Review of Air France flight Paris Cancún in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF 650
Class Economy
Seat 48J
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 10:55
Take-off 24 Feb 16, 12:40
Arrival at 24 Feb 16, 17:35
AF   #45 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 4265 reviews
mgescheidt
By 5357
Published on 16th March 2016
Hello and welcome everyone to the second part of my most recent trip to Mexico that took place in February 2016.

Just to remind you this is what the final routing looked like:
NUE - CDG AF E170
CDG - CUN AF B773
CUN - MEX AM B738
MEX - CDG AM B788
CDG - NUE AF E170

And you can find the previous flight here:
http://flight-report.com/en/report-13512.html

We ended up with getting off the Embraer at Terminal 2G. After entering the terminal we headed for transit into terminal 2E from where our flight to Cancún was scheduled. There were few lines and we were directed to that with passengers heading to Carribean destinations. We went through passport control due to leaving European Union and found ourselves in a watting area where transit buses were arriving. As the buses run in short intervals we took ours in a minute. There were only like 5 people onboard and I enjoyed the ride very much. I have to say I admire everyone involved in CDG´s infrastructure as from what I saw I couldn´t believe that this sort of airport is managable in any way. Also everything about our transit was absolutely troublefree so it´s a big thumb up for CDG from me. Don´t know if it´s a common experience here but from my point of view I rank the whole airport as one of the best. After few stops we left the bus at Terminal 2E gates K.
We took the escalator and found ourseleves in this very nice terminal 2E. I had a great feeling of it, I liked the colours and it felt so roomy.

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We had a look around and tried to find something good to eat and some place to rest. We found nothing that was really to our tastes so we just bought a sandwich in one duty free shop. On the internet I found the day before that there is a rest area somewhere in terminal 2E airside but we didn´t see it. As we were in action for about 24hours already I started feeling exhausted and needed to get some sleep. Our transit time was 4,5hours so we knew that we had a lot of time to spare. I was ready to get sleep on the benches but it was impossible as all of them had armrests so no way of laying down until we found 4 seats that were cleared of it so I could close my eyes for some moment.

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In the end it was really just a moment and I slept for only 20 or 30 minutes.
I liked airport´s free wifi throughout the terminal which made time running much quicker and of course the traffic outside the windows was amazing.
Our ride F-GZNN was parked at the gate already. My father surprised me with one of his messages saying that the airplane stayed at the airport overnight.
It´s one of few AF 773s in "Carribean" version that have high density seating in only 3 classes (Economy, Premium-economy and Business).

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And it also has a SkyTeam livery that I wished to get pretty much.

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With still over 2 hours to departure we took another walk and in the western end of terminal 2 we found a perfect place. It was actually relax zone situated right in front of the huge windows with nice views of apron.

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The tails from all around the world.

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Some big frame arriving from one of the US destinations.

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And here is a small one arriving from Tel Aviv.

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After some rest we left an hour to departure for our gate. That was already packed with people. We knew that we´d have 100% load already from check-in the day before (turned out to be 99% when onboard).

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I liked this screen.

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I followed up most of the AF650 flights in last month and they were always switching between Atlantic route that headed straight over Atlantic towards Florida and the second one that led over Britain, Iceland and then to the south past American coast. Can somebody tell me what is the real reason for this difference if it is caused by weather or the load?
I wished to get the American coast one.
Boarding started well on time and we were somewhere in the middle of this huge queue. I have actually never seen a queue like this one. The capacity is amazing over 460 people.

Ah, here we go my first ever 777!

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This one next to us being prepared to Beirut I guess.

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On of our two huge "hairdryers".

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Ok that´s my 5th wide body boarding and the excitement is always the same.

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A quick look into premium economy. We were offered premium economy seat 3 days before. As it was around 350EUR per person on this segment we turned it down.

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First view of the economy cabin looks fine. I liked the seats and the colours but it felt little bit cramped.

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As expected there was a pillow, blanket and headphones ready at each seat.

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The seat was comfortable and legroom was better than I expected. I also liked the seat design and look of the whole cabin.

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For last few weeks I several times checked if someone was going to be seated next to us. AFs 773 have config of 3-4-3. Last time I took a look there were 4 seats vacant throughout the aircraft and one of it was 48J, the seat right next to us. Still I was worried that it would be taken.

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With 1,77m I could fully stretch my legs but still I didn´t feel perfect.

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"Boarding completed" was announced and I was like "wow we have a seat vacant next to us!". Then suddenly a guy that stayed few rows ahead walked towards us and took a seat next to me. And I was completely cramped and worried of the painful flight ahead. Female FA came to him and they had a short chat probably about a possibility that he would be seated somewhere closer to his group. Just a moment later he is given all green and it turned out that the seat will really be vacant throughout the flight. I quickly take the aisle seat, start a map on personal IFE and look forward to comfortable flight to Mexico! I felt just great.

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My girlfriend took responsibility of taking pics out of the window on this flight :).
There is written flight time of about 11 hours which gives me high hopes of flying over US but after announcement from the flight deck we are told to fly 10,5 hours and it looked like a flight over the Atlantic. Everything was ready to start our pushback.

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When suddenly …..




———————————————————————————




Everything went dark and silent ……

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Air conditioning, IFE and all electricity went off. The only thing that worked were Emergency lights. Everyone remainded seated silent and seemed to be surprised. It felt like we had massive electric failure.

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Few minutes later noise and vibrations started as pilots obviously tried to fire up the right engine. But after several seconds it went all silent again. I started feeling about worst and after realizing that the aircraft stayed at CDG overnight maybe due to technical issues I thought out that we may be asked to disembark and would be rebooked on another flights which would be sad if we loose such a nice aircraft, good seat and middle seat vacant.
I started feeling bad also due to cabin temperature rapidly increasing and the level of oxygen inside rapidly decreasing :). FAs started distributing water to those people who asked for it.

Several minutes later captain Meunier came on the mic apologizing for the delay which is due to electric failure. He said it was caused by failure on the jetbridge powering the aircraft and that the ground crew are looking for some alternative source of power.

After another few minutes the cabin was lit up again and all electric equimpent came slowly back to life.

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Everything got into action quickly as we started pushback and pilots initiated engines start procedure.

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We began our very long taxi to far runway 09R with a delay of about 50 minutes.

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Length of this plane visible from the inside was amazing.

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I always love to take this tour through CDG.

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Past the whale…

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.. and Terminal 1.

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My girlfriend knows very well what should be on the picture :).

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She´s also a big fan of this highway running bellow taxiways.

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Here comes the departure sequence with some nice views of CDG.



After taking off to the east we banked left and headed west towards south end of Britain where also meal service started. It was also last time we were flying anywhere close to land for next 5 or 6 hours.

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I don´t remember the second option but we went for chicken. It was served with mashed potatoes, carrot and mushrooms and was rather disappointing.

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But it still tasted slightly better than it looked like.

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During first 4 hours of flight ocean was covered by clouds.
There was a mix of male and female cabin crew. I found all of them nice, but one of the elderly ladies was fine from start but after few hours we had a feeling she might be drunk or something. She was behaving somehow strange and for example when she served drinks to passengers she spilled several of them. Also her mimic was a little bit strange sometimes.

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I started feeling exhausted once again so I tried to get some sleep. I woke up after aprox.5 minutes and felt pretty well and this process repeated each hour.

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There was always some snack and something to drink available in the galley. I like this sort of service when I can choose an take something available in the galley.

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Halfway to the flight this icecream was distributed, it was very nice.

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During one of my short sleeps I woke up with an immigration form in my seat pocket. It had to be filled onboard and given to the officer at the passport control in Cancun.

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Weather getting better over the ocean.

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Finally a peice of land bellow us and it´s The Bahamas.

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The second meal service started over 60 minutes to landing. I have to say I expected it to be bigger but on the other hand everything tasted well.

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This was Cuba bellow us.

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There was pretty bad weather forecast for Cancun area on this day. We still believed to be landing from east and that Cancun would be visible as from the videos the views of Cancun and its beaches were breathtaking.

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Our approach confirms tha we´re about to land from east but also that the forecast was pretty right.

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This was probably the best view of Cancun we got on our approach except of short final.

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Last right turn over sea to line up with CUN´s runway 30L.

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Although there was not very much to see during approach I was amazed by some of window views during landing.

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Welcome to Mexico!

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There was plenty of interesting traffic visible for me. It was mostly US and Canadian carriers like American, Westjet, Southwest, Frontier and many others. Not many Mexican planes during this evening.

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After parking we were in no rush and among the last passengers to leave. We thanked crew for great flight and went into long corridor that led to passport control. The officer asked us for filled immigration forms and was very fine as we had very good chat with him. He also surprised us with saying some words in Czech. He said that he is trying to learn several words from many languages.
We were given all green and went to baggage reclaim where we waited for horrible 40 minutes. I read somewhere that each bag is checked by dog in Cancun and that is the reason for long waiting time but I don´t know if that´s true.
After reclaiming our baggages we had to go through Customs but found out that we were not given Custom declare form. We were offered them by one of security man and we filled it and moments later left into landside.

To get to Cancun downtown we could choose between taxi or bus which was 70MXN per person. We had only US dollars with us and we payed much more with them so we changed it to MXN when we arrived in downtown after 30 minutes ride.
Bus connection is provided by ADO bus service and it is really very comfortable and pleasant ride. But still if you want to get to Hotelzone it is better to get a taxi as there is not direct bus service from Airport to Hotelzone.

I guess there is nothing much to add to this flight so let´s end up here and I will attach some shots from Cancún in my next report that will take us from Cancún to Mexico City.

Thank you for your attention and I would like to point out that your comments are as always more than welcomed!
Michael
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Verdict

Air France

8.1/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering7.5

Paris - CDG

9.6/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness10.0

Cancún - CUN

6.6/10
Efficiency4.0
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

My first experience with longhaul AF and 777 was rather a positive one. Interior looked nice and I felt well inside. Seat was comfortable and provided fine legroom. Cabin crew was nice and did their job well. The down side was technical issue with electricity and I found the meal services to be little disappointing. On the other way there was always selection of snacks and drinks in the galley.

CDG has become one of my favourite airports mainly due to its great operations outside and I also like its roomy and lighty feeling. It offers a free wifi and at several points there are relax zones with nice views of apron.

Cancún International airport left me disappointed. On our arrival it was mostly due to long wait for our baggages.

Information on the route Paris (CDG) Cancún (CUN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 9 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Paris (CDG) → Cancún (CUN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air France with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 32 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

  • Comment 159875 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8153 Comments

    Thanks for your report.
    I like reading about Air France from foreigners that try it for the first time.
    I think that your experience reflects perfectly the good and bad sides of AF.
    Catering should be improved in economy specially for a French Airline !
    I think that CDG has improved a lot and is getting better everyday except for the border controls where lines are often long and staff not friendly.

    • Comment 336587 by
      giancarlo330 60 Comments

      Agree. Catering,catering and once again catering! It is just ridiculous AF can offer such a second meal on a long haul flight. Why they bother? It would be better not to offer anything...

      I feel very underwhelmed when I take notice of these kind of management decisions that truly affect the image of a national carrier. AF Economy is not cheap and it really makes a differente when people pay a premium to fly a legacy airline over a low cost for a holiday or business and gets such cheap offer.

      I miss the AF of the 90's and 00's.

  • Comment 159908 by
    KL651 TEAM 4471 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.

    It's unusual to read that transfer in CDG was a pleasant experience.

    I do agree that 2E gates K are really nice and modern looking.

    Cool to fly on the Skyteam bird, especially when it's one of the newest 77W.

    It's a shame that flights to MIA that are shorter get a better 2nd meal than the ones to CUN or PUJ that are longer but considered leisure flights...

  • Comment 159937 by
    757Fan 584 Comments

    Nice report on AF. It looks like you had a nice flight with them! Good photos from your trip.

    I've flown AF before, but only short-haul, and the service was quite nice. I'd like to fly them on a long haul flight. The food looks tasty!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 160039 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5224 Comments

    Thanks for another great report!

    I have to say I admire everyone involved in CDG´s infrastructure as from what I saw I couldn´t believe that this sort of airport is managable in any way.
    - People often criticize CDG as being a difficult airport for transiting, but that is no longer the case. Maybe 10+ years ago, it was messy, but CDG has really become a well oiled machine and the AF hub functions beautifully. Much better than LHR or FRA in my opinion.

    On the internet I found the day before that there is a rest area somewhere in terminal 2E airside but we didn´t see it.
    - They're on the far ends of the terminal. There are nice lounge chairs to relax and there are huge windows there for some good spotting. It's a long walk to the far ends of the Terminal if you are towards the middle, as you pictures indicate.

    These high-density COI (Caraïbes/Océan Indien) 77Ws are affectionately called bétaillères or cattle cars in France as they have such a huge and dense Economy class in 3-4-3 configuration. Though...3-4-3 configuration has now been the norm for all AF 777s for several years now.

    It was actually relax zone situated right in front of the huge windows with nice views of apron.
    - There you go! You found it. Hehe...you can tell I comment as I read along...

    The capacity is amazing over 460 people.
    - Yep! 468, to be exact. That's more than many carrier's A380s! Craziness

    Just a moment later he is given all green and it turned out that the seat will really be vacant throughout the flight.
    - Phew...That was close! It would have sucked being stuck in that middle seat for the 10+ hour flight!

    My girlfriend knows very well what should be on the picture :).
    - She's got a planespotter's instinct. She must've learned that from you :-)

    It was served with mashed potatoes, carrot and mushrooms and was rather disappointing.
    - That's too bad. I usually find that AF has exceptionally good catering in Y compared to other airlines.

    Looks like you had a good flight with AF overall. I've always thought AF was very good in Y, except for the 3-4-3.

    Thanks for sharing and hope the weather in Cancun got better for your vacation!

    • Comment 336861 by
      mgescheidt AUTHOR 52 Comments

      Lol Kevin, we are calling these kind of configurations the same in Czech :-).
      I don´t have much experience with long haul carriers but from what I saw AF was better in terms of catering compared to LH. On the other hand the difference is not big. For example TK is completely different level with their Y catering, but that is well known fact.

      My girlfriend was happy when I told her your compliment :-).
      The weather in Cancun got so much better in the following days. I´ll show more on the pictures next time.

  • Comment 160188 by
    mgescheidt AUTHOR 52 Comments

    I was interested if you, AF frequent flyers, would be of similar opinions and feelings and it seems you are.
    I was not expecting much from AF and in the end it was better than expectations. And I found it better than LH that I flew long haul 2 years ago.

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