Earlier this fall, I had the pleasure of going on an exclusive media trip to Paris with Air France. This exceptional European airline flew in close to 200 journalists and content creators from all over the world to the Capital of Fashion, for Air France’s exclusive 90-year anniversary launch and celebration.
One of the highlights of my trip was flying in Business Class to and from Paris. I’ve flown Business Class with many airlines over the years, but there were several things that particularly stood out to me during this experience.
I was very impressed by the stylish nature of the cabin, the elegance of the business class lounge and the uniforms of cabin crew. Did you know that the latter were designed by the legendary fashion couturier Christian Lacroix? His touch created a perfect blend of allure and chic.
Even the safety video shown ahead of the flight was elegant, entertaining and very fun. In fact, it took us on a stroll through some of the most iconic places in France: the Paris Opera, Château de Versailles, the Eiffel Tower and the legendary Hotel Martinez. The video was directed by French director and scriptwriter Romain Quirot. It also featured original music by Ludovic Bource, a French composer who won a César and an Oscar. In the blink of an eye, 5 minutes and 32 seconds flew by, as we were enchanted by the expert narration delivered by two flight attendants: chic French actors Dorcas Coppin and Yoann Pigny Fournereau.
The Business Class cabin
Before we get into the details of the cabin, I absolutely loved that upon check-in, I was able to opt in for live updates about my flight via WhatsApp. Air France sent me details throughout the trip, including pertinent information like my gate number and the baggage carousel number for my suitcase (which I received as soon as I landed!). This made my trip smooth and carefree.
Air France’s cabin was spacious and comfortable. It featured access to Wi-Fi, which is very convenient when travelling on business. The bulkhead seats were extremely roomy and some would argue are the best among most airlines. As a tall woman, I found this to be true and a definite bonus for longer, trans-Atlantic flights. Typically, I am one of those people who cannot fall asleep when flying. However, I was able to sleep for about 4 out of 7 hours on both flights, to and from Paris. I was very comfortable and pleasantly surprised. I also liked that the cabin was in the 1-2-1 configuration, which was convenient when flying solo. Other bonus points included power outlets, wide footwells, a coat hanger, noise cancelling headphones, amenity kits and a large tray table.
You won’t get bored, no matter how long your flight is. I particularly appreciated the entertainment selection that included many European films that are not easily available in Canada. Many of them were also available in multiple languages, which allowed me to watch the original versions in English, French and Spanish! I particularly enjoyed Yves Saint Laurent (2014) with Pierre Niney and Competencia official (2021) with Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez.
When you have champagne offered on every flight, you just know the flight will be fabulous.
Air France is also renowned for its exquisite cuisine that is offered on-board. Daytime flights offer a French-style 5-course gourmet meal, featuring an aperitif and amuse-bouche, a starter, a main course, cheese and dessert. On overnight flights, the airline combines all services on a single tray to optimize your sleep time. On departure from Paris, and some international destinations, the dishes are designed by top French chefs, including experts who are Michelin-starred!
For example, on the flight back to Toronto, our food experience was curated by Thierry Marx, a renowned molecular gastronomy chef, whose restaurant Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx has been awarded two Michelin stars for its cuisine.
The Business Class lounge in Paris
If you are flying to or via Paris, you absolutely cannot miss the Air France Business Class lounge, which takes up almost an entire floor in the airport and has many exceptional features. This includes but is not limited to: elegant and comfortable furniture, stunning light fixtures and architectural features, a massive kitchen space with a variety of food options (both cold and warm appetizers, main courses, various beverages and two large bars), a sauna, showers, a nap room, a Clarins spa and a nursery room. This is truly a lounge for all ages and will easily meet the needs of the even most demanding travelers.
All that to say: the service was seamless, the experience – memorable and the attention to detail – particularly wonderful. Merci beaucoup, Air France, et à la prochaine !
Photography by Hannah Yakobi and courtesy of Air France.