Advice needed – AF 380 (from LAX) or KL 789 (from SFO) (J class)?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Edski777 9 Nov 2017
at 21:34
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • MarkivJ
    Participant

    Good day folks, I wanted to try to new J experience for my Feb/Mar EU trip (Skyteam, oneworld and Star A in terms of priority). I’ll fly from SEA to SFO (or LAX) which opens up a world of options for me.

    * Between AF A380 and KL 789, which is better? My gut tells me KL as both the hard and soft products are better than AF’s.
    * How’s AF’s 777 J class?
    * What about BA’s A380? It pretty much looks like the same ol’ sh*t as on the 777 and 789 (and the newly refurbed 747).

    I was keen on trying Swissair’s new 77W but they’re not included in our corporate plan. Turkish flight duration seems long so I’ll give it a miss. Unless there’s a strong reason, I’d like to avoid US carriers.


    Edski777
    Participant

    Take KLM as their soft product is so much better than AF. I prefer their attitude towards their customers and the new 787 aircraft are excellent as well. In terms of the hard product there are not too many differences in my view. Both airlines use rather new aircraft with a very decent J product.
    Furthermore you will avoid CDG, an added bonus.
    The only reason to go on AF would be the A380, but the negatives outweigh this for me.

    It is a personal opinion of course, but since you asked…..

    Let us know what you chose and what your experiences were. Much appreciated.


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Re: AF, just be sure of the type of seat on offer in J. If I’m not mistaken there are still a few different variants about, with some being better / worse than offers.

    BA upper deck of the 380 has always been fine in my experience. Would recommend a window seat for the extra space.
    It’s normally used on the last service of the day from LAX, so good if you want / need more of the day in the US before departing.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    This reply has been reported for inappropriate content.

    I agree with Edski777.

    Save yourself the horrors of a transit at CDG, which employs the second rudest ground staff of any EU airport. It’s a shame because in the air the AF hard product is often very good, specially in J. If you decide to transit AMS, take a longer connection than the MCT one normally shown since they are often too tight for comfort with the long queues, and give yourself time to have a walk round the airport and a drink, or even to go outside and get some fresh air after the long flight.

    I’ve flown the KL 789, didn’t find it noticeably quieter or better than the 777, certainly not worth basing a decision on.


    rodders
    Participant

    Given a choice, I would always go for KLM vs. AF. I find their service and approach much more welcoming. I did use their 787 from Abu Dhabi, found it rather cramped, but the crew are always a plus usually vs. AF.


    JPNU
    Participant

    I agree with Edski777.
    Save yourself the horrors of a transit at CDG, which employs the second rudest ground staff of any EU airport.

    Firstly, apologies – I was aiming for the quote button and hit report instead.

    Secondly, and just because I am curious, where do you find the rudest ground staff in the EU? There must be a lot of competition.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I thought it was only a matter of time before someone asked that.

    Madrid Barajas.


    SwissExPat
    Participant

    AJ J product on the 380 is disappointing (2-2-2 config) So if tarvelling alone, best to avoid.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Although a transfer at CDG is now far more convenient than the miles to walk at AMS and the horrendous queues at the passport control, I would choose the B787, hands down. Firstly you would avoid the lorry of the air. Second, KLM is I think done with the business class seats upgrade, something AF is still doing. Now of course, the food is far better on AF.


    Edski777
    Participant

    Swissdiver, I start to wonder when was the last time you went through Amsterdam Schiphol airport. Yes, it is huge and walking distances can be quite long, but they offer moving walkways at every pier. The security problem was due to a planning problem in May, but has since been resolved. I have been travelling through Amsterdam airport at least twice a week for the last 3 months. No problem at passport control or at security. This week I went through security within 3 minutes. Always a bit of a hassle at any airport, but the agents were courteous and polite. Not bad for an early Sunday morning.
    Typically on my returns there are very short queues at passport control and both the eGates and the manned posts process people quickly.
    So much better than CDG, but that may also have to do with my personal preference and my limited command of the French language. The atmosphere at Amsterdam, at least in my experience, is better and so is the lounge. Also I find there are better restaurants and bars.
    Sometimes the food at AF is indeed better than KL, but then again I am not a real fan of airplane food, no matter if I am flying Y or J.

    And the answer to JPNU’s question: Luton this summer. Arrival was OK, but it was my worst experience ever flying out of there.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Edski, , I start to wonder when was the last time you went through CDG… 🙂
    While I am trying to avoid AMS like the plague, I sometimes use it, last time in August. It was late, so the queue at the passport control was all right. But we walked miles, and under pressure after a late KLM flight…


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    As SwissExPat notes, AF’s A380 fleet still has the airline’s older business class.

    They were supposed to have been refurbished by this year but it looks as though this won’t happen until 2020.

    Air France to retrofit A380 fleet


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    Folks, thank you very much for the response. I was surprised to read on online reviews that AF’s 380 doesn’t even have 180 flat bed! I’m inclined to go with KLM only because of the latest Biz class product. 2nd choice will be BA’s A380. Will keep you all updated. Thanks again.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    AF has only 10 A380. They converted the 2 last ordered into A350, having realised I guess that the A380 is not profitable for them (similarly to many other operators). Delaying the retrofit give them other options, including getting rid of a few of these lorries…


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Both Air France and Lufthansa ordered their A380s at a time when most airlines were resisting the move towards flat beds in business class.

    But whereas Lufthansa has now retrofitted its A380s with new business class seats, Air France has had to delay a refit because of its financial situation.

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