: Joon A320 TXL-CDG J
Background: Air France introduced Joon on certain low-yield routes in 2017. Using lower-paid flight attendants than regular Air France, in an attempt to lower costs, yet using the same pilots, and for some reason designed to appeal to millennials, the aviation community largely agreed it didn't really make sense as an idea. Joon began by taking over certain Air France routes. Over about a year and a half that Joon was in operation, the number of Joon routes decreased, and some routes became shared with regular Air France. Then Air France announced a total end to Joon, to occur on June 26, 2019. While I had never really planned to fly Joon, I ended up in Europe right before the scheduled end of the airline, so I decided to arrange a Joon flight just in time. I booked an Economy ticket at a decent price, and then got an upgrade to Business Class during online check-in. I was looking forward to trying Joon for the first and last time, just over a week before they ceased operations. As of this writing, Joon is now a thing of the past, with Air France once again operating their former routes.
Enjoy this report of my flight on now-defunct Joon, and I look forward to your comments.
Departure: 14:50 (actual 15:20)
Arrival: 16:35 (actual 16:58)
Actual Block Time: 1h38
Actual Flight Time: 1h16
Seat: 2F Business Class
It was a very late start to my Joon experience, checking in at 14:00 when check-in was due to close at 14:10. I was the only one checking in at such a late time, and the security line was very short, also due to the late time. I was quickly airside, just in time to hear a 30-minute delay being announced. My aircraft was due to arrive in 20 minutes, resulting in a 30-minute delay.
My aircraft arrived at 14:25. F-GKXI was an Airbus A320 originally delivered to Air France in 2003, then transferred to Joon only about a year before my flight, and then returned to Air France on June 27, 2019, the day after the closure of Joon. She looked very shiny and clean with her relatively new Joon paint job.
At the gate in TXL:
I was excited to fly Joon for the first and last time, and looking forward to trying out the best that Joon had to offer onboard in Business Class. Indeed, this was one of my most anticipated A320 flights, to fly a new airline just days before it would be discontinued.
Boarding began at 14:50 with a huge mob in a very tiny gate area. Two unaccompanied minors and two families with babies in arms pre-boarded, and then Sky Priority was invited to board. I headed down the jetbridge to my waiting A320. Stylish but informal young flight attendants welcomed me aboard in French. There were two rows of Business Class today, with the typical European setup of the same 3-3 seating as Economy, but with the middle seats kept free. The dark leather seats with white and blue headrest covers looked very nice. There were no power ports; though I don't need them today, I would have expected them on a millenial airline.
The seat initially seemed comfortable enough for tonight's flight, but with pretty minimal legroom. Pillows were provided, too, a nice touch I haven't seen much on my previous European Business Class flights. In the seat back pocket, I found the Air France magazine. The safety card had both Air France and Joon branding, and the first thing illustrated was that you're not allowed to sleep on the floor under your seats!
Settling in, I looked out my window and had what is probably my best aircraft spotting in Europe: a Bulgarian Air Charter Super 80!
Soft boarding music was playing as passengers continued streaming past. The flight attendant's welcome announcement bid us welcome onboard Air France...this A320 operated by Joon.
Packaged refreshing wet towels, or serviette rafraichissante
were handed out to Business Class as boarding was announced as complete. Today's load in J was 3 out of a possible 8 seats in the two allotted rows - 1F, 2C, and me in 2F. The captain apologized for the delay, as the aircraft was already late, but the flight time today was to be a very short 1h20. I was enjoying listening to the French onboard.
Pushback came at 15:20. During taxi I spotted a group of planespotters who were spotting and photographing my plane. Takeoff was at 15:28, with thrust already increasing as we slowly turned onto the runway. It felt like we got pretty good speed on the takeoff roll. We quickly passed 10,000 ft. The flight attendants immediately shut a blue curtain between J and Y, and a red and tan curtain to the galley. And even a curtain over the window in the 1L bulkhead.
Meal service began immediately, it was really very quick service. To drink? Naturally I had to toast Joon with a glass of champagne, but maybe first a beer...I asked if they had any interesting beers, expecting a cool French microbrew on a millenial airline, but alas, just like Air France, all they had was Heineken. It was a quick decision to just go straight to the champagne. It was quickly served, and it was excellent. You can't beat true French champagne. The meal was actually really good; everything had better flavor than I'd expected. It included warm bread and a small dark chocolate to finish. And it had a nice presentation on an Air France tray, with the logo on the silverware, too.
I decided to relax and listen to music for the duration of my Joon flight...after I asked my passing flight attendant for a refill of that lovely champagne. The seat was a little tight, but I managed to get comfortable, and it was a short flight, anyway. Only three passengers in Business Class made it feel much less cramped.
Views from 2F:
Continuing to relax, and this time my flight attendant returned and, with a smile, asked if I'd like some more champagne. It was actually some of the best champagne I've had recently. I asked what it was: Deutz Champagne Brut Classic. I've since looked for it at home in New Jersey. It is not available here. To order it online, though, would cost upwards of $50 USD. Not a bad champagne to serve on a flight!
At only 16:15 it was already being announced that we will begin descent shortly. These European Business Class flights are all so short. I'm not someone to want a Business Class flight in an Economy seat to be too long, but today I'd have liked a bit longer on Joon. The other flight attendant emerged one last time with the champagne bottle...excellent, I'd hoped there was time for one more. I drank a toast to Joon one last time, only days before they were to be discontinued.
Our arrival was to be into CDG Terminal 2F. An announcement advising connecting gates for several cities was a nice touch not provided on many airlines. Paris weather was a very nice 21 degrees. "Thank you for choosing Air France for this flight!" ... But I thought I was flying Joon? You know, the whole reason for my flight today?
Fifteen minutes later and the flight was nearing its end. It was time for the cabin prep announcement, and remaining service items were cleared.
I heard the gear go down as we descended over the French countryside. It was a sad moment to say goodbye to Joon, who I had only just gotten to know.
Landing was at 16:44. During taxi there were multiple messages thanking us for flying Air France. We arrived to the gate at 16:58.
At the gate in CDG:
The young, enthusiastic flight attendants had had really good attitudes, and seemed pretty proud working on Joon. Their informal dress had looked really smart. But there had been hardly any mention of Joon, with a lot of focus on Air France. Just add it to the list of reasons why Joon didn't make sense as an airline. Nevertheless I had a really good flight and enjoyed my Joon experience. And that champagne was really good. I've been on three retirement flights of various aircraft types, but never that of an airline. While I wasn't on the official final Joon flight, at time of publication, Joon is already gone. Even though it was only my first-ever flight with Joon, I can't help but feel a little sad. Even though the Joon idea wasn't the best, and onboard there had been hardly any mention that I was even flying Joon, I had enjoyed it and would have been happy to consider them again.
Previous Flying Europe
trip reports:Flying Europe: Swiss Avro RJ100 & Helvetic F100 JFlying Europe: Lufthansa B737-500 & A321 JFlying Europe: Air France A319 J & HOP! CRJ-1000 YFlying Europe: BA Club World B767-300ER To FRAFlying Europe: Air Dolomiti E195 BUD-MUC JFlying Europe: Singapore B777-300ER MUC-MAN JFlying Europe: KLM Cityhopper E190 & F70 YFlying Europe: LAN B787-8 FRA-MAD JFlying Europe: Hahn Air Business Jet LUX-DUS