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Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Champagne meets Coca-Cola:
MUC-CDG-ATL on Air France A318 & A340





Intro
It took a while in busy times, but now it's finally online: Part 1 of a new report series about a short transatlantic trip to Atlanta and Chicago. It covers the MUC-CDG and CDG-ATL sectors on Air France, operated by Airbus A318-100 and Airbus A340-300. Part 1 also includes a set of pictures from a visit to the World of Coca-Cola in the heart of Atlanta.



Background
In early January my brother and I decided to go on a short sightseeing trip to the United States. We weren't fixated on a certain city, but my brother suggested to integrate Chicago. Numerous airlines offered attractive fares for mid-February, but the cheapest options on US Airways and British Airways couldn't impress me. Finally I found some interesting options on AF/KL/NW, including DC-9s. Now I sniffed a chance to get what I missed two years ago: the DC-9-50. I continued searching and suddenly an entry on NWA's website caught my attention: an ORD-DTW flight operated by a rare DC-9-40. Honestly, I hadn't ever tried to find those, because I had never seen them separately in the NWA timetable. However, they did now indeed show up in the system. Now I still had to solve an old problem: How to include the DC-9-50, too?

I continued searching, probably for several hours. In the end I hadn't only found the desired DC-9-40 and DC-9-50, but also a (Delta) MD-88 which was also missing in my log. The long-haul sectors would be operated by Air France and KLM, airlines which I had flown several times before. And I had also been on the A330-200 and the A340-300 several times before. However, I hadn't boarded an Air France A340 and a KLM A330 yet. An A318 also showed up on the MUC-CDG sector, but I had already flown that type before. So I finally booked the MUC-CDG-ATL and ORD-DTW-AMS-MUC sectors on AF’s website and added an ATL-MEM-ORD trip on orbitz.com. Final price: 490 Euro.

Two years ago the scheduled DC-9-50 was replaced by a DC-9-30 during one of my trips. So for several weeks I kept wondering: Will the scheduled planes really show up at the gates this time?





Saturday, 14 February 2009
Munich (MUC) - Paris (CDG)
Air France AF1523
10:35-12:20 (10:33-12:14)
Flying time: 01:12 (hrs)

Airbus A318-111
F-GUGR (MSN 3009), delivered in 02/2007
Economy Class, Seat 21E



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Photo © Mick Bajcar
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Photo © Ilkka Portti



Check-in & Aircraft
Checking-in online wasn't possible for our journey to the United States, but at least I had been able to reserve seats for the long-haul sectors in advance on AF's website. We had to wait for a while in the cramped combined AF/KL check-in area, but finally we got our boarding passes and could proceed to the gate.
I had been concerned about the short transfer time at CDG, but I stopped worrying when our aircraft arrived on time. It was F-GUGR, the newest A318 in the fleet, delivered in February 2007.



Cabin Comfort & Departure
Friendly flights attendants welcomed us on board after we had had a look at the numerous newspapers and magazines on offer at the door. The seats look more comfortable than they really are...



...and the seat pitch isn't very generous either:



We left the gate a bit early, but the captain announced that we would spend another 10 minutes on the ground due to de-icing on this cold Saturday morning. "This is perfectly normal in these meteorological conditions", the captain explained for those who are not familiar with the procedure.



The wing turned orange first...



...and remained green for a while:



Instant Coffee
I hadn't expected much in terms of catering on that short flight anyway, but Air France still managed to disappoint me a bit - by serving an instant coffee. It was ok, but the taste is just not the same. Anyway, the cookies were good, but small.


The remaining flight was uneventful and we arrived at a bus gate six minutes ahead of schedule.



Transfer at CDG
Transferring at CDG, especially getting from one end to another, can be a pain. However, it turned out to be quite easy and speedy this time. We left the bus which had brought us to Terminal 2D and immediately got in line for the shuttle bus to Terminal 2E. Passport control was required here and we were surprised by a very friendly officer: He addressed us in German, asked for our hometown in Bavaria and told us that he liked Munich. Some minutes later we left the bus at Terminal 2E - but now it took us about 20 minutes to pass the totally cramped security checkpoints. So in the end it had taken us more than 30 minutes from gate to gate. Add a slight delay to that and you may have trouble to get the connecting flight.




Saturday, 14 February 2009
Paris (CDG) - Atlanta (ATL)
Air France AF388
13:35-17:30 (14:10-17:39)
Flying time: 09:11 (hrs)

Airbus A340-313X
F-GLZN (MSN 245), delivered in 11/1998
Economy Class, Seat 45K



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Photo © Paul Robbins - Nashville Aviation Photographers
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Photo © Jerome Mervelet




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Photo © digitalex Wiecka
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Photo © Frank Robitaille



Aircraft & Boarding
Both the exterior design and the interior design of Terminal 2E are impressive...



...but the windows are a nightmare for spotters. Here's the best picture I could take of our aircraft, F-GLZN, an A340-300 delivered in November 1998:



Boarding had just started when we arrived at the gate - and two long queues plus additional passengers still being seated indicated that the flight would be full. So we had to wait another 20 minutes until we could enter the jetway. Certain passengers were selected for another security check after the boarding pass screening, but luckily, we could proceed. Again, friendly flight attendants greeted us on the way to our row.
The seats weren't the airline's latest long-haul models, but still quite comfortable:



Old-style, blue seatback with small PTV:



Seat pitch wasn't very generous - it was only just sufficient for me, but not for my brother who is some 15 centimeters taller than me.



Delayed Departure
After nearly all seats had been taken and loading had been completed, I was expecting an immediate pushback...



...but the captain announced a delay: Some passengers hadn't shown up at the gate and now their luggage had to be offloaded again.



We finally left the gate 35 minutes late and started taxiing. There's a lot to criticize about CDG, but the architecture is definitely something special.



Ten minutes later F-GLZN started accelerating, rolled and rolled and rolled and gently lifted off...



...slowly climbing into the blue skies over France.



Amenity Kit
Many carriers don't offer amenity kits in Economy Class any more, but Air France still distributes them. Eyeshades and earplugs can be really useful, especially with noisy kids around...  Wink



Free Champagne
Another specialty on AF long-haul flights is the free champagne available in Economy Class. So when the flight attendants offered the first round of drinks we certainly ordered the Jacquart Brut Mosaïque which tasted quite good. Of course, using plastic cups is a breach of style, but the main thing is it was cool and bubbly.  Wink The anise-flavored crackers weren't bad either.



IFE
Even though the hardware wasn't up to date, F-GLZN was already equipped with AF's new AVOD system. Main menu:


It's not as funky as the systems offered by Emirates or Singapore Airlines, but it still offers a large selection of entertainment options. These are the highlights:

  • - More than 90 movies, available in different languages
  • - Dozens of TV features (comedy, sports, nature, travel, lifestyle, kids etc.)
  • - More than 200 music CDs and albums (incl. playlist builder)
  • - 25 radio channels
  • - 15 video games
  • - Classic airshow channel
  • - Survey about the flight

The system was easy to operate (touchscreen and handset control) and I didn't notice any problems.


Irish Isles
About 1,5 hours after takeoff we passed several tiny isles...



...and the airshow revealed the exact position:



Lunch
What looks like a postcard is Air France's menu card:



There was a choice between Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes and French green beans and Broccoli and potatoes au gratin with chicken - however, when the flight attendants with their trolley arrived at our row in the very back of the cabin only one option was left. Bad luck again? No, the beef, my preferred choice, was still available. However, I found out that Air France doesn't serve ginger ale - so I opted for an Indian Tonic. Anyway, the tray looked quite promising:


And the tray wasn't just an optical delight. The beef and the sauce in particular tasted excellent, as well as the pasta salad (with vegetables, chili pepper, sheep's milk cheese) and the pistachio apricot cake. The camembert cheese and the crispy baguette were good additions, too. It was a large and filling lunch - one of the best meals I have ever had on a European long-haul carrier.


Traffic & Cabin View
More than 3,5 hours after takeoff, when we were cruising at 36,000 feet over the ocean...





...I first noticed an American Airlines bird in the distance - and some time later I spotted a British Airways 767-300ER which came a bit closer:



After spending a few more hours using the IFE system it was time for a walk and a cabin shot:



Newfoundland partly covered by snow:




Dinner
According to the menu card, a "chilled dinner" would be served prior to arrival. And again Air France surprised us with a delicious meal, consisting of couscous with chicken, bread, cream cheese and a tart.


The couscous tasted fresh and the large piece of chicken breast was soft and juicy. I also liked the cream cheese, but the best of all was the sweet and fruity tart. One has to praise Air France for offering such a dinner - which is in stark contrast to the fatty and nasty pizza pieces or pies other carriers serve as pre-landing snacks on transatlantic routes.


Approach
After almost nine hours in the air we broke through the clouds in the evening sun:





Delta jet on approach to one of the northern runways:



Delta MD-88 waiting for takeoff clearance on runway 27R:



Shortly after touchdown on runway 27L...



...the very MD-88 climbed out over our head. Simply awesome birds, aren’t they?  thumbsup 


Our aircraft finally arrived at the gate only nine minutes behind schedule and we soon found ourselves stuck in a large crowd in the immigration hall. We had to wait in line about half an hour, longer than at most other gateways I had visited before. ATL was our final destination today, but passengers with tight connections definitely ran into trouble. It may also be confusing that even arriving passenger have to put their luggage back again on a belt AFTER the customs check - but that's because of the specific layout of the airport with numerous concourses. After arriving at the main terminal hall you can finally pick up the luggage.



Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta Airport
I had stayed elsewhere in Atlanta before, but the Renaissance Concourse Hotel is my favorite. It may be a bit more expensive than other airport hotels around, but it's very conveniently located and it's equipped with nice and comfortable rooms. Main hall:



Large beds with six pillows:



Just make sure you request airport view at the time of booking – then you can sit down on the room's balcony and watch the movements:



No doubts, this is the home of D-E-L-T-A!


Btw - the windows are soundproof. Well, you can still tell when an MD-80 rockets upwards.  Wink


Downtown Atlanta & World of Coca-Cola
On the next morning we took the shuttle to the airport and bought train tickets to downtown Atlanta. Some 30 minutes later we arrived in the heart of Atlanta - which was completely deserted on that early Sunday morning.



This is CNN's headquarters, the CNN Center:



The tower on the right is the Bank of America Plaza, the tallest building in Georgia and the 30th tallest building in the world (311.8 meters). The tower on the left is the AT&T Midtown Center:



On the way to the Coca-Cola museum we walked through the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park, built for the 1996 Olympic Games:





Here it is - the (new) World of Coca-Cola , opened in May 2007:





The museum is located at Pemberton Place, named in honor of Dr. John S. Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola:



I had purchased tickets online some days prior to the trip, so we didn't have to wait in line. We spent about two hours in the museum which is interesting even for those who aren't Coca-Cola fans. No matter if artifacts, memorabilia, documentaries, a theater, a bottling line or a giant gift store - there's a lot to discover in the museum.

Entrance hall:



Signs from around the world:



The secret formula...



Dr. Pemberton again:



Classic delivery truck:



Bottles...



...and fridges:



Products from around the world:



Memorabilia...



Fully-functioning bottling line:





This is what I liked most: the Taste It! exhibit where guests can sample nearly 70 products offered by the company worldwide:


Here's some really weird stuff, sold in African countries:


In the early afternoon it was time to return to the airport for our onward journey to Chicago via Memphis...story to be continued.



Conclusion
Flying Air France to ATL was a pleasure, despite certain weaknesses. First of all, the catering on the long-haul sector deserves a special praise: portions were big and the food tasted very good, partly even excellent. Getting champagne in Economy Class is another positive aspect - but there could have been more rounds of drinks in general. And AF should get rid of the instant coffee (which is also served on long-haul routes). The catering on the European sector was a bit disappointing, but that's what you get on many carriers in these days. The seating comfort was good on the A340, but pitch was limited on both flights. It will be interesting to see what happens when the older cabins get upgraded with new seats. AF's AVOD IFE system keeps you well entertained, and it's just a matter of time until the old-style PTVs will disappear on the A340s. The cabins were clean and in good shape. However, I noticed a lack of paper tissues in the lavatories after a few hours on the CDG-ATL flight. Flight attendants and ground staff were friendly and motivated, without an exception.
As for the transfer: Everything worked out as planned this time, but I would still try to avoid tight connections at CDG. So will I fly Air France on long-haul routes again? Of course, no doubts about that.


Next report: ATL-MEM-ORD-DTW on Delta and Northwest


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other recent reports:
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

great TR about Air France.. i was stunned by the pre-arrival snack!!!

cheers: DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineGjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another excellent trip report, Planehunter. The food on AF sure looks great! Interesting photographs of the World of Coke, too!

User currently offlineBasefly From Denmark, joined Apr 2007, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report.

The food on the CDG-ATL leg does indeed look good for Y class, and Champagne in Y!? VERY nice....

Interesting pics of Atlanta and all the Coke stuff, have only transferred in ATL ,never been in the actual city, so i thank you for the tour.

[Edited 2009-07-19 02:48:28]


757/777-A340/A380, Love them.
User currently offlineA1ring23 From Australia, joined Jun 2009, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Planehunter,

Very interesting report.
AF looks average...those PTVs are TINY...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
.but the windows are a nightmare for spotters

Hehe, this annoys me too.

CDG definately looks great, as does AF's birds, always been a fan of their livery!
Food looks nice.

Thanks for sharing,
Pete



Where's the accelerometer on this thing?
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for an insight into AF's economy product. Both meals look impressive and the amenities and offerings puts it in the same league as most of the leading carriers left today.

One last question, how do you get the words to appear blue?

[Edited 2009-07-19 04:00:47]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineLuftfahrer From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 1042 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi,

great pics and story! Looking forward to seeing the continuation. Food on AF looks superb for Economy, I have flown them from ATL-CDG and it was certainly very tasty as well.
I've wanted to visit the Coca Cola museum for a long time, now I know that I definitely want to go! Also, the view from the Renaissance hotel is pretty amazing, hope to stay there, too...



'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting DALelite (Reply 1):
great TR about Air France.. i was stunned by the pre-arrival snack!!!

Thanks, Markus. Indeed, the pre-arrival snack was a major surprise on the flight.

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 2):
Another excellent trip report, Planehunter. The food on AF sure looks great! Interesting photographs of the World of Coke, too!

Thanks, Gjunnar! I'm glad you liked the museum pics.

Quoting Basefly (Reply 3):
Great report.

The food on the CDG-ATL leg does indeed look good for Y class, and Champagne in Y!? VERY nice....

Thank you, Basefly. Yes, Champagne in Y is definitely an exception in these days.

Quoting Basefly (Reply 3):
Interesting pics of Atlanta and all the Coke stuff, have only transferred in ATL ,never been in the actual city, so i thank you for the tour.

I was actually quite surprised by downtown Atlanta, there's more to see than one might expect. I can only recommend a visit.

Quoting A1ring23 (Reply 4):
AF looks average...those PTVs are TINY...

Yes, these old PTVs are really tiny. But I guess the A340s will soon get the new seats with larger PTVs like on the A330s and the 77Ws.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Serge Bailleul - AirTeamImages



Quoting A1ring23 (Reply 4):
CDG definately looks great, as does AF's birds, always been a fan of their livery!

I'm still not sure whether the new one is better or not...

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 5):
Both meals look impressive and the amenities and offerings puts it in the same league as most of the leading carriers left today.

No doubts about that!

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 5):
One last question, how do you make the words appear blue?

I use HTML color codes, you can find them on various websites. However, many colors are not suitable for the dark blue a.net background.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 6):
great pics and story! Looking forward to seeing the continuation.

Thanks, Marius! Well, it will take some time until the next part is ready.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 6):
Food on AF looks superb for Economy, I have flown them from ATL-CDG and it was certainly very tasty as well.

That's good to hear.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 6):
I've wanted to visit the Coca Cola museum for a long time, now I know that I definitely want to go!

I can only recommend to do so, you will like it.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 6):
Also, the view from the Renaissance hotel is pretty amazing, hope to stay there, too...

The view is indeed fantastic - probably I'll go there again just for (registration) spotting.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8589 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

Nice report & pictures, really enjoyed, excellent start to your journey.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes and French green beans

- Looks good, portions on the tray look generous, I question the Actimel at this time of day though!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
According to the menu card, a "chilled dinner" would be served prior to arrival. And again Air France surprised us with a delicious meal, consisting of couscous with chicken, bread, cream cheese and a tart.

- That actually puts some J class pre-arrival snacks to shame, very impressive!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had stayed elsewhere in Atlanta before, but the Renaissance Concourse Hotel is my favorite

- Mine too, as you say a little pricey, however for the spotter it's simply the best choice, money well spent IMHO.

The Coke section was intresting too, I'd be interested in visiting when in Atlanta again.

Thanks for sharing, look forward to the next installment.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineStefanPAD From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH!

Interesting to read your experiences with AF. I've been to JFK with AF 3 years ago. It looks like meal service had been improved meanwhile on the long haul flights, particularly the pre arrival snack looks yummy.

World of Coca Cola looks fantastic. I've never been to ATL, but a friend of mine moves to ATL in September, so maybe I am going to visit ATL someday.

Thanks for sharing,

Stefan


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Ba319-131 (Reply 8):
Nice report & pictures, really enjoyed, excellent start to your journey.

Thanks a lot, Mark!

Quoting Ba319-131 (Reply 8):
Looks good, portions on the tray look generous, I question the Actimel at this time of day though!

I think it's not a bad idea, had it together with dessert instead of the instant coffee.

Quoting Ba319-131 (Reply 8):
That actually puts some J class pre-arrival snacks to shame, very impressive!

I can only agree here.

Quoting Ba319-131 (Reply 8):
The Coke section was intresting too, I'd be interested in visiting when in Atlanta again.

Yes - I guess it would be welcome change after writing down hundreds of Delta registrations...  Wink

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 9):
It looks like meal service had been improved meanwhile on the long haul flights, particularly the pre arrival snack looks yummy.

Hi Stefan, I can confirm that. When I flew AF to JFK some years ago the food was good, but not as good as this time.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 9):
World of Coca Cola looks fantastic. I've never been to ATL, but a friend of mine moves to ATL in September, so maybe I am going to visit ATL someday.

Sounds like a perfect opportunity.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27313 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report and some things I liked about AF and some things I didnt.

The seats on your MUC-CDG flight looked quite nice. The catering though was quite dissapointing. AF used to have a mini baguette and good coffee on their short flights so its a shame they seem to have downgraded so much.

The PTV's on AF are also very dissapointing and the same that Olympic have on their A340's. I would have thought AF would have had better screens. They should go for the EK and EY size screens IMHO.

The food though I was very impressed with and especially the second one. It looked really good for Y class. Also free champagne in Y class is something I always remember on AF and Im glad they still have it.

So all in all not bad but if they sorted out the other small details they would be on my list again.

OA260


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello PlaneHunter,

Great insight report of AF! I did not expect AF would serve such decent meal on their transatlantic flight along with a nice presentation. They look indeed delicious and filling.

I guess AF is one of the few European carrier who serves champagne in Y. As far as I know, only AY does the same.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Passport control was required here and we were surprised by a very friendly officer: He addressed us in German, asked for our hometown in Bavaria and told us that he liked Munich.

I have heard horror stories of rude officers in CDG. But this particular person has certainly made a nice difference. Due to the fact that he spoke German, I am wondering whether all CDG ground personnel's are multilingual.

Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report Planehunter - sounds like you had a comfortable trip so far!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 12):
I guess AF is one of the few European carrier who serves champagne in Y. As far as I know, only AY does the same.

LH serves "Sparkling wine", though I don't know if that's the same as Champagne...



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report PlaneHunter - I have flown many times with Air France on the CDG-EZE route mostly in economy and I have to say the meal services were always of a good standard. Seems they still have a good economy product to this day.
The airport views from the hotel are excellent.


User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

When I read "Champagne & World of Coke" I actually expected a First Class TR with several bathroom breaks...  Smile

Nice report. Looks like you had a great time.

KL/AF no longer my favourite though. How many miles did you earn? 240?  Smile



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Fantastic report, very detailed and with some great pictures. Good to hear that you enjoyed your flights on Air France.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I hadn't expected much in terms of catering on that short flight anyway, but Air France still managed to disappoint me a bit - by serving an instant coffee. It was ok, but the taste is just not the same.

Really a bit disappointing on a full service carrier. I only know these instant coffee cups from low-cost carriers...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Passport control was required here and we were surprised by a very friendly officer: He addressed us in German, asked for our hometown in Bavaria and told us that he liked Munich.

Very nice indeed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Another specialty on AF long-haul flights is the free champagne available in Economy Class.

Wow, that's really great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, I found out that Air France doesn't serve ginger ale - so I opted for an Indian Tonic.

So they failed the famous ginger ale test?  Wink

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Just make sure you request airport view at the time of booking – then you can sit down on the room's balcony and watch the movements:

That looks simply amazing!

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6672 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report again, PH!

Food is usually excellent on Air France; that's my experience as well.

The World of Coca-Cola looks very nice and very similiar to another Coca-Cola musuem that I went to in ATL in Dec93. I think they may have refurbished it and changed the name.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,
that's an awesome report indeed. And, I'm also pleasantly surprised by AF's catering to the USA. Portions are big, and look very good. Plus the champagne option in Y-class, that's new to me too. Good choice to take it!
I recently flew CDG-AMS on AF in Y, and got also a small plate with food, more then average on European flights, and I was really surprised. Although it was around dinner time...
Nice to catch with the A343 again, an interesting type to fly with!

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello everybody, thanks for all new comments!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
The seats on your MUC-CDG flight looked quite nice. The catering though was quite dissapointing. AF used to have a mini baguette and good coffee on their short flights so its a shame they seem to have downgraded so much.

I remember getting different croissants and similar items in earlier times, too bad I have never seen these baguettes.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
I would have thought AF would have had better screens. They should go for the EK and EY size screens IMHO.

The A340s will certainly get new seats soon - but well, even the latest PTV models currently used by AF aren't as big as on EK and EY. Let's wait and see what the A380 cabin will look like.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 12):
Great insight report of AF!

Thanks, Suryo!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 12):
I guess AF is one of the few European carrier who serves champagne in Y. As far as I know, only AY does the same.

AY and champagne? I guess it's not free.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 12):
I have heard horror stories of rude officers in CDG. But this particular person has certainly made a nice difference.

Luckily, I have never met those at CDG. But I guess that can happen at many airports.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 13):
Nice report Planehunter - sounds like you had a comfortable trip so far!

Hi Nimish! Yes indeed, a comfortable trip so far - but it changed a bit later...

Quoting Nimish (Reply 13):
LH serves "Sparkling wine", though I don't know if that's the same as Champagne...

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but it's produced exclusively in the Champagne region in France. Anyway, it doesn't mean that Champagne is always a better choice than other sparking wines.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 14):
Great report PlaneHunter

Thanks!

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 14):
I have flown many times with Air France on the CDG-EZE route mostly in economy and I have to say the meal services were always of a good standard. Seems they still have a good economy product to this day.

Good to hear about your positive experiences. Let's hope they don't cut back in these times.

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 15):
When I read "Champagne & World of Coke" I actually expected a First Class TR with several bathroom breaks...

I'm sorry I had to disappoint you...  Wink

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 15):
Looks like you had a great time.

Definitely, yes.

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 15):
KL/AF no longer my favourite though. How many miles did you earn? 240?

1282 miles for MUC-CDG-ATL. I really miss the Flying Dutchman program.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 16):
Fantastic report, very detailed and with some great pictures.

Thanks a lot, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 16):
So they failed the famous ginger ale test?

Yes, they really did. But they serve champagne, so I don't complain.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Very nice report again, PH!

Thanks, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
The World of Coca-Cola looks very nice and very similiar to another Coca-Cola musuem that I went to in ATL in Dec93. I think they may have refurbished it and changed the name.

The original World of Coca-Cola was located adjacent to the Underground Atlanta shopping area. It was replaced by the new museum in May 2007.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
that's an awesome report indeed.

Thanks a lot, Eric!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
I recently flew CDG-AMS on AF in Y, and got also a small plate with food, more then average on European flights, and I was really surprised. Although it was around dinner time...

Sounds great - a real surprise.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 18):
Nice to catch with the A343 again, an interesting type to fly with!

Yes, always amazing how gently it lifts off and how it struggles to gain altitude!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Passport control was required here and we were surprised by a very friendly officer: He addressed us in German, asked for our hometown in Bavaria and told us that he liked Munich.

There is hope for CDG's customer service... I had ONE horrible experience transitting through that airport once on the way to Nancy and I was praying ever since I do not get sent back to France again for work. I got lost trying to figure out the transfer and not one of the information desk I went to were willing to speak English to help me out. I had no choice but to speak French and hoped that I understood the replies to my queries.

One lady even replied "I do not speak English" in English. Sheesh...

Not a good experience.



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6457 posts, RR: 38
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Another great TR accompanied by many detailed pics! Thanks again!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Even though the hardware wasn't up to date, F-GLZN was already equipped with AF's new AVOD system

Those TVs are tiny! I guess it's a good thing that they update the software though, I wouldn't want to have non-AVOD on screens like that!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was a large and filling lunch - one of the best meals I have ever had on a European long-haul carrier.

Looks pretty good. Wouldn't mind that meal right now actually!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And again Air France surprised us with a delicious meal, consisting of couscous with chicken, bread, cream cheese and a tart.

But this one certainly looks more appetising! I guess this is making me rethink flying AF long haul again after a few shocking TRs last year.


Coke World is certainly a place on my wishlist for whenever I head back to USA! Did you get a free 6oz coke bottle like it says on the website? Thanks for reminding me to put ATL on the list. Pretty cool hotel there too with an amazing view!

Can't wait for the remainder of the series!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1708 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for an amazing and well-shot TR! AF does indeed seem like a good airline, and their Paris terminals are beautiful. Perhaps they're chaotic and unorganized, but one of the more relaxing ones I've been in. The red was extremely soothing, and nothing as annoying as an all-metal interior.
Thanks for sharing, keep 'em coming!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And the tray wasn't just an optical delight. The beef and the sauce in particular tasted excellent, as well as the pasta salad (with vegetables, chili pepper, sheep's milk cheese) and the pistachio apricot cake. The camembert cheese and the crispy baguette were good additions, too. It was a large and filling lunch - one of the best meals I have ever had on a European long-haul carrier.

Similar to what I got on CDG-CAI. Their meals were really very fulfilling. I was surprised their catering was so good.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw - the windows are soundproof. Well, you can still tell when an MD-80 rockets upwards

Hehe, you can always tell an MD-88 by the way it angles itself after takeoff.


User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1722 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi PH,

Great report as usual. I am surprised with the service AF offered you on your CDG_ATL flight.
Within Europe only OS still serves a decent fooproduct, all others have gone to snack-service.

Also the World of CocaCola looked very interesting. I must not forget this, perhaps nice to go , whenever the USA is on the agenda.

Hope to read more parts of your trip soon!
Viele Grüsse,
Joost(D-ALCE)



flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1715 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent report PH!

The food on AF is really among the best in Europe! Though on segments shorter than 2,5hrs they only serve rubbish, and that cup of instant coffee was just terrible. Couldn't they at least have brewed regular coffee?

The food served on the 2nd segment looked great, though they seem to serve that Beef Beurginion dish quite often, and what's the point of having a drink yogurt served with the meal?

The pre-arrival meal looked very generous, however I'm not too keen on that fruity tart, I've had it before and it was too sweet for my taste buds.

It was nice to see that they had installed AVOD on the A340.

Quoting DALCE (Reply 23):
Within Europe only OS still serves a decent fooproduct, all others have gone to snack-service.

IIRC, haven't OS also gone from serving those Do&Co salad boxes on short 1-2hr flights, to only serving a croissant and coffee?

Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
25 PlaneHunter : Sounds really bad. I also remember some problems with non-English-speaking (AF) staff at CDG, but that happened back in 1999. Thanks, Nicholas! You s
26 FLIEGER67 : Hey, PH, always worth it to read one of your stories, no exception here, covered with nice pictures. I´am really surprised about that positive cateri
27 Cgnnrw : Great report. Nice to see AF still offers one of the best econ products to/from the US. I do agree with you about the instant coffee they serve on the
28 Sabena332 : Hi there! Another awesome report, thanks for posting and keeping me entertained this night! I really like that Air France is still giving out menu car
29 PlaneHunter : Thanks, Markus! That's nice to hear. I have finally started working on it... Thanks! AF definitely belongs to the best TATL options. Absolutely. Very
30 Ronerone : Hey PH! Excellent TR from you as always! .. The old interior of the AF A340 very much reminds me of the interior of the BA World Traveller on their 74
31 Airpearl : Hi PH, what a fantastic report, lovely pictures and a great endorsement for the AF product across the pond. The food looks incredible. Thanks for shar
32 Av8rDAL : Yep, it moved to the present location a couple years back. Totally brand-new building. I've not been to it yet but heard it's great. It's right next
33 LY777 : AF is soon going to change the Y seats first on the 77Es (going to 10-abreast ), and then, on the A340s
34 Av8rDAL : Question for you lot, in reference to this report: Is 1h 10min too little time to make a connection at CDG? Seems like your 2 hours was a close call i
35 PlaneHunter : Thanks a lot, Roni! Yes, KL's catering is quite poor in comparison. I was positively surprised, too. Thanks a lot, Airpearl. I guess DL's catering ca
36 Econojetter : Nice trip report with an appropriate and eye-catching title! It's one of those seat models that work for me too. At my height (which is less than your
37 Av8rDAL : If I missed it, there's DL51 departing at 16:10 for ATL. DeltaNet shows that flight is usually wide open...
38 Globetraveller : Another great trip report PlaneHunter! Strangly enough, this trip report failed to load properly when I was in Asia a couple of weeks ago. It worked n
39 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks, Econojetter! AF has really improved the Y long-haul catering in the last few years. I remember it was just average back in 1999. Thanks, Glob
40 Elevate : Guten Tag, Sounds better by the word. Would you happen to have a link? I had to ring up to reserve my seats so it'd be nice to know for 'next time'. T
41 JFKMan : Great TR! It makes me want to fly AF soon. Those meals look great and I was impressed by both of them!
42 PlaneHunter : Hi Sam, thanks for your feedback. I simply picked the seats during the booking process on AF's website. The AVOD system should be available, but I do
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