I think it's fair to say that of the major transatlantic Skyteam members (CSA, Alitalia, Delta & Air France), AF is clearly the preferred carrier. I say this not because I work for AF, but because of my experience in dealing with passengers, who are often mad as hell when they find out that their code share AF sky team flight is really on DL. The AF product, including the aircraft, food and staff is much superior to any of the Skyteam partners. AF staff, particularly the ground crew undergoes one of the most rigorous trainings of any airline that I know.
That's interesting... in dealing with my Delta passengers, I often find that they are equally angry to find out that their codeshare flights are on AF. I would definitely disagree with your assertion that the AF product is better overall than the Delta product. Having flown Delta BusinessElite and Air France L'Espace 127, I'll take Delta's product anyday. The BizElite seat is far superior. Inflight service is more attentive, and on AF it was very obvious that the Flight Attendants were providing far better service to those passengers who spoke French. BizElite food--don't shoot me here--is far more enjoyable for me than AF food was.
I've found that AF ground staff at CDG are the worst I've ever encountered. Surly attitudes, frequent strikes, and on top of it, the AF staff handling DL in CDG go out of their way to treat the Delta passengers like crap.
Obviously, AirFranceJFK, my viewpoint is different from yours. I'm a Delta person and I judge every airline pretty much by how it compares to Delta. I'm not bashing AF, and I actually think AF is getting a lot better. But where AF is finally starting to overcome a poor service reputation, Delta has been established as a "good" airline for quite awhile now, notwithstanding all the pimply faced teenagers on this forum who hate Delta for one stupid reason or another.
CDG is an excellent hub, with nice facilities and great growth potential, which is something that LHR and FRA lack. AF/DL has become a major transatlantic power through the use of superhubs at ATL and CDG.
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