Monday, August 1, 2011

Air France A380 Business Class Review: From Paris to New York

Flying aboard the A380 has finally become a reality for me and although this A380 review is not the first one in its category, the flyertalker in me had to do it! So, here is my experience flying aboard AF6 from one airport named after a French president to another airport named after an American president.

As you can see in the picture above, the A380 is huge!

There are three jetways for boarding: two for the lower deck and one for the upper deck. The one closest to the cockpit is for First Class passengers. The configuration is as follows:

- Lower deck: First class in the front and then Economy all the way to the back of the plane
- Upper deck: Business Class in the front and Economy all the way to the back of the plane

This is a view from the jetway to the upper deck:

View from the upper deck business class cabin:

View of the inside of the business class cabin. Nothing new in the implementation of this business class compared to other planes besides the change from the color blue to brown for the seats. The A380 doesn't feature the latest business class seats introduced by Air France last year.

Note sure if the colors are accurate on this picture: the seats are brown instead of the usual blue:

Champagne as a preflight drink. Why can't they fill the glasses a bit more?

Starters: foie gras & shrimps


Main course: chicken fillet. This was good but my first choice of main course was Truffle Taglioni. They had unfortunately run out of them when they got to my seat.

The Mezzanine: located all the way in the front of the upper deck. This is a huge waste of space in my opinion. Three screens where you can view artwork or whatever the inflight entertainment system is showing whenever/if it is actually working. Why don't they make it a full bar?

Staircase to the lower deck at the back of the upper deck:

Inflight Entertainment System: in addition to the usual audio/video offerings, you can see live videos from the plane with three different cameras: one in the front, another one in the tail and the last one underneath this big bird! However, the system had to be rebooted for the first three hours of my flight before it finally worked. Nothing was available until then: no movies, no music. In general, the system offers many choices of on-demand videos but it is very slow and feels unresponsive. The old Inflight Entertainment System on Delta, though less sophisticated, is at least snappy which feels great in terms of user experience.

All in all, I was amazed by the quietness of the A380 even during take-off and landing. The downside to it is that you can hear passengers snoring two rows behind you and you realize how noisy business class seats can be when electric motors are in action. Another issue was service. Although the crew was very nice and attentive, it seemed they were overwhelmed by the amount of passengers in the business class cabin. It took more than an hour and half for service to begin. If you add that to the two hour delay before take-off on this particular day, I ended up eating lunch at 5:30pm after feeling famished for almost an hour!

1 comment:

Johnes Joseph said...

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