bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:50 am

The following Trip Report recounts my recent trip to Germany on Air France and Delta in First Class. All pics are taken with either the Canon 350D or a Sony Cybershot. I apologize for the poor quality of some of the pics, as I did not want to take flash shots in the cabins.

Booking Process:
It was November 2004, and I knew that we would be traveling again to FRA, as we do every summer around July. So, with some Delta miles in the account, we decided it was time to burn some of them for a First Class award.
So, the first question was which airline? We were VERY flexible, so expecting some good stuff. We were hoping to get a Singapore award through JFK, but turned out unsuccessful. They told us that Air France was available, also offering flat beds in First Class. We were hesitant at first, but after a while decided to book it. We thought that it would be better than a Delta or Northwest award, and found it to be a good option. They gave us a nice routing (in my opinion at least): TPA-ATL-IAD-CDG-FRA on the way there, and FRA-CDG-CVG-TPA on the return. We (only me and my mom this time) would be staying for two weeks, as usual. I was still trying to perfect the routing, with decent layovers, and good planes. Final routing looked like this:

Segment #1
TPA-ATL
07/06/05
Delta 263
Departure Time: 11:09AM
Arrival Time: 12:38PM
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400
Seat: 3A & 3B (First Class Bulkhead)

Segment #2
ATL-IAD
07/06/05
Delta 648
Departure Time: 1:45PM
Arrival Time: 3:22PM
Aircraft: MD-80
Seat: 2A &2B (First Class Bulkhead)

Segment #3
IAD-CDG
07/06/05
Air France 39
Departure Time: 5:10PM
Arrival Time: 6:30AM
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 1A & 1B (First Class Bulkhead)

Segment #4
CDG-FRA
07/07/05
Air France 1618
Departure Time: 9:45AM
Arrival Time: 11:10AM
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Seat: 3A & 3C (Business Class)

Segment #1
FRA-CDG
07/20/05
Air France 1019
Departure Time: 7:25AM
Arrival Time: 8:45AM
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Seat: 3A & 3C (Business Class)

Segment #2
CDG-CVG
07/20/05
Air France 382
Departure Time: 10:20AM
Arrival Time: 1:25PM
Aircraft: Airbus 340-300
Seat: 1A & 1B (First Class Bulkhead)

Segment #3
CVG-TPA
07/20/05
Delta 890
Departure Time: 7:00PM
Arrival Time: 9:10PM
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 1A & 1B (First Class Bulkhead)

Now I purposely made some long connections so that we could have plenty of time to utilize the lounges. I was aware that Air France was renovating their international aircraft, and taking First Class off of some aircraft, and putting a new one in others. Unfortunately, I could not reserve a flight on any of the routes with the new First Class. I was aware that our CDG-CVG segment was on an Airbus 340, which I knew Air France was renovating, and taking the First Class out of. I did not know the timeframe though. I asked the agent, and he assured me that First Class would still be on that aircraft at our time of flight.
About a week before the actual flight I called Air France to make sure that everything was fine and that they did not need my Passport Number yet (which they previously wanted), at which point I was told that we did not have seat assignments on the CDG-CVG segment, which I did not understand. I asked him if the First Class product was still available, to which he said that it was just business and economy. After explaining my situation to him, he said “Too bad, I can’t help you there”. Oh well, I guess I would be experiencing the New Business Class Product of Air France. NOT a good start (not necessarily an indication of what is to come).

Day of flight:
After finishing packing, we left at 8AM for our 11:09AM flight. By the time we got to the airport it was almost 9AM due to rush hour.

At TPA:
My dad dropped off my mom and me, and we headed straight to the First Class check-in line for Delta, a place I have never been. We were first in line for the counter, but there was an unaccompanied minor checking in. Despite being first in line, it took over 10 minutes until we were called to the counter. The agent was friendly, and looked at out weird routing and laughed. When he checked our bags I noticed that he did not put any priority sticker or anything on the bags, despite flying international first class.

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Delta check-in

After checking in, we headed straight to the Crown Room Club. It is located past security, in Concourse E. We got in the security line, and noticed that certain people were being pulled to the side for a shorter line. My mom thought it was a First Class line, but I insisted it was not. My mom asked the TSA agent, and he said it was for “Special Screening” Wink.Security took about 10 minutes and we were on our way.

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Crown Room Club visible on the upper floor

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Security

We entered the Crown Room Club, where the lady was chatting on the phone. After about a minute, she got off and looked at out tickets. At first she thought we were not supposed to be in the lounge, but then changed her mind. She was nice though.

We took the elevator up to the club, and it was very nice. I had never been there before, so I always wondered what it was like. It was surprisingly big, and was fairly empty. We had about 75 minutes to burn, so we found a table and some seats in a corner. The snack selections were fairly small, consisting of the snack mix and biscoffs and some fruit. I went to the counter and got an apple juice and some biscoffs, which are very good. I sat down and made a few phone calls.

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Entrance

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Interior

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FOX

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Apples and snack mix

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Apple juice and biscoffs

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Juices on the bar

I started talking to the lady who works at the bar, who was also from Germany. We talked for a few minutes. Then I went over to watch some TV on the huge plasma. They had FOX News on Smile. About 30 minutes before the flight we headed to the crowded gate area of E62. Within a few minutes boarding began, starting with Zone 1. We were about the thirtieth to board, since the first class cabin is huge.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:53 am


Segment #1
TPA-ATL
07/06/05
Delta 263
Scheduled Departure Time: 11:09AM
Actual Departure Time: 11:12AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 12:38PM
Actual Arrival Time: 12:35PM
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400
Seat: 3A & 3B (First Class Bulkhead)
Flight Load: 100% in F, 90% in Y

We got aboard and took the left turn to the first class cabin. Our seats were all the way in the front on the left side of the aircraft. I quickly stored my 20” rollaboard, and took my seat. I was surprised to see that in First Class Delta puts bottles of water at the seat (a nice touch, even though I HATE Dasani). The seat was very comfortable, but quite worn. Each First seat had a PTV.

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Quick shot of Economy

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My seat

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Plenty of legspace

Within a few minutes the friendly FA came and took our pre-departure beverage orders. I took a Coke. Within two minutes it was there. In the row behind us this older couple settled in (the husband was about 20 years older than the wife). She moved my rollaboard so that she could put the Louis Vuitton luggage there. Grrrr…….. The husband sat there and ate a few hot dogs, which really gave the cabin a bad smell. The Purser came on and made her announcements, including that out flight was continuing on to LAX and then HNL. Our flight crew was all LAX based, and there were seven FA’s. The Purser really liked to hear herself speak. The safety video began on the wall mounted monitors.

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Pre-departure beverage

Within a reasonable time we pushed back, and on the jetway there were two CSR’s who were playing around. I don’t know who they were trying to make a show for, but they stood on the jetway and hugged and waved goodbye, while laughing profusely. It might have been the pilots they were trying to entertain, but it was funny anyway.
The captain came on the PA and said that we would have a runway 18R takeoff and would be cruising at FL340. After about a five minute taxi, we held short of the runway. We then taxied into position, and soon enough had a powerful thrust down the 11,002 strip of pavement. We quickly got airborne, and after only a few seconds made a left bank for a nearly 180 degree turn. Within about 10 minutes the FA’s began their service, and the video monitors were ready to be played with. The FA came around with the snack basket, which consisted of such things as Sun Chips, Chewy Granola Bars, animal crackers, peanuts and cheese crackers. I took some Sun Chips and placed an order for a Coke. The FA delivered it quickly, and I was VERY surprised to see that it was in a cup, rather than a glass. This is the first time I have seen mainline F service without real glasses. Oh well!

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The First Class cabin

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Sun Chips, Solitaire and soda

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Peanuts

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At cruising altitude

I opened up my PTV, and looked at what could be played or watched. Solitaire was an option, so I tried my luck at that. Unfortunately, the controls are very difficult with the handheld controller. I then tried my luck at Hangman, which was much easier to control. My mom tried to open her PTV, but it only got jammed and did not work. The FA tried to fix it, but said that they took away all the tools, and it could not be fixed. The FA’s came around a few more times asking for refills, and bringing by the snack basket. I took another drink, and some peanuts. So, after a short cruise of less than 35 minutes at cruising altitude, we began our swift descent into ATL.
About 20 minutes later we touched town in ATL, and taxied to Gate T03. The taxi was brief, and we quickly disembarked through the 2L door. The FA’s stood there and said goodbye to everyone.

Conclusion: The crew was nice, but the fact that Delta does not offer glassware in First is very unusual. For a flight of this length, the snack basket is a nice thing, because it has more than UA or any other airline would offer on such a short flight.

At ATL:
We got off the plane and went straight to the train connecting the concourses. We were heading over to Concourse B, to use one of the Crown Room Clubs there. Our connection was only a little over an hour, so we would not have very long to use it anyway. Upon arriving at the B concourse, we found a Crown Room Club near Gate B8. Upon entering the matron told us that this was one of the worst in the entire airport. That was nice to hear.

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ATL B Concourse

So, after a few minutes we headed to the Crown Room Club near B16. This one was much nicer. We sat down and got some drinks and some snack mix. We sat there for nearly half an hour when we noticed that our flight had already been boarding, and that doors were to close in ten minutes, so we quickly made our way over to the gate. Upon arriving there they were boarding all passengers.

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B16 CRC
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:56 am


Segment #2
ATL-IAD
07/06/05
Delta 648
Scheduled Departure Time: 1:45PM
Actual Departure Time: 1:47PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 3:22PM
Actual Arrival Time: 3:19PM
Aircraft: MD-80
Seat: 2A &2B (First Class Bulkhead)
Flight Load: 100% in F, 80% in Y

We got aboard, and the FA asked for our tickets. She immediately offered us drinks. This MD80 had the new interior, which looked nice. The seats were a little bit harder, but on the other hand looked nicer as well. I struggled to fit my carry-on into the overhead bin, but eventually managed to squeeze it in. The FA brought our drinks, and placed napkins in the middle console to put them on. I did not see that the surface changed under the napkin, and while placing it down, spilled the whole cup. The FA immediately came with a load of napkins. She immediately brought another drink. She was very helpful and friendly.
The safety demonstration began during pushback, followed by announcements. We taxied to the runway, and were number two for takeoff. While taxiing we saw a Korean Air 747 landing on our runway, which was quite a sight. Anyway, we eventually got onto the runway, and powered up for our lame MD80 takeoff.
After a smooth climb, we reached our cruising altitude. The purser prepared for service, and then asked everybody for their drink order, addressing everyone by their last name. This is something I have NEVER seen on a domestic flight. She was very efficient and professional. She came around with the snack basket, and insisted that everyone take more than one thing. I took these cheese crackers, which were very good. Once again, the beverages were served in cups, something which is disappointing. The FA provided excellent service, always making sure that all of the cups were full and that no one wanted anything else to eat.

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My seat

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The F cabin

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From the snack basket

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Wider view of my seat

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Bulkhead

The flight was otherwise extremely uneventful. We landed a few minutes early and parked right across from where our Air France flight was going to leave from.

Conclusion: This FA was one of the friendliest I have ever seen. The service was once again good. The new MD80 interior looks nice, along with the “wood” floor in the bathrooms.

At IAD:
Upon exiting the aircraft we saw our Air France 777 at the gate right across from ours. I was surprised to see it there already, considering we had approximately a two hour layover. Within a minute we spotted the Air France lounge, and went straight in. It looked very nice from the outside. Upon entering the lady at the desk gave us a safety sheet we had to fill out, and reprinted out boarding passes on the Air France paper, since our original one was printed by Delta. She told us that boarding would begin through the lounge for us, 45 minutes prior to takeoff.

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IAD terminal

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Our gate from the main terminal

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Exterior of the Lounge

The lounge was divided into two sides, one for L’Espace Premiere (First Class), and the other for both L’Espace Premiere and L’Espace Affaires (Business Class). We headed right to the First Class area where I immediately noticed an ANA sign. This lounge is shared by both ANA and Air France. There was one other person sitting in the huge area. The lounge was very nice, with good snack and drink selections, along with nice sitting areas.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:57 am

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The Lounge (First side)

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The Lounge (Business side)

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The bar

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The snacks

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Yum!

We sat right across from our 777, which was being serviced. I went and got some food and drinks, and watched a lot of aircraft taxiing by. I saw an Alitalia MD-11, Air France 343, SAS 333, and a lot of other normal traffic. Our side of the lounge stayed very empty, with only one other French businessman. I was hoping that F would be as empty as it was looking. After relaxing for a while and making some last minute cell phone calls, the matron along with about 30 Business Class passengers came barging through the door saying that it was time to board. I think it would have been a little nice if they had first called F and then C. Anyway, after just about the whole business class cabin boarded, we finally got aboard.

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Our Aircraft

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Weird buses

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Air France 343

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Alitalia MD-11

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Our Aircraft again
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:00 am


Segment #3
IAD-CDG
07/06/05
Air France 39
Scheduled Departure Time: 5:10PM
Actual Departure Time: 5:25PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:30AM
Actual Arrival Time: 6:15AM
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 1A & 1B (First Class Bulkhead)
Flight Load: 42% in F, 90% in C & Y

Boarding for First and Business Class was through door 1L, while boarding for Economy was through 2L. Upon boarding I stuffed my rollaboard easily into the empty overhead bins. The seats were not the new ones yet, but they were very comfortable nonetheless with a pillow, blanket and amenity kit on it. There were slippers inside a bag in the bulkhead storage unit. So far out of the 12 F seats, the only other person was the French businessman in seat 1L. I noticed the FA’s were standing in the front of the aircraft chatting, with absolutely no eye contact or service to the passengers.

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My seat with pillow and blanket

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Other row one seats

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The whole first class cabin

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Bulkhead

I sat there for about 30 minutes listening to the cabin music, with absolutely no service, watching the SAS aircraft next to us. Then the FA handed us pajamas, and then once again disappeared. About another 10 minutes later she came around asking for drink orders. I ordered a Coke, and my mom took some champagne. She brought it in a glass (which is nice as a pre-departure beverage). She then came around with magazines, newspapers and eventually hot towels. Finally, the menus were handed out.

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Amenity Kit

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Slippers

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Errrr……… XL?

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Closed amenity kit

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Contents of the amenity kit
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:01 am

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Menu

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Menu

As time continued (and departure time approached), F was still nearly empty. Then, two Air France employees with badges (very young) took seats 2 A & B. Then, 15 minutes later than scheduled, the door closed. The safety video began (single-handedly the most cheesy safety video I have ever seen). In one of the most scripted possible voices along with weird music, “Excuse me madam, during takeoff and landing you need your luggage stowed and your seat belt fastened”. Oh well, it was a good laugh!
We taxied over to Runway 1R, where we were #5 for takeoff after a bunch of regional jets. The FA’s were chatting loudly, and would not sit down until we got on the runway. Upon taxiing into position and holding I counted 12 planes queuing for takeoff after us. A few moments later the powerful engines of the 777 powered up, and we started rolling down the runway, pushed back against my seat. It seemed like it would never end, until we finally lifted off the ground for a very steep climb into the north.
The captain came on and welcomed everyone aboard. Upon reaching cruising altitude the seatbelt sign was turned off and FA’s got up and did whatever they had to do in the galley. There were at least two FA’s serving the first class cabin, so the service should have been very personalized. They purser asked us for our drink choice, and when she brought them by it came with a little box of nuts. She left the can, instead of serving drinks glass by glass. She then asked for our meal choices. The service was very cold, but got a little better when my mom told her that we were German. Wonder why? Wink

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Beverages

Here is what the menu had for dinner:

Hors d’oeuvre:
Fresh foie gras with onion compote and balsamic vinegar
And
Scallops with pesto and Mediterranean-style garnish
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Choice of main courses:
Grilled tournedos of beef, French green beans and potato croquettes
Pan-seared fillet of grouper with creamed peas
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Our special selection of cheeses
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fresh bakery selection
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dessert
Petits fours frais
Assortment of fresh fruit


I chose the beef, medium rare. I am not a fan of fish, so it was definitely the better option for me. I changed into the pajamas, which were comfortable. About 20 minutes later the FA came with tablecloths followed by a tray with Hors d’oeuvres, which I did not eat at all. They came with baguette, which was soft and warm. Soon enough the beef came, which replaced the previous plate on the tray. It was offered with different sauces. I chose a fairly spicy green sauce. Then drinks came around again, and I chose a Diet Coke this time. The food was great, and the meat was very tender. Also, let me note that the cutlery was not plastic. Another 15 minutes after the main course came the dessert. It was also VERY good. The pastries were very tasteful as well as the fruit.

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Appetizer, which I did not touch

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Main Course

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Main course again

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Dessert
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:02 am

After the meal the trays were cleared, along with the tablecloth. Personal bottles of Evian were passed out. The flight attendants passed out big fluffy blankets which were very warm. The lights were then dimmed all the way and the flight attendants disappeared into the forward galley. I used the restroom, and then took a quick walk to the back of the aircraft. I reclined my seat to approximately a 160 degree angle, and pulled out my PTV. By this time all the people in the F cabin were sleeping. I turned it on and it had several choices, including movies, shows, quizzes (on aeronautics, history, Air France and geography), air show, cartoons, and other options. At first I played some of the quizzes and then watched “The Wedding Date”, which was mediocre. It passed the time. After that, I watched the air show to see where we currently were.

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Bottle of Evian

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Reclined Seat

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Aeronautics quiz

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The big blankets

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The sun setting

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Position over the Atlantic

Since I had not seen the FA for over two hours, I went to the galley to get something to drink. They were sitting there reading magazines. I used the restroom again and then decided to play some of the quiz stuff, while listening to some of the “easy listening” music. There was one song in particular that I wish I would have known the name of which had to do with “Ruben” being falsely accused of murder. The quizzes were surprisingly fun, and I mostly played the aeronautics and Air France ones. They always come in sets of 10, 25, or 50 questions, and I always went with 10 at a time. I played this for about 30 minutes, and then decided it was time for another movie because there was nothing else to do. This time I watched “In Good Company”, which, to be honest I don’t even remember, but I do know it was not good.

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Nights sky over the Atlantic

After that I made a quick round of the aircraft again, and then I could smell the FA’s preparing for breakfast service. We had some moderate turbulence for about an hour, but it was very unsteady and the seatbelt sign remained off.

The Breakfast Menu read as follows:

Fresh Fruit Juice
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fresh Fruit
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yogurt
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Choice of main courses

Cheese omelette, chicken sausage, tomato, mushrooms

Pancakes with berries accompanied by raspberry sauce

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fresh bakery selection, breakfast pastries, butter, preserves and honey
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:03 am

I went with the pancakes, because I have had airplane omelletes before, and they usually turn out REALLY bad. I ordered orange juice and a hot chocolate. Within 10 minutes the FA came with the trays with pancakes, followed by a basket with croissants and pastries. We were the only ones that were eating breakfast, because everyone else chose to sleep. She then brought the hot chocolate, which tasted very good for an airplane. The pancakes were fairly dry, because they had no syrup or anything of the such. As we were eating the sun was rising outside, and it was one of the nicest sunrises I have ever seen. At this time we were in the Western part of Great Britain. The FA came several times with the bread basket, and refilling OJ’s.

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Breakfast

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Sunrise


The FA cleared the trays, and we began our initial descent into CDG. I quickly went to the bathroom and changed from the Air France pajamas that I was wearing. I brushed my teeth and packed up everything I was not going to use anymore into my rollaboard in the overhead bin. About 20 minutes before landing the French Businessman woke up and he stretched and got back into his suit. He ordered a cup of coffee.

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Cabin

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Sunrise again

We then had a quick descent into CDG, and had a fairly rough touchdown. We taxied over to what looked like the terminal, until we made a left instead of right turn to a remote parking spot. There were two huge buses (or whatever you want to call those things) waiting for our aircraft.

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Terminal

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Buses waiting for us

The FA told everybody goodbye, and then opened the door within three minutes for an early arrival. These buses are awesome because they change their height. You don’t have to take stairs to get down to them, but rather they come up to the aircraft. There was one bus at the first door for First and Business, and eventually some economy, and the second bus was just for Economy. Once everyone was aboard the bus, the aircraft door closed, and we dropped down about 10 feet. Our bus left before the other one, and after a five minute drive which was actually pretty cool because of all of the traffic (including going right by an Air France 747), we increased our height again so that we could go through a bridge which would take us to the terminal.

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Dirty fuselage? Nahhhh…….. Wink

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Nice

Conclusion:
The service was very weak, other than the meal times. The FA’s disappeared into the galley, and never showed their faces when it was not absolutely necessary. We were not addressed by name, despite only five passengers in the First Class cabin. The food was very good, as well as the amenity kit and pajamas.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:04 am

At CDG:
Well, we headed straight to the Arrivals Lounge, which was approximately a 10 minute walk away. We had trouble finding it, but after asking a few people finally got it. It was relatively small, but it had a lot of nice showers, food, and computers. First I went to the computer, where I completely screwed up, because the keyboard is French, including replacing the Q for the A and other punctuation differences. I got some water and OJ, and tried to pass our three or so hours till the next flight. I got another croissant (they were good), and some fruit as well. I started talking to this guy who flew Delta Business Elite, and paid $7900 for three Business Class tickets (which is not a bad price for Business). He was complaining how there was not enough award availability, despite the fact that he was looking a full three months in advance Wink. Not a whole lot to be said about that.

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Hallway leading to the terminal

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Terminal

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Arrivals Lounge snacks

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My snack

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Terminal from which we will be heading to FRA

About one hour before our next flight we decided to head over to the area of our departure. It was quite a walk, but we had time. The first thing that I noticed was that the Regional terminal is older and dirtier than the other one. At our departure gate there was a plane getting ready to pushback. There were a lot of people in the sitting areas for all of the flights, along with people crowding around the gates. There was some interesting traffic, including airlines I have never before seen in my life. About thirty minutes before our scheduled departure an Airbus 318 pulled into our gate, instead of the scheduled A320. It was clear we would be a little late. When boarding began another 15 minutes later it took forever. I have never seen such an inefficient boarding process in my life. There were TWO gate agents boarding an Airbus 318. At United they usually have one agent boarding a 757, and that goes faster. Eventually, we get aboard after waiting a long time.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:05 am


Segment #4
CDG-FRA
07/07/05
Air France 1618
Scheduled Departure Time: 9:45AM
Actual Departure Time: 9:58AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:10AM
Actual Arrival Time: 11:14AM
Aircraft: Airbus 318 (Equipment Change)
Seat: 3A & 3C (Business Class)
Flight Load: 75% load in C, 75% load in Y

The FA stood at the door to welcome everyone. I have never (or at least don’t remember recently) flying within Europe, so I was excited to see what the “Business Class” looked like. As soon as I saw it I was quite disappointed. We went to 3 A & C, and the seat pitch was limited and the middle seat had a table type thing so that it was blocked. It was fine by me, because it is only a short flight, but there was maybe a 32”inch pitch. On United I at least get Economy Plus and 90% of the time the middle seat blocked, so this is not much of a “Business Class”. I believe rows one through six were Business Class.

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My “Business Class” seat

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Window view

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Forward cabin

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Leg space

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Pre-departure beverage

Within about 20 minutes the boarding process was completed, and the announcements started. Announcements were made in French, German and English. I don’t speak French, but the Purser’s English and German were so bad that I could barely understand a word. After pushback the Purser came around with pre-departure beverage, which was either champagne or orange juice, followed by hot, and I mean HOT towels. About 15 minutes late we made it to Runway 26R, where we were number one for takeoff. We quickly rolled down the runway, to get going with our 55 minute flight. Once we reached around FL200 the seatbelt sign was turned off and service began. The Purser offered a choice of beverages and a little box with some pretty good food (hard to describe).

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[/i]On climb[/i]

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Meal

By the time that the boxes and drink cups were collected we were already on approach into FRA. Everything else was uneventful. We had a great landing, and quickly taxied to the gate, arriving only a few minutes late.

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On approach

Conclusion: The marketed “Business Class” is fairly weak, and makes First Class in the US look good. The service was good, as well as the food for such a short flight.

At FRA:
We headed to the Carousel to pick up our luggage through Terminal 2, which was totally deserted. When we got to the baggage carousel, it was completely empty, with no luggage yet. After waiting another 30 minutes the luggage slowly started to come. After about 15 minutes of luggage being dumped out ours finally arrived, and the long set of flights to FRA was finally over and it was time to go home. One last thing which I found very strange was that we never went through Customs, in FRA or CDG, so we could have smuggled anything in.

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Baggage claim

In the mean time:
While in Germany we flew with Germanwings CGN-PMI, which I will do a trip report on at a later time. I also had the opportunity to jumpseat on an Air Berlin flight to PMI and back, on which my cousin was the captain. I will do a trip report on that soon as well. That was on July 19, lasting till about 2AM, with our flight back to the US at 7:25AM.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:06 am

Day of flight:
After getting home from the Air Berlin jumpseating day it was time to get two hours of sleep. I was supposed to get up at 4AM, but we overslept by an hour, which meant trouble. Our flight was leaving in two hours, and it was over an hours drive to the airport. My mom went down that Autobahn at 190km an hour in our rented Ford Fiesta, and we made it to the car rental drop off about an hour before the flight (one of the fastest drives I have ever had to the airport.
We ran from the Sixt drop off to the terminal at fastest speed, and fortunately Air France check-in was right there. The lady at the counter told us that there was no rush, and that we would make it. That was quite a relief. We put our checked baggage through the security belt, and then proceeded to the deserted counter. The check-in agent was nice, but took a long time. During check-in I took some pics of the terminal, and was approached by some lady who was from the security belt.

Her: I need to see the pictures you just took
Me: OK (show her my picture)
Her: That needs to be deleted right away
Me: Fine
Her: What about the picture?
Me: I already deleted that

That was plain ridiculous, but I did not feel like arguing with her, because I was just too damn tired. I took another pic of the terminal two seconds later anyways.
So we proceeded to Hall D, Gate 73. The plane was parked there, and we even had time to spare so we headed to the Air France Lounge which was right next to the gate.
The lounge was surprisingly big and nice, considering AF operations are not huge out of FRA. The snack selection was very limited, but I was not at all hungry. After sitting there for about 15 minutes we headed to the gate for boarding.

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OJ and some other thing

By the time we got there most of the people had already boarded, but it was clearly a very light load. Our ticket was ripped in half, and we were on our way back to the US.

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Our wonderful, relatively clean aircraft

Segment #1
FRA-CDG
07/20/05
Air France 1019
Scheduled Departure Time: 7:25AM
Actual Departure Time: 7:23AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 8:45AM
Actual Arrival Time: 8:48AM
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Seat: 3A & 3C (Business Class)
Flight Load: 40% in C, 40% in Y

We got aboard and once again took seats 3 A & C. This time the “Business Cabin” had seven rows. The service was very friendly and good, consisting of an older man and a lady. Before pushback they came around with OJ and champagne, and I took OJ. Immediately afterwards they came around with warm towels that were the perfect temperature. Announcements were made and pushback immediately began, this time even early. The flight was very empty. The Purser spoke English and German fairly well, at least much better than last time, while the Captain spoke terrible English, informing us of our 54 minute flight. On the taxi out, there was a big US military jet, which most people in the plane were staring at and commenting on.

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US Military jet

After about a 10 minute wait, we had a very quick takeoff and an extremely steep climb. Once at cruising altitude the FA’s were preparing for service, and eventually brought drinks and a breakfast box, consisting of some sandwich, croissant, OJ, and Actimel drink. I had to use the restroom and stepped over my mother, and by mistake spilled the coffee off of her tray. I went to the bathroom, and the FA was very helpful and gave me some of the hot towels which helped a lot to get it out. Approach was beginning, and the seatbelt sign was on. The Purser was coming around to people who had connecting flights, and explained to them the directions to their connections. She tried her hardest to be as helpful as possible.

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Awesome quilt-like sky

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Breakfast

We had a bumpy final approach into CDG, and with a perfect touchdown headed to parking. Once again I though we were heading to a gate, when we made a wrong turn Wink and headed to remote parking. This time there was one of the massive buses waiting for us. The door opened quickly, and the bus was filled within 10 minutes. We once again used the same bridge to get off of the bus after a five or so minute ride.

Conclusion:
The service was friendly but slow. They were very helpful, as much as they could be. The food was good, especially for the length of the flight. Once again, the whole “Business Class” marketing is a little overdone.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:08 am

At CDG:
We tried to make our way over to the vicinity of gate E73, which is where our connection was leaving from in about 90 minutes. After a seemingly endless walk we make it to the correct concourse, which was very small and tight. We saw a departures lounge which was underground, and decided to go there for about 30 minutes.
It was nice and spacious, and had some nice sitting areas which were nice for someone as tired as me. I got some Fanta, which is the best drink in the world, and some snacks with it. After relaxing a bit we headed out again to the noisy terminal.

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Departures Lounge

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FANTA!

Upon arriving at “gate” E73, we noticed that it was not a gate, but more like a Greyhound station with buses. At our “gate” there were a lot of passengers waiting in lines to board the bus. The line to the right was for people in L’Espace Affaires. The gate lady in front was supposed to be handing out the forms required for entry into the US, but we had to remind her. There were about five people in front of us in that line, and when the bus came our boarding passes were ripped and passports checked. The bus was very crowded, but it was only a short ride.

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Greyhound “gate” E73

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Is she looking at me?

Segment #2
CDG-CVG
07/20/05
Air France 382
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:20AM
Actual Departure Time: 10:45AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1:25PM
Actual Arrival Time: 1:35PM
Aircraft: Airbus 340-300
Seat: 4A & 4B (Business Class)
Flight Load: 75% in C, 90% in Y


Once we got to the plane boarding was taking place through door 1L, which was not all that nice considering everyone was going through the Business Class cabin to get to their seats. We eventually made it up the crowded stairway and found our seats, namely 4 A & B. the cabin looked brand new and nice, at least the 34 L’Espace Affaires seats did. I put my rollaboard in the deserted overhead bins, and took my seat. In the right compartment of the seat were the amenity kit and a bottle of Evian water.

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Brand new seats

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To the right of my seat

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This time a silver amenity kit

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And the contents

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Seat controls
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:09 am

Within a few minutes the three FA’s serving the cabin were delivering pre-departure drinks, namely OJ and champagne. They were very friendly, especially our FA, an older man. He then brought hot towels. He then brought by a newspaper rack, with a selection of magazines and newspapers. Finally, the menus were distributed for our flight. The Business Cabin was pretty full, but not completely booked out. Something I found interesting was two rows in front of me there were two Middle Eastern boys who looked like twins (maybe 12), alone in Business. It was not too hard to figure out that they were loaded. About twenty minutes after our scheduled departure, one last bus came which I guess was what we were waiting for.

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There we go

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Thanks for the holdup

About 25 minutes late we pushed back, and were finally on our way. The safety video began, and our A340 was on its way to Runway 27L.We were number one for takeoff, and after our lame, squealing, murderously powerless takeoff we were finally airborne. We then slowly, and I mean SLOWLY climbed up to our cruising altitude.


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Down the taxiway with some big wings

Once we got there I reclined my seat and the FA came through the cabin with the trolley offering drinks, along with a box of nuts.

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COME ON! You can make it!

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Nuts and a Coke

Shortly after, he came through asking what we would like as the appetizer.

The menu read as follows:

Choice of hors d’oeuvre

Duck foie gras, apricot-fig chutney

Celery salad with horseradish, smoked salmon, marlin and eel

Choice of Main Courses

Pan-seared lamb noisette, mashed potatoes with cumin and Provencale-style tomato

Fillet of pike-perch with funnel sauce, buttered spinach and rice flan

Fillet of guinea hen with demi-glace sauce


Our special selection of cheeses

Camembert, Cabecou, Muenster


Assorted desserts

Chocolate croquant, fig tart

Sherbet served with cookies

Choice of fresh fruit



I completely passed on it, since I am not a fan of fish or duck. My mom took it, and said it was good. About 10 minutes later they were offering the main courses, and I took the hen. When the FA gave it to me he smelled it and said “ah, yumm”. It was alright, nothing as good as what I had on the way to Europe. It was very filling though. He then came around with drinks, and I chose sparkling water, to which he commented “oh, you like bubbles”. After that came the cheeses, which I also passed on, something I should not have done. Another 10 minutes later came the dessert. I chose the sherbet with the cookies, and it was AWESOME. I started watching “Ms. Congeniality 2” on my PTV. One thing which is not so functional about the seats is that the PTV is located against the front wall, and when the windows are open there is some extreme glare, making it impossible to watch a movie.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:17 am

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My moms appetizer with eel and marlin

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My appetizer with………….nothing

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My moms main course of duck

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My main course of hen

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The cheese plate

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The dessert cart
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:18 am

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My moms chocolate croquant

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My cherry sherbet and cookies

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My reclined seat with a blanket, TRYING to watch a movie

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A quick look out of the window

After that came coffee and more drink service. The lights were then dimmed and all of the window shades were closed for a fully dark cabin. I continued to watch “Miss Congeniality 2”. What an absolute dismal bomb! Oh well! After that I went to the galley, where there was a selection of drinks on the counter, along with chocolate and fruit.

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The drink bar

The First Officer came out of the cockpit, and went somewhere in the rear of the aircraft (she was a female). After that I headed back to my seat and reclined it into the flat position. I was very tired, so I took a nap for about half an hour. I am not a big fan of the angled flat beds, because in order not to slide down you have to firmly plant your feet against the bottom of the wall.
After the nap I watched another movie, “Melinda and Melinda”. I watched it for 30 minutes and then got bored of it. I then decided to switch to the air show, but it was not working. I then watched some sitcoms, which were at least slightly amusing. Afterwards I went to the good ‘ol quizzes. I played the Air France quiz for about half an hour, and then switched to aeronautics. It really is fun to play.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:20 am

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The PTV choices

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Four types of quizzes

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Doing well!

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The seat next to me

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My seat

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My seat

Other than that, I just passed time until about 90 minutes before landing. The lights were put back on, and most of the cabin slowly woke up.

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Over Canada

The beverage trolley came back around and offered drinks. Then the light meal was served, which was on the menu as follows:

Risotto with saffron and coriander

Yogurt

Fresh Fruit



This was a pretty bad excuse for a business class meal. The rice was ok, but very stale and barely warm. The fruit was good, but the yogurt was “plain” flavored, which is extremely sour. Also, it was a very small portion. The bread basket came around, and it was also fairly hard.

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Light meal

Since there was no air show I asked the FA where we were and he said that we were coming in over Lake Ontario. We began our descent and the FA said goodbye to everyone, and soon enough were on the ground in CVG, with an absolutely perfect touchdown. We quickly taxied to the gate, and got up. This time the exit would be through the door in-between Business and Economy. This is usually bad news, but they did it surprisingly well in that they held back the Economy passengers till everyone was out of Business.

At CVG:
We had to pick up our luggage in order to go through customs. It took about 15 minutes till we got it, and on our way out they sent us to agriculture, the first time in my life I have ever had a second screening. It went quickly, so it was all good. We headed through security (something done really poorly at CVG), in order to get out. We headed to the A Concourse, where we found a Crown Room Club. Something which is very strange is that all of the CRC’s look absolutely hideous from the outside, with kitchen looking doors. Inside it was nice.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:23 am

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On the way to Concourse A

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CRC Exterior

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CRC interior

Upon getting in I headed to the bar to get a coke and some snack mix, and then near the window to watch some of the taxiway movement. I saw a very interesting situation where a Unites States Marine corpse was being unloaded from a Delta 737-200. There were six other Marines and all of the Delta employees were standing there respectfully. The hearse came, along with the family in a limousine. There were a few more people from Delta in suits, and it was a very interesting situation to watch.

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After the CRC we headed to the Delta Business Elite Lounge, which was located in Concourse B. It was a lot nicer, and even had two massage chairs. Unfortunately, they were being used by these two older men for two hours. Eventually they vacated, and I got my turn in the chair of death. These chairs were just plain painful, and my back hurt REALLY badly afterwards. Anyway, they had a nice food selection, with broccoli square things, cheese, bruschetta, etc.

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Part of the BizElite Lounge

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Chair of Death

After a long time we headed over to the gate area of B16, where our aircraft was to depart from. It was an old color scheme 737-800. They were boarding Seating Area 1, where I was in line to board, when all of a sudden the GA pulls the one boarded passenger out of the aircraft and announces, I quote “This aircraft is broken and going nowhere”. After a few more minutes she announces that we are swapping planes and leaving from the gate right across from ours where there is a new color scheme 737-800, which was otherwise going to LAS. Boarding begins and we enter the plane.

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Our original aircraft

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Our new aircraft

Segment #3
CVG-TPA
07/20/05
Delta 890
Scheduled Departure Time: 7:00PM
Actual Departure Time: 7:15PM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 9:10PM
Actual Arrival Time: 9:20PM
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 1A & 1B (First Class Bulkhead)
Flight Load: 100% in F, 80% in Y

Upon entering the aircraft, the friendly purser greeted everyone. She immediately made an announcement that we would be a little late because all of the bags had to be transferred from the other aircraft, along with the catering being switched. The seat was also a little worn, but fairly comfortable. Pre-departure beverages were quickly ordered and received. After about half an hour, the doors closed and we immediately pushed back. The safety video began, and the Captain immediately came on to thank us all for our patience, as well as the crew for their hard word. He thanked us for flying Delta through these tough times, and gave us our flight information.

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The bulkhead

We headed over to Runway 27R, where we were number six for takeoff after three Comair’s, one NWA Airlink, and one Delta MD80. We climbed quickly, and got to cruising altitude where headsets were distributed. I watched the Delta Horizons Show, which included “King of Queens” and some other programming. The snack basket and drinks came around, and the FA offered excellent service. I was tired so there was not that much that was eventful otherwise until landing.
We had a moderate (at least) bumpy approach, as we came in over a sky filled with lightning and thunderstorms. Now when I say lightning I mean LIGHTNING. The whole sky was filled with it. It was very interesting to watch. After a very hard touch down, we had finally arrived at home.

Conclusion:
I was tired so did not pay that much attention to the flight. The service was great though, from the Captain to the Purser.


At TPA:
At Tampa we headed to baggage carousel 10, where our luggage was to arrive. After waiting for about 10 minutes, there was an announcement that it would now be coming to carousel 9, which already had five other flight luggage on it. It took forever and was crowded with hundreds of people. After about 30 more minutes there was an announcement, “Now paging Cincinnati passenger bravo7e7, please come to the Delta Luggage Office”. I went there and strangely enough all of the luggage was waiting there for us. We took it and got out of there.


Conclusion:
Overall I had a great experience with Air France/Delta. Above I was just trying to be a little critical, and not just say everything was great. I was trying to look at it based on a perspective of someone who paid full fare for it. I think Delta is lacking though with its domestic first, in that they have cups and don’t offer meals on flights up to 1500 miles. Air France overall was good, but I would rather try some new airlines before flying them again. I felt their service was rather arrogant, at least on the flight there.


THANKS FOR READING! ALL COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

P.S. I will hopefully have my Germanwings and Air Berlin Jumpseat experience up in a few days.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:25 am

PPS: I apologize that so many posts were needed to make this report. Due to the number of pics, it took this much. I resized them to 700 pixels wide. I also realize that the Air France aircraft pictured at IAD is an Airbus 330, not a 340. It is too late to edit though.

[Edited 2005-07-23 18:38:00]
 
jamesontheroad
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:52 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:33 am

Hey!

Suddenly I was reading your report as you were still uploading it  Smile Great to read all the way though, and I appreciate your final caveat about being critical, to represent the eyes of someone who's paid full fare.

Nonetheless, a great trip by the looks of it, and a brilliant, consistent and thorough report.  bigthumbsup 

Thanks for sharing it with us!

James

--
Recent trips: BHD-NWI-BHD With FlyBe (w/pics) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 20 2005 in Trip Reports) BHD-ORK-BHD With Aer Arann (w/pics) (by Jamesontheroad Jul 15 2005 in Trip Reports)
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:59 am

Thanks for your report. From what you say of Air France First Class, the service (I will not comment on seats since they are outdated) looked horrible for international standards. Two Entree choices??? Business class has better food options. I know UA offers four choices in their 10-12 passenger 777 first class cabin on some of their flights. The service sounded pretty bad for up front. I would expect flight attendants to do at least a walk through of the cabin every 15 minutes. While it is not necessary for flight attendants to obsess about passenger comfort, you do expect them to great you by name, top off your glass, and make sure everything is ok during a flight in first class. I know people harp US airlines for their service, but what you got just didn't seem up to par. Maybe it was an off day for AF.

It looks like the DL service was quite good other than not having glasses. However I am doubtful of this new cabin update that they have. Although I have not flown them, those first class seats don't look comfortable. They kind of look old and outdated as if they were big leather arm chair seats from air travel in the 70s or 80s. I find the UA and AA domestic seats to be very comfortable as they contour to your body more.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:12 am

Quoting Jamesontheroad (Reply 18):
Suddenly I was reading your report as you were still uploading it

It took quite a while

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 19):
Although I have not flown them, those first class seats don't look comfortable. They kind of look old and outdated as if they were big leather arm chair seats from air travel in the 70s or 80s. I find the UA and AA domestic seats to be very comfortable as they contour to your body more.

I agree. United's F seats are not leather, but much more comfortable. For those of you not familiar with them, here is a pic:
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/bravo7e7/lala.jpg
 
flypdx
Posts: 603
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:19 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:24 am

Very nice and detailed TR!
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:45 am

Ben, as always, great TR's. Glad to see you flying under the Skyteam banner.

Great pics and great write up. I am actually surprised that they used plastic cups instead of glassware. I flew on DL about a week ago from dtw-atl-slc-cvg-dtw and both there and back we had glassware (except for the rj from cvg-dtw). Ah well....im actually surprised that you flew on a A340  Silly

Keep them coming. As always i enjoy reading and viewing your tr's.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
jpetekyxmd80
Posts: 3941
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:16 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:11 am

Terrific report, Ben. All those pics made it feel like I was right there. I know you spent a lot of time compiling this and thank you for this valuable addition to A.net.
The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
 
mikkel777
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 1:15 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:17 am

Nice report. BTW, the AF Airbus in one of the first pics is a 332, not a 343.
I think AF intra-europe C is just a joke, and will try to stay away from them in the future.
No foie gras and champagne on an international flight in first and C? You are really missing out on the good stuff!!!

Just came back from a trip with CO in 1. and biz to Europe, and compared to Delta and Air France, CO is much better. Have a lot of pics, so i might write a report som day.
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:36 am

Great report and even better pictures BRAVO7E7!

AF F looks very subpar to me... Any chance your IAD-CDG was marketed as a 2-class flight? The food looks like business class... If it was F, no excuse to offer 2 choices for mains in F, totally pathetic. Also, no salad and soup in AF F??

Nevertheless, I think you should have tried the appetizers in AF C/F. They look delicious.

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 8):
I started talking to this guy who flew Delta Business Elite, and paid $7900 for three Business Class tickets (which is not a bad price for Business). He was complaining how there was not enough award availability, despite the fact that he was looking a full three months in advance

$7900 for C??? Looks like an absurdly high fare to me. I booked SQ/TG/LH F 3 months in advance, and there is availability all the time with Star Alliance. I got the EXACT flights and dates I wanted. Quite ridiculous if SkyTeam doesn't have that.

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 8):
I have never seen such an inefficient boarding process in my life. There were TWO gate agents boarding an Airbus 318

Try here next time - 7 agents boarding 36 pax on an OX 747-100 BKK-HKTBig grin

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 9):
One last thing which I found very strange was that we never went through Customs, in FRA or CDG, so we could have smuggled anything in.

You had completely white bag tags I assume. Schengen pax such as CDG have a green line on their tags. Sometimes there are customs folks checking that, not very often however.

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 15):
This was a pretty bad excuse for a business class meal. The rice was ok, but very stale and barely warm. The fruit was good, but the yogurt was “plain” flavored, which is extremely sour. Also, it was a very small portion. The bread basket came around, and it was also fairly hard.

It's a lame excuse even for Y. AF C was fantastic when I flew CDG-FCO. Looks like they have gone the BA way or followed the lo-co crap...

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 15):
This is usually bad news, but they did it surprisingly well in that they held back the Economy passengers till everyone was out of Business.

It seems to be the standard procedure on European/Asian carriers thankfully.

Quoting Mikkel777 (Reply 24):
I think AF intra-europe C is just a joke, and will try to stay away from them in the future.

It seems to be the case now... I'd be intersted to know what kind of catering they have on longer flights?
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
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Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:43 am

Very good report dude! I actually almost cried when I saw the marine corpse, a sad reminder of how the war is. Gave me chills.

I loved the pictures, very good and detailed. Seems First class outside of USA is so much better then our F/C. I remember flying F/C on TWA L-1011 MCO-STL way back in 1996, and man THAT was a nice flight.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
mhodgson
Posts: 4673
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Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:45 am

Excellent report - Hope I get to fly C/F one day!  Silly
No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
 
karan69
Posts: 2699
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Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:09 am

What to say but an amazing Trip report and fantastic pictures.
Was it a welcome change to fly in Biz/F class after all those mileage runs in Eco.
When is your next flight
I would prefer AF Biz to F reading from your report.Also the 343 is a good aircraft in the sense it lets you enjoy your flight, had my first 343 flight last Monday on the new JetAirways[SAA leased] in Biz class--TR with pics coming out soon on that.

Waiting to read your jumpseat report on AirBerlin
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:41 am

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 28):
would prefer AF Biz to F reading from your report.Also the 343 is a good aircraft in the sense it lets you enjoy your flight

I seriously believe BRAVO7E7 got C service ex-IAD. For F, service is pathetic.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:16 am

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 21):
Very nice and detailed TR!

Gracias

Quoting Xjramper (Reply 22):
Glad to see you flying under the Skyteam banner.

Hey, this was a one time thing.  Wink

Quoting JpetekYXMD80 (Reply 23):
Terrific report, Ben. All those pics made it feel like I was right there. I know you spent a lot of time compiling this and thank you for this valuable addition to A.net.

Thanks man!

Quoting Mikkel777 (Reply 24):
Nice report. BTW, the AF Airbus in one of the first pics is a 332, not a 343.

Correct, and as you can see in Reply 17 I established that. It was too late to edit when I noticed it.

Quoting Mikkel777 (Reply 24):
Just came back from a trip with CO in 1. and biz to Europe, and compared to Delta and Air France, CO is much better. Have a lot of pics, so i might write a report som day.

Please do.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 25):
$7900 for C??? Looks like an absurdly high fare to me.

For three passangers that is.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 26):
Very good report dude! I actually almost cried when I saw the marine corpse, a sad reminder of how the war is. Gave me chills.

I loved the pictures, very good and detailed. Seems First class outside of USA is so much better then our F/C. I remember flying F/C on TWA L-1011 MCO-STL way back in 1996, and man THAT was a nice flight.

Thanks, and yes it was sad to watch.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 28):
What to say but an amazing Trip report and fantastic pictures.
Was it a welcome change to fly in Biz/F class after all those mileage runs in Eco.

HAHA! The mileage runs were not all in Economy, some were in F.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 28):
When is your next flight

Next Wednesday USA3000 to ORD.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 28):

Waiting to read your jumpseat report on AirBerlin

I'm pecking at it already. Wink

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 29):

I seriously believe BRAVO7E7 got C service ex-IAD. For F, service is pathetic.

I doubt it, I think it was just sub-par.
 
expressjetphx
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:33 pm

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:41 am

Awesome report, I'm flying BA0288 on Tuesday PHX-LHR, and the return BA0289 in mid-August, I'll be sure to make a trip report, hopefully as detailed as yours!

Thanks for going so in-depth, it's really great, keep up the good work!
 
AlitaliaMD11
Posts: 3704
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:19 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:26 am

Excellent report!

I have flown on Air Frances old First Class on the B747-400 from JFK to CDG about three years ago. I did find the service when we boarded a little slow in First. During the flight I really couldn't tell because I was asleep in the lie flat bed. The lie flat bead really makes a difference. I ended up sleeping seven hours and was rested for Paris. The lounge at JFK is a very nice lounge and I really enjoyed it.

That new business class on the A340-300 does look exremley nice in my opion.

I have flown Air France 18 times and they have yet to fail me. I have flown Air France on the A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A340-300, B777-200ER, and the B747-200/400.

If you don't mind I might use your trip report as a model for mine. I am really looking forward to making my trip report from MAD-JFK on the A340-600.
No Vueling No Party
 
TUNisia
Posts: 1515
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:24 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:49 pm

Nice TR !! I thought it was interesting that AF gave you Lacroix PJ's!!
Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
 
Aeri28
Posts: 668
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 1:08 pm

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:26 pm

great trip report. Thanks so much for taking the time with all those photos. Really enjoyed reading it.
 
ThaiboynMexico
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 4:36 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Sun Jul 24, 2005 11:09 pm

BRAVO to BRAVO7E7,

Best report I have ever read since I have been a member. Your language is very concise and to-the-point, not like some others who just go on and on and on. And the pics. WOW!!!.

How did you manage to do all this? I AM SO TORTURED BECAUSE I FLY A LOT BUT I DON'T DARE TAKING PICS even though I really want to so that I could make a nice trip report like yours. I can only take pics outside the window. I am of Asian origin also. People would be like...geesh this Japanese tourist is a nut. Especially when you fly First Class, other passengers are not bothered at all??? And don't the Flight Attendants come asking you "Is there something wrong with the food sir? That's why you are photographing it." You've got a lot of nerves (in a good way) because I know the French don't take shit from nobody. I can already imagine the French passenger sitting next to me yelling at me, thinking that I took his picture.

You simply use a regular camera? With flash? Any advice would be appreciated please.

Ryeroam
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:10 am

Excellent report with some great pictures. I am a Flying Blue Elite but most of my miles are with KL/NW/CO. I recently thought about giving AF a try as I have not flown them in years and want to see if they really have improved. Your report certainly gave me a bit to think about.

SR 103
 
Carfield
Posts: 2025
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:22 am

Thanks for a detailed trip report!

AF "F" Service looks a bit "sad" and I am surprised that the food is actually pretty much the same between F and J.

Just curious if DL refunds some of the miles to you, as you are put in business class on your return flight to the USA. I will be pretty pissed off if this happens to me. A F award is different from a J award, and DL should have done something to correct this situation. I am also shocked that no one from DL or AF notified you two earlier.

But thanks for the photos... the new L'espace Affaires cabin look pretty good... but the food looks pretty awful too especially the light meal.

Thanks,
Carfield
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:32 am

Thanks for taking the time and energy to write what was a very interesting, well-written, detailed and enjoyable trip report.

Couple of questions:

Were the lavs any bigger in the F section of the 772 than the usual? How easily were you able to change into your PJs?

Did you prefer the old F to the new C-Class?

If you had to do it again (the new experience aside) would you have done it the same way or would you have rather travelled with UA?

Thanks again for the report.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
Zone1
Posts: 894
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:47 am

Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:57 am

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Thread starter):
When he checked our bags I noticed that he did not put any priority sticker or anything on the bags, despite flying international first class.

It is hit or miss on these types of things. About half the time they forget to do this. I just ask, for it when they do forget. Sometimes they are not used to working the First line.

Quoting BRAVO7E7 (Reply 2):
While taxiing we saw a Korean Air 747 landing on our runway, which was quite a sight.

The funny thing is last month I was flying ATL-IAD also, and was originally on a CRJ for this flight so we were right there on the ramp. We had to be taken off the plane for mx, and I got a picture of it when it was coming out.
http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~georgaag/images/Spotting/747_1.JPG

Awesome trip report. I'm glad you had a chance to try Delta! What did you think about the Crown Rooms versus the Red Carpet Clubs?
/// U N I T E D
 
Airlinerfreak
Posts: 1246
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:16 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:01 pm

Ben, I think this has to be the best Trip Report on this website yet. The amount of time you put into doing it, and taking the pictures is just amazing. The health and well being of this site owes a lot to you Ben. Without Trip Reports like these Airliners.net would be nowhere near where it is today. I can not wait until that jumpseat with Air Berlin trip report it sounded as if you had a kick ass time and I cannot wait to see more of the pictures. Though it took me a while I did indeed comment. Well thanks for another great trip report!!

P.S....you gotta show me how to make one as good as this.
 
Msl747
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:30 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 12:07 pm

Excellent report with fantastic pictures! Thanks!

-Msl747 spin 
Commercial Pilot Certificate: Single and Multi-Engine Land; Instrument Airplane
 
jamman
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 4:33 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:56 pm

A Great long trip report!

James.

[Edited 2005-07-25 13:57:25]
Phoning it in from a place with no phones.
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:01 am

Thanks to everyone for their nice comments, because that is what makes me take the time to write these up.

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 32):
If you don't mind I might use your trip report as a model for mine.

WOW! Sure, thanks for the compliment.

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 33):
I thought it was interesting that AF gave you Lacroix PJ's!!

HAHA! I didn't even notice it.

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 35):
How did you manage to do all this? I AM SO TORTURED BECAUSE I FLY A LOT BUT I DON'T DARE TAKING PICS even though I really want to so that I could make a nice trip report like yours. I can only take pics outside the window. I am of Asian origin also. People would be like...geesh this Japanese tourist is a nut. Especially when you fly First Class, other passengers are not bothered at all??? And don't the Flight Attendants come asking you "Is there something wrong with the food sir? That's why you are photographing it." You've got a lot of nerves (in a good way) because I know the French don't take shit from nobody. I can already imagine the French passenger sitting next to me yelling at me, thinking that I took his picture.

You simply use a regular camera? With flash? Any advice would be appreciated please.

HAHA! Well, all my pics were either taken from a Sony Cybershot, or most from a Canon 350D. So, yes I do get a lot of looks when I pull out my Canon 350D to take a pic of a little tray, but I really don't care. Whenever I fly UA they mostly laugh at it, and have no problem whatsoever with it. The French FA's gave me some really strange looks with my camera, but I found it funny.

As for flash, that is a toughie. In First there is no way in hell I will use flash, because that is simply disrespectful. Recently I have not been using flash in any cabins at all, actually. The only place I use flash is in the airports, lounges, etc.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 37):
Just curious if DL refunds some of the miles to you, as you are put in business class on your return flight to the USA. I will be pretty pissed off if this happens to me. A F award is different from a J award, and DL should have done something to correct this situation. I am also shocked that no one from DL or AF notified you two earlier.

That is my next task. Last time I called, no. But I will try again. I will keep you updated if they do.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 38):
Were the lavs any bigger in the F section of the 772 than the usual? How easily were you able to change into your PJs?

I think they may have been a little bigger, but nothing extremely noticeable. I did not really have too much trouble changing into the PJ's, but I tried to avoid the urine on the floor.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 38):
Did you prefer the old F to the new C-Class?

That is a toughie. Well, there are two different ways I could interpret this. Either which of my two experiences did I like more, or which of the cabins was actually better. Well, as for the seats themselves, while they were outdated, the F seats were flat and not tilted, which makes it easier to lie down. I always had to plant my feet against the bottom in Business. So, in that way I would say First was still better.

As for my experience, I would have to call it a dead even tie . On the F the seat was better, more personal experience (due to small cabin), terrible service and ok food. As for the return, seat was a little worse (but a different expereince nonetheless which I am happy I tried), service was a mile better, and food was a little worse.

Quoting AirxLiban (Reply 38):
If you had to do it again (the new experience aside) would you have done it the same way or would you have rather travelled with UA?

Actually, I would have. Since I fly UA a lot, it is always nice to see what other airlines offer. I have enough miles to requalify again for next year with UA, and I like to test out different airlines. I had a nice expereince, but not one I am dying to repeat again.

Quoting Zone1 (Reply 39):
Awesome trip report. I'm glad you had a chance to try Delta! What did you think about the Crown Rooms versus the Red Carpet Clubs?

Well, plainly said I was very dissapointed with the Crown Room Clubs. I think they are very numerous, and some are very nice while others are not. They only offer the snack mix, which I feel is not enough. They do offer free alcohol though, something UA does not do. I am not old enough to drink in the US, so that does not really matter for me. UA offers stuff such as cheese and crackers, snack mix, fruit, bagels, pastries, etc. let me go dig up some pics. Wink
 
CaptainTim
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:43 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:47 am

wow.. i got lost midway through the post where u were in the world..
great and i mean excellent post.. haven't seen sucha good one in a very very long time.. thorough and u encountred a lot of rare situations. a globemaster on the taxiway and a us marines corpse.. wow

pretty amazing
take care
tim
Gulfstream Planeview Cockpit: "why have hundreds of buttons when a CCD does the same thing and more?"
 
NorthstarBoy
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:05 pm

that was a good trip report, very interesting reading


i agree with you about the A340, i flew Turkish Air from JFK-IST on my last international trip 2 years ago, all i can say is.....very very slow airplane, definitely underpowered, i'll take a 763 over an A340 over the pond any day.

it must have been a real blast being able to jumpseat, but i'm amazed the airline would allow it, i know from experience (my brother's a FedEx pilot) that non-crew can't ride the jumpseats on US carriers.

reading your trip reports makes me want to write one of my own, but i don't think A.Net will accept the pictures i take, as i have just a little tiny Finepix digicam

i'm taking two trips in august Den-dfw-mia-dfw-den in one day on AA (hope i don't get any "special screening" lol) and a bigger trip at the end of the month to Norway, on NW/KL, so maybe i'll write a trip report

Keep up the good work kid
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!
 
omoo
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:33 am

Great trip report, looking forward to the one in Germany
Fly Air Popobawa
 
cairo
Posts: 889
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:41 pm

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:46 pm

Thanks for a pretty good report. I think some of us here have become a bit snobby! It was only a few years ago that lie-flat seats were even introduced. In the 80s and early 90s, F class seats weren't as nice as today's J class seats but we thought they were great then. Both the seat types on your longhauls looked fine to me, I really don't know how one could complain.

There are no customs in any EU airport I've seen, you're right that's odd for an American. Maybe we don't need the police state in the US? Sorry, political comment there.

BTW, you seem to enjoy American style salty-bread/sugar-cookie type snacks, but didn't touch your AF appetizers! What is wrong with you? Just kidding, I know it's a little odd to think of eating eel and snails and goose liver or raw marlin, or whatever else AF may serve up, but if you tried it you'd probably get a taste for it. Your mom is right, they usually taste great. I try to fly AF once a year or so just so I can taste something besides salad with ranch dressing, shrimp cocktail and steak with potatoes in premium class.

Good report, nice pictures.

Cairo
PS - The 'weird busses' at Dulles are the famous mobile lounges that operate similar to the raising buses in CDG. At IAD they were (originally, in theory) supposed to connect all pax directly to the plane, with each plane parked remotely without a jetway. I think some still do connect directly to the plane?

[Edited 2005-07-27 09:00:40]
 
omoo
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:58 am

Quoting Cairo (Reply 47):
Cairo
PS - The 'weird busses' at Dulles are the famous mobile lounges that operate similar to the raising buses in CDG. At IAD they were (originally, in theory) supposed to connect all pax directly to the plane, with each plane parked remotely without a jetway. I think some still do connect directly to the plane?

i havent seen one connecting directly to a plane but that will be an interesting sight.
Fly Air Popobawa
 
laca773
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: Delta/Air France Transatlantic First Class (Pics)

Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:20 am

Awesome trip report, one of the best I ever read. Thankyou.

Is there anyway to view your pictures from a link? I was only able to view a few of them and the remainder {the majority} didn't load.. Please let me know.

Have a good evening.
LACA773

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