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IAD-CDG AF Espace Premiere Part I  
User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 29
Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 7715 times:

Note : the actual trip was BOS-IAD-CDG-ICN-IAD-BOS but the IAD-BOS leg on United does not warrant being written about.

BOS-IAD 19AUG06
jetBlue 1257 (forgot reggie of this EMB-190, crew said the plane was 2 days old)
Scheduled departure : 16h00 (actual 16h00)
Scheduled arrival : 17h50 (actual 18h20)

This was my first “jetBlue experience”. Due to the modified security measures I had to check my bag. When I arrived at the airport the bag-drop line was longer than the ticketing / non-web check-in line. Being the sneaky one I am, I went to the line where people were not yet checked-in (i.e. not the bag drop line) where the agent politely told me I should have gone to the bag drop line. She did not put up a fight when I pointed out to her that her line was moving faster than the bag drop counters.

The line through security went smoothly inspite of the “additional” measures. A friendly agent changed my seat from 18D to 12D, the emergency exit window on the right side of the aircraft. Boarding started on time … the PTVs were on already … the cabin was ready early and push back was on time.

After departure from gate C33 and a short taxi to runway 22R the flying time was only 1h07. Due to the short flying time, the flight attendants did a “simplified service”. The choices were simplified : coke, diet coke, water, or juice and a choice of salty or sweet snacks. The service itself, however, is not because the flight attendants serve from a tray, which they have to go back and fill up when one of the choices runs out. Our flight attendant did three round trips to the galley before doing her half of the aircraft and then had to offer the snacks. How is this “simplified” for them !?

In any event the flight was short but made quickly long upon landing at IAD … granted we were about 20 minutes ahead of schedule but we ended up waiting an additional half an hour because our arrival gate was occupied. The departure on that gate was taking a delay due to the increased baggage screening. The Captain made three announcements during this time to keep us informed, which I found to be very appropriate. Fortunately the TVs kept us all distracted ! The crew apologized for the wait on the ground insisting “this is not how we like to run our airline”. Once we offloaded I made my way to baggage claim to pick up my bag and met up with my friend to get to the best part of this trip.

IAD-CDG
AF027 777-200 F-GSPT
Seats 1A + 1B
Scheduled departure : 22h10 (22h25)
Scheduled arrival : 11h40 (11h37)
Departure gate B41
Arrival stand C03

This was what I was really waiting for : long haul on AF in Espace Premiere. My friend and I proceeded to the AF check-in counters.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/002.jpg

Operating standards require that First and Business class passengers be checked-in after a maximum 5 minute waiting time. 5 minutes came and went … as did 10 minutes. It appeared that there were 2 annoying passengers occupying the poor guy at the First Class counter … then a family with 3 kids checked-in ahead of us … and finally our turn. The greeting was standard AF greeting … then the whole transaction just dragged on. The agent kept typing … talking to her colleague … typing … talking … something was clearly wrong. She eventually told us to stand to the side and when everything was all set she would call us. She said there were some “verifications” to do, without saying anything more.

15 minutes … 30 minutes … 45 minutes … in the mean time they were combing the queue for paper ticket passengers … at one point I had to ask what the problem was and the agent informed me they were having problems with the electronic tickets and that they were on the phone with Paris to resolve the problem. In my opinion the least they could have done was simply check-in the P and J class passengers as paper tickets and allow then to go to the lounge in the meantime (after security), but no, we had to wait.

I am fortunate to have a friend who works in another AF station and he told me exactly what was going on (indeed it was a problem with the electronic ticketing server) and exactly how they were handling the situation. His station was checking in passengers as paper tickets and keeping notes as to which passengers needed to be “made into electronic tickets” as soon as the server was up again. They told me they above all did not make passengers wait. I eventually made it known to the agent that it was unacceptable to keep all these passengers waiting, especially families with infants and the P and J passengers. Within 10 minutes they resumed check-in. It appeared that someone finally took the decision to check-in e-ticket passengers as paper tickets in order to minimize any delays. My friend requested the presence of a supervisor (who we didn’t see at all during all of this) simply to make it known that it was understandable that a computer glitch can happen but that it was unacceptable that no information was communicated to the passengers. One was immediately available but was unable to speak French and unable to give any sort of empathy to the situation. There was no presence of a supervisor and no announcements made to passengers standing in line during the 1h20 of this ordeal. Poorly handled in my opinion.

It didn’t take long to get through security, fortunately. We walked underground from the main terminal to terminal B.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/001.jpg

Fortunately we had enough time to stop by the lounge for a drink and some snacks. The lounge is warm, inviting, and properly lit for that time of night (20h45).
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/003.jpg
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/004.jpg
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/005.jpg
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/006.jpg

We were properly greeted and settled in for a little bit before boarding, which started directly from the lounge (big plus) at 21h30.

We were greeted very warmly upon boarding at door 1L (2 jetbridges used at IAD). We settled in and 3 other passengers joined us in P. Our flight attendant welcomed us personally and brought in infamous Christian Lacroix pyjamas and amenity kit. He then proposed champagne but since we do not drink alcohol he proposed another drink of our wishing (as the service method requires) … we chose orange juice.

Boarding finished up but the crew and the ground staff disagreed on the total number of passengers that should have been on board. Finally it was the crew who had miscounted. The Captain informed us that the departure was further delayed by a few minutes because the passenger list had to be verified and approved by the local authorities before the closure of the doors. After all that we pushed back with a 15 minute delay which was attributed to the computer glitch at check-in.

Take-off occurred a quick 12 minutes after leaving the blocs and the dinner service was quickly set in motion. On the night departures from the East Coast in Espace Premiere, dinner is still served “by the plate”. The other flight attendant in P (they were 2) came out with the half cart to place the linen, the vinaigrette, olive oil, salad and cutlery roll on the tablette. Bear in mind all menus in Espace Premiere on Air France are conceived by Michelin star chef Guy Martin.

The two hors d’oeuvres were proposed at the same time (as the service requires) : crab accompanied by parsley sauce, zucchini and caviar, sunburst squash with coriander AND vegetable aspic served with feta and grilled eggplant.


The main course choices were between lamb noisettes with tomato sauce, ras-el-hanout and basil flan OR asparagus lasagna with ricotta and bell peppers with star anise.



The meal followed with cheese and then dessert : petits fours frais and mango and raspberry with mint and coffee / tea.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/011.jpg
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k202/airchristophe/Seoul/012.jpg

The service was impeccable … the attention of the two flight attendants amazing … the timing between courses perfect. Our glasses were never empty ; all without being too imposing.

After the service, I changed into my pyjamas and the flight attendant offered us the duvet and pillow which are perfect for sleeping. The old first class seats are actually quite nice because the seats are thick and comfy at the same time … the seat reclines to 180 degrees of course. We were able to sleep well for about 4 hours before breakfast was proposed (at our convenience).

Breakfast : fresh fruit juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange, pomelo, raspberry, yogurt, fresh bakery selection, breakfast pastries, butter, preserves, honey AND choice of main courses : mushroom omelette served with zucchini and breast of chicken OR brioche French toast accompanied by simmered pears with ginger and roasted fennel seed.


We landed on the Northern runways, facing West on 27R and taxied to parking stand C03 where busses were waiting … priority disembarkation had us through passport control and in the arrivals lounge at 2C in 8 minutes. We had enough time to take a quick shower and then headed over to terminal 2F by foot for our connection to ICN.

Overall impressions :

My first jetBlue experience was positive inspite of the wait on the tarmac at IAD. In fact three days later, jetBlue sent me an e-mail thanking me for my business accompanied by a USD25 credit towards future travel on B6 due to the delay upon arrival. Nice touch !

My very first flight in P on AF was nothing short of excellent. Granted, the check-in experience could have been handled smoother (at no fault of the front-line agents), the overall experience was favorable. The two male flight attendants were impeccable and it showed that one of them was ex-Concorde. Attention to detail (like placing the glasses with the “hippocampe” and the labels of the vinaigrette and olive oil facing you) makes all the difference and the quality of the meals was excellent.

Continued ...


Bonjour Chef!
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAlaskaqantas From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 905 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7503 times:

Quoting Flpuck6 (Thread starter):
My first jetBlue experience was positive inspite of the wait on the tarmac at IAD. In fact three days later, jetBlue sent me an e-mail thanking me for my business accompanied by a USD25 credit towards future travel on B6 due to the delay upon arrival. Nice touch !

WOW... I'm just looking into Jet blue after reading this!

Quoting Flpuck6 (Thread starter):
the PTVs were on already

are these Personal tellies?
and if not did they play any movies?

nice report so far and great pictures!

~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.
about to read the rest!!



to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
User currently offlineCXtra From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7500 times:

Thanks for the report.. AF food looks amazing. Looks like one of the better European carriers. I'd love to try them sometime...


Cathay Pacific, Now you're really flying
User currently offlineBa757gla From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 760 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7352 times:

Great report nice to see AF on T reoprts!

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7310 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & photo's, many thanks.

Well done B6, what a way to follow up on the delay, superb.

The AF food & onboard service looks pretty good, though the check-in issue could have been dealt with in a much better way.

Look forward to reading the next part.

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 offlineXjramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2462 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7087 times:

Great report.

I sat in Harry's Tap room coming back home from ORD and sat right next to an AF 777.

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineCgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1164 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6913 times:

Very nice report and great photos. I am a big AF fan. I'll be posting my trip report in a few days. Unfortunately my tripwill be about their Temp Class service which in my opinion is one of the best economy products across the Atlantic.


A330 man.
User currently offlineBRAVO7E7 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1840 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 6442 times:

Wonderful report! Checkin sounds terrible, but the rest seems great. It looks similar to the IAD-CDG flight I took last year on AF as well. I agree that the IAD lounge is quite nice!

Thanks for the great read!


User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 941 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6319 times:

Nice report.

Quoting Flpuck6 (Thread starter):
infamous Christian Lacroix pyjamas

Why are they infamous? Too tight in the drawstrings?  Silly



Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

repost to overcomme the "bandwidth" problem with Photobucket.

Note : the actual trip was BOS-IAD-CDG-ICN-IAD-BOS but the IAD-BOS leg on United does not warrant being written about.

BOS-IAD 19AUG06
jetBlue 1257 (forgot reggie of this EMB-190, crew said the plane was 2 days old)
Scheduled departure : 16h00 (actual 16h00)
Scheduled arrival : 17h50 (actual 18h20)

This was my first “jetBlue experience”. Due to the modified security measures I had to check my bag. When I arrived at the airport the bag-drop line was longer than the ticketing / non-web check-in line. Being the sneaky one I am, I went to the line where people were not yet checked-in (i.e. not the bag drop line) where the agent politely told me I should have gone to the bag drop line. She did not put up a fight when I pointed out to her that her line was moving faster than the bag drop counters.

The line through security went smoothly inspite of the “additional” measures. A friendly agent changed my seat from 18D to 12D, the emergency exit window on the right side of the aircraft. Boarding started on time … the PTVs were on already … the cabin was ready early and push back was on time.

After departure from gate C33 and a short taxi to runway 22R the flying time was only 1h07. Due to the short flying time, the flight attendants did a “simplified service”. The choices were simplified : coke, diet coke, water, or juice and a choice of salty or sweet snacks. The service itself, however, is not because the flight attendants serve from a tray, which they have to go back and fill up when one of the choices runs out. Our flight attendant did three round trips to the galley before doing her half of the aircraft and then had to offer the snacks. How is this “simplified” for them !?

In any event the flight was short but made quickly long upon landing at IAD … granted we were about 20 minutes ahead of schedule but we ended up waiting an additional half an hour because our arrival gate was occupied. The departure on that gate was taking a delay due to the increased baggage screening. The Captain made three announcements during this time to keep us informed, which I found to be very appropriate. Fortunately the TVs kept us all distracted ! The crew apologized for the wait on the ground insisting “this is not how we like to run our airline”. Once we offloaded I made my way to baggage claim to pick up my bag and met up with my friend to get to the best part of this trip.

IAD-CDG
19AUG06
AF027 777-200 F-GSPT
Seats 1A + 1B
Scheduled departure : 22h10 (22h25)
Scheduled arrival : 11h40 (11h37)
Departure gate B41
Arrival stand C03

This was what I was really waiting for : long haul on AF in Espace Premiere. My friend and I proceeded to the AF check-in counters.


Operating standards require that First and Business class passengers be checked-in after a maximum 5 minute waiting time. 5 minutes came and went … as did 10 minutes. It appeared that there were 2 annoying passengers occupying the poor guy at the First Class counter … then a family with 3 kids checked-in ahead of us … and finally our turn. The greeting was standard AF greeting … then the whole transaction just dragged on. The agent kept typing … talking to her colleague … typing … talking … something was clearly wrong. She eventually told us to stand to the side and when everything was all set she would call us. She said there were some “verifications” to do, without saying anything more.

15 minutes … 30 minutes … 45 minutes … in the mean time they were combing the queue for paper ticket passengers … at one point I had to ask what the problem was and the agent informed me they were having problems with the electronic tickets and that they were on the phone with Paris to resolve the problem. In my opinion the least they could have done was simply check-in the P and J class passengers as paper tickets and allow then to go to the lounge in the meantime (after security), but no, we had to wait.

I am fortunate to have a friend who works in another AF station and he told me exactly what was going on (indeed it was a problem with the electronic ticketing server) and exactly how they were handling the situation. His station was checking in passengers as paper tickets and keeping notes as to which passengers needed to be “made into electronic tickets” as soon as the server was up again. They told me they above all did not make passengers wait. I eventually made it known to the agent that it was unacceptable to keep all these passengers waiting, especially families with infants and the P and J passengers. Within 10 minutes they resumed check-in. It appeared that someone finally took the decision to check-in e-ticket passengers as paper tickets in order to minimize any delays. My friend requested the presence of a supervisor (who we didn’t see at all during all of this) simply to make it known that it was understandable that a computer glitch can happen but that it was unacceptable that no information was communicated to the passengers. One was immediately available but was unable to speak French and unable to give any sort of empathy to the situation. There was no presence of a supervisor and no announcements made to passengers standing in line during the 1h20 of this ordeal. Poorly handled in my opinion.

It didn’t take long to get through security, fortunately. We walked underground from the main terminal to terminal B.


Fortunately we had enough time to stop by the lounge for a drink and some snacks. The lounge is warm, inviting, and properly lit for that time of night (20h45).




We were properly greeted and settled in for a little bit before boarding, which started directly from the lounge (big plus) at 21h30.

We were greeted very warmly upon boarding at door 1L (2 jetbridges used at IAD). We settled in and 3 other passengers joined us in P. Our flight attendant welcomed us personally and brought in infamous Christian Lacroix pyjamas and amenity kit. He then proposed champagne but since we do not drink alcohol he proposed another drink of our wishing (as the service method requires) … we chose orange juice.

Boarding finished up but the crew and the ground staff disagreed on the total number of passengers that should have been on board. Finally it was the crew who had miscounted. The Captain informed us that the departure was further delayed by a few minutes because the passenger list had to be verified and approved by the local authorities before the closure of the doors. After all that we pushed back with a 15 minute delay which was attributed to the computer glitch at check-in.

Take-off occurred a quick 12 minutes after leaving the blocs and the dinner service was quickly set in motion. On the night departures from the East Coast in Espace Premiere, dinner is still served “by the plate”. The other flight attendant in P (they were 2) came out with the half cart to place the linen, the vinaigrette, olive oil, salad and cutlery roll on the tablette. Bear in mind all menus in Espace Premiere on Air France are conceived by Michelin star chef Guy Martin.

The two hors d’oeuvres were proposed at the same time (as the service requires) : crab accompanied by parsley sauce, zucchini and caviar, sunburst squash with coriander AND vegetable aspic served with feta and grilled eggplant.


The main course choices were between lamb noisettes with tomato sauce, ras-el-hanout and basil flan OR asparagus lasagna with ricotta and bell peppers with star anise.



The meal followed with cheese and then dessert : petits fours frais and mango and raspberry with mint and coffee / tea.



The service was impeccable … the attention of the two flight attendants amazing … the timing between courses perfect. Our glasses were never empty ; all without being too imposing.

After the service, I changed into my pyjamas and the flight attendant offered us the duvet and pillow which are perfect for sleeping. The old first class seats are actually quite nice because the seats are thick and comfy at the same time … the seat reclines to 180 degrees of course. We were able to sleep well for about 4 hours before breakfast was proposed (at our convenience).

Breakfast : fresh fruit juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange, pomelo, raspberry, yogurt, fresh bakery selection, breakfast pastries, butter, preserves, honey AND choice of main courses : mushroom omelette served with zucchini and breast of chicken OR brioche French toast accompanied by simmered pears with ginger and roasted fennel seed.


We landed on the Northern runways, facing West on 27R and taxied to parking stand C03 where busses were waiting … priority disembarkation had us through passport control and in the arrivals lounge at 2C in 8 minutes. We had enough time to take a quick shower and then headed over to terminal 2F by foot for our connection to ICN.

Overall impressions :

My first jetBlue experience was positive inspite of the wait on the tarmac at IAD. In fact three days later, jetBlue sent me an e-mail thanking me for my business accompanied by a USD25 credit towards future travel on B6 due to the delay upon arrival. Nice touch !

My very first flight in P on AF was nothing short of excellent. Granted, the check-in experience could have been handled smoother (at no fault of the front-line agents), the overall experience was favorable. The two male flight attendants were impeccable and it showed that one of them was ex-Concorde. Attention to detail (like placing the glasses with the “hippocampe” and the labels of the vinaigrette and olive oil facing you) makes all the difference and the quality of the meals was excellent.

Continued ...



Bonjour Chef!
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