Cgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2 Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4188 times:
Let me begin by apologizing for lack of photos. I have some but for a strange reason haven't figured out how to upload them here. I'm a bit of "challenged" when it comes to that type of stuff.
So here is my report on my return trip to Dusseldorf flying on AF. Enjoy and hope for lots of feedback.
DATE: December 29, 2005
FLIGHT: AF365 PHL-CDG
SCHEDULED/ACTUAL DEPARTURE: 19:05/19:10
SCHEDULED/ACTUAL ARRIVAL: 08:25/08:10
I just spent three weeks back in the US visiting family and friends in various parts of PA. The day came for me to get on the PA Turnpike and head back down to PHL. I had a rental so I took that back first and took the shuttle over to Terminal E. AF arrivals in Terminal A West but since DL handles their departures they leave from Terminal E. Not one of PHLs nicest Terminals. Anyone know when AF will arrive and depart from Terminal A West?
I'm dropped off at the curbside of Terminal E and made my way inside. I was quite early so I was surprised I was allowed to check in right away. Previous trips I wasn't allowed to check-in until exactly 2 hours before departure. DL handles all the formalities for AF in PHL. I only stood in line for about 5 minutes before the DL agent waved me over to him. He was very nice, asked if I had nice trip to the US and if it was my first time here, etc. I couldn't resist so I pulled out my PA driver's license and handed it to him along with my passport. He laughed and apologized although he didn't need to. (On a side note....I've used DL out of PHL often and the check-in agents have always been friendly, efficient and helpful. Keep up the good work DL people.) Because Santa treated me so well this year I had two bags checked through to Dusseldorf.
I was issued my boarding pass and instructed to go upstairs through security. I know this isn't the fault of DL or AF but security screening in Terminal E is really a case study in organized disorganization.....Very cramped, very slow. Another reason I hope AF moves over to Terminal A West soon. Also Terminal E is very boring as far as diversions go. A few snack bars, a gift shop and that's about it. Most European airports are way ahead when it comes to this type of stuff.
I made my way down to the gate. The terminal was crowded by this time. WN also uses E and I guess they were having a bad day as a lot of their flights were delayed. I arrived at the gate just as the AF A330 was being parked at the gate. A few minutes later ground staff started getting things ready for boarding. All they were doing was moving those seat belt like thingys around....anyone know what I mean??? What are they called anyway????? Then another AF guy brought out the newspaper rack and started sorting the papers. A nice touch by the way.
Why is it whenever an airline employee approaches the gate desk EVERYONE jumps up and starts standing in line? We still had well over 90 minutes before departure!
I took advantage of the free newspapers and found a seat back in the corner and waited until they ANNOUNCED boarding at about 6:30pm. As soon as the gate agent picked up the microphone tons of people got up and wanted to board. The agent kindly asked everyone to be seated while they pre-boarded the people who needed assistance, had small kids or were in Business Class. My turn to board came about 15 minutes later.
I was greeted at the door by two very nice FAs. I was directed down the correct aisle. I knew which aisle anyway but decided to humor them. I was curious how this crew would look in comparision to my flight to PHL. See part 1 of my report. To be honest they were okay....a mixed bunch of senior and younger female and male FAs. Still they were friendly and greeted all passengers in French and English. In all my flights with AF I've never experienced a snotty French only FA. I guess my trick really does work...smile and give them a polite "hello" and you get the same in return.
I really love the A330 and I'm so glad AF uses it on their Philly flights. The cabin is spacious and airy. The economy is a 2-4-2 set up except the last 3 rows are 2-3-2 due to plane curving towards the back. The economy cabin was quite full by the time I found my seat, 33B. I was relieved I was able to put my coat and carry-on in the bin above me. There was an older gentlemen seated at the window. As usual the pillow and blanket were placed on the seat. The cabin was also clean when we boarded. Again see part 1 of my trip report.
I settled in and waited for the doors to close. We started to push back and the safety video started. It was different than the one on my inbound flight, more computer animation than the older one. By the time the video was over we had reached our position and we made our way down the runway and in just a few seconds we were airborne.
Approximately 10 minutes after takeoff the FAs handed out the amenity kits and menus. The kits contain eye shades, earphones, ear plugs and a moist towel. The A330 offers individual inflight entertainment. The movie choices were okay. There was also the usual music channels. AF offers something for every taste: Caribbean, Latin, Pop, Oldies, Classical, Japanese, French Chansons, Europop,etc. A few minutes later the first beverage service started. Alcoholic drinks are free in economy so I took advantage and chose a glass of Champagne. It was served in a plastic cup but,hey, what the heck its free!
About 45 minutes into the flight the meal service started. The menu this night was:
Tabbouleh shrimp salad
Breast of chicken with paprika accompanied by Lyonnaise potatoes and green beans
Cheese ravioli with basil sauce
Camembert cheese, warm rolls, raisin cake, coffee/tea, Chardonnay La Baume 2003, Chardonnay Viognier 2004 Castel, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Merlot, Beer, water and various sodas and juices.
The FAs served quickly but not so much so as to feel rushed. I chose the ravioli. It was fine. The FA came around twice with warm rolls. They were good as well. There wasn't a very long wait until the FAs came around and gathered up the trays. The cabin lights were dimmed and everyone started settling in for the night.
I chose to watch "Forest Gump" for the 20th time. I made a few trips up and down the aisle. AF offers a neat setup in the galleys where you can help yourself to drinks. I asked for a bottle of wine and a glass and headed back to my seat. The rest of the flight was uneventful.
As we were over Ireland the breakfast trays were handed out. Yogurt, fruit, a roll and juice, coffee, tea, etc.
We touched down a few minutes early and made our way to CDG 2C. The crew stood at the door and wished everyone goodbye. I passed through immigration quickly and went out side for some "fresh air" before my next flight to DUS.
This flight left from 2F. I like this terminal because you get some good views from behind security. I don't know why but there were many delays this morning...the weather was cloudy but nothing I would think to cause a lot of delays. Oh well, who am I to judge....
This flight was really uneventual. We started boarding about 10:50. the flight was quite full as there were a lot of connecting passengers heading back to DUS. Service onboard was "sparse" to be polite. There are two types of economy on AF; Tempo Challenge and Tempo. I was in Temp. Beverage service was limited to water, coffee and tea with a croissant. The coffee was terrible, it was instant coffee with luke-warm water added to it. The FAs were nice but obviously knew they had to get everyone served so they really went through the cabins at a high speed.
We arrived in DUS and parked at Terminal B. Since DUS was rebuilt I've have always enjoyed going in/out there. I waited and waited and waited and eventually my luggage arrived. It was last as usual.
I made my way up to the Skytrain to head over to the airport train station. Well guess what? It was out of commission again!!! Siemens better get their act together soon. Anyway that's a whole other story.
To sum it all up AF lived up to my expectations. Their economy class on long haul flights beats most US carriers by long shot. As long as they continue serving PHL, I continue using them.
Again sorry no pics, if I figure it later I'll put them online. Hope everyone enjoyed my report. I'm open for comments questions.
Cgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2 Reply 2, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3971 times:
Not completely but they're working on it but not sure when it's suppose to be finished.
Connecting isn't so bad but you should give yourself plenty of time. Anything under 1.5 hours can be risky because if your incoming plane is parked at a remote stand it can take up to 25 minutes just to get back to the terminal. Also immigration can take a while as well. Are you planning a tripe via CDG? If yes I can give you some tips.
FLIEGER67 From Bulgaria, joined Sep 2003, 4424 posts, RR: 56 Reply 3, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3852 times:
I´ve read both reports of your AF journey now.
I´am also a frequent CDG visitor, next time later this month with AF to MIA, if nothing goes wrong, thanx for posting and detailed informations.
BTW, write down the AC-regs if its possible, its always interesting to share the same planes.
Flpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2119 posts, RR: 33 Reply 5, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3824 times:
Quoting Cgnnrw (Thread starter): A few minutes later ground staff started getting things ready for boarding. All they were doing was moving those seat belt like thingys around....anyone know what I mean??? What are they called anyway?????
Those are called "stanchions" (pronounced "stanshons") ... the lines through which pax board, used for crowd control.
Quoting Cgnnrw (Thread starter): We started to push back and the safety video started. It was different than the one on my inbound flight, more computer animation than the older one
You saw the new version of the safety demonstration on your return trip, placed on the planes only within two weeks of your return. The safety demo was redone mostly to present it with the new uniforms as opposed to the old ones ... and of course to update it and keep it "new".
Nice reports. I like hearing AF can actually do things right.
CPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3804 times:
Hey, i made a comment to your previous report, but it seems that i forgot to press the final button, as it is not there.
Anyway, a great set of reports, read with interest, as I'm flying with AF to California in a couple of weeks.
You wrote in the other report, that people seem to have a love-hate relationship with CDG. So far I only have a hate relationship It's an awful place to connect, so grounded and confusing, although security is very efficient. Hope it goes well next time, as my connection time is 70 minutes..
I really like AF economy service to. The inflight services are very good (food, mini amenity etc.), and the crew are usually very polite.
Until today i didn't like their ground staff, but i called them to make a seat reservation, and I was really taken care of, thumbs up!
Can only recommend AF...
Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
CPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3788 times:
I think i covered the most here. Most about that I agree with your view of AF service. And i slammed the ground service a bit. Glad that post didn't came out
How is the IFE on the 330? I have flown with both AF 772 and 773, both of them without AVOD. But I read in another thread that some of the newer 772's actually have some semi AVOD with every movie starting every 15 minutes.
Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
Cgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3705 times:
Quoting CPH757 (Reply 8): How is the IFE on the 330? I have flown with both AF 772 and 773, both of them without AVOD. But I read in another thread that some of the newer 772's actually have some semi AVOD with every movie starting every 15 minutes.
They had 6 films to choose from on both flights. The selection is okay, they can't please everyone but I'm sure most people are satisfied. In addition there was GeoVision, to keep track of time and distance, etc; a program showing cartoons, features on AF destinations, a chanel showing news, sports and TV sitcoms (very old US sitcoms from early 80's) lots of games and as mentioned before many music chanels to choose from too.
According the December inflight magazine movies on demand are available on 70% of the fleet with the A340sand B772 under way now.
Quoting Mats (Reply 9): I am convinced that Tempo on Air France is one of the best economy class services in the world. And they had warm rolls? I've never had that on Air France, not even in first class!
As you can imagine I'm a big fan of AF's Tempo service. Yes, the rolls were warm, okay not piping hot but not ice cold either. Also they were'nt those mini-sized rolls you get on a lot of airlines. They were "normal" sized dinner rolls.
Usair320 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 991 posts, RR: 3 Reply 11, posted (7 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 3554 times:
I do Agree PHL's Terminal E is pretty sad unlike A-west. My one expierience W/ AF was on a 735 CDG-NCE and I have to say my Fa's were a far cry from yours. They got very pissed when I asked for anothe glass of water and it almost seemed they threw it at me rather than giving it to me.
SK601 From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 975 posts, RR: 4 Reply 13, posted (7 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 3530 times:
Quoting Afconcorde1 (Reply 12): Does anyone know the difference between the two and if there are any differences in price?
For flights in Europe:
The difference between Tempo Challenge and Tempo is (a.o.) the price. TC are full fare Y class tickets (indicated as Y or S in your ticket). All other Y-class codes are Tempo, with the exception of "B". If your ticket indicates "B" and you have an intercontinental onward connection you are entitled to TC as well. If your ticket says "B" but you travel within Europe you will be seated in the Tempo cabin.
As far as onboard service it is as follows: TC and T have both a 3-3 seating configuration, whereas business class (C and J fares) is 3-3 but with the middle seat ALWAYS kept free. Passengers in TC will get the same service as in business class, with the exception of the pre-flight drink and TC pax may NOT use the BC-lounge. BC and TC always have a meal service, for Tempo it's depending on the time of the flight.
Note: AF and KL codeshare. This will give many problems at the gate in AMS about the seating, because of the following. KL offers "Z"-class fares. These are discounted Europe Select fares (KLMs business class in Europe). If the flight is operated by AF, the Z-passenger will be seated in TC, because it equals the AF "Y"-fare. Passengers get really upset about this all the time, because they think they sit "upfront". I do understand that, but on the other hand KL has always a 3-3 seating -also in Eur Select class. So basically the passenger TC and Eur Select are the same, both 3-3 seating and both with "C"class catering. "Z" class pax ARE allowed to use the BC-lounge in AMS though.