Having stayed within the U.S., my first international trip in 3 years was actually to England. For my trip, I booked a flight plan that included business class from YVR on Air France’s 777-200. While many of the airline’s planes are in an outdated 2-2-2 configuration, my plane had a nice 1-2-1 configuration allowing each passenger direct aisle access.
Flying out of Vancouver, I took a complimentary shuttle from my hotel The Hilton Vancouver Airport to the International check in area. Gate agents were extremely friendly and within minutes they had me on my way to security. Air France surprisingly doesn’t operate any lounges in Vancouver so I ended up relaxing at the Sky Team Lounge. This lounge is also accessible with Priority Pass. The lounge was quite crowd, but I managed to find seating and snacked on a few noodle dishes before proceeding to my gate.
Air France was operating a 777-200 with a 1-2-1 configuration. Window seats were angled towards the window away from the aisle, while middle seats were angled towards each other creating slightly more privacy. The seat had a solid amount of storage space, was comfy, and fully reclined into a flat bed. No complaints from me.
Menus were distributed at every seat during the boarding process. It was a nice gesture to see hard copy menus return to premium cabins. In addition, pre-departure drinks were also served and I had a glass of champagne. Meal orders were taken shortly after and I went with the seafood option, a seared bass with sautéed radish, and wild rice option. Meal serviced commenced about 15 minutes after takeoff with a nice trio of starters and bread. The starters included a small quinoa salad, lobster, and mixed greens. About 10 minutes later the main dish was brought out. Finally the meal was completed with a cheese plate, dessert sampler, mixed fruit, and coffee. Everything was utterly delicious.
For the middle portion of the flights, there was a mini snack bar in the Galley, otherwise snacks and drinks could be requested. I had several expressos and a small snack before breakfast was served.
About an hour and half before landing, breakfast was served. We were arriving in Paris at about 8am local time. Breakfast consisted of two options and I ended going with the eggs and hash brown option. The meal was solid and I definitely enjoyed the hot croissant. Once again, I also had another cup of coffee (see the dangerous pattern here).
The IFE was good and complimentary WIFI for messaging was provided. I also received an amenity kit with the usual items. It would have been nice to see a mattress topper or second pillow provided.
Service was just absolutely wonderful. The crew was just lovely and really made this a nice flight. The team was always in tandem and continued to check up on me several times throughout the flight.
Wow, I was definitely blown away by the level of service and attention to detail of the crew. In comparison to U.S. Airlines, Air France definitely comes out far ahead in terms of soft product. The amenity kit was solid, but the excellent meal service, coupled with warm service really made the flight. In addition, the hard product might have been dated but was still pleasantly comfortable and enjoyable. If given the choice to sit in business in similar cabins, I will most certainly opt for Air France over a U.S. Base airline. The whole experience from start to finish was a wonderful treat. Maybe my next trip on Air France could be La Premier??