Hopping On An AF Short Fifth Freedom Flight to CGK
I took this flight on a second day after Air France resumed its operation to CGK. SIN – CGK used to have numerous fifth freedom flights but had been disappearing in the past few years due to either re-routing via other destinations or going direct. The last fifth freedom flight was about 2 years ago with Lufthansa having CGK as a tag on for its FRA – SIN flights. However, with the switch to A380, CGK tag on was then changed to its MUC – SIN flight, which was later cancelled as LH stopped flying to SIN from MUC. So, this new fifth freedom flight was greatly welcomed by me.
I arrived at the airport 1 hour and 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The check-in process was smooth and the agent asked me if I knew where the lounge was.
I was very familiar with the lounge which was a shared lounge managed by DNATA. KLM and China Airlines also use this lounge but Cathay Pacific seems to be the main user as the entrance to the lounge is clearly modeled after CX design. This lounge does have a very good outside view to the tarmac.
Having spent about 45 minutes in the lounge and had myself something hot to eat – I didn’t expect AF to serve hot meal for this short 1 hour and 20 minutes sector, I decided to go to the gate at D44.
The flight was in the middle of a boarding process when I arrived and it would be flown by F-GZNB.
I was one of the very last few passengers to board the flight. The Y load and Y+ load were quite high as there were fewer than 5 empty seats in Y. The J load that day was however not very good. I counted only around 15 of us. I later learned from the cabin crew that most of the passengers on the flight actually originated from SIN and only around 70 originated from CDG.
Upon entering the cabin through the 1L, I was greeted by a very friendly French female crew. She pointed me to the direction to my J seats through the F cabin. I was not impressed at all with AF’s F cabin and the seats which to me was very much lacking in privacy. My impression changed once I reached the mini J cabin which I though was very nice despite feeling a little tight with 2 – 3 – 2 seat config. My seat was 7L which was located on the 2nd J cabin. Along the way, 2 more very friendly female attendants also greeted me.
A view from my seat
My entire row was empty throughout the flight
A pair of slipper was found on every seat along with cloth hanger
A bottle of Evian was also available in every seat
About 5 minutes after I settled in, one of the female attendants whom I met during my journey to my seat came and offered me an amenity kit that came in a nicely designed AF pouch.
A male crew then came by and asked if I fancied anything to drink before take off
“Welcome on board! Anything to drink for you?” asked the friendly male crew.
There was nor drink neither meal menu distributed and I could not find either on the seat pocket.
“Yes, I would like a glass of water with ice please.”
The male crew then disappeared into the galley and came back with a glass of water with ice.
The same female flight attendant who offered me the amenity kit came by with hot towel which I gladly took. I found hot towel to be very refreshing and helpful in making me feel relaxed just before the flight.
I found the seat to be very comfortable to sit on and although it was a lie flat, I did find it quite comfortable to sleep on as well. The only drawback about these seats was the small video screen.
However, this small video screen did have an outside camera feature which I enjoy.
Soon all doors closed and our B77W were ready for pushback and safety video was played on the system.
As our aircraft was taxiing ……
until we were holding short of runway 20C.
Our aircraft then took off towards the island of Batam in Indonesia.
We also flew over the Hang Nadim Airport in Batam
and the rest of the Riau Islands chain and the island of Billiton before heading towards the Java Sea
Meanwhile, the cabin service began onboard. AF crew never addressed any of its premium pax with names. However, the service remains very courteous and professional. I found the crew to be very willing to strike a conversation. I found them to be quite warm as well.
Meal service began in the J cabin with a tablecloth laid upon the tray table. The crew then served the meal from a cart in one go with a tray full of starter, main dish, and dessert (fresh fruits).
“We are serving seafood ravioli for today dinner,” said the friendly crew. ‘It is delicious, try it.”
Another flight attendant came with a basket of 3 types of bread. I went for the baguette which was of course synonymous to bread for the French. The baguette was so good that I had to ask for the second one which was gladly entertained by the crew. I also asked for another tub of the French butter to go with the baguette.
I found the ravioli to be good but nothing to write home about. However, the starter which was the crabmeat salad and smoked salmon was amazing. One of the best starters I have ever had in any flight.
I went with a glass of Bordeaux red which was good. Air France served Chateau de Camensac, 2008, 5th Grand Cru Classe onboard.
I was enjoying 2 episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” during the meal service. As Sheldon, Leonard and the gang went crazy, I did let out several laughs. The friendly crew would later asked me what I was watching while clearing up my tray.
“What have you been watching?” asked the friendly female crew who had been serving the section that I was sitting in. “You seem to enjoy it a lot.”
“The Big Bang Theory,” said I.
“Oh yes, they are funny, aren’t they? Well, enjoy the show,” as she walked off with my tray and a smile on her face.
I had been watching my show with the Sennheiser headset from AF. The headset was supposed to be noise cancelling or some sorts but it did not work as well as the one I was used to from SQ.
After the meal service which was executed very well by the crew, I went for the toilet inspection. Here were the amenities found in the J toilet.
As soon as I got out from the toilet, the captain announced that the aircraft was on descend and asked the crew to prepare for landing.
As we were approaching CGK from the Strait of Jakarta. ….
And we finally landed and the aircraft parked at Terminal 2 D4. This concludes my first very pleasurable fifth freedom flight experience with Air France.
Independent The Skyview Lounge
Singapore - SIN
Jakarta - CGK
I enjoyed my short hop with AF a lot. With a fare that was similar to SQ Y fare, this was definitely a good deal. The service was very professional and courteous. The cabin crew members were very friendly and warmth. Food served was on par with what served by GA and SQ. It is the only airline serving the route that is giving our amenity to its J passengers. By the end of 2014, AF will also use the renovated aircraft with its new Cirrus seats in J. For those traveller who don’t care too much about the flight frequency, AF offers a great alternative on this route.
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".