Review of Air France flight Paris Chicago in Business

Airline Air France
Flight AF136
Class Business
Seat 4K
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 08:30
Take-off 15 Aug 19, 14:30
Arrival at 15 Aug 19, 16:00
AF   #43 out of 136 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 4127 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 1636
Published on 13th January 2020
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This trip went through a million changes as is typical with me. It had settled as an Air France R/T to Europe. Then Lufthansa got in the way. I canceled the outbound which was on an Air France 787-9. I would have canceled this return for Lufthansa back, but I bought a non-refundable Promo reward. It’s one thing to give up the points, but with these promo rewards, you give up the taxes and fees as well. Those were around $325 for this flight. 

I was excited to try Air France so I arrived a little early to check out their new international lounge in Terminal 2. They did a beautiful job in my opinion. Lounge entry is granted by a kiosk.  


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A wall map shows how expansive this lounge is. 


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Various seating areas with a view of a taxiway. 



The food was lounge typical. At lunch time it was mostly salad items and a few soups. 


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I headed out of the lounge towards the gate to check out Terminal 2. It’s a beautiful terminal, like a shopping mall.


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With Air France A380 views. 


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My first impression of the A330 business class cabin is, dense.


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Air France on this A330-200 with the new business class seats has 6 rows of 6 across seating. Rows 1-4 are in the front, while 5 and 6 are in a mini cabin behind the galley. I was never able to get back to the mini cabin to take a photo. 


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Center seats with a sliding partition. 


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Window seats, with a sliding partition. Notice how narrow the shared center table is. At one point when hot towels were distributed my neighbor and I both took off our glasses. I picked his when putting them back on! We had a laugh. Other than that he snored most of the time. 


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My seat, 4K, stains and all.


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Space of course is at a premium. A nifty idea was to have a small cabinet with the door acting as a shelf for stuff underneath the monitor. Below is a cubby hole for your feet and below that shoes can be stored.


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The footwell is very narrow.


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Charging ports without a true space to place the device that is being charged.


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Unless it’s a phone or a mini tablet, you can put it next to the headphones and break the rules.


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Small slot to store a small bottle of water next to the seat.



In addition to the show you are watching, you can watch at least 2 others. It’s like being at a sports bar watching multiple games.


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The lavatories are fairly good size on these A330s.


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Waiting at the seat were today’s amenities. What is the saying? Waste not, want not?


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I will say the 18.5 inch touch screen monitor is excellent. 


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With an onboard camera, excellent!


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And this touch panel for monitor control as well as lighting was well thought out.


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In the photos of the cabin you probably saw the blue menus. Turns out they were the wrong menus and there wasn’t enough time to find the right menus. So when the FA (who’s name I never got) came by for ordering it was chicken or beef, I think. Very heavy french accent.

Pass on these.


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Canapé which was tasty. Can’t tell you what it was tho other than a roasted red pepper.


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Wine service by cart.


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Air France serves a dual appetizer and salad with cheese on the initial tray.


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These items were delicious. The middle plate is some kind of quinoa salad with butternut squash. The other is a fish tartar. And of course delicious french bread. And a nice portion of cheese. 


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Unfortunately the party ended there. This was probably the worst beef I’ve ever had anywhere. And what came with it wasn’t any better.


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.


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Amends were partially made.


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Upon arrival another meal was served. It was a potato rosti I believe. It was quite good. 


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This however would make me come back. I think it was a rhubarb salad, whatever it was it was incredible. 


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As we taxied out caught a glimpse of an Air France 787.


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For more details on this flight including redemption values visit Reward Flying .http://www.rewardflying.com/report-blog/2020/1/12/air-france-a300-business-class-cdg-ord

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Verdict

Air France

6.9/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering6.5

Paris - CDG

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Chicago - ORD

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

It is surprising to me that Air France would spend millions euros for another type of business class seat that doesn’t have all aisle access on an international aircraft . It is not possible to exit a window seat without asking your neighbor to move. And on an overnight flight that is a problem. This was a day flight and not such an issue, but I would never fly this aircraft overnight.

Food/Amenities: The food was actually good with the exception of the main course which was beyond terrible.

IFE/WiFi: The IFE system was quite good. Great size monitor, good content and easy to use. Unfortunately you can see too many of them.

Flight Attendants: This was an above average crew with the exception of having a bit of a language barrier. But then again, this is a French airline so who’s fault is that!

Information on the route Paris (CDG) Chicago (ORD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 18 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Paris (CDG) → Chicago (ORD).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 9 hours and 16 minutes.

  More information

9 Comments

  • Comment 537139 by
    socalnow GOLD 960 Comments

    Greetings Mark and thanks for sharing the return leg of the trip.

    This trip went through a million changes as is typical with me.

    Say what?

    I was excited to try Air France so I arrived a little early to check out their new international lounge in Terminal 2. They did a beautiful job in my opinion. Lounge entry is granted by a kiosk.

    Beautiful design, I supposed to be expected. Is E, F or G? I have a flight in March tha uses 2E. Will I get to see t his lounge?

    The footwell is very narrow.

    Yikes, it is. Like you mention it's a day flight but that doesn't look good for sleeping. Slippers are nice. Is that normal on AF trans-Atlantic?

    Unfortunately the party ended there.

    Everything else looks quite good with the bread, cheese, and dessert standing out to me. The leather passing as a steak is unfortunate.

    Thank you again for the report. Happy flying Mark.

  • Comment 537148 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 486 Comments

    Hi Christian,

    Say what?

    -Never tinkered?

    Beautiful design, I supposed to be expected. Is E, F or G? I have a flight in March tha uses 2E. Will I get to see t his lounge?

    -This lounge is in T2 Hall M which I believe are internation departures. 2E has 3 departure halls, K,L,M. I assume you are connecting. When I connected the other day it departed from 2F which was in a different terminal. CDG has to be one of the more confusing airport complexes I've encountered. Bottom line, and I could be wrong, unless you are departing from 2M which I think are international departures only (the gates all have 787,a330,a380,a350) then you won't get this lounge. The lounge in 2F was pretty poor in comparison.

    Slippers are nice. Is that normal on AF trans-Atlantic?

    -Yes, received AF slippers on the A350 flight a couple weeks ago.

    The leather passing as a steak

    -You're too kind!

  • Comment 537150 by
    henrythehippo 4 Comments

    Super surprised to see anyone keep the 2-2-2 model. It's only on the 332's? I avoid their A380 and the KE A380 for this sole reason. I'll route an extra few hours and take another connection to avoid!

  • Comment 537152 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 486 Comments

    Hi Henrythehippo. Yes only on the 330-200 which they fly to Chicago and Houston, non Delta hubs. The Delta hubs get the good seats 787, a350, 777-300, etc. Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 537155 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5036 Comments

    Hey Mark, Reading this series out of order because I've been curious to read what a non-French member thinks about the new AF 330 seats! And unsurprisingly the conclusion is..."meh" (that's how I interpret a 5/10 rating 🤣)

    While the new cabin is a vast improvement over the previous angle-flat seats--it is curious that AF decided to go 2-2-2 with this brand new cabin when they're going 1-2-1 on everything else. Obviously cabin density is the main reason, but that can be achieved with some seat models out there that have direct aisle access like the new AF-version of Polaris (Safran Seats--ex-Zodiac--Optima). Perhaps the Zodiac Optima isn't certified for 330 fuselage and they needed something more quickly off the sheld...still, it's curious.

    I will say that the cabin is visually very nice looking--I like AF's new colour palette of greys and reds. AF have always been good as cabin aesthetics and catering...because French (granted catering can sometimes be a let down).

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 537159 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 486 Comments

    Hi Kévin, I expected I might ruffle a few feathers with this report from others at the home base. Not intended at all, just an honest assesment in my view.

    And unsurprisingly the conclusion is..."meh"

    -Pretty much sums it up.

    While the new cabin is a vast improvement over the previous angle-flat seats

    -A promo award wouldn't make me fly those seats :)

    Perhaps the Zodiac Optima isn't certified for 330 fuselage

    -You could be right, of course the A330 seats were decided well before the A350 if I have the timeline correct. Flew their A350 the other day. Hope to get to that report soon.

    I like AF's new colour palette of greys and reds

    -Agreed.

    They wanted to make sure they used up all the Joon stock

    -Joon wasn't the smartest marketing ploy ever conceived, now was it...

    Thanks for your note Kévin

    • Comment 537586 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5036 Comments

      You could be right, of course the A330 seats were decided well before the A350 if I have the timeline correct.

      You're correct on the timeline, though it wasn't very long before the A350 cabins were decided...maybe a few months.

      Flew their A350 the other day. Hope to get to that report soon.

      Oooh, nice! Looking forward to that!

  • Comment 538437 by
    YGeorgeW GOLD 147 Comments

    Hi Rewardflying, thanks for this report. I had the choice to leave a day early on this plane going the other way (ORD-CDG) for my Scandinavia trip the other day, but since KLM flies its 787-9, the hard products simply can't be compared and I chose KLM. I did hear that AF has better catering and bedding though.

    Space of course is at a premium.

    - These seats don't look particularly comfortable, even when traveling with a companion. How was the bedding? I find that I value good bedding more and more these days.

    Air France serves a dual appetizer and salad with cheese on the initial tray.

    - This looks quite good, especially the salmon tartar!

    Unfortunately the party ended there. This was probably the worst beef I’ve ever had anywhere. And what came with it wasn’t any better.

    - Alas, that's unfortunate.

    Upon arrival another meal was served. It was a potato rosti I believe. It was quite good.

    - Overall, seems better than KLM on the same flight.

    Thanks again for this report!

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