Will be flying from Singapore to Budapest in Feb 05. Have to choose between Air France or KLM however i do not have any experience flying these two airlines. Would appreciate if anyone would be kind enough to share their experience(s) (good & bad) travelling one or both airlines. Thanks in advance.
Air France and KLM are one company these days (they still have there own identity). So i would not expect to much difference.
I never flew Air France. But i flew KLM.
And it's good. Maybe not the greatest airline in the world but good.
My vote would go for KLM. If you can avoid flying through Paris if you fly KLM, then DEFINITELY! As George mentions, technically they are now one company though, but I think that you'll find the Dutch staff a bit more receptive when things go wrong. In terms of onboard entertainment/space etc. they are about the same.
My flight through Paris was an absolute nightmare. It took nearly an hour to get from one terminal to the next and we didn't wait around either. Good thing we didn't because otherwise we certainly would have missed the connecting flight (we were actually told when we finally arrived at the right terminal and counter - which looked as if it was built over 200 years ago by the way - that we were too late but talked our way out of that one).
Also, on the flight into Paris, we sat for over 12 hours with no entertainment since their system broke down. The only channel that worked had Mac Gyver on and after seeing the same episode three times I gave up on that one. It took the crew on board over an hour and a half just to acknowledge there was something wrong , and then another 2 hours just for them to restart the systems. After that obviously didn't work, I had to ask them an hour later and they said they had given up. Now I can understand problems happening with hardware etc. and have had it happen twice before on two different airlines. One was Thai and the other was Qantas. In Thais case they laboured on it for an hour straight (and that was only my seat that was busted too!) before the head steward came and informed me that it wasn't possible to fix and they then offered me a bottle of first class' champagne. When it happend on Qantas, they noticed right away and spent about an hour (updating the plane every 15 minutes or so) trying to fix it, while keeping an open line with the ground staff for advice. They eventually managed to get it going (the ground technical people know a lot more than the flight attendants about this stuff) which was great and the rest of the 10 hour flight was perfect. In both those cases I feel the airline acted to their full responsibility to resolve the issue. In the Air France one, I think it was (way) below acceptable. One call to ground crew probably would have fixed it too, which makes it even more annoying....
Anyway, now you know why I would choose KLM over Air France
ps. I am also dutch, but that wouldn't sway my opinion. If you can choose, go with Singapore Airlines.... definitely would be my choice any day their price matches another airlines
It's got to be KLM. Travelled on Air France several times. AF staff can be a little condescending and just don't want to know when things go wrong! Paris CDG has the unenviable reputation of losing luggage. I rest my case!