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So let's talk about airlines - again...

Researching, researching ..

I have identified four airlines that fly non-stop from JFK to ORY and ORY to JFK.

The airlines are:

Air France
Delta
Lufthansa
KLM

I have read scathing reviews on all of them -- guess it is the state of affairs these days.

Our trip to Paris will take place in October of 2023.

Given the limited number of direct flights with each airlines - well - more with Air France -- I will begin looking to book about 11 months out.

So, once again ..I am looking for feedback on your travel experiences with any or all of these airlines.

Thank you!

Posted by
716 posts

I'll leave it to you to double check, and I could be wrong, but I would think it doubtful that Lufthansa flies JFK to ORY directly - that's either a codeshare or a transfer through FRA or MUC. I would wonder the same about KLM.

Posted by
8613 posts

Are you sure that KLM, Delta and Lufthansa are not a code share designation for the Air France flight?

Non stop JFK-CDG, looks to have an Air France flight and an AA light, with several other airlines doing a code share

Posted by
5572 posts

It's just Air France. Delta and KLM are just code-shares. No Lufthansa.

Flying long-haul from USA to ORY, you really don't have options. It's not an airport for that. Pretty much everything goes through CDG.

Posted by
4689 posts

Is there a reason that you are limiting yourself to JFK and Orly? I think there will be more choices if you expand your search.

I would suggest searching NYC to PAR
NYC will get you all of the NY area airports. PAR will show you flights to both Orly and Charles De Gaulle. None of the airlines are great these days. Air France is fine for a trip to Paris.

Posted by
193 posts

Thanks for everyone's insights.

Sometimes - I get a little anxious planning this trip - like I really don't know what I am doing.

I chose ORLY because of the negative reviews of CDG.

Flying out of JFK means a hired car from my house to the airport. Fine - just an added expense.

I was even wondering about what happens if your flight is cancelled - and you are at the airport - I suppose that means you will have to be tested for Covid once again.

The CDC needs to drop this requirement!

My husband suggested I take the Queen Mary to England and then make my way to Paris.

And, ditto on the return - well, if i had lots of time and if I was a rich man!

Posted by
193 posts

Looks like it's a choice between Delta and Air France.

I like that fact that Delta has more seating choices.

I am a little old for Economy Seating.

Any additional feedback on either airline.

Thanks!

Posted by
8613 posts

The Delta flight, JFK-ORY, is on an Air France plane

DL8276 (1 Footnote)
journey duration7h 40m
departure time 7:50PM
arrival time 9:30AM

departure airport code JFK
arrival airport code ORY

Nonstop
Footnote 1 DL 8276 is operated by Air France .

Posted by
193 posts

So - I guess it doesn’t really matter - too much which airline you book with - Drlta or Air France..

Posted by
11243 posts

The schedule might/probably will change for October 2023.

As of now, there is one flight from JFK-ORY. But there are nine flights between JFK-CDG including DL, AF and AA.

And I would stop reading reviews of airports and airlines. You're only going to read the bad ones. You're not staying at an airport. You're just arriving and going. At most you'll be slightly inconvenienced but you'll have better choices of flights.

Posted by
193 posts

Thank you - I will think about all of this … staying away from the negative is very important …

Posted by
9701 posts

I’ll just add that airport reviews might make a difference if you are transiting thru but will be different ending a flight there. I don’t mind landing at CDG at all. I also budget money for a taxi to my hotel. (58€)

I’ll add that you are so far out that what is going on now may not be pertinent for your trip. Many people find Amsterdam a great place to transit thru yet 2 weeks ago they had total chaos with an unannounced strike and an airport closure. That wouldn’t make me avoid them for future trips to Europe!

For worries about flight cancellations you’ll do better flying from an airport and on an airline that has multiple flights to your location.

BTW, you don’t need a departure test for France at this time. Hopefully by your travel date we won’t even remember having to get negative tests to return to the US.

Posted by
427 posts

We've only flown Delta domestically and only flown Air France to CDG, so i can't comment on Orly or flying Delta to France.
Given that limitation, I will say that Air France is far superior to Delta in our experience. Airline food is ridiculed for good reason, but the Air France meals are fairly good and the general tone of the cabin crew and decor always make us feel that the vacation has started as soon as we're in our seats. On the other hand, we go out of our way to avoid even having to take Delta to an airport that has direct flights to France.
As for CDG, it's a sprawling international airport but we've never felt that we couldn't find or get to wherever we were going (baggage claim, the Tourist Information office, an ATM or the taxis). On the other hand, my recollection of JFK is that it was dirty and dispiriting. It's been many years since I flew into or out of JFK, so it might be better now.
FWIW, you now have a positive review of both Air France and CDG.

Posted by
143 posts

CDG is horribly reviewed I arrived expecting to be horrified. It was perfectly fine. No problems nothing I found to hate about it. It’s just enormous.

Air France was a lovely experience both ways as well.

Watch fares, you’d be more likely to get good prices on CDG.

Posted by
1997 posts

Airlines are like car rentals companies - everyone has something bad to say, no company is shielded from relentless criticism.

I prefer to use ORY, and do whenever I can. It doesn't take too many 90 minute waits at CDG´s passport control to develop a keen disdain for the airport. For transatlantic flights, few arrive ORY, most all arrive CDG. That's just the way it is. The initial travel leg represents a very small amount of your total vacation time.

Making an airline decision 1½ years in advance of travel is a difficult undertaking. Too many things change.

Posted by
193 posts

Wonderfully constructive and supportive advice - thank you so much!

Posted by
1286 posts

We just returned from France on Air France and through CDG. It was our first time on AF and it was a pleasant surprise. The crew were very helpful and the seats seemed to be more comfortable than other airlines'. CDG is hugh. One of us has walking issues over long distancs. With such a distance to cover between the international and domestic terminals, we arranged for a wheelchair. The staff were very helpful, even when we said we no longer needed help.

We were very happy we flew AF.

Posted by
193 posts

Well - it looks like it is Air France and CDG for the win!

Thank you for your lovely response ..!

Posted by
1103 posts

I have used Air France all four times I have flown to France & once in route to Italy and I will continue to use them. I like the Premium Economy seats they offer with the hard shell, so the person in front of me does not lean into my space. I have been happy with their service. When flying to Germany I have used Lufthansa & had no issues with them, I am just not a fan of Frankfurt Airport, I prefer Munich.

Posted by
379 posts

Anyone who thinks CDG is bad should try arriving at any US airport as a non-US citizen. Particularly JFK.

I have never had an issue with CDG - even on my Australian passport. Yes, it's big, yes, it can sometimes be slow, but it's an airport.

Posted by
2580 posts

"Airlines are like car rentals companies - everyone has something bad to say, no company is shielded from relentless criticism"

This. Don't get hung up on what airline you're flying, in the scheme of your trip it really isn't all that important. You will either get lucky and have a good FLIGHT, or get unlucky and have a bad one. It's the flight, not the airline. And the cabin crew you happen to get. And weather, and equipment issues, and flight delays, all things you have absolutely no control over.

The easiest and most common route is JFK-CDG, don't fight it just do it. Shop for a good fare and the class of seat you want. since you have 1.5 years (!), start accruing frequent flyer miles if that is your thing.

FWIW, I flew Delta LAX-JFK-CDG and back and guess what? It was just fine. They were Air France codeshare flights but on Delta metal with Delta crews. The only change was, some of the flight crew was bilingual (they wear little tags), I'm sure that is a law. But I splurged for premium econ and THAT is what makes the difference.

Posted by
193 posts

Again - so many thanks for your wise words!
Your help and everyone else’s input - will help me in my trip planning!

Posted by
5 posts

I'm a bit late with my comments, but just in case it helps:

  1. My daughter just flew Air France economy and said it was miserable. Very crowded and cramped.
  2. Check Seatguru.com and look at the reviews and seat maps for your flight.
  3. If you don't have Global Entry then download the Mobile Passport Control app to make going through customs at JFK easier and faster.
  4. I was at CDG in January and thought it was fine. Lots of shops and places to browse. I just wish they had a nice United lounge.
  5. You can track the flight costs using Google Flights.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
1216 posts

Most airline reviews are only made by unhappy passengers.

Individual experiences vary greatly depending on time and crew. My parents and I both flew overseas on British Air same class but different days and crews. I had a fabulous time and the FAs were attentive and engaged. My parents flight on the other hand had different crew and indifferent FAs who mostly hid out in the galley. Nowadays, I usually fly based on availability and any airline mileage points since most airlines are pretty much the same unless you fly in the upper classes ie First Class.

Posted by
5 posts

Yes, I flew United. I upgraded to Polaris with a bit of money and some miles. I'm flying United again but this time Premium Economy. The miles required for upgrade was way too steep!

Posted by
193 posts

My daughter was surprised that I would consider flying to Paris with an airline that was not United - we always fly United - I would definitely book Premium Economy - we have done so before ..

Thanks for your feedback!

Posted by
325 posts

Air France couldn't manage to get our three bags from our connecting flight from MRS to our flight to MSP yesterday, so based on that, I will probably avoid them in the future. This is the first time we've ever been without our luggage when arriving at our final destination. It did make it to MSP tonight, but they still have 200 miles to get to us. Delta is our go-to airline.

Posted by
3815 posts

In my experience, Air France is totally fine (with the exception of their awful Premium Economy seats... but I fly economy for personal travel). And I would not pay more than 20€ extra (= the difference in taxi fares) to use Orly vs CDG. Sure, CDG takes longer to get out of and to get to town, but otherwise it is not that bad if it is your final destination, and there are many more flight options.

Posted by
442 posts

I flew AF to CDG from JFK in October, and loved it - but b/c I was in between the Delta and Omicron variants and travel hadn't started to boom like now, I was spoiled - own row both ways in Economy, etc.

CDG's issue is there pretty horrible signage - inbound it wasn't bad, but outbound, even with their national carrier, it stunk. For example - when you hit 2E to drop off luggage, the AF signage doesn't indicate which specific part of that long terminal is accepting baggage for your given flight. There are other things too, but I don't remember specifics.

Term 1 at JFK is pretty decent - although upon arrival, the escalator was broken when I came back. But yes, as mentioned, Mobile Passport made clearing customs a BREEZE.

Posted by
844 posts

We definitely prefer Orly over CDG, but honestly, you will find better choices thru CDG. If landing there, and not transiting, it's not all that terrible. We just flew AF in the last couple of weeks transiting thru CDG - that isn't fun with a one-hour layover. But the final destination, it's fine. You are always, as Frank says, going to be negative opinions that you read the most of. Here is another positive one - Air France was fine, and we liked the fact we did not have to transfer through another airport, ie Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, etc. All the airlines are pretty much the same, you just might have had a more negative experience on one at some point in time. KLM is a lovely airline, as is Lufthansa. When the A380 was flying from IAH, we loved that plane and would have connected through anywhere just to be comfortable (we loved the upstairs option). Shop for the best deal you can get and go with that. We got one heck of a deal from Air France when they were running a special and booked it in March for an April trip. No one was offering anything as good as that. When you see it - book it. CDG vs Orly won't make that much of a difference if you are getting a good fare.

Posted by
2006 posts

Nope you have identified 2 airlines.

The AF, Delta and KLM are all actually on the same plane.

Pre-covid I would have gone with AF. But I flew AF home in business in March. Not a good experience. Delta to CDG was much nicer.

Airline reviews are worthless, people only review when they are upset and about half the time that's related to "I wanted to do something creative and the airline wouldn't let me just do it because I had a contract with them" (And if EVERYONE at an airline is rude to you, you might want to think about how you treated them)

Posted by
12883 posts

Air France flies non-stop SFO to CDG as does United, non-stop. Any difference, maybe other than price?

In the past I would answer yes, since the 21st century I have flown both to CDG (final destination) and could not see any practical difference between the two in Economy. I don't fly anything else but Economy anyway , ie, to compare like with like.

Re: baggage claim....CDG isn't always really efficient, or so it seems, therefore, I expect to wait anyway, almost a given.

One time, this was in 2007 landing ca. 11 am, as usual, I thought the baggage claim took much longer, so much longer that one could not help but notice the delay. I think we were all standing for 35 mins, at least, before the first piece of luggage was thrown out. So, unless you happen to luck out, you just might waiting for another 20 mins or more before your luggage is rolling, which means with yours out already, another person is still standing there waiting for his.

All in all , most likely it took close to one hour or more on that arrival before the Mrs. and I were finished with baggage claim, having waited for 3 pieces. Other than that, I continue taking Air France and landing at CDG. No problems navigating the place in spite of its recent changes.

Posted by
2580 posts

just to follow up on my "the airline doesn't really matter, it's the plane" thought - I just flew LAX-Denver-Sioux Falls. The flights between LAX and Denver were on 737s which are just crammed full of humanoids and it was not fun (luckily it was not a long flight). The flights between Denver-SF were on a regional jet which was 2 plus 2 and ... it was almost like flying private! Roomy, comfortable, almost pleasant.