When in doubt --- fly first class, or use a cane!!
Our journey began on May 26, 2009. All six of us were fortunate enough to fly to and from Istanbul using award tickets booked 9 months before the trip. Susan, Harold, Debbie and Lisa left Los Angeles in the morning and flew via Miami and London to Istanbul on American Airlines. Because Susan is using a cane after knee surgery, they were afforded personal service by American Airlines and were able to get to their connections, and through immigration etc. with personal assistance. Their long trip was made much easier with that help.
Brian and Adrienne left in the afternoon via Paris (and an 8 hour layover) on Air France - no coach class for them! Air France offered them two FIRST CLASS seats (aka mini-apartments) for the "bargain" price of 100,000 (only 40,000 more than Coach). Now -- who wouldn't grab that opportunity? Air France treats its 1st class passengers like royalty in every way. I cannot say enough nice things about the service.
Arriving in Paris at 11:00 a.m., Brian and Adi enjoyed use of the Premiere Lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport. Wow -- now that is comfort at its very best. Showers, decent meals, access to duty-free shopping, free wi-fi, SLEEP! In the meantime, their travel partners were in the air and heading for a 4:15 p.m. arrival in Istanbul. Adi and Bri got there around 11:30 p.m. (yawn!).
Checked in at the hotel and off to bed at 2 a.m. after unpacking.
Days one and two - fait accomplis!