I arrived at CDG the previous evening and stayed at the Pullman hotel located at the RoissyPole T3. There is a direct automated train-shuttle service from T3 to T2 that drops you off between 2D/2C and 2F/2E. Transfer is approximately 3 minutes and 5 minutes on foot once you arrive at T2.
Check-In - 2E - Business
Check-In through the Business class SkyPriority lane is seamless at this early-bird hour. You can print your boarding documents at the automated kiosks or request the Air France staff to help you out. Then proceed to Bag Drop and over to Security.
Security - 2E
My flight departed from K gates, being the original T2E gates. Once you pass through Immigration, where Automated Boarder Control kiosks are available for EU Citizens over the age of 18 holding an electronic passport. These will soon be renewed with brand new kiosks that process passengers at a third of the current rate - much expected.
Security, located right behind Passport Control was very crowded this early morning although there weren't that many flights. I didn't find the SkyPriority lane to be much quicker than the standard Economy lane. It took 12 minutes to process through. This will leave you right in the duty-free concourse a couple steps away from the boarding gates and the Air France Business lounge, located just to the right of the security checkpoint, end of the hall where two elevators can be seen.
Air France Lounge - 2E
My late arrival and the early boarding announcements for the flight only left me a couple minutes in the lounge, and I was unable to take pictures, unfortunately.
The food selection is descent but remains limited. The orange juice dispenser was once again empty. There were yogurts, pastries, bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, muffins and hot/cold beverages. Nothing special compared to other lounges, the Air France lounge in 2E - M gates and their own lounge at Kennedy Intl. T1.
Boarding - Gate K51
Boarding was announced 10 minutes early. I gently walked over to the gate, 5 minutes from the lounge. Many passengers had already passed the boarding checkpoint and therefore no waiting line, much enjoyable. Air France has invested in automated boarding kiosks at which you scan your boarding document and the small doors will let you pass, you've been boarded. Unfortunately this didn't work for me and I had to see the attendant (very cheerful) that validated my passport and I was good to go.
The only problem at C.D.G. with Air France during the boarding processes is that they employ the Securitas security company that have employees check your passport and boarding card once again, sometimes select you for additional screening but especially create mass blockage where people accumulate and end up waiting in line for a long time.
Once you get through this 5th passport check and sometimes questioning, there isn't any more waiting and no line, you walk directly onto the aircraft where the two main flight attendants are waiting and welcome you on board with a big smile.
Seating - AF Business J Cabin
The new Business class seating on this Boeing 787-900 is configured in the 1-2-1 setting with 30 seats over 8 rows. These seats, designed by Zodiak are the same available on the Air France long-haul Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, expanding to it's entire long-haul fleet. Although on this aircraft, they are a little smaller due to the aircraft body-size but the seat itself remains the same = the airline has taken a little bit of the side panel out.
The seats are very comfortable and you really have a sense of privacy. The legroom is very satisfactory:
The seats includes two full, very large and nice windows, although I noticed over my two flights that they easily get condensed and it's hard to see out until the plane starts taxiing.
These windows are much larger but don't have blinds. You can enjoy the new Boeing dimming technology that works very nicely and gives you a couple dimming options.
You enjoy to your side a small closet that includes a mirror and your noise-cancelling headphones by Bose to use with the In-Flight Entertainment system designed by Panasonic.
The new remote control that includes a large screen letting you follow your flight on the remote while watching a movie on the large screen or chatting with other passengers through the on board system.
This screen pops-out of the panel in front of you and can now be set at an angle which is very convenient when you are almost fully flat and want to watch a movie and see the screen correctly. You have full access to the system from gate to gate now even on this short flight, which let me watch an entire movie.
The seat controls are very limited and no massage function is available and you can't control your seat-back and leg-rest independently.
Air France decided to remove the individual ventilation in the overhead panels which I really regret.
The table is of a fair size and for once very very steady, meaning it's easy to work on your computer or even write on it.
As we climbed out of Paris on our 51 minute flight the flight attendants quickly got to work to serve the one platter service and warm drinks and/or orange juice. There are no other soft drinks on early morning flights.
The food was descent in quality and quantity. The only downside is the Orange juice that is very mediocre compared to the Business product on long-haul flights.
The weather wasn't very good in London and traffic was heavy, causing us a 15 minute hold an delay over Heathrow. After a smooth landing we taxied for a 6 minutes to Terminal 4 and parked next to a wonderful A380.
Connections airside to other terminals are long in Heathrow. I would suggest using the train system located landside unless you already have your bags checked through to your final destination or don't have any bags. You will need to clear security every time you change terminals and immigration only if you are staying in the U.K..
Air France Lounge, 2E - Hall K
Paris - CDG
London - LHR
The aircraft was very quiet, seat comfortable and wide. Cabin Crew was very courteous, kind and attentive. Food service was prompt but could have been a little more elaborate. The flight ended up arriving at the gate 17 minutes late due to the congested Heathrow airport so not the airlines fault.
Air France is only serving this CDG-LHR route with their brand new Boeing 787-900 for a couple months in order to train flight and cabin crew. They will be flying it to Montpelier this summer and will thereon only be serving long-haul routes.
I've never been on a airplane as quiet as this one, even when seated right at the engine level.
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