Review of Air France flight Mexico City Paris in Economy

Airline Air France
Flight AF179
Class Economy
Seat 88A
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 10:55
Take-off 20 Sep 18, 19:55
Arrival at 21 Sep 18, 13:50
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 491
Published on 1st September 2021

my first… and only air france a380 flight :-(


Hello everyone!
Let me share with you my first experience in Mexico, in the peninsula of Yucatan. 


Flying blue Miles earned with this flight: 0
Status earned: 0 XP 
Why? This is a reward flight! 


We had the option of booking with BA (I was still a strong aficionado at the time) and changing carrier to reach Merida, or with Aeromexico and/or Air France.
I have redeamed my avios some months prior to this trip for another flight and so I was looking at potentially repeating the operation with my Flyingblue account:
The way out will be fully paid out, and the return - I have had enough miles to get us all the way from Merida to Lyon - not going back to London but to a wedding there. I decided to then have two seperate bookings for each way, making it an unbeatable fare for a return trip to Yucatan.  

Why not leaving from Cancun where Air France also flies?
Well because it is a known fact that Air France always used to struggle to fill in its A380, hence the ticket prices were always cheaper than the B777, hence the amount of miles requested to be redeemed for a reward ticket.



If this A380 gives you the blues; here is a little corporate video on the Farewell.. I wish AF would have done something more grand just like they did on the occasion of the farewell of the B747… 



photo 20190822_132619-53684

I choose our seats as early as possible, I really wanted to try to be again on the upper floor for many reasons:
1. It is becoming rare to seat anywhere else but the main floor hence the view at the airport
2. It is just behind the Business and Premium economy class, hence a sense of "exclusivity" at least at much as you can get it!
3. Because there are more space, less seats per row
4. With point 3, there are more places to put your stuffs away, especially these drawers next to the windows.


photo plan-cabine-lc-plan-a380-upperdeck

For the record and shall I say "history", the main cabin…


photo plan-cabine-lc-plan-a380-maindeck

AT MEXICO - BENITO JUAREZ AIRPORT


We arrived from the previous flight at T2, and even though Air France is a "friend" of Aeromexico, we had to change to Terminal 1, equipped at a gate with 3 jetways for the super jumbo.

At checkin the lady at counter printed again our Boarding pass,, with the Aeromeixco labels.. 


photo 20210918_102531

The time of boarding you actually realise how many passengers there are on this flight, the crowd awaiting to board is huge…
When boarding opened, we used the priority boarding lane, to go to the upper jetway together with business people even though we were economy ticket holders. 


photo img-20180907-wa0030

onboard the a380


Aircraft: Airbus A380-861
Registration: F-HPJF
Engines: 4x GP7270
Age: Was just 8 Years old
Layout: F9 C80 W38 Y389
Observation: MSN64, retired like all the 10 A380s of Air France, its last flight took place to Johanesburg and back.


The AvGeek bit
Air France was the first European airline to receive an A380 in 2009. Here one of the 10 units. The airline was founded in 1933 as a merge of various airlines, amongst which the legendary aeropastiale. The French flag carrier chose to fit the type with 516 seats in 4 classes, including the first called La Première. The airline recently finished to refurbish its long haul fleet and the A380 were in theory the last one to berefurbished - the seats were never updated since the livery which is frankly outdated in 2019. Facing the huge cost of retrofiting the cabins (€36millions per unit) for the fleet, as expensive as a new A350-1000, Ben Smith decided to withdraw the type from the fleet no later than 2022. This, was the decision before the Covid break trhough, which accelerated the withdrawal of the type.


Passing through the premium economy cabin…


photo boarding-63563-12796

As I mentionned earlier on, flying on economy on the upper floor gives a feeling of an economy"+", simply because there are more space and these drawers..


photo boxphoto coussins-rouges

Together with the pillow (here in red), the blanket there were an eye mask and the headphones as usual.


photo casques

And the menu given by the crew.


photo 20210827_120107

It is not the best food offered ever, but at least you can choose and there is a menu being handed away - always a nice touch. There was no mention of the breakfast thought, not sure why…


photo 20210827_120115

Same for the drinks option, Air France wasn't just giving 2 options, and there is a choice in alcohol. 
Did you notice the liqueur section? Well of course I was going to have some Chartreuse! 


photo 20210827_120122

Soon after the pusch back in the dark, the safety chich video was played on the old IFEs (aka gameboys!)
The captain made an announce that we will fly over Teotihuacan, and a lot of information about the cruise altitude etc.. 


photo chic

The aircraft is known for its cameras available to the customer on IFE, but look how it is still the old livery on the A380, that tells you the IFE hadn't had a software update in a while!


photo cameras

Speaking of the IFE, the menu had loads of different options and movies as usual on AF but the user interface is soo late 2000s..


photo ife

And now onto the service:
For an economy meal, it was actually good (and just comparing with Aeromexico):

-Starter was in acceptable proportions.
-The crew refilled our Champagne drinks that we had for take off - I used it for starter.
-The choice of red wine wasn't the one on the card, but still the option was there
-The bread looked good but that is it. I guess you can't expect much from a bread from Mexico.
-The meal was good in proportions and quite salty unfortunately.
-I have a really attentive sweet tooth, and the cake was ok, even though I don't like coffee deserts - I didn't finish eating it.


photo 20180920_234610

The before / after shoot!


photo 20180920_234614

I know I might sound like an upper class fetishist but look at this extra space!


photo fr-rom1plane-12

Over the atlantic… And I must say whether it is at Take off, Cruise or Landing, the beauty of the A380 is the silence - the quietness of the engines not even comparing to older jets, but just compares to B777s… Even the cabin of the B787 is louder.


photo 20180921_073134

 Air France offers its regular Magazine.
If you don't like my magazine reviews you can scroll down for the next 5 pictures ;-)


photo 20210827_120133

with of course a section on global figures


photo 20210827_120144

the dossier of the month was Montreal…


photo 20210827_120216

The same selection of movies but printed at the end


photo 20210827_120411

The connection to both Hubs..


photo 20210827_120321

And finally the fleet page, with that big whale on top… You remember?


photo 20210827_120306

An hour before landing the crew served us the breakfast.. Which was really tiny for me so I asked for more cakes and the crew were super friendly to bring me some more.


photo ptidejphoto approach

Flaps 1…


photo flaps1

on finals


photo final

almost there…


photo alost-touch

and landing on the north runway - you can see the octopus Terminal 1


photo t1

taxiing to Hall L..


photo taxiiing

AT PARIS - CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT


We soon after deboarded through the business dedicated jetway, the upper one please!
Look at this title!! 


photo title

And the engines!


photo enginesphoto fr-rom1plane-08

Selfie of me so you can - almost - look what I look like XD


photo 42197950_1822366334546597_2884910999939317760_n

And arriving to the M hall, going on for the next flight!

See more

Verdict

Air France

8.0/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Mexico City - MEX

6.6/10
Efficiency6.5
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.0

Paris - CDG

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

MEX:
Transiting between the two terminals is awful, you need to walk a lot, have a lot of patience and take a train!

Air France:
A380 is super quiet, the most confortable aircraft to a passenger I feel.
Although the cabine is dated, the IFE from another decade, no Wifi, the plane was relatively new
The big plus was the crew and the food catered onboard. You would expect with such a high volume of economy passengers to have the service becoming industrial, well I experienced otherwise. I am not sure if this is because we were on the upper cabin?

CDG:
As always, a bit of walking from Hall L to 2F but at least you can take pictures of the plane.

Information on the route Mexico City (MEX) Paris (CDG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 14 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Mexico City (MEX) → Paris (CDG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is AeroMexico with 7.7/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 30 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 579694 by
    Aigle_voyageur GOLD 676 Comments

    Hey thanks for sharing this FR aboard the AF superjumbo. :)

    I wish AF would have done something more grand just like they did on the occasion of the farewell of the B747…

    Actually they did a special similar to the 747, but it was only for AF's employees via an internal quiz. That is shameful, but somewhat, it shows AF never truly care about the A380 since the beginning. Unlike a few carriers who, on the other hand, have placed their bet on the "King of the Skies" for the post-pandemic period.

    The airline recently finished to refurbish its long haul fleet and the A380 were in theory the last one to berefurbished - the seats were never updated since the livery which is frankly outdated in 2019. Facing the huge cost of retrofiting the cabins (€36millions per unit) for the fleet, as expensive as a new A350-1000

    Normally, the A380s should have been refurbished after the 777 fleet, but strangely, the A330s passed before. Besides, there were also several flight attendant strikes in the past years. Because of these events, the A380 refurbishment plan took an important delay, resulting in its doom.

    For the Avgeek information: First European airline to receive the A380 and its first flight was CDG-JFK. But I guess that was too obvious to be mentioned. :D

    The catering menu sounds tempting. Even better than nowadays. Too bad we can't see the main course's look.

    Have safe flights. ;)

  • Comment 579867 by
    ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 205 Comments

    Hi Aigle Voyageur !

    Yes the behavior of AF towards is a bit like having a sports car - you name one - but just driving at 50km/h... The planes that were just 10 years old were fitted with a cabin designed in the previous century... Even with the B787 and the A350 AF seemed more "proud"... So we understand why there weren't any special "farewell stickers" any big goodbye... for a plane mostly designed and assemblend in... France...

    Such a shame this was the most comfy plane I have ever been on (not been on an A350 yet though)

    For the Avgeek information: First European airline to receive the A380 and its first flight was CDG-JFK. But I guess that was too obvious to be mentioned. :D
    -> Not that obvious to all I guess and thanks for reminding us :)

    Yes for the main meal I apologise... But for an archive series I did manage to find some material, not all though.

    Thanks again for commenting!
    See you soon !

  • Comment 580201 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5503 Comments

    R.I.P. AF A380 😭

    I totally agree that the A380 was the most comfortable in Economy class of any aircraft. The seats were suuuper wide and spacious. And the upper deck seats were the best with the extra space along the windows and the storage bins. It was an all around great Economy product.

    Now, with the A380 gone, most AF flight feature tight 3-4-3 on 777s and similarly tight 3-3-3 on 787s. The A350s now offer the most spacious Y seats with the A330s close behind...for the short time they'll still be in the fleet. How things have changed in such a short time!

    Thanks for sharing this nostalgic report!

  • Comment 580206 by
    Jett Tyler SILVER 209 Comments

    Good report! Nice to see the Air France long haul product in action on the A380.
    I never got to try the AF A380 long haul. I flew on one of them between London & Paris in 2010 when they were crew training. Was quite the experience!

    • Comment 580293 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 205 Comments

      Hey! Thank you for the kind words!
      Yes it is a real shame! Who would have thought that you had less than 10 years to experience it before calling it a day and putting it away for the history books? :p

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