AF vs TOM LON-TLV

Old Jan 21, 09, 1:25 pm
  #1  
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AF vs TOM LON-TLV

I am looking at flying from London to Tel Aviv.
Both AF and Thomson are around the same price (including baggage).
I was wondering if the AF flights are better, to justify a stopover, and leaving TLV early in the morning. The extra flight time is about two hours, but is the flight experience that much better than on TOM?
I have no status with ST; I don;t even have a FF account w/ them.
tia
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Old Jan 22, 09, 1:04 am
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Thomson is an LCC which means they will charge you for food, drinks etc. They fly from Luton.

AF is a mainline that sometimes acts like an LCC. They will not charge you for food and they even have some free IFE on the flight to TLV. They fly from Heathrow.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by apirchik View Post
AF is a mainline that sometimes acts like an LCC. They will not charge you for food and they even have some free IFE on the flight to TLV. They fly from Heathrow.
And from London City.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by apirchik View Post
Thomson is an LCC which means they will charge you for food, drinks etc. They fly from Luton.

AF is a mainline that sometimes acts like an LCC. They will not charge you for food and they even have some free IFE on the flight to TLV. They fly from Heathrow.
By IFE, do you mean video screens (AVOD even)?
Also, is the seating on AF better than on TOM. The overall flight experience? These are ore important to me than the food, which will probably be close to inedible in any case.
As you can probably guess, I've never flown AF.
The airport doesn't matter to much as LHR and LTN are pretty much equidistant for me.
thanks
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Old Jan 22, 09, 3:41 am
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Originally Posted by sds1493 View Post
By IFE, do you mean video screens (AVOD even)?
Also, is the seating on AF better than on TOM. The overall flight experience? These are ore important to me than the food, which will probably be close to inedible in any case.
As you can probably guess, I've never flown AF.
The airport doesn't matter to much as LHR and LTN are pretty much equidistant for me.
thanks
IFE means overhead video screens. Unlike what happens in the US, most if not all European airlines don't have personal screens on their narrow body fleets.
Never flown TOM to tell you about cabin comfort. TOM will also charge you for checked baggage.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 5:28 am
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I'd suspect that TOM would have IFE as well.

However it looks as if they count this as being a short haul flight, in which case the seat pitch is a microscopic 28 inches. If it's long haul you get a whopping 33 but for me, that lack of space on such a long flight would have me welcoming any Gallic indifference with open arms, and certainly my experiences of transits at CDG haven't been as bad as expected...
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Old Jan 22, 09, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
I'd suspect that TOM would have IFE as well.

However it looks as if they count this as being a short haul flight, in which case the seat pitch is a microscopic 28 inches. If it's long haul you get a whopping 33 but for me, that lack of space on such a long flight would have me welcoming any Gallic indifference with open arms, and certainly my experiences of transits at CDG haven't been as bad as expected...
I have flown TOM both to/from Luton and Manchester.

The aircraft is cramped, both the 737 and 757 , and service is a supermarket in the air except for water. That being said my personal opinion is that non stop is always better than stopping anywhere and possibly changing planes.
It is a relatively short flight (less than 5 hours, we here in Israel are used to 12 hour flights to the States) so I would go with TOM

Keep in mind they do not have an FF program and that they are usually about an hour or so late leaving TLV
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Old Jan 22, 09, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by sds1493 View Post
I have no status with ST; I don;t even have a FF account w/ them.
If you do choose AF, you may want to look at joining OK+.

I made one flight on AF CDG-TLV last year, and the seat pitch in economy was horrible. Most of the airplane was economy plus, or whatever they called it, and regular economy was only the last 10 rows or so with no leg room at all.

Originally Posted by badatz
Keep in mind they do not have an FF program
Neither does Air France. AF has a "waste-money-on-full-fare-tickets-in-economy-and-business-to-generate-miles-that-will-allow-you-to-pay-exhorbitant-fuel-surcharges-on-economy-award-tickets-program."
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by RedChili View Post
I made one flight on AF CDG-TLV last year, and the seat pitch in economy was horrible. Most of the airplane was economy plus, or whatever they called it, and regular economy was only the last 10 rows or so with no leg room at all.
Seat pitch is the same throughout the AF A320 and does not differ between the classes, nor do the seats. Business is the same 3-3 seats converted to 2-2 with a table between the seats, Tempo Challenge (economy +) is regular economy with some better service and tempo is the economy cabin.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by apirchik View Post
Seat pitch is the same throughout the AF A320 and does not differ between the classes, nor do the seats. Business is the same 3-3 seats converted to 2-2 with a table between the seats, Tempo Challenge (economy +) is regular economy with some better service and tempo is the economy cabin.
The seats in Business are a little wider (I know that isn't the same as seat pitch) because the armrests on the middle seat are adjusted inwards so that the drop down table has something on which to rest.

To the OP, If the fares are roughly the same I have always gone for mainline over LCC or charter on flights of the length you are talking about, even if it means - as it usually does - taking flights with a connection. If it's under two hours, then I'd go with the direct flight, but when it's three, four or even five hours, then I find dividing the journey gives me a chance to stretch my legs a bit.

The flight departure time is also an element to be taken into consideration. You say the TOM flight leaves early. If by that you mean that you'll need to get up at 3.30am to get to the airport and check in two hours before take-off then, once again, I'd go with AF.

As you're already in a *Alliance programme, have you checked out fares on Swiss? They often have quite reasonable fares ex-London, even in Business Class. That way you'd earn miles too. But if you do go with AF, you might as well join a Skyteam programme too as it won't cost you anything and don't they usually give you a couple of thousand miles to start you off? You'll probably never earn enough to go anywhere, but you never know.

Last edited by rangerss75; Jan 22, 09 at 10:57 am
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:53 am
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Tom is ok, have flown it a few times from London. A bit cramped and old fashioned screens coming down from the ceiling but you get an up to date film and quite good service. The planes are brand new.

The flights are normally pretty inexpensive, the times are good and you do need to pay for everything including luggage although their hand baggage allowance is pretty good. Going from Luton has its advantages: a short walk to the gate, a small queue of planes waiting to take off, no circling before landing, no 3 mile taxi to the gate, quick baggae collect and customs. It also has good shops and restaurants. I'd go for that option.

R

PS Anybody know if and when TOM will launch their after April fares to TLV? Do we take this delay to mean they probably won't continue with the route?
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Old Jan 22, 09, 1:57 pm
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Thanks for all your help and advice.
@badatz, the hour delay is pretty bad, as I have to be rested for the next day, and coming in to LTN at 22:50 will not help.
@RedChili, what is OK+?
@rangerss75, the AF flight leaves early (08:10). Sorry for the confusion.
What ST FF program would you suggest?
Thanks again everyone
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Old Jan 22, 09, 2:34 pm
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OK+ is CSA's FFP.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 6:09 pm
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As Richelieu said, OK+ is the frequent flyer program of Czech Airlines. After 1 April, it seems that OK+ will be a much better program than Flying Blue (unless Czech Airlines also decides to change their program rules).

www.ok-plus.com
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Old Jan 24, 09, 3:52 pm
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ok, thanks for all your advice. I think AF is the best option. Which ST FF program would you suggest seeing as its an N fare. Will OK+ credit 100%, and do miles expire?
ty
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