This fall, I bought a roundtrip ticket from New York City to Paris for a short trip to Europe. Why? Because I got a great deal on Air France Economy.
I didn’t know what to expect, having never flown the airline before. Here is my experience from pre-boarding to de-planing!
Trying to reach CDG in the midst of maintenance on the airport train tracks was an absolute mess. Let’s just say that when I arrived to the airport, it was clear hundreds of people had missed their flights on Air France due to the mix-up.
That made pre-boarding a little more difficult, but the gate agents had separate lines already set up for passengers to board more quickly. There was also security personnel checking passports, which I appreciated.
As with any transatlantic flight, pre-boarding took about 45 minutes to an hour. It was organized well, though.
Boarding was seamless once the jet bridge opened. This aircraft had two stories, so it was roomier than I’m used to. This made the boarding process even easier.
Gate agents waved passengers through from each line, and we scanned our own boarding passes as gate agents organized everyone. This was much more sensible than having a gate agent scan each passenger manually!
Service Before Takeoff: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Air France flight attendants were very friendly throughout the flight, and offered menus once we boarded.
They were also helpful as passengers searched for overhead bin space, which was easy considering how roomy this plane was.
Vegan Meal Service: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The vegan meal service was very good! I enjoyed the fruit, salad, double drink service, and the breakfast.
I even got a soy yogurt drink right before we landed at JFK and a vegan muffin, which was unique! Definitely in my top 5 dining experiences aboard a plane.
In-Flight Entertainment: ⭐⭐⭐
This is the only area of my experience where Air France fell flat. One downside to this plane being so spacious is that it was older.
So, the in-seat entertainment was not top-quality compared to other transatlantic flights I’ve been on. I noticed there were fewer recent movies available, but I did enjoy Rocketman!
I ended up reading a novel I’d purchased in Amsterdam for most of the flight. The flight was lovely, but I was surprised that Air France provided top-notch quality everywhere but the in-seat entertainment system.
Seat Comfort: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Because I chose not to pay for a seat, I was expecting a middle seat with no legroom. Nope!
I checked in online and downloaded my mobile boarding pass exactly 24 hours before departure. So, I got a window seat with not one, but two windows!
I also had so much legroom that I could fully stretch my legs, even with my personal item under the seat.
Seat comfort on Air France economy gets 5 stars from me.
Landing and De-Planing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The only hiccup we faced as we landed and de-planed was a delay on the tarmac. Once a jet bridge and gate became available for our plane, everything else came together.
I must admit, I had low expectations of immigration at JFK after my horribly long wait at Newark last summer. But, it was relatively painless.
I even booked a separate Delta itinerary to Atlanta to save money, and made my next flight with plenty of time to spare. Immigration took much less time than expected.
Total Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
From the roomy plane, seat comfort, delicious vegan food, and friendly staff, Air France economy gets 5 stars.
I highly recommend their service if you’re flying from the USA to Europe!
. . .
In many ways, my first experience on Air France exceeded my expectations. Sure, the morning of my flight was stressful with the re-routing of airport train riders, but it all worked out.
My flight was a relaxing way to unwind after such a hectic morning. Thanks, Air France! I’ll see you again soon.
Where will you fly on Air France?
*Cover photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz. Thanks, Miguel!
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