The airline with the best average rating is Air France with 7.5/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 29 minutes.More information
A quick intro: I fly a lot between France and Italy and have done so for the past 25 years. I've seen many different airlines and aircraft operate on this busy route. Crisis after crisis, things have changed but somehow managed to remain the same. I tend to prefer Air France and Alitalia for FFP membership reasons but I sometimes don't mind trying something different.
Today, I fly with Air France which offered the perfect mix of schedules and fares. On top of that, the French national carrier has just inaugurated a long-expected brand new lounge. Let's go!
A brand new lounge and a super crew on board this flight. What else could I expect for this shuttle flight to Milan?
I arrived at CDG quite late. Air France recently introduced a simplified check-in experience where one may upload all the extra travelling documents upon checking in online. A real time-saver, boarding pass in my phone.
The terminal was not crowded at all for a Friday evening. Security checks were completed in a breeze, even though I used the Sky Priority lane.
I still had about 20 minutes before boarding time, I couldn't possibly skip the new lounge.
On top of all Skyteam Alliance members, some other passengers are allowed in.
Let’s get in. First, register a guest on these machines if you bring one.
Then, flash your boarding pass and you're in. Couldn't be any simpler. I miss the human contact although a very nice lady in full AF colours welcomed me. We had a nice chat about this new lounge. I confirmed it was my first time here and she was happy to show me around or simply explain where the main features are located. I can't find the words to describe how enthusiastic she was about her job. Meeting her really made my day, thank you so much Véronique!
The place was busy but absolutely not crowded. A real improvement over the previous two lounges.
Isn’t that a great view?
Food and beverages spots everywhere and the whole area is equipped with plenty of seating options.
So, whether you came for a drink…
Or for the view…
You’ll be satisfied 😃!
Fresh food on offer. There should have been a warm dishes option as well but that was no longer available on the top floor this evening. Too many hungry guests?
My salty choice.
I skipped the hard booze this time but there's a good choice for those looking for something stronger.
Fance being France, some very good wines were available too.
Two types of red, French of course plus white wine too.
Looking for a different kind of alcohol? Well, let's go down.
Here you go! The world famous Covid cocktail.
OK, this one's definitely much better!
A fellow passenger offered to fill my glass so that I could take a picture. Cheers Mate!
And cheers to all of you! The sky is definitely the limit tonight.
Boarding's already started, it was time to leave the premises. Sweet treats? Well, I skipped that one but was happy to say goodbye to the very nice lady who welcomed me earlier on and to her colleague at the entrance.
Next time, I'll have more time to explore and enjoy all the perks.
Now, the only thing I don't like about this new lounge is the lack of direct access to the boarding gates. I was set for a good walk through a rather empty building. The gate for tonight's flight was "F43" at the lower level, those gates with a free bus ride.
I got there just in time, amongst the last passengers. Why rush when you'll be on a bus anyway? Last in, first out.
And for those who enjoy fresh water, please help yourself
The gate agents were particularly cheerful, with no stress at all, just smiles and a nice chat. Shared a good mood before a flight, could not be any better. Let's go.
The bus ride was quick and soon, we were all cleared to board. Refuelling completed.
Engine view with the new lounge in the back.
How often do you get a chance to fly on a BabyBus?
A very warm welcome upon entering and oh, wait, I know the male flight attendant! I have flown with him last month. We end up chatting a bit and I head to the rear of the cabin in an ever better mood than a little while ago. Looks like I'll enjoy this flight a lot.
I chose to sit at the back of the plane but upon arrival at my seat, someone was already there. The cabin crew kindly helped the gentleman move one row behind (the dreadful no-window duo seats) and I was soon set for the ride. Shortly after, the captain came on the mic announces 20 minutes of delay as they were fixing a minor tech issue. I could hear the hydraulic pumps barking below repeatedly.
Minutes later, I asked for some water which was promptly delivered. How nice!
The female crew member working at the rear came again a few minutes later from the front of the aircraft with another paper cup and sayd "de la part de l'équipage, courtesy of the whole crew!"
Wow, thank you so much.
With some spare time before take-off, let me show you what will soon be a sight of the past. The A318 are set to leave the fleet to be replaced by brand new A220s. An almost collector safety card!
As promised, the delay was not very long and we were soon heading towards the southern-most runway for a powerful takeoff heading east.
Bye bye CDG, see you again in two days.
Once the cruising altitude was reached, service began with a french buttery cookie from Brittany and drinks were offered, free of charge.
Unfortunately, no wine had been loaded on the Y trolleys. I opted for a beer.
Did I mention I brought my own catering for this flight?
Guess what, this great crew stroke again! A nice bottle of wine was brought to me from the front. Could I ever complain?
In such great conditions, times flew even faster.
Dessert made of two sweet crepes and soon enough, it was time for the captain to announce the top of descent.
With the lights of the city in sight, we were blessed with a kiss landing, a real treat when you consider the A318 can be a rather stubborn aircraft to handle, a bit like the A321 according to many pilots I've spoken with.
Engines stopped as we parked near a "sister" ship. Both aircraft being scheduled to depart Milan at the very early hours next day.
I left the aeroplane last, taking the time to thank the crew for the fantastic service. Couldn't have dreamt of any better experience. I also commented on the fact I was glad to see a female pilot in the cockpit - #girlpower !!!
Too bad for the delay but hey, better safe than sorry!
No controls or checks whatsoever, I was on the bus heading downtown in a swift.
You can buy your €2 ticket by swiping your credit card on these contactless machines.
20 minutes later, I enjoyed my favourite sight downtown.
That's all Folks! Until next time, of course ;-)
Thanks for reading, please like if you like, leave a comment if you feel like, it will be much appreciated.
See you soon, up in the sky!
Another excellent short flight with all the extras linked to a Skyteam status. Every step of the way, pure satisfaction, really. The new lounge is such an improvement over what we've known until now, the only complaint being the relatively long walk to your boarding gate. Let's pretend Champagne is good compensation.
Once aboard, the crew was just excellent, from our Captain explaining the reason behind the late departure and giving extended information throughout the flight to the cabin crew, absolutely divine. Well done Air France!