MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 8 Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
This TR will contain the second leg of my journey to, around, and from Africa. This TR will include the following flight:
AF994 CDG-JNB (Boeing 777-300ER)
After spending the night in Paris following our flight from DTW, we arrived at Terminal 2E about two hours before the flight. Since we had printed our boarding passes online the day before, we went to the Affaires e-services bag drop desk.
The bag drop was not as efficient as I envisioned it. The agent was nice, and she mentioned some kind of trouble with the baggage system. It took us about fifteen minutes to check four bags. Since one of them was quite heavy, we were required to carry the bag to a blue cage in the middle of the terminal. I don’t know the reason behind this odd process, but if someone that knows CDG well could shed some light, that would be great.
Clearing passport control and security was also very slow. There was only one booth open for passport control. For security, it we got stuck behind some people who were surprised to find out they couldn’t take their juice box pass the security checkpoint. Therefore, they decided to take their time drinking their unfinished juice while we all waited behind them.
During this time, I reflected on my last CDG experience. This involved sprinting the whole way from 2E to 2C and getting stuck in lines similar to these in an attempt to catch an AF flight to JFK. I was just thankful we weren’t in any rush today!
This terminal is a masterpiece of design, no doubt about that.
The lounge is downstairs. They did a good job with the space they had, but it was a disappointment compared to how nice the rest of the terminal is.
We returned to the gate at 09:15 and boarding started shortly after.
Date: July 15th 2008
Scheduled Departure: 10:15
Actual Departure: 10:32
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Estimated Load Factor: 100% in F; 100% in J; and 97% in Y
We were welcomed aboard by some very friendly cabin crew members once again. I could really feel a difference between this 77W and the A332 I flew yesterday. The cabin feels much more open and wide on the 77W.
As the departure time neared, the lead flight attendant came over the P/A and introduced herself and thanked us for flying AF. Then, she told us that there would be a delay of fifteen minutes as we were waiting on several passengers. I’ve never left CDG on time and I would’ve been shocked if we left ontime so I wasn’t bothered at all.
About fifty more passengers joined us and it looked like they were holding AC issued boarding passes.
We were given pre-departure drinks as we pushed back, and the safety demo was played.
Takeoff was very powerful
They showed these satellite images of random cities in Europe. First it was Paris and then Brussels and I forget the rest.
This was actually kinda difficult. It asks questions like “How many cows can an AF 747 Cargo fit?”
This has to be one of the bigger J class cabins out there. There are two more rows behind the F cabin.
We continued to climb.
About an hour after takeoff, the meal service began with an appetizer. I forget what the choices were but I decided to skip the appetizer as I would not have eaten it and I didn’t want to waste any food. However, the flight attendant offered some bread instead.
For the main course, I got filet mignon. It was overcooked and very dry.
After eating, I decided to walk back to the Tempo cabin as I wanted to see what AF’s new 3-4-3 configuration was like. The seats themselves looked comfortable; however, the aisles and armrests seemed very narrow. I believe TAAG Angola and KLM have the exact same seats and configuration on their 777’s but I can’t think of any other carrier besides them.
Haze over the Sahara
Affaires seat in full recline. I believe that newer 77W’s have a different and better version of this seat.
There were several instances of turbulence during the flight, none of them being too bad. I did manage to catch the cabin crew announcing over the P/A for passengers to fasten their seatbelts.
I’m running out of things to take pictures of lol.
The overall service one this flight was mediocre. However, there was one flight attendent who was very good and feel the need to recognize him. His name was Steve IIRC, and was without a doubt one of the best cabin crew members I’ve seen. He was always smiled, checked up on the passengers throughout the flight, and he just put an extreme amount of care and effort into his job. If it wasn’t for him, I would be complaining about the cabin crew much more.
I’m not sure of the borders, but I think we were over Angola.
About two hours before arrival, the second meal service began. I got the lamb which, again, was not of the best quality.
The captain announced our descent into JNB, which was fast. I noticed that the slats and flaps were deployed very early. I assume this has to do with JNB’s elevation.
On short final
It was a very long walk to immigration, and clearing it was easy enough. They had three booths open for our flight.
After collecting our luggage, we made our way to the Intercontinental Airport Sun Hotel to get some rest before our Air Botswana flight to MUB the next day.
Even the older 2F terminal is aesthetically pleasing. There is, however, a general lack of space and seating in 2F. Would have loved to see the S3 pier but AF decided that we would be bussed from F44. Sigh.
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter): Clearing passport control and security was also very slow. There was only one booth open for passport control. For
Ditto... 3 out of 6 booths unstaffed and it was during late morning rush hour. It's July, so I guess many staff are on summer vacation.
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter): They showed these satellite images of random cities in Europe. First it was Paris and then Brussels and I forget the rest.
Ah no camera views on the 77W? A pity... I loved that on the A330. Another recent flight that had it was a NH domestic flight.
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter): This was actually kinda difficult. It asks questions like “How many cows can an AF 747 Cargo fit?”
...and not necessarily up-to-date either. One question I got was the Airbus type with the shortest fuselage... and the choices did not include the A318.
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter): Angola and KLM have the exact same seats and configuration on their 777’s but I can’t think of any other carrier besides them.
I remember seeing photos of Airbus cabins flying with some mainland Chinese carriers featuring similar seat designs. I quite liked the AF A330 economy seats... the older A340 seats were pretty OK too, just lacking lumbar support. Overall, I think the AF cabin interior looks great, neither garish nor bland; and the headrest fabric and the pillow are pretty comfy, while the blanket actually keeps you warm (and generally stays static-free).
The cabin crew come across competent and cordially professional. I liked the aperitif service... with a French flair... champagne with fennel-seed crackers. Refreshing. Based on my limited experience (fortunately no hiccups) ...thumbs up.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8352 posts, RR: 55 Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Nice report and pictures, good follow up to the previous TR, thanks.
Have to say I'm not rushing out to buy a ticket on AF!
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter): we got stuck behind some people who were surprised to find out they couldn’t take their juice box pass the security checkpoint. Therefore, they decided to take their time drinking their unfinished juice while we all waited behind them.
- Don't you just love these infrequent travellers, NOT!!??
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5540 posts, RR: 11 Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Wow, that filet mignon actually looks rather disgusting.
I mean, I'm no snob at all, but had I paid for business class, I might have sent it back and asked for something less. cauterized.
In general, your meal service seems barely a step above coach- the portion of meat is very small (is that a French thing?) and not very luxurious.
But the IFE and seat look nice.
Sadly, as I'm typically relegated to coach travel, I doubt I will EVER put myself on any carrier's 3-4-3 in a 777. The 747 is crowded enough (remember when 747s were 3-4-2??), I can't imagine doing it in a triple. LOOK how NARROW those seats are! Those poor people!
I'd take KLM's 747 on a Europe-JNB flight, after reading this trip report.
MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 8 Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Thanks for the comments everyone!
Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 9): Was looking forward to reading your report but none of the pictures are working .
They should be working now
Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 7): Thanks for a great TR. Hey, be "grateful" that you got food on-board AF J en-route to JNB from CDG. I did this last year and there was NO food during the second meal service and nasty place-setters and incompetent crew ... this was my report ... http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...3368/
Yes I remember reading that report and was prepared for the worst as I believe this was the exact same flight you took.
28thguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 114 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Those aisles in Y look very narrow. The seats actually look fine themelves.
Maybe it's just the camera angle, but it seems like it would be a difficult aircraft to evacuate in an emergency. Also I can't imagine flying that aircraft on routes to/from North America, given the percentage of overweight passengers that would need to navigate that narrow aisle.
MHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1094 posts, RR: 8 Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting Afboy (Reply 11): Can you tell us more about the attitude of the crew. What did they do, or what they didn't do to be mediocre?
Absolutely. Besides the one I mentioned, the rest of the crew never smiled, avoided eye contact, and there were no drink runs besides the drinks received during meal services. Passengers are required to walk to the galley and pour the drinks themselves.
This seems like a very interesting pre-boarding screen, since it shows languages spoken, captain name and destination weather. I can't think of any other airport which offers this?
Thanks. And yes they are very cool. I guess they take the place of the classic AF boards that are written on with marker at AF's international destinations.
Quoting Flpuck6 (Reply 14): The configuration in Y on the AF 77Ws are apparently disastrous. But how does AF balance the quest for maximum profitability vs. client satisfaction ? hehehehe
The Y configuration offers no client satisfaction whatsoever, so apparently they care much more about maximum profitability lol. Of course, this could cost them if people begin to fly other carriers that have a more generous configuration.
Quoting Thorben (Reply 15): Thanks for this great trip report. It is certainly interesting to fly over the whole of Africa in daylight with a window seat.
Sad to learn about the food, it was always my dream to fly AF in espace première on a long-haul and have some really good food on it. It seems I should rather look for a different carrier.
Yes, AF definitely falls behind when it comes to food, unfortunately.
SXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2134 posts, RR: 19 Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 30944 times:
Hey MH Triple 7
I have noticed many of your reports, and you certianly do a wonderful job!
I however would like to ask you what your occupation is as you have gone to more parts of the world then myself!
Nevertheless your TRs are great and keep up the good work, if you want to take more pictures of something in the cabin, try one of the seat reclined into a bed with the sheets,pillow,etc I always loved comparing those shots with others in ads or in other TR's that I have seen to compare which ones look the most comfortable! You can decide that one for us though .
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.