Old May 7, 14, 7:36 pm
  #57  
olivedel
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Paris, France
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Posts: 1,459
Last, but not least: the new cabin exploration

Dear FTers,

That would be my last post with exclusive content about the new cabins that AF will deploy on 44 of their 777s in the next few years.
All my pictures are assembled in an album.
Here are my impressions, cabin by cabin:

Economy
The new seat is really comfortable, the pitch seems bigger as long as the width. I am a big fan if the new IFE (the only thing really noticeable, besides the design) and the fact that there will be 2 power outlets available by row of 3 seats (bulkhead seats will have one outlet for each seat). No revolution but good improvements.


Premium Economy
I think the comfort of that cabin is really in debate on FlyerTalk. To be sure, I wanted to try that seat again and check again its comfort after being modified.
First, the general design does not change.
They adapted:
  • The headrest: it can now be adjusted by pulling it forward. I don't really understand how it improves comfort actually

  • The footrest: it works indeed better, but being tall and big it does not really matter to me
  • The density of the foam: Frankly I did not notice any change seating on the seat. Might be worth trying it on a full night flight (anyone?), but I did notice the famous bar that sticks on your back, and nothing really changes about this feeling!


All in all, no real progress on the night comfort of this seat.

Business
I was excited to give a try to this new cabin presented back in February.
3 seats were available for a try: one right side seat, and one pair of central seats.
I know that by choosing a Cirrus seat, Air France made a right choice, aligned with its competitors, but I was a little worried about the feet space, as I felt really cramped in the CX version.

Pros:
  • Seat general comfort in all positions. I did it feel cramped at anytime, neither feeling back pains by an inadequate posture. The bed mode is awesome as the bed is really large, even if you sleep on the side (no foot pains or cramped feet)

  • The IFE screen is huge and it's mobility allows to see its content in all seats positions (A big improvement towards NEV)

  • The cabinet for personal belongings is perfectly adequate for our standard electronics, books or magazines


  • The tablet is finally large enough to work and dine without being cramped

Cons:
  • The Moving screen system of the IFE seems fragile, I almost broke it!
  • Do not try to seat on the seat when in bed mode: I hurt my shoulders on the "wings" of the cocoon.

Your host in the seat (I know, I look ridiculous):



La Première
Of course, that was the main purpose of my trip, so pictures were focused on that cabin. I was pretty skeptical about the curtains thing, which can make the cabin a little messy, and also by the colors when looking at the press kit or the slides. But frankly I was surprised by how clean and charming it looks in real. Actually, it was pretty hard to find cons, but I managed to

Here are a few highlights of the cabin:
FA seated in the seat


Myself in the seat, seated position...


... Bed position!


IFE


Closed curtain from the inside


Curtain fixation


Simplified seat controls


Detailed Seat Controls and IFE Remote


Automated Sun Shades


Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones


Divider


Tableware


Pros:
  • The curtains system is actually very wise and clean, you can adjust the level of privacy by closing the curtain more or less (horizontally). Vertically, it offers full privacy (unlike many suites in the market). When closed completely, I did not feel cramped at all.
  • The bed is very large. I did not get to try the futon and comforter though
  • The colors of the cabin really make a lot in the peaceful ambiance of the suite.
  • The seat controls are just very intuitive and simple, but can be fine tuned if you want
  • The tablet is huge, like really huge
  • The ottoman is way way more comfortable than before when used as a companion seat for dinner
  • The sun shades are really a plus
  • The branded amenity kit is a plus (No Biologique Recherche anymore onboard but still in the P lounge)
  • The new tableware is just beautiful in my own opinion

Cons:
  • The IFE is not moveable and pretty far from the seat
  • Personal space to put your electronics for example is pretty small
  • They did not use the opportunity to offer the ability to merge the two central suites in a double bed à la SQ.
  • When the two travelers occupying the middle suites are not traveling together, the level of possible privacy is way lower, only possible through the physical divider and not curtains between the two seats (curtains being on the aisle)

I hope you enjoyed the report. I tried to be as extensive as I could, but please excuse any missing detail you would have liked to see.

Also, I wanted to thank AF organization for this event. They were amazing, and journalists don't always recognize their investment to make these kind of press trips seamless for everyone.
They also told me how much they value our community of travelers, especially because major contributors are very balanced in both positive and negative aspects of their products, always very smart.

Enjoy your bridge-weekend!
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