Ever since Air France introduced its new business class product, I have wanted to try it and with this Air France Business Class flight from Paris to Dubai, I got the chance.
Air France Business Class seats are the newer generation of the seats we all love from Cathay Pacific Business Class. It’s very private, features a solid lie-flat surface when fully reclined and does not make it hard to watch TV.
Charles de Gaulle Airport is one of the trickiest for connecting passengers to navigate because of its confusing layout and many extensions.
I came from my overnight stay at the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel and went through Priority Immigration and Security (regular immigration looked very crowded) and on my way to the gates, I was warned that the lounge near my gate would be closed.
So I headed to the Air France Business Class Lounge in 2E, which hasn’t been refurbished in some time and clearly shows some wear and tear.
It was very empty early this morning but filled quickly around 8AM. I thought that the breakfast items were good – certainly enough for a quick breakfast-to-go. I settled into the work area that had decent Internet but which had an annoyingly loud fan that even my noise-canceling headphones could barely make go away.
Lunch in the lounge was quite a feast, with fresh seafood and lots of healthy options. This was like an ‘unbundled American Express Centurion Lounge meal’ and I was surprised at how high quality the items were.
There seemed to be very few people in the boarding area and so I expected a rather empty flight. That was premature, though, as economy and premium economy would be nearly full, as there would be many connecting passengers boarding late and business class would be about half full.
The business class seat immediately feels familiar if you have spent a long flight on Cathay Pacific’s business class lately. There are a number of small improvements but it really gives off the same look and feel and it is a huge improvement compared to Air France’s old business class.
There was a pre-departure drink service and it took a while before everyone was settled in. I was jetlagged and was looking forward to some sleep.
I dozed off during the taxiing time and while it was an usually warm and sunny October day, I was sound asleep by the time we were taking off. I briefly woke up at lunch and simply expressed my desire to eat later, without specifying what I wanted. I reclined the seat to the fully lie-flat position and slept perfectly until we were just circling around Syria.
I used the flight attendant call button and the friendly but stern flight attendant came by quickly. I was hoping to eat my choice of entrées from the lunch menu but that’s where the conversation ended. No food would be available from lunch since it was now spoiled! Air France warms up all food irrespective of passenger wishes and leaves none refrigerated. Despite the cabin being less than half full, no meals are left – oh well.
There was a small dinner service that I had just missed prior and I was served this, plus the flight attendant found some extra bread rolls and cheese desserts for me.
While those were decent enough, the lunch hadn’t been great from what I’d heard from other passengers.
Of course, there is a decent wine collection and you can drink onboard Air France Business Class.
In sum, I was positively surprised by the Air France Business Class Lounge food. The brand new Air France Business Class seat met my high expectations and is an oasis of tranquility that allows me to sleep as much as I want when on a plane.
The food onboard was unnecessarily complicated and just not fresh. There is no reason to warm up all meals and willingly forget about sleeping passengers (just leave a few meals of each choice cooled). I think that’s a simple service request on a flight that isn’t even half full.
7.5 hours flying time was too short – I feel that given this lovely seat, I want to fly 14 hours on Air France next time. They go to Santiago de Chile now!