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Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business Class); Toronto (YYZ) – Paris (CDG)
• Review: Air France A320 (Business Class); Paris (CDG) – Stockholm (ARN)
After arriving on-time in Paris, my goal was to get to my gate as soon as possible given my connection flight to Stockholm departed in an hour.
Paris-Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport is one of my least favorite airports because it’s not functional and it’s confusing. Typical (and daily) situations like going through security can be lengthy. I was reminded of this inefficiency as I attempted to use the “fast track” security line for business class passengers. It took 30 minutes despite it not being busy and 8AM on a Wednesday morning.
Additionally, depending on where your gate is located, the terminals can be very far apart adding additional frustration to your connection.
How Much Did Business Class Cost?
This was a connection from my previous flight so it did not cost any extra miles (or money). I booked an Air France-KLM Special Edition Promo Awards and redeemed 32,000 Flying Blue miles plus ~$200 in taxes for a one-way business class ticket from Toronto to Stockholm (via Paris).
I had also taken advantage of a 25% transfer bonus (AMEX-Air France/KLM). In other words, this redemption required only 26,000 miles which made this redemption an easy choice.
How To Earn Flying Blue Miles
If you’re interested in redeeming points with Flying Blue (the loyalty program of Air France/KLM), it’s super easy as Flying Blue is a transfer partner of Amex Membership Rewards (READ MORE), Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou.
Air France Business Class A320 Review
Air France 1262
Paris (CDG) – Stockholm (ARN)
Duration: 2hr 40min
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 3A (Business Class)
After making my way through the fast track line, I walked swiftly from Terminal 2E Portes L (which is different from Terminal 2E Portes K) to my gate F30 in Terminal 2F. Confusing, yeah?
I arrived at my gate at my scheduled boarding time and stood behind two other business class passengers that were already in line.
As we began to board the plane, we experienced a medical emergency as the gentleman in front of me passed out as he was scanning his boarding pass.
Obviously, obtaining medical attention was the primary goal for the staff so the boarding process was delayed.
After a delay of about 15 minutes, we began boarding again. I was introduced to the purser and took my seat in 3A.
As is the norm for intra-Europe flights, business class is simply economy seating with the middle seat blocked with improved (and more personal) food and drink service. It’s not as exciting as long-haul business class flights.
The seat configuration on our plane was 3-by-3 and 4 rows.
I was seated in Row 3 where I had the window seat. The amount of space was ok but again it is, essentially, economy (despite the faux-leather head rests declaring it’s “business.”)
Shortly before the door closed the purser distributed refreshing towels and bottles of water to business class passengers.
I had not been paying attention to the time but I did notice that it was taking a long time to close the forward door and depart.
At 10:18 (approximately 60 minutes behind schedule), the pilot made an announcement acknowledging and attributing the delay to waiting for the passenger involved in the medical emergency but assured us it it wouldn’t be long.
A few minutes later, the crew closed the forward door and the captain announced thru the PA that our flight time of 90 minutes, and anticipated an on-time arrival in Stockholm.
He also advised us that we’d be delayed about 10 minutes for departure as the two planes next to us were pushing back at the same time and would be ahead of us.
While still at the gate the flight attendants did a manual safety demonstration, which was completed within a few minutes.
The taxi to runway 27L only took a few minutes. The pilots put the petal to the metal and I don’t think they slowed down for any one corner. I found it fun!
As we approached our runway, the pilot announced that we were number one for takeoff, and we were on the runway and airborne in a matter of seconds (10:30AM).
I also saw a KLM A320 taking off in front of us.
Approximately 10 minutes after takeoff the service began.
The flight attendant closed the curtain between business class and economy and we were provided menus.
Unlike long-haul business class flight, your food options are limited. I was not particularly hungry but here is a photo of the (unappealing) food that was served 45 minutes after departure.
Again, similar to economy, the seat has the basics (e.g. cup holder on the back of the tray table).
What I found interesting is that Air France has individual air nozzles in their small regional planes but not their new A350.
Additionally, there are no TV’s in business class so I spent the rest of the short flight marveling out the window
It was extremely foggy/cloudy on our final approach into Stockholm, and I could only see land maybe 500 feet above the ground. We landed and had a quick taxi to our gate, which (surprisingly) we reached right on schedule.
A small Air Baltic plane was parked next to us.
Overall, I enjoyed my flight in Air France’s A320 business class.
The crew were professional. The meal service left something to be desired and took a long time to be served considering there were only 2 people in business class. But the meal was adequate for the short flight.
But again, personally, I wish airlines would present healthier and tasty options. Although this meal may be a typical Parisian breakfast, many people do not eat ham, béchamel, and hazelnut croissants, and would prefer a different option.
Additionally, there was no entertainment selection so I can see why very few would choose to pay extra for a business class seat within Europe.
However, overall it was a good flight.
Given that I only redeemed 32,000 Flying Blue miles total for my two flights, this was a great redemption that was hard to beat!
Have you experienced Air France’s intra-European business class? What was your experience?