Flew off to France for a few days ... the outbound trip was nothing to write about, standard, but no complaints! The return offers a little more to share because the return was in Espace Affaires in the new business class concept seats. It should be noted that F-GLZG used to be in a 36J 236Y configuration but is now a 30J 261Y configuration. Row 7 in business was eliminated in favor of 3 more rows of Tempo.
I'll start off by saying that I actually flew LUX-CDG-BOS, doing LUX-CDG on one of Luxair's 737-500s, ship 'O'. The flight was quite pleasant but non eventful. I just have to mention their good sandwiches!
I checked in at CDG around 12h40 after waiting a half in hour in line and laughing at the inefficiency of AF ground staff at CDG. They're so effecient elsewhere other than CDG. I have had AF staff tell me the worst AF station in the world is .... CDG!
The agent was extremely friendly and smiling ... 100% for courtesy. Boarding was scheduled for 15h10, 45 minutes before scheduled departure which meant the aircraft was actually parked infront of the terminal. Indeed it was ... saw it tow in from the maintenance area around 14h15. I love watching the operations of the departure.
Before I knew it 15h10 rolled around without any annoncement. Around 15h25 we were informed that boarding was delayed a few minutes because of the preparation of the cabin. But around 15h40 they announced yet again that boarding was delayed due to cabin service problems (what they call "armement" in French, which means having the proper supplies in the lavs, the proper cleaning, right amount of blankets/pillows etc.).
Boarding finally started at 15h48 ... they wanted to expedite the process, so they just called everyone at once. It was actually relatively calm. I think people come to expect that from CDG now!?
I was greeted at door one left by the Chief Purser who directed me to my seat at 5A. Boarding finished, but not after some stupid woman left her laptop in the boarding area ... I'm surprised she made it back on board with it! The head count was done, but not after two tries hehe. The "boison d'acceuil" (welcome drink) was served before push back as well. An approximately 20 minute taxi brought us to runway 27L (whey do they make flights go around the whole airport when 26R was just behind Terminal 2C!?).
Dunno what was going on there ...
AF maintenance area, where they bring planes to rest when they have a long ground time in order to free up gate space or do routine maintenance.
The meal service started with the aperitif ... I opted for a Perrier (they didn't have Badoit!?), accompanied by the Fauchon nuts.
The aperitif was followed by a choice of hors d'oeuvre: foie gras with peppercorns and champagne, apricot-fig chutney or lentil and scallop timbale with celery salad. Here is my choice:
followed by a choice of main courses: pan-seared fillet of beef, dauphinoise potatoes au gratin and peas OR grilled fillet of salmon with basil cream sauce, orzo with tomatoes and olives OR (plat du jour) fillet of free-range chicken (breast) with roquefort cream sauce, sauteed potatoes with shallots and herbs and buttered baby vegetables.
At this point in writing, I realize I didn't take a picture of my main course! Sorry
Main course followed by cheese, which I skipped, followed by dessert (the best part): chocolat cake, apple tart, sherbet served with cookies, choice of fruit:
After the service, I was able to snooze quite comfortably for an hour and a half. Throughout the flight, I watched the 2 french movies offered "Je prefere qu'on reste amis" and "Tu vas rire mais je te quitte" as well as "Meet the Fockers" (not the best movie in the world). What I like is the "video on demand", how in business you can start, stop, pause, rewind, fastforward as you like. The new J class seats are a big improvement over the old ones. As other people have said, if you recline your seat to the fully extended position, you will slide down ... and it is not quite that comfortable. When pressing the button to recline, you have to hold the button ... at one point, the movement of the seat pauses before going to the full recline ... it's the position at that precise pause that is the most comfortable. You're kind of in a 'Z' position, which is quite comfortable. You just have to raise the foot rest. You do have to take the time to find the position that suits you best, but it's fun! The new bigger pillows are also a welcome improvement.
About 50 minutes prior to landing a light meal was served:
Celery salad with olive oil, pastrami, cantal cheese, poilane bread, yogurt and fresh fruit.
A short flying time of 7h (for the 7h50 scheduled) actually had us on the ground around 17h40 local time, not bad for leaving a good 37 minutes late.
All in all a good experience in the new business class seats. I look forward to flying in one on a night flight, so I can determine if I will sleep better! The service with nothing extraordinary but no complaints to be had either! You may have noted the new china as well, introduced initially in First Class with the new travel concept and now introduced in Business Class as of the summer program.