Air France A380 Flying To San Francisco Starting March 30, 2014

Air France announced yesterday that they’ll be launching daily Airbus A380 service between Paris Charles de Gaulle and San Francisco starting March 30, 2014. The service replaces the 777 currently on the route, and should last throughout the 2014 summer season. This is an addition to their other A380 destinations in the United States, including Los Angeles, New York, and Washington.

Air-France-A380

The service will operate with the following schedule:

AF84 Paris to San Francisco departing 10:40AM arriving 1:00PM
AF83 San Francisco to Paris departing 3:50PM arriving 11:25AM (+1 day)

Air France’s A380s are equipped with nine first class seats, 80 business class seats, 38 premium economy seats, and 389 economy class seats.

Air-France-A380-Business-Class
Air France business class

Unfortunately best I can tell they haven’t released substantially more award space as a result of the equipment change. Award availability actually isn’t horrible on the route (at least compared to what other airlines are releasing to the west coast in business class over summer), and some days there are anywhere from one to seven business class award seats.

Air-France-Availability1
Business class award space

This is of course a great use of Delta SkyMiles, given that SkyMiles members now seem to have access to all the same Air France business class award availability as Flying Blue members.

Air-France-Availability
SkyMiles award ticket on Air France A380 service

If I notice a substantial increase in award availability on the route — which I’m not ruling out since the equipment change was just announced — I’ll be sure to post again.

(Tip of the hat to Mac)

Comments

  1. @ Dave Op — You can search on the Air France website, though you do need to have a Flying Blue account. I like searching on ExpertFlyer, which also requires a subscription. You can also search on delta.com though it will take forever, since the calendar won’t reflect Air France award space, but rather only Delta award space.

  2. The business class cabin is pretty decent for the westbound flight, if not perfect for overnight with the angled-flat

  3. Lucky – thanks for the heads up. I could have sworn they offered the A380 service on the SFO-CDG route a few years ago… I flew economy in the upper deck on July 2011. Am I making it up or did they discontinue and now reinstate the service aboard the big bird?

  4. Are you sure the same biz space is avail to Delta as Flying Blue. I find a lot of classic biz awards on FB that do not show up as O space on EF. Am I doing something wrong?

  5. @anon – Not only can you *only* book first class using FB miles (vs. partner miles), but you may only book them as Flex awards (the highest tier of awards), and only FB elites can book awards into first. When I priced out an award trip to S. Africa (I go there regularly, both revenue and award trips) last year, it came out to…wait for it…260,000 points.

    EACH WAY.

    520,000 points for a round-trip from DC to Joburg. That’s a real waste for an airline with a first class product that’s really third tier compared to their European competitors. Exception: Their ground service in CDG is really world class/top notch.

    When flying to Europe or Africa or Asia (via the Atlantic) on a first revenue ticket, I’ll go with LH and/or SQ and/or BA.

  6. AF A380 Business class is angled flat, with 3 seats across at the window, and 4 seats across in the middle. The same number of seats across that BA uses in Economy. Really? 🙁

  7. April 8, 2014 – April 16, 2014

    (Interesting United’s block times are longer. Is the A380 faster, or is UA more conservative?)

    Delta (operated by AF) or AF:

    Economy: $1,340.00
    Premium Economy: $1,900.00
    Biz: $4,249.00
    F: $8,202.00

    4/8: Depart SFO 3:40 PM, arrive CDG 11:10 AM (4/9)
    4/16: Depart CDG 10:35 AM, arrive SFO 12:50 PM

    United:

    Economy: $1,219.00
    Biz: $4,249.00
    F:$7,095.00

    4/8: Depart SFO 2:40 PM, arrive CDG 10:45 AM (4/9)
    4/16: Depart CDG 10:05 AM, arrive SFO 1:00 PM

  8. Round trip in first class is 520,000 points?

    Seriously?

    No wonder there’s so much excitement over another route being upgraded to an A380.

    Anything that increases the number of absurdly priced and largely un-bookable premium award seats must be a good thing.

    Right?

  9. @ Robert Hanson — While I agree it’s not a great product since it’s angled flat, the configuration is 2-2-2 in business class on the upper deck, no?

  10. @Lark
    I would take business on UA over business on AF;
    I think UA business is fairly consistent but AF service is very hit or miss AND no flat seats

    Not sure about first class; have flown UA first on SFO-FRA and that day the service was excellent even though ground service is nothing special, first class lounge in SFO is OK and the food on board was very similar to business class

    I would rather fly SFO-FRA-CDG even though FRA-CDG is fairly crappy business

  11. From everything I’ve heard from other people…why would anyone want to fly this airline? Besides the appeal of flying on the 380, I mean…

  12. This also should be bookable with AS miles, and the availability should show on the AS award engine (which might be easier to work with than delta.dumb).

    AS award availability on SEA-SFO is usually decent.

  13. wwk5d said,

    “From everything I’ve heard from other people…why would anyone want to fly this airline? Besides the appeal of flying on the 380, I mean…”

    Yeah, that’s the part I’ve been waiting to read. Seems like this would be a bad value even if you completely ignored the extremely limited award angle.

  14. Honestly, I hated the Affaires seat on this plane. It felt cramped and once my seatmate engaged her seat in sleep mode I was trapped. The front of the plane – the meet and mingle place is also pretty sterile. It just works as a place to stretch your legs, no where to sit and they keep the window shades down.

    Food service is also not very nice compared to the A340.

    I love the current 777 they have on that route. I will avoid the A380 unless I have no choice.

  15. @Vikram- I know they flew the A380 to SFO for a few months a couple years ago. Don’t think it was daily. They might have pulled it off IAD at the time.

  16. @Lucky and @Mitch – I wasn’t dreaming thankfully! They did briefly in summer 2011, which I was lucky enough to experience. Glad they’re reinstating the service… thanks for sharing Lucky. Will have to promote them to clients for next summer travel. I’m a travel agent you see :).

    http://bit.ly/1geL3DP

  17. Hello,

    I’m looking at flying this segment in December 2014, for which apparently the Boeing 777-200 is back 🙁
    Can anyone comment on the Premium Economy for that flight? Would I be better off taking a short flight to LAX and fly the Premium Economy on the A380 from LAX to CDG?

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