Air France

Economy

Only one experience to go on, and that was on an A340 flying from Paris to Lome in Togo. Asked to be seated beside a colleague, giving up my mandatory window seat - he was upgraded, and I was stuck in the middle of a cramped 2-4-2 for 6 hours. Thankfully it was only 6 hours, my legs and back were aching by the end of the flight. Seat pitch was very very tight, and the Airbus seats exhibited their usual narrowness with Caucasians parked in them.

Service was okay, cuisine was acceptable, but not very representative of what the French are famous for. Entertainment I don't remember much about - either because the seat back video didn't work, or there wasn't any. I read for most of the flight, seemed the best option.

Summary: I don't usually fly Air France, and don't plan to start going on this. Better than Lufthansa, but is that saying anything at all?

Business

Had a couple of experiences of international business, one in an A318, the other in one of their brand new 777-300ERs. The former was a "domestic" flight plane converted to fly internationally - so was a bit strange, with narrow seat, very tight legroom, but the seat between me and my neighbour left empty. And the catering and service was very "domestic" too, with minimum effort, as per the economy description above.

The 77W was a reconfigured version of their old offering, using seats not too dissimilar to the Lufthansa ones (with the same totally dumb idea of the headphones wired permanently into the seat). Comfort was okay, but when the seat is reclined flat, there is no room for feet in the foot well, as the gap is only about 10cms between the leg rest and the underside of the seat in front.

The catering was something else though. Not to mention service! The purser came around and introduced herself to everyone individually, thanked us for flying Air France, etc. Then the complimentary glass of champagne. And then a rather spectacular meal, one of the best I've had on any flight. Served well, with grace and style too. Hard to believe this was a national carrier.

The entertainment system was terrible though. Even though it was the same Panasonic system we see on SQ and other airlines, the programming choice was very limited, even for native French speakers. Not helped by a v poor set of Sennheiser noise reduction headphones (which didn't) hardwired into the seat. Or an in-seat power supply that tripped as soon as I plugged my Macbook Pro into it. Sigh.


Last updated by Philip Smith on Friday, 12-Mar-2010 04:48:44 AEST.