AirFrance vs Delta, travel agent vs self booking, to France

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<p>It appears to be the same flight which we could book either through Air France or Delta. Are we better off going directly through Air France or is it better to book with Delta?</p> <p>Any other advice about flying? We want to fly nonstop Newark to Charles de Gaulle, and then nonstop Charles de Gaulle to San Francisco. </p> <p>At first we wanted to upgrade to business class, but that is so pricey, and our miles have expired so we'd have to pay too much money. Any other ideas about upgrades?</p> <p>It's been a while since we've flown overseas, so any current advice on booking nonstop flights to Europe are very welcome. From the answers to our previous post it appears that it's pointless to try using a travel agent in order to get consolidator fares. Is there any other reason to use a travel agent? If we have to pay a (reasonable) fee but get something from it, that's fine. We don't need help with hotels or anything other than the flights.</p> <p>Thanks. We really appreciate the advice! </p>

Delta and Air France are code share so you are most likely on the same plane, same mileage clubs - doesn't matter who you book with. Assume prices are the same. If you have a Delta Mile club, then go with Delta but for no material reasons. Might as well keep it on the same name. However if you are really on an actual Air France plane and not an actual Delta plane, you will get better food and hot fresh baked bread on Air France.
But we also had very hard, uncomfortable seats that badly needed their cushioning replaced on AF - so maybe think about taking a travel seat pillow if you run into this.All planes in coach are packed and terrible, and if you can get a plane with at seat entertainment you can individually control, it makes the flight so much easier than having ones with central overhead screens.
From this point on the best thing is to find if they have any two row seats and grab one of them ASAP. 3 row seats are torture because even if you are on the aisle, you have two people crawling over you at any given time. And anything of the 4-5 row seats in the middle, be sure you are on the aisle there too because at least you can stand up when the middle seats have to get up and crawl past you again.
Coach is painful - don't think either Delta or AF have preferred coach with extra leg-room like United which is well worth the few hundred dollars more. Also getting the bulk head seats can help too with some inconvenience when it comes to having food served but at least you won't have anyone dropping their seat back into your face. But also no place under the seat in front of you for storage either. It is just a lose-lose almost all over coach seat choices, except if you can find those rare two-seat rows often way in the back of the plane.
Grin and bear it - it is only a few hours really and if you can dose off so much the better. This is the price we have to pay to get to wonderful Europe from the US.

Take a look at any one of the airline search engines (like, United/Continental is showing as non-stop, giving an alternative to Air France. I like Mobissimo as it also checks online consolidators. Once you have a base price identified, check with a travel agent. They can often do a bit better.
About upgrades -- some airlines offer day-of-departure upgrades. Try to check in a little earlier than suggested (2 hrs. for international flights) and ask. It might depend on the category of ticket you buy, but sometimes not. If the flight is overbooked in economy, they would rather sell an upgrade than upgrade someone for free to have extra seats in economy.
If you end up on Air France, make sure you have a few bottles of water with you. They seem to be very skimpy in providing it. On one of my Air France flights (I was in business) I saw the flight attendant filling up Evian bottles from the tap.