I'll also be including a little bonus at the end of this Flight-Report that wasn't on the original French version.
For those of you newcomers to the English-language version of this site who don't know me, let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Kevin, well techincally it's Kévin ^^ and I'm originally from France (Rodez, Aveyron in the Southwest of France) but have lived in the US most of my life. I currently live in Washington, DC hence my screename KévinDC. I've been a member of this site since almost the beginning over two years ago and absolutely love it! I am now one of the site moderators. Like most members I am passionate about aviation and travel. I'm basically a total AvGeek :-) I hope that you will enjoy this site as much as I have these past two years!
On to the FR!
This flight was my very first flight on an A380 and I was rediculously excited! I decided to take a half-day from work in order to get to the airport early and enjoy the lounge. A380 flights at Washington-Dulles had only been inaugurated a few days earlier so I was on the 4th A380 departure ever from IAD! My flight was also on F-HPJE, which had been delivered to AF a few weeks earlier. I would be one of the first revenue customers in my seat! F-HPJE was also the first AF A380 to be fitted with a Premium Economy cabin (called Prémium Voyageur at the time).
We had checked-in online the night before so once we got to the airport around 1PM, we just needed to drop off our bags. Because it was so early, there was noone in the Business Class check-in line so we quickly dropped off our bags with a charming agent and received our invitations to the lounge. There was no such thing as Sky Priority yet at that time so the agent stamped PREMIUM on the back of our boarding passes so that we could access the PREMIUM lanes at security.
My Boarding Pass and Lounge invitation
First sight of our A380 from the concourse.
Time to go down some Champagne in the AF lounge ;-) Too bad the glasses are so small. Oh well, I guess having to get up all the time is good excercise, LOL
The Lounge had recently been opened in this location in anticipation of the A380 flights.
View of the famous Saarinen Terminal from the lounge.
jambon-beurre sandwich with some cheese
Boarding is announced in the lounge about 45 minutes before departure. The gate is right accross from the lounge, which is great. Passengers on the lower deck board at gate A20 and those on the upper deck, which includes Premium Economy, board through gate A22.
The view from the top of the A22 jetway.
We are greeted by two very friendly FAs at the boarding door. You can tell that they are pround of this plane, Air France's new flagship. Aaah, that new plane smell. It's glorious!
The Premium Economy cabin
Our seats, 85A and B I'll be taking the window
The first row of Premium Economy
The windows are huge but I'm not a big fan because they are thick and double-paned which reduces the view. Nevertheless it feels pretty cool sitting up so high above the ground in an airplane!
Convenient storage compartments next to the windown seats. This is a huge advantage of being on the upper-deck of the A380 as opposed to the lower-deck!
A quick view of the Y cabin. Looks pretty good. Definitely better than the cattle-car 777s ;-)
The tray-tables are huge in Premium
…and so is the IFE
There are two bottle of water between the seats, which is nice.
The pitch (between 38 and 40)
I'm clearly super excited to be on an A380, LOL And yes, I'm a dork ;-)
The staircase at the rear of the aircraft leading to the lower-deck.
The rear Y cabin on the lower-deck. Note the very high ceilings–very spacious.
The amenity kit. At the time, it was exactly the same as the Business Class kit. This is no longer the case, unfortunately. Not to mention that even in Business class these days, the kit does not have this much stuff in it.
In this pic you can get an idea of how spacious it is in the window seats with the large storage bins along the wall.
The view from my seat
Despite borading being completed in time for an on-time departure, the captain makes an annoucement that departure will be delayed about half an hour due to ATC delays above New York airspace…wow ATC delays over NYC in the summer, there's a shocker, LOL
And we're off! Pushback
Uh oh…watch out for those BarbieJets!
The tail camera is turned on during taxi.
Lining up on RWY 19L
It took forever for the plane to take off and when it did you could barely feel it.
Here is a short video of the take-off. I recommend turning off the sound on your computer, there was an evil demon-child in Y screaming bloody murder, LOL.
Ok, so at the time I wasn't a seasoned Flight-Reporter like I am now so I didn't take any picture of the meal. But here is the menu of the day.
I watched a movie after dinner and slept most of the rest of the flight.
Pretty mood-lighting after dinner.
I woke up in time for breakfast (again, no pics) and watched the sunrise on the IFE and out the window.
Despite the delay out of Dulles, we landed pretty much on time in Paris.
We parked at Terminal 2E Hall L (also known as S3) next to AF's first A380 F-HPJA
Deplaning can be a bit slow when you are in the rear of the upper-deck but it's still faster than being in the rear of the lower-deck since you only have about 60-70 pax in front of you as opposed to 350+ on the lower-deck!
In honor of my 60th Flight-Report and my first FR in the English version of this site here is a little bonus of the inaugural Air France A380 at Dulles just 3 days before my flight. Because I worked for Air France many years ago, I was able to get invitations to the inaugural event and was escorted onto the tarmac to witness the first arival! I was practically on the lead-in line; it was pretty impressive to have this massive thing coming at you!
Thanks for reading! Leave a message below if you have any questions or comments :-)
Air France Lounge
Washington - IAD
Paris - CDG
A very pleasant flight with Air France! The A380 surpassed my expectations. It is a quiet and spacious aircraft. The crew was exceptional and did a great job. Every FA I talked to was very pleasant and enthusiastic. In the several times I have taken the A380 since then, I noticed this to often be the case on A380 flghts--that pride in working the Flagship. I have taken the A380 several times since and it is always a pleasant experience, although I imagine if I were in Y with no status it probably would not be nearly as pleasant.
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