What It’s Like to Fly Air France Business Class
You can expect to find a total of 60 Business Class seats on an Air France Boeing 777, which is not as crowded as it may sound. You have 15 rows that are organized in a 1-2-2 layout, so even if you are not at a window seat you only have one person next to you at the most.
Upon boarding you will enter into the France patriotic red, white, and blue national flag color palette that is tastefully done. Arriving at your seat you will find that each seat has its own universal power plug to operate your electrical devices and a USB port for your mobile devices. The armrests can be raised and lowered, so you get just a little more room for in-flight freedom. At the bottom of your feet there is a stool, that you can either put your feet up on or use it as the end of the bed.
For storage, though the space is smallish, there is a cupboard that holds you Air France provided Bose headphones and a place to store your tablet. One problem is there really isn’t anywhere you can put your laptop on takeoff, so you might just end up putting on – your lap. When you look down by your feet you will find a cup holder with a bottle of water.
The length of the flight, from Los Angeles to Paris, will have you needing to get at least a nap in, so the seat lies flat, extending into a bed. You are provided with a blanket and pillow to make you feel like you’re right at home. The cabin temperature is constant, so you can determine whether you need to cover yourself completely or halve it.
During the flight you will be looking at a 16 inch, HD screen. They can be pulled out and swiveled, so whether you are working or relaxing during the flight your viewing area can be adjusted as needed. One nice touch is that you can look at the beverage and meal options on the screen, so you can decide what to order ahead of time. Wi-Fi is important for frequent flyers, and while the previous service was iffy at best, Air France continues to upgrade the Wi-Fi on a plane by plane basis.
Even if your Wi-Fi isn’t up to par just yet, their entertainment system is one of the best. You get a wide variety of movies, television programs, and games to keep your mind busy, and combined with the adjustable seat angles you can find the right position to sit back and relax. If you need help navigating the on-screen menu, there will be a flight attendant to guide you through all your options.
This is a good time to mention the flight attendant service in Business Class. In two words: First Class. Despite there being 60 Business Class seats, Air France has just the right number of flight attendants to be available but not pesty. They may not tuck you in when you are ready to take a nap, but they will definitely make sure you are comfortable and have everything you need during the flight. Their timing is admirable, an important factor when it comes to meal time.
First, when boarding you will be asked what kind of drink you would like. Promptly after takeoff you will be brought your drink along with the food menu, and asked to decide what you would like for your (first) meal. One thing about in-flight meals is that if you end up in one of the last few rows of Business Class seating you might find your menu choices limited. The favorite dishes can go quickly, so the closer you are to the front of Business Class, the greater the likelihood you will have the best choice of meals. But on Air France they start from the back rows (surprise!) so this is something you should remember when choosing your seat.
France, being famous for its wines, carries that reputation on to its national airline. You will be offered champagne once settled in, and to drink with your meals there is a fine selection of both red and white wines to suit your palate. You will select from the three main food flight choices – beef, chicken, or vegan – but will also have a fourth option specially prepared by one of France’s famous chefs. Also famous for its cheese, you will have a cheeses plate offered to you after your meal, followed by an assortment of desserts, all which are excellent.
On such a long flight you will likely go through two meals. If one of them is breakfast, the flight attendants will not disturb you but let you sleep in until you wake up before offering you anything. They are timely, but not pushy. If you are wondering if they actually have croissants aboard an Air France flight, the answer is: of course. That and an assortment of buns, crepes, and omelets.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of flying in Business Class on Air France was the service. You won’t find you dinner tray sitting in front of you, as they will remove it promptly. Your glasses are always filled, and the level of personal attention is among the best anywhere in the world.
You will pay between $7,000 and $8,000 for a round trip, non-stop ticket from Los Angeles to Paris, depending whether you are departing during the day or at night. The non-stop flight takes just under 11 hours, so if you are making connections from LAX you should estimate more along the lines of 13 in-flight hours.