Air France: A Review

A strange mix of modern and old make flying Air France an interesting experience. Excellent customer service, and comfortable seating score points but older planes flying specific routes lacking in basic comforts make a flight over 2 hours much less impressive.

Air France

Air France, the national airline of France, flies to more than 35 destinations within France and around 70 countries.  Air France was established in 1933 and in 2004 merged with Dutch-owned airline KLM, and in 2008 started working with U.S. based airline Delta.

Air France operates its global hub out of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

Paris Airport

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Air France is part of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, making it easy to collect frequent flyer miles for other airlines that you fly on more often. Delta is one of the members of this alliance, so I usually apply miles towards Delta.

If you have a short flight within France that will take two hours or less, Air France will be okay, but longer than that, you may want to choose KLM or Delta. Check out prices and routes on all of these airlines with CheapOair (and get up to $50 off with Promo Code AIR50 on select routes). Or click on the link below for another Promo Code!

Continue reading for a review of two flight experiences with Air France.

FLIGHT DETAILS – FLIGHT 1
Route: Paris (CDG) to Moscow, Sheremetyevo (SVO) (Flight AF 1044, Airbus A319)
Flight Duration: 3h 40m
Seat Class: Economy
Price Range: $300+

Ranking
Check-in Experience and Customer Service: 4
In-Flight Service: 4
Comfort: 3
Overall: 3
Rating System 1-6 (6 is the best)

See the World for Less!Check-in Experience and Customer Service
You can check-in online, via their mobile app, or at the airport with a self-service kiosk or at a check-in counter. I used a self-service kiosk to check in.

I didn’t have any luggage to check, so I didn’t have to go to a check-in counter. If you do have luggage, always check the website for the most current information, but in general for economy class, carry-on luggage “one handbag item and one accessory,’ cannot exceed 12 kg / 26 lb combined. I had a 21-inch carry-on suitcase and a backpack. I had no problems boarding with these items.

Checked baggage items shouldn’t exceed 23 kg / 50.7 lb or 158 cm / 62.2 for economy class tickets. The number of checked items allowed depends on fare class, destination, and airline status. On past flights, I have found Air France to be flexible regarding weight. If you are a little overweight, just ask nicely, and they might waive any associated fees.

In-Flight Service
I have found Air France flight attendants to be friendly and helpful. On this flight, they were pleasant. As people were boarding the flight attendants were smiling and welcoming customers on board.

An hour into the flight we received a hot lunch. The food was okay. It was a little hard to determine what everything was. The bigger issue was my tray table.  It was in terrible shape, it was very loose, tilted, and shaky and kept sliding forwards. I was sure I was going to end up wearing my meal or beverage before the flight ended. Luckily that did not happen.

Air France Hot Meal

Hot meal and broken tray table

There was no entertainment on board which was okay because the flight wasn’t too long, but more of an issue for me was that there were no outlets or USB ports to charge devices. They also didn’t provide any blankets or pillows. That bothered me because I had already been traveling for 13 hours, and while the flight itself was short – I am sure I wasn’t the only one on the plane who had been traveling for many hours and would have appreciated some of those basic things.

There was also only one bathroom – at least that was accessible to economy fare passengers. That was a bit annoying.

Comfort
Even though some basic amenities were missing, at least the seats were comfortable, and there was a lot of legroom. Seat Guru shows seat pitch for an Airbus A319 to be 32 inches and a seat width of 18 inches.

Another problem that I noticed was the seat back in front of me was quite dirty.  Some of the seats were not very clean either.

Air France Seats

Some of the seats looked like they hadn’t been cleaned as it appeared that some had food crumbs on them.

Overall
The flight departed and arrived on time, and we reached our destination safely. However, this was not the most pleasant flight experience I’ve had. I was expecting a bit more from Air France. I did submit my concerns to customer service – they responded quickly and told me they were forward my concerns to appropriate departments. I appreciated the professional and polite response.

FLIGHT DETAILS – FLIGHT 2
Route: Moscow, Sheremetyevo (SVO) to Paris (CDG) (Flight AF 1845, Airbus A319)
Flight Duration: 4h 15m
Seat Class: Economy
Price Range: $300+

Ranking
Check-in Experience and Customer Service: 4
In-Flight Service: 5
Comfort: 3
Overall: 3
Rating System 1-6 (6 is the best)

Check-in Experience and Customer Service
You can check-in online, via their mobile app, or at the airport with a self-service kiosk or a counter. I checked in at a counter because I had luggage to check. While service was fine, it was slow. There were two agents at the check-in counter – I think one of them was training.

I didn’t have any problems, and they didn’t ask any questions about my luggage. They didn’t ask to see or weigh my carry-on luggage which some airlines do.

In-Flight Service
The service on this flight was excellent. As people were boarding the flight attendants were smiling and welcoming customers on board. The flight attendant for the section I was sitting in was fantastic! This man should get flight attendant of the year! I wish I had been able to get his name. He was funny, patient, and friendly. He was also extremely professional – there is a fine line between funny and professional – but he nailed it.

Air France Flight Attendant

Best flight attendant ever!

We were given a hot breakfast and beverage about an hour into the flight. It didn’t taste very good. The quality of the food was not good either.

Air France Hot Meal

Hot breakfast

Again, there wasn’t any entertainment on board and no outlets or USB ports to charge devices. They also didn’t provide any blankets or pillows. This was an early morning flight, so I was surprised they didn’t give these items. Everyone around me was sleeping – so pillows and blankets would have probably been welcome.

Comfort
The seating specs for this flight are the same as above because both flights were on an A319 Airbus. The seats were comfortable, and there was plenty of legroom.

Air France Seats

Air France Economy Seating

This Airbus was A LOT cleaner than my other flight.

Air France Airbus

Overall
The flight departed and arrived on time, and we reached our destination safely. Again, I was expecting more from Air France. I think mainly the experience had a lot to do with the route. Air France is a pretty big airline and their planes probably range based on the route/destination.

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2 Comments

  1. Harmony, Momma To Go February 5, 2018
    • VoyageFusion February 5, 2018

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