Review of Air France flight Stockholm Paris in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF1263
Class Economy
Seat 16F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 2:40
Take-off 12 Jul 16, 13:10
Arrival at 12 Jul 16, 15:50
AF   #40 out of 111 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 2897 reviews
Rl 777
By 450
Published on 21st July 2016
Hello everyone and welcome to another series of flight reports! This series will consist of four flight reports and covers my family trip to Portugal in July 2016. The first part will cover the flight from Stockholm ARN to Paris CDG.




Background:
My family usually travels somewhere outside of Sweden during the summer months. We had nothing planned for Summer 2016 but my mom repeatedly told me she had to go somewhere outside of Sweden. Finally things materialized and we booked a trip to Portugal from July 12 to July 19. The fares and timings weren't excellent as we were late to the booking party but my family would get away from Sweden and that was what mattered for my family. Air France was the cheapest option for flights from Stockholm to Lisbon around these dates, Air France had to be choice. This would be my first time flying with Air France, it's always interesting for me to try out a new airline and this was no exception. The flight from Stockholm was scheduled to depart at 13:10 local time, my parents were glad it wasn't an early-morning departure. Three out of four flights were scheduled to be operated by A320s and the last one by an A321.




NOTE: Some pictures are taken with my phone and some with my camera.





Part 1 - ARN-CDG AF1263, Air France, Airbus A320-200, F-GKXR - You are here
Part 2 - CDG-LIS AF1124, Air France, Airbus A320-200, F-GKXV - Here!
Part 3 - LIS-CDG AF1225, Air France, Airbus A320-200, F-GKXT - Here!
Part 4 - CDG-ARN AF1062, Air France, Airbus A321-200, F-GTAT - Here!




12 July 2016, date of departure:

I woke up before 10 AM in order to purchase a powerbank from a nearby shopping mall that opens at 10:00 AM, I would then come home quickly and we'd leave our home at 11:00. My dad wanted to arrive at the airport at 11:30 AM for our 13:10 (1:30 PM) departure. I purchased the powerbank, made it home and had a light breakfast consisting of a sandwich, drinkable quark (no added sugar) and a glass of orange juice. I'm not sure about other countries but in Sweden 'Juice' has to consist of 100% real fruit juice. If it has any added sugar or if it isn't 100% juice it can't be sold as 'juice' in Sweden. I never had the iced espresso shown on the pic, I was supposed to drink it but changed my mind after I snapped the pic.
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We did our final checks and were leady to leave the house at 11:02 AM.
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Putting our hand luggage in the trunk of my dad's primary car.
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Driving to the E4 motorway.
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Entering the E4 motorway towards Arlanda Airport with a 'Flygbussarna' (Airport Coaches) Volvo 9700 to the left. It's missing an 'a' on the back.


Passing InfraCity, a business park and shopping centre in the Northern parts of Stockholm.
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Upplands Väsby, the motorway shrinks from a 3-lane motorway to a 2-lane motorway from this area in one of the Northern parts of Stockholm County.


Taking the exit to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.
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The Jumbohostel.
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My dad had booked parking at P21, it's an indoor multi-storey car park close to Terminal 2. Air France operate their flights from Terminal 2 together with KLM, Finnair, British Airways, Vueling, Iberia, Delta, AtlasGlobal etc. Lufthansa, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, SAS international, DY international and many other airlines use Terminal 5.
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The signs weren't the best, my dad accidentally passed the P21 car park which meant we had to do a loop around ARN in order to get back.


Now we took the right exit.
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Trying to find an empty parking spot.
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We finally found a spot and here's dad parking his Audi A4 at 11:37 AM local time.
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Walking to Terminal 2.
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Terminal 2 landside, the BA check-in desks are visible to the right.
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FIDS at T2, departures from Terminal 2 are shown here.
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Security control.
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After arriving at the terminal my sister said she was thirsty while me and my mother talked about sunscreen for the Portugal trip. Walking to SkyCity seemed logical to satisfy our needs, one thing I didn't know was that my mom already had sunscreen with her…
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On the way I realized there were shops in Terminal 2 and mom told me she had sunscreen with her. We changed course and went back to Terminal 2. Totally my fault.
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We went through security after my sister finished drinking her overpriced drink. Going through security was a breeze, there was literally no other passenger in front of me.
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This is becoming common almost anywhere today, duty-free shopping once you clear security.
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Our flight to Paris was assigned at gate 63, a KLM flight back to Amsterdam would depart from gate 64.


The area around Gate 63 filled up and I quickly realized this Terminal wasn't designed for this amount of passengers. Lines formed for the KLM flight and there would barely be any space left for the AF flight.
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Anyway, changing the subject with spotting shots from ARN:

Nextjet Saab 340B and Amapola Flyg Fokker 50.
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SAS CRJ-900, operated by Cityjet.
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SAS B737-600.
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Norwegian B737-800
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DHL Boeing 757-200(SF)
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British Airways A320 pushback as BA777 to LHR.
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Hi Fly A330-200, operating for Norwegian.
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And here's my ride from Paris! An Airbus A320 delivered in February 2009.







Flight information:

Airline: Air France

Flight no & route: AF1263 ARN-CDG

Scheduled time of departure (actual): 13:10 (13:37), 1:10 PM (1:37 PM) UTC +2

Scheduled time of arrival (actual) : 15:50 (15:52), 3:50 PM (3:52 PM) UTC +2

Scheduled flight time (actual): 2h 40 min (2h 15 min)


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Back to the subject about too many passengers by the gate, the area got completely jam-packed after the AF flight arrived. Swedavia (airport operator) definitely needs to do something with Terminal 2, the area is way too small to accomodate all passengers.
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Meanwhile there was an announcement for our flight to Paris. 'Ladies and gentlemen, the flight to Paris is completely fully booked'. That explains the mess at the gate, a full flight down to Paris and that wasn't all. The agent told us everyones hand luggage wouldn't fit in the plane's overhead bins and offered to check-in some passengers' bags at no additional cost.
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Boarding finally commenced at approximately 13:00. After reading Marathon's great reports of this route it was finally time to try it out for myself.
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A passport and BP check was done before walking to the aircraft.
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Walking down the jetbridge.
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There were two FAs greeting passengers upon entering the aircraft. They greeted me in both French and English.
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I was surprised to see this bird equipped with the new medium-haul cabin. The cabin had a nice look and was very clean.
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Not the best seat pitch but got the job done on this leg. The seat itself was pretty comfortable.
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Suddenly it started pouring at Arlanda.
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Seatback.
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Lighting.
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I like the colour AF used for its medium-haul cabin.
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Coat hook.
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Cup holder.
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Finnair A321 with Sharklets getting ready to fly to Helsinki.
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Closed overhead bins, these bins were larger than your conventional A320 overhead bins.
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Pushback took place at 13:29 (1:29 PM) local time.
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Safety announcements were made in French and English. Air France also played a pre-recorded announcement in Swedish.
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Finnair A321, British Airways A319, AtlasGlobal A320 and an Ethiopian B788.


Taxiing to the active runway for departures, it would be runway 19R today.
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Terminal 4, the domestic terminal used by SK and DY.
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Two DY 737s and two DY Dreamliners at Terminal 5.
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SK 333.
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TG 77W in the distance and….. FI 752 in the Hekla Aurora livery! Unfortunately the weather wasn't the most spotter-friendly weather.
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Continuing our taxi to runway 19R.
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Rolling down runway 19R.
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Climbing out of the horrible weather at ARN.


Breaking through the cloud layers.
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Making progress.
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Martin1405 tracked my flight on flightradar 24, all FR24 screenshots on this series were provided by Martin1405. Thank you! I realize this screenshot is full-sized, I tried to fix that but it didn't work.
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The smaller but foldable safety card of this A320, the safety card was located in a separate smaller pocket rather than in the standard seat pocket.


The Air France magazine, found in the standard seat pocket.
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AF and KL's European network with HOP's network as well.
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A full flight to Paris today.
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We finally left the rainy clouds and soon reached our cruising altitude.
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Here's the powerbank I purchased at 10:00 AM, it's advertised as a 16000mAh power bank. It's huge and heavy but only cost me 150 SEK (EUR 16, USD 17,5). My phone's battery is absolutely horrible, it drains out incredibly fast and that's the reason for the purchase of this powerbank.
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I put the powerbank in the main seat pocket with my phone in the smaller seat pocket where the safety card is located. The smaller pocket did me good on these flights with Air France!
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The Air France Madame Magazine.
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Cabin shot, taken at the back of the plane. It may seem like there are a few empty seats but some of the passengers were either wandering around or occupying in the lavatories. We also had many children onboard.
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The lavatory in this Air France A320


Service conducted approximately an hour after takeoff.
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Tray table.


Here's the offering for this flight from Stockholm to Paris. A tiny plastic tray with bread, butter, strawberry jam and a chocolate cake with coconut pieces on top. A hot sandwich with zucchini, pesto, potatoes and mozzarella inside was also offered. A drink and coffee was served as well, I had OJ and coffee to wash it all down. The hot sandwich was pretty good, the filling was a bit odd for me but it was hot and better than many sandwiches I've had with competing airlines on similar sectors. The bread was perfectly fine, I've had the same before. The chocolate cake was good, it was tasty and wasn't too sweet for my liking. In general it was a good offering by AF and better than most of the competition. Be advised that the flight from Stockholm to Paris is scheduled at 2h 40 min, AF doesn't have the same offering for normal intra-European flights.
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A wet towel (not warm) was found under the items of the small plastic tray.
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I finished most of it (except for 3/4 of the strawberry jam). The flight attendants on this flight were alright, most of them offered a few smiles here and there while they did their job pretty efficiently.
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A very bad picture of the AF fleet, as of 1 July 2016.


Soon we initiated our descent for Paris CDG, descending through the clouds at 15:38 local time.


Oissery, a commune 40 km from central Paris.
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Oissery and Saint-Pathus, Saint-Pathus is another commune.


Saint-Mard.
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Dammartin-en-Göele to the left of the Route nationale 2 (N2)


Slowing down on runway 27L.
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Vacating runway 27L.
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We have an Air France B772 in the distance with what seems like an AF A380 behind it.
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Taxiing to terminal 2F at Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle.
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A really nice treat for my eyes. Armée de l'Air (French Air Force) Airbus A340-200.


Continuing our taxi to 2F.
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An Air France Concorde on display.
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Easyjet A320.
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Finnair A320 with an Austrian A321 in the distance.


Action at Terminal 2F.
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A Sheraton hotel is visible.
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We came to a final stop at 15:57 local time.
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Air France A321.
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We had a connection of five hours before flight AF1124 to Lisbon was scheduled to depart, my parents thought it would be a good idea to leave the airport for a while. We immediately went to the arrivals hall after we left the aircraft.


Entering the baggage hall, my family decided to check out the Aéroville shopping mall located close to the airport. We didn't want to take any risks by going to central Paris.
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Waiting for a taxi. We later learned there was a free shuttle bus service between CDG and Aéroville…
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A Mercedes-Benz E-class would take us to Aéroville today.


Aéroville visible.
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Arrived at Aéroville, my dad talked a lot about how he had made his first loss on the trip after he found out about the free shuttle bus service between CDG and Aéroville. We went back to the airport with one of those buses, I guess you learn from your mistakes.
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Inside Aéroville, my sister and mom managed to do some shopping here before continuing to Lisbon. We spent a few hours here before going back to CDG. I guess that's it for this flight report, thank you for taking your time to read it :).
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See more

Verdict

Air France

7.1/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment5.0
meal/catering8.0

Stockholm - ARN

7.6/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Paris - CDG

8.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

This is my first flight with Air France and I'm not disappointed at all. A pretty good intra-European flight with a better service offering than many of its competitors to/from Stockholm-Arlanda. That's my first impression but I'll tell you more later, I still have three more flights with AF to report ;).

Cabin - New and clean cabin, seats were comfortable and didn't look too cheap. Seat pitch wasn't the best but okay for a flight of this length.

Cabin Crew - Standard crew that offered a few smiles here and there, they did their job pretty efficiently.

Entertainment - View from the window.

Meal/Catering - A good offering with a hot sandwich, dessert, bread and the usual drink and coffee service. Better than most of the competition from Stockholm.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 358972 by
    marathon 7453 Comments

    I like the notion of drinking a quark :)
    In France, a "pur jus de fruit" has no sugar added, and they are clearly labeled as such.

    I should consider buying such a power bank; my cell phone's battery is a disaster too.

    Flying AF from ARN is a familiar experience to me, but I never get to take this flight on a business trip, so the lighting conditions are very different. Too bad the weather deteriorated before your were airborne.

    I did not check my reports, but I think I already had exactly the same meal on this route.

    The French Air Force has two identical A340s (mostly for flying troops to/from trouble spots in Africa); they are always parked at the same location near Terminal 1 when not used.

    I did not know either about a shuttle to Aéroville - they could improve the information about that.

    Thanks for your appreciative comment on my reports, yours is equally valuable !

      0
    • Comment 359039 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 672 Comments

      "I like the notion of drinking a quark :)"
      - Haha, I didn't have much choice as there wasn't too many breakfast items available at home.

      "In France, a "pur jus de fruit" has no sugar added, and they are clearly labeled as such."
      - Thank you for the information! Now I'll know what kind of OJ to choose if I visit France again :).

      "I should consider buying such a power bank; my cell phone's battery is a disaster too."
      - It certainly helped and I'd recommend purchasing one if it's not an inconvenience carrying it with you, I was able to land at Lisbon with a fully charged phone thanks to the powerbank.

      You usually fly on AF1062/AF1063 IIRC, I was on AF1062 on the way back to Stockholm. The meal offering on your flight was very similar, same cake and sandwich but a yogurt instead of bread.

      "The French Air Force has two identical A340s (mostly for flying troops to/from trouble spots in Africa); they are always parked at the same location near Terminal 1 when not used."
      - Thank you very much for the information, appreciated!

      Thank you! I appreciate it and same goes for your comments :).

      Have a good one, see you!

        0
    • Comment 359045 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 672 Comments

      I forgot to say, thank you very much for your nice comment :)

        0
  • Comment 358978 by
    martin1405 33 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this amazing FR! :)

    "Driving to the E4 motorway."
    - I can't wait to be on the E4 in less than 10 days!

    Great pics, especially the spotting pics and Finnair A321 with Sharklets! Love it!

    No problem for the screenshots! You're welcome! I love tracking your flights, haha.

    "The area got completely jam-packed after the AF flight arrived"
    - Hope it won't be like that when I arrive at T5 and they really have to do something with T2...

    The new medium-haul cabin doesn’t look bad. I like the other cabins, too.

    Catering looks pretty good and I am glad you liked it!!

    Thanks again! Have a good one! See you! :)

      0
    • Comment 359048 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 672 Comments

      Thank you very much for your nice comment :).

      I'm very curious about your first impressions after arriving in Stockholm!

      Thank you! I just wish the weather was better while taking those pics haha.

      Thank you once again, I appreciate it a lot :).

      A lot of airlines have moved to T2, more airlines use T2 today but the terminal isn't getting bigger. I don't think it'll be packed at T5 when you arrive due to the fact that many airlines have moved to T2.

      Catering was indeed good and better than most of the competition to/from ARN.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Have a good one, see you (in 10 days)!

        0
  • Comment 358981 by
    martin1405 33 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this amazing FR! :)

    "Driving to the E4 motorway."
    - Can't wait to be on the E4 in less than 10 days!

    Great pics, especially the spotting shots and Finnair Airbus A321 with Sharklets! Love it!

    No problem for the Screenshots! You're welcome! I love tracking your flights, haha.

    "The area got completely jam-packed after the AF flight arrived"
    - Hope it won't be like that when I arrive at T5. They really have to do something with T2....

    The new medium-haul cabin doesn’t look bad. I like the other cabins, too!

    Catering looks pretty good and I am glad you liked it!

    Thanks again! Have a good one! See you! :)

      0
  • Comment 359134 by
    NGO85 1581 Comments

    LIS is a good place to visit, and must seem very cheap compared to ARN^^

    “Going through security was a breeze, there was literally no other passenger in front of me. ”
    - My experience at ARN was the same to where there is very little traffic towards the gates, which is surprising given the size of the airport’s operations.

    “DHL Boeing 757-200(SF)”
    - With engine cowlings open!

    “the area is way too small to accomodate all passengers.”
    - This is a growing problem at most airports since the airports rather use the pace for shops (making $$$) than caring about passenger comfort. The less seats, the more people are inclined to walk around and spend money.

    “I like the colour AF used for its medium-haul cabin.”
    - The red accents under the overhead bins is a nice touch and breaks up the monotony.

    “The lavatory in this Air France A320”
    - That’s a really small sink…

    “A very bad picture of the AF fleet, as of 1 July 2016.”
    - So sad without the B747s in it…

    The catering is quite good for Y, much better than what LH offers on similar length fights. A hot sandwich is much nicer than normal cold sandwich often served (especially the cucumber one on LH).

    Crews are always a little hit or miss when doing a return flight. If this crew did CDG-ARN, they were probably ending their shift after the return flight.

    I’m surprised DY doesn’t offer any seasonal routes to OPO or LIS. How much more was the direct TP flight?

    Surprisingly, your spotting at ARN was more exotic than at CDG :)

    Thanks for sharing this FR with us, see you for the next one!

      0
    • Comment 359179 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 672 Comments

      Thank you for your nice comment :).

      “My experience at ARN was the same to where there is very little traffic towards the gates, which is surprising given the size of the airport’s operations.“
      - Once the line for security extended until the check-in desks and now it was non-existent. It's different every time.

      “With engine cowlings open!“
      - Didn't notice that, thank you!

      “This is a growing problem at most airports since the airports rather use the pace for shops (making $$$) than caring about passenger comfort. The less seats, the more people are inclined to walk around and spend money.“
      - That's true, good point!

      “That’s a really small sink…“
      - I didn't notice that either haha, I only went to the lavatory for photography reasons.

      “So sad without the B747s in it…“
      - Definitely :(.

      “The catering is quite good for Y, much better than what LH offers on similar length fights. A hot sandwich is much nicer than normal cold sandwich often served (especially the cucumber one on LH).“
      - I absolutely agree with you on this one, a hot sandwich plus two additional items is a much more competitive offering compared with LH from ARN.

      “I’m surprised DY doesn’t offer any seasonal routes to OPO or LIS. How much more was the direct TP flight?“
      - I presume most of the Swedes head down to Algarve in southern Portugal and chill by the coast, DY flies ARN-FAO seasonally and SK has 1 weekly ARN-FAO flight but that's it. The majority of Swedes still head to Spain instead of Portugal.

      The non-stop flight with TP doesn't get below 2300 SEK (USD 266) R/T for one person, but cost around 4000 SEK (USD 463) at the time of the booking for this AF trip. Normally you can found fares between 1100 - 1400 SEK (USD 127-162) with other airlines, we were pretty late to the party and had to pay a bit more.

      “Surprisingly, your spotting at ARN was more exotic than at CDG :)“
      - First time in history :).

      Thank you once again for your very nice comments, I appreciate it all :)

      Have a good one, see you!

        0
  • Comment 359138 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3961 Comments

    Thanks for another very good and detailed flight report! Gad you enjoyed your first flight with AF. I imagine that ARN being a Star Alliance hub, and LIS being a Star Alliance hub as well that SkyTeam and oneworld flights are more competitive from ARN to LIS.

    Yikes, it is really really crowded at that gate. Looks like a total cluster***. That's great that you got the new cabins. They look a lot like the new BA cabins, that I had a chance to experience a few months ago.

    The catering looks decent, but then again, this is one of the longer intra-European flights. Short flights like CDG-FRA is only a sweet or salty snack. Longer 3-4 hour flights, like CDG-IST have a full meal tray. I think AF does better than SK in this department.

    You were right not to go into the center of Paris during the layover; 5 hours isn't really enough time. You'd have to turn around and go back to the airport as soon as you got there. You never know how the trains are running--sometimes you can catch an express train and sometimes it's the local trains that stop at every stop and take forever to get to CDG.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you had fun in Portugal. They must have still been celebrating they Euro cup win over France! Grrr Bastards :-P

      0
  • Comment 359182 by
    Rl 777 AUTHOR 672 Comments

    Thank you for your very nice comment Kevin :).

    You have a valid point there, AF and KL usually have decent fares from ARN to LIS. The non-stop TP flight is always much more expensive.

    “Yikes, it is really really crowded at that gate. Looks like a total cluster***“
    - It totally was, I was just waiting for boarding to be announced!

    I completely agree, I immediately thought of BA when I entered the aircraft.

    Catering in the LIS flights will be completely different, even though the CDG-LIS leg is scheduled at 2h 30 min! AF and almost any other major carrier is way ahead of SK in the service department, there must be some reasons why I haven't flown with SK since 2007 despite living close to one of their three major hubs haha.

    I read a lot about it before the trip and got the same information you just wrote here very nicely, we decided to play it safe. Missing the LIS flight could've turned into disaster for us.

    Thank you once again for your very nice comment, I appreciate it a lot :). Thank you, I had and it was a nice experience! I saw a lot of Portuguese flags here and there haha. You guys did a great job and came to the finals, Sweden sucked so bad this time haha.

    Have a good one, see you!

      0

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