The airline with the best average rating is Air France with 7.5/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 10 minutes.More information
The year was 2017… 25% of the way in a lot had already happened- Donald Trump had been sworn in as the latest US President, in the UK- Birmingham had just hosted the final Black Sabbath concert ending a 47 year run for the Heavy Metal group, Kim Jong-nam (brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un) was assassinated in Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Airport… Over in Paris at Air France, they had just introduced its newest airliner- the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner!
Crikey- How was this 5 years ago!!!
Premier Air France Boeing 787-9 (F-HRBA) Taxiing to departure on one of its first revenue flights.
Air France had just bid farewell to their Boeing 747-400 fleet in early 2016, and early in 2017 introduced the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet which would compliment their then long-haul operations featuring the Boeing 777-200(ER)/-300(ER) fleet alongside their Airbus A340/330 and Airbus A380 fleet.
My original first flight with the Boeing 787 was slated for February 13th 2017, which was moved to March 11th 2017 as F-HRBA had an engine fault grounding it in Cairo for 5 days!
As with the Airbus A380 in the summer of 2010, Air France placed their Boeing 787-9 on a single London Heathrow service for most of 2017 to train new crews on the aircraft type. The plane would make a regular service to Cairo from Paris in the afternoon- with the morning operated to LHR and back to Paris CDG. This ran from early February 2017 through to October 2017 (they extended due to popular demand).
Air France now operates 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in its current fleet during 2022.
I opted to take a flight with the Boeing 787-9 in mid February 2017, but a technical fault on F-HRBA (then the only 787 in the fleet) meant that I ended up flying a Boeing 777-200(ER)- You can find that on my Flight-Report page, which wasn't the best experience I've had, I reached out to Air France about earning some compensation in the form of Flying Blue miles, to my surprise- the woman I spoke to recognised the flight as the Dreamliner experience flights they'd being advertising and offered me a company approved measure to give away a FREE DREAMLINER FLIGHT later in 2017. Unsurprisingly I accepted with a booking on March 11th 2017- which is the review we are on today!
March 11th 2017 rolls around. In the end the day trip is consisting of me, my mate & dad all going to Paris to enjoy a day's visit to the Paris Musee de l'aire et de l'espace (Paris Air & Space Museum) on the grounds of Paris LeBourget Airport. Showcasing over 100 years of Military & Civilian Aviation and Space Flight in France. It is notable for being the only museum where you can visit the Airbus A380, Boeing 747 and BAC/Aerospatial Concorde in one location!
As luck would have it- there is a nice viewing deck at London Heathrow Terminal 4 air-side near Gate 16! Even on a dull and miserable day. you can enjoy some amazing airside photo opportunities.
I was happy to see F-HRBA arrive in from Paris CDG about an hour before we were due to depart. I wasn't going to take any chances after the mishap in February! The Dreamliner slowly trundled towards Terminal 4 from the other side of the Airport where it had landed.
The aircraft was slightly out of sight of us from the Viewing Deck when it parked up, but going downstairs, we quickly found it at Gate 11, so it was not far to go from the Viewing Deck!
Me & my dad were flying up in the Premium Economy cabin, which I think was open for me to reserve as a Flying Blue member, it was a slight premium, but as I fancied a window seat and it was the only one going (on a free flight) I opted to pay for it. My friend was seated down the back as he had booked separately and he was able to reserve an economy class window seat. I quite liked the view to my Seat (12A) as it overlooked the left engine.
What was Premium Economy on the Air France Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner like? Well quite spacious and the seat was good with plenty of legroom with a nice touch of a leg rest, if you don't believe me- check out these photos!
Can't fault the legroom. I would be happy to sit here for a little extra on a 7-9 hour flight!
Now this is how to do a Premium Economy seat!
We pushed back about 20 minutes behind schedule, but not a big problem as we would easily make the journey up and we had a relatively fast taxi down to the runway, which that day was the Southern Runway 27L. After lining up- the crew powered up the massive engines, and away we were off!
Phone snap from my seat of the Air France Premium Economy on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner!
London to Paris is one of the shortest, but most popular international air links in the world, it rivals Ferry services between Dover & Calais as well as the famous Eurostar high speed train service. British Airways & Air France operate the Paris CDG route from London Heathrow, whilst easyJet offers Paris CDG from London Luton & Gatwick.
During the flight, I might (or might not) have played around with the uniquely funky dimming feature on the Dreamliner windows like a then "oversized 20 year old" kid!
It was a short flight. The crew got underway with the in-flight service. Air France (to this day still far as I know) are one of few airlines offering a free snack and beverage service on intra-European flights. On this occasion we got offered a hot drink with a pain au chocolat. I don't have any surviving images of my service (my folder crashed a while ago- image is lost), but this is what I got on my second flight with the AF Dreamliner on the LHR-CDG from June 2017. See the YT video at the start of report for my in-flight service.
This similar service was offered on a June 2017 LHR-CDG service on the Air France Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
As with similar flights to Amsterdam, Manchester & Brussels, this Paris service was coming to an end all to quickly as we started our decent into Paris as we approached the coastlines of Normandy.
Our arrival into Paris Charles DeGaulle Airport was fairly prompt. It was the end of a descent flight and marked a solid return to Air France following the mishaps of February, I do quite enjoy Air France, but not as much as sister airline KLM or rival British Airways. However the nicest bit of the trip- I got Frequent Flyer Miles and a qualifying points from this trip, despite it being free! Thank you AF!
Parking at Terminal 2 (not sure which concourse though) we started to disembark. Me and my dad stuck around waiting for my mate to come up from the back of the Boeing 787, I got a nice cabin shot of the main Economy Class section after it had quietened down following the departure of the other passengers.
The standard Economy Class cabin for the Air France Boeing 787 Dreamliner, I will give this a try on a long-haul flight in the future.
We left the plane, and found our aircraft had arrived alongside a Boeing 777 from Toronto, Canada- so there were two wide-body airliners full of travellers trying to pass through Paris passport control and customs, with only two or three gates open… It took a good 45-60 minutes to get through. Not impressed by the efficiency of the staff at Paris CDG, but the national airline was at least up to scratch!
Air France operates long-haul operations across North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East Asia.
I love this iconic departure board in the heart of Paris Charles DeGaulle, conveying the various destinations served directly by Air France and other airlines.
As this was the main reason for this day out in Paris, here is a look at some iconic aircraft you can find at the Paris Air & Space Museum! Of course- the main attraction, CONCORDE. The museum is home to two examples: F-WTSS (Concorde 001) which was the very first Concorde to fly and F-BTSD, an ex-Air France aircraft which once carried the Pepsi livery in 1996.
Also featured is a Boeing 747-128 (F-BPVJ) an aircraft flown by Air France from 1973 to 2000.
Various airliners and military aircraft on the ramp including a former French Military Douglas DC-8, Airbus A380 Prototype (now open exhibit) and Dassault Mercure.
Given the association of France to World War 2 and the so-called Western Front, the museum has a collection of Warbirds from Britain, USA, France & Germany.
And to conclude here are some miscellaneous aircraft from the collection- the establishment is very much worth a visit and arguably one of the best aviation museums on the European Continent.
Air France Dreamliner- A nice experience and introduction to the future (or it was then), I am still looking forward to trying the Air France 787 on a long-haul trip in the future. I would love to see how they fare up to KLM who I've flown various times. Best word to describe: Magnifique!
London Heathrow- Terminal 4 remains one of my favourite Airport Terminals for flight experiences, whilst it remains shut or used for Red List flights as of the time of writing, I can't wait for it to reopen back to normal.
Paris CDG- Great airport for spotting, nice selection of destinations, but oh boy... The queuing for passport control is a lot to be desired...