Review of Air France flight Paris Houston in Business

Airline Air France
Flight AF636
Class Business
Seat 3A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 22:45
Take-off 01 Dec 13, 10:30
Arrival at 02 Dec 13, 02:15
AF   #48 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 4311 reviews
greg787
By 9673
Published on 15th December 2013
In my previous report I reviewed my journey to Scotland via KLM.

http://flight-report.com/en/report-5764.html

Some Background:
My introduction to AF was last year doing IAH-CDG-DXB-CDG-IAH in Premium Voyageur. Their business class looked rather nice and I always wanted to give it a try, especially after reading a bunch of reviews on here ;). A large reason for booking this trip was for the sole purpose of trying out AF J.
Here’s my trip back.
Some shots around Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Christmas Market
photo a332

Outside The Dome
photo 220

The Balmoral and Waverly station below.
photo 224

Incredible view I had from my balcony
photo 286

The journey started as I boarded a Cityjet Avro RJ85 in EDI. Had seat 3A in Business. When we landed in Paris we taxied to
photo 406

I then entered the main terminal, found my connection at Departure Hall M, and boarded the tram over there. Then a quick spin through security, the usual questions and the pat down, had quite the bad streak this trip with that. Got to my gate M25 just in time as the Sky Priority group were just starting to queuing up. Boarding was delayed for about 10-20 min. No big deal. Boarded the plane through the front door, walked through La Première, turned the corner to my seat 3A. I was in the mini Business class cabin on the 777-300er, that's just beyond Premiere and before the second door.



I had to peek back into the La Première cabin. (I think that’s the next goal.)
photo 413


I had to plenty of leg room on my bulkhead seat.
photo 416

We were on the ground for a bit longer than usual as the refueling ran a bit long. Enjoying a Champagne (Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve) in the meantime.
photo 418photo 460

My view during the refueling.
photo 423


Maybe the same bird I came in on…
photo 419

An assortment of AF craft I watched from my seat.


Saw a very good amount of A380’s. The first, understandably, was the Air France.
photo 436

Then Singapore.
photo 440

Then Malaysia Airlines.
photo 443

And lastly, Thai.
photo 456


United's birds getting ready at Terminal 1.
photo 444


After takeoff, menus were handed out.
photo 445photo 446photo 447

The amuse-bouche was served. Today was a cold Scallop and tomato. It was served along with a spiced cracker, I got a white (Menetou-Salon Les Bornes 2011). A disapproving Ron Swanson looks upon it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Swanson
photo 449a

Out the windows looking at cloud covered southern England.
photo 450

The starter, smoked salmon, fois gras terrine de canard, salad and the best bread in the skies, though not warmed.
photo 451


My main meal, the beef tenderloin, potatoes and a puree of zucchini. More bread and cheese (petit chevre et camembert).
photo 453

For dessert it was (L to R) Strawberry Rhubarb compote, pineapple upside down cake, and a chocolate mousse-brownie.
photo 455

After that meal was was very full. Combined with my general tiredness from the trip and I was out like a light. I almost didn't make it to dessert!
I reclined and instantly fell asleep.
http://photosynth.net/embed.aspx'cid=672920ec-7c87-4792-8af2-921590bff7a8

I got a good several hours of sleep as I awoke and we were already over northern Canada.
photo 463photo 465


Wing curvature
photo 469

Decided I probably shouldn't get too much more sleep, so I watched a few shows on my laptop.
photo 472

Then time for the second meal. We were over the midwest US.
photo 474photo 475photo 477


The coffee was so-so. Using that to wake me up.
photo 478

After landing on runway 27 in IAH we quickly taxied back to Terminal D. The Lufthansa A380 was in.
photo 490

Air China 77W from PEK just landed.
photo 484

TACA, KLM and Singapore also were in.
photo 486

A BA from LHR taxing her way to the gates.
photo 488

The German logistics carrier AeroLogic 777F just about to touch down.
photo 496

A United 787 peaks her way through.
photo 493

After pulling up to the gate, I was off the plane an queued up for CBP in about 5 minutes.
photo 499


The CBP queue took a lot longer, probably around 40minutes to clear.

Amenities kit.
photo 507photo 508

That concludes my second trip report. Thanks for reading.
Oh and it may be too late to mention this but I’ve only done like 3 flights in anything but an economy, so this is all impressive to me…for now.





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Verdict

Air France

6.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew5.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Paris - CDG

6.8/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness8.0

Houston - IAH

6.6/10
Efficiency5.5
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Summary, while this flight has it pros and cons compared to my eastbound TATL on KLM, I found it overall enjoyable. The ability to actually fall asleep probably helped. The mini cabin, with only two rows was nice. However a 2-3-2 configuration was very annoying as I found out. Mid flight I went to the mid cabin ‘bar’ (if you could call it that). My seat was a reclined and so was my neighbors. I had to kind of straddle the seat to pull myself up, then contort myself around him just to get out. Now imagine doing this in reverse with a drink and snacks in my hand. The seat itself is comfortable, though its extremely narrow. The crew were rather unfriendly and not to personable.
The business cabins with a one-two-one herringbone config are probably the ones to beat.

Related

17 Comments

  • Comment 95578 by
    indianocean GOLD 6831 Comments

    Air France has decided to sell Cityjet to the german group Intro Aviation. That's why it's not a Hop! airline.
    Did you know how many La Première seats were occupied on your flight?
    The amenity pouch is very nice
    Thank you for sharing

  • Comment 95579 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4753 Comments

    Thanks a lot Greg for this inbound journey, I was really curious to get the feeling of an American on the AF product, because at the end of the day airline products are not solely designed for their counterparts!

    Shame that you had no time to go to the lounge at Hall M, it's worth a visit, especialy if you are used to lounges in US ^^

    You flew with GZNA with is fitted with NEV3 seats, you were quite lucky as most 77W 4 class are fitted with an older version AKA NEV2.

    Once again I am underwhelmed by the cataring, the foie gras slice is ridiculously stingy, the smoked salmon looks good.
    The entrée is unapealing, how was the meat (well done, overcooked, rare?), potatoes should be skinless and do I need to comment on this aluminium cup?

    On a side note, cheeses is still served with the main, and bread is still unwarmed when most of airlines (and some even Y) are able to warm it!

    Dessert seems good.

    I totaly get your point of view, it's quite difficult to get out of your seat especialy if you are not at a bulkhead.

    The second meal is still the same as ever, same Organic yoghurt and I don't like these stewed fruits.
    The Ravioli as entrée looks nice but it doesn't match the menu description (risotto)! Did you notice it or maybe the crew said something?

    Can you please elaborate a bit more regarding the crew? How was their English?

    Once again thank you for this comprehensive report, I enjoyed reading it!

    • Comment 285687 by
      greg787 AUTHOR 31 Comments

      I really didn't mind the foie gras. Of course I haven’t had all that much. The salmon was indeed good. The meat was rather dry. Very dry actually.
      Crew didn't say anything about the second meal, they really didn't talk all that much. Just showed up at my seat and waited as I put my stuff away and got the try table ready. I guess they meant to print ravioli but put risotto instead.

  • Comment 95582 by
    KL651 TEAM 4492 Comments

    Thanks for this return FR.
    Too bad about the mediocre crew, especially when you have high expectations regarding an airline.
    The two meals actually look good, even if the presentation could be improved.
    Nice collector amenity kit you got ;-)

    Will you still consider flying AF again?

    • Comment 285688 by
      greg787 AUTHOR 31 Comments

      I have zero interest in flying Y on AF. Premium Y would be a stretch. However if work would be paying then thats another story.
      I think my main purpose of flying AF in the future would be for the miles. I have a decent amount from my two skyteam trips by now.

  • Comment 95585 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    I enjoyed reading this interesting report with great bonus pics. I was never able to understand why AF doesn't serve warm breads and insists in placing the cheese course on the tray instead of serving it separately like most airlines in J. It feels like an express meal on overnight flights.

  • Comment 95586 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    The mini-cabin is more cosy than the main J cabin; I prefer the second row which provides more visual space. I too was interested in a US traveler's appraisal of flying AF, which I seldom found a memorable experience. Thanks for sharing !

  • Comment 95588 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12452 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The starter looks yummy, the main less ... the presentation is awful !

    It's a shame having a mediocre crew !

  • Comment 95594 by
    Papoumada SILVER 5895 Comments

    We all are impatient for the new AF cabins arriving mid-2014.

    The main dish is awfully presented. I hope it was tasty.

    I do share your misunderstanding about the cheese service.

    With great F.A the experience would be much improved.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 95602 by
    East African 1524 Comments

    Nice FR with great pictures

    good view from the glasshouse hotel

    According to your rating, it's amusing to see you prefered KLM over AF...

    thanks

  • Comment 95605 by
    pititom GOLD 10708 Comments

    Thanks for this FR ! You received the quite typical product of AF (that means both the good and the bad sides ^^) but it's a pity you had a short connection as the lounge from hall M is another of the good sides.

    You haven't said much about the crew but for conclusion : for you, which part of the overall product do an (un)friendly crew represent ?

  • Comment 95833 by
    greg787 AUTHOR 31 Comments

    Many thanks Kevin!

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