Air France » A340-300 » User reviews
Seatplan rating 6.6
- Boarding 8.3
- Seat for sitting 7.3
- Seat for sleeping 3.7
- Service 3.7
- Entertainment 6.0
- Food & drink 4.0
- Punctuality 8.7
- Baggage 9.3
See what everyone's saying about Air France. Each month we're awarding prizes for the best reviews, so remember to review your flight when you return...
First impressions: I arrived at Delhi IGI Terminal 3 at 2245 for my 0035 flight AF225 to Paris CDG.
The new terminal just gets better each time I use it. I was able to use the business class check-in as a Premium Voyageur passenger because SKY PRIORITY was printed on my ticket, however, I hold a Flying Blue Gold Card. The only benefit with the Gold Card was lounge access which is not guaranteed at non-French, Dutch and other SkyTeam terminals.
I could not use the business security line or the business immigration line, though neither were busy for a change. In Paris, SKY PRIORITY is recognised and you can use the Access nr 1 security line.
The aircraft Air France is unusual in that it offers a three-class product on this flight – Voyageur (economy), Premium Voyageur (premium economy) and Affaires (business). There would be no room for First class, but I feel this semi-long flight deserves it.
The aircraft was an A340-300 with six rows of business, three rows of Premium Voyageur and 30 rows of economy.
Note that Premium Voyageur has to use the economy toilets, avoid the ones at the edge of the cabin, use the ones in the centre, they are much larger.
I sat in seat 16J in Premium Voyageur – The seat is a shell type, three rows of two-three-two and it was full, unlike business and economy.
I got the feeling that a number of families were using airmiles to get to Paris as they were all fighting over seat changes to be able to sit next to each other.
Being in the last row, I was next to the first row of economy and two babies that screamed a lot. Noise cancelling earphones did the trick and I wasn’t really bothered by them the whole flight.
The seat You are told you get 40% more room than in economy this is calculated by 20% more legroom and 20% more seat width. Still better than economy and as the seat is in a shell, you don’t bother the passenger in front. You can slide the seat down, a bit like a cradle efffect and then put your feet entirely under the seat in front. I chose to use the foot rest and had a kind of slouch position which was fairly comfortable.
Where to sit? With only three rows in the Premium Voyageur class on this flight, there wasn't much to choose between them, although personally I would always go for an aisle seat, followed by the window, avoiding the middle whenever possible as you inevitably end up with encroaching elbows on both sides when the flight is full. Also, I would suggest avoiding row 16 (or the last row as per the aircraft) in Premium Voyageur as mentioned previously with the baby seats.
The flight: Despite the promotion that as of July 1st, a completely different meal service would be offered to all Premium Voyageur cabin equipped aircraft, drinks were NOT served before take-off or as soon as the seatbelt signs were turned off, and the meal was exactly the same as economy - a meal consisting of a spicy chickpea roll, a pot of yoghurt, another roll, butter and jam, and a carton of water. I was expecting a hot dinner.
The economy drinks trolley passed us once and I was lucky to get a warm plastic bottle of white wine. The trolley wasn’t seen again. No other alcoholic drinks other than a beer was offered. No post-meal liquers were offered and no french chocolates as promised in the promotional material.
After the meal service was over, the lights were shut off immediately and most poeple slept. I managed a few hours (I’m used to business so struggled to get comfortable enough to sleep) and then watched some films on my iPad as the AF selection was poor.
Then came the hot meal for breakfast - quiche without pastry and burned potatoes, croissant, butter, jam, another roll, tea or coffee. I was glad I’d brought a protein bar as I was really hungry by then.
Arrival: We arrived so early - about 5.35am that there was no congestion and we were in the 2E terminal - ready for onward non-Schengen flights within the blink of an eye.
Verdict: Average to poor service, although I’m not sure the crew knew they needed to differentiate Voyageur from Premium Voyageur despite it being an 8h15m flight.
Departure was 30 minutes late. Compliment for the staff member at check-in. Boarding was good. On the overnight flight occupation was 30% at most. Seated 36J, which is a fine seat, if not for the crying and screaming children in row 32. Cabin staff performed their duties mechanically and with the well-known French arrogance. Quality of food (hot meal and breakfast) is between poor and bad.
Seat recline is large, but not a good seat for sleeping.
I was upgraded to Voyageur Premiere on my flight from JFK to Paris on May 14 - while booking I had looked at the price difference between the premier and regular coach fares and I am glad I did not waste my money.
The extra leg room and slightly wider seat were nice, but for some reason the seat was very uncomfortable. The "recline" primarily consisted of the seat bottom sliding forward, but the seat back itself did not go back that far. The leg rest was a joke - it did not extend out enough to even make use of it. My back hurt in the fully reclined position so I used my pillow as a lumbar support.
The service was no better than voyageur class, and in fact had declined since the last time I flew Air France. If I get upgraded again I won't turn it down, but I would never pay extra.