Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Giddy With Air France Possibilities

I began planning a business trip to India this week that I have to take next month.  My company requires the business traveler to select the least expensive flights for business travel, and India (and all of Asia) are the only places left that one can fly in business class, with all Transatlantic flights being mandatory coach class, unless they are part of a Asian trip.  I was dreading booking the flight, and the random low-cost carrier that would probably result as the lowest cost alternative.

Much to my surprise, I booked a Delta / Air France round trip from Arizona to central India, with a stop in Spain to talk to a customer enroute to boot.  I selected Delta in my cumbersome Saber-based corporate booking tool, and viola, it told me Air France was cheaper. Ok, tres bien.  Sera Air France!  Admittedly, my dread turned to relief and near giddiness.  The pintarde noted in the previous posting probably had something to do with inspiring my giddiness.  Knowing I'll be able to ask for Armagnac, in French, la belle langue, both to and from India, drink excellent coffee, and have a selection of quality wines in flight helped to soften the impact of the required business trip (with 18 hours of flying) was having on me.  I do enjoy practicing my French, and I must say, I am looking forward to being able for 2 solid days in the air to enjoying Air France's excellent cuisine, service, and comfort.


  1. Mandatory coach for transatlantic? That's pretty harsh. Are you also expected to use up off-hours (e.g. weekends) to perform the travel?

  2. Mot "expected" but "encouraged", as in many a meeting is planned for Monday morning or Friday afternoon, making Sunday and Saturday travel necessary. I try to make the flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays whenever possible, since those days seem to be the least densely packed. And I have also learned to work the system - for instance, the Spain leg is PART OF the Asian trip, so I "get to" fly business class, since Asia is still business class eligible.

    Ah, the "glamor" of air travel. Ugh!

  3. what a let down the AF flights were! Surly & indignant female flight attendants (yes, I know how to get to seat 2F, and no, my laptop bag is NOT too heavy to rest at my feet, garce!), reluctance to bring me a 2nd glass of cognac (it was XO!!!), refusal to reply to me in French even though I spoke it grammatically correct, lackluster foods... "disappointed" is an understatement.

    J'espere the return flights will be better, but I am not holding my breath.

  4. That sucks. It doesn't take much to make me perfectly content on a business flight, the key being friendly service. It's not that hard to get right! AF was supposed to be one of the good ones. Sad to hear. Hope your return is better.

  5. in my little hand written commentary that I scribed to them, I noted "BA & Lufthansa also fly to Bangalore" =)

    The Delta legs (Phx to ATL and ATL to CDG) were wonderful. An old old 757 domestically, and then a lovely 767 with upgraded lay flat seats. Both flights the service was cheerful, customer centric, attentive, friendly... as it was supposed to be =)


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