Review of Air France flight Paris Bogota in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF 422
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A340-300
Flight time 12:30
Take-off 31 Mar 16, 10:20
Arrival at 31 Mar 16, 15:50
AF   #41 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 3003 reviews
Chibcha
By 1054
Published on 4th January 2017
Context

Hello everyone, this is the third installment of a trip I made last semester to Abu Dhabi.

Itinerary was as follows:
BOG-CDG: Here
CDG-AUH: Here
AUH-CDG: Not Reported.
CDG-BOG: Here you are.

Connecting in CDG

So after a dreadful flight from Abu Dhabi, in which my seat assignment was unilaterally changed by EY…I made it to Paris. As soon as we descended from the plane, there was a passport check by the French Police. A lady checked mine, and as soon as she saw I am from Colombia she switched to Spanish (I don't know why but I found this a very nice touch by her and made my day), she asked me where was I going, and then let me pass when I told her home. Then to the security check and then to the connecting bus lounge, EY operates from the 2AC Terminals, whilst my flight to BOG was leaving from the L gates meaning that I would have to ride the Blue Bus to the right concourse.

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The bus ride allowed for nice views of the visitors to CDG that morning, although the rain didn't help for good pictures, sorry.



I got off the bus and then to the elevator to the connecting walkway, I could spot a beautiful "retro" A343 and hoped it would be mine…but alas it wasn't.
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Through the Duty Free stores…I bought a couple of bottles of whisky, one for my then in-law who had just graduated from Law School and my grandpa who turned 80 years by the end of the month.
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Boarding

I made it to the gate and our plane was there basking in the rain. At a point the gate agents warned that the flight might be delayed due to a strike…but in the end we boarded on time…uh?
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Rainy fuselage shot…
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The aircraft was fitted with the regular mid 2000s cabin. Nothing new here. But I reckon that out of my atlantic crossings this year it was one of the most comfortable seats I had.
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Taxi and Takeoff

Occupation was around 85%, I hoped to score a free seat besides me, but I got a no-talkative-at-all seatmate, I assume from her looks that she was Colombian. Everything in order and we were on our way to America!
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Even in its static form the Concorde is lovely to watch…
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Some unusual sights (for me at least) visiting CDG
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This one not so much…I haven't been able to spot a TK plane in Bogotá though.
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Thai whalejet to BKK
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Cabin view before takeoff
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And the A343 slowly went into the cloudy skies to take us across the Atlantic.
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En route to BOG

Soon after take off Menus were delivered.


Adieu France
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Champagne and crackers for the drinks service
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We flew over GB and then Ireland if I'm not wrong…
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Then lunch, I asked for two of the ciabatta (right?) breads…I love the bread they hand on the ex-CDG flights!
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Pineapples are one of the few fruits I like to eat, AF was just hitting the spot with me.
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The main was tasty and filling. Full marks for me this time!
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The rest of the flight was an uneventful atlantic crossing, at one point we were given super frozen ice cream lollipops. Since the gameboy screen was so lousy, and I was still asleep from my AUH-CDG flight I slept most of the way.

Then the second meal…I ate it all like the smart boy I am.
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No meat this once, but the taste was good. Catering was quite satisfactory for me.
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Land Ahoy! This is Aruba if I'm not wrong
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And into South America through Venezuela
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Arrival at BOG

It was rainy and cloudy throughout most of our fligh time over Colombia…boring. The landing was a bit rough but within reasonable.
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Our plane at the gate.
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Immigration into Colombia was quick enough and my bag didn't take too long to come for claim. In no time I was picked by my mum and to my house for a good rest in the afternoon.
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Verdict

Air France

8.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment6.0
Meal/catering10.0

Paris - CDG

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access5.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Bogota - BOG

8.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Compared to Avianca (the other airline I used to Europe this year FR coming soon) AF was my favourite pick to the Old Continent. Even when old, the A343 still provides a comfortable ride for the long haul, I take the 2-4-2 anytime over the 3-3-3 of the AV 788s. The crew is very attentive and overall provide a satisfactory service. Catering is way better than AV's, it feels quite premium compared to the cheap things you get on the Colombian carrier. The only thing lacking is IFE...or else AF would have received full-er marks from me, the movie choices and all are super good, however the screen quality is so bad it is basically unwatchable during daytime.

CDG proved once again to be a great place to connect (something I would like congratulate the French for, since I remember reading not too long ago how hideous and horrible CDG was for connections, so kudos!)

BOG delivered as expected.

Thanks for reading this FR, and stay tuned for my next adventure featuring B6. Feliz 2017!

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8 Comments

  • Comment 380242 by
    nechus 305 Comments

    Hola, Chibcha! Tiempo que no te leía!

    > I could spot a beautiful "retro" A343 and hoped it would be mine…but alas it wasn't.
    Tal vez esto te sirva de consuelo. ^^
    https://www.amazon.com/Gemini-France-A340-300-Diecast-Aircraft/dp/B00H4Z4BNG

    > The landing was a bit rough but within reasonable.
    Creo que ese es el procedimiento normal cuando la pista está mojada, para aumentar la adherencia de las ruedas al suelo.

    Excellent report, as usual.

    Thanks for sharing!! :D

      0
  • Comment 380299 by
    KL651 3511 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    The flight on EY seem to have been interesting. Lately the FRs published were not really flattering for them.
    The meals indeed look tasty. If it weren't for those old IFE screens, the 343 would be a really nice plane to fly on.

      0
    • Comment 381278 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 413 Comments

      The EY flights weren't a great first experience in an airline that purports to be one of the best....however they managed to compensate eventually (more on this soon).

      It's a shame AF decided not to invest in updated IFE when it could...but then, as we say in Colombia, it's worthless to cry over the spill milk.

        0
  • Comment 380711 by
    cpdu91 69 Comments

    Thanks for the report.
    Qualifying French bread "ciabatta" sounds definitely improper.. Seriously, would Air France, the French flag carrier be serving Italian bread on their flights?

      0
  • Comment 381109 by
    jetsetpanda 2173 Comments

    Hola Chibcha.

    Thank you for sharing this last segment of your series. It seemed that you saved the best for last. It's nice that you encountered an immigration agent in CDG that left you a good impression. It is usually the opposite when one transfers there.

    You got a nice assortment of planes to spot at CDG. No surprise given the importance of CDG as a major hub.

    AF offers a very decent product in Y and the little touches like champagne and printed menu make riding in the back more bearable. However, the cost cutting is evident in some areas like your second meal that did not have any meat. As a matter of fact, the potatoes au gratin is also served in Premium Economy as a second meal. Despite being a vegetarian meal it tasted good and you were satisfied with it which is the important thing.

      0
    • Comment 381283 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 413 Comments

      I really looked forward for the EY flights to be my best, but AF was better in the end. The immigration police could be a glitch, but this time I felt a general better mood, to at least treatment overall in CDG, I was very impressed by this.

      It's sad that AF is going through all this cost cutting, but it still delivered part of the best flights I had in longhaul last year.

        0

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