Returning back to France from a business trip in Hong-Kong, I took the opportunity to upgrade my business class to first class – “La Première” – thanks to a special offer at 60.000 Flying Blue miles.
Of course, Air France is not a “premium” company like Emirates or Singapor airlines but its first class is not bad and they made lot of efforts on their onboard/airport services. First, they have a good airport lounges network which allows me in HKG to have an entire first class lounge just for me as Air France La Première passenger; the other part of the lounge behind the barrier was full of business class passengers from other companies standing up and queueing for enter…
Then during flight you have plenty of french products and dishes at your disposal upon request with a quite good – even if a bit familiar – crew service. They are also here to make up your 180° full flat bed with specific-sized mattress and silk blanket that enables you to feel at home in your own bed ! However the given toiletries could be improved ; the case itself and Clarins products don’t look luxury, definitely.
Finally, after landing some airport staff come to pick you directly from the plane into a limousine to go to immigration platform and pass through a very fast track. They even assist you until your taxi, limousine or public transport in order to be sure that you are going to have a safe journey. This is what I call a VIP treatment.
Well, seats are old, for sure… Wood and leather pieces as well as the screening system could be renewed and but globally it’s ok. The only negative point would be the electronic modulation when the seat turns into a bed: the armrests are lowered so you are not propped during turbulences… And everyone can see your cute – or not – face when sleeping !
I was on 1A so lot of space and first to be served at dinner and breakfast for this night flight. The table is not very large, probably same size as business class but that’s enough. Service onboard is ok but a bit familiar in my opinion especially for a first class cabin ; at least they are smily and prompt to help you.
Regarding the in-flight entertainement system the Air France reputation is pretty bad so I was surprised to see a large selection of recent movies in many languages ; unfortunately the screen was quite small to benefit correctly.
As a cabin crew told me during the flight, catering is definitely better when flying from Paris. The way the selection was good from HKG but not luxury: no caviar, no foie-gras and very basic food like supreme chicken or beef ribs. I expected far much… Worse, we had exactly same breakfast as business class passengers, what a shame !
Fortunately crew was very pleasant and comprehensive about my complains.
HKG to CDG, night flight on B777 in August 2012.