Flight review: Air France A319 business class

Air France short-haul business class

TRANSFER

I was travelling with Air France from Washington DC to London via Paris Charles de Gaulle. We began our descent on flight AF055 just after 0100, landing at 0130 (0730 local time). There was a 15-minute taxi to the stand followed by a five-minute wait to disembark from steps at the front of the plane.

A shuttle transferred passengers to Terminal 2E where all had to pass through security again before heading to the lounge (K). My flight (AF1580) to London Heathrow was scheduled for 1010, with a 1030 local time arrival in London.

THE LOUNGE

There are three sections to this expansive lounge – one large venue to the right of reception and one the left, as well as a mezzanine above – so there is lots of choice when it comes to where to sit. All have food and drink stations.

Air France lounge Paris CDG

I arrived at 0815 and began by freshening up in one of the shower rooms. Amenity kits with L’Occitane products and towels are provided. It was very clean.

I then helped myself to a coffee and a light breakfast. Sunlight was flooding in through expansive full-height windows. There were croissants, yoghurt, fruit, cheese, bread, and a variety of hot items including bacon and eggs. A full bar was set out and there were fridges of soft drinks and beer. I tried to log on to the wifi (no password was required) but after ten minutes it dropped and I couldn’t get back online.

Air France business class lounge Paris CDG

BOARDING

The gate, six minutes away, opened at 0935. I was the first to get on board. After a slight delay, the boarding process finished at 1010 and we pushed back shortly after, but there was a further delay until 1050 when we finally took off.

Boarding Paris CDG Terminal 2E

THE SEAT

The front section of business class seats are separated from economy by a moveable curtain. Although seating throughout the aircraft is 3-3, middle seats (B and E) in business class are blocked off, so are effectively 2-2. They look stylish, in navy leather with red leather headrest covers, and red and white cushions. Each has fold-out tray tables with cup holders and jacket hooks.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

Seats in row one offer the most legroom as they are behind the bulkhead. Sitting nearer the front means you will get served first and disembark quicker.

THE FLIGHT

Food trays, refreshing towels and drinks were swiftly distributed once cruising. “It’s all dessert,” said the man next to me. It was except for two fat prawns hugging. I wasn’t hungry so just asked for a mint tea. The crew were quick and professional at turning around this short service.

Air France food business class short-haul

ARRIVAL

Despite a 40-minute delay, we seemed to make up time en route, landing at 1035 local time (1135 French time). After a short taxi, the plane came to a standstill and disembarkation proceeded from the front. As there was no queue at the e-gates in immigration, I was into baggage reclaim by 1050, which was really quick.

VERDICT

I was very grateful for the excellent showers at the lounge during my transfer from a long-haul flight from the US. Despite the delay to take-off, this was a good short-haul hop with Air France.

FACT FILE

SEAT CONFIGURATION 2-2 (A-C, D-F)
PRICE Internet rates for a return flight from London to Paris in April started from £427 in business class.
CONTACT airfrance.co.uk


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