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Mrs SL and I are planning our next trip to Melbourne to spend a month with our eldest daughter in November.
Normally we fly EK, EY or QR in F from London.
This time I am looking to be a bit more free thinking, and have found an interesting itinerary as follows;
CDG-SIN in AF La Premiere
SIN-MEL in QF F
MEL-SIN in SQ F
SIN-CDG in QF La Premiere
The question is this; are we going to enjoy AF? I’ve heard really positive things about the CDG lounge, car to the aircraft, on board service etc, but wondered if any fellows here could support or dispute these stories?
I am quite tempted to give it a try, but would welcome any comments.
Thanks in advance.
SL7 Aug 2019
I haven’t tried the last evolution of the La Premiere product but it looks rather nice to me. Then AF has in my view the best food in the air (it wasn’t always true). And La Premiere is not only the icon of an airline but of almost a whole alliance! I think I’d go for it without fear.7 Aug 2019
I don’t see many reviews of La Premiere, but all I have seen were excellent. Looks like a very personalized product. I hope you enjoy and let us know how you find it.8 Aug 2019
AF La Premiere was my first experience (2015) of F and it remains the best, A380 PVG to CDG. Escorted from check in to the lounge, (PVG lounge quite basic) then from lounge to aircraft (without passing thru boarding gate, my ‘escort’ had scanned my boarding card). Smooth and comfortable on-board experience, on arrival at CDG met at aircaft door, escorted via steps from jetway into a limo to the F lounge, my escort said she would return when it was time to board. Then it was back into the limo, taken to aircraft steps at base of jetway, introduced by name to the purser on my connecting A320 flight to UK, wonderful.
1 user thanked author for this post.8 Aug 2019
But think personally I would stick to SQ for SIN-MEL, too simply because their catering in F ex Singapore is usually outstanding. QF experience does rather depend on the crew….8 Aug 2019
I was tempted to try QF on one sector as I haven’t flown their F product for about 12 years and was interested to see how they are now. I do agree though that SQ is probably the better bet on SIN-MEL.8 Aug 2019
AF has always been on my radar, but i have never taken the leap. Have avoided CDG for years, after a particular nightmare transfer and rudeness (much worse than LHR!) but believe it is better now and if F gets aircraft transfers thats probably better.
QF F is a service i have tried on the A380 and found the seat very comfortable along with good food and quality drink. Very different to the EK / EY experience, more like a better BA.
My only suggestion on the routing, would be take SQ from SIN and QF from MEL. Best ground and experience and generally food is FROM an airport base.
I think they both use the A380 on selected services which i would also select, if timings suited.
SIN is also a wonderful place for a night or two stop enroute to break up the journey.8 Aug 2019
@esselle, sounds like a great trip, and super to have so many fine options. I have not done AF First but have been in their J on the 77W, and saw the F cabin, which looks very intimate, and elegant. Only 4 seats so service will no doubt be top notch and of the highest calibre. Food in J was excellent so can only imagine how it would be in F.
That said, i am always very reticent to book AF as in the recent past they have had a string of strikes, but it seems labor issues have settled down for now.
If, though EY is an option, would the Residence or the F apartments not be a better option to AUH? It is a 787 from AUH to MEL though, so perhaps the transit through SIN makes more sense.
I wish I had this kind of decision to make! 🙂8 Aug 2019
Why waste your money on F when there are some exemplary J experiences? Plus transferring through CDG (believe me even in F) is abissmal apart from a mediocre ranged BMV (not limo now) to escort you to the plane.8 Aug 2019
To the OP: entirely up to you which opinions you believe and which not.
How “Transfer at CDG” can be abysmal when:
1. You are being picked up in the jetway by a personal assistant who drives you in a BMW 7 series (“mediocre?” – it’s the top of the range. At least that is what they used Monday and last week Friday) to what is probably the most sublime First Class lounge in the world (won many prizes for that), with truly excellent food which objectively merits a Michelin Star (not three, but one definitely, possibly two). Don’t think the British Airways Concorde Room dump, think the lobby and bar of the Plaza Athenee in Avenue Montaigne.
2. You are then driven again in a 7 series to your connecting flight, where you’ll go straight . In other words: you’ll never get to see the aiurport, with the exception of the confined spaced of Premiere lounge.
3. The flight to SIN is on the 777-300ER, which is fantastic. It’s the A380’s First Class cabin which is dated and I’d recommend only with qualifications, but the 777-300ER’s Premiere is absolute top notch. Very priavte, only 4 seats, superbly elegant how only the French can do it, great service, excellent food. Large screen for IFE. Downsides: not all of the 777-300ERs have WiFi, so if that matters to you you won’t have it.
4. In Singapore, personal escort again to drive you on a buggy to the lounge, and pick you up from there to buggy-drive you to your connecting flight
I am not an unconditional AF fan. To go to Australia there are other great airlines in First. SQ is top notch and more spectacular on the A380. EK’s service, food, ground service is below AF. Etihad: sure, if you travel in the “Residence” or similar, it’s spectacular. QR – not really. On the ground I’d rank LH and LX First Class below Air France, their in-fight product is less elegant but otherwise on par. You could take them to SIN and then continue on SQ. British Airways is of course the ugly duck in the line-up, their First Class is a complete waste of money.
You won’t do anything wrong flying with AF in Premiere. It’s not the only great choice on that route, but among the best.
1 user thanked author for this post.8 Aug 2019
Many thanks to all of you for your advice and recommendations.
Thinking now is that we will travel as follows;
SL8 Aug 2019