Today: Top 10 reasons why I love Air France
Since its founding in 1933, Air France has offered its passengers a uniquely French experience on board its aircraft, which serve a vast network worldwide. As an Ambassador for France, Air France showcases the talents of its home country while offering excellent service. In 2004, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Transavia have formed the Air France-KLM group. Although each airline maintain its own branding, the combination of their strengths makes it the leading group in terms of intercontinental traffic from Europe. Over the past decade, Air France has introduced some massive improvements, which have earned the company a reputation as Europe’s most glamorous airline with the best onboard Business & First product. Here are 10 reasons why I love Air France.
Have you ever flown with Air France? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
Here’s a YouTube video documenting my recent flight in Air France’s newest Business Class product:
10. COMPLIMENTARY WIFI FOR MESSAGING
Air France offers inflight Wi-Fi service on both of their European flights and intercontinental flights. 90% of the carrier’s aircraft have been equipped with WiFi so far, including Boeing 777, Boeing 787, Airbus A318, A319, A330, A350, A220, A320, and A321. Passengers get complimentary Wi-Fi for using messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, and other social media apps. Besides complimentary messaging, Air France also offers two packages which are available for purchase: Surf and Stream. Passengers who want to watch movies should choose Stream, while Surf offers enough data for those who just want to shop online or read news articles. Passengers can purchase the Internet packages via the Air France Portal during their flight.
9. STYLISH SAFETY VIDEO
Air France’s in-flight safety video is an elegant, lively and fast-moving showcase of French culture. Two flight attendants explain the safety instructions to passengers from all walks of life, traveling together from one iconic landmark to another, places that highlight the best of France, to the tune of lively melodies, inspired by musicals. In an instant, passengers are transported from the steps of the Opéra Garnier to the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, from the sunny French Riviera to the legendary Hotel Martinez. The stroll continues through the vineyards of Provence, past museums, a fashion show, a typical French café terrace and along the banks of the Seine and its famous booksellers. So many fascinating places just waiting to be discovered and admired. The safety briefing ends at the top of the sparkling Eiffel Tower, where an Air France crew greets the airline’s passengers.
8. FOUNDING MEMBER OF SKYTEAM
Air France is a member of SkyTeam, one of the world’s three major airline alliances. Founded in June 2000, SkyTeam was the last of the three alliances to be formed, the first two being Star Alliance and Oneworld, respectively. Its annual passenger count is 342 million (2022), the second largest of the three major alliances. As of today, SkyTeam – operates with the slogan “Caring more about you” – consists of 19 carriers from five continents: Aerolineas Argentina, AeroMexico, Air Europe, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Xiamen Airlines. Members of SkyTeam can earn and spend miles with dozens of airlines to more than 1,000 destinations in more than 180 countries.
7. FLYING BLUE LOYALTY PROGRAM
When KLM and Air France merged in 2005, their frequent flyer programs (Fréquence Plus and Flying Dutchman) were merged into a new loyalty program called Flying Blue. More than 100,000 new members sign up for Flying Blue each month, as it is one of the best frequent flyer programs in the world. With the Flying Blue program, members can earn miles during their trips with Air France, KLM and their partner airlines or when purchasing services from non-airline partners (hotel chains, car rental companies, etc.). These miles can then be exchanged for free plane rides, upgrades (e.g. from Economy to Business Class) and in-flight services, or for free services from other non-airline partners. Miles earned can also be donated as a charity to 18 NGOs selected by Air France and KLM (including WWF, Red Cross, and UNICEF).
6. MICHELIN STAR DINING
Air France has a long history of collaborating witch Michelin-starred chefs. This year, the carrier is working together with a total of seventeen chefs to promote French culinary excellence. The only airline to partner with so many Michelin-starred chefs, Air France is reaffirming more than ever its role as an ambassador for fine French dining and expertise throughout the world. On long-haul flights departing from Paris, Air France has entrusted the menu in its Business cabin to Michelin-starred French chefs. The greatest names in French haute cuisine, including Régis Marcon, Anne-Sophie Pic and Michel Roth, take it in turns to offer vegetarian dishes as well as refined dishes with red or white meat or fish. These meals are enhanced by tableware signed by French designer Jean-Marie Massaud. The wine and champagne list is selected by world famous sommelier Paolo Basso.
5. FRENCH ART DE VIVRE
A certain “je ne sais quoi” that the world associates with France is illustrated in Air France’s expertise and art of travel. With menus created by renowned French chefs, lounges imagined by world-renowned designers and architects, uniforms created by exceptional couturiers, and complimentary Champagne in all the cabins, Air France is raising the profile of French-style excellence around the world. For the airline, in addition to the expertise it offers, it also constantly strives to provide its passengers with the most environmentally responsible travel experience possible. As part of its move upmarket, Air France has a beautiful brand video embodying its ambition to offer its passengers the best of France and take elegance to new heights. The video tells the story of an ascent, that of a bubbly, strong-willed woman, an elegant allegory to the airline. Wearing a red dress with an interminable train, she slowly climbs the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of France the world over.
4. AIR FRANCE FLAGSHIP LOUNGE AT CHARLES DE GAULE AIRPORT
Air France operates several airport lounges across the globe, but its flagship Business Class lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport is in a category of its own. Reopened in 2018 after a complete redesign, the enormous light-filled lounge has a capacity of 540 seats and is an ambassador of chic French style. The choice of materials and furniture with a palette of bright colors strikes a subtle balance between elegance, comfort and creativity. At the heart of the lounge is an incredibly beautiful bar area, called “Le Balcon”. Created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, the bar is set within a curved wooden structure sheltered under an immense golden mirrored ceiling. Other facilities include a Parisian bistro styled dining corner with open kitchen and a wellness center with spa treatment rooms, private saunas and a detox bar.
3. BUSINESS CLASS SUITES WITH SLIDING DOORS
Air France has recently introduced a new long-haul Business Class cabin, which is progressively being rolled out on its Boeing 777-300s. The new Business Class cabins feature 48 pod-style seats arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration and it is fitted in an elegant style, displaying the carrier’s signature colors: navy blue, white (adding light and contrast), and touches of red (embodying its savoir-faire). Air France has chosen noble, soft and natural materials such as wool, brushed aluminium and full-grain French leather for the manufacture of its new Business Class suite, which also features a backlit winged seahorse, embodying the founding myth of the company and its rich history. The new seat’s design is based on the 3 “F”s: Full Flat, meaning that the seat transforms into a real bed almost 2 m (6.5 ft) long; Full Access, providing all passengers direct access to the aisle; and Full Privacy. The latter is ensured by a sliding door, allowing passengers to create a totally private space, out of sight from the other passengers in the cabin. The seats features wireless charging and bluetooth audio among other gadgets.
2. FABULOUS FIRST CLASS PRODUCT
Air France’s First Class – called La Première – is regarded as one of the best First Class products in the world. Installed on a selected subfleet of long-haul Boeing 777-300ER fleet, La Première features just one row of 4 individual suites in a 1-2-1 layout. Each “haute couture” suite is dressed with thick curtains, held back with leather tiebacks, enabling the passenger to decide whether to be totally isolated or just partially. The suite features a seat that reclines into a bed stretching 2 m (6.5 ft) long and 77 cm (30 inch) across, one of the most spacious beds in the sky. Opposite the seat, an ottoman can be converted into an extra seat, enabling the passenger to invite a guest for dinner or simply for a conversation. Each First Class passenger also has a personal 24-inch HD touch screen. First Class passengers also have access to the carrier’s phenomenal ground service and First Class lounge at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport.
1. WORLD’S BEST BUSINESS CLASS SEAT
Not only is Air France’s new Boeing 777 Business Class (as described above) a great product, it also features what I consider to be the world’s best Business Class seat. That’s because not all seats in the cabin are the same as the seats in the front of the Business Class cabin – more specifically the bulkhead seats in rows one and nine – have extra of space in front of them for additional comfort. These bulkhead seats feature all the gadgets as the other Business Class seats, including wireless charging, a large 17.3-inch 4K high-definition anti-glare screen, and Bluetooth connection. But what makes these seats so exceptional is the enormous amount of extra space, which equals that and even tops the space you usually find in First Class cabins. So far, Air France does not charge extra for these seats but they are only available to Flying Blue elite members at booking (although they become also available to other Business Class passengers 72 hours prior to departure).