Why should I fly Air France or KLM?

Discussion in 'Flying Blue | Air France, KLM/Partners' started by LFCorsten, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. LFCorsten
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    LFCorsten Silver Member

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    Please let me know about your experiences with this two airlines. This summer I will make a self experiment. [​IMG]
     
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  2. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    In econ or biz or F? In Economy, AF is the only airline that serves free Champagne. And the only one with a nice selection of French films. And the only one with tall beautiful French hosts and hostesses.
     
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  3. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    KLM isn't bad, but AF is one of the worst airlines i've flown. They seem to always have connection and baggage issues. They also seem to have absolutely horrible customer service anytime i've had a issue.
     
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  4. MarkUK
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    MarkUK Milepoint Guide

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    I agreed I would really avoid them, and they charge huge fees on award tickets.
     
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  5. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    The friendlyness is quite okay, on AF they even tried to speak to me in German while I approached them in French. But their customer service is just bad (speaking as a travel agent...) and their callcenter as well.

    The big turndown is connecting at CDG, AMS is fairly nice if you got more than one hour to connect.
     
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  6. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    Agree. I have never had a bad experience with them in 13-14 long haul flights. I speak French with the FA's the FA's have always been very cordial and I've always found their catering to be good too. I find the AF C seat a little better than the KL seat but both are decent angled lie-flats.

    KL I've had FA's do a disappearing act once the first meal has been served (I've only flown them in C), but they do have Delft houses when flying C and some of their catering is quite inventive (Tex-Mex second meal on an AMS-ORD)

    When arriving at CDG, the AF arrivals lounge is a great place to go and I've found it less crowded than the LH Welcome lounge at FRA. I'd call it comparable to the ZRH welcome lounge.
     
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  7. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    IMHO All Euro airlines have poor customer service and high fuel surcharge and taxes, even on award travel. So you can throw all that out. What counts for me is the actual travel experience and AF is the best in nearly all respects. Except I prefer BA's seat, or the new LX seat.
     
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  8. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Well, I'm partial to KLM, and not for the Delft houses either (well, not *just* for the Delft houses, that is).

    In my experience, the cabin attendants are gracious, the service is great, and the atmosphere is pleasant. I really enjoy my flights on KLM.

    However -- until you actually board, or once you get on the ground and out of the airplane, I have found the ground personnel in all too many cases to be brusque, cold, and unhelpful. It seems almost as though they've attended insensitivity training.

    In my experience, it's like there are two entirely separate companies there, one in the air and one on the ground.
     
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  9. LFCorsten
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    LFCorsten Silver Member

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    So I will give KLM a shot.
     
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  10. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    Your sig says you are BA Gold and you are complaining about AF's huge fees??!! BA's are higher and going even more high next week. And LHR has the highest airport fees.
     
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  11. WilCo
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    WilCo Silver Member

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    AMS if significantly easier to connect in than CDG, in my opinion. That alone made me lean towards KLM when I was flying SkyTeam.
     
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  12. Zinzan
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    Zinzan Active Member

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    IMHO, AF has a better overall in-flight product than KL (except for the Delft houses!), but CDG is a far worse airport than AMS from which to travel/connect (with the possible exception of AF's CDG lounges).
     
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  13. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    There is no such beast.

    I've yet to find a furniture maker that makes a bed designed to provide you with the ultimate in comfort that nonetheless has you falling toward the floor.

    Angle lie-flats work best precisely when you can't use them - on take off when the aircraft is climbing...
     
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  14. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    I have flown KLM and AF long haul on a few occasions both from NA to Europe and SE Asia to Europe and don't find them terribly bad... however there were some issues... for example every time I took Air France to CFE, a tiny airport in the Central French region of Auvergne... they completely destroyed my checked bag. Twice this happened, and I now have two sturdy Samsonites that I didn't have before.

    The customer service on Air France is typical of the French culture... so I don't blame the airline for it, blame the country. ;)
     
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  15. ralfkrippner
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    ralfkrippner Silver Member

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    That is exactly my experience flying KLM for 15 years now.

    While living in Paderborn KL was the best option for flying to the USA as they had 3x daily feeders PAD-AMS and then a lot of great connections on KL and NW (I miss you, NW). Checking in in PAD and the feeders were done by Eurowings and I had an Eurowings Flying Durchman card. Earning in Flying Dutchman were generous if you picked the right routes (earning was route based, NUE-AMS earned like 3x or 4x the points that you got for FRA-AMS). Award tickets were truly free and changeable. And upgrades were 20k points oneway over the pond and available on most fares. So of course I really began to like KL, their cute FA's and the delft houses.

    After AF took over it went downhill drastically. Flying blue was enhanced to one of the worst programs in a short timeframe. Awards were expensive and with high charges. Award availability was bad.

    The "this is not possible" attitude of the ground agents aside, KLM was a great airline. And partly still is for me even if the hard facts speak against it. The biz seat is in the same mediocre league than LH's product. But I really like the Dutch way of life, the friendly FA's, the feeling of beeing at home and of course the delft houses.

    My few experiences with AF always were not good and I'm sure this has to do with the fact that I don't speak french and that I'm german. Probably not a good combination ;-)
     
  16. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    The Dutch fellow passengers are also a bit more friendly than the French
     
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  17. psollitt
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    psollitt Gold Member

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    The reasons I fly with KLM is easy, they are one of the few airlines that fly out of my local airport and they are normally priced sensibly .
    Over the years the soft product has changed but is still just about ok on L/H and S/H in both c and y.
    KLM's cabin crews on the whole I always find friendly , that is not to say that I have on occasion had one of 'those' crews [​IMG]...
    AF soft product I have found to be more inconsistent. L/H is in y generally good , c i have personally found both L/H and S/H to be dissapointing.
    AF crews I also find more inconsistent than KL crews.

    As far as base airports go, I love Amsterdam, and hate CDG.
     
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  18. GenevaFlyer
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    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    Hi,

    Having flown quite a bit with both, I tend to prefer KLM, in particular due to ease of connecting in AMS.

    Now, in all honesty, CDG has improvement quite a bit in recent years and the overall experience is better than it used to be, but I still will choose AMS over CDG.

    As for inflight service, even though I speak French, I find AF staff to provide a lesser service. I remember my one and only flight in F from YUL to CDG .. the purser comes up to me, and says, 'You are going to skip dinner, right?'. Just because it was a 23:00 departure doesn't mean that they should try to cut down on service.

    For a while, I thought that I may just be prejudiced, but I then took my wife on two business class trips a few months apart. To HKG on AF, and to CPT/JNB on KL. She also found KLM much more friendly (and yes, French is her main language and she does not speak Dutch).

    In coach, it's quite equivalent. I do like the Economy Comfort concept on KL, which allows you to get a seat with more legroom regardless of the fare you paid.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
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  19. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    That was the same reason I flew Air France to a small airport in France... they are the only carrier that serves it!

    Unfortunately they are not sensibly priced at all for this regional airport.
     
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  20. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    For me it has to be either KLM or SAS as they are the only two options I have from my hometown. Because KLM usually is cheaper, I have chosen KLM. I don't have much to compare with, I am quite happy with KLM (economy), but I don't expect that much either. I have been upgraded to business (from cheapest economy) 3-4 times already, on both long-haul and within Europe flights.

    Xxx.
     
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  21. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    I really must try KLM. I too love AMS far more than CDG.
     
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  22. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    AMS is more compact while CDG is scattered
     
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  23. psollitt
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    psollitt Gold Member

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    CDG on a short connection between 2E and 2D or F is always an eye opener, even with the fast lanes ...
     
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  24. Gnopps
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    Gnopps Silver Member

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    I have flown AF long-haul in Y a lot the last years. My short list would look as below

    +Catering: Very good food long-haul (certainly not true for short-haul)​
    +Drinks-selection: A good selection of drinks though the only liqueur they serve is pear..​
    +IFE: Though not great it is certainly decent though the screens could be better​
    +Seats: I both sit and sleep well on their seats​
    +Blankets: The blanks do not feel low-quality and are not static​
    +Crew: Though their English-skills may be lacking at times they are usually helpful​
    +Aircraft: They are certainly not washed outside often but the inside is usually clean and they don't fly any single-aisle aircraft trans-Atlantic​

    -CDG: The very, very big minus is CDG which is a pain every time both when it comes to staff (there are exceptions of course) and airport layout​
    -Upgrades: Though I've been on overbooked flights I have never had an op-up as Skyteam Elite Plus on AF​
    -Lounges: Their lounges often don't have many amenities, nor English newspapers and often no food​
    -Webpage: Manage my booking on AF.com will often give various errors​
     
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  25. TuxTraveller
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    TuxTraveller Silver Member

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    Don't worry there were most likely a long list of FB Plat and Gold that also didn't get the op-up as the employee friend's and family got the upgrades instead [​IMG]

    Through my experience of numereous years of flying both AF and KL I prefer KL, but mainly for cultural reasons (though I speak French).. CDG is definitely the major drawback for AF.. but neither CDG nor AMS can compare in terms of true premium experiences offered by OW or *A competitors!!
     
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