Personally, I have done various long haul flights, with Iberia, SAA, KLM, however, I am still rather intrigued and drawn to Air France (I’m thinking its probably the French accent 😉 ). And for the latest trip, it made the most sense to travel with them.
Traveling from South Africa to New York, JFK airport is a serious journey – not at all for the faint hearted. But this trip honestly wasn’t too bad! Here’s a quick overview of the experience with Air France (just so you know – it was a good one and definitely a recommended airline!)
So for this trip, there were two legs with a 3 hour layover in Charles de Gaulle (Air France’s main hub), terminal 2E. The first leg was about 11 hours in their Airbus A380, with their old cabin design. And the second leg was about 8 hours in a Boeing 777 featuring their latest cabin design.
The food on Air France always seems to be better than those of the competitors. And this trip was no different – having flown Iberia and SAA recently this year, Air France won hands down on food. With menus on both legs of this trip having options that I could select (no sugar, gluten, white carbs etc), this was a win in my eyes (and belly)! This without needing to do special orders. This meal was fish and grilled vegetables, with a side salad and roll. A yogurt and cake for dessert. I swopped out the roll, yogurt and cake for my husbands salad, making my meal just right (fish and grilled vegetables, with 2 sides of the salad! (Traveling alone? special order the meal and ensure you get something you will enjoy).
The service and air hostesses
The highlight of Air France has to be the service before and on board. The crew was helpful, informative and perfectly presented.
Now look, I’m not tall (by any stretch of your imagination!) so I’m generally not a fussy economy flyer! But I found the new interior of the Boeing 777 tiny! It has the same layout (3-4-3 seats) as the older interior in the Airbus A380 which is substantially wider, and boy, you can feel it! So here’s the tradeoff – you get a better entertainment system (audio and visual) but you lose out on seat comfort, space, shoulder width etc.
My advice to you? If you are flying a seriously long haul flight in the new seats, take a seat cushion. (and top tip, do what ever you can to get an empty seat next to you OR travel with a soft squishy partner who you don’t mind getting close and personal with..)
And lastly, you receive a pair of flimsy headphones in economy – which work, but if you’d actually like to hear your movie, take your own.
We were incredibly apprehensive about flying through Charles de Gaulle, just purely because it is such a big airport.
The last time we flew through there, was to Italy where we had a 45 minute layover. With a transfer to a local flight (through Europe) meant transferring terminals (no small feat. Cue mad ran through an airport at 7am on a chilly morning) – something I am never keen to repeat! However, if you are flying through Charles de Gaulle to the US, you stay within one terminal and the whole process of finding your next gate is rather pleasant. What we did learn, which I think will interest you, is that with the new restrictions of security implemented, you cannot switch terminals out of the one your connecting flight departs from (any flights). So if you have a longer layover, be sure to research your options for restaurants or lounges.
Do you have a favourite airline to fly with? What are the areas that matter most to you?
This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Air France.