Good day. I am planning on a trip to Paris soon. Airfare, which seems to be very high, is generally the same for America Airlines, Delta/Air France, Air Canada, Lufthansa/United, and Continental. My questions is is that does anyone have a preference in which is best to go from the states to Paris? I am leaning on the Delta/Air France because it will fly the new A380 [has anyone experienced that yet?], but the package/hotel is a little high. Any thoughts/comments you would like to share would be great! Thank you
Air France used to have really good service in economy class, but I haven't flown them for years. Guess I will find out, as I'm leaving for Paris on Saturday.
There have been some production delays in rolling out the new A380. A news article today said Air France's first flight from Paris to New York was today.
So, it's probably unlikely you will get on that plane anytime soon -- unless you leave from New York.
I've always thought the service was great on AF and for the last ten or so years it has become absolutely rotten on Delta..You need to make sure the flying machine is in the right livery.
You might want to ditch the package deal. I find that they line everybody's pocket but my own. Numerous places to stay all over Paris at any price range.
"flights purchased now for next summer are high, and won't come down until after Christmas."
Wow...I wish I could see into the future like that! ;)
Hello, we are actually going either in mid June or mid September, which I should start another question about whether to go in mid June or Mid-September.
other note, I have about about 30k miles with Delta, so I am heavily leaning on Delta, but not been happy with their service lately, and wondering about other airlines, thanks
The idea that better prices will surface at a specific time is specious. It all depends on how sales have been going, how much capacity is available, and a host of other factors. The best strategy is to check prices constantly, and when you find something you can live with, grab it and move on with planning the rest of your holiday.
Hi Jonathan... If you think Columbus is a cowtown, I was born in Marion, OH and now live in Lebanon. We travel to France almost every year and fly straight from Greater Cincinnati on Delta. Never had a problem.. don't have to switch planes.. ..very easy. We prefer The Fall. September is wonderful. We are photographers and drive all around France after we stay in Paris a while. It is a lovely time in France. If you are interested in places to stay in Paris or want to take a day trip to Burgundy for a day or two or 10,let me know . Send me a PM. We know some great places to stay. We drive all over and are not train people because we photograph little places off the train route. France is so easy to drive in.I agree with the others that you can wait a little bit to get your tickets. We usually pay about 800.00 for the Fall.
I just flew to Paris in September on the direct flight from Pittsburgh. It was totally fine. The service was fine - nothing stood out one way or another. I don't know what the plane was. One good thing is it had individual screens at each seat, though the selection of movies was not very good IMO.
Most of my flights to Europe recently have been on Continental via Newark. They were all fine too, although direct is obviously much better. I think Newark is better than it used to be, but I would avoid it if I could.
Assuming the fares are all about the same my first consideration would the seat pitch (legroom) on the aircraft being used. It is amazing what a couple of inches make on a long flight.
Sales happen at any time and for many reasons....is seats are selling, if the airline needs to increase revenue for the current quarter, if the competition has decided to lower their fares, and so on.
Capacity has picked up with the decrease in the number of total flights....however...the airlines still need to show Wall Street the best numbers it can.
Early indications look as if the upcoming holiday season to be mediocre. I'll bet there will be some excellent sales just after the New Year. They need the cash. And should the economy get better and more people want to fly, they can always add more flights.
If you don't have a favorite airline, look for the following things when choosing a flight:
2) Convenience--either nonstop or one layover, and then how much time for the layover. (You don't want to sit in the airport for hours.)
3) Service--entertainment, food, etc.
In general I'd take whatever gets you there fastest--there isn't THAT much difference between airlines anymore, and it's possible to have a bad experience on any of them. All things being equal, I'd take Air France (as long as it's AF, and not Delta). I like the Airbuses (I think I was on the 330), and you get a good selection of tv/movies (plus the air cam/tracker feature), champagne and wine in coach and an unintentionally hilarious in-flight magazine. Oh also they set up the drink cart in back for anyone to take advantage of throughout the flight. YOu can also stand back there without being in anybody's way.
"Advise on when sale fares to Europe happen include historical data gathered from many years of European travel."
Well, Steve, so is my advice. In this day and age, the flat statement that the best prices will be 90 days out doesn't hold. The fact is that seat capacity for flights between Europe and North America continues to decline. If it drops to the point where demand exceed capacity, as the airlines hope, then prices won't drop. By all means, use the tools that have been suggested here.....but waiting until 90 days out may leave people with higher fare than they would have paid now.
Anecdotally, the best price I got for a flight to Spain last month was eight months ago...for a flight last spring, it was nine months previous. Every time the airlines announced a sale, I found the price to still be higher than what I'd paid
A couple of other suggestions for lower airfares....
Fly mid-week, which can see substantial savings...
Check out smaller city airports nearby....some times, to fill seats, you'll get a better deal on a long-haul flight.
I recommend Air France and not their code-sharing flights with Delta. Do your best to avoid the Delta Terminals at JFK (from my own experience.)
wow, thanks everyone for responding: I really believe this is a great site. I do believe it will be air-France cause now they are flying the a380 from JFK. Do they still serve champagne?
also in Rick's book, well the one from 2007, he recommends the RER B from CDG, would taking the Roissy bus be a better "tourist/sightseeing" experience? I do not care too much about wasting time because I would like to experience being in France
RER is probably faster than the bus. RER is very frequent, no signigcant waits at all. Not much to see twixt CDG and heart of the city. Take the train and be done with it.
Service... hmm.. Airlines are losing money by the millions. So something has to give and guess what it was.. SERVICE.
I did just fly CDG to ATL on Delta and the service was fine, your basic coach service. If you want service that's great fly the Asia based carriers, otherwise go with price/connections/mileage etc.
"he recommends the RER B from CDG"
The RER B from CDG to Paris is the quickest option and one that's not affected by traffic. There are two RER options, with one being express. You might want to have a look at www.parisbytrain.com for further information.
I've found the easiest method for buying RER tickets is via the automated ticket machines as there's often a huge queue at the ticket office (depending on number of flights that have arrived). However, these will only accept the newer "chip & PIN" credit cards as well as Euro cash (as I recall, there were change machines nearby but I use a credit card so wasn't really looking).
Regarding air fares, I just checked the bulletin I received from Air Canada yesterday and they have Toronto-London fares listed until Nov. 30 at Cdn$386 (Return - plus applicable taxes & fees AFAIK). Toronto-Paris was listed at Cdn$514 (plus applicable taxes & fees). These must be booked by today according to the bulletin.
Good luck and happy travels!