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Sabena or Air France for our France/Belgium Trip

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Dec 14th, 2000, 07:12 PM
  #1
Nano
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Sabena or Air France for our France/Belgium Trip

My travel agent called today to tell me that she had a cheaper fare on Sabena for our Boston-Bordeaux, Brussels-Boston trip in July. The Sabena fare is $140 cheaper (total, for five of us) than the Air France fare, but I gather Sabena would not provide any frequent flyer mileage, while Air France would provide Delta miles. I have read all the latest airline related posts, but if any seasoned travelers have any further opinions one way or the other about either airline or the frequent flyer mileage issue, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 12:46 AM
  #2
Marpha
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I'm European so I've not travelled btw the US and Europe by either Sabena or Air France but inside Europe at least both companies are good. Sabena's meals aren't good but I'd say that you get your money's worth. You can check your travel agent about the frequent flyer mileage, I am not sure about that one. But yes, I think I'd opt for Sabena as it is an okay airline and $140 is quite a lot less...
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 04:52 AM
  #3
Annie
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Hi Nano:
If the differnce is only $140.00 total I would go with the airline that gave me miles. Both airlines are comparable in service.
Have a good time!
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 07:25 AM
  #4
Brian in Atlanta
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You will not get Skymiles with Sabena. I like Air France better. For $28 extra each, I'd take the miles and Air France. Unless, of course, the times/connections/layovers are unattractive.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 07:52 AM
  #5
anne
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I've flown both airlines to Europe, and received Delta miles for both, but do prefer Air France. I like the aircraft better (usually a 777, configured 3-3-3), the food service and quality, and the entertainment system. Sabena's certainly ok, though, and I'd fly them to save $140 so I could spend it elsewhere!Happy travels!
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 08:29 AM
  #6
Brian in Atlanta
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Sabena dropped Delta as a partner earlier this year. Of course the cutoff date was a couple of weeks before my Sabena flight.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 12:25 PM
  #7
KT
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You normally can earn American Airlines miles on Sabena now. But if your TA is getting the flight through a consolidator, you may not be able to get any FF miles -- it depends upon the airline's deal with the consolidator, so get your TA to clarify this.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 03:08 PM
  #8
Nano
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Thanks everyone. Today my travel agent said that Sabena does, in fact, have an agreement with both American and US Airways, so I wouldn't mind accruing mileage on either one. The only plus, besides saving $140 is that the return trip to Boston would be non-stop on Sabena, while the Air France flight stops in Paris. With my three kids in tow, I was thinking a non-stop might be better.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 03:19 PM
  #9
Brian in Atlanta
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Good god, yes. Skip the connection at CDG.
 
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Dec 15th, 2000, 04:28 PM
  #10
Jim Tripp
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Air France is the better carrier for comfort, but beware of connections at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). There are frequent strikes at CDG which can put you in a bad fix if you are trying to connect through to another flight. Sabena is a good, "basics" airline that you'll find will do its job ratehr well.
 
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Dec 17th, 2000, 04:10 PM
  #11
Linda
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Just got back from Vienna on Sabena--not bad. The food was ok (the sandwich meal was a little strange but not bad), the service was good, and it is partnered with American now. The people at the terminals were all very nice. It has individual monitors & games as well as movies and audio.
 
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Dec 18th, 2000, 09:31 AM
  #12
Joe
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Linda, you're right about the sandwich!! I flew back from Brussels on Sabena yesterday, and I finally concluded that it was lettuce and a thin layer of cream cheese on a hoagie bun. Overall the flight was fine though, and much less crowded than I'd expect a comparable flight from London or Paris. And the main meal was pretty good - - I chose the tortellini in a butter sauce.
 
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Dec 18th, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #13
Linda
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What a hoot, Joe! We first thought it was mayonaisse and the "fixins" for the hot portion, but opened that up & it was a Belgium burrito--good but not what I know in Texas as a burrito. Just a strange meal. Lufthansa definitely has the best meals.
 
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Dec 18th, 2000, 01:50 PM
  #14
Nano
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Guess we'll pack a lunch before leaving Brussels!!
 
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Dec 18th, 2000, 05:09 PM
  #15
Linda
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That was the 2nd meal. The first is either chicken or pasta. Again, not bad but they bring water all the time.
 
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Dec 18th, 2000, 07:28 PM
  #16
PGq
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Changing planes in CDG is good enough reason for me to take Sabena. CDG sucks!!!
You need at least 2.5 hours to make sure that you don't miss your connection. The system of scattered terminals and buses is very painful.
 
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Dec 19th, 2000, 06:06 AM
  #17
Mariarosa
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How easy is it to make connections in Brussels for Sabena flights? Will 55 minutes be sufficient?
 
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Dec 19th, 2000, 09:25 AM
  #18
Paul
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We took Sabena to Italy this year, and Air France last year. We have NEVER had such an uncomfortable flight as the transatlantic ones on Sabena - both ways. By "uncomfortable", I mean that the seat felt literally like sitting on a rock. My cousins took Sabena in business class last year, and reported the same experience.

We found that on Sabena, the service and treatment by the crew was pretty basic and minimal.

Air France, on the other hand, was a much more comfortable experience. The seats were great in coach (if you've ever sat in a French car, you'll understand). The food was actually good, and they give you lots of free wine in coach. The crew was very helpful & friendly as well.

Bottom line - we will NEVER take Sabena again! The old saying rang quite true: Sabena - "Such a Bad Experience Never Again".
 
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Dec 19th, 2000, 03:50 PM
  #19
Linda
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Mariarosa, 55 minutes is enough time for Brussels. Try to get the 2 seats next to window as they seemed to be a little more room than the 5 in the middle. Going over we had plenty of room & could sit one to row. Coming back it is too near Christmas and was almost full. I didn't find the seats hard but the middle is close together.
 
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Dec 19th, 2000, 05:01 PM
  #20
Mariarosa
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Linda, thanks for the info!
 
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