Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:34 pm

My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:03 am

So....after asking many questions and reading many reviews about the Air France Biz product, which I had previously flown only 1 time, and the DL product, which I had flown many many times, I took my vacation to Europe. I took AF on the way out AF 69 LAX- CDG and DL on the way back ATH-JFK-SLC-SNA. I was hesitant to take the AF legs for all of the bad reviews I had read. so this was a true test in my book. I am very familiar with the DL Biz Elite both Transcon and Intl.

So here goes.....Got seat 10A on the AF flight. Somewhat disappointed becuase I thought that I would be in front on the GE90. However this made for some fantastic photos when dawn came...so no complaints. The level of service that I received was beyond anything I have expereinced. The cabin was only hlf full, so maybe thats the reason, but none the less, it was phenomenal. The presentation of the food, the quality of the food, and the way it was presented to me by the flight attendant was outstanding. All in all, the best flight (hands down) that I have ever been on. The seats were not the best, but not uncomfortable by ANY means.

DL on the way back ATH-JFK which was a grueling 10.5 hours after backpacking 3 weeks straight around southern europe. One word to describe this expereince....mediocre! The food was simply ok....dry chicken with some cheese stuffed in the middle. On a plastic tray with the typical DL plastic knife. level of service was the same. It has been about 6 months since I travlled DL Biz and I must say it has changed!! So I thought I would maybe see a change on the JFK-SLC in Biz. NO! Again....dry chicked stuffed with some other kind of cheese and again, the lovely DL plastic knife. No Linens on the flight either. Apparently something had spilled on them so they were not usable.

Thats that. Next time I travel SkyTeam to the EU, I will take AF over DL. Or maybe I will try KLM when they join.

Thats my take!
*Long live the Widget*
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:02 am

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:07 am

with the typical DL plastic knife.
All flights to/from the US and many other places must have plastic knives.

Nice report, but it belongs in the "Trip Reports" forum.

"She Flew For What We Stand For"
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RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:50 am

I was on a UA flight ORD-YVR and it had metal knives in F. This was Dec 2003.
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:34 pm

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:34 am

My AF Flight had full silverware
*Long live the Widget*
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2001 1:13 pm

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:53 am

Not true about the plastic knives on all flights to and from the US. Many carriers now offer all metal utensils.

I tell you the plastic knife always makes me laugh. What would prevent someone from breaking the glass that drinks are served in and using one of the sharp pieces as a weapon. The logic of the plastic knife is beyond me.
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RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:00 am

At first I thought the relaxation of the metal knives rule only applied to foreign carriers (LX has had metal knives to the US for a few months now) but I flew CO last night from EWR-ZRH and they had the full set of silverware. AFAIK, DL still has the hybrid (metal fork and plastic knife) and AA still has the full set in Plastic.
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:17 am

What was the seat pitch like on AF? I had heard that AF only allows 48", which means you can't recline much at all without smacking your toes into the seat in front of you.

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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 1999 12:32 am

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:13 pm

Yahoooooo, thanks for the nice report Avi8tir.  Smile I like to hear it.

I find that for the most part, AF has a pretty darn good reputation for its service on board, be it in Y or in J/P.
Bonjour Chef!
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:11 pm

AF is moving to a bed product in both First and Business. Should be around 2005 when complete. Most people I have sent back and forth to Europe much prefer AF to DL. While I have not flown AF, I have flown DL BizElite on ATL-BCN, BCN-JFK, VCE-JFK and FCO-JFK. Domestically, 28 rt SFO-JFK before they yanked the 767 and put in the 757. All in J class.

BizElite International when it first came out was really quite good. However, it has declined from a premium Business product into a standard Business product, with especially bad catering coming from Europe. On domestic, it was an absolute GODSEND, because with the number of trips (all one overnight trips), after working a full day, I really looked forward to the sleeper seat for the 6 hour flight back to SFO. Those were the days. Now they have a 757 and its standard F class, definitely not worth the money, or the upgrade.

Unfortunately, don't travel much anymore due to neck/back injuries. When I do, I will have to have bed product, so I will have to buck up for someone who has that product. Definitely AF.

Sorry DL...the truth hurts.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:24 am

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Wed Aug 04, 2004 5:33 am

One big negative of AF's C Class compared to BizElite is the middle seat (2-3-2 config on the 777s and 744s) that will continue to exist even with the pseudo-bed product. I also hate these new pseudo bed products that all these airlines are now implementing (i.e., with the 'flat' bed but at an incline..(CO, SQ, LX, LH among them)) - I always find myself slipping down those seats and spend the whole night trying to push myself back up..The real flat beds on BA and VS are still the best, otherwise I would prefer an armchair type of seat (a la BizElite).

AF's presentation (food, flight attendants' appearance, etc.) however is often better than DL's.

I also hear that DL is toying with some changes to BizElite (they have been surveying travelers for various types of premium products including flat beds, etc.). There is a rumor that they may move to a 'butler' type of service (they will have 4 f/as in BizElite for 36 pax on the 763ERs and thus will dedicate 1 f/a per 9 pax.) where you will have your own f/a (shared with 8 others) and can dine on request with individual courses, no trays, etc.
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 2:34 pm

RE: My Take On AF Vs DL Biz Class

Wed Aug 04, 2004 8:13 am

The only real comfort difference that I noticed between the DL and AF seats is the legroom on AF is less (1) and the width on DL seams to be less (2). I dont care about the 2-3-2 because I ALWAYS sit at a window. I really never like to lay down completely, not comfortable for me. I prefer about a 75% recline. I fly delta 75+% of the time, always in first or BizElite. And on this trip I was able to experience both intl and dom biz elite, back to back. AF won in just about every aspect...NO QUESTION. I cant wait till next summer when AF will have its new Biz product in the 777. I will undoubtedly be taking them again. I agree with Baw716 in that DL BizElite was superb when it first came out. I remember I took it MAD-JFK-LAX in the summer of 2001 just after BizElite introduced. Until now, that flight was my best of all time. Now it goes to AF 69 LAX-CDG.
*Long live the Widget*

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