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When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

Fairbanks, Alaska
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When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

I've invited my mother to join us on our France trip this May. She will be flying by herself from LAX to CDG on Air France and would like to fly business class (Affaires). Restricted round-trip tickets are currently about $5200. Does business class ever go on sale, or is that about the best fare that will be available?

I've checked various dates throughout the year, and the fares seem to be the same for all dates -- even though the AirFrance site indicates that there is currently a winter sale on business class.

Since I have never priced business class fares, I'm wondering if someone who has can give any advice on whether to buy now or whether historically there are any better fare sales on these seats in January-February.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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1. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

You can sign up on the Air France website for widget fare alerts. Sometimes business class goes on sale.

Have you considered Business Class on Air Tahiti Nui?

Or, Premium Voyageur on Air France?

Personally, I am very comfortable in Coach on Air France. The seats are fine, the food is good, the service is excellent.

Paris, France
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2. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

I would be very suprized that there would be discounted fares on Business for May, as it is a very busy month in Paris and Europe (many conventions, exhibitions, and the start of the tourist season). There could be 'last minute' special rates, but you wouldn't certainly rely on that uncertainty for your mother.

What makes the big difference in Business is the fact that the seat becomes a real flat 'bed'; for a 10.5 hours flight (direct flight) and for a senior person, this is really important (food, service, lounge, etc., come way behind, even if they are also part of the comfort of the journey). There may be other airlines with better fares, I don't know.

California
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3. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

Re: the "flat" bed in AF Business class--yes, it is flat, but it's on an angle with your head raised about a foot higher than your feet. You can stretch out a bit, but many people still find it difficult to sleep. Compare with Premium Affaires as suggested above.

Do check out Air Tahiti Nui from LAX too--we've happily flown to Paris with them, and many times their rates are lower than AF.

The "sale" I see most often on AF Business class is a reduced amount of frequent flyer miles required for an upgrade. I'd be surprised if they offered a sale for flights in May, Business or otherwise!

Montreal, QC
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4. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

To Annette: We flew Premium Voyageur in October and the seat was like the one you described. By chance we were upgraded for free to Business and the seat makes a flat bed.

If not 100% flat it is DEFINITELY better than Premium Voyageur which has an angle.

Edited: 10 January 2012, 23:48
Paris, France
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5. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

AnnetteCinCA: I'm quite surprized by what you say. Last time I flew AF Business, I have the feeling/memory that the seat was lying flat (I even had a pillow under my head!); but I wasn't carrying a spirit level with me and my memory can be deficient. Anyway, I had a very good sleep (after great drinks and meal !)

:-)

California
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6. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

I flew AF Business 2 weeks ago LAX-CDG and can assure you the bed is not flat, it's slanted (we popped for a Premium Voyager upgrade, and were surprised at the gate with a free upgrade to Business). Here's a photo:

upgradetravelbetter.com/2010/…

This video shows how the Premium Voyager seat reclines:

videocdn.airfrance.com/premium/index.htm

And here are some reviews of the AF Business class bed that explain how people generally have difficulty sleeping, as you slide down and can't get real comfortable:

http://www.flatseats.com/Reviews/af-J.htm

I'm not knocking Air France--they are my preferred airline to Paris, and I'll take Business any day over coach ;) It's just not quite as comfortable as one would imagine.

atlanta
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7. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

Try pricing the ticket on Delta also. If they are having a sale you can often get a better deal and still be on an AF plane. Their I class fares are normally the best business class fare they offer and must be purchased at least 50 days in advance

Fairbanks, Alaska
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8. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

Thank you all so much for your helpful replies - I knew I would get some good information here!

I priced the ticket on Delta and got the same fare (darn!). Air Tahiti Nui doesn't have a good connection on the return (she's flying an open jaw into CDG and out of MRS).

Personally, I would choose Premium Voyager also, but I understand my mother's reasons for choosing Affaires, and she deserves this luxury.

Thanks for the warning on the slanted seats - what was AF thinking??? But the direct flight between LAX and CDG is still the way to go, slanted seat or not.

Obviously price is not a major issue and I know it's odd to be asking about cheaper fares, but it irritates me to buy a ticket and then see the fare drop!

9. Re: When to buy AF business class ticket for May?

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