Review of Air France flight Paris Pointe-à-Pitre in Business

Airline Air France
Flight AF766
Class Business
Seat 7L
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 08:45
Take-off 30 Jan 21, 14:50
Arrival at 30 Jan 21, 18:35
AF   #24 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 6117 reviews
ChrisB
By GOLD 1161
Published on 15th June 2023

trip to the french west indies


Hello everyone and welcome on this mini series of flights that will take us to the islands in the Caribbean islands.  
As you may know, France has a lot of oversea territories (on every ocean). In the west indies, France has 3 islands: Guadeloupe, Martinique and half of Saint Martin that are always very attractive to the french population for many reasons, and one of them during this covid period (when we flew) was that this destination isn't considered as "abroad" since we don't cross any border -  so no admin covid paperwork and of course less risks related to health.

Since the market is essentially french, besides ITA Airways that sometimes fly there, there are just 3 airlines operating flights from mainland France: Air Caraïbes, Corsair and Air France. In theory you could think that the competition would bring the prices down but actually there is very little difference.
As I am an (active) flying blue member since I left the UK, I went for Air France. The only cons of flying AF is that the journey would be operated with the old B772 (not even the B773 as the demand wasn't strong back then), as opposed to the A350-900 and A350-1000 (Air Caraïbes) and the A330-900Neo (Corsair), planes that I really can't wait to try.


Miles flying blue claimed: 6064
XP points earned: 30 XP



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I used the Air France app as always to check in. I must say the app is now quite robust and user-friendly.


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Air France does provide a lot of details about his business class on the website.


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We did use the perks of the additional 32kg luggage (each) as we were going for 3 weeks and were really intending to bring home a fairly decent quantity of rhum!


Since the withdrawal of the B747, Air France has been consistently operating B773 on the route from both Orly and CDG airports, but as I mentioned In these covid times, we got the shorter version (not that it changes much in terms of passenger experience, but my fly log doesn't agree with me!)


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pre-flight


We mleft Lyon onboard this beautiful double Decker (and no, it is not an A380!)


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There weren't that many High Speed Train services neither back then, so we couldn't arrive to the nearer station of Massy TGV but at Gare de Lyon (coming from Lyon, makes sense right?).


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at paris - orly airport


A short ride later we arrived at Orly (did you notice how the cloud on the background is hiding behind the Tower?)


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Orly 1 and 2 (formerly Orly Ouest)


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We use the SkyPriority lane to check our luggage in. The lady at the counter was super friendly.

You may have noticed that my boarding pass mentioned 12L as my seat but and the boarding pass below is 5L.. Well… I had my lucky star with me on that day as the lady at the counter upgraded us for free from premium economy to Business; a move this is extremly rare.
Unlike Delta, Air France does not offer free upgrades but paid upgrade.


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Paris loves us… but what about the Parisians? :p


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Once we went throught security and the duty-free area, we went upstairs towards the Lounge.


The lounge is unfortunately blind, but view just outside the door is stunning. Here a B773 bound to La Réunion island in a Skyteam Livery.


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at the air france orly 3 lounge


The lady at the welcome desk was very friendly. The lounge looks very cosy and fancy, with this nice big fat champagne bar!


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The pieces of furnitures and colours remind me of the Air France 2F lounge. I think it is a shame that the lounge doesn't have a view on the tarmac.


There is a resting area on the other part of the lounge.


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The ground staff was open to a nice chitchat. We didn't eat so much as we were about to eat again soon.

I did try a few beverages though! 


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Flight was on time and so we left the lounge a few minutes after the boarding started.


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Once the boarding pass scanned, the crew was recording every passenger's temperature. 
The gate has two jetways: D19 for business pax and D20 for economy.

A view our B772 and your Flight reporter!


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onboard the B777-200


Aircraft: Boeing B777-228ER
Tail number: F-GSPZ
Engines: 2x GE90
Age: 19 years old
Layout: J28 C24 Y260
Observation: The last B772 received by Air France - unfortunately not yet equipped with WiFi at the time.


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Double jetway shot.


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The Business seats on the B772 of Air France has been following a 1-2-1configuration for a while. The seats are Full Flat, Full Access and Full Privacy - which seems to be the standard but not for everyone (hello Lufthansa!)
I like the colours of the seats, it just a shame that the cabin walls are still in that old factory beige colour. I chose the last row of the business cabin not to have anybody behind us and hence to have more privacy.

  Here are a couple of observations about the seat:
- The arm rest is retractable
- All seats are facing forward - seems obvious but a few airlines chose to alternate with rear facing
- Large amount of storage, especially if you compare with the other European majors.. the red cabinet (Cupboard) with its mirror and elasctic band, the large table, the side shelf, underneath your seat and of course above your head.
- There are a few ambiance lights; underneath the cabinets and tables, above your head
- Most of the business seats just offer you a smaller and squarry space for your seat, here the space is generous.
- There is a plug (UK and EU) and USB charger.
- Each seat is good becaue of the 1-2-1 configuration, wherever you are seated, you have a good level of privacy (litterally it is hard to know who your neighbours are), if you seat on your seat, you can't see the face of the passengers next to you nor even in front of you. Each seat is also fully convertible into bed position.
- The only con i found is if you are a couple and want to chat, you have to bent slightly forward to see and hear each other.   


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It was still the time when Air France was giving sleepers - an item that is since dedicated to the first class.

There is plenty of legroom under the seat in front, just to give you an idea with my feet: I am 5"8 and I am an 8 shoe size.


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The pursuer was very very very professional and friendly (that's the lady on the phone), she did stop by a few times and have a nice chat with us.


Not sure you can tell despite the mask but on that picture I am so excited and smiling away!


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Time to pushback and leave this miserable weather!


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The aperitive drinks were suspended with the covid rules, at the time the crew was keen on having the least possible amount of interactions with the passengers.

Some covid protective Equipment were handed out instead.


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The mask was still compulsory at the time.


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view on the Air France - KLM group…


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We are pushing back.. love that GE90 sound when the engines are switched on.


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The safety video has now since changed but still with the same actors.


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The thing with Orly airport is that the runways are very close to the terminal building so the taxi time is very short -  and even shorter when you take off from runway 24 as we did.


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Ready for take off..


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Clearly you can tell the weather is quite humid bu looking at the "fog" covering the engine.


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Look at that winglfex


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Goodbye miserable weather!


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The crew asks the passengers which hot meal they wish to eat for lunch, the platinum are asked first, then the gold members and so on.. The crew assigned to our aisle, knowing that we are a couple, was very kind to ask us at the same time (even though my partner has a lower status) what we anted to eat.

Michel Roth, a Michelins and Bocuse d'Or awarded chef has signed the menu on that day.


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There isn't any choice of starters with Air France, but there is a larger choice for hot meals than other legacies with 4 options.
Unlike KLM, here it is cheese AND dessert even though there is a single option for the dessert.

There is also an option to have  an express lunch, not sure I understand the rationale on a 9 hours flight leaving in the morning -  one might as well indulge oneself with the large food and wine pairing selection!! 


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The Wine list is - dare I say - good but only French (the opposite would be quite risky, we already have been through 3 revolutions!).

Each major wine region is well represented, allowing a sensible wine pairing option for any food that is on board. It would nice though to have  some wine from other regions (Corse, Alsace, Sud-Ouest, Loire Valley, Provence…)  


A nice glass of Duval Leroy is first served.


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The crew gave us the amenties travel kit which features as toothpaste, toothbrush, ear plugs, pen, eye mask, and some Clarins moisturiser.

Unfortunately I can notice some cost-cutting measure as the comb, dental floss, a cloth to clean glasses and minth sweets are now gone from the kit.

 The case itself is quite robust as I still use it today to carry my toiletries here and there.


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The starter is well presented, and all the dishes are heavily described by the crew just like in any fancy restaurant.

The thing Air France has since improved is to wait before serving the cheese and dessert.
I had the Pouilly with my scallops starter.


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I usually prefer a meat meal on the plane but the crew advised me to go for this wild mushroom and hazelnut royal, a dish that was on the menu at the Versailles' court and above one of the best vegetarian food I ever had on board till this day. 

I paired it with the Rhone Valley Saint Joseph wine and switched to the Bordeaux Saint Estèphe for the cheese.

The dessert was three mini cakes: chocolate, financier and macaron, where I was offered champagne to drink with…

and I later switched again to Armagnac…

And after all this well deserved booze I think I went for a nap. 


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I went for a walk on the plane and to refill my bottle of water, I did notice that the air was quite dryer on B777 than newer generation planes like the 787 /350.


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Unfortunately there was no wifi installed on this plane (now there is), I did download the digital press review app before boarding just in case.


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The Air France magazine was - digitally - still existing at the time (now replaced by "en vol")

I particularly like the double fleet page. 


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It was a bit sad to see the regional fleet shrinking from 100 units to 57 at the time - well even more sad nowadays with a fleet of just 30 units.

Consequently the domestic market did shrink too.


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The second service was good and filling but was strangely looking like a breakfast to me. 


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The B772 is well designed on this geovision.


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Love this big fat GE90!


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Sainte Rose on the back ground.


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The plane followed a big left curve


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Point à Pitre on the background.


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Landing was quite tough.



at Pointe-à-Pitre - Le Raizet airport


Air Caraïbes next to our plane.


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bonus


Our hotel was the Fort Royal in Deshaies, a nice place I clearly can't recommend enough.


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Guadeloupe Island has some sumptuous beaches.


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And on one evening, I was asked something..


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Flight radar screenshots.


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See more

Verdict

Air France

9.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering9.0

Air France Lounge - Orly 3

7.8/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services7.5

Paris - ORY

7.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Pointe-à-Pitre - PTP

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

Conclusion

Goes without saying that I will definitely remember for a long time this trip

AF : B772 aren't the quietest of planes and the cabin beige colours look old but the seats are really nice, above the average of the European legacy carriers it seems.
Crew was fantastic, both professional and friendly. In terms of food it is almost perfect, almost because I think there could be more than one option for starters and desserts. In terms of entertainment, the IFE was good with a large selection of movies, and the digital press review app is a plus, I just wish there was WiFi.

ORY: the new T3 is bright and nice, unlike the older T1 and T2.

AF lounge Orly 3: The lounge lack of a waow factor but features all of the classics you would expect from a long haul flights lounge: food, TV, showers, resting area, bars etc

PTP: Very fast to go through.

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 Paris (ORY) Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 110 avis concernant 5 compagnies sur la ligne Paris (ORY) → Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est LEVEL avec 7.7/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 8 heures et 43 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 630251 by
    LeMatheuxVoyageur BRONZE 836 Comments
    Good afternoon dear chrisB and thanks a lot for the sharing. Air France (nickname : Air Paris ^^ !) is definitely offering a nice product between metropolitan France and the beloved Guadeloupe island. You are going well with yçour glasses ! I sometimes forget how horrible was the covid-period with only minimum eye contact, a reduced catering, entry restrictions with and without sanitary pass... I really hope that a such pandemic is behind us forever. Air France was offering a nice service in terms of catering. Despite not being the most recent cabin and airplane, it seems to be comfy enough for an 08 hour 45 journey. During these troubled times, Air France operated a lot of flights towards Fort-de-France, Cayenne and Pointe-à-Pitre (from Paris, I am not joking XD) because of travel restriction, as said in your Flight Report. I think that it was quite unfair regarding to massive financial national contributions received only by Air France. I love Air France but I have to recognize that Corsair and Air Caraïbes were disadvantaged. Both of them had serious financial difficulties and I thought in 2021 that Corsair had a chance to die. Hopefully it has not been the case. In fact, the increase of flights induced a drop of ticket prices between Paris and french ultramarine territories. Nowadays, Air France is offering less flights, particularly from Charles de Gaulle, to ultramarine territories, probably because the tricolor airline is probably lacking of airplanes and crew members. They are concentrated to target Northern America's destinations, which are really attractive. As a result, prices to Guadeloupe are going up (In my opinion, it is a major reason)... Corsair is doing a good job in connecting french regions each other, and I think that flying from Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes will help the compagnie strengthen their financial results. See you !
    • Comment 630559 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3441 Comments
      Hi Yann and thank you for the comment:)
      Ahah Air Paris is a new nickname that suits the company :p
      The pendemic era was really crazy, the very limited amount of interaction was just mad.
      This cabin has been around a good 10 years yet it is very confortable.
      (from Paris, I am not joking XD)

      ahahah
      I love Air France but I have to recognize that Corsair and Air Caraïbes were disadvantaged.

      I agree on that but also these companies were willing to be independant and without any capital owned by the state so...
      As a result, prices to Guadeloupe are going up (In my opinion, it is a major reason)

      for me the other major reason is the fact the three airlines had an agreement to raise their prices, there is no reason why Air Caraïbes and Corsair aligned their prices to Air France. Another evidence that competition does no do miracles.
      Corsair is doing a good job in connecting french regions each other, and I think that flying from Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes will help the compagnie strengthen their financial results. See you !

      Yes at least Corsair does dare flying out more than Paris, not Corsica just yet despite the name ahah
  • Comment 630766 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6738 Comments
    It’s nice to see a good Business class experience on these flights to the French Antilles. As you know for many many many years, these routes had a very inferior product with the dense “COI” (Caraïbes & Océan Indien) configured aircraft. With only 2 rows of Angled Flat seats in J and a simplified service. With the renovation of the COI aircraft to fully flat J both the hard and soft products are now on the same level as other long haul flights (your aircraft wasn’t a COI bird of course but the experience is consistent).

    I would love to visit the French Antilles but, with the exception of SXM, it’s really not easy to get there from the US despite the geographical proximity. I think AA run some seasonal flights from MIA to Martinique and Guadeloupe but they are always crazy expensive. Like 3 or 4X more than other Caribbean destinations! It’s almost cheaper to go to France first and then back across the Atlantic to the Antilles haha.

    And what a lovely place for an engagement! 💕
    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 630845 by
      ChrisB GOLD AUTHOR 3441 Comments
      Hi Kevin,
      thank for your comment!
      yes I am glad that I was lucky enough not to have the nasty COI Nev 4 cabins for the flight.
      I would love to visit the French Antilles but, with the exception of SXM, it’s really not easy to get there from the US despite the geographical proximity

      I know right, just from France (and sometimes from Rome with Alitalia), it is shame but it is almost entirely a french market (with just the exception of Jetblue from JFK and AF from MIA). If you compare with english speaking islands like Barbados, there are more flights to there.
      And what a lovely place for an engagement! 💕

      could be worse eheh
      see you :)

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