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Flying with Air France
Air France in general
Member Name: Whizz11
Air France in general
Advantages: good customer service
Air France - My opinions on the airline in general.
My husband and I recently flew to Los Angeles and back and we had the pleasure of taking an Air France flight.
Why pick Air France you might ask? I am a Virgin Atlantic silver card holder and generally only like to fly with them but I do like to get value for money and after searching the internet I found that Air France were approximately £200 cheaper each than Virgin or BA to fly to Los Angeles so we decided to go with them. After all, £200 is a lot of money and we were going to the same place regardless of how we got there but I was still quite interested to see how well they performed. I like the customer service you get with Virgin and believe this is an integral part of the flight and (sorry if any of you are French) but they are not really know for their friendliness so....
We booked our flights through Expedia on the Air France flight. We had looked at the Air France website but this was £1.50, yes £1.50 more expensive (I told you I like to get value for money) so we went through Expedia. Their website is laid out quite well and is easy to navigate and search for flights on. They offer the website both in French and English which is helpful.
The London - LA route is a new one for Air France after the open skies policy came into force. Before then mostly Virgin and BA dominated this route. If any of you are not familiar with the policy here is a definition taken from Wikipedia:
"The EU-US Open Skies Agreement is an air transport agreement between the European Union and the United States. The agreement allows any airline of the European Union and any airline of the United States to fly between any point in the European Union and any point in the United States. Airlines of the United States are also allowed to fly between points in the European Union. Airlines of the European Union are also allowed to fly between the United States and non-EU countries like Switzerland. The Agreement replaced and superseded previous open skies agreements between the US and individual European countries.
The agreement was signed in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2007. The agreement became effective March 30, 2008."
My husband are I were hoping that, since this was a new route for Air France, they were going to pull out all the stops to ensure they offered passengers a great experience at a great price in order to keep people coming back.
The flight operates from Terminal 2 at Heathrow which is a lot smaller than terminal 4 where Virgin and BA fly out of so checking in was quite quick as there were not too many people around. However for those of you who like to shop beforehand there was not a great selection. They did have a Fortnum and Masons and a Harrods and a WHS and a few boutiques but that was about it. They did not have a great selection of restaurants either, there was a Weatherspoons but the food in my opinion was a bit disappointing.
Check in was fine. Initially on our e-tickets our seats were separated but we asked to have them changed and it was no problem.
When we boarded the plane each and every member of staff greeted us and welcomed us onto the plane. I thought this was really nice and thought that they were already off to a good start. The plane itself was a bit old and not nice and new looking like some of the Virgin planes but it was clean. Also the entertainment system was not as good as the one you get on Virgin either. You did get quite a big selection but they were not on demand, you had to wait until the film had finished playing until you could watch the next edition of it. They were up to date movies though so that was nice and of course they had a lot of French films available to watch too.
My favourite part of the flight is when they came round with drinks and the champagne was freely flowing. They had bottles on the trolley cart like other airlines would have water bottles, I guess being French they had too, but I though it was a really nice touch and duly partook!
We had two meals served to us. The main meal was served a few hours after take off and was hot, tasty and included bread, fruit and dessert as additions. Coffee and tea came round quickly and quite a few times too.
We got to and from Los Angeles safely with no disruptions so all in all I would have to say I was pleased with Air France. There was nothing majorly special about them but they were nice, polite, efficient, got us to where we needed to go and did it for a lot less than their competitors. I would definitely consider flying with them again if the price was right.
Summary: My experience with Air France
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