September 30, 2009

accent on service

I'm back at home. But I really have to give a call out to Air France for the exceptional flight back. I've flown a lot of airlines, but Air France - both for my short haul flight between Munich & Paris, and for the long haul flight from Paris to LA - was far better than any other airline I've flown. I hoard miles to use for the trip to Europe each year, so my tickets are typical economy non-revenue tickets from frequent flier miles. One tip I learned: when using miles from a US airline that partners with European airlines, book your flights on the European airline if you can. (I use Delta miles, which partners with KLM and Air France, among others.) One big reason: baggage fees. US airlines now charge $50 for each leg for the second checked bag to Europe. That's $100 or more extra added to your ticket. But even if your ticket is through Delta, when flying Air France, the Air France rules applied - meaning two checked bags. Which in turn meant a much nicer day in the airport, a much faster and easier boarding process, and a more pleasant disembark from the plane. No one on that plane was fighting for overhead bin space. (Air France also allowed me to check both bags on the short haul flight - she said it technically was part of the flight to LA, so it qualified. bonus!) Beyond that, the meals were excellent and huge (when do you get lamb in an economy section?); if you want to sleep, take advantage of the beer and apertif or cognac that are included as well. In the middle of the flight, self-serve sandwiches, ice cream and drinks appeared in the galleys of the plane without announcement. You won't go hungry. Seats were comfortable, though still clearly economy; and the seatback personal entertainment system had more things I wanted to watch than I had time for. I actually had a ball on my flight. When do you get to say that anymore?


Phil Han said...

Glad you had a good time on AF. A first.

Jim said...

Funny, I just wrote about the current state of airline service on my blog too. Remember when traveling with an American airliner used to be exceptional? It wasn't that long ago really.

Glad to hear you made it back home safe and sound. What a great trip you had.