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Mrs SL and I are planning our next trip to Melbourne to spend a month with our eldest daughter in November.
Normally we fly EK, EY or QR in F from London.
This time I am looking to be a bit more free thinking, and have found an interesting itinerary as follows;
CDG-SIN in AF La Premiere
SIN-MEL in QF F
MEL-SIN in SQ F
SIN-CDG in QF La Premiere
The question is this; are we going to enjoy AF? I’ve heard really positive things about the CDG lounge, car to the aircraft, on board service etc, but wondered if any fellows here could support or dispute these stories?
I am quite tempted to give it a try, but would welcome any comments.
Thanks in advance.
Last year my parents flew a QF/AF codeshare on almost the exact same route in F (although to SYD instead of MEL). Previously they had flown EY/EK. They were not relishing the AF experience. However after the flights they said that hands down AF was the best F they had every experienced. They also enjoyed QF F but said AF was leagues ahead. They found the QF F catering disappointing but the service very good.
They said that they wish they had arrived earlier than the ninety minutes they did at CDG as they could have happily spent half a day in the F lounge.8 Aug 2019
Great to hear rferguson
Current schedule suggests we will have about three and a half hours in the CDG lounge on the outbound (arriving from MAN), then about three in the Private Room in SIN, making for a very leisurely trip.
The only downside is the slightly odd seating configuration on the QF A380 which means you cannot sit together.
We’ve ended up with a really good itinerary though, and frankly amazing value for money.8 Aug 2019
My trips on AF in F are probably those I enjoyed the most.
The service is perfect on board and on the ground.
I wish you to have enough time to enjoy the lounge in Paris, no way to miss having a dinner or a lunch there!
On board, the service is better than any other airline I flew with.
Enjoy!8 Aug 2019
I completely agree with your plans. AF First seems to have unanimous approval notably from the famous SFO777.
If points and status credits matter you can fly on a QF ticket on AF metal as they code share.You would lose the SQ sector. QF are enlarging their SIN lounge to include a seperate first lounge.This is due in Nov and would be reason enough to choose QF both in and out of SIN.
The current lounge gets very busy so some nip next door to the BA lounge ( their concorde room is only for BA First) or the EK lounge down the corridor.
By contrast the SQ SIN Private Room is due for complete renewal by mid next year. The present room is a bit dull.
If you stick with the SQ flight ensure it has the new first. All SYD SQ A380s have it. Not sure about MEL.
Lastly if you change to QF out of Aus it might by worth doing an early MEL – SYD flight and take QF1 from SYD. That will give you access to QF SYD First lounge here which is far more impressive ( although the same basic design) than MEL.
I look forward to your report after the trip.9 Aug 2019
Good advice about taking originating national flts – SQ from SIN (giving you the Private Room) and QF from Melb. Am not a fan of the new SQ suite for a number of reasons, most of them about the complexity of the controls and, to some extent, the ergonomics of eating facing the door.. For two of you I would go for the older SQ 380 row 2 side by side, but thats just personal preference.
Keep in mind that Sin/Mel becomes a very short flight whether you get the 9pm or the later one – by the time you have done the usual Dom/Krug/caviar/dinner routine its Late and the next morning is not far away.. Flying time usually under 7 hrs IIRC. On the return from Melb, however, a mid afternoon departure is ideal- its daylight, no jetlag, the right time for nice lunch, there’s enough time for the crew to do their thing, watch something on tele, and even a quick nap before arriving Sin.9 Aug 2019
AF La Premiere is simply the best F that exists. We fly from gva via cdg and the service is extraordinary. They pick you up by car from your home. One arrival an employee takes you to check in, accompanies you to the special la première section of the lounge and then to the plane. On arrival at cdg you are let off the plane, taken by car to the F lounge, where you go through security at the lounge. You settle in for a fantastic meal in the lounge while the staff Seal with passports etc.
When it’s time to board you are taken by car to the plane. Service on board is top notch as is the seating in the 777 (380 is a bit dated) on arrival you are met off the plane taken through security, helped with your luggage and handed over to whoever is picking you up. No hassle at all and really comfortable beds with big mattresses. Go for it, you won’t want to travel with another airline after that!9 Aug 2019
And so now comes the twist.
I went through the booking procedure yesterday on the AF website.
AF CDG-SIN in first class
SQ SIN-MEL in first class
QF MEL-SIN in first class
AF SIN-CDG in first class
Click through with names etc etc, then before going to the payment page prompted to go through all booking details etc to ensure they are correct.
Receive email from AF confirming booking, except that it read differently. They have put me in Business on SQ and QF.
Cue ludicrous conversations with their helpline…”SQ and QF do not offer first class on those routes”….”there is no difference between first class and business class”….”yes you’re right it does say first class on SQ and QF on our website but that is an error”….
So I submitted a fairly robust complaint, and will wait and see how they respond on Monday.
Anybody want to bet on the outcome?10 Aug 2019
AF: Great in the sky, sometimes nightmare on the ground! Because in GVA, the airport is almost in the city, I tend to go there when there is a problem. And usually they solve it (small office but key for AF as a source of long haul premium class trafic, and staffed with AF employees). If feasible, may-be going to an AF office would help.10 Aug 2019
Anybody want to bet on the outcome?
It won’t be their fault. It might be blamed on Brexit or Donald Trump or Boris Johnson or the man in the moon but definitely won’t be their fault.
French customer service rule number 1 : The customer is always wrong.
French customer service rule number 2: The customer is never right.
1 user thanked author for this post.10 Aug 2019
I can imagine what will be the outcome after I gave a call to the AF platinum customer service to understand what happened to you esselle.
I explained your concern to the AF agent. After she gave the same kind of answer you got, I explained her that this is not what their booking system says and asked her to make a booking request for a CDG-MEL flight in F for the same dates I had chosen for my own try, which she did.
There seems to be an IT glitch in the booking system that makes First seats available for all legs when you have to chose your flights simply because the requested cabin is First. This happens even if First is not offered on one leg of the route.
It is at the time of payment that the cabin that is actually booked is mentioned. At this stage, it is indeed clear that on the legs between Singapore and Sydney the trip will be in business. But to check it, you have to click twice !
You first have to click on “see my trip details” to see the 4 legs of your trip and then a second time on “show flights details” to see details of each leg including the actual class of travel. Only at this stage (and only if you decided to check again all the details of your flights before paying) you can realize that you will fly J on some legs. Definitively not an excuse but at least an explanation.
We made several tries with the AF agent and she was not able to find any F seat on legs using SQ or QF metal for your trip.
It may be because the AF agreements with SQ and QF do not allow AF customers to travel F on SQ and QF when using an AF flight number. However, this point is not clear (the AF agent didn’t have any information regarding these agreements).
I asked her to send the information to a higher level but unfortunately this is not what will help you.
If I can help you either to try to change your ticket (assuming it is possible to find F seats on the SIN-MEL-SIN legs) or to get a full refund, don’t hesitate to ask me. I will be happy to help you and also to help AF improve both their booking system and their reputation among BT readers (while there is life there is hope !!!)12 Aug 2019
It’s kind of you to take the time to look into this. Both SQ and QF are selling F seats today for my chosen flights (SQ227 and QF35).
Clearly the AF system is the root of the problem. They haven’t replied to me yet, but they have a simple choice; get me in F on those two sectors as their site said I would be, or I will cancel the whole booking and rebook with another airline.
I will let you know when I have some news.
SL12 Aug 2019