Review of Air France flight San Francisco Paris in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF 83
Class Economy
Seat 45L
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 09:45
Take-off 11 Oct 14, 15:50
Arrival at 12 Oct 14, 10:35
AF   #49 out of 119 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 4311 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 10339
Published on 13th October 2014
Hello and welcome to the first segment of this series of my trip to NCE where I will meet with -lagentsecret- for some sun and fun in the French Riviera.

My itinerary is as follow:

AF SFO-CDG in Y - you are here
AF CDG-GOT in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8253.html
SK GOT-ARN in C - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8276.html
SK ARN-NCE in C - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8309.html
LH NCE-MUC in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8340.html
LH MUC-GOT in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8373.html
KL GOT-AMS in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8374.html
KL AMS-SFO in Y - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8392.html



TRAGEDY STRIKES OR LUCK JUST INTERVENED?

I have booked this trip months in advance with much anticipation for a total of USD 560.90 on DL and my schedule was from SFO-GOT with the SK and LH portions added separately. Originally I was supposed to go from SFO-ATL on DL and then connect on AF from ATL-CDG on the 744. I was looking forward to sitting in the upper deck since I was able to reserve seat 60L in the bulkhead for free. Unfortunately this was not meant to happen.

I arrived at SFO early and checked in at the DL self service kiosk without any problem. Since I am a collector of boarding passes, I wanted to ask the gate agent to reprint my boarding card and hopefully get a hard version. However, the agent run into some trouble issuing it and discovered that my AF ATL-CDG was cancelled. She then asked me to wait and a supervisor took over to reissue my ticket. She was very apologetic about it and I tried to see if she would be able to put me on AF or KL out of SFO. She said that both of those flights were full and protected me on DL SFO-SLC-CDG. Funny thing is that earlier while I was waiting at the gate I saw the AF A380 land and taxi to the gate and thought to myself that it would be nice to fly that big whale one of these days.

A sign?

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So I resigned myself to my DL fate and found out that the SLC-CDG was operated with an A330, so chances are that this was an ex-NW crew. That flight looked full but I was assigned an aisle seat so it was not too bad. I had lunch at Perry's and feasted on a very Californian grilled vegetable sandwich with not so healthy crisps.

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So I returned to the gate and found out that the SLC flight was delayed for some unknown reason. The agent and the supervisor that helped me earlier were frantically protecting the intl passengers with connections and I was the second person in line. I overhead the supervisor said that the Paris passengers will be booked on LH and this was confirmed by the agent who assisted me. I asked if I could go on BA instead since they had two flights later that day and I recently switch my mileage earning to their Executive Club recently. The agent checked and said that those flights were full, so no luck there. She handed me a copy of my new schedule on LH and asked me to run to the intl terminal because the flight was going to depart within 1 hr. I hurried myself to LH and upon checking at the counter, LH refused to take the DL ticket because there was not enough information about the fare, so they asked me to return to DL. Let's just say that I was not the happiest person in the world at that moment.

Back at the DL counter, an agent asked a supervisor for guidance and she told her to contact AF and request to put one more passenger on their flight. AF accepted and I went back running because the flight will leave within 1 hr. At the AF counter, an agent told me that my seat assignment would be given at the gate. I knew that this flight would be full and prepared myself to sit in a middle seat squeezed by giants on each side.


The dreadful boarding pass that the counter gave me.

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Your Highness at the gate.

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I arrived at the gate and it was chaos with a huge crowd getting ready to board.

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I approached the gate agent and asked her to please find me something decent. She gave me a choice between a middle EMERG exit seat in the upper deck OR a window EMERG in the lower deck. Of course I chose the window in the lower deck and it turned out to be a bulkhead instead.

A better boarding pass.

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Intl. newspapers before getting into the jetbridge.

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I was welcomed by 2 FA's posted by the door and while walking to the back was greeted by 2 more FA's in the aisles. I was happy with this seat.

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Welcome message and camera view.

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But I continue to find dirty seats everywhere I go.

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Once everyone boarded we taxied to the runway for take off. I have to admit that I had one of the smoothest take off's that I have experienced in my life. It was a gradual ascend that was very quietly and felt more like I was gliding upwards. There were a lot of boats on the water because it was Fleet Week.




Once airborne headphones and menus were distributed.




The windows and engines were huge.

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Flight attendants were professional and very polite. I ordered an orange juice as a starter.

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The dinner tray as presented by the FA. By the time the FA got to my row only chicken was left.

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Appetizer.

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Main dish with a few pieces that were hard which shouldn't happen.

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A dry chocolate cake.

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Box contents.

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At one point a FA passed by the rows offering a second helping of breads from a basket.


Entertainment was pretty good with a decent selection of films in my opinion. After the meal service FA's offered tea or coffee. This cabin was not conducive to relaxation because there was a crying baby on the other side and a group of loud passengers behind. At one point during the meal service they were shouting Bon appetit to each other and after the meal they congregated in the buffet area talking and laughing.

View of the last cabin in the lower deck.

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Time to do some walking and go upstairs.

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Nice soap.

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Stairs.

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A self service buffet was set with drinks, sandwiches, snacks and ice creams. I must say that this is pretty generous from AF because some airlines wouldn't offer this much in their J class cabins, let alone in Y. So kudos to AF for providing a buffet service on an overnight flight.

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At about 1.5 hrs before arrival into CDG breakfast was served. There was a hot dish that consisted of sweet cheese crepes.




Landing in CDG.




A last look at my seat. If you are flying as a couple then seats 65KL are best because you can raise the armrest in between, something unusual on bulkhead seats.

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A380 at the gate.

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See more

Verdict

Air France

8.4/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.0

San Francisco - SFO

8.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Paris - CDG

8.1/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Sometimes things happen for the better, and I believe that this was the case with my experience. I had the chance to fly on the AF A380 and in the process obtained a comfortable seat. One minor complaint is that when the tray table is extended, it is a bit close to the body and I wish it could be pushed further away. Otherwise this seat has plenty of leg room to stretch and I was able to get out of my seat without disturbing my neighbors.

The crew was professional and smiling. At one point when I went to the upper deck and inquired about some AF souvenirs, the FA showed me free stuff for kids and invited me to take whatever I wanted. He also suggested some items on the Duty Free that had the AF logo.

Meals were fine and the buffet was one thing that I found very generous. I was glad to receive an appetizer that was different from a green leaves salad. The taste of the chicken was good but as I mentioned before some pieces were not the most tender. The chocolate cake was a bit dry.

A personal video on each seat can really help time pass by quickly and AF had a decent selection of films.

Flight was on time.

Information on the route San Francisco (SFO) Paris (CDG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 32 reviews of 2 airlines on the route San Francisco (SFO) → Paris (CDG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air France with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 36 minutes.

  More information

22 Comments

  • Comment 119951 by
    Numero_2 GOLD 9930 Comments

    Thanks for sharing.

    It's difficult not to guess lagentsecret's influence when reading your routing. ;)

    What a mess for reprotecting you on another flight !
    LH ground agents seem to be the most friendly people in the world, not only at FRA but even at SFO. lol

    A standard AF flight in economy class despite these rude pax, and the friendly and professionnal crew was the icing on the cake.

    Any mileage earned on this flight ?

    See you for the next leg.

    • Comment 303217 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Thanks for your visit as usual. In all my travels I have never experienced a more frustrating rebooking. Given the close relationship between DL/AF/KL you would think that they should be able to protect their passengers better.

      I expect these flights to be credited to my DL account as originally intended. Funny thing is that I requested an elite status match through DL about a week ago and have not heard anything since then. I guess it won't matter much now.

  • Comment 119952 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Always glad to read your very detailed accounts! Whenever an airline cancels a flight, it pays to call to double check if the airport clerks gave the best options available. It seems the clerk did not bother to contact the manager at the other airlines to find real time availability. A computer will never show seats on hold or blocked.

    Espero el viaje traiga muy dulces recuerdos!

    • Comment 303218 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Un placer contar con tu presencia como siempre. Todos los viajes me traen dulces recuerdos. ;)

      I guess the gate agents were trying to process as many connecting passengers as possible because they were working with time limitations. The LH flight was leaving in a little over 1 hr by the time they sent me to LH.

  • Comment 119959 by
    KL651 TEAM 4493 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    What a dreadful check in experience not knowing how and if you will eventually fly.

    In the end, you were lucky to have taken AF instead of DL as they certainly offer a better product in Y.

    It's funny that they first told you the AF flight was full only to find a few vacant seats later on.

    • Comment 303257 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      What makes this experience even worst is that the options offered were within 1 hr. from departure each time that I was sent to LH or AF counters. Not much time to argue or explore more options.

      At the DL counter I heard the lead tell the agent helping me that the first thing that should be done is to call AF counter directly and she looked up a private number from her mobile. I don't know why at the gate they were so adamant to put me on BA if they were willing to do so on LH and both are outside of Skyteam. I doubt that BA which operated two 747's out of SFO that day was that full.

      In the end things worked out for me, but not without sweating for it. :P Merci.

  • Comment 120012 by
    indianocean GOLD 6832 Comments

    Well, just like KL651 said, you were lucky enough to fly non stop from SFO to CDG on a brand new aircraft. Too bad check-in processing had to be that long and tough.
    Beautiful shots of downtown and Oakland bridge.
    Buffet area is a nice thought to drag loud people from the cabin.
    Thank you Adan

    • Comment 303258 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Thank you for stopping by Bernard.

      The buffet area to drag people out does not work too well if you are sitting nearby on an overnight flight. I guess there's a price to pay for more legroom.

      All the conditions were perfect for taking the aerial views. I was lucky.

  • Comment 120043 by
    AirCanada881 1622 Comments

    Thank you for this report Adan, it's interesting to see how foreginers view Air France compared to us frenchies lol.

    You definitely got a run for your money that is for sure! You actually made the Y product looked decent, but I suppose flying the A380 helped.
    :)

    Hope you enjoyed Nice :)

    • Comment 303282 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Thanks for your comments. Sometimes different perspectives are needed in order view things objectively.

      In all fairness I think AF has a decent product in Y. The best Y from an European carrier is TK IMHO.

      NCE is great. ;)

  • Comment 120088 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12453 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    You were very lucky finding such a bargain fare

    So if you didn't go to the gate agent you would arrive in ATL with a cancelled flight to follow ?

    LH's behavior : Non Stop (to bother) you as usual

    DL has (finally) made a good job to find you a seat in a supposed to be full flight ;)

    The Airbus A380 is a great aircraft so it's always a good experience per se

    I had lunch at Perry's and feasted on a very Californian grilled vegetable sandwich with not so healthy crisps.
    Waow crisps like in BA First

    Beautiful pictures of San Francisco during the take off

    Meals were fine and the buffet was one thing that I found very generous
    so you are with the marks ;) But I understand it was because of the buffet

    See you soon... for a next report

    • Comment 303326 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Thank you for reading and your stimulating comments as usual.

      You were very lucky finding such a bargain fare
      He who searches shall find.

      So if you didn't go to the gate agent you would arrive in ATL with a cancelled flight to follow ?
      I guess fate intervened.

      LH's behavior : Non Stop (to bother) you as usual
      Never a dull moment with them.

      DL has (finally) made a good job to find you a seat in a supposed to be full flight ;)
      It's about time the partnership works as it was supposed to

      The Airbus A380 is a great aircraft so it's always a good experience per se
      It's a special event to fly with them.

      Waow crisps like in BA First
      Not quite, I believe these ones are freshly made.

      so you are with the marks ;) But I understand it was because of the buffet
      Free champagne and printed menus are a plus, and the diverse food components coupled with a nice overnight buffet that is more generous than other airlnes' J offerings.

      Stay tune for some Scandinavian treats. ;)

  • Comment 120118 by
    Alcam 2072 Comments

    Thanks for this complete and enjoyable report.
    Good thing you could finally get the direct flight with the A380, which is always nice.
    Nice routing here, and great fare!

  • Comment 120203 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5307 Comments

    Wow, what an ordeal! I would have been majorly pissed in your situation. This is why I am afraid to fly airlines on which I have no status and risk getting jerked around like that. Luckily things worked out for the best in the end and you got to ride the A380. Beautiful pics of Frisco on takeoff and Paris on landing! Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 303424 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      It is always a disadvantage to lack status with the airline that you are flying and unfortunately this happened. I suspect that since I originally bought the ticket on DL the agents wanted to keep me on them at least for the first long haul segment, especially given the fare.

      Due to the tight check in times for both LH and AF, I couldn't argue and explore other options because it was either that or lose the alternate flights.

      Thanks.

  • Comment 125736 by
    NCY74 84 Comments

    Thank you for sharing your flight with us!! You are lucky !

    A great flight with Air France! FA's were professional! I took the same flight 2 months earlier!

    The self service buffet seems generous during the flight.
    Catering : seems very good for Y!
    Indeed the IFE is very complete on Air France

    Thank you and see you soon...

    • Comment 323179 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Sorry for the delay in my reply. I did not received a notice about this comment until I checked this report again.

      AF catering is pretty good in Y on these long haul West Coast flights to CDG, particularly the self serve buffet which is very generous IMHO.

      Thank you for your comment.

  • Comment 144182 by
    waheed asif 1 Comments

    how to download this flight report please tell me.

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