Review of Air Antilles Express flight Pointe-à-Pitre Fort-de-France in Economy

Flight 3S219
Class Economy
Seat 3A
Aircraft ATR 72-600
Flight time 00:45
Take-off 19 Feb 21, 19:15
Arrival at 19 Feb 21, 20:00
3S 20 reviews
ChrisB
By GOLD 304
Published on 23rd June 2023

trip to guadeloupe


After a fantastic 3 weeks trip in Guadeloupe, it is the sad time to be back to mainland France..


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Love the ironworks of the balcony of this colonial architecture.


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One of the reason why we could have afforded to fly Business on the way back was because of the fact that we added a stop over in the other french caribean island of Martinique.

Air France has 2 A320s operating between Martinique, Guadeloupe, San Marteen, Cayenne and Miami but still not enough to offer AF flights between the two islands. Air France is codesharing with Air Antilles Express the rest of the time, our flight was one of them. 


Miles flying blue claimed: 189
XP points earned: 5 XP


Routing


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The Air France app is well designed but since Air Antilles express does not have an app, it was impossible for us to checkin and choose our seats in advance.


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Air Antilles Express does not have cabin maps per say but do offer a 360degrees visit of their ATR fleet.


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at POINTE-À-PITRE - LE RAIZET airport


We arrived on time to drop our rental car and enjoy some last rays of sunshine.


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View on the palm trees and on the background, one of the A320 of Air France operating in the region.


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As we couldn't check in online, we go to the Air France counters to check in.

We are heading towards the SkyPriority lane and we are welcomed by a "which flight?" - so clearly her first name is Karen.

I tell her it is a flight to Paris via FDF. She looks at our booking reference and told us "Air Antille is over there". 
I tell her we have bought tickets with Air France, and we are business passengers, just saying.
Karen didn't give two sh**ts.

We go at the Air Antilles counter and there is nobody at the counter.
What a nice way to start a journey.

We go back to the Air France counters telling them there is nobody there and the other Karen didn't care much neither. 


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The Air Antilles counter finally opens and the lady finally issues our boarding pass.


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We go through security and we don't have any liquids with us so we thought this would be done easy peasy except another Karen was on our way…

The woman was giving so so so much attitude to everyone.
She just started yelling "and the boarding pass?" without even looking at us

At this point I lost it and told them "is that how you talk to people? Is that how your mum raised you?" 

Finally airside with the last B773 of Air France of the day and the Air Caraïbes A350-1000. 


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We head to the lounge to find the door closed.

I am trying to open the door that is definitely locked but we can see someone behind the door, a man told us the lounge is closed, (it is not even 6pm!) as the last flight he said is boarding soon (yes the plane hasn't gone yet).
He rudely told us through the door - not even having the basic human decency to open the door - that he doesn't to hear about it, even if we are Gold / Platinum, the lounge is closed bye bye.
 
Needless to say I was infuriating. I ran into the Air France ground staff boss and told her how disappointed I was, and that was about the ONLY Air France staff we met at PTP which wasn't useless/rude/careless.

This airport is a complete sh*t show, never seen such a train wreck. 


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A short 10 min walk later and we are down to the regional bit of the terminal where all the ATR72/42 leave.


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The building is built in a circular shape, with gates all around it. There isn't much apart from toilets and a vending machine.

The great plus about this terminal building is that the passengers are walking to the planes, which I really do prefer to jetways (well, when the weather is warm of course!). 


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onboard the atr72


Our plane arrived on time from Sant Marteen, Point-à-Pitre being just a layover on the flight to Fort de France, which explained why about half of the passengers leaving the plane were boarding the plane with us.

Air Antilles doesn't have a business class nor a priority boarding system, it is the good old single lane fashion.


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Aircraft: ATR72-600
Tail number: F-OMYN
Engines: 2x PW127M
Age: 3 years old
Layout: 72Y
Observations: The last Air Antilles ATR received.


I like the livery, it changes from a dull white paint.


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Safety demonstrations are done in the old fashion way, just before an announce from the captain and the crew manager welcoming the passengers onboard.

They also said that there will not be any food service onboard, to protect the crew from catching covid.
Not being cynical but sometimes I wonder if they really think that passengers are that naïve - for what it seems to be a clear cost cutting measure.


The cabin is brand new, with a nice mood lighting feature and I found the seats to be confortable - at least for such a short flight.


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Air Antilles, and - here despite covid - still offers an onboard magazine, a really nice touch.


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A nice article about some of the two obvious reasons to visit french Guyana: the European space centre and the jungle!


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And music..


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And my favorite page in any onboard magazine..


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at fort de france - Aimé Césaire international airport


The landing was smooth and a bus was awaiting for us for a very short ride to the terminal building.


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Thanks for reading me.

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Verdict

Air Antilles Express

5.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew5.5
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Meal/catering0.0

Pointe-à-Pitre - PTP

5.8/10
Efficiency4.0
Access7.5
Services4.0
Cleanliness7.5

Fort-de-France - FDF

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

PTP: The airport itself is bright and nice - the staff however is a complete train wreck.

Air Antilles: Brand new plane hence cabin, the seats are confortables but crew just talked amonts themselves. No food service.

FDF: Airport seems to be a bit older than PTP but the ground staff is quite nice.

For memory here are my criteria to try and be fair at each report
-Entertainment: None < 4.5 Magazine 6< a smartphone application 7< Wifi 8 < IFE = 10
-Cabin: visually interesting, comfortable and user friendly> 7.5. For example, "Ironing boards" are <7
-Crew: Went for the extra mile, they've outdone themselves > 7.5
- Meal: : Buy On Board <5 Free <7.5< Visually interesting, satisfying, visually good and yummy

Information on the route Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) Fort-de-France (FDF)

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 630883 by
    LeMatheuxVoyageur BRONZE 836 Comments
    Hi ChrisB and thank you for sharing your experience, which was quite horrific at the airport. Humanity was definitly not the word to qualify the workforce's behaviour. That is really annoying that partnerships between Air France and other airlines are quite vague. For instance, I read a few month ago that amelia's passengers who booked a journey between Amsterdam and Strasbourg are not allowed to enter in the klm crown lounge, even if they were gold or platinium. The procedure in PTP is really strange. I do not understand why Air France's agents were not able to print your boarding card. Air Antilles seems to be a basic and pratical airline to make shuttles between the carribean islands. That is regrettable that there is no food service but the flight duration allows that kind of service. A little summary : simple and efficient, and no extras. See you ! :)
    • Comment 630993 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3441 Comments
      Hi Yann and thanks for stopping by!
      The experience was one of my worse airport experience, luckily it was on the way back, not when we arrived.
      That is really annoying that partnerships between Air France and other airlines are quite vague

      yes indeed, on the face of it AF should extend the lounge opening hours
      The Amelia story is really weird indeed.
      A little summary : simple and efficient, and no extras.

      agreed :)
  • Comment 631049 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1980 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this look at 3S, a very good looking livery on the ATR! Great way to end your vacation with a terrible ground experience^^

    Love the ironworks of the balcony of this colonial architecture.

    Looking a little rusty, might want to keep your distance unless your tetanus shot is up to date ;)

    They also said that there will not be any food service onboard, to protect the crew from catching covid.

    On a 45-min flight, they should just hand out water bottles and call it good. I would imagine most of the time it can be quite turbulent on these island hops in the summer months during the storm season.
    • Comment 631209 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3441 Comments
      Thanks for your comment :)
      The livery on this ATR is very nice indeed, the ground experience as a passenger not great!
      Looking a little rusty, might want to keep your distance unless your tetanus shot is up to date ;)

      AHAH good call you're right
      On a 45-min flight, they should just hand out water bottles and call it good.

      Yes that would be a minimum as they don't really label themselves as a low-cost carrier.
  • Comment 631281 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6738 Comments
    A cool way to end the trip with a nice island hop!

    One of the reason why we could have afforded to fly Business on the way back was because of the fact that we added a stop over in the other french caribean island of Martinique.

    Ah, so doing an open-jaw ticket made it cheaper?

    That's a nice looking ATR on the outside and the inside--great livery and nice mood lighting on the inside. You don't see that too often on turbo-props

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 631559 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3441 Comments
      Hi Kevin, thanks for your comment!
      Ah, so doing an open-jaw ticket made it cheaper?

      yes otherwise the business ticket on this routing was jsut unafordable!
      You don't see that too often on turbo-props

      Indeed, I guess I was lucky!
      See you soon!

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