After experiencing SkyTeam alliance member Delta Air Lines’ flagship product from New York JFK to Paris, and traversing France aboard partner Air France’s Airbus narrowbodies, it was time to head home on Air France’s flagship product to New York.
Air France has a number of different interior configurations of the Boeing 777, but this flight was operated by the airline's most premium heavy aircraft, featuring four seats in the La Provence-themed first class section and 58 business class seats.
The Air France flight booked on a Delta codeshare was not helped by Delta's digital messaging, which was strong and mostly helpful. I was forced to download the Air France app because Delta's own app was useless for this trip, and that data was never communicated on the back end to Air France. I was unable to check in or retrieve my boarding pass because of this problem.
I was able to find a link to Air France's version of the document check portal. I did not receive a confirmation until I was on the jet bridge of my flight. Not helpful at all. I was expecting better for two airlines.
The terminal 2E K pier in Paris was calm and orderly. The all-glass construction of the jet bridge made it feel like it was over 100 degrees.
My business class seat was located in the forward mini-cabin, with just four rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
I found a thick pillow and blanket on my seat, with a small bottle of water next to the AC andusb power outlets.
The lead flight attendant welcomed me with a small kit and sealed envelope containing a face mask and some sanitization items.
The pre-departure beverage was important to us.
We were on our way to New York after the safety video.
I browsed Air France's entertainment selection and found a lot of content I wanted to watch on the large screen. The selection was more than adequate, even though it wasn't as featured as Delta's A330neo.
The headphones were provided by the carrier. The headphones were weak and had a tinny sound. Air France makes it easy for passengers to plug in their own headphones by making a secondary jack accessible.
There were a few instances where only one or two movies in a larger series were available, but the selection was better than average. I preferred the IFE system to the smaller remote control.
The remote mirrored what was on the larger screen, but it also offered quick access to the controls and could run the map on its own.
Intelsat 2Ku is believed to be the one that provided wi-fi. There was a free messaging plan and a full flight streaming plan. The free messaging service was slow but reliable.
The pre-ordering of meals was not easy. A full menu was given out. The menu was long, but only provided general information about meals and drinks.
My chicken dish was only described as having pan- fried apples, but it was actually served on a bed of pasta and asparagus. The drink menu didn't specify the brands, instead listing onlygin,vodka, andbitter.
Many airlines have stopped serving the main meal as a multi-course meal because of the swine flu.
The chicken dish was the best, juiciest chicken I have ever eaten in the sky, and all of the courses were quite good.
The only change I would make is to have the pre-arrival cheese and zucchini ready to serve.
I didn't attempt to get any sleep, but Air France's reverse herringbone seat provided a larger footwell than Delta's A330neo suite.
The Air France seat lacked the fine movement control that Delta's seat offers; controls for the latter change the level of recline and forward position of the seat.
The seat had a lot of flat surface area and a small storage area to hold my stuff.
If I were to book this trip again, I would choose the Air France seat on the overnight flight and the Delta suite on the daytime return for the added movies on offer.
The experience on Air France was among the best I have had in business class in recent years.
All images are credited to the author.