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Delta vs Air France

I know they are partners, and their fares are the same. I was just wondering if one had nicer planes and better customer service than the other. Or does it really matter at all?

Posted by
8287 posts

Air France has a full refund policy in place within certain dates. Delta will give you credit, not a refund in most cases.

Planes depend on the flight. Do you prefer Airbus A350 to Boeing 787? I know my preference but that is only one factor in the selection.

Posted by
369 posts

We've flown a number of times on Delta, Air France, and KLM and I feel that plane amenities and customer service are comparable on all our flights. If fares are the same, I would base my decision on terms and conditions. The current Air France promo that provides for refundability of the ticket price is only for flights through June 30, 2022. Delta has recently extended the life of credit vouchers. For any tickets purchased this year, if you later cancel the flight, you get full credit for the amount you spent, valid through 12/31/23. (Old rule was that the credit is valid for one year from the date of original purchase of the tickets.) If you like to accumulate Skymiles, I'd also be concerned about whether you'll earn those if you book directly on Air France. Its loyalty program is called Flying Blue. We earn Skymiles when we book on Delta even when the flight is on a partner airline, but I believe that if you book directly with the partner airline, you don't. Also, my AmEx card gives me priority boarding on Delta flights. That hasn't been do-able when I'm on a KLM or Air France flight, even when the flights were booked through Delta.

Posted by
2438 posts

Since they codeshare, you may not get a choice. You'll think you booked with one and end on a plane run by the other. Or the crew might even be a mix. Kinda like when United was digesting Continental and it was always a crapshoot.

FWIW, I flew Delta out of Paris recently and overheard the purser telling a passenger that the Paris station did not have the highest of reputations.

I saw a post recently from one of those mega frequent flyers who was flying Zurich to LA, he swore that the attendants on one side of business were nice and on the other side were surly. He claimed this because his wife was seated away from him. So it can even be that granular. So much is the luck of the draw these days.

Posted by
3067 posts

On Air France the flight to Europe will be covered by the EU261 rules, on Delta it will not be.

Posted by
5779 posts

My preference? I will typically choose Delta if given an equal choice, mainly because my FF status will play towards upgrades and my app works. Otherwise, no discernable difference between AF, KLM, and Delta other than things like movie choice (many more foreign films on KLM and AF, of course) and drink and food choices vary.

Posted by
1101 posts

I tend to go Delta, but prefer Air France. Maybe it's the esthetiques. But I hate that you can't choose your seat with Air France like you can with Delta unless you pay. I have the Delta credit card, so that also inspires me.

Posted by
105 posts

I personally prefer Delta overall. I have heard people complain about Delta and always wonder why. I have been flying with them whenever possible when booking a trip anywhere and have never been disappointed. I have flown AirFrance a few times and swore never again. I have no idea what model planes, but I found them all to be very uncomfortable (both the seats themselves as ell as the space) and the crew (ground and air) less friendly than Delta. I should note that those flights were not in business class, which of course is likely more comfortable than "steerage" LOL Of course, now, who knows....

Posted by
12809 posts

A code share flight can be operated by either, so buying from one company rather than the other does not guarantee you fly with them.
If you fly from Miami, only AirFrance operates that code share flight.
But if you fly via Atlanta, there are currently 4 flights to Paris (2 operated by Delta and 2 by AF)
Also if you fly via JFK, there are 6 AF/DL flights to Paris, 4 operated by AF and 2 operated by Delta.
So depending on the route, the exact time of the flight and connection, you could end up flying with either.

Posted by
4891 posts

The worst flight I ever had was on Air France. It was a combination of a horrible catering choice (Lentil salad at the beginning of a 9 hour flight) and an inconsiderate person in front of me who put his chair on recline for the entire time. I was in pain by the end of the flight. By the time we were approaching Paris, the smell from all the Lentil gas in the plane was overwhelming.

That is why it is hard to ask people for their opinions about airlines. My guess is that my experience wouldn't necessarily be replicated on another day. Even if the you have flown an airline multiple times, there can always be the "one off day." Both of those airlines are good airlines.

Posted by
6544 posts

Does Air France give preference to their own FF members and those that booked with them, as far as allowing seat assignment choices? I seem to remember that used to be true.

Posted by
1004 posts

Does Air France give preference to their own FF members and those that booked with them, as far as allowing seat assignment choices? I seem to remember that used to be true.

This hasn't been true for me recently. I'm SkyTeam Elite+ (via my Delta status) and I can pick any seat in my ticketed cabin on an Air France flight, even when I've purchased it through Delta's website and it's a Delta marketed flight (ie, it has a Delta flight number, though the actual metal is Air France.) You just have to go to the Air France website to make your choice, and it's been at no charge.

Posted by
5779 posts

Does Air France give preference to their own FF members and those that booked with them, as far as allowing seat assignment choices? I seem to remember that used to be true.

You can pick seats, always through the Air France site, sometimes in the Delta app. However, for other status perks, like an upgrade, you either can not get one, or are at the back of the pack behind the AF status holders. No checking in on the Delta app, though I suppose if you use the AF app, then you may be able to.

As for codeshare flights and being switched from one to the other, at the time of booking you can see who is flying the metal, so if you have a strong preference, you can manage it. You may undergo a schedule change that switches you from one to the other.

I generally shop by price and fly main cabin, so in the big picture, it doesn't matter.

Posted by
1004 posts

My husband and I have status on Delta but are flying Air France and Virgin Atlantic on two different itineraries this year. I guess that means no status next year. Oh well.

You can still (usually) earn towards status when flying partners. If you bought the tickets on Delta's website and the flights are Delta marketed, you'll earn as usual. If you booked on a partner's website, see link below for what you will earn. Just go to the partner's website and add your Delta FF# to the itinerary. Do NOT put in a Flying Blue (or other loyalty program number) as this can cause problems. Do note the booking class, as if your booking class isn't listed in the charts you won't earn at all.

https://www.delta.com/us/en/skymiles/how-to-earn-miles/airline-partners

Posted by
146 posts

I’ve found both to be excellent carriers. My preferred airline is Delta. But I’ve received great service with Air France also. Air France business or first class prices for my destinations have typically been less expensive (connecting flight itineraries). I’d pay more to enjoy nonstop flights. Hopefully you won’t be disappointed with either one. My experience with KLM has also been stellar.

Posted by
1898 posts

With me it's up to the seating arrangements. I often try to fly Premium Economy and while I hate to tell the airline employee, my experience with Air France has not been good in that class. Delta's new product is better IMHO. I also find Delta Economy better but Air France's business has better food (especially now from what I hear)

In flight service in coach varies on both. I have had great service and horrid on these airlines and basically any airline :)

Posted by
7453 posts

I fly economy on both of them going back and forth and literally haven't even paid enough attention to be able to tell you what the difference(s) is/are. I have no idea.

Posted by
68 posts

Air France is the better airline for cabin experience in economy if it is a mainline Air France flight. I prefer Delta's business class, though. I had a rather unpleasant flight on a discount Air France brand's plane (Joon, now a discontinued brand). Extra narrow aisles, tiny leg room, etc on an 8 hour flight, they were using a Joon plane on a non-joon flight for whatever reason.

Air France also has a better rebooking offer (generally free) than Delta, it's a covid era offering. If you are skyteam elite/plus and you notice that Air France sells 'light' fares and a standard fare that both are listed as having 'no skypriority benefits', don't worry about that. It's deliberately misleading, you still get sky priority security, advance seat selection, lounges, boarding, +1 bag (light ticket has 0 bags if you don't have status), etc.

Posted by
2438 posts

if you do some Google, Air France's premium econ seats are pretty well reviled

Posted by
2989 posts

Air France has better safety videos. Otherwise, it's a wash.

Posted by
1004 posts

if you do some Google, Air France's premium econ seats are pretty well reviled

This is one of those times where knowing what type of plane you're flying in is important. AF's older PE seats (still in their 777's, for instance) are the dreaded clamshell. They have finally decided that wasn't such a great idea and have installed "normal" PE seats in their newer planes, such as the 787's and A350's.

Posted by
7453 posts

Air France has better safety videos.

Dave makes an excellent point ! Now, THIS, I remember ! Absolutely correct.