA only.

Given the choice, what other airline would you chose and what was your experience. We fly our of DFW, so my choices seem to be Delta, Continental, Air France and AA and Iberia.

Thanks in advance!
Texasgal2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 08:44 AM
  #2  
 
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Delta - economy, last fall. Nothing special. You're in a large bus with very little scenery going by for 7-8 hrs.

Get a book, pack some snacks, take a nap.
BuckeyeBud is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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AF would be my choice.
Suzanne2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Would I be correct in observing that only AA has non-stop flights to Paris from DFW?

If the ticket prices are equivalent, I should choose the non stop option every time.
Sarastro is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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You might want to post your question in the Airlines forum.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 08:58 AM
  #6  
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Sarastro, I think you are correct. Actually, I hadn't even checked that far...

Yes Underhill, I know this isn't in the right forum but I usually get better info here. Especially if there is anything out of the ordinary involved.

Thanks for the other responses, I'm checking into AF and Delta now for availability.
Texasgal2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Continental, Iberia and Delta don't fly direct to Paris from DFW. Continental goes through Houston or Newark (and maybe Cleveland, but why deal with that?); Delta goes through Atlanta or JFK. Any nonstop Iberia flight would be a codeshare with American, and I don't think Iberia can codeshare flights that do not go first from US to Spain before going to France. There is no DFW-Madrid direct flight: AA and Iberia flights to Spain go through Miami, which is a complete mess of an airport -- it's the US's answer to CDG. So if you choose Iberia for some freakish reason, you'd go DFW-MIA-Madrid-CDG with three changes of airplane. Does that sound fun?

I'm not sure if AF goes non-stop Dallas-Paris. If it does, see if you can book AF because it will fly a jumbo jet and have a decent business class.

AA is a different story, but bear with me to the end of this post. Because DFW is THE hub for AA (it has about 75%+ of all passenger flight traffic at the airport and it is the largest of AA's hubs [DFW, Miami, O'Hare]), the types of planes AA uses are often its older fleet members or a plane that is the minimum necessary to get to your destination. You need to check seatguru.com and maybe AA's own site to see what airplane types fly from Dallas to CDG. We had a 767 two years ago that completely sucked -- not a widebody, the business class seats were only middling quality and not lie-flat seats like AA had on Dallas-Tokyo flights starting in '08. The coach section that we were in on that Paris flight (and the return) didn't even have personal TVs -- it had overhead monitors spaced throughout the cabin. We had personal TVs in coach on crappy Olympus in 2001!

We specifically planned our transatlantic flights on AA this year with the type of plane in mind. Seriously -- we scheduled an early flight home instead of a more convenient midday flight because the earlier one is a 777, the later one is a 767. So find out about these issues.

Now, if AA has lie-flat seats in transatlantic business class on its 777s, jump at it. Those seats are absolutely fine and you can get some solid sleep in them. It will almost assuredly NOT have lie-flats on its 767 transatlantic flights.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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P.S. -- I have a trip report for Loire Valley, Normandy and Paris if you want it. Give email address and I'll zip it over.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:04 AM
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CO's BusinessFirst product is very nice, better than some "just" business classes. But from DFW I'd fly nonstop from IAH rather than connecting in EWR. CO is also running a nice sale on BF through Sept 12 so it may be worth it checking that out and save the miles for later.

DL's BusinessElite (similar to CO) also gets good marks, but we haven't flown them in some time so I can't give you recent experience.
dfr4848 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #10  
yk
 
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Texasgal2 - I used to fly AA out of DFW, and if the flight is a 763, the Biz class is quite nice. AA has updated all their 763 Biz class - you can go to their website for a video tour.

Just a tip: if you are heading straight to Loire Valley first; or returning directly from Loire Valley, you can have AA issue you a ticket with an SNCF leg from the Loire Valley town/city. AA sells flights to many French cities/towns that are served by SNCF/TGV, so you should be able to redeem a ticket that goes there too. Just an example, 2 years ago I booked our flights on AA from DFW to St Pierre des Corps (TGV station for Tours) and back home from CDG. The price was the same as a r/t ticket to CDG, so we saved $ by not having to buy our train ticket from CDG to Tours.
yk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #11  
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Thank you Big Russ! That was exactly the kind of info I was looking for.
Texasgal2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:07 AM
  #12  
yk
 
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Just to add, since the 763 does not have first class cabin, the business class cabin is treated very well. The seats are not lie-flats but at an angle instead.

Lastly, I would fly whichever airline that can get me there the fastest. Nonstop would be my first choice.
yk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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I'd love to see your trip report Big Russ.
The email addy is [email protected].

And yk, thanks for the inside tip. I'm going to use that for sure!
Texasgal2 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:16 AM
  #14  
yk
 
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Here's the link to the new biz class seats on AA:
http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?...w_business.jsp

If you click here, you can find the link to my Paris/Loire Valley trip report (from Oct 2007)
http://www.fodors.com/community/prof...ripreports.cfm
yk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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yk's booking idea is good. Look for flights to XSH (St. Pierre des Corps) rather than just CDG.

Flights to XSH will include air and train travel and should offer connection protection if your flight arrives late at CDG.
Sarastro is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:39 AM
  #16  
yk
 
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P.S. - If you book award flights on AA.com for AA metal DFW/CDG roundtrip, you can do that online and no fee.

If you book award flights including the RAIL portion (codeshare partner), you have to CALL AA to have them book it for you, thereby incurring a $20 fee. However, $20 is still less than the cost of one rail ticket from CDG to Loire Valley.
yk is offline  
Apr 8th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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Per yk, those are the biz class seats we had for Tokyo last year and they're good. "Lie flat" is a bit of a misnomer -- you get to about a 20-degree incline (better than an easychair). So that means no worries if it's an AA flight.

Based on yk's community profile, she is never at home.
BigRuss is offline  
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