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Mileage Running for Air France

Mileage Running for Air France

First Class/ La Première

February 2015

Air France recently introduced its new La Première First Class cabin and service.  By all reports, it's a stunning service especially at CDG, with private check-in and lounge and limo service to your plane.  The New First Class cabin features one row of 4 elegant suites that look more like a designer living room.  And with ceiling to floor curtains for the ultimate in privacy. Add in Michelin starred chef designed meals  including Joël Robuchon and AF is now on our must fly list.  AF plans to convert many of its 77Ws.  Currently, the new 77Ws fly to only a handful of routes including JFK, LAX and later this month IAH.  Pics from airfrance.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
While Air France does offer F awards, they are stupidly expensive and only open to AF/Flying Blue elites, even the lowest Silver.  And AF won't status match so you've got to earn status the old fashioned way.  But the good news is that AF doesn't require you fly any AF segments and it only takes 15 segments on any partner and voila.  Now... how to get to my 15 segments without 1) costing an arm and a leg and 2) having to sit in Economy.  With cheap discounted domestic F fares, SkyTeam partner Delta was the solution.  So here goes…
 
January 26th
Denver-Atlanta
Atlanta-Pittsburgh
 

This one was actually legit as I had to go to Pittsburgh on business.  Used to always fly AA but now that they've turned into US Airways, I don't think so.  

Denver-Atlanta
DL 1916
757-200
1:30P-6:20P
January 26, 2015
Lunch

My first of 15 DL flights in the next couple of weeks.  Once a Delta Diamond Medallion but now an AA Executive Platinum and USdbaAA refugee, what a treat to (1) have open bar PDBs and (2) be served an edible and tasty meal on a domestic flight.  Today was chicken day with a choice of chicken or chicken... the chicken milanese salad (which looked delicious) or the hot chicken club.  Presentation of the latter was a little lacking but once constructed was delicious.  Both were accompanied by a mystery but tasty cheese/veggie soup, and the always excellent Dancing Deer cookie.

 
 
 
 
 
With 75 minutes between flights, I stopped in at the A17 SkyClub.  Having spent too much time in Admirals Clubs, was impressed with the better food offerings including soups, salads, dressings, veggies, chips and dips. 
 
 
 
 
 
Atlanta-Pittsburgh
DL 1296
MD-88
7:35P-9:15P
January 26, 2015
 

Another excellent crew and PDB #2 of the day.

 
After my day in Pittsburgh, I decided to take a convenient United non-stop back home today as the price was right.
 
Pittsburgh-Denver
UA 481
A320
4:27P-6:10P 
January 27, 2014
Another Lunch but on United we call it Dinner
 

Excellent DEN-based crew on a same day turn. PDBs and frequent refills throughout the flight.  Loved the inflight personal device entertainment system.  Excellent quality although the selection of movies might get a little boring if the system is not updated regularly.  

Choice of beef sandwich or chicken salad, with cream of mushroom soup.  The good news is that this meal was actually edible, unlike the current slop served on USdbaAA.  The bad news is that hello! this is a dinner flight, and sandwich or salad is (what DL serves for) lunch.  On the other hand, a PIT-DEN nonstop gets me home early enough for a proper dinner with Mrs. SFO. 

But the galley right in the F cabin configuration of NA A320s is depressing.  Yo, how about using the curtain or at least turn down the effing light after dinner service.  Note to self: bring a baseball cap next trip to block the glaring light.

Now to Day 1 of flying aimlessly around the country or as Mrs. SFO "flying to nowhere today"

February 2nd
Denver-Atlanta
Atlanta-Kansas City
Kansas City-Atlanta
Atlanta-Denver
 
Denver-Atlanta
DL 1516
757-200
6:10A-11:15A (sked)
6:55A-12:00N (actual)
February 2, 2015
Breakfast
 
Gate lice, Delta style.
 
 
Departure this morning was due to mandatory crew break as a result of the late inbound the night before. 
 
 
 
Another great DL crew and another open bar PDB.  Hard to believe any breakfast could be worse than UA's Jeff McMuffin, but this morning's DL bagel sandwich wins that prize.  As bad as AA catering has become, at least they still get breakfast right.
 
 
 
 
With a couple of hours before my connecting flight, I headed to the B10 SkyClub.  Yikes, what a dump this little one is.
 

 
 
 
 
After a bite to eat and with zero privacy for working, I decided to spend time in the much quieter Admirals Club in Concourse T.
 
 
 
 
 
 
At around T-40, I headed for the train and my first of 3 back-to-back snack basket flights.
 

Atlanta-Kansas City
DL 2256
757-200
2:25P-3:42P 
February 2, 2015

Another great ATL-based crew and another open bar PDB.  Thirty something babe next to me had the first of a few rum & cokes.  After a couple more inflight, she gave me her business card. LOL. No, I did not give her mine. 

And a not very good beef wrap that I picked up in the terminal, just in case.

On time arrival at MCI.  I deplaned and re-boarded 20 minutes much to the surprise of our FA.
 

Kansas City-Atlanta
DL 2256
757-200
4:35P-7:32P (sked)
4:35P-7:00P (actual)
February 2, 2015

Same great crew as the inbound and another open bar PDB flight.  
Since we arrived early, I decided to stop for a proper meal, at least as it is defined at TGI Friday's in the E concourse.  
My Jack Daniels rib-eye was pretty tasty.

 

Atlanta-Denver
DL 1539
757-200
8:32P-10:00P
February 2, 2015

Another crew DL crew and another open bar PDB flight.   Apparently SOP at Delta where I've had more PDBs in one day than in couple of months of AA flights.  Another snack basket flight and we're finished with round 1.  

Fashion, DIA style:

 
Up next:
 
February 5th
• Denver-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Portland
• Portland-Seattle
• Seattle-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Denver
 
February 9th
• Denver-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Las Vegas
• Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Denver

And off we go again for another day of "going nowhere" on Delta.

February 5th
• Denver-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Portland
• Portland-Seattle
• Seattle-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Denver

I left home just after 7AM and amazingly arrived at DIA only 30 minutes later.    Pre-Check was a breeze and I was in the A concourse Admirals Club by 7:40AM.   Headed for the train and the C concourse 30 minutes later.

Denver-Salt Lake City
DL 4848
CRJ-700
8:53A-10:30A
February 2, 2015

Another great crew this morning on the return leg of their early morning SLC-DEN flight.  And naturally open bar PDB, #7 of 7 DL flights.  Multiple passes of the breakfast snack basket.

Sunny morning and beautiful views on our descent.

With an on time arrival, I headed to the SLC Sky Club for 30 minutes between flights.

Pretty nice food spread although I arrived during the transition from breakfast to lunch.

 

Salt Lake City-Portland
DL 1741
737-800
11:30A-12:38P
February 2, 2015

Good crew and now 8 for 8 on PDBs.  But it was clown central this morning as the guy across the aisle watched a video without a headset.  Yeah, we all want to hear your stupid party.

And the doofus beside me that brought on a full Starbucks and then proceeded to fall asleep. Had to wake him just before take-off to tell him he may want to hold onto his coffee on take-off.

Another on time arrival in Portland where I had nearly two hours to kill before my SEA flight.

The old PDX carpet that they are apparently replacing.

And the lunch time food spread...

Much of which I sampled...

At T-30, I headed out to the gate next door.

 

 

Portland-Seattle
DL 4790
CRJ-700
2:27P-3:14P
February 2, 2015

Another great crew with PDBs and inflight drinks despite the quick flight of only about 20 minutes.

Boeing Field.

And the lovely weather continued in the Pacific Northwest.

ATC tower with 12th man flag, despite the last minute choke.

And the trek over to the S Gates.

And the S Sky Club.

My SEA-SLC was running 20 minutes late and left the Sky Club arriving at S4 as the inbound was still deplaning. Nevertheless gate lice were standing in line, the most obnoxious of which was a POS who yapped on her cell phone the entire time.

Seattle-Salt Lake City
DL 1457
737-900ER
4:22P-7:15P (sked)
5:05P-7:44P (actual)
February 2, 2015

OMG, what did I do to deserve this. The loud mouth POS is my seat mate. 
On with the Bose and up with the volume.  
 

Nice new plane with large seat back screen and power outlets.

Another great crew with PDB #10 of 10 so far. IFE worked great as I watched the Cavs pummel the Clippers on the way to Salt Lake.

We pulled up to D4 at 7:44P which should have still given me 26 minutes to make my connection.  But for some reason, the 8:10P SLC-DEN departure time was moved up to 8:00P and from a different concourse, C5.  Yikes.   Fortunately, I was the first off the plane and hustled my butt over to C5 arriving at 7:49P.  A couple more boarded and the door was closed at 7:55P.  OK, that was close.

Salt Lake City-Denver
DL 939
A320
8:10P-9:38P (sked)
7:55P-9:10P (actual)
February 2, 2015

Another open bar PDB makes it 11 in a row for Delta on this run.  An old dark A320 means reading and surfing the web on Gogo.  With the early SLC departure, and a direct route into DEN, we arrived nearly 30 minutes early.  Unlike UA, a GA was waiting at the jet bridge and I was at home by 10PM.

Up next:

February 9th
Denver-Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City-Las Vegas
Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City-Denver
and the beautiful new LAS Centurion Lounge.

And the home stretch...

February 9th...
• Denver-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Las Vegas
• Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
• Salt Lake City-Denver

What was supposed to be leisurely day turned upside down when I woke up to a text and email from Delta advising that my 1:00P flight was now scheduled to depart at 1:30P and that I may miss my connection.  From experience, airlines almost always lie about and underestimate delays.  So with an already tight 45 minute SLC connection now down to an advertised 15 minutes, that was way too risky.  My options were 11:45A (Y only) or 8:53A.  While I hesitated, the 11:45A disappeared so I selected the 8:53A.  A quick shower and I was on the road again to DIA.  With construction completed on I-225, it was an easy 35 minute drive this morning.

Denver-Salt Lake City
DL 4848
CRJ-700
8:53A-10:30A
February 9, 2015

Another typically great DL crew this morning with a open bar PDB, #12 of 12 DL flights. Multiple passes of the breakfast snack basket.

So that's how they turn on Wifi. 

On time arrival in SLC and I stopped into the Sky Club for 30 minutes.  Fortunately, the DL gate agent in Denver switched me to an earlier SLC-LAS flight so I didn't have a 5 hour layover in this depressing club.

Salt Lake City-Las Vegas
DL 1683 
737-800
11:35A-11:57A 
February 9, 2015

Apparently I've flown too many DL flights in the last week as I can't remember a thing about his one.  
A 5 minute walk from the DL gates is the new Centurion Lounge.  A great place to spend a few hours in between flights.

Time to check out the bar and food area.

Very nice.

 

My excellent lunch.

Time for a little work.

And my next meal before boarding my "refreshments" only DL flights home.

 

Las Vegas-Salt Lake City
DL 2017
737-900ER
4:55P-7:17P 
February 9, 2015

Another great crew, #14 of 14 PDBs and an on time arrival at SLC.
And finally...

Salt Lake City-Denver
DL 939
A320
8:10P-9:38P (sked)
8:10P-9:25P (actual)
February 9, 2015

Open bar PDB #15 makes it a perfect 100%.  And another excellent DL crew despite the antique dark A320.  No cabin divider and the old table trays attached to the seat in front.

On time arrival back in Denver and I was home by 10:30.  

And three days later, it was official.  I now have the right to be completely stupid and pay 162,500 miles for a one way TTL Air France First Class ticket. LOL.