I am very pleased to welcome you for this new report. I haven’t been flying long haul for more than 6 months and I was really looking forward to step onboard again.
Being it a family trip I had no option regarding the destination and a limited date flexibility, furthermore we will be using Flying Blue miles for this trip and I need to find 4 spaces on every single flight which is not an easy task with stingy revenue management.
Destination elected is Muscat and the only option with a Skyteam carrier is KLM, however no availability on the outbound, but Dubai is the closest alternative with plenty of availability with Air France. For the inbound KLM opened up some award space.
To round up this routing I only need to add DXB-MCT, Emirates & Oman Air are the two options I envisaged, the latter being 4 times cheaper than the first (at around 50EUR/pap) it was a no brainer decision.
Routing is then made of five flights:
Paris CDG - Dubai (Air France, Business, B777-300ER)
[YOU ARE HERE]
Dubai - Muscat (Oman Air, B737-800)
Muscat - Doha (KLM, World Business Class, A330-200)
Doha - Amsterdam (KLM, World Business Class, A330-200)
Amsterdam – Paris CDG (KLM, Europe Business Class, B737-800)
[SOON] As I am used to, RERB will do the job to bring me to CDG airport, I was rather lucky to get a non-stop service and a renovated train.
My first Air France Sharkleted fitted A320
DXB with a dozen of others AF destinations is using Terminal 2F for checkin, you then go through security and border protections at 2F before heading by feet to Hall L/S3
Classic traffic with 77E and 343 from the french carrier
B737-800 Air Europa “SkyTeam”
A couple of A32S who are operating non-schengen flights
Air France lounge is situated one level up, I haven’t visited this one since 2011, let see if things has changed then.
Well, it’s pretty much the same
Being early, I can enjoy breakfast leftover
Showers are also available, no registration nor boardingpass exchange needed which is convenient
Lunch buffet is cold cuts only and will only suit salads addicts
Foods options slightly improved since 2011, nothing stands out though and we are still miles behind asian and middle east airlines offering.
Our aircraft is F-GSQU, a 4 classes 777-300ER, it is also the first of a series of NEV3 aircraft (GSQU,V,Y & GZNA,B,C,D,E)
Boarding is messy, no one is enforcing SkyPriority access
Greeting aboard is average, passing through First
We are on row 3, 1st row right behind First, this is the first Business cabin with only 2 rows, there is a total of 67 J seats in this premium configured aircraft.
And the amenity celebrating this 80years milestone for the airline
Content is still the same, cheap and uninspiring
A330-200 Air France
Push and start up, GE90-115B are powerfully coming to life
I like this airshow version
Taxy is done within minutes and off we go from runway 26R
In parallel with a struggling A340-300
Missing curtain, making the cabin neglected
Headset is still this same cr*p, I can’t even name one single airline which is doing worse
Along with the amenity, the menu is also featuring the 80years celebration
Very Air France menu
Wine list is proudly showcasing French best terroir wines No I’m kidding, one champagne, one white, 2 reds…move along, there's nothing to see here!
Amuse-bouche is offered and at that time we haven’t been offered any newspapers nor oshibori since take-off, I know AF protocol quite well and this was clearly forgotten!
Scallop and tomato
Smoked salmon, blini with white tarama, baby spinach, shrimp sautéed with honey and ginger, lemon
A classic, smoked salmon tasted fine but I still miss the foie gras which I found a must on AF
One of the perk of travelling with your family is to see other's dishes
Lightly spiced sautée chicken
I tried it, rather nice, presentation is very average
Shrimp+Orange+Potato (Thierry Ruggeri)
Very tasty and balanced, I liked it a lot
Pan-seared tenderloin of beef
I did not try it but my father did not touch it, meat was overcooked and presentation is ridiculous.
And do not forget to eat your plastic cheeses tray with your main
Our special selection of cheese Camembert, Comté
Service is verrrrryyyy slow
We are overflying black sea when desserts are showing up
Decent, ice creams were nice but almost melted due to the slowish service
Btw, crew did not care to put magazines on the appropriate racks…
I had a tour at the galley to try to get some candies which AF usualy served on long haul flights, they also put them on the bar. But on this flight they are nowhere to be seen, I asked a FA and she said that she was not sure if it was loaded for this flight, finally she found the candies and hand it over to me without any word or smile.
Being it my mom’s birthday in a few days I asked the Business class purser if he could do anything for that matter, AF is promoting their “dare” approach so I tested them. Once again he could not care less, he even smilingly said that it’s too late for such request as he could have asked for a jumpseat landing, I said him that my mom has little interest for that and I was more looking to a present such as a first class amenity. I feel like I clearly annoyed him with my request and he said that only the chief purser can help (he would not call it or do anything to get involved) and that I have to wait. I politely asked the same to the chief purser, but same as his colleague she cares little, still she accepted to offer a first class amenity, it was nice but shortly after that she said “so now it’s time to leave the aisle you are blocking my colleague access…”
First class amenity
Seat in a full fl… slippery position
1h30 before landing we are served a second service, trolley still in use
Pastry topped with tuna and guacamole Macaroon Mini chocolate éclair
My mother being full she is not taking the plate, still the steward found appropriate to say “we just finished lunch service” implying that this service is non-sense as the pax are still full. I am taking my mother’s plate, please note that the mini-eclair is in reality a moisted chocolate cake.
Still one hour to go when a Stewart is willing to take my Champagne glass
Me « I am gonna keep this one for now » Him “ok, but we will soon be landing” Me “still one hour to go” Him “no, we are landing in thirty minutes” He is walking away and I am literaly shouting on the cabin Me “this is not what your IFE is saying” He never replied, clearly a pathetic behaviour.
Talking about IFE, it crashed preventing me from finishing my movie
We are arriving onto Dubai and still we haven’t seen a SINGLE oshibori for the WHOLE flight, business class purser and chief purser did not say goodbye too, they couldn’t care less.
We are deboarding next to a german queen of the sky
Quick bagage delivery
Air France Lounge - 2E, Hall L
Paris - CDG
Dubai - DXB
Grades are low but AF clearly deserves it on this flight. Even if it’s an award ticket I am fed up by this poor product, being it the soft or the hard.
Air France crews are often able to make up for the uncompetitive seat and catering, and some of them are very good and clearly deserve their position.
On this particular flight this was however not the case, I lost at the lottery, this set of crew was MISERABLE, all of them from the chief purser and the business purser to the flight-attendants were equally pretentious, hypocritical, smug and arrogant. I feel like that they couldn’t care less about the customers. (Exception being the hostess who first served us, she was empathetic and professional, the one point is for her)
Even worse, crew failed to deliver and respect their protocol: no press distribution, no magazine on the racks, not a single oshibori, no welcome/goodbye pitch by the purser/chief purser, and to make things worse a never ending first service.
Clearly with such a crew you better off with any other airline, especially if you are heading to this region, but if you have tons of FlyingBlue miles to burn you may have to endure that.
Thanks for reading and please note that my opinions are my own.
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