Flying Business class in general comes with various amenities and services that boost any travel journey. Among all airline companies, Air France has created a name in the industry for its Business Class services. We flew Business with Air France several times on long-haul flights and decided to write in detail about our experience. This is an independently written article, and we paid full price for every Business class ticket we flew with Air France.
The experience of flying Business with Air France can vary depending on the travel route, airports, and aircraft type. Specific services offered can vary, and some legs of the flights might be provided by a different company in partnership with Air France. If you are looking to fly specifically Air France, consider checking the flight details.
Besides the facilities and benefits offered when flying Business, Air France is also known for its attentive and professional service in Business lounges and in-flight. Let’s take each individual aspect of the Business experience and talk about it.
Airports, especially the airport you are departing from, play an important role in your experience. Unless you arrive at the departing airport right before the boarding starts, this is the airport where you will spend the most time. Upon arrival, travelers just pick up their luggage and get out of the airport. CDG airport used to have arrival lounges as well, but they have been permanently closed. All Business lounges are located in the departures terminal, and, without a departing ticket, you will not have access to them upon arrival.
We personally prefer being at the airport earlier and avoid having to run to catch a flight. Travel is supposed to be relaxing, and enjoying your time at the airport is part of the experience. When flying Business, this experience is taken to the next level.
From our experience, the best Business lounges of each airline are in the largest airport in the company’s home country. For Air France, that means Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris, France. However, you will find great Business lounges in other airports as well. Air France Business lounges from Metropolitan France and Overseas France are designed by and for Air France specifically. In other countries the airline either is using a partner’s Business lounges, has a dedicated Business lounge in partnership with another airline (Air France - KLM Business Lounge), or has created its own Air France Business lounge.
No matter the airport you are in, Business Class passengers usually benefit from priority check-in, boarding, and luggage handling. However, the quality of these priority services is highly dependent on the airport’s staff. In larger airports in developed countries, priority services are highly respected and provided.
Business Lounge Access
Since we are talking about Air France Business class, the best Business lounges to talk about are the ones located at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. There are multiple Business lounges, and there will be a specific lounge serving the terminal you are flying from. Terminals 2F and 2G are used for Schengen flights, meaning flights inside Europe. Terminal 2E, Hall K, Hall M, and Hall L are used for flights departing to non-Schengen destinations.
The CDG Business lounges are continuously serviced in every single aspect. You will always find refreshments, a self-service hot and cold meals counter, snacks, a dining area, a work area, a relaxation area, a kid’s area, free Clarins spa treatments, and showers. Each lounge has a map so that you can easily find the area that you are looking for.
We flew with Air France from Paris CDG to the USA twice, and each time our flight departed from Terminal 2E, Hall M. This is the only Business lounge that we visited on the CDG airport. You can only visit the Business lounge in the specific terminal and hall from where your flight departs. It is impossible to reach the other terminals and halls because your boarding pass will not get you past the security checks. Therefore, in this article, we are only talking about our experiences in Terminal 2E, Hall M Business lounge.
Foods & Drinks
The food choices are plentiful, with high-quality ingredients that will delight almost any palette. Since you are in France, you can treat yourself to great wines and cheese platters. They don’t fall short on desert options either.
The food buffets never run short, and the attentive personnel always make sure that there is plenty of everything and that they all look good. Cleaning is also super fast and carefully done. Stefan once accidentally dropped an empty cup of coffee which broke into many several pieces. In the next second someone was right next to him to clean up the mess Stefan did, without being upset or angry for his lack of attention, on the contrary.
If you fancy a shower before boarding the plane, then you can have a moment all to yourself in the Business lounge showers. The showers are cleaned after each use, and they are truly sparklingly clean. In the shower room, you will have absolutely all the amenities that you may need.
You can even opt for a free SPA treatment in the Business Lounges of Air France. Together with Clarins, they offer professional facial treatments. However, spa treatments may not be available 24/7. Don’t forget to check out the schedule before booking your ticket if you wish to enjoy this type of relaxing experience.
In our opinion, Business class tickets make a huge difference when traveling on long-haul flights. While there are plenty of advantages to short and medium-haul flights, it’s the long-haul flight that’s worth every cent.
The ratio between the number of stewards that service the Business class and the Business class passengers is considerably greater than in the economy class. Therefore, Business travelers are better taken care of from the moment they first step on board. Besides the quick response and service time the Business class travelers get, the stewards in the Business class have more experience, and are better trained to make you feel good during the entire flight.
On most Air France long-haul aircraft, Business class boarding is done through a special door, allowing the Business travelers to board faster, avoid lines, and enjoy peace and quiet while all the other passengers board the plane. Once on board, the crew will be quick to offer you some drinks, perhaps some French champagne if you wish. The champagne goes well with some warm, crunchy nuts. You’ll not even notice how fast time flies when you are feeling good.
Comfort & full-flat beds
On short and medium-haul flights, most Air France aircraft will still have 3 seats per row on each side. The middle seat is empty to ensure more comfort, and the feet space is also greater than what you get in economy class. However, 2 larger and more comfortable seats would be preferable to 3 seats with an empty one in the middle.
On long-haul flights, Air France Business cabins are specially made to ensure more space, privacy, and comfort. Each seat can adjust into a full-flat bed and you will never be bothered by the passenger in front of you adjusting his or her seat. The bed is almost 2 meters (6'5’’) long, you can sleep in any position thanks to the extra space, and it comes with the necessary accessories for sound sleep: a soft pillow and a comforter. The seats are divided by a separating wall that can be lowered in case you are flying with a friend or family member.
I’m not sure if the in-flight entertainment program for long-haul flights is different in Business class compared to economy, but in Business you get a larger high-definition touchscreen, and better over-ear headphones.
Air France Business cabins may have differences between them depending on the aircraft model. Some Air France Business seats will also have a privacy door that you can shut and not be disturbed by the people walking in the corridor. This way your seat becomes your own private space, You get your own personal storage space, universal power socket and USB ports, noise-reducing headphones, desk, dining table, bed, big screen, and others.
For increased comfort, Air France Business passengers will receive an elegant amenities kit including cosmetic products, a sleeping mask, ear plugs, warm socks, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. Although economy passengers will receive an amenities kit as well, the Business class kit comes with higher-quality products.
Air France takes dining in the Business class to a whole nother level. The menus are conceived by Michelin-starred chefs and are paired with a prestigious wine list created by Paolo Basso, World’s Best Sommelier in 2013.
Dining in the air in the Business class of Air France is a delicious gourmet experience. Depending on the type of flight you have (daytime or overnight), the meals are offered as a 5-course gourmet meal, or combined into a single tray to optimise your sleep time. Besides that, Business class passengers have access to a self-service buffet at any time.
The weird colors in the last photo above are due to the dimmed lighting in the cabin because not all passengers were awake to enjoy that meal.
The Business class dining table is generous, and the tableware was specially designed by renowned French designer Jean-Marie Massaud. The materials used are high-quality Guy Degrenne porcelains and Christofle steel cutlery. Everything is carefully set over an immaculate table linen.
Thanks to faster deboarding, you will be able to clear all controls, security checks, and customs before the entire airplane starts to queue up. Once you reach you’re done, the Business class luggage is the first to arrive on the belt.
No flight in the world can completely offset jet lag, but Business class travelers will certainly be more rested and up to explore their arrival destination.
You might be wondering how the Business class services offered by other airlines are compared to Air France. First of all, I think this is a matter of personal preferences. Secondly, some airlines take things even further, offering in-flight pajamas, in-flight mattresses, premium amenities kits, and larger cabin seats with massage functions. There are also Business lounges where you can order a-la-carte food besides the self-service buffet. Of course, there are airline companies that offer less than Air France as well. If you would love to hear out about our Business class experiences with other airlines let us know.
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