Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Air France Business Class: Paris to Madrid

Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:54 am

Here's the link to the photos.

INTRODUCTION
Terminal 2E and 2F are connected airside and you can easily make the transfer on foot. On this particular occasion the process is incredibly swift, given that I’m the only customer at the security checkpoint and the many staff at the four open security lanes look absolutely bored out of their wits.

CHECK-IN
I checked in for the flight using the Air France app, which works very well since the last release. As I already mentioned, my flight will be leaving from Terminal 2F, which is the Schengen terminal for all SkyTeam carriers. There are two piers to the terminal.

I really like the architecture of the building.

LOUNGE
There is an Air France Business Class lounge located in the tip of the pier and both piers have their own lounge. However, right now the lounge on the one pier is closed for refurbishment. The lounge that is opens appears to have undergone recent refurbishment. They didn’t do anything drastic, it’s more of a facelift really.

The lounge is nice and has many seating options along the huge curved windows that offer some excellent views of the activities on the apron.

The food options in the lounge are good, with a wide selection of salads, soup, sandwiches, cheese and sweet snacks.

Showers and toilets are available in the lounge.

BOARDING
Boarding for the flight is from gate F21, which is a bus gate. Which means I hit the jackpot and my ride to Madrid is parked on a remote stand. Oh happy day!

CABIN & SEAT
The cabin layout is your bog standard European Economy Class seat with the middle seat left empty. Even so, I think Air France have done a good job working on the appearance of the aircraft, which looks elegant and bright. There is a red pillow at every seat as I board the aircraft.

Seven of the twelve seats are occupied.

SERVICE & CREW
There is one gentleman working the Business Class cabin. I assume he must be the purser. His English and Spanish are both excellent and he goes about his duties conscientiously.

The service on the ground begins with the distribution of small bottles of water and packed refreshing towels which are lightly scented.

THE MEAL
There is no drinks service ahead of the meal being served. Despite the flight time of one hour and forty minutes, we are served the same type of meal that you also get on the much shorter sector from Paris to Zürich. But somehow, given my recent experience with Lufthansa from Munich to Malta, that really should not surprise me. Short-haul Business Class catering in Europe is definitely going to the dogs.

It’s not that there is something wrong with the meal and it tastes okay, I just think it’s a bit small. It’s also an odd combination of randomly selected items.

The meal consists of:
• a savoury cheese muffin, served warm
• a brioche filled with cream cheese and tomato paste
• two shrimps sautéed in sesame oil, served cold
• a berry maccaron
• one profiterole
• and some incredibly rich chocolate thing that clings to your teeth
• a box of chocolate covered wafers

To drink I have a Coke Zero and then coffee.

ARRIVAL
I think this is the first time I’ve landed in Madrid coming in from the north. The airport is fairly busy, with quite a few departures to Latin America. There are three LATAM aircraft parked at the gate and two Avianca Dreamliners taxiing out for departure.

In Madrid, Air France uses Terminal 2. Normally you can make your way into town using the metro. However, for the time being, the station and tunnels of the metro line that runs to the airport are out of service for maintenance. But a there is a replacement bus service in operation – the SE2 – that takes passengers to the next open metro station. Just stay on the bus until the final destination and then follow the other passenger.

CONCLUSION
Air France provided a solid service on both flights today. The crews were friendly and professional and the aircraft both looked as though they were in mint condition, with a tidy and modern cabin. Of course it helps that the B 787-9 from London to Paris still has that ‘new car’ smell to it and the crew were obviously very proud and eager to show off the product.

As I said, the meal was a bit of a let down. But I think that has less to do with Air France and more likely reflects a general trend among the European carriers.

The transfer in Paris was painless, highly efficient and certainly much more pleasant than connecting at that rat hole they call Frankfurt airport.
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 763
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Air France Business Class: Paris to Madrid

Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:28 am

Your post brought back so many memories of when I used to fly quite frequently to/within Europe on Air France. I had my first Madrid experience by the way of an AF A320 in the very first row in the <<l'espace Europe>> now, Business Class. The middle seat had a foldable table between the A & C seats (and D & F, naturally) while the armrests surrounding the middle seat could be moved closer toward the blocked middle seat. Air France used to advertise this as "the widest seat in Europe." But imagine the discomfort being in this seat after a connection from an AF LAX-CDG in l'espace premiere (First)!

Anyway, the food seems to have improved in the lounge while the meal selection doesn't appear as protein-rich as they once were. The presentation is nice as it was back then and I will always adore the architecture of CDG and it's "Halls." And I have to concur, FRA is not my favorite airport for a plethora of reasons.

Are the smoking "areas" still located within the lower level of the 2F departure gates? The escalators leading down to the Salon Air France Lounges were also escalators leading to a cafeteria and smoking area.

Overall, I really love Air France. I live in Los Angeles and flew AF to Tahiti in Business Class and enjoyed a lovely and pleasant crew with delicious food and wine and of course, cheese!

But thank you for your report. It's nice to see what's happening across the Atlantic as I'm mostly flying across the Pacific.

Is the Flying Blue Program still good? I no longer use mine as I'm with KE SKYPASS for a host of reasons.

Thanks again!
Economy Class. You vision of loveliness; Prince Charles called and he wants you to fill in for him next week.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: Air France Business Class: Paris to Madrid

Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:36 am

Hi AirAfreak

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I did the Air France leg from Tahiti to LAX too a few years back and I agree, the Pacific-based crews are all very friendly and quite charming. Having said that, I think generally speaking Air France is an airline that is a lot better than its reputation and the same goes for their hub at CDG.

Flying Blue is still good I must say, and the amount of commercial upgrades you get as a Platinum member is certainly much higher than anything I have ever experienced as a Senator on LH. Although a friend of mine thinks I'm just lucky...

Cheers,
William
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 763
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: Air France Business Class: Paris to Madrid

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:01 am

Thank you for your reply as it's good to know the benefits are worth the loyalty to Flying Blue. Only once on Christmas Day, did I receive a complimentary upgrade from Tempo to l'espace affaires due to my status as Fréquence Plus Bleu as the flight to JFK was oversold after missing my flight home to LAX, I was rebooked to JFK and onwards to LAX on DL...

A few years ago, I flew to Tahiti with AF, and was seated in Row 3. I think myself and the passenger next to me were the only single passengers in the Business cabin flying there alone along with the couples ... quite funny how we were "grouped" together. But anyway, I went to Tahiti to visit friends to celebrate my 35th birthday and had the best overall experience with AF sans a few F Cabin experiences LAXCDGLAX... so anyway, my dilemma is choosing my loyalty between FlyingBlue or SKYPASS (KE) as I want to be rewarded for my loyalty. Maybe AF/KL is the way to go?
Economy Class. You vision of loveliness; Prince Charles called and he wants you to fill in for him next week.

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