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Trip report: DTW-CDG-DUB on AF PV

Trip report: DTW-CDG-DUB on AF PV

Old Sep 24, 11, 8:46 am
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Trip report: DTW-CDG-DUB on AF PV

No Delta flights here but posting a detailed report for Delta fliers who might contemplate AF trip in Premium Voyageur as lower-cost alternative to get 50% MQM boost at (for now at least) lower cost. In my case, the difference was about $1800 for AF PV seat and at least $2600 for Delta "M" seat.

For this trip, the MQM total was just over 13,000 miles. The outbound flight posted the day after the flight, as did the return flight.

Ticket purchase and scheduling: Very easy on AF website, including adding my Delta skymiles number instead of Flying Blue number. Like the ability to see and change between alternate connecting flights. In this case, I moved from a less than 2 hour connection CDG-DUB to near 4 hours each way. Personal preference not to scramble and to leave time for airport shopping on the return. Would have made the flights with less connection time as arrival to CDG in both directions was on time.

PV experience: On balance, would to this again for reasons in addition to MQM boost. Separate three rows of 2-3-2 seating is quieter. Seats are wider than regular economy, including extra arm rest width. Amenities, including reading lamp, are nicer. Food was fine, including champagne aperitif. Offered second bottle of wine and cognac after that on the return. Didn't eat on the outbound as it was too late for me. Service overall was fine. Of course, off the plane right after Biz class.
Note: There is just about no recline in these seats, so that's one element that some might not like. No problem for me as I can't sleep in any coach seat on these flight. (Will do my first Delta Premium Economy on a SYD-LAX flight next month.)

CDG transfer: Don't know if this is regular or not, but both DTW-CDG and CDG-DTW unloaded/boarded in a remote area of the airport and we took a bus to the terminal. Added about 10 minutes each way. Buses were right to hand. Ongoing CDG-DUB from the same terminal so no special challenges there. On the Sunday connection to DUB, almost nobody in the security line and it went quite fast. On the Wednesday return from DUB (6:20AM departure) the lines were much longer. A bit slow even in the priority lane.

Note: if you have a Kindle, take it out for screening. Never do that in the U.S. but the screen reader at CDG asked if that's what it was and had me back up and put it in a tray. No need to do that at DUB.

Flight to DUB: For old Northwest folks like myself, this was an Avro. Different seat configuration inside than we remember, but they are still doing good service for CityJet.

Other questions? Will try to answer.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 8:48 am
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The only good thing about W-class on AF is the option to upgrade to Business with PU503s.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by Bestbob View Post
Note: if you have a Kindle, take it out for screening. Never do that in the U.S. but the screen reader at CDG asked if that's what it was and had me back up and put it in a tray. No need to do that at DUB.
Coming from the USA and connecting at CDG, security there makes you take ALL your electronics out of the bag, including cameras, phones and transistor radios.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
The only good thing about W-class on AF is the option to upgrade to Business with PU503s.
The only good thing about AF business class is that its better than business on DLs 767-300ERs.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
The only good thing about W-class on AF is the option to upgrade to Business with PU503s.
And using miles too now.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by DLATL777 View Post
The only good thing about AF business class is that its better than business on DLs 767-300ERs.
I've had really good luck with AF business. They don't have Woodford Reserve, but they do have pretty decent champagne. It is a bit different in style than the Big D, but both business cabins are pretty darn good.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
I've had really good luck with AF business. They don't have Woodford Reserve, but they do have pretty decent champagne. It is a bit different in style than the Big D, but both business cabins are pretty darn good.
And while this might be heresy to some, I'd take the "pretty decent" champagne instead of bourbon most days of the week. Will be flying biz in November ORD-CDG and return... but not AF again anytime soon so no chance to compare with Delta biz.

Will second the comment re "all electronics"... the fellow in front of me on the return flight had an extensive camera system in a large backpack and nearly every piece of it came out and into a bin. On the first transfer on the way to DUB the first security person watching the unloading of things asked me if I had a camera and how big it was. Had the distinct impression that had it been a P&S that fit in a pocket, he might have left it alone. It was a micro 4/3 G1 and out it came.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:16 pm
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Thanks for the detailed review, Bestbob!

I'll be trying AF's PV next later this year.

I've already tried TG and TK premium economy. Both were lacking in adequate recline, IMHO, but overall, I'd probably do it again, especially if I'm flying an airline that doesn't allow advance seat assignments.

No, it's not business or first, far cry from it, but for those of us shopping for tickets at a lower price point, it's good to see the airlines coming up with something between economy and business/first.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
Thanks for the detailed review, Bestbob!

I'll be trying AF's PV next later this year.

I've already tried TG and TK premium economy. Both were lacking in adequate recline, IMHO, but overall, I'd probably do it again, especially if I'm flying an airline that doesn't allow advance seat assignments.

No, it's not business or first, far cry from it, but for those of us shopping for tickets at a lower price point, it's good to see the airlines coming up with something between economy and business/first.
Chollie... I was able to select seats for the DTW-CDG and CDG-DTW flights when I purchased the tickets on the AF website. Not for the CityJet flights to and from Dublin. Got those when I checked in online for first departure... had to wait until DUB departure for an "at the counter" BP to learn the seat.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
The only good thing about W-class on AF is the option to upgrade to Business with PU503s.
Can't buy W on AF site. W is DL issued only. AF issues either A or S. And As are no longer upgradable using DL instruments.
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Old Sep 25, 11, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by ND76 View Post
Coming from the USA and connecting at CDG, security there makes you take ALL your electronics out of the bag, including cameras, phones and transistor radios.
CDG is very inconsistent with respect to what has to come out of your bag. I never ever had to take out a phone, camera sometimes yes and sometimes no, but generally they are far more relaxed than TSA in the US.
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Old Sep 25, 11, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by worldexpress View Post
Can't buy W on AF site. W is DL issued only. AF issues either A or S. And As are no longer upgradable using DL instruments.
I know, and I meant W-class as in DL issued. DL can change this to AF W-class and then upgrade. Been there done that.
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Old Sep 25, 11, 8:43 am
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Thanks, BestBob. I'm flying to PNH after T'giving on AF PV. Appreciate the information on the PV cabin. The seats don't slide down to recline a bit? That is the impression I get from the visuals on the AF web site.
Priced at about $2300 round trip with layovers of a few days in BKK outbound and CDG on the return -- booked into A US to CDG and S for everything else including the return from CDG. Looking at ita now, it seems to price that way on some dates for PV but on others at $5000 for PV and $2100 for standard economy.
Trying to get to PNH over the Pacific is routed on KE and the $1500 tickets earn no ST miles. So for me, the stopovers in BKK and Paris and the bonus MQMs make this worth it.
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Old Sep 25, 11, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by mot29 View Post
Thanks, BestBob. I'm flying to PNH after T'giving on AF PV. Appreciate the information on the PV cabin. The seats don't slide down to recline a bit? That is the impression I get from the visuals on the AF web site.
Priced at about $2300 round trip with layovers of a few days in BKK outbound and CDG on the return -- booked into A US to CDG and S for everything else including the return from CDG. Looking at ita now, it seems to price that way on some dates for PV but on others at $5000 for PV and $2100 for standard economy.
Trying to get to PNH over the Pacific is routed on KE and the $1500 tickets earn no ST miles. So for me, the stopovers in BKK and Paris and the bonus MQMs make this worth it.
Yes, the PV seats do recline "a bit." That's a good description. As they do that, a foot rest extends in front. I found the foot rest awkward and the recline minimal so I didn't use either. But suspect that others will differ so give it a try.

The pricing I've done most often has PV seats roughly 50 to 75% more than basic coach depending on day of the week and such (easy to see the differences on AF website and it varies quite a bit depending on day)... and not long ago the AF website was featuring PV sales.

I'd expect that if demand for these seats is or gets strong (only 21 of them on the DTW-CDG route) prices might rise. The AF coach seats I've priced more often than not are less than Delta seats from DTW to various places in Europe. As said earlier, the PV seats bring a MQM bonus for much lower prices than "M" on Delta if that's a goal. The future? Who knows?
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Old Sep 25, 11, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by MarLim View Post
CDG is very inconsistent with respect to what has to come out of your bag. I never ever had to take out a phone, camera sometimes yes and sometimes no, but generally they are far more relaxed than TSA in the US.
I think a screener might have asked me if I had any electronics in my bag (other than my laptop that was already out) at CDG. I wasn't sure if it was that or liquids, since she was doing the typical French "I barely speak English" questioning. Bag went through with Android phone and camera in it without issue.
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