Hello Flight-reporters! I am usually a FlyerTalker, but as this occasion is pretty special, I wanted to be one of the first to post on Flight-report about the new La Première Suite of AF. This is my first Flight-report, so please be gentle :)
Back from a trip full of planes and luxury hotel, we decided to treat ourselves, and change our return flight to try this new product. Initially we were supposed to fly back from HKG, but knowing that the new La Première cabin was available from SIN, we decided to change our return flight. We managed to change our intra-Asia flights to fit this new and exciting itinerary. It took quite some work, especially for my friend, but things turned pretty well thanks to a nice travel agent located close to the lobby of the Novotel Silom. She found a stunning price for a one-way on CX from BKK to SIN, a price that could be found nowhere on the Internet.
At one point right after our rebooking, we thought that we would be the only guests in the cabin. Unfortunately, that was not the case and we shared the cabin with another woman. The day before, the flight was even P0 but the 4th pax changed his/her plan obviously.
The lounge has not changed much since our last visit. We still took some pictures for the purpose of this TR. The decor is nice but the food offering very poor I must say, not at all on par with expectations in a First class lounge, especially compared to the La Première lounge in Paris. They do not even cater a Champagne, but a low-quality sweet sparkling wine… We had plenty of time to spare in the lounge before boarding. We also requested to board as early as possible so we could take pictures of the new cabin without being disturbed by any other passenger.
We left the lounge at 2345, a few minutes before boarding time so we could be early per our request. After another long buggy ride, we proceeded to security by slightly cutting the SkyPriority line and entered the boarding area.
F-GSQH : the only B77W equipped with the new P/J/W/Y BEST seats
Our JetQuay girl escorted us to a seat close to the boarding door. 15 minutes past and right before Priority Boarding, the Flight Manager came to pick us up to board early. Indeed, when we got into the plane, the crew was still finishing the preparation of the cabin. We were warmly welcomed by the Chief Purser and the FA that served La Première passengers on this 14-hour flight to Paris.
The wow-effect was maximal : the colors of the new cabin feel very elegant. The combination between the light blue-creep of the seat cushion, the grey of the headrest and the white of the walls look really great. However, we could imagine that the carpet color is not adapted for planes. The chief purser confirmed that stains are already being spotted in the cabin. However, they try to protect the carpet by avoiding boarding by door 1L all passengers, and reserve the boarding through that door to First Class only.
The remote control with my friend's hand as a size reference
Even with only one row of First class, it did not feel cramped at all. The fact that these are not hard shell suites helps a lot. The seat was not really a surprise considered the trials made in the various expos, but it felt really great to be able to use all its features. I was seated in 1A while my friend was seated in 1L. We had our pre-departure beverage (Champagne, Bollinger La Grande Cuvée) together, with me seating on his ottoman. While enjoying our glass of Champagne, we had several discussions with the chief purser and FAs about the new products. We could easily feel the excitement they all had to work on this beautiful product.
For the purpose of having a complete TR, here are some pictures of the new BEST J cabin.
Before pushback she distributed the menus, amenity kits and pajamas. Those two were similar to the ones on the inbound.
Here are the distributed menus and wine list:
It was soon time for pushback. We had a long taxi to the runway and finally took off to Paris. When we reached our cruising altitude, the captain came on PA to tell us that due to weaker headwinds, the flight would be very significantly shorter and that we would arrive 50 minutes earlier in Paris. He also mentioned that we would experience turbulences 5.5 hours into the flight and during the descent to Paris (which finally did not happen).
Some more views of the cabin
While climbing, I played with the brand new IFE system called Air France touch. I new it from my trip on the new J in June, but it is even more gorgeous on the large screen we got in P. Especially the flight tracker, which is very advanced and allows you to pretty much do whatever you want. The cockpit view looks stunning and is very realistic. The only drawback being that the system might not be very easy to use for non digitally engaged people. Also, sometimes, I was struggling to link the actions done on the remote control and what was happening on the screen. If that is not an issue in Y, W or J because you can easily reach the screen and tap into it, that is not the case in F, where you would need to bend a lot to do so.
You can chat with other seats with the IFE. Here we send eachother messages between 1A and 1L seats
The window shades are automatic (a simple button to press). Here is a link to a very short video showing you this : https://flic.kr/p/pdjqQJ
For the meal service, I moved from 1A to 1F to eat with my friend. Soon after, the flight attendant came to take our orders for the appetizers the entrees. We both chose Champagne again for the pre-meal beverage, and enjoyed it face to face again ! It was really tasty and original, but the cashew-cranberry mix was disappointing.
I then sat on seat 1F. The FA came to set our tables. I was disappointed to see that the new tableware was not yet deployed, but the old one still looks good. She took the time to set the table very elegantly (the gestures were very precise). I chose to taste the poultry soup before the appetizer. Very tasty, but a little too dense to my taste.
Then came the appetizer, along with a mixed salad. I chose the scallops, while my friend chose the terrine. Scallops were really overcooked. Too bad, because the asparagus coulis was absolutely stunning, with a really strong herbal taste. The white wine I chose was really perfect with it. The terrine of my friend was really good too. The white sweet wine was very adequate, albeit a little too warm to his taste.
Then came the entree. We both choose the beef filet option. It was cooked medium, on the verge of medium-well. Vegetables, however, were cooked up to the perfection. Still a little crispy on the outside and done in the inside.
The Chateauneuf du Pape was completely compatible, but was not warm enough.
At that time, we were almost full. We tasted the cheese plate, not too bad for something catered in Asia, and both chose the sorbet trio as a dessert. Very good quality of ice creams.
After dinner, the FA had prepared our beds, featuring the new Sofitel MyBed pad, comforter and pillow.
I jumped in it, and had a real sensation to be in bed. I then closed the curtains. Curtains are maintained opened using a holder that closes using powerful magnets. Looks clean. When I closed the curtains, I noticed there are also magnets in the curtains ensuring the complete intimacy and holding tightly closed the curtain. Very smart. Then, the privacy is maximal. I regret, but I tested several suite types and it just does not give the kind of privacy that this curtains give to you. You really feel like you are in your private plane.
And now, the big question, what about the two people in the middle section? We took pictures. The separator is complete between the two seats (from wall to wall). It creates a full separation of 1-meter height between the two seats. When reclined. There is absolutely no way to see your neighbor. And of course, this separation is commanded so you can choose not to use it when traveling with a partner.
Back to my suite :). It was time to sleep, almost 4am SIN time, and 9pm CDG time. I did not have time to put a movie, I was completely tired and slept straight for 8 hours, like a baby. I did not notice any noise. When I woke up, I watched a movie and as the FA saw some light between the curtains, she opened them a little bit and asked me if I wanted an espresso. She delivered it to my seat promptly with a glass of cold water and lime.
I watched a movie and she asked me if I wanted breakfast. I accepted (for the purpose of this TR, of course :)) and she set the table, in the same professional manner than for dinner service. I chose the French Toast.
Without even asking, she was back with an espresso and orange juice, along with a plate of croissants and pains au chocolat. My friend took « only » this (no hot meal for him)
The French Toast was really good and tasty, but lacked a little crispy touch. Also, I do not like anymore the cereal yoghurt they still service in J and P. Come on, 15 years without changing that? I was still full from the day before, so I took some time before eating the fruit salad, and a couple expressos to wash it down.
During our approach, the toilet was constantly being used by our fellow passenger in P, meaning that when it was freed, we had less than 5 minutes to change to our clothes and brush our teeth. We decided to change in our suites by closing the curtains. However, when it was my turn to brush my teeth, the seatbelt sign went on and I and to rush a little bit to finish.
During landing, I used the IFE camera. The definition is way better than the one of the A380, and the sunset was gorgeous!
Due to our late arrival, we were assigned a remote-stand parking. Not an issue for us, we had a limousine van waiting for us, but that is never a pleasant experience after a 12-hour flight for J/W/Y passengers.
To top up the blissful cake of this new P cabin trip, we were limoed to the La Première lounge to wait for our connecting flight to TUN.
Jet Quay's Lounge - CIP
Singapore - SIN
Paris - CDG
What a stunning hard product. Frankly, I tried EK, SQ and KE suites and no one of these gives the level of privacy of the curtain provided by Air France.
However, as you can see, there is still room for improvement. Even if the service is really good, the catering ex-SIN can be dramatically improved. Also, I am not a big fan of the JetQuay lounge at SIN. I know it is a service for privileged people and it might be expensive for AF, but the lounge itself is just OK, and catering is bleh...
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Thanks for this very exiting report ! I was looking forward to discover the new P in flight.
I love the seats and the intimacy that this new cabin provides. It is very elegant and seems to provide great comfort judging by the lenght of you sleep.
The main meal looks good and tasty but the breakfast seems dissapointing.
La première crews on Air France are now perfect or close to it and it adds a lot to this exceptionnal experience.
When the new tableware will be there Air France will really be one of the best airline for First class !
Thanks again for sharing on FR the best airline experience site according to me !
Thanks a lot for your comment.
However, I think the breakfast was really good. Pain perdu was phenomenal, super tasty. And bread was pretty good (not often the case on AF). And the main meal disappointed by the scallops appetizer which tasted like rubber.
I was also disappointed not to see the new tableware. I have no idea of when it will be introduced.
PS : New blue PJs are awesome :)
From what I've seen in AF Press releases, the new china in P and J should be introduced in early 2015...when exactly is anyone's guess. Now that I've decided to switch from SkyTeam to OneWorld, AF finally has good products, lol. Oh well, I still have a bunch of miles to burn on SkyTeam, just won't be renewing my Elite+ status anymore.
It seems that I had missed the breakfast pic when I read and only seen the croissants ! in fact this french toast looks good and would have suited me.
Regarding the tableware from what I heard the enw one should be out in january. Can' wait to see it.
I join Kevin to invite you to report here as often as you can : it's a pleasure reading you.
Thanks a lot!
Bravo on the nice report! Come to think of it, i think this is the same plane i rode on my report on the Y class a while back. Totally loving the new cabin. I remembered when i disembark in Singapore, we went by the La Premiere suite, and i was literally in awe. It had this private plane feel to it. Really wished i could try one someday!
Fantastic report! And congratulations on trying the new F product.
Hi Olivedel! Thanks so much for much for posting this awesome report. You know you can be a Flyertalked and a Flight-Reporter at the same time; a lot of us here are, including me :-)
Shame about the JetQuay lounge...no real Champagne, seriously? Wow, that's crazy for a First Class lounge. But then again, it's difficult to compete with the La Premiere lounge at CDG, easily the best First Class lounge in the world. The personal escorts at JetQuay is a nice feature though, and in line with the AF La Premiere protocol.
The cabin is simply stunning. Very classy look and finally a hard product that AF can be proud of (as with the new Best&Beyond J cabin). I've seen a lot of criticism about the curtain, but IMO it's a great idea as it's more versatile. You have privacy when you want it, otherwise you can enjoy the feeling of openness and space that the hard shell suites don't give you.
Again, thanks for sharing this great report and Welcome to Flight-Report!
I think we are pretty much in line then :)
Say hi to Flavien and Christophe :)
:-) Hope to see more reports from you here in the future. You're reports on FT are great. I remember you were one of the first to report the new J cabin.
Indeed. And I just saw that I could copy/paste most of it without having to re-upload pics, etc, so will certainly do!
What a wonderful report, thank you so much for posting, ironically I was on FT just an hour ago and overlooked your report! Glad I saw it here.
The new hard product looks like a winner, the curtain is a great idea and the seat converted to a bed looks very inviting.
The catering did not impress me too much, maybe it was the presentation, serving nuts in a box is unacceptable for an F passenger.
Thanks again for sharing, will have to dig up some of your other reports on FT!
Great 1st FR and welcome on board ;)
La Premiere seems awesome ! Congratulations for the 1st report on the First class.
Welcome aboard FR Olivedel.
As a first class passenger, I hate the idea that passengers other than F can board through 1L door. Good thing that the cabin crew decided not to do it anymore.
The fact that the after take-off meal is that light is quite unforgivable. CX F from HKG is much better and complete.
Was it possible to close the curtain once the plane took off and not wait until one wants to sleep?
Hello indian ocean and thanks for your warm welcome.
The meal was not light.
There was an apéritif, then soup + salad + appetizer (you can choose the order) then main, then cheese, then desert (you can have all of it).
It was possible to close the curtain after the initial climb (10k feet).
When I write light meal, I mean few choices of main meals. In first class, there must be at least three and even four main meals to choose on.
Got you. In that regard, it was a light meal yes. But I was definitely not surprised as this seem to be the case in many AF outstations.
Also, besides the scallops, quality of all other dishes was excellent.
Thank you for sharing this special report and welcome onboard.
You will find that members here are not as abrasive as those of other sites. As a matter of fact, there is an honest appreciation for talented reporters.
It's encouraging to see that AF is taking steps in the right direction. Hopefully it will become a worthy ambassador of the great culture that it represents.
Looking forward to more of your contributions in the future.
Thanks for your warm welcome, jetsetpanda !
I will try not to be too abrasive then. FT is very harsh indeed, but discussions are good. Trip Reports are not the main meat of the discussions there, so I will be very keen on discussing around the product (and hopefully the product, only!) here :)
Thank you for this beautiful report ! The new first class is fantastic ! The cabin looks like Emirates or Singapor.
I am sure you really enjoy this fly. The colour for the cabin is a very good choice.
Thank you for this first report ! (Sorry for my bad English...)
Thank you very much for this stunning report! It's now finally decided, I'll have for sure to test this cabin by myself... just have now to collect the missing euros for it ;-)
I'm glad to see that Air France can also compete against other airlines in the highest fare class. So after a good economy and a good first there is only a still not convincing Premium Eco and a so-so Business remaining.
Hello Vinzbg and thanks for your greetings!
Actually I used a fare out of TUN that was about 1/3 of the CDG-SIN price.
For the other classes, I agree on W : I dislike the seat, but I must admit that it is a commercial success. Cabin is almost always full when I fly Long Haul with AF.
For J, I respectfully disagree with you for the BEST cabin. It is on par with competitors. I am always amazed to read on FlyerTalk people saying that LH J is SO much better. I took it several times, and I don't really see why it is so much better. Food is usually bleh.
Thank you for your beautiful first FR!
I'm just wondering : Why did you put a 9 in entertainment ?
I'm glad AF has now a great first class cabin
Thanks for your words.
9 because the new IFE is just stunning.
Thank you for this premiere ! And a grand one ! This website being more graphical than FlyerTalk, do not hesitate to publish higher definition pictures up to 1024 pixels wide.
Nice lounge in SIN, I love the Care Bears seating there :) Too bad for the Champagne, though.
Don't be surprised. It's very common in Air France's plane to see unexpected passengers pop-up in the cabin ;)
The cabin is indeed very nice. Added with the Cirrus in J, the whole plane is attractive.
Pouring Bollinger Grande Cuvée in these glasses is a crime ^^ Ammunition for this crime are the crackers in the carbon box...
Sleeping seemed then full of dreams. Hard product seem at the top.
Thanks again for sharing and...welcome here :)
Oh I know AF very well and know a lot about passengers mysterically poppung up. But she was not the captain's wife, believe me :D
Thanks for sharing this first comprehensive FR and welcome aboard
The pictures are way too small :(
The lounge looks nice the offer is not on par
Elegant and comfortable cabin especially because there are only 4 seats
The catering looks more Business oriented than First
it just does not give the kind of privacy that this curtains give to you
The curtains go up to the ceiling so no open space unlike others suites
There is absolutely no way to see your neighbor.
Anyway it's not the same level of privacy than the window seats
I hope you will share another FR soon
Thanks! Sorry for the picture size, will do better next time :)
Hi Olivier, how are you doing?
I am glad you ending up here with your nice report, it's indeed a premiere ^^ on flight-report.
I must say that I am positively surprised by the look and feel of the cabin, it's quite different from the expos.
Lounge and catering are kind of a let-down but it must be difficult to manage at outstation, I read your CDG-HKG report on FT and the lounge at CDG and meals served on board were way more appealing.
They definitely need to change that cutlery and plates, more choices would be welcome as well as a full a la carte menu.
Hope to see you again soon, and thanks again for sharing you experience.
Thank you for your first report, which is this first report in the new first AF ^^
The overall product looks great, such a shame the new tableware has not been deployed with this new cabin :(
Thanks again for sharing :)
Thanks for this report, and welcome :)
I have the feeling that the seat in front of the main one is more comfortable than the simple ottoman found on others companies, due to the fact there is actually a back support. Can you confirm it ?
Thank you for this wonderful report!
For a first report it is impressive well done.
Also i wanted to ask you if you knew which destinations AF goes with this new FIRST CLASS
Thanks again for sharing :)
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