Review of Air France flight Guangzhou Paris in Business

Airline Air France
Flight AF107
Class Business
Seat 2L
Aircraft Boeing 777-200
Flight time 13:15
Take-off 25 Mar 16, 23:25
Arrival at 26 Mar 16, 05:40
AF   #37 out of 107 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 2838 reviews
BobbieD
By 2861
Published on 16th April 2016
Welcome to this report of my recent flight from Guangzhou, China to Paris CDG. This report is the long haul part of my journey back from Nanjing to Manchester. You can find the details and reports of the previous flights below:

outbound
MAN-AMS KL1094 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13562.html
AMS-CTU KL891 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13665.html
CTU-NKG 3U8993 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13689.html
return:
NKG-CAN CZ3844 - http://flight-report.com/en/report-13869.html
CAN-CDG AF107 - this report
CDG-MAN AF1668

My previous flight had arrived 2 hours late from Nanjing so now I had to do a bit of rushing round CAN despite the remianing 2 hours before departure. Having arrived in the domestic terminal I now had to make my way to the international terminal via a very long tunnel.

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At the end of the tunnel I was deposited landside (without seemingly much to prevent people going in the opposite direction). I couldn't seem to see any departure boards near this exit and I was looking round around a little lost until I came upon a help desk to direct me to the AF check-in desks. (My luggage had been checked-in all the way through to MAN, but for some reason I wasn't, so needed to check-in again).



There were no other passengers at the check-in desk. I walked up with my passport and destination. The lady typed some things into the computer, looking confused she turned to her colleague. They discussed whatever it was and left me waiting. After a while I asked if everything was ok and I was told to just wait. I have no idea what the problem was and got no explanation despite having to wait quite a while. Eventually I was given my final two boarding passes and was told that boarding was due to start in about 10-15 mins! It was still well over an hour before the departure time but I still had to pass through security and boarder control and I knew there wasn't much time to spare.

I headed off to the boarder. Luckily there was a special queue for business passengers but it was still moving very slowly. This was followed by another business passenger queue for the security check and x-ray which was also moving very slowly.

Finally I was through and there was still about 15 min left before the gate closed. I decided to quickly check-out the lounge. At the entrance I was told that my plane was boarded, I said yes I knew and I was going to be very quick - they didn't seem amused. Walking in, again I was asked if I was going to Paris and that my plane was boarding.

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I chose to grab a small plate of noodles that were on offer. I wasn't really expecting much at this time of the evening, but the noodles were edible enough.



I even managed to check out the toilets before leaving.

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Time to go to the gate.

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As I approached I realised the gate lead to a bus. I passed the economy passengers joining the skyproirity queue and got on the bus. It seemed strange to be heading to a 777 on a bus and not via airbridge.

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But arriving by bus gives a good chance to have a look at the aircraft. All the other passengers were clambering to get onboard having their tickets checked at the bottom of the steps. I just walked up the dedicated business steps.

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It seemed that I was the last business class passenger to board, there was no welcome onboard and nobody to show me to my seat - disappointing. I took my seat 2L and saw that this really was the old style cabin layout that I had been expecting despite AF flying this route with the new cabin.

As expected for a business seat there was plenty of leg room, I could only just reach the Ottoman seated upright.

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At the seat were the usual magazines and safety card.

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I was then offered a drink of champagne.

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And I put on the AF slippers.

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I didn't notice at this point which I should have done, but after we had already landed I realised that I was given no amenity kit on this flight. I'm not sure if it was just me that didn't get one possibly due to being the last business passenger to board or is other didn't get one either but this seems a bit of a short-coming.

It was time for departure.

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I now checked out the IFE. The screen seemed very small but there was a decent selection of films available. Getting to the films however, with the very clunky unresponsive controller was a pain.

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The menu was soon handed out.



I think you have to like beef on this flight as both the western and asian food selections were beef. I had pre-ordered my vegetarian meal so had no idea what I was to expect. Another glass of champagne was served. No nuts to go with it here.

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I decided to make myself more comfortable now we were up in the air. My seat controls differed from those of my neightbour, which was strange. Stranger still was that of all the buttons for me to press the only ones that did anything were the two big ones that moved the whole seat into the bed position and back again. It didn't seem possible to either just move the back of the seat or to have a foot rest like on my outbound KLM flight.

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Time for dinner.

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It seemed I wasn't to get a proper starter, just salad and bread. Everybody else was tucking into a proper starter.

Then the main course arrived.

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Some potatoes, green beans and some breaded mushrooms. I wasn't impressed. It seemed like they put the least effort possible into this meal. It didn't even have a sauce, so it as dry potatoes, beans and mushrooms.

Looking over I saw others had what looked like a really nice cheese board for dessert while I had the unimaginative fruit selection. After being in China for nearly 2 weeks I REALLY wanted cheese. I asked if they had any spare, luckily the flight attendant was very friendly and helpful and I managed to get one.

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I had the fruit too, the kiwi was quite possibly the hardest one I've ever been served.

After dinner I watched a film and then it was time to sleep. I lowered the bed to the flattest position (not quite completely flat) and tried to sleep.

As the flight was long there was plenty of opportunity to have a sleep although I find it very difficult to do and only close my eyes and try.

After enough of the attempted sleep I began to watch another film around an hour before breakfast was served. When it came I was shocked again.

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Seriously, this is a breakfast?? Who has broccoli, celery, baby corn and courgettes for breakfast? Luckily there was a criosant and bread to go with it (followed by more fruit, why can't I have a yoghurt like everybody else??)

We landed on time very early in the morning at a very foggy CDG airport.

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I managed a couple of cabin shots before leaving the plane, showing the dated cabin layout.

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And here's our 777 again in CDG.

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See more

Verdict

Air France

3.8/10
Cabin3.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment3.0
meal/catering2.0

China Southern Business Class Lounge

6.5/10
Comfort7.0
meal/catering7.0
Entertainment5.0
Services7.0

Guangzhou - CAN

5.2/10
Efficiency3.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness8.0

Paris - CDG

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

This flight was a shocker.

I had very little time in Guangzhou to look around as the check-in and security process were really slow. The staff in the lounge weren't particularly friendly but at least there was still a good selection of food out despite having no time to sample it.

The Air France crew were generally pleasant and helpful but food on board was really bad! They really can't be bothered with vegetarians on AF. I ended up a very dated cabin, I would be really annoyed with a middle seat in business class. The IFE was old, the screen small and the controls really unresponsive.

Would I recommend AF buisness after this fight? No.

Related

9 Comments

  • Comment 162135 by
    Scott05 508 Comments

    Thank you for this very complete report !
    I appreciated your dedication as to report the lounge and arrive late for boarding ;)
    Not much to say about the cabin. It is outdated but it is still the standard AF business product. I do remember that Guangzhou had the new cabin at some point, maybe they thought Shanghai was a more logical destination for their top premium product...

    As for the catering, I have seen a lot of reports on this website and this is by far the most shoking business class meal I've seen. This is almost insulting and it screams We have absolutely no time or money to loose on vegetarian options. It's crazy when you think that on some airlines in ECONOMY you can choose over a dozen special meals without paying an extra fee (BA does it).

    Now is it because the flight leaves from China and the airport catering does not provide with other veggie option ? Maybe from India you would have gotten a better meal, but still, this isn't even economy class worthy.

    Only good point is the crew... Too bad they forgot the amenity kit (because it doesn't matter if only you or if all the other passengers didn't get it, it's part of the product, and people who pay expect these extras).

    Anyway, I'm glad I eat! ;)

      0
    • Comment 345874 by
      Scott05 508 Comments

      i'm glad I eat meat :P

        0
    • Comment 345875 by
      BobbieD AUTHOR 93 Comments

      Thanks for you comment.

      Yes my dedication to free lounge food is first class :P

      I'm now trying to think of a worse meal I've had on a flight. I really can't, this must certainly be the worse I've had. It could well be due to departure from China but as you say even in economy I'd expect better.

      Thankfully the crew was friendly and helpful, perhaps I should have said something at the time. Maybe they would pass the comments on.

      It is a shame about the amenity kit, as you say it is something you normally expect to get.

        0
  • Comment 162138 by
    hometoyyz 206 Comments

    Thanks for this report!

    My goodness, that is a shameful display of catering, especially for business. Just terrible. I'm not one to make a scene, but I think I'd be complaining about that, especially the breakfast.

    I wonder if they'd have let you swap out the special order vegetarian meal for the risotto on the menu? That at least looks (based on the description) like it had the potential to be good.

    Ironically, I know some Air Canada frequent fliers who will special order the Asian vegetarian (typically Indian-style) or Oriental vegetarian (typically Chinese-style) because they prefer it to the mainstream meal choices.

    I'm not sure why, but the different seat controls between you and your neighbor strikes me as funny.

      0
    • Comment 345889 by
      BobbieD AUTHOR 93 Comments

      Thanks for reading.

      The food really was a disgrace, I don't think they could have made something less appealing if they tried. It might be worth complaining, if this is the standard that they think is acceptable, then someone really needs to tells them it's not so they can try harder next time.

      It's a good point about the Asian/Oriental meal. It might be worth trying out to see how it compares.

      I'm not sure what was going on with the seat controls. Maybe one of them got replaced at some point. But if so it smacks again of can't be bothered

        0
  • Comment 162266 by
    aquafortain 1 Comments

    Thanks for the report!
    I feel so sorry for you! I don't know what to say then shame on AF.
    As suggested above, you should write a formal complaint and attach this FR link.

      0
  • Comment 162273 by
    KL651 3427 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    Wow what a mediocre experience!
    China really is a bad destination for vegetarians it seems as AF and other European airlines always offer a veggie option like pasta in Y and J.
    But this special meals seem to be more for vegan...

    The lack of amenity kit is pretty shocking too.

      0
    • Comment 345980 by
      BobbieD AUTHOR 93 Comments

      Yes mediocre all round. It's true, China is pretty difficult for veggies, but you would expect that a large European airline like AF would have plenty of experience with this. Even pasta would've been better than this zero-effort excuse for a meal. I do sometimes wonder if they just make the special meal the same for all options, but that begs the question why have options at all

        0

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