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Help: Delta Vs Air France Inflight Service  
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4205 times:
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Hey - I need some advice...

I'm flying from Texas to Dublin next month, and I need some advice on which routing to take...

Since I'm a big SkyMiles person, I first considered Delta SAT-ATL-DUB (with a stop in SNN), but I'm now considering Air France IAH-CDG-DUB and back.

The DL flights would have me on an MD80 and 777 there, and a 777 and a CRJ home. The AF flights would have me on a 777 and a BAe 146 (by Cityjet) there, and the same equipment home.

I'm tempted to lean toward the AF flight, but I wanted to get some advice from others since I've never flown them...

What's everyone's take on inflight service on Air France vs. Delta? I'm probably going to be in coach, although I'm fighting to score a Biz class seat.

Thanks for your help  Smile

Any advice?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4133 times:

If you're going in Business, Delta wins hands down.

If you're in coach, I'd say you should try AF and see what they're like.

My suggestion would be to try one airline one way and come back on the other. AF inflight service is very nice and I was very impressed, but I still haven't found a Business Class nicer than Delta's or flight attendants friendlier than Delta's.



It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4129 times:


I can highly recommend the AF B777 in economy. I liked it a lot. You have nice PTV's, decent food and comfortable seats.



User currently offlineJedtai From Australia, joined Feb 2002, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

I flew AF AMS-CGD-JFK 6 months ago in Y. I found the service average, the food and the entertainment good and the seat/drink selection excellent. If you score an upgrade, however, I'd say Delta. Make sure that you have enough transit time in CGD, AF are notoriously stingy on transit time. (I had to run and we were an on time arrival)

User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4113 times:
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Hi Flashmeister!
I did a similar sort of trip last year with Delta/Air France in Economy;
MAN-ATL-MIA Delta 777/764
MIA-CDG-MAN Air France 742/British Airways 735

I flew MAN-ATL on a Delta 777 and the legroom was poor, but this was compensated for by the fact that the midweek flight was only about half full in economy and I had 2 seats to myself, which meant I could sit diagonally accross the seats and could keep the airshow permanently on one TV screen. Delta's 777s have footrests in economy, but you'd have to be pretty short to use them!
The 767-400 on the ATL-MIA leg had noticably better legroom, and the phone/entertainment controls were also much better placed, I didn't keep accidentaly changing channels with my elbow like I did on the 777!!!

Returning I flew Skyteam partner Air France on a 747-200 MIA-CDG and the legroom was pretty good, but not as good as the British Airways 737-500 for the CDG-MAN leg, which had all leather seats and legroom comparable to Air France - and I was right at the back in the proper economy seats rather than unused Club Europe ones...

You'll find service on Delta a bit hit-and-miss. Food is OK, and on Trans-Atlantic legs they're quite generous with the alcohol. Main point was the cabin crew, who ranged from very friendly to borderline rude, but on the whole were cold and efficient rather than warm and friendly. Crew on the short ATL-MIA leg were actually better, but of course food service was a sandwich in a paper bag and I've had better!

Flying home on Air France I'd heard the rumours about their surly service and poor treatment of non-French travellers, I was prepared for a bad flight. However I was pleasantly surprised. The Air France crew were quite charming and pleasant, the service was very French and I suppose some people not used to French people may have regarded it as slightly brash. Air France's crew made very frequent passes through the cabin during the night with bottles of water and the cabin crew were always on hand, in stark contrast to Delta's crew who were totally absent from the cabin during the day flight for up to 2 hours, and never offered water once. On a safety note the Delta crew never made a seatbelt check before landing on the MAN-ATL flight and people were getting up to use the toilets while we were on final approach to Atlanta.

Hats off to BA though, excellent crew, well there were 4 of them and only 40 of us on the 737! But we did get a hot breakfast, tea and coffee twice and inflight sales on a 55 min CDG-MAN flight. Delta only managed one drink on the 1h 30 min ATL-MIA flight and if you wanted anything as "exotic" as beer you had to pay for it!

While Delta didn't provide a bad experience, and I wouldn't mind flying them again, I wouldn't go out of my way to. Air France on the other hand exceeded my expectations, even thought my flight was operated by a B747-200 instead of the scheduled B747-400. I'm sure the B777/A330/340 with their PTVs are even better.

Don't let the negative comments about Air France's service put you off...

As for Business Class, can't comment, can't afford it!!!

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineL'Espace180 From France, joined Sep 2000, 938 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4098 times:

Delta seat pitch on 777 : 31"
Air France seat pitch on 777 : 35"
Air France offers great food and entertainment programs !

Cheers,


User currently offlineThumper From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4069 times:

If you can get Business class,jump right on Delta! Coach is not bad either.I fly across the pond three or four times a year and have flown DL,CO,AA,BA and all were very good. The two worst I have been on were Iberia and AF! Just my opinion!

User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4061 times:

AF longhaul in coach is certainly superior to DL longhaul.

BUT, connecting in CDG and the BAe 146 are certainly worse than anything Delta provides on the domestic system. In fact, its ironic Delta partners with CDG considering that the ultra efficient ATL hub is almost the perfect opposite from CDG in every way.

As mentioned above, I'd try to do both: take AF longhaul there and Delta longhaul back. On the way back you don't have that awkward eastbound travel situation that makes sleeping and comfort so important.

What you gain in AF's creature comforts on board, you will miss in their non-Delta style ground and connecting services.

kind regards,

RogueTrader


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

How would you fly one airline there and another airline back without spending MUCH more money?, unless you use some sort of codeshare arrangement.


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User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4044 times:

Jhooper... you can probably buy the entire ticket on Delta ticket stock. I'm pretty sure Delta codeshares on CDG-DUB. I know we codeshare on IAH-CDG.


It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlineFrostbite From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 396 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

I agree with DeltaSFO...if you get a biz upgrade, take DL. But if in coach, I'd recommend AF.

I flew AF coach short-haul (FCO-CDG) just two days ago on an A-321...legroom was typically cramped (I'm 6'6") but I was very impressed by the attentiveness of their cabin staff. They served a full hot breakfast, and were constantly coming around the cabin with coffee, tea, water, etc. Super friendly and certainly not just to the French onboard!
My onward flight was in the glorious Biz elite cabin on DL's 777...it is a pleasant if not downright decadent way to spend 9.5 hours. For me the flight didn't reach the "dragging on" stage for a single minute.

I would never take a potshot at DL, but I must say I dread flying DL in coach, especially long-haul, they have compressed coach seating as far as anyone...given L'espace 180's figures on seat pitch I would definitely go with AF in coach.


User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4032 times:
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Well thanks for the advice, guys. It does sound as if I'll be doing Air France if I'm in coach, but I'll try to get a Delta flight back. The DL flight back is timed much better (leaving DUB at 12:20pm rather than 6am for Air France).

I've only been on a DL 777 once, ATL-MIA, and it was a good thing that it was a short flight since I found it the most cramped plane I had ever been on to that point. That's why I wanted the advice...

By the way, what's so wrong with the 146 service CDG-DUB?

-A


User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4023 times:

Take Air France. Their service is much better than that of Delta. I flew Air France this past January, and I got free champagne in coach!

User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

Take Air France. Their service is much better than that of Delta. I flew Air France this past January, and I got free champagne in coach!

You get free champagne in international coach on Delta too.

I hate posts like that. There's absolutely no factual support for the statement you just made.



It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlineB20XX From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 39 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4007 times:

Fly Delta. CDG is deadful for connecting flights, make sure you have plenty of time between your flight (at least 2 hours).
Believe me the trans-atlantic economy service on DL and AF is pretty much the same. And AF european services tend to had a very poor on-time record.


User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4004 times:

By the way, what's so wrong with the 146 service CDG-DUB?

Its too small...I'm 6'2 and 190 pounds and it is absolutlely impossible to sit in the window seat without sharing a full body embrace with the person next to you. Of course, if you're smaller, or especially friendly, this might not be a problem for you. The ceiling is way too low and the thing is claustrophobic. Its much worse than a typical DL regional jet that would be the next comparable thing.

kind regards,

RogueTrader


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4000 times:

Why does delta have such poor legroom in the 777?

User currently offlineDLMCO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3965 times:

After having flown both AF and DL "across the pond" -- DL absolutely! Granted, my AF flight was on a 763, and I would expect the 772 to be better, but I would imagine that your connection in CDG to be a disaster (especially compared to connecting in ATL).

Then again, I agree with DeltaSFO... book one way on DL and the other as an AF-DL codeshare to take advantage of both...


User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3950 times:


Why do you folks bash CDG so much ?? Have you ever been to the new Terminal 2F ?? This is probably one of the best terminals in the entire world. It's a great place. And if I remember correctly USA flights deapart and arrive there. Don't know about Ireland, though.
I wouldn't rate CDG any worse than any other major airport.


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User currently offline2cn From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 648 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Just a quick note- Delta offers 31 to 33 inches of pitch on the 777, not just 31 as L'Espace180 posted.

User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

Why do you folks bash CDG so much

They have no concept of an orderly line. When you approach a counter or a checkpoint it will be surrounded by angry mobs of people, and you will be expected to push and shove your way to the front if you want to get processed. Inter-terminal transfer is hard to do and there are long distances to walk.

Another big problem: each AF agent will do only certain narrowly defined jobs, otherwise they will tell you to go stand in another line of angry people. You will see multiple AF agents sitting around joking with each other who will not help you, you will have to go stand in a mob-line somwhere.

On DL, by contrast, ATL is an orderly procession of organized efficiency. Virtually every DL agent can do the same thing as every other DL agent, each task isn't only available at one post. The place is easy to get around and logical.

kind regards,

RogueTrader


User currently offlineTeva From France, joined Jan 2001, 1871 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3917 times:

CDG2 is not as bad as what some people say.
Just follow the signs .
I remember some posts last year complaining that nothing is in English.
I was sure it was not true, and I have double checked in all the terminal: Everything is in French, English and with the international pictograms. Just raise your eyes to look at the signs.



Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
User currently offlineFrostbite From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 396 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3906 times:

Well, CDG is certainly not as straightforward to navigate as ATL. But I can't see how anyone with a little air travel savvy could get lost. And I certainly haven't ever experienced RogueTrader's description of angry mobs, in CDG anyway.
AF ticket positions at CDG have often looked overstaffed to me, ie lots of agents with nothing to do, but they've certainly been helpful to me when I've needed their help.
I would think anyone who takes a shine to seeing the goings on of a major international airport would enjoy CDG! There is glass all over the place, you're constantly able to see aircraft, airlines from all over the world...I wouldn't shy away from it.
Just goes to show, experiences both positive and negative will happen anywhere and shape widely different perceptions....


User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4898 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3906 times:
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CDG as a connecting hub is a hit-or-miss. I've had effortless connections there as well as nail-biting ones (fly through there once every two weeks) - depends on the time between flights and how lucky you are (connecting bus showing up just as you arrive at the connections area).

As for AF or DL, as everyone has mentioned, if in Business, DL beats AF (no contest at all). In Y, the AF 777 Economy seat pitch is actually quite bad as well (worse than their 747s and 343s) especially when the seat in front reclines. They are better than the DL 777s in that they have a 3-3-3 config (vs. 2-5-2 for most DL 777s) but other than that, they're pretty much the same. I had several AF 777 flights in Economy where passengers started fighting with each other over the seat in front of them reclining - one man across the aisle from me was reading the paper when the seat in front reclined; he pushed her seat back up and then an argument ensued. Meanwhile, the chap in my row engaged in a seat-back pushing contest as well as with the woman in front of him when she tried to go to sleep. I find that when the person in front reclines, you pretty much have no choice but to follow suit.
As for PTVs, both AF and DL have them in Economy on their 777s.


User currently offlineF+ Rouge From France, joined May 2000, 210 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3895 times:

I have connected through CDG about 100 times and I haven't missed my connecting flight a single time. In addition to that I love the architecture of this airport.

B737-700, Air France's USA flights depart and arrive at terminal 2C. Terminal 2F is for European flights, including Dublin btw.

Regards,

F+ Rouge


User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7123 posts, RR: 57
Reply 25, posted (12 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3880 times:

Make sure your DL flights to DUB dont stop in either direction in SNN, as they do every second day...

My vote... DL. The CityJet 146's have seen better days, but thats made up by the excellent cabin crew... pity they don't wear the green uniform anymore!....




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