Choosing the right airline for international travel can significantly impact your trip. Air France and Delta Air Lines are two major carriers that offer a wide range of services and amenities. While they are similar in many regards, there are differences when it comes to things like seats, amenities, and lounge experience.
In this article, we will compare Air France and Delta across various aspects, including business class, premium economy, and economy. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or looking for a premium experience, read on to make an informed decision for your next adventure.
Business Class Seats & Amenities
Air France’s business class cabins often feature a 1-2-1 layout, providing direct aisle access for all passengers. These seats can be converted into lie-flat beds with ample space and privacy. Business class passengers enjoy premium amenities, including amenity kits, noise-canceling headphones, and access to Air France’s lounges.
Delta’s business class offers a 1-2-1 or 2-2-2 configuration, depending on the aircraft, which means not all passengers have direct aisle access. Delta’s business class seats also recline into flatbeds, but the design can vary greatly depending on the aircraft. Delta offers amenities like premium bedding, TUMI amenity kits, and access to Delta Sky Club lounges.
Premium Economy Seats & Amenities
Air France’s Premium Economy seat dimensions may vary by aircraft type, but typically, they offer more legroom and wider seats than regular economy, and they usually recline more and have footrests. Air France Premium Economy is arranged in 2-4-2 or 2-3-2 configuration, depending on the aircraft. Air France offers upgraded meal service and complimentary beverages to Premium Economy passengers.
Delta’s premium economy class is known as Delta Premium Select. Delta’s premium economy seats typically offer extra legroom, a larger recline, and more seat width compared to regular economy. Delta Premium Select seats are usually configured 2-4-2. Delta also offers an elevated meal service for premium economy passengers.
Economy Class Seats & Amenities
Air France’s economy class offers comfortable seats with a pitch of approximately 31 inches and a recline of up to 118 degrees. Passengers can enjoy ergonomic cushions and adjustable headrests for added comfort. Air France also offers a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games on personal touchscreens. Expect a complimentary meal service on long-haul flights, accompanied by a selection of complimentary wines and beverages.
Delta’s economy class provides seats with a pitch of around 30-32 inches and a recline of up to 4 inches. Delta’s seats are known for their ergonomic design and padded headrests. Delta offers a better in-flight entertainment system with a vast library of content, including live TV, movies, and more, accessible via seatback screens or personal devices. Delta offers complimentary snacks, meals, and beverages on most international flights.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Both Delta and Air France are part of the SkyTeam alliance. That means they offer reciprocal benefits to elite members.
Air France’s frequent flyer program is called Flying Blue and Delta’s is called SkyMiles, both allow you to earn redeemable miles (that can be used towards a free flight in the future) and elite qualifying activity for most flights. Flying Blue is shared with KLM.
Flying Blue is more generous than SkyMiles in the sense that you can usually get better deals when redeeming for free flights, but SkyMiles is much easier to use, and you can use your miles for things like seat upgrades.
Air France’s lounges vary widely – some, like the La Première Lounge in Paris are amazing, while others (like the one in Boston) are frankly disappointing and crowded.
Delta’s Sky Club lounges are available for business class passengers and American Express credit card holders. While Delta Sky Clubs are usually very nice, they can also be very busy (especially Sky Clubs in Atlanta), so your experience may vary depending on the airport and time of day.
Both Air France and Delta are part of the SkyTeam alliance which means they offer similar experiences, but there are differences to be aware of if you’re trying to figure out the best option for your next hop across the pond. Many of the differences depend on your departure airport and the type of plane you’ll be flying. Whether you prioritize direct aisle access in business class or complimentary meals in economy, both airlines have something to offer.
Have you flown either airline? Let us know your experience in the comments!