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My first trip report: DL Biz. ATL --> LGW overland AF Economy MAN --> CDG --> IAD

My first trip report: DL Biz. ATL --> LGW overland AF Economy MAN --> CDG --> IAD

Old Nov 30, 99, 1:38 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: May 1998
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My first trip report: DL Biz. ATL --> LGW overland AF Economy MAN --> CDG --> IAD

I arrived at ATL really early because I had to be reticketed. DL had cancelled my SR code-share flight from MAN --> ZRH on the return and rebooked me on AF. I tried to get this changed at the CTO in Buckhead (ATL), but there was trouble - originally, the return was booked in L class, but when they rebooked me on AF, they'd booked me in Y for part of the trip. Naturally, when I noticed this on the "View Itinerary" part of their web-site, I called and got a confirmed upgrade using a systemwide certificate - everything seemed fine. I went to the CTO and they tried to charge me the difference between L and Y fares - some ridiculous amount no doubt. They said there was no choice for me since economy was full! I said I would think about my options and sort it out at the airport. I went to the Crown Room Club on Concourse T and it was very quiet. They were extremely nice about it and rebooked me in economy - I was relieved I didn't have to pay any extra. I am sorry to sound like I'm quibbling about paying extra - I'm only a student!

Then, since I had extra time, I went to the CRC on the A Concourse to check my e-mail - again very quiet and the staff was equally as professional.

After a quick meal, I went to the Int'l Biz. Class lounge (I was booked in M class on the outbound and thus qualified for an upgrade.) The staff was extremely nice and since I was young, decided to address me by my first name (Leo). Very nice lounge in my opinion - it handles all of DL's intl. flights and those of their partners. When boarding was announced in the lounge, I went to the gate - about 300 feet away and boarding was fairly brisk.

Offered chamagne soon after boarding and relaxing in my Biz. Elite seat - I love their new Biz. Class product (unlike some of you others! )

The FAs were very courteous offering refills after refills before take-off. Push-back was punctual.

After take-off, our meal orders were taken. I selected the vegetarian pasta. Very good although there was a lot of it - too much to eat!!

After much Chardonnay from their Vinum collection, time to relax. Movie selection was good - although the most appealing ones I seen before.

Before I knew it, we were in London. For the first time, I decided to use their Arrivals Lounge which is located in the Meridian Hotel at LGW. It was nice to have a shower and a quick snack before meeting a friend for lunch in London.

Overall, it was an extremely pleasant flight. The business class seats are great. I'm over 6'5" and I could put my legs straight out and not be able to touch the seat in front of me - when seating upright!!

After the Arrivals' Lounge, I went to the South Terminal to the Planet Hollywood to buy a new shot glass for my collection. I enjoy collecting these from my travels!!

Then, took the Gatwick Express to Victoria. The train was relatively run-down - so much for privatization ...

Anyway, I'll post the rest of the report later today. Please forgive me if I haven't done this right - as I said, I haven't done one of these before! With that said, any suggestions / tips about what should be included in any future reports of mine would be most welcome!!
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Old Nov 30, 99, 2:43 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: May 1998
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This was a FOUR PAWS UP report Leroy! COmplete and detailed and personal.

Remember everyone: there are NO RULES WHEN POSTING TRIP REPORTS!

Well, CMDR CATCOP says the only rule is "KEEP IT CLEAN AND G RATED!"

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Old Nov 30, 99, 3:18 pm
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
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Nice report! There is no proper way of writing a trip report. It is simply a way to share our travel experiences. As an airline food freak or fan, I will love if you give us a bit more on the food aspect. I know DL has a great biz elite class and its menu is possibly really good. It will be nice to see what is being served and any trolley service... How about the breakfast prior to arrival? It will be nice...

AF is quite a good carrier and it is famous for its food on all cabin. I believe one of the CDG to IAD is operated by the brand new Boeing 777. The MAN-CDG should be an interesting segment and you can compare it a similar US domestic flight...

Anyway, sorry about saying too much!

Thanks for the trip report! It is definitely a five stars report!

Carfield
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Old Nov 30, 99, 4:06 pm
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Join Date: Jul 1999
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Excellent FIRST report, leroy...

Details, we love details!
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Old Nov 30, 99, 5:47 pm
  #5  
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Thanks for all of the positive comments!

Carfield - I think I kept the menus - so I'll try and dig them out for you!

Anyway, on to AF. They did serve us a breakfast on the Manchester --> Paris flight although it wasn't much. However, I wasn't too impressed with the drinks selection. If my memory serves me correctly, they didn't have any orange juice - I don't think they ran out since the flight was almost empty. For breakfast time, this seems a little ridiculous - anyway, that's a small complaint! The flight boarded late and I think left a few minutes late - perhaps 15 minutes because of the incoming flight being delayed. Anyway, we got to CDG more or less on-time.

Although CDG's relatively new Terminal Two is nice and modern. I wasn't all that impressed with it's organization. It would be fine if you start out in Paris because the walk from check-in to the gate is minimal, but to connect there, it is a bit of a pain. If you're connecting flight is in a diffent hall which the likelihood of it being so is quite high, you have to either take a bus which is air-side or go land-side and walk. After taking the bus, they made us go through security again - even though we hadn't left the conrolled area - I thought that was a little strange. I had to take another bus - more like people-mover as the exit attached to the airplane door - to get to the aircraft.

The plane took off about an hour late - they made no announcements about the reasons for the delay and we ended up arriving at Dulles about forty-five minutes late.

The plane was an A340 which I'm a big fan of. I've taken with LH a couple of times before and actually prefer it to the 777 because it's that much smaller. The seats had an acceptable amount of legroom.

I had a vegetarian lunch which was a pasta lasagna type dish. Salad was good and the wine was also good. Again, I'll try to retrieve the menu for you, Carfield!

The pre-landing snack was a bit of a joke in my opinion. It consisted of a glass of water, some canned fruit and a small cheese sandwich. The sandwich was absolutely minute - it can't have been more than a fifth of a slice. Some meal!

In-flight entertainment was acceptable. The movie was the Thomas Crown Affair which although it is a good movie, I've seen 3 times in the past month on a plane! The news and sports programs were in English, but everything else seemed to be in French.

The FAs were nice and professional, but they insist upon saying everything in French the first time even though they know you're English-speaking. This is nothing against the FAs since this is probably the way they're trained and is typical of French patriotism!!

Overall, it was an average flight and I have nothing to complain about it. However, with that said, I am still disappointed about DL jeopardizing SR and its Qualiflyer allies in favor of AF. If you combined all of the old Qualiflyer plus its partners, I think their route network would be comparable to AF and the quality of service would exceed that (probably even in SN's case.) Anyway, with the decision they've made, DL will probably lose more of their partners because of their links to SR and Qualiflyer: TP and Malev. Also, can the SAA partnership last that long given the fact that it's partially owned by SR??

More to come ...
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Old Dec 1, 99, 2:07 pm
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Join Date: Oct 1999
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Thanks for the menus! Don't worry about it! I just love to read what you were served in the flight and what was your perspective on the meal.

About A340, I love that plane as well. I flew both B777 and A340 and they are both planes, but A340 is just slightly more quiet and the plane is less overwhelming. The 2-2-2 J class and 2-4-2 Y class is a nice configuration.

About the food of Air France, the snack before arrival looks not too good. Delta's Y class at least has a sandwich, a salad and a cookie. On those seven hours flight, they really need to serve a second meal.

Thanks,
Carfield
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Old Dec 1, 99, 7:34 pm
  #7  
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Okay, I've got the AF menu - so I'll post it now!

If I find the DL one, I'll post it too.

Appetiser: Parisian-style salmon terrine

Entree choices: Sauteed turkey in mustard sauce, tri-color pasta
OR
Hoki fish in Bercy sauce, rice with green peas

Cheese

Cherry clafoutis

Nescafe coffee

Wines:
White - Bergerac AOC - good stuff
Reds - Syrah and Vin de pays Catalan

Although I had a special vegetarian meal, I gather the meals were good except the salmon was a bit on the bland side.

The main meal was good on AF - it was only the pre-arrival snack that was disappointing - mainly because I was so hungary!!

On the menu card, they gave "Gourmet idea" recipes for rabbit legs - intriguing!!

-----------
Cheers.

Leo.

[This message has been edited by leroy11 (edited 12-01-1999).]
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