Air France La PremiereBack to Forum
We’ve just completed a lengthy holiday in Australia, flying MAN-CDG-SIN with AF, and SIN-MEL with QF.
Outbound, AF staff met us at check-in in MAN, walked us to the front of the security line and up to the common use lounge where a table had been reserved for us. We were offered champagne and snacks. When it came time to board, they collected us and took us to the gate, where they held all pax until we had boarded, which felt a bit awkward.
It was on arrival at CDG that the magic started though. We were first off the aircraft and met at the door by an AF agent who led us downstairs to a waiting 7 series BMW. A short drive later we arrived at the La Premiere lounge, where we were welcomed by name. The place was virtually empty. We went to the dining area and ate from a menu overseen by Alain Ducasse. Safe to say it was by far the best quality we’ve ever had in an airport lounge; foie gras and scallops accompanied by truly fine wines.
All too soon it was time to leave, and we were again taken down to a 7 series for the drive to the aircraft. AF Premiere in the 773 is unlike any other first class cabin I have flown in. A single row of 4 seats, 1-2-1, with a very spacious feel. The privacy between seats is quite unique; floor to ceiling linen curtains mean the middle seats are, when they are drawn, a private room about 8 foot by 10 foot. My wife and I found it amazing to have so much privacy. We were served a restaurant quality meal with exceptional wines, with the best of French flair, and then slept in the most comfortable bed ever experienced on an aircraft.
On arrival in SIN we were met and driven by buggy to the new QF first class lounge, which had only been open for 2 days, where we relaxed in the restaurant for the two hour stop, enjoying QF’s signature salt and pepper squid. At the allotted time, we were taken from the lounge by buggy to the QF A380 for the trip down to Melbourne.
QF first class is a solid product; very spacious and comfortable, but all single seats so less than ideal if travelling as a couple. Food and drinks were of a very high standard, and service the casual, “matey” way the Australians do so well.
Back in SIN on the return leg. we were again met and taken to the QF first class lounge, and then to the AF 773 for the journey back up to Paris. To our delight, we were the only 2 pax in the La Premiere cabin! A very jovial lady Captain came to say hello and chatted for several minutes about the flight, routing etc. The service was exceptional as before; we were given a bottle of Krug in an ice bucket with some anuses before departure, and enjoyed a leisurely 4 course dinner in our own little private world before sleeping for about 9 hours. AF have a thick mattress topper and very comfortable bedlinen which, together with the spacious bed, make sleeping a very easy thing to do!
On arrival into CDG, the greeting and trip over to the lounge were as before, and we were able to relax for an hour before the last hop back over to MAN.
I haven’t gone into too much detail on the specifics of the service etc, but suffice it to say that, after about 30 years of travel all around the world and pretty much every first class product out there, the AF La Premiere experience has to be the best I’ve ever experienced. The combination of ground service, lounge, on board hospitality, quality of food and beverage, and the amazing cabin on the 773 is something I’ve never seen before; I can’t wait to plan our next trip!
Total of 23 users thanked author for this post. Here are last 20 listed.11 Dec 2019
at 10:2511 Dec 2019
AllOverTheGaffParticipant11 Dec 2019
When Etihad were in their prime, it was also the same with more private cabin area, separate seat and bed in the First suites on the A380’s. They had the best First in the Sky before SQ’s latest cabins. Chef on Board also, shower room, lounge on board, escorts on and off, through from check in, security, Arrivals lounge, chauffeurs Immigration, Pre flight spas, restaurant style food in lounges. But much has been cut back.
Garuda 1st also had the personal greeting, inside the aircraft, taken via Diplomatic channels at immigration, lounge to wait for them to collect luggage, escorted by 2 staff each passenger, cars onwards etc, but smaller defined doors to the cabins.
Oman Airways has similar services in First now, also SQ, Thai…
BA seems to have none of this.
Those Airlines that retain First, enhance with more private space & Privacy than AF, as much is now incorporated into Business cabins, that used to be in First only.
1 user thanked author for this post.11 Dec 2019
Have AF sorted out their booking process? I believe you had problems with the non AF flights booking into Business, not First?
Yes they did; long story which involved me contacting their CEO(!!), but resolved to my complete satisfaction thanks.12 Dec 2019
Great review, and truly sounds like what a First Class experience should be. I have seen numerous vlogs of AF First and they have all been stunning and very complimentary. I dont fly First often, maybe once a year, but my main concern with booking AF, is truly, labor unrest. I know BA and others have all had to endure strikes, but its seems a national past time in France, and I just dont want to run the risk especially when reading the other forum post regarding the latest French strikes and MarcusGB experience dealing with AF. A real shame as their on board product looks great.
My latest F experience with BA was a week ago, IAD-LHR connecting to WAW. Flight was late by over 90 minutes due to a medical emergency on the outbound. On board service was excellent, no complaints at all, but where BA fail dismally, especially compared to esselle’s experience with AF, once at LHR, you are left to your own devices. Flight was late, numerous connections, arrived at C gates, only one jetway working but luckily eventually connected to lower deck front door, had to jog through to get to A gates, Fast Track had two conveyors stuck (BA says it’s Heathrow’s problem), got to gate A12 in time for my flight, just. But no meet and greet at the arrival gate, no assistance, nothing. BA First has a long way to go on ground services compared to many many airlines.12 Dec 2019
Great review and feeling jealous!!
I only travelled first class in SQ sometime ago (before suits) and in BA both as upgrades, those were my best flying experiences.
After reading this review about La Premiere, I am thinking about saving a dedicated stash and make a trip in future.12 Dec 2019
When BA charge ‘business class’ prices for the First class cabin what do passengers expect. I recently paid £2,900 for LHR-PHL-MCO (and back). Both the Concorde and First lounges were heaving, as AFD’s experience, zero personal service. On both the transatlantic’s I chose from the Club World menu. Yes i got more real estate and yes I got a larger seat… and then to cap it all off, it took an argument with AA in MCO to be allowed my full baggage allowance of 4 pieces n F (which was the reason I needed to fly F). Thats 3 for F and 1 extra for BA gold.
I would love to experience a First class service similar to Air France and that which esselle received – would I pay a full first class price….. NOPE!12 Dec 2019
What a wonderful experience and great review. It is how first class should be.
I would love to experience a First Class service like that….but it does depend on the cost…12 Dec 2019
What a wonderful experience and great review. It is how first class should be.
I would love to experience a First Class service like that….but it does depend on the cost…
Yes, cost is obviously important, and here considerably more than a typical J fare on this routing, but I would say it represented very good value for money.12 Dec 2019
If only it were possible to redeem FB miles for LaPremiere….but impossible, and I see no way around it. One agent even told me that it is by invitation only to the highest flyers, even though I am a lifetime member and have been for years.12 Dec 2019