Review of Air France flight Paris Antananarivo in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF934
Class Economy
Seat 33A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 10:40
Take-off 30 Sep 14, 11:20
Arrival at 30 Sep 14, 23:00
AF   #36 out of 71 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 4616 reviews
ChrisB
By GOLD 1102
Published on 22nd July 2021

mora mora


Hello all, welcome back to the continuation of this flight to Madagascar capital, Antananarivo.

I was going there a few weeks and the plan was to volunteer at my friend's charity to build up a new school but also to enjoy whilst we are there and do some sightseeing.
We were 3 going from the UK and booked together with Air France, as Air Madagascar at the time was blacklisted by the European Union (Yes I am a risk averse person!)  


As mentionned on my previous flight report, there was a huge strike by Air France staff at the time when I flew, cancelling my first leg LHR-CDG that was replaced by a British Airways flight, landing about 15 min later.


Before the program changed to a revenue-based model but this is how much you would get 
Flying blue Miles earned with this flight: 1788
Status earned: 12 XP 


Routing


I remember calling the call centre for a good hour, awaiting for some time.. The lady on the phone was professionnal but she couldn't find any other flight.. The best option was another AF flight departing from London 3 days before..

Two things I must say:
1. I didn't want to change my long haul flights, as they were confirmed and she advised me to do so.
2. My friends were there and we agreed that someone (!) they know will pick me at the airport and I will see them the following day in a nearby town. And there wasn't much of data nor coverage and I didn't manage to let them know about the drama..

I pushed the lady on the phone to book me with BAW and she agreed to do so. 



The problem was however, that I could not check in my second leg, CDG to TNR, neither
on the app
online on the AF website
on the phone with an agent

Because the first leg wasn't an AF flight (!).

I was told to manually check-in at the counter in CDG. What I did back then was to book an emergency seat and pay for it, to make sure my spot was safe. 


at paris - charles de gaulle airport


From my previous flight, you remember I landed where British Airways usually parks: terminal 2 D.
I landed with about 1 hour late because of the fog in Paris, so at 10.44am and this flight was at 11.20am


-I rushed at the gate, running as fast as I could to leave the international zone.
-Got through 2D security again
-Got at 2D transfers.
-Waited for the bus at the bus stop
- Arrived at 2E hall K
- Jumped on the train transfer
- Running the last metres to the gate at hall L terminal and without water nor applause!


photo img_2389-2

Computer says no


Behind this very Little Britain quote, you'll understand that this is what happened to me.

I arrived at the counter, just before boarding time, and the lady told me I wasn't checked in (i knew) and so I couldn't board.
I asked to talk to her boss, which told me in short that since my first leg wasn't checked in, I couldn't be on this flight.

I really got upset at this point and told her "why, according to you I wasn't checked in"? Showing her all the process, the fact that I was rebooked on a BA flight, and that THEIR system wasn't letting me checking in. 

Clearly another Monique/Karen

She talked to another lady that told me to follow her, and we arrived to a much further Air France customer service point. Over there I had to re- re-re-re explain everything again, the crew member that told me to follow her disapeared. 
That person at the counter said that she can re-book me later today to Mauritius and from there, there will be another flight to Madagascar. 

This was the point of no-return. I suddenly left her and went back to the gate counter.
I lost it at the monique/karen.

I told her, it is not my problem if AF is on strike, not my problem that YOU rebooked me on a BAW flight, not MY problem that the app nor THEIR system wasn't letting me checking before and that NO WAY I was going to suffer the consequence of being in between their stupid processes.

 I was that loud that it attracted 3 other passengers going to Antananarivo and that were in the flight from London with me too!

She told us the same, the computer wouldnt let her do it etc etc… Even quoting the fact that the captain made its calculation on the weight of the plane and the fuel required accordingly..  

 
I told her look, your B777 weights around 160tons empty, plus fuel and pax so maybe 250 tons and you're telling me 70kg will jeopardise the captain's math??
 


photo 6

I am not sure what, in my presentation made her change her mind… She finally gave us a Boarding Pass and the 3 of us rushed to the plane.

And the worse is that everyone else were waiting for us, you know that feeling when the crowd is looking at you because you're making them late!!


photo plan-cabine-lc-plan-b777-300-468

onboard the b777-300er


Aircraft: Boeing 777-328ER
Registration: F-GSQU
Engines: 2x GE90
Age: 14 Years
Layout: J14 W32 Y422
Observation: The aircraft was with the old cabins - now fully retrofitted


photo 4

And I remember this boarding music so much.. For me it reminds me how happy I was to have made it onboard!



The AvGeek bit

Air France is one of the largest operator of the type in Europe, if not the largest. Air france has 43 B773ER, split into three groups: Best and beyound, lignes touristiques and COI standing for Caraibes Ocean Indien. The latter which groups 12 of them, is designed mainly for french overseas where the demand is way higher for economy class - hence now the 472 seats configuration (unlike the other 296 and 381). There are also assigned to lower income countries (i.e. Madagascar, Maurice, Cuba, Punta Cana..) combined to a high proportion of tourists where a large number of business and premiere seats wouldn't make sense.  


photo 20190915_101548

The seat in economy un COI was ok, I think not particularly comfy - at least a bit more than BAW. There was a pillow, blancket, headset and sleeping masks provided.


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Finally on board!!


photo p10405088

Whilst the aircraft started to taxi, the old safety video was displayed on the IFEs.


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Took off happened from runway 08L and soon we were above the Alps.


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Look at this wingflex!! Almost like a dreamliner!! 


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First service started about 1 hour and a half later, and the crew was super nice. Not only they offered the usual wine but also as a liqueur some Rhum from Martinique (I figured I needed to relax!!)


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I walked a bit around the economy cabin to stretch my legs. I found that the rear of the aircraft, looking at the window of the exit is a good spot. Nobody bothers you. And you can view the landscape on the other side of the plane.. 


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After having watched another movie, I realised we had crossed all Africa, we were now above the Indian Ocean..


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 The Air France magasine is quite elaborate with 330 pages, a first section about world's statistics, travels, Air France fleet presentation and a presentation of films.


photo 20190917_090148photo 20190917_090336

On the fleet presentation, as you can see these were the glorious days for the short and medium haul fleet - the planes were doing less rotations per day hence more planes, also there was no Transavia so the regional fleet was much larger. In the case of Hop, the benefit of having that many different types of aircraft is the flexibility for lower demand routes but the cost of maintenance is huge for such complexity. A quick comparison with the change with today's fleet
43 A319 nowadays 33
60 A320 nowadays 43
25 A321 nowadays 20
25 Avro RJ85 nowadays 0 - Cityjet was sold by Air France.
20 ERJ145 nowadays 0
16 ERJ170 nowadays 15
10 ERJ190 nowadays 13
4 CRJ200 nowadays 0
15 CRJ700 nowadays 10
13 CRJ1000 nowadays14
13 ATR42 nowadays 0
10 ATR72 nowadays 5


Interestingly, Air Corsica was counted as part of the Air France fleet…


photo 20190917_090428

And still above the ocean but at dusk.


photo dsc06539

And soon the approach on Tanave..


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at antananarivo - ivao airport


Landing happen in a complete full dark night, with a few lights from the capital nearby..
The aircraft made a U-turn at the end of the runway and we parked a few hundred meters away from the terminal building. 


photo 20190915_101702

We were leaving the aircraft by the rear door.


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Back in 2014 there was an outbreak of Ebola in Africa, every passenger had to have their temperature measured before going to passport control..


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At the passport control… Where the lady was asking everyone to fill in forms… and where your passport was given away from you to 2 or 3 different agents until you finally have it back


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and your passport that many stamps on it!


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the aftermath


I was finally in the country and what a beautiful one!


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After a good hour of waiting, I realised my luggage went missing..


photo baggage

My bag was delivered to me on the next day, back then I was already in Antsirabe. And I was very surprised to have seen my luggage intact being delivered to me 3 days later.

When Back at home I made a claim on both my luggage being missing for 3 days, and the treatment I received at CDG. 
The process was that Air France would give me some money back with credit card receipt or invoices… And they were understandable that it is not the case when you buy things off the shelf at the market.. 


photo reclamation

Air France was really professional handling the situation; they gave me 1000eur and 5000 miles.


I don't have that many pictures of the way back as I was deeply asleep, just my stamped boarding pass..


photo 20210918_102421
See more

Verdict

Air France

7.0/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Paris - CDG

7.6/10
Efficiency7.5
Access6.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.0

Antananarivo - TNR

5.9/10
Efficiency4.0
Access6.0
Services5.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Air France:
CDG crew was difficult
The crew onboard was professional
Customer Service was professional too, I did have to insist a bit with my "angry" letter but eventually the 1000euro and 5000 miles given was really appreciated.
Without it, I would have ranked the company less than 5, but I guess they were professional about it.

CDG: really messy to change terminal from 2D to 2E

TNR: Small airport but really not efficient especially at passport control. It took for ever to deliver all the bags.

Information on the route Paris (CDG) Antananarivo (TNR)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 8 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Paris (CDG) → Antananarivo (TNR).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 11 hours and 14 minutes.

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