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AirFrance Business Class Long Haul CDG-CCS (+pics)  
User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 27
Posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 30378 times:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/625681.jpg?t=1331169537

ROMA-FIUMICINO – PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE - CARACAS: AIR FRANCE 468 TRIP REPORT
by 797

Introduction


Living in Rome doesn't only allow one to have exceptional opportunities for sight-seeing and endless tourism. The city is full of surprises and most of all, incredible food. As a nice addition to this list, traveling is perhaps at the top of the list.

Rome-Fiumicino is some 50 minutes outside of the city and has several carriers which can almost take you anywhere in the planet. My beloved Alitalia, which is doing incredibly well, has revamped its services and offers one of the best service in and out of FCO, with great connections and transfer timings.

Having recently written a trip report on Lufhtansa's Business Class product from CCS to FRA (with not much satisfaction as the end result), it's time to make a nice comparison on the inverse routing with a big competitor, both in the route and overall: Air France. So if you'd like to make your own comparison and understand this TR better, please have a look at:

Lufthansa Business Class Long Haul CCS-FRA (+pics) (by 797 Jan 8 2012 in Trip Reports)

The reason for my trip back to my hometown is quite unique. One of my good friends is getting married and I was literally forced to go. Not that I mind, though. The drawback is that, taking a Masters requires ridiculous amounts of studying and dedication, for which I'd have to be back in FCO as soon as the wedding ends. So, please any of you tell me what could be better than flying Business Class and going to a huge party with excellent food/drinks, and seeing family and friends? Well here it is. I hope you enjoy this trip report, being written on-the-go, in-flight.

Leaving Rome for a Great Trip!


Usually waking up at 4am is unthinkable. For this occasion, though, I managed to do it like an enlisted soldier. The previous night I had a soccer match and I got my left leg nailed quite badly by one of the opponent team's defender. After an overdose of Tylenol, I got to get out of bed in one piece and prep up for a rather long and fun day.

By 04.30 I was out of my apartment walking to the bus stop which takes me directly to FCO for a cheap €8. The stop was 15 minutes away from home, so hopping on one leg, I got to the nearly-frozen rendezvous point at 04.55. Scheduled departure for the ride to FCO was 05.10.

Unusually on-time for an Italian - or even more - Roman service, the bus driver picked me up and drove me a-la Michael Schumacher, ehm - my bad - I'd better use Sebastian Vettel, since Schumi isn't doing so good lately... Anyways, the guy drove like a mad bastard, changing lines and giving the light changes to Audi and Mercedes cars. I was in awe!

I got to the airport at 05.50. Unfortunately, Vettel dropped all the passengers off at the very-far bus stop located at the opposite corner of the Terminal 1, which I was supposed to go to. I cursed at Vettel since my leg was going to give me a hard time from the very moment I stepped out his the F1 Red Bull coach.

After the rather long walk along the relaxed terminal, I got to the beautiful T1, which serves as the operating hub for the domestic and Schengen Alitalia and SkyTeam Partners Air France and KLM.

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A few minutes later, I checked in at the dedicated Alitalia desk for my AF flight to CDG. It took less than one minute for me to get my boarding pass. I guess not checking any luggage also helped.

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The check-in kiosks for AF-KL-AZ

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With my two boarding passes in hand, and an invitation to FCO's and CDG's VIP lounges, I went to check out the Alitalia Freccia Alata Lounge at T1.

Curiously enough, the lounge is located outside the security checkpoint. There I realized premium passengers may also check-in at dedicated counters inside the lounge.

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The small Business Lounge

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Note the Milano-Linate departures every 15 minutes for the ROMAMILANO service

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Alitalia recently launched a branding campaign where they dress Barbies in their old Flight Attendant uniforms. Here are some samples exhibited at the lounge:

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After taking some photos of the very nice lounge, I went for a real Cappuccino. I say real because there are endless imitations around the world of this incredible invention...

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With the nice kick of caffeine, I decided to head over to the gate and see if my aircraft was indeed an A321. The last 8 times I had flown with AF, I booked flighs with A321 equipment, and was ultimately changed to A319/320. Therefore, I had never flown on AF's A321s and I was eager to add it up to my profile list.

Once past the security lines, which took me less than another minute (Business PAX have a dedicated line to go through, and seems like I was the only one by then), I went directly to the gate. On my way there, I took some pictures of the nice terminal 1.

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Note the dedicated ROMAMILANO desks, which power Alitalia's backbone strategy.

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And... here it is! My first Air France A321 after 8 attempts!

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Finally at Gate B8, my flight o CDG was almost ready to board. Even though I was certain my flight was to Paris, France, I could have easily confused it with a flight to Seoul, Tokyo or Beijing. A tour of funny-looking Asian girls were rambling around taking photos at themselves with these stupid sanitary masks which were used back at the International Flu days... I think it's kind of moronic and it just looks awful...

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Anyways, the Asian girls took photos of pretty much anything that moved. I bet I'm in one of their shots too.

A quick view of my boarding passes

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The flight hadn't been filed on Flightaware.com

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When the sun came out, at least 20 of them ran a-la Hussain Bolt toward the window to catch the sunrise. As they did their 100-meter run, they yelled and screamed, which I thought to be quite funny. They sure do know how to catch attention don't they!

Blocking my view!

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...And here it's what they were trying to catch:

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The First Flight: Intra-Europe Feeder


Anyhow, back to the topic. Boarding was called at 06.50 and all passengers stood up and went to the queue... The thing became a big mess, which I honestly wasn't expecting...

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Premium passengers were boarded first (unlike Lufthansa!), so I was soon on my way to my long-hunted A321.

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Newspapers available on the jet bridge

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As I approached the door, the nice lady FA greeted me at the door with a smile... And yes, this is Air France!

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She was nice enough to let me have a look at the cockpit of this beautiful A319 on steroids and then I took a couple steps down the aisle to reach my 2A seat.



My new safety card!

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Impossible to miss: the A.net Legshot.

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Just to feed my junkie needs...

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With all passengers on board, the Captain came out of his office and stood in the middle of the aisle (showing off a bit), grabbed the PA system and explained both in French and English how our flight was going to be delayed for 50 minutes due to heavy fog at CDG... If I recall correctly, my last flight to FRA with LH was ahead of schedule and we landed with near-zero visibiIlity... Just saying...

This is the point where I feared for my connection to CCS... But then the Captain came out again saying he personally called the AF connection personnel at CDG so that they could organize a smooth transition for us as soon as we landed.

FCO's departure runway 25

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At the end we ended up being delayed for 35 minutes, took off at 08.12 and on our way to Paris we had a small surprised announced by the Captain:

Quote:
Ladies and Gentlemen, if you look out the left side of the airplane, you can clearly see the Giglio Island and the Costa Concordia

I freaked out! Looked out, and here there it was. Truly impressive!!!!! Such a sad sight!

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Here's a look at the meal I was served.

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Prosciutto Crudo with two cubes of Provolone Cheese, Croissant, Bread, Butter, Strawberry Marmalade, and a Fruit Salad.

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The Croissant - Intimate shot:

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The meal was quite good, I was pleased with it. I had a Nescafé just to help not passing out...

Soon later we began our descent into "foggy" CDG. The clouds were so low that we deployed the landing gear just above them. A few seconds later, blind touch down... which according to the captain on the PA was "automatic" - meaning, CATIII auto land!

I noticed the landing was quite strong, and the breaking even harder! I'm guessing is the auto-brake function taking place. It was very cool. If you feel like watching it, here's the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiRNb8Dt-GM

Here's more evidence of the dense fog  Smile

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When we reached the gate, I had to run. But not like the Asian girls back at FCO  no 

Following the indirect advice from fellow a.netter abrelosojos, I feared the connection would be a cup of hell on the rocks. Therefore I ran like the devil was chasing me from terminal 2D to terminal 2F.

It was quite a long walk and had to go out of security - something that I wasn't to keen on doing. Anyways, as soon as I reached gate 46F, I was perhaps one of the last passengers to be expected on board... Scary stuff...!

Can't stop loving this terminal's architecture  eyepopping  eyepopping  eyepopping 

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I managed to grasp the aircraft's registration and immediately noticed is one of AF's veteran 772s. Delivered in 1999, the 777 was [not surprisingly] very dirty on the outside, wearing its old pajamas. I wasn't expecting otherwise...

Oh, and yes. Dirty, Old, and Outdated Paint Job...

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The Star of the Show: Long-Haul Business Class



Flight: Air France 468
Date: March 01, 2012
Route: Paris Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG) - Caracas Simon Bolivar Intl. (CCS)
Flight Duration: 9h35m
Altitude: FL350
Aircraft: Boeing 777-228(ER) (CN 29008 / LN 258)
Registration: F-GSPI
First Flight: 18/11/1999 - Delivered: 06-12-1999
Load Factor: 87%


Going through the jet bridge brought me that awesome feeling of excitement I have every time I board a 777. I can't stop loving this aircraft.

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Then, I got to the point where the jetbridge divides into two - a first timer for me. The coach bridge was jam packed with people, whereas the up-front bridge was a breeze way. I was the only one going through it!

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The gateway to the mighty Triple Seven!

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Beautiful nose... the best, I'd say...

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Then I finally reached the entrance of the beautiful triple-seven... and there I was, inside, finally!

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The first impression I had was great. The cabin looked very nice... the colors were my favorite part, and the 777 cabin is just great!

My seat for the next 10 hours!



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Never choose seat 5A! NO WINDOW!!!

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Just by comparing the A340-600 from my previous report, I already can tell the 777 beats the living crap out of it. Just don't ask me why...

Excited, to say the least, I went to my seat on the right side of the cabin. Seat 3L, strategically chosen so that I could have the best view of the engine and wing (hence, awesome video!), and also chosen because until a day before the flight, the seat next to it was empty.

Since everyone was so relaxed and waiting for the rest of passengers to board, I decided to snap some shots and play around with the much-criticized business class seat. Here are the configurations.



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The presentation was astonishing. The detail of the pillow and blanket wrapped under the seatbelt, and the coat hang... Yet again, the colors are beautiful...

Another leg shot, just for A.net. Please note my shoes are not brown!  duck 

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Just another sunny day in the Caribbean... ugh, sorry... not there yet.

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IFE Controls and Storage

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Amenity Kits


No time after I finished glancing at the cabin, the Purser said the magical words: "boarding compled!" this meant I would be sitting alone, which is definitely a huge added value to my trip!

I finally decided to settle and begin to enjoy this unique cross over the pond.

The captain came on the PA announcing a small delay due to the relentless fog sitting outside... Not a problem, since it was a 20-minute delay.

I had never seen the push-back cart being attached to the main landing gear before!

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Soon later, the doors were finally closed and the heavy elder 777 pushed back, cranking up it's #2 power plant first. The sound is always exciting; I love to hear these engines roar. On the A346, though, I couldn't hear a thing... Talk about boring!

Doors closed

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Meanwhile, I was given the best champagne I've had on board an aircraft. If you read my previous trip report on LH, you should know my champagne was served as warm as broth... Here instead, it could have NOT been more perfect! This would be the prelude to an excellent flight!

The best of the very best on the entire trip

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Flaps down, slats down, before-taxi checklist complete...

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We slowly rolled down the taxiway for a 25-minute tour over CDG's taxiways until we finally reached the holding point of Runway 26R. There, the boss called on the PA asking to prepare for takeoff. (that's been one of my dreams, to be able to get that mic and proudly scream out loud, "Cabin crew, prepare for departure" - maybe some day!)

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Anyhow, the 777 beast lined up with the runway and... Well, what can I say. The music coming out of those GE masterpieces... Why don't I just spare the words and you all look and LISTEN to it yourself!? Please use the VOLUME option on your computers and enjoy the concert:

Cleared for Takeoff!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT-1JF69NJ4

A few seconds after liftoff, we cleared the dense fog and we were airborne towards South America.

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On our way to the high altitudes, I checked out the Amenity Kit for this flight. See it for yourself. Not bad at all! So much better than Lufthansa's!

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The Air France Affaires In-Flight Service


20 minutes after leaving the ground, the in-cabin service began. I must say, today I brought only a carry-on bag and a very critic attitude. My father flew this same route a month ago and he said the food was bad, the FAs were not kind, and that he wouldn't choose AF again for the CCS option... So, here I am, testing it myself and I will describe everything to perfection so that you all can draw your own conclusions... Fair enough?

La Carte for today's flight

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Logos are often more important than the airline itself...

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The first event was the [very] hot towels, which had a magnificent scent on them, and the aperitif cart rolling down the cabin. The exceptional lady FA, who spoke English, French, Spanish and Italian to perfection, served me more of the Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve champagne, as cold as the arctic ice, without even asking. She already knew what I wanted, something Lufthansa didn't even care to dream about.

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The trolley was perhaps as old as the plane...



Later on, the same lady came with a tray full of Mini Salmon éclair, of I which I grabbed a pair and tasted with the great champagne. Later on, she came back with a crepe snack stuffed with Comté cheese, oh boy! I had to ask for it again after I finished the small bag of goodness.

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The mini crepe snack with the incredible Champagne

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The Wine List [which I ignored, due to the perfect sparkling goodness]

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The Appetizer


About 10 minutes later, the appetizer came to my table. It consisted on a Duck Foie Gras, Crab Salad with Trout Roe and Grapefruit, Gingerbread and Baby Spinach.

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The plate looked gorgeous but unfortunately I don't like seafood or elaborated dishes too much. However, since I'm a big fan of cooking, and my favorite TV shows are related to cooking (i.e. Top Chef) I decided to go for it. I tried everything and guess what? I ended up loving the Pâté. It was superb, and it came with a seasoned piece of bread, which made the pairing super. The crab salad, however, I didn't like. I tried at least 4 bites and couldn't get passed it... But there it goes!

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Superb wheat bread!

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Perrier Water

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Gorgeous Silverware...

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The Salad Dressing: Balsamic Vinaigrette...


Meanwhile, some wingflex at FL350...

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[Edited 2012-03-07 17:57:40]


Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 30574 times:

The Main Course


Right after this nice dish (already beating LH by several Time Zones) the main course (entreé) arrived. Out of the choices you could see on the menu pictures, I went for the Sautéed Chicken with a Ginger-Almond Sauce, sautéed artichokes, fingerling potatoes with butter and herbs.

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I was not expecting it to be superb, and I was right. The chicken was a bit dry, but the flavors were there. I was very happy with the end result and, I can definitely say, that by now, The French beat The German! The food thus far was great... And the service, so far, couldn’t have been any better.

Just when I began to feel quite full, the lady FA came with a small plate of French Cheese. Absolutely GREAT!

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The Dessert & Cheese Course


Finally, the dessert cart came with gorgeous plates of French Patisserie. Also Lemon and Chocolate sorbets, fruits, and digestifs came along. I went for the pastries and the lemon sorbet, just to try and help my body digest the feast I had at 34,000ft over the Atlantic Ocean...

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The Lemon Sorbet

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03333.jpg

Done with the meal, I was feeling a bit sleepy and maybe, maybe... a little bit tipsy. 6 glasses of champagne at 10,000 meters of altitude can do the job for you easily... So I was debating on whether asking for a cup of coffee or just doze off into what so far has been one of my best Business Class experiences thus far.

Relaxing at 35,000ft


I think I made a mistake by getting frightened by the comments read on the Internet and listening to my father.. I'm guessing he just had one of those bad days. But so far, I can say the experience has been perfect, with no flaws whatsoever. After reading all those reviews online about AF Business Class product, I was a bit worried... But now, what the hell? This is awesome! Now it's time to test the seat, which has received more criticism than Adam Sandler in his last 'Worst Actor Nominations"

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03334.jpg

My eye view, laying down, relaxing a bit...



Sleeping time... (5 hours later...)           

So, I finally woke up from an OK rest. I managed to sleep intermittently for 5 hours having to wake up several times due to an endless thirst (caused by the champagne?), and an uncomfortable flat seat position. To my disgrace, the comments on the net were true. The seat, as nice as it looks, is quite a pain when put into the flat position, which does not go into a perfect 180-degree recline, but into an inclined flat angle which makes the body slip down and crash with the small hole where one places the feet. Then there's that gap between the seat and the footrest, which is miserable for comfort purposes... Anyhow, the seat is not comfortable for sleeping. I believe Lufthansa's seat is ahead in the competition...

With not much to do, I explored the IFE quite a bit to see how it went. Unfortunately, just like in Lufthansa, AF does not allow one top use it's own headphones, which for me it's quite appalling if their quality isn't good. In AA, at least, they give you some excellent Bose headphones with noise canceling. The same goes for Alitalia, just that they are not Bose. Here, in AF, the passenger is constrained to use a crappy set of headphones, which are probably as old as the aircraft itself. The IFE, as a result, was not inviting whatsoever. Moreover, the movies where not a big talk-about thing, so I decided not to use it and go for the best option: my iPad loaded with great movies and TV series.

Very bad headphones

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03336.jpg

With an hour and fifty minutes to go, approaching the Caribbean beauties of Pointe-a-Pitre and St. Maarten, it was time to start prepping up for my arrival into CCS. This is the fist time I'm flying transatlantic with no luggage, a big advantage at this airport, where you may easily spend two hours in between immigration and baggage claim. All set to go, all I had to do is wait for the next meal service, which will determine the overall result of this flight against LH.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03337.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03339.jpg

My loyal iPad providing top-notch entertainment

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03340.jpg

The Second Meal Service


The service began with an hour thirty minutes before arrival. My table was set again by the excellent lady flight attendant, who at this point, deserves a big compliment for being so professional and gentle.

I was served a unique choice of Spinach and Ricotta cheese Ravioli, eggplant caviar, mussel cream sauce with curry organic yogurt. For dessert, I was served a baked caramel apple with raspberry coulis.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03341.jpg

As soon as I saw the ravioli I knew they would be a bit dry. I had not noticed the garnish that was lying below the, until I started eating them. They were indeed a bit dry and the consistency quite bland. The garnish wasn't my favorite so I unfortunately had to skip it.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03342.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03343.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03350.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03344.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03345.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03353.jpg

I was also offered several choices of bread, of which I chose the wheat version. I didn't dare to try the curry yogurt, since I cannot even smell that spice!

More Bread!

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03349.jpg

As a beverage, I couldn't get tired of that great Champagne. I asked for more and it was still well chilled and incredible. I just can't get passed to my warm champagne back on my LH trip...

More Champagne and Perrier Water

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03351.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03352.jpg

The Apple

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03347.jpg

Once I was done with the meal, I was offered some coffee - American style. The kick of caffeine helped me get back on my feet and the end of the flight was imminent.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03354.jpg

The Descent


Right before the descent, I think it was a great time to analyze what had happened so far. The service I was offered today was spotless. If I had my own airline, I would bring the lady FA with me. She was perfect, gentle, and most of all, good looking. I feel very happy of the outcome of this flight. I would definitely say that, even though in some occasions the food may not be good, if you put a professional and hard-working team of flight attendants, the end product will definitely get a plus.

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03355.jpg

AF has a great product to offer. They have their French heritage to sell, and that's a good enough item to rely on. When it comes to culture, Italy and France are two of the most symbolic ones, and ip perceived I got a nice load of Frenchness on this flight... The same when I fly Alitalia.

The cabin ready for our arrival

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03356.jpg

I am happy AF and AZ are partners and that in the near future, they may work together even closer. It makes me unhappy to see how AF is dealing with several issues that may harm its operations, but if Alitalia pulled off a great plan with the best possible outcome, they can do it too.

This is what happens when an OLD aircraft has some shining sun light against its window...   

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03358.jpg

As usual, I am sad the flight is about to end. These are unique opportunities for me, and I wish they could be repeated on a monthly basis. My return to FCO is two days after this flight, and I will be flying the good-old coach... Which according to my good friend, and fellow a.netter, in AF is the living hell... 10 abreast...

Anyhow, these are the opportunities one must enjoy to its maximum capabilities, and I believe I have done so in the best of ways. Nobody sat next to me and I tried food I never thought I would like. I love traveling in Business Class, there's simply NO comparison to traveling in coach. Not at all.

Finally descending into CCS, the superb group of Flight Attendants began to wrap up and pick up all leftover items in the cockpit. The Captain announced an arrival at 16.25, about a one-hour delay, which I think it is definitely acceptable.

Speed breaks...

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03360.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03361.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03362.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03365.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03367.jpg

Final Approach

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03369.jpg

The Arrival


And, of course, here's the landing video of this magnificent flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O61Eqqv7PaU

Landing was less than one-hour behind schedule and we taxied to our gate in less than 5 minutes. Here are some photos of the end of it!

Alitalia’s SkyTeam B767-300 prepping up for FCO

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03374.jpg

Conviasa’s A342 getting ready for EZE

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03376.jpg

I was one of the first passengers to deplane, and thankfully, the immigration lines were gone. I passed through passport control in a heartbeat, and since I had no luggage, I met my girlfriend and went home in a blink of an eye.

Goodbye Bud!

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03377.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03379.jpg

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03381.jpg

Immigration Hall @CCS


http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h37/enriquep100/DSC03383.jpg

The Conclusions


The only two things AF couldn't beat over LH, were the timeliness and the seat. Both flights were delayed due to the fog at CDG, which in past experiences is not a big issue in FRA, and well, the seat was not comfortable for sleeping. The rest makes AF the winner of the trip.

What I criticize the most about these two carriers is how they don't serve the dish in front of you. It comes already pre-served, and that for me is a big no-no. I like to see the components of the dish being served into the plate, as it gives reassurance of what you're getting, and the quality of the food bumps up quite a bit... By serving it in front, the food's condition improves considerably. By being pre-served, it dries up and looses its texture. I would love to see this happening in the future. Thankfully, Alitalia and Turkish already do it, so it makes me happy.

Here's my rating for the best of the best (Trans Atlantic, Business Class) I have flown:

Meal Service:
    - Alitalia
    - Turkish Airlines
    - Air France
    - American Airlines
    - Lufthansa
Seats:
    - Turkish Airlines (B77W and A343)
    - Lufthansa (A346)
    - American Airlines (767 and 777)
    - Alitalia (767)
    - Air France (772)
Overall Service:
    - Turkish Airlines
    - Alitalia
    - Air France
    - American Airlines
    - Lufthansa


As usual, it's been a pleasure to write this report to you all. I really hope I could transmit the essence of the experience and that I satisfied your reading pleasures.

Comments and questions are mostly welcome. I hope to hear from you  

Next report, hopefully, will be on Alitalia's new A330 Magnifica product on the CCS destination. This will be good for ultimate comparison on the long-haul products offered to Venezuela.

My all best to you all and happy landings  

Enrique (797)

Here are some of my previous Trip Reports for you to read:

Flying In Heaven: AA Business FCO-ORD (+pic/+vids) (by 797 Oct 2 2010 in Trip Reports)

AA Business Class: Caracas - New York (+Pics) (by 797 Sep 29 2010 in Trip Reports)

AA Business Class To Venezuela! (+Pics/+Vids!) (by 797 Mar 24 2010 in Trip Reports)

Alitalia [CCS - FCO] Business Class (many Pics!) (by 797 Aug 14 2009 in Trip Reports)

Caracas - Daytona On DL, Hell Yeah! (zillion Pics) (by 797 May 13 2008 in Trip Reports)

Refreshing Venezuelan Trip W/ Old Jets! (pics!) (by 797 Oct 31 2007 in Trip Reports)

Flying With The Venezuelan Govt. Airlines! (pics!) (by 797 Nov 12 2007 in Trip Reports)

Amazing CCS-MXP On Alitalia BusinessC (Pics+Vids!) (by 797 Apr 16 2007 in Trip Reports)

MXP-BIO-MXP On Alitalia: BusinessC (Pics+Vids!) (by 797 Apr 16 2007 in Trip Reports)



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 30357 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, 797! Looks like you had an awesome flight with AF. Isn't it amazing how two flights can be so different. Great looking food, service, and views out of the window!

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I freaked out! Looked out, and here there it was. Truly impressive!!!!! Such a sad sight!

Oh my word. This is crazy that you got to see this! How sad.

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 30144 times:

Hey 797,

Great TR, it was a joy to read.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your experience with AF. I have had some of my best flights with them in the past. My best TATL crossing was without a doubt with them a few years ago (CDG-ATL)

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I think it's kind of moronic and it just looks awful...

I find it quite responsible to be honest. It doesn't bother anyone other than, perhaps, themselves. If they have a cold it protects the people around them, and if they are afraid of getting sick noone can really blame them given that they are either going on vacation or coming back to work/school from vacation (in both cases you really don't wanna get sick). And as we all know, germs are all over the place in airports, aircraft or crowds. My two cents.  
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Anyways, the Asian girls took photos of pretty much anything that moved.

Fellow A.netters maybe? 
Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
My beloved Alitalia,

You must be of the very few people that would put the words "Alitalia" and "Beloved" in the same sentence 

I have to confess though that I have suffered so much at AZ's hands (and I know many others that have too) that I'm very biased when it comes to them.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I freaked out! Looked out, and here there it was. Truly impressive!!!!! Such a sad sight!

Wow, I am surprised that the pilot chose to inform you of that. It could be unnerving for some of the passengers. People did die there after all.

I loved the detailed analysis of each meal. I have to say though that you appear to be a rather picky eater. I, on the other hand, am a total pig and I'm pretty sure that I would eat anything one puts in front of me.


I hope you had a good time back in CCS and that the wedding was fun. Looking forward to your next TR.

Thanks,

WBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2470 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 29228 times:

Sounds interesting- unfortunately I can't see a single picture "This image exceeds bandwidth"... Can u fix it?

User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 29074 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
Sounds interesting- unfortunately I can't see a single picture "This image exceeds bandwidth"... Can u fix it?

Done. It was the image host site going haywire! I hope you can enjoy it now!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
You must be of the very few people that would put the words "Alitalia" and "Beloved" in the same sentence 

Yes, I know. And I am one of the few people who has had close-to-perfect experiences on board Alitalia... maybe that adds to it a bit  

They are doing great, though. Trust me.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
Wow, I am surprised that the pilot chose to inform you of that. It could be unnerving for some of the passengers. People did die there after all.

I was appalled. It was a nice catch but at the same time, kind of sad!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
I loved the detailed analysis of each meal. I have to say though that you appear to be a rather picky eater. I, on the other hand, am a total pig and I'm pretty sure that I would eat anything one puts in front of me.

Haha, true that. I am a bit picky. I tried to describe the best possible way everything I had just so you could live it better from your side of the computer.

Thanks for the comments!

797



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlinecanadiantree From France, joined Jun 2006, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 28599 times:

Fantastic trip report my friend, I really felt like I was flying with you and the videos were an added bonus. Just be careful about calling Foie Gras "Paté", some of our French counterparts would have a heart attack reading these 2 wordstogether  

Will


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3370 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 28593 times:

Very nice report, thanks for posting

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
With my two boarding passes in hand, and an invitation to FCO's and CDG's VIP lounges, I went to check out the Alitalia Freccia Alata Lounge at T1.

That lounge looks very...plastic

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
A tour of funny-looking Asian girls were rambling around taking photos at themselves with these stupid sanitary masks which were used back at the International Flu days... I think it's kind of moronic and it just looks awful...

In Japan they wear them if they have a cold - it's a polite thing to do so they don't spread germs

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I freaked out! Looked out, and here there it was. Truly impressive!!!!! Such a sad sight!

Wow, great photo. I can't believe how close the boat was to the shore

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Finally, the dessert cart came with gorgeous plates of French Patisserie. Also Lemon and Chocolate sorbets, fruits, and digestifs came along. I went for the pastries and the lemon sorbet, just to try and help my body digest the feast I had at 34,000ft over the Atlantic Ocean...

Desserts looks nice - I didn't like the sound of any of the food

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, just like in Lufthansa, AF does not allow one top use it's own headphones, which for me it's quite appalling if their quality isn't good

Same on LX

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I was served a unique choice of Spinach and Ricotta cheese Ravioli, eggplant caviar, mussel cream sauce with curry organic yogurt. For dessert, I was served a baked caramel apple with raspberry coulis.

No choice? On LH economy FRA-BOG you get 2 choices for the second meal. I never understand why airlines pull out all the stops for the first meal service, then the second is such a big dissapointment. IB is the same. Big 1st meal, 2nd meal no choice and cold.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27327 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 28419 times:

Great report and glad you had a good AF experience. I have never been a fan due to past horrible experiences onboard and whilst in transit at CDG. I have somewhat warmed to them again during my A380 experience on the LHR-CDG-LHR route but that was a party event and everyone was on their best behaviour   I have to say I was unimpressed with the EU sector meal in J but I like their seats on the A321. I like the look of the AF J class in terms of design but sorry to hear they lack in comfort for the longhaul.

In terms of food being served in front of you on TK can you post a link to your trip report on TK J class as I would like to compare to my experience a few months back. Mine is here :

Türk Hava Yolları-B77W New J Class +New IST Lounge (by OA260 Jan 11 2012 in Trip Reports)

The food came on pre served dishes rather than being dished out in front of me . Only the sweets/cheese were brought out on a trolley as is the same with LH J class service from my experience in November. LH offered a good choice in all the meals they served me onboard and the quality was good.

Interesting photo of the Costa Concordia a fellow NZ/OZ Anetter posted a pic similar just after it happened and it is quite scary to see it .

I enjoyed your report and photos and the way you took certain shots also so well done  

OA260  


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 28023 times:

Hi 797 !

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
I got to the beautiful T1

T1 is a beautiful ??? Italy's transport infrastructure from 70, 80 and 90 is all except beautiful ... familiar with the offer and the kindness of FCO staff ... heheheh ... come on Italy have such a strong furniture industry and leading interior design style so "club freccia alata" is not a good example

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
And... here it is! My first Air France A321 after 8 attempts!

nice ... you were persistent

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
If I recall correctly, my last flight to FRA with LH was ahead of schedule and we landed with near-zero visibiIlity... Just saying...

and this is the answer why there are so many satisfied businessmen that fly LH ...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Therefore I ran like the devil was chasing me from terminal 2D to terminal 2F.

hehehe ok FRA is not better ...so "showing off Captain" forgot to call ?

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Can't stop loving this terminal's architecture

I changed my mind regarding yours perception of beauty in architecture ... France certainly has the most beautiful airports in Europe as seen from the architectural side ... then Spain

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Then, I got to the point where the jetbridge divides into two - a first timer for me.

hehehe nice feeling

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Another leg shot, just for A.net. Please note my shoes are not brown!

hehehehe he is probably in the hospital receiving infusion while reading this hehehehe

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
"Cabin crew, prepare for departure" - maybe some day!

who is persistent and with a little luck ...I'll be happy passenger in business class thanks to "Captain upgrade"

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
So I was debating on whether asking for a cup of coffee or just doze off into what so far has been one of my best Business Class experiences thus far.

hehehe doctor, doctor, we are losing him ... quickly defibrillator ... remove brown shoes ...close computer ... is he alive ...yes he is ... what went wrong ...hehhehehe

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
I think I made a mistake by getting frightened by the comments read on the Internet and listening to my father..

prejudices are very dangerous thing hehehhehe

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
Anyhow, the seat is not comfortable for sleeping. I believe Lufthansa's seat is ahead in the competition...

ah B/A Minipod is a excellent seat but AF with NEV concept seats managed to destroy every possibilities offered by Minipod

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
When it comes to culture, Italy and France are two of the most symbolic ones, and ip perceived I got a nice load of Frenchness on this flight... The same when I fly Alitalia.

uuuuuu .... tough statements

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
Alitalia%u2019s SkyTeam B767-300 prepping up for FCO
Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
As usual, it's been a pleasure to write this report to you all. I really hope I could transmit the essence of the experience and that I satisfied your reading pleasures.
Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
This will be good for ultimate comparison on the long-haul products offered to Venezuela.

and my last comment is a copy-paste from LH T.R.
"excellent trip report ... for me you're one of the best writers here ... the fact that you are pilot helps ... I hope that we will read an Alitalia/332 business class report in 2012 ... best food in the air heheheh ... nice inside story of extremely rare CCS ... next winter I hope I'll see for myself ( what going on with AZ introducing A332 to CCS ) ... "
stipica 



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 27828 times:

Love all the pics. Amazing trip report. A big secret admirer of you here  

Have heard so much of complains about AF products but I've never been on AF Affaires so I can't judge.
But by seeing the pictures and hardware products, I must say they are doing great job.
I love the presentation here and there. Not lousy but I don't really know as I've never been up on AF premium cabin.

I've been to CCS once for a week. Experienced and earthquake and chaos there!
Amazing experience and I'd like to see more of Venezuela!!

Thank you for sharing!!
net-hkt



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2241 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 27181 times:

Really great TR, as usual Enrique!

I am sorry that the hard product (IFE and Seat) were below expectations, but good to know that the catering and overall service was better. Usually, I have found the second meals on long-haul flights to falter in comparison to the first one. By that point, the food has been prepared hours prior, and your standards are higher from the impressions of the first meal. To each his own....

Great work! Talk soon.

-Irish



next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
User currently offlineluisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2575 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 26475 times:

Kike,

As usual, you continue to surprise all a.netters with your amazing TRs. Thanks again for taking the time to upload so many pics and for making the narrative a pleasure to read.

I can also reinforce what you mentioned about LH and low-visibility ops in FRA. My first LH flight ever was CCS-FRA in C A343 and we landed in FRA also with 0 visibility, I couldn't see the runway until 2-5 seconds before touchdown. Very impressive. On the other hand, I'd always put safety above all, even is that means a missed connection, dunno why CDG cannot offer the same capabilities as FRA.

Regarding your AF J class experience, it's a shame to hear that the seats sucks. It's a good warning for my future intercontinental travel planning =). I'll stick to Star Alliance as much as possible so I don't lose my elite status in UA.

Finally, I have a question regarding CCS immigration facilities... are the self-immigration automated booths for electronic Venezuelan passports up and running? In my last time visiting CCS in 2011 the machines were shut down and the SAIME officers told me that the machines didn't work as they break down often, so they rather turn them off...

Saludos,
Luis


User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6605 posts, RR: 35
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 25809 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Excellent Trip Report. Than you for taking the time to post.

The issue with AF, and why you heard what you heard from your father and others is their incosistency. I had to fly them in C quite often, on the same route, and frankly, some flights would be beyond excellent and others, mediocre at best. I don´t now why they have not been able to address that.

For example, the food on your flight. The chicken looks sorrowful, honestly, hospital-grade. You said yourself it wasn´t that good. The Ravioli, well, you mentioned they were dry, and they do look the part. That to me is unacceptable.

Aside from that incosistency, they can be an excellent carrier.

I now fly LH in C mostly, sometimes in F. And comparing the two, what I can share here is that true, LH may not have the panache associated with AF. But, not only are they excellent, they are also consistent, and reliable. In my world, that counts for a lot. I rather go with them, and their sometimes unimaginative menus, than risk an ugly experience on AF due to a surly cabin crew.


User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 25728 times:

Thanks for your AF Trans-Atlantic TR in Classe Afaires !!!

Seat and, especially, the catering look absolutely gorgeous...wouldn't mind myself to try this Classe in the future...


Surprised to see you rate AZ meals better than AF: can you elaborate more why ?



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2470 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 25622 times:

Excellent TR, nice pictures...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Having recently written a trip report on Lufhtansa's Business Class product from CCS to FRA (with not much satisfaction as the end result),



For everyone to understand: I am not a big fan of Lufthansa either, but I can't understand why you paise AF so much...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Curiously enough, the lounge is located outside the security checkpoint.



No go, I thought this design layout is long gone...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Here's a look at the meal I was served.



For Business Class? For real? The breakfast looks great and yummy- but served in a cheap plastic box and still wrapped in plastic foil? This is not French couture...

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Just by comparing the A340-600 from my previous report, I already can tell the 777 beats the living crap out of it. Just don't ask me why...



The B777 is a great and outstanding aircraft- for sure, no doubt!! But are you serious?! This 2-3-2 seat BusinessClass layout is just horrible, Airbus 2-2-2 layout will always beat it!


User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25225 times:

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your comments!!!

Quoting canadiantree (Reply 6):
Fantastic trip report my friend, I really felt like I was flying with you and the videos were an added bonus. Just be careful about calling Foie Gras "Paté", some of our French counterparts would have a heart attack reading these 2 wordstogether

Thank you! I am so sorry about my mistake. It was completely uncalled for. I will be careful next time, and now that my ignorance on the matter is no longer existent, I'll make sure not to make such a hideous mistake in the future  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
That lounge looks very...plastic

I thought it actually looks nice. I liked the colors and the settings. This lounge is for domestic/intra-Europe flights. The Transatlantic Lounge seems to be much better, but it is located in Terminal 3. Maybe next time I will be able to get some photos for you all.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Wow, great photo. I can't believe how close the boat was to the shore

I still shiver every time I see that photo...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
No choice? On LH economy FRA-BOG you get 2 choices for the second meal. I never understand why airlines pull out all the stops for the first meal service, then the second is such a big dissapointment.

Second meals are always the heavy duty 'bummers' on J class products... I will dare to say AA has always the best.. they easily fix it with a nice Pizza or Cheeseburger with cookies and ice cream... Nice way to solve the issue. Even AZ lacks a lot on the second meal. This one, was quite pathetic.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
have never been a fan due to past horrible experiences onboard and whilst in transit at CDG. I have somewhat warmed to them again during my A380 experience on the LHR-CDG-LHR route but that was a party event and everyone was on their best behaviour I have to say I was unimpressed with the EU sector meal in J but I like their seats on the A321.

I read your TR, and I took your advice as well. That's why I ran so much between terminals. Thankfully, I managed to get to my flight on-time.

The EU sector meal was not that bad... AZ does serve much better meals on the same flights. But I was not too dissapointed.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 8):
In terms of food being served in front of you on TK can you post a link to your trip report on TK J class as I would like to compare to my experience a few months back.
The food came on pre served dishes rather than being dished out in front of me . Only the sweets/cheese were brought out on a trolley as is the same with LH J class service from my experience in November. LH offered a good choice in all the meals they served me onboard and the quality was good.

That is quite surprising. The two times I flew them, the food was served by the in-flight Chefs in front of me. Even decorated the dishes as they served...

With regards to LH, like I mentioned on my previous TR, it was of quality... but it lacked the personal aspect of the service. Plates were too generic, not well culinary-speaking executed, and they were just part of a robotic product. I felt that in AF, the service was much more personalized thanks to the great lady FA that took care of me.

Quoting stipica (Reply 9):
T1 is a beautiful ??? Italy's transport infrastructure from 70, 80 and 90 is all except beautiful ... familiar with the offer and the kindness of FCO staff ... heheheh ... come on Italy have such a strong furniture industry and leading interior design style so "club freccia alata" is not a good example

You are ABSOLUTELY right. FCO is a nightmare, and I have never liked it. T1, though, was refurbished and has been adapted to AZ's newest operations. It looks so much better than a few years back, and that's why I said it looked great.

IMHO, FCO should be brought down with a nuclear bomb. It's HORRENDOUS. Italy needs a real airport with a decent infrastructure.

Quoting stipica (Reply 9):
I changed my mind regarding yours perception of beauty in architecture ... France certainly has the most beautiful airports in Europe as seen from the architectural side ... then Spain

You are right on this too. I'm flying to BCN tonight... let's see how that goes  
Quoting stipica (Reply 9):
hehehehe he is probably in the hospital receiving infusion while reading this hehehehe

Haha, let's see if he comments...  

I appreciate your comments, very much.

797



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1906 posts, RR: 27
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25225 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 9):
"excellent trip report ... for me you're one of the best writers here ... the fact that you are pilot helps ... I hope that we will read an Alitalia/332 business class report in 2012 ... best food in the air heheheh ... nice inside story of extremely rare CCS ... next winter I hope I'll see for myself ( what going on with AZ introducing A332 to CCS ) ... "

Thanks my friend, you know you are welcome anytime you wish. Just PM me and I'll fix you a nice tour down in Venezuela.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
Love all the pics. Amazing trip report. A big secret admirer of you here

Thanks so much!!!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 10):
I've been to CCS once for a week. Experienced and earthquake and chaos there!

Geez, when was this?

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
Really great TR, as usual Enrique!

Thanks Irish! I am very glad you enjoyed it  
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 11):
I am sorry that the hard product (IFE and Seat) were below expectations, but good to know that the catering and overall service was better.

Yes, that saved the trip. I had a lot of fun, nevertheless!  
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 12):
As usual, you continue to surprise all a.netters with your amazing TRs. Thanks again for taking the time to upload so many pics and for making the narrative a pleasure to read.

Thanks Luisin! Big hug dude.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 12):
Regarding your AF J class experience, it's a shame to hear that the seats sucks. It's a good warning for my future intercontinental travel planning =). I'll stick to Star Alliance as much as possible so I don't lose my elite status in UA.

Stay with Star Alliance. Now that LH announced their new Business Class, then you must try them as soon as they come out  
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 12):
Finally, I have a question regarding CCS immigration facilities... are the self-immigration automated booths for electronic Venezuelan passports up and running? In my last time visiting CCS in 2011 the machines were shut down and the SAIME officers told me that the machines didn't work as they break down often, so they rather turn them off...

Last 8 times I've flown into CCS they have worked quite well! They print out a sticker for you to put in your passport instead of the usual stamp and the entire process takes up to a minute. I looks as if it wasn't a Venezuelan thing... too technological to be true.

You need the hard-cover passport (new ones).

Quoting AR385 (Reply 13):
The issue with AF, and why you heard what you heard from your father and others is their incosistency.

That's sad to hear. Then I will stick to AZ from now on!

Quoting AR385 (Reply 13):
For example, the food on your flight. The chicken looks sorrowful, honestly, hospital-grade. You said yourself it wasn´t that good. The Ravioli, well, you mentioned they were dry, and they do look the part. That to me is unacceptable.

You are right. They were edible, though. And the Champagne save the whole experience  
Quoting AR385 (Reply 13):
I now fly LH in C mostly, sometimes in F. And comparing the two, what I can share here is that true, LH may not have the panache associated with AF. But, not only are they excellent, they are also consistent, and reliable. In my world, that counts for a lot. I rather go with them, and their sometimes unimaginative menus, than risk an ugly experience on AF due to a surly cabin crew.

Agreed. I know for a fact that even though LH is not the best, they are always consistent in what they offer. There are pluses and minuses here, but then everyone has their own taste.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 14):
Surprised to see you rate AZ meals better than AF: can you elaborate more why ?

Sure.

I have flown AZ numerous times in J. Their product is very consistent and the service offered by the Flight Attendants is 95% of the times excellent. You can get the feeling of a good Italian Restaurant while on board and that to me sums it up. The quality of the food is superb, not to mention the wine list. The cheese cart, dessert, liqueurs... I truly believe is amongst the top. That's why they have won a few years in a row the best food product award, or the Best Airline Cuisine award by Global Traveler.

Quoting debonair (Reply 15):
For everyone to understand: I am not a big fan of Lufthansa either, but I can't understand why you paise AF so much...

I am not paising AF so much... What I did was compare them to the experience I had with LH, which was not that great. The food was not big of a deal, but was not a disaster either. I do believe the potential AF has, is tremendous... and has yet to be exploited.

Quoting debonair (Reply 15):
The B777 is a great and outstanding aircraft- for sure, no doubt!! But are you serious?! This 2-3-2 seat BusinessClass layout is just horrible, Airbus 2-2-2 layout will always beat it!

If you're traveling alone, why would you care of the 2-3-2 layout? It'd be pure bad luck if you end up in the middle seat. I personally like the 777 cabin better, it feels more spacious... not to mention the windows, which are bigger and better shaped.

I have yet to see the A332 cabin, maybe better?

Thanks again for your comments guys. 

797



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 24539 times:

great report as usual!

I had the pleasure to travel myself last year on a 777 business class, last year on inauguration flight LIM-CDG in business and than CDG-LIM back again in business

The soft product was really good, the hard product is not bad but I like more the one of LAN.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
If you read my previous trip report on LH, you should know my champagne was served as warm as broth

well they are french, so they have to know how to serve it!

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
On our way to the high altitudes, I checked out the Amenity Kit for this flight. See it for yourself. Not bad at all! So much better than Lufthansa's!

the content was the same in my case but the case is now much nicer

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
About 10 minutes later, the appetizer came to my table. It consisted on a Duck Foie Gras, Crab Salad with Trout Roe and Grapefruit, Gingerbread and Baby Spinach.

Foie Gras is without a doubt something great

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
choices you could see on the menu pictures, I went for the Sautéed Chicken with a Ginger-Almond Sauce, sautéed artichokes, fingerling potatoes with butter and herbs.

mmmm looks like also great.

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
Just when I began to feel quite full, the lady FA came with a small plate of French Cheese. Absolutely GREAT!

beside the Foie Gras, the Cheese is the best course.... also the bread as you mentioned is something delicious on AF

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
I was served a unique choice of Spinach and Ricotta cheese Ravioli, eggplant caviar, mussel cream sauce with curry organic yogurt. For dessert, I was served a baked caramel apple with raspberry coulis.

the second meals seems not to good

Quoting 797 (Reply 1):
I was one of the first passengers to deplane, and thankfully, the immigration lines were gone. I passed through passport control in a heartbeat, and since I had no luggage, I met my girlfriend and went home in a blink of an eye

well have to say know the immi/emmigration in CCS is much better organized, but on other hand I had 4 incoming/outgoing flights last week into CCS and it was very quick on the other side it was not on peak time.

luggage is the biggest problem in CCS, some days ago I waited 2 hours for my luggage on a incoming LIM-CCS flight... also I have the feeling that the handlers delay extra luggage that is tagged as business class luggage.

Cheers
Avianca

pd looking forward also for a report from the return leg (it was in Y), correct?



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5130 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 23251 times:

Thanks for the report. Good to see AF provide improved service. Food presentation looks good - I am not a huge fan of the main course. I can't believe they still have those seats. Welcome back to CCS.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
Meal Service:
- Alitalia
- Turkish Airlines
- Air France
- American Airlines
- Lufthansa

= Wow. AZ's meal service is better than TK  ? I think you must have flown a different AZ than the one I am used to!

Thanks again for sharing.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 22860 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Wow. AZ's meal service is better than TK ? I think you must have flown a different AZ than the one I am used to!

remember he is Italian, any nice pasta dish will score much higher than a kebab!   



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1384 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 22303 times:

Great report, thanks for sharing.

Quoting 797 (Thread starter):
With all passengers on board, the Captain came out of his office and stood in the middle of the aisle (showing off a bit), grabbed the PA system and explained both in French and English how our flight was going to be delayed for 50 minutes due to heavy fog at CDG... If I recall correctly, my last flight to FRA with LH was ahead of schedule and we landed with near-zero visibiIlity... Just saying...

I like when the captain stands into the aisle and makes a speech over the PA. It's kind of old school, but makes me feel comfortable. Had this on a LX flight intraeuropean lately.

Now that you tried AZ and AF, next Skyteam member on this route would be UX, huh?   Guess they must offer quite some decen business class fares...


User currently offlineAirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 21888 times:

Love the trip report. I really like the colour scheme of the seating, very stylish.

Yet another country I would love to visit.


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 21675 times:

Hi

Nice report, thanks for sharing it with us!
AF is not one of my preffered carriers. However, I'm glad you had a great trip with them. Too bad they serve indeed still from the cart iso by hand like Delta or KLM does. And I must say, I'd prefer the 777 above the 340 anyday as well.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineAirbus3801 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1089 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 21496 times:

Nice report. I've never seen someone get quite so much into the photographing of their pasta.  

25 Post contains images 797 : Thanks for your comments, LAN is amongst the best world wide. I would love to fly them sometime soon. If they opened services to FCO from GYE or LIM,
26 ogre727 : This is -in my opinion- your best trip report so far. Perhaps it is not the best written, but it is the funniest, classiest, wittest one to date. I lo
27 TYCOON : I have flown AZ business class on a number of long-haul flights to/from South America and to/from the USA. Most recent long-haul trip on AZ in Magnifi
28 Post contains images aces727 : Awesome bro!!!!! You have experienced AZ, LH and AF on the Caracas-Roma route all within the past three months. I think your LH report is the best of
29 Post contains images stipica : Hi 797 ! thanks for the kind offer ... I admit I am not type for organized trip ... and the truth is that I do not have itinerary yet ...few days in C
30 JL418 : Hi 797! thanks for sharing your trip, it's been a true pleasure to read it all. You know, I might be doing your same route for the same reason next ye
31 malioil : First of all, I think I have to tell you that I enjoyed both your LH and AF reports thoroughly. Although there would seem to be (from the comments bel
32 Post contains images 797 : Thanks for the replies to you all! You are right and wrong my friend. LH is by far much better than AA, by all means. But my J experiences in AA have
33 liftsifter : What a fantastic report! It's great to hear you enjoyed AF Business, even if the seat isn't the best. That champagne does look awfully bubbly, glad yo
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