Yes they did indeed have to use the chutes to get the pax out of the aircraft. I know AF was searching for an a/c of comparable size to take the pax on to LAX, BUT, remember if they used the chutes to get out, how they hell would they board another B777 or A330???????
Hence, the two B737's with integral airstairs that iare self-loading - problem averted with respect to boarding.
Can you imagine this announcement "Ladies and Gentlemen in order to re-embark our aircraft today you will be required to climb a 24' extension ladder, all wheelchair pax & those unable to climb will be left behind and last one on must kick the ladder away......... encore une fois, merci d'avoir choisi Air France"