At the end of last year I went on a trip to New York. We searched for quite a while to try and find the cheapest flights and we ended up with Air France (at the time we bought the tickets they were £371 return each). We flew from Edinburgh to Paris and then from Paris to Newark. The return flight was however from JFK and then to Paris and Edinburgh.
Even though the prices were really cheap and we weren't expecting much, the journey was very pleasant and all the staff were wonderful. And no hidden fees.
- Flights -
The flights themselves went smoothly. We were delayed from Edinburgh to Paris and Paris to Edinburgh but neither were the fault of Air France (Paris to Edinburgh delay was due to strikes in Paris). We arrived in each destination on time and had no problems with our connecting flights. All flights were smooth, minus some expected turbulance, and we had no complaints about the flights themselves.
- Food -
Everyone moans about airline food and I never expect it to be great. I am vegetarian and people always remark about the fact that my food looks better than theirs. We only got a snack from Edinburgh to Paris and back of a small, plain packet of biscuit like snacks and a glass of water, orange juice, tea or coffee. The meals between Paris and New York were better though. I didn't really enjoy my meal on the way back, but managed to eat some of it. There was also a choice of wine and champagne as well as soft drinks. I won't lie, its what you would expect from airline food but it was edible.
- Entertainment -
The screens on the back of the chairs provide you with your entertainment with a choice of films, tv shows and music. I watched a couple of films, including one that I had been meaning to see at the cinema. The screens don't have the perfect resolution and don't expect HD quality or the best sound but its watchable and its better than listening to lots of turbulance. It also allows you to track the plane as it flies (admittedly not as exciting as your are flying over the Altantic and can just see blue) and check stats like outside plane temperture. You are provided with headphones (along with an eye mask, ear plugs and freshening wipe) for free so you are not required to pay anything.
- Staff -
I found the staff to be very pleasant and helpful. They all greeted us with a smile and answered any questions we had. All very professional and polite.
- Overall -
It was an enjoyable experience, great quality for the price and would definitely fly with them again. I would recommend them also.
I am on Erasmus in the city that is Strasbourg in the Alsace region of France. For those of you unsure of where it is, it is on the east coast bordering with Germany. I was due to fly home the 17th December for Christmas after a super stressful semester at my Management School, combined with daily harassment from men of a certain nationality that I will not mention, the perils of being blonde, therefore I was super excited to escape La France ......Anyway, my mother came out to visit me for a week, but Strasbourg is notoriously difficult to get to and involves at least 2 flights from the UK - ridiculous I know!! We actually had 2 different routes back; heres was KLM Strasbourg - Schipol-Durham Tees Valley and mine was Strasbourg - Paris CDG - Newcastle with Air France.
So, that fateful Friday, we got a text as we were about to leave for the airport saying that flight AF-whatever was cancelled, but it was not mine and it was not hers so we just headed for the airport to print off our boarding passes (special machines at the airport), however my mother's would not print off; it turns out her flight had been cancelled but it was a completely different flight number to the one they had text us, which was inefficiency number one of about a million!! I had to board my plane, which I was then left sitting on for a good half an hour without explanation or assistance from any cabin crew, which worried me a little as I only had 1 hour between flights, but they were "supposed" to be at neighbouring gates in Terminal 2e, what a lie... we disembarked at 2G and had to wait 15 minutes for an Air France specific shuttle bus, so me and several other passengers completely missed the flight. We were at the gate 15 minutes before it was due to leave and boarding had finished 3 minutes earlier, yet all staff had abandoned the gate and the neighbouring were of no help. The amount of times I have sat on planes waiting for connecting passengers, it filled me with so much rage! We found a customer service desk and 3 of us were stood for over 3 hours talking to this one woman who found it impossible to book us all a hotel and tickets for the same flight the next day without great difficulty!! That was day one.......
Day 2: flight was cancelled!! I thought us Brits were bad; if snow lays properly, the world slows down somewhat, but if its a dusting, like icing sugar, no big deal. However, the French decided icing sugar snow was just too much and cancelled all UK and domestic flights. My mother joined me at the airport around midnight and we ended up sleeping on the cold marble floor as the taxi voucher that they had issued us for out hotel was invalid, the company was on strike that day, typical French culture....you might think I am coming down hard on the French here, but after 5 or so months of life here in France, strikes are a very regular and irritating occurrence. We had to queue 3/4 hours to change every airline ticket for every cancelled flight at the beginning and this time increased for some people as the number of frustrated passengers increased.
Day 3: I was starting to crack up a bit, my mother and I both had separate flights booked and neither of them left, the usual 3/4 hours queuing which happened at least twice that day. The airport closed for a few hours in the morning; some flights were plain cancelled, others were delayed and cancelled 8/9 hours later. Their system for doing what they did was disgusting, completely without logic and the flights disappeared from the screens without tannoy announcements. We got booked onto an Edinburgh flight that got cancelled literally 5 minutes after, the staff knew it was already going to be cancelled but they were booking passengers on to cut the queue down.Late in the evening we asked one of the staff after our 3rd queue of the day, if he could book us onto an Amsterdam flight, he said no because Amsterdam was "looking to be closed for the forseeable future". Lies again, of course, what else? 8 out of 12 flights left on time that day and the staff would not book people onto them!!
Day 4: having met various lovely people and created somewhat of an airport family, we had become professionals at the queue game, but we decided to ask to be booked onto every UK flight so as not to miss a trick, yet we wound up spending yet another night on the airport floor!! By this point they started to give us blankets and polystyrene mats, not those fancy beds which were apparently on the news, those were clearly for the stuck-up Parisian staff. We had lost all hope of ever getting out of there. One Air France staff member told us that whilst the airport was completely closed, there was no point in booking us tickets - would YOU want to say that to people who had just spend 4 days in your awful airport and 4 hours in another queue?? The conversation went like this.... "I am sorry, but zee airport is closed", me "How is it closed if planes are landing right behind you as we speak?" her "well, you see zee long haul planes must land", me "yes, I understand that, but can you please explain to me why some of YOUR smaller aircrafts are taking off just behind you there? If you turn around, you can see for yourself", her "oh, well maybe zee airport is opening again, I don't know", me "wow, you guys are knowledgeable". End of conversation. Staff who do not know a single thing about their jobs and their place of work, brilliant, this is why we were stuck there for 4 days already! Later that night, we rebooked an Amsterdam flight and a Manchester one for Tuesday 21st December. I have never prayed so much in my life as I did that week.
Day 5: OMG we had a plane that was leaving!!!!!! The French de-icer production company were about go to on strike so thank God!! It was seriously delayed, the fog was so thick it was unreal but we eventually took off then got a train home from Manchester. If it hadn't been raining I would have kissed the floor, really.
I arrived in the UK December 21st 2010. I left the UK January 2nd 2011 for Rome. I returned to Strasbourg January 10th 2011. My case was found January 9th 2011 and returned to the UK 5 days after, so I am still without luggage as they didn't bother to ring and check and I couldn't get through on their phonelines for love nor money. They wouldn't let us use showers at the airport, or have access to our cases. If EVERY single other airline managed to depart without an issue during this entire 5 day period, clearly just an issue with Air France.
Rude, ignorant, ill-informed staff, no shops to buy clean underwear or toiletries (but you can buy a Prada bag), 1 food voucher a day for a cheap sandwich, 2 if you were super lucky and all of the food was terrible quality. Air France was the only airline with an issue, had Easyjet not been fully booked we would have got home straightaway. No news about luggage until the day it was found. No apologies, no manners, no announcements for delayed or cancelled flights, combined with lying staff. The Parisian attitude is disgusting and I will avoid this airport at all costs. The amount that Air France charge, I would have expected better treatment for sure. It was actual hell. Never again and please do not do it to yourselves!!!
Having arrived in Toronto via a transit stop at Charles De Gaulle, I was notified my luggage was held over and will arrive the next day (today). I was given a tracking number and was told I'll receive a call this afternoon and the luggage will arrive at my door this evening.
Here are all the ridiculous things that took place since:
1. Throughout the afternoon, the number I was told to call with any inquiries had the following voice message: "we are in a staff meeting right now. Please leave a message. Thank you for supporting Air France". I guess they never heard of leaving someone by the phone in case a customer calls!!!!!
2. With no answer on the phone, I tried using the tracking number to find out what happened with my luggage online. Despite entering the correct number numerous times, the system kept telling me that "'the number cannot be found"!
3. Attempts to call other Air France numbers yielded no results - all I found were voicemails in the US, or a person in the general number who used the word 'unfortunately' numerous times. Yes, she could take my money to buy a ticket, but 'unfortunately' she would be unable to help in any way whatsoever when it comes to lost luggage. Not even a miserable little 'Let me see what I can do for you". Just "unfortunately". C'est tout.
It is now night time and no word from the company yet. There is no one to call, no online resource that works. This is totally Kafkaesque !!!!
Flew Air France, JFK-CDG-MUMBAI (round trip). AF boarded all passengers and then announced there is a 2 hour delay. Crew refused to service any requests as flight was still on ground. Had requested special meal. Did not get any. The in-flight crew was as spartan as a hospital..Very rude. For return, tried changing the travel date on the web site. The airline charged the change fee three times and yet did not process the date change. When I called two days before the requested date, the staff stated they have no idea. Made a payment on my cc and the card company had confirmed the charges. Spent over 3 hours over the phone. Then I asked them to leave the travel dates as originally planned, the airline changed the same one day before the request. Charged me again. Return flight again had a special meal request (Hindu non-veg) and the served Beef!!!). In-flight airline has a self service soda/juice bar which was totally occupied by the crew who were taking their time to eat dinner that they got from First Class!! I asked for a tea, the airline host stated, well we only have mint tea and the water is not too hot!!!!
God can only help these miserable airlines who just love to torture their passengers.
Air France has at least 50 aircraft which fly all over the world, predominantly visiting large cities.
I never flew with Air France until May this year. To be honest, it was the best flight I have ever been on. I flew from Birmingham International Airport to Charles de Gaulle airport, about 30 minutes drive outside Paris. Check took around 30 seconds and there were no queues; but this was because of the small aircraft and the flight time of eight in the morning. Upon boarding, the aircraft was parked at a terminal so we did not have to walk out along the tarmac to the plane which was very good as the bendy busses are not enjoyable at all.
The flight on an RJ-85 aircraft, which was on time both ways, only lasted around 50 minutes and was very good. Considering the size of the aircraft, I expected there to be a bit more of a bumpy ride but it was the best plane ride I have ever had. There was no sudden uplift when taking off, no turbulence and no bump when landing.
There were two members of cabin crew as the plane was only small. They were very friendly, spoke good English and were quite helpful.
It was also nice that a small amount of food and a small drink was given each way. This added to the enjoyment of the flight.
Upon landing in Paris, we had no weight for out baggage which was good because our taxi was already waiting for us.
Our return flight to Paris cost £150 which I think was worth paying for the ease of the flight we had, and I would not hesitate to fly with them again. This may be very expensive to the low cost air lines, but that does not really matter to me.
I would not hesitate to recommend Air France to anyone, however to get a better feeling for the airline I would have to fly with them again.
More and more people from the UK are going with European Airlines on Long Haul routes. As for Air France, a simple connection in Paris CDG and the world is your oyster for quite a substantial bit less than BA or Virgin (depending on booking date and how far in advance). What's more, the destinations on offer are a little bit more diverse.
What can you expect on board? Truth be told, it is nothing exceptional, but it is certainly not unpleasant. Airlines nowadays can be split into one of three categories in terms of their service: excellent, acceptable, poor.
Air France, like British Airways and Virgin, fit into the middle category - as do the majority of other airlines out there. Food is acceptable, IFE perfectly decent, customer service more than adequate. The only discernable difference will of course be the connection in Paris. This will probably add on an hour or two to your overall travel time, but if you are saving money or flying to somewhere that BA or Virgin don't, then surely it is a minor inconvenience worth putting up with.
I know other people have had problems with the service, but I had no such difficulties during 4 flights with them. Everything was punctual and professional.
Over the past 12 months I have flown with Air France a total of 6 times and have uniformly found them to be an excellent airline for both long and short flights.
Of the 6 flights 5 of them left and arrived right on time although the 5th was around half an hour late due to missing it's take off spot. Additionally all the flights were calm and uneventful.
The planes themselves were comfortable, very clean with a reasonable amount of leg room.. On one of my flights the recline function on my seat didn't work propery meaning I had to have my chair bolt upright or it fell back the full way to its furthest incline. Apart from that everything seemed well-maintained-there was no chipped or broken pieces around the plane.
On the long-haul flights all seats had a personal TV screen istalled in the back of the chair in front and you could choose what you watched. There was a huge selection of films, both recent and old, as well as TV series, CDs available to listen to and games to play too. I was very impressed with the range of entertainment. There was also a wide range of magazines and newspapers provided in English, French and the language of the places I flew to or from.
All flights provided a large number of snacks and refreshments. I hda to take a couple of short flights with the airline from Paris to London in the morning and found fresh pan au chocolat being offered along with drinks even when the flights was less than 1 hour. On the long haul flights the meals were very good. Obviously this is still plane food but the meals were of good quality and included fruits, cheeses and bread that tasted reasonably fresh. They were also of a good quantity and I wasn't left hungry. Plenty of drinks were offered during the flight and the staff also seemed happy to be called over if you wanted anything extra.
Having heard that the staff on air france can be quite rude, I was pleased that this was not my experience at all. I found the staff friendly and helpful. Even when I was causing a bit of havoc as I couldn't get my guitar into overhead lockers they were very pleasant and took my guitar to be stored elsewhere for the flight.
The reason that I chose ari france to fly with was much to do with cost. I needed to arrange flights out to Latin America and they were the cheapest I found without buying individual flights to the US and then with different companies down to the south. Returning from a different destination in South America I again found that Air france were the cheapest airline.
I recently flew to India, on four different airfrance flight and I had a really mixed experience on each of the flights. On the way back, the staff were marvellous and couldn't do enough for you. the food was reasonable, the service was great, and the flight attendants, though quite cheeky (in a quirky french way) were pleasant and helpful. On the way out, I personally, and other memebrs in my group had quite a different experience. mainly the issue was with the staff, who on several occasions were quite rude to us, as individuals. one fklight attendant in particular was so rude, when i asked to go to the toilet, as the plane had begun its descent, and I had been asleep. instead of appologising, and explaining it wasn't possible to use the toilet she humilliatingly 'told me off' and ordered me back to my seat. needless to say I was too embarressed to say a great deal. Its such a shame when such a simple aspect of customer service causes people to be unhappy with a whole brand.
had a couple of bad experiences.
One flight was delayed by about 15 hours - they put us up in a hotel but it was pretty bad quality.
A connecting flight was booked but upon arriving at the departure lounge the surprised attendant told me I had alreayd missed my flight. It had been booked to take off at 12:15 and my previous connection landed at about 12:10 so there was no way i could ever catch this connection.
Upon landing at heathrow I also found out they'd lost my suitcase. They delivered it to me 1 or 2 days later, but it was destroyed! The handle was snapped off and the fabric torn. I had to call up Air France to put in a claim and get receipts and statements for the value of the old one. they did replace it witha new case but it was a right hassle.
The in flight experience on long haul was neither good nor bad - I have had better.
My wife and I flew with Air France in Economy, back in November 08 from California to UK, its an experience I wish to forget!!! From their promotional material we expected a good experience with decent levels of comfort and customer services. But this is what we found....
The Good Points first:
Well they were cheap, very cheap actually. We booked through a travel website and got a really good price.
Thats about all the good things I can think of and the fact we got back without crashing!
The Bad Points:
Firstly we booked about 6 months in advance but 3 weeks before we left they notified us that they would no longer be providing a non stop flight from Los Angeles to London, instead we would have to stop over in Paris increasing our travel time by 4 hours. No refund was offered and to be honest at that short time it wouldn't have done much good because getting another flight would have cost a lot. Also no apology or compensation for the trouble it caused. So bad customer services.
On top of this the plane we got was old and tattered.
On a long haul flight you at least expect movies on demand, but not on this Air France it had movies in a loop, you just had to pick it up when you could. Bad service for a long haul flight.
The food was also very bad, I have flown with plenty of different airlines, normally its quite good but the food provided with Air France was uneatable!!
Finally they failed to take the visa waiver document (from the USA) out of my Passport when checking in for the flight resulting in months of chasing and letters to USA immigration to prove I had actually left the country. All airlines are supposed to remove the visa waiver when the customer checks in before they get their tickets....
So overall my opinion would be if you want a cheap flight remember what you get is going to be basic, but if you fly with Air France it will be several levels below basic.
Good Customer service and entertainment are standard on most airlines but not on all Air France Flights
Being a frequent flyer the level of service in business class is very good for the price. There are better business class services provided but these are at premium price.
What let's Air France down is the poor customer services both in the UK and Paris. On a business trip to Mozambique in July 2008 Airfrance lost my luggage, and having accepted they lost it they have yet to reimburse me for my loss. Repeated calls to the lost luggage department resulted in getting the same response that the claims department are dealing with it. Well 9 months later I have accepted that I will never get a reimbursement and Air France have missed out on my repeated business to the Far East and South America. If your thinking of flying Air France check with the Air Transport Users Council for online advice as Air France baggage delays in 2007 was 17.6 bags per 1000 bags.
Finally got compensation 9 months later after getting in touch with Air Transport Users Council. http://www.auc.org.uk/
I tried Air France recently on a trip to Cuba and have vowed never to fly with them again.
Im my mind, the trip would be perfect, fly from the UK to France then on to Havana.
It was a long trip, which I was prepared for and as normal, I was looking forward to the flight as part of the overall holiday.
Sit back, relax, watch a couple of movies, enjoy a magazine or two then snooze away and before you know it, you wake up in the beautiful sunshine. Well that was the plan anyway !
The ground handling arrangements were absolutely fine, but from the moment we got on the plane there were issues.
We were seated by a large and extended noisy family and there was no opportunity to move, which certainly wasn't the fault of anyone but wasn't handled in the best way possible.
The screens were not on the heads of the seats, so you had to crane your neck to see the inflight entertainment and then read the subtitles as everything was in French, which I somehow hadn't reckoned on.
Basically all the cabin service was thrown out at passengers in the first hour. While it tasted fine, it was hurried and everything that was due to be given out over a nine hour flight was dished out quickly at the beginning then the crew were never to be seen again until close to landing !
This meant that the toilets became a little aromatic, let's say and if you needed an additional drink or any assistance you had to go and look for someone to help.
This wasn't how I imagined the relaxing start of my holiday to be, and to be honest the return flight was just as bad. You'll be pleased to hear that Havana itself was amazing, but the trip to get there and back isn't one I'm planning to repeat in a hurry, certainly not with Air France.
I'm a big fan of Air France, I've flown a few times thanks to my previous job in marketing and event management and usually had to put up with British Airways whose customer service could sometimes leave a lot to be desired.
Anyway back to the point in question, Air France, wonderful airline. My Dad and I flew a short while ago to Berlin for a weekend away, we flew from Heathrow and had to get connecting flights via Paris as for some odd reason there were no direct flights at decent times (unless you call 6am convenient) we we're too fussed about this as I was quite keen to see a little bit of Paris having never been.
On the day of our outgoing flight we arrived at Heathrow a good 2 hours early (good ole Dad believes in being early for everything) and headed to check in not sure if we were taking the mick by being so punctual. Not a problem at all, the woman at the desk was very friendly and helpful booking us in straight away even offering to move us to an earlier flight that morning to ensure we had more time to make our connection in Paris, I was very impressed as we didnt even have to ask for that.
The flight to Paris was comfortable and very quick taking less than 45 minutes, there was still time for breakfast on the plane though with piping hot croissants (of course!) and juice being served. The food was very good as far as airline catering goes, I was actually able to digest it without getting tummy ache which is a new one for me.
Our connection at Paris onto Berlin was uneventful and stress free which is always what you want on holiday. There were no delays to any of our flights and the staff we encountered were friendly, helpful and very efficient.
I would definitely use Airfrance again giving the choice, the beat British Airlines by a long way and seem to really enjoy looking after their passengers.
When we booked our first trip to Disneyland Paris, for June earlier this year, we knew that our only option would be to fly really. We live in Fife, in Scotland, so to travel by any other means with 2 young children and a baby in tow, would be daft, not to mention, probably more expensive anyway.
So what made us choose Air France? We had the choice of 3 air lines. Ryanair, which although worked out the cheapest for flights, we ruled out due to the additional costs we would've incurred with extra travelling at both ends, car parking etc. Easyjet was the next on the list, flying both from and to more convenient airports, however, we ruled this out eventually due to a lack of flight times, there was only one flight a day and it really didn't suit. Air France was next and the only remaining option for us. Price wise, it was the most expensive choice based on the flights alone, so we weren't completely sure we were making the right decision.
** Price **
I've already said this was the most expensive option for us, but I have to tell you that I base this on the flights alone. I've already mentioned the extra travelling costs for us, but this is obviously a personal thing. You do have to also bear in mind though that although Ryanair and Easyjet were both cheaper, they have hidden costs such as check in fees, luggage fees etc. Air France do not have any of these, so the price you see is the price you pay. You wont be in for any nasty surprises if you haven't read the terms through thoroughly ten times over.
It cost us £510 all in. That was for a family of 4 plus an infant. The kids had their own seats and our youngest daughter (the infant), travelled on my lap. This was for a return ticket from Edinburgh to Charles de Gaulle and both flights were on a weekday (Thursday outward, Tuesday return). We have recently booked flights for January costing £640 but this time we fly out on a Sunday and return on a Friday, so I think the price reflects the busier days of the week.
This may sound expensive, but for 5 people, I think it's a very reasonable price.
** Buying **
We bought our tickets online (through Quidco for cashback) and it was very simple and straight forward to do. They accept most major credit and debit cards and the websites payment pages were secure.
I found Air France had a wide option of flight times throughout the whole day, so I don't think it would be difficult to find one to suit you at all, whatever time of day you wanted to fly.
We booked an early morning flight out and a late night for the return.
Once everything was bought and paid for I received a confirmation along with my receipt via email. This was followed almost immediately by another email containing our e-ticket. This was one sheet of paper which we had to print off and take to check in, all sounded very simple.
** Check-in **
Check in on both legs of the journey was very straight forward and painless. There were no huge queues, no problems with the e-tickets, no problems travelling with an infant. They were even happy for us to combine our luggage allowance. Most of our belongings were in one large suitcase and we were slightly worried as we knew we had exceeded our 20Kg allowance on the return. We had expected to be charged as we had this and two smaller bags, but this wasn't an issue at all.
** Flights **
Our outward flight was bang on time, so no problems there. Our return flight was delayed. There was a technical fault with the plane which was fair enough and I have to say I'm glad they noticed. However, I don't think it was handled particularly well with the whole flight being loaded onto a bus, driven to the plane and left there for 20 minutes before they took us back to the airport. I felt I had to mention this, although I'm not completely certain if this would be a fault with Air France or with the staff at Charles de Gaulle. However, it was dealt with quickly and we were soon on our way.
Our outward flight included breakfast and the homeward flight included a light snack, which we hadn't been expecting, so was a nice little extra.
** Service **
The pilot and the cabin crew were very apologetic about the delay.
I found the cabin crew to be extremely helpful throughout the flight. They assisted me with my daughters extra lap belt which needed to be attached to my own. The older children were given extra toys and games to keep them amused. The staff were also happy to speak to the children when they sought them out to ask if it was safe to play their DS's. I thought the service was great and really helped make our experience a good one.
Overall, I thought Air France were a very good airline to fly with, and as I said, we've booked again for January which I wouldn't have done if I wasn't happy.
I would say that Air France are a happy medium between the budget airlines with all their hidden charges and the bigger airlines which are just extortionate to begin with. The only downside for us was that they flew into Charles de Gaulle which if you've read my review about the place, you'll know it's a shockingly bad airport, which I would love to never have the pleasure of visiting again.
I'd definitely recommend flying with Air France. All in all they provide great value for money.
We travelled to the USA with Air France, from London Heathrow, changing at Paris Charles De Gaule, and then on to Houston Texas. We got cheap flight booking almost a year in advance and by not flying direct.
The flights were good. We were slightly delayed leaving London, but made up time, and arrived in Paris only 10 minutes later than scheduled. The hour between our connecting flights was spent queing to go through security again in Paris which left us frustrated, and we made our connection with minutes to spare. We flew in economy. The service was good. Inflight entertainment was as expected and I felt the food was of a high standard. Lots of french bread and cheese! Our children were pleased thay could help themselves to Hagan Daz ice cream!
We arrived in Houston after 13 hours of travelling to find that three out of our five cases has not made it all the way to Houston. The Airfrance staff were very helpful and we were assured that the bags would be on the next plane and that they would be delivered to us that evening. Fortunately we were staying with friends. Our bags did arrive, but not until the next morning.
Our return flight was uneventful. Again we were frustrated having to go through security again in Paris, but the flights were OK.
We would fly again with Air France.