View Full Version : Strangely AF gets the vote

9th May 2008, 17:44
I find myself thinking strangely.... Normally I would avoid Air France due to the risk of something in the supply chain going on strike. I went to Houston about six weeks ago with them, and found the business class to be good, and on time. I have to go again six weeks from now. GVA-IAH and have chosen them again. (I tend to favour Swiss, Continental and Lufthansa, and traditionally avoid anything involving Heathrow.) I suppose the Frs 3700 ($3700, 1900 pounds) fare helps. The main decision factor is that they now have the last flight from Houston to Europe each day, which is why I choose Lufthansa from SFO.

A triumph of hope over experience?

9th May 2008, 21:21
No, I find AF intercontinental services to be of good quality. The prices, of course, help. On board service is very good. The link with KLM provides increased effective frequency and increased numbers of destinations.

Downside is anything to do with the computer systems. CDG is of variable quality and the biz lounges are not the best.

I suppose that you could get data on flight cancellations, if that is your main negative. I was once stranded by AF for a couple of days but the strikes are usually fairly well signalled in advance.

P.S. I presume you mean 3700 or was that a little joke?

29th Jun 2008, 16:05
The aforementioned trip took place three weeks ago. As I said, lots of things can go wrong with an Air France flight. There was an air traffic control strike in France that day (protests against changes to the 35-hour week laws), and my GVA-CDG flight left 90 minutes late. I therefore missed the flight to Houston and had to wait more than 6.5 hours for the following one, which left late, waiting for 55 passengers to connect from a late Athens flight.

Next time to Houston will be in October. The hassle is that the last flight back is at 09:55 PM, much later than any other flight to Europe, so it can mean I have to stay a day less over there. Same reason I take LH via MUC when coming back from SFO, though I can't say I ever remember it being late.

Presumably the French air traffic controllers will soon start regular strikes to prevent implementation of the new EU "one sky" proposals.


29th Jun 2008, 16:08
Oh and yes it was actually 3700 Swiss Francs, including all taxes and surcharges, which is about $3600 at the moment. Last time in C with LH to SFO via MUC was about the same.


1st Jul 2008, 14:21
AF was my preferred airline for the better part of 8 years because of their excellent service on their JNB-CDG and CDG-ORD routes. While our flight out of CDG would inevitably be delayed, it usually was a matter of efficiency in that AF would rather leave 30 minutes late with a late pax than having to spend 45 minutes unloading and searching for the pax luggage.

Colleagues always complained that their luggage was missing or delayed or was damaged, but other than one specific incident (which involved baggage handlers returning after a strike), my luggage was always on the flight I was on.

Cabin service was brilliant compared to some other airlines, and after learning French, it was even better. AF stopped being my preferred airline after I moved continents because I had to connect via CDG, which added another 3 hours to every journey.


1st Jul 2008, 16:40
Have used AF long haul up and down to FAJS a few times and found them to be very good indeed.

In fact connecting in Paris is a better option than London and you can get the 5pm 'AF operated by Regional' :) E190 from Aberdeen and make a good connection to the 23:15 Joburg.

Prices are good too :ok:

1st Jul 2008, 17:56
That's if you live up north :-)

Sadly, I am down south where getting into LHR or LCY just to fly to another airport to connect is ludicrous. I used to use BHX, but because those AF flights were actually FlyBE, not AF themselves, I stopped using the airport. Now I do a direct LHR T3 to JNB flight if I'm ever going that way.


2nd Jul 2008, 08:30
My experiences with AF have also been good, especially on the CDG-SFO route. Cabin service is excellent, food edible and the aircraft sometimes so new that people ask if has flown before.

The only problem with AF is that they fly from CDG, which is not the worst major European hub but only because it is outclassed by Heathrow and Frankfurt.

I'd agree also with the poster who commented that the service gets better when you speak French.

10th Jul 2008, 21:04
I use AF a lot these days and my experiences lead me to conclude they are now the best of the european flag carriers. There has been a general improvement in their product in the last few years, especially in customer service. Their CC exude professionalism, I don't believe the comments regarding better service if you speak French with them, whether I speak English or French depends on how tired I am and regardless of the language I've received the same high standard of service. If I had one criticism it be would the C class accommodation on long haul is not quite as good as some rivals, but generally speaking a top class airline with first class service.