Air France Business Class within Europe

Old Aug 17, 05, 12:32 am
  #16  
 
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Don't get too used to that. Although I'm not a seasoned AZ flyer, I have yet to see an MD-80 with proper biz class.

The Alitalia MD-80s I've flown on were all-Y, but these was within Italia. They were also years beyond their time and threadbare, and more than a bit dingy. I love the DC-9 series aircraft (for the 2-3 seating) and wish more airlines would stick with these, maybe putting in new interiors. However, the AZ MD-80s were a bit uncomfortable... IIRC no pitch, no biz class...

I have flown on a brand new 319/320 (can't remember which) a couple of times. It was a beautiful plane inside, very new, very clean, cool interior. Cool looking green cloth seats (though I must say they were hard on the bum after an hour).

It had a 3-3 biz class but the B and E seats were very narrow making the ACDF seats wider than normal, and it had the adjustable armrests. If I was told I had to sit in one of those B/E seats, I'd refuse even if they did move the armrests, because the seat cushion could only be about 16" wide. This is probably the most harebrained scheme I've seen. I think BA has the same arrangement on some acft?

They've since dropped the 319/320 from the MAN-MXP routes and I've quit flying them anyway.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 12:52 am
  #17  
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I am always somewhat amused when I see U.S. pax complaining about food service on intra-european biz class flights. Have the U.S. pax forgotten that they are lucky to get a bag of snack mix in FC for a flight under 2 hours.?
I fly AF biz class a couple of times a year r/t CDG/VCE. I wouldn't call this a Michelin 1* restaurant, but on a flight which is about an hour and 45 minutes, the tray is quite satisfactory and wines, red, white and champagne are generously proffered. Also-- not in the mood for wine: AF keeps a little stash of other libations on the cart (e.g. vodka, scotch). Moreover, FA's in Biz on those particular flts are just as nice as can be.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 1:03 am
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Originally Posted by Imperial Special
The seating on intra-Europe C class is certainly much the same. It used to be the catering that marked out AF as superior to many carriers. Anybody wish to comment on the C class food and drink recently?
Terrible Food and Portion controlled Instant Coffee [FA's just add warm water] served in a paper cup, no hard liquor so stick to The Champagne.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 8:17 am
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Poor presentation

Air France Biz class for short haul Europe, suffers from poor presentation,
the food is presented on a poor cheap plastic try, much whose than Eco on international.

The drinks are poured into plastic glasses during the service, and to finish off the coffee comes in a Nescafe labeled plastic cup.

The Nescafe cup really lets in down for me.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 10:24 am
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at least you have biz!

consider it differently:
connecting flight inside France have no biz at all.
some months ago I was back with a C ticket from JNB to CDG and then NCE. CDG NCE has no biz at all! After about 12 hours good upper deck 744, the worst can happen you is to have one hour and half on a A321 CDG - NCE flight overcrowded in Y. That's why last week I decided to have NCE -LON -PHL on BA and back instead of NCE-CDG-PHL on AF at about the same price. It's absurd to arrive early in the morning in Europe after a transatlantic overnight flight and cannot go on sleep if you paid a full C fare. Many French res. outside Paris are connecting to London, Frankfurt, Milan, etc for the same reason. It's hard to understand, but obviously should be a matter of numbers.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by TrayflowInUK
I've only flown LX, LH, KL, and AZ. Are there actually any airlines that have a proper business class?
Yes, check out Aeroflot's intra-European business class seating... their catering services are superb as well and superior to those of KL, AF, OZ, LH in C and Y on intra -European flights.

http://www.aeroflot.aero/eng/service.asp?ob_no=3060
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Old Aug 17, 05, 3:52 pm
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IMO AF's European Business Class is far better than US domestic First Class. The configuration is basically 2-2 and not 3-3, because the middle seat is ALWAYS blocked, not by a computer as in many US Premium Economy configurations (only to have the GA seat someone there at the last minute), but by a table. You NEVER have anyone immediately next to you. I find this far better than a slightly wider seat.

There is always some sort of food service too - a snack or a meal (a hot meal if the flight is three hours or more), though, I agree, presentation is not what it was. Plastic looks cheap.

Contrast this with catering on US domestic First Class (a misnomer, surely, because it is vastly inferior to US airlines Business Class on international routes). On recent journeys I received NO FOOD AT ALL on a three hour flight on US Airways in F between Philadelphia and Miami (dep 10h50 arr 13h50), NO FOOD AT ALL in F on DL for the nearly six hours between Philadelphia and Austin (dep 17h10 arr 21h50), though the plane did stop at Atlanta and I was able to get off and buy something, and NOTHING BUT A SMALL SANDWICH (probably the worst I have ever eaten on any form of transport) in F on a five-and-a-half hour DL flight between San Francisco and Honolulu (dep 17h30 arr 21h05). I have noted the departure and (local time) arrival times to indicate that these were clearly lunch and dinner times. On almost every US domestic flight I have taken (average around two to two-and-a-half hours), there has been no food at all in the First Class cabin.

Last edited by rangerss75; Aug 17, 05 at 4:02 pm
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Old Aug 17, 05, 9:33 pm
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These are very strange reports of no food service on domestic US flights. I travel often from Denver to the East Coast on Continental or Northwest. Denver-Minneapolis has an actual flight time of about 1h40m and every morning flight serves a cold breakfast of yoghurt, bagel with cream cheese, and dry cereal with milk served in ceramic bowls and plates. For lunchtime flights to/from Detriot which has an actual flight time of about 2h55m and to/from Minneapolis the food service contains either a pasta or potato salad and a very nice sized cold sandwich, usually turkey and a large cookie of varying flavours. Very tasty! On Continental to/from Houston again breakfast is almost always a choice of hot or cold with hot being something containing eggs and cold being dry cereal. Both served with a breakfast pastry and fresh-cut fruit. For lunch or dinner, all meals I have been served to/from Houston (approx flight time of 2h) and Newark (approx flight time of 3h45m) have been hot meals with soup, salad, main entree and dessert.
Delta has resorted to severe cost-cutting measures where there is nothing but a basket full of high-calorie, low nutritional value crackers, crisps, and sweets. Anyone flying in F on DL domestically (with a few exceptions to some markets on the East Coast) already should know to expect nothing good as far as food.
My suggestion to anyone is to fly CO in F or Y if you want good meal service. If the previous poster had flown PHL-IAH-AUS, you would have had a nice meal I am sure from PHL-IAH and just beverage service on the short hop from IAH-AUS.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 12:10 am
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FWIW, I just remembered my experience flying UX (Air Europa)... the flight LGW-MAD had a separate cabin for business class, believe it was 2-2 just like a US airline config. But the return flight only had the movable partition.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 7:36 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Wayne
Thanks to everyone for the information. I am puzzled as to why none of the European carriers offer a decent business class product within Europe.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

It has been tried in the past. Anyone here remember the days when KL and Swissair used to have a fixed C class configuration with proper "armchair" seats on inter-European flights configured 2-2 ? Or when Transavia used to fly LGW-AMS with the old BA Super Club (long-haul business class) configured 2-2 with seat cushions which were 24 inches wide ?

But the big problem for the network carriers is that they serve many different markets which huge variations in passenger types and numbers depending on the route, the time of day and the day of the week.

So it meant that with a fixed configuration KL and Swissair had insufficient seats to meet demand on some flights. Or else they had too many empty C seats so they needed to upgrade pax from Y.

The present policy of convertible seating isn't perfect for the passenger but it suits the carriers' peaks and troughs.

Now with today's trend towards budget carriers, no body knows whether there is even a future for C class within Europe. For example, carriers like SK (which 10 yrs ago carried huge volumes of C class passengers) has seen a dramatic fall off in C pax as companies cut back their travel budgets and demanded that staff fly Y class.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 8:56 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by rangerss75
IMO AF's European Business Class is far better than US domestic First Class. The configuration is basically 2-2 and not 3-3, because the middle seat is ALWAYS blocked, not by a computer as in many US Premium Economy configurations
huh? not to be argumentative, but having a middle seat blocked does not make a 2-2. I am not sure what domestic US flights you have been on, but I can't think of any US airline that would think US flyers would accept having the seat next to them empty would equal first class. In fact I personally do not know of one US airline that has a 3-3 biz config. I have never seen one. Have you ever been to the states?



You NEVER have anyone immediately next to you. I find this far better than a slightly wider seat.
Umm, you do not care if someone is sitting next to you in a CO first class seat. You have like 10 inches between you and the other person. One can forget they are there.


There is always some sort of food service too - a snack or a meal (a hot meal if the flight is three hours or more), though, I agree, presentation is not what it was. Plastic looks cheap.
On a transcon on CO you usually receive a full meal. That would be with real glass glasses, and metal silverware.

Contrast this with catering on US domestic First Class (a misnomer, surely, because it is vastly inferior to US airlines Business Class on international routes).
Well of course it is not like a international route, but not nearly as bad as the euroclass biz concept. The euroclass concept is just a lowering of standards if you ask me.


(probably the worst I have ever eaten on any form of transport) in F on a five-and-a-half hour DL flight between San Francisco and Honolulu
The fact you are flying Delta is your issue. Delta is going through their last gasps.. The company thinks that biz classes do not matter. Delta thinks that all airlines will become LCC's in the next five years, and they are working to transform Delta into a LCC. It has worked. I will not fly Delta.

Go fly a CO or American transcon in Business and come back and chat. Since right now it is like me going over to Europe and complaining about business classes after I just flew Virgin Express.

Last edited by Derrico; Aug 18, 05 at 8:59 am
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Old Aug 18, 05, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by Derrico
huh? not to be argumentative, but having a middle seat blocked does not make a 2-2. I am not sure what domestic US flights you have been on, but I can't think of any US airline that would think US flyers would accept having the seat next to them empty would equal first class. In fact I personally do not know of one US airline that has a 3-3 biz config. I have never seen one. Have you ever been to the states?
It is argumentative. There is no need to be condescending to people. I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if I asked if you had ever been to Europe based on your misunderstanding of the description. Or not having read the entire thread carefully.

On AF, the seats are about as wide as any USA "first" class seat -the armrests are moved inward for the middle seat and covered with a table for drinks or whatever. Just like in a big 'Murrican SUV with its center console.


Umm, you do not care if someone is sitting next to you in a CO first class seat. You have like 10 inches between you and the other person. One can forget they are there.
I've obviously spent my 150 or so flights on CO in different aircraft than you. Mostly 737.

On a transcon on CO you usually receive a full meal. That would be with real glass glasses, and metal silverware.
I suspect you get a meal with real glasses on a 5 1/2 hour flight within Europe as well.

The fact you are flying Delta is your issue. Delta is going through their last gasps.. The company thinks that biz classes do not matter. Delta thinks that all airlines will become LCC's in the next five years, and they are working to transform Delta into a LCC. It has worked. I will not fly Delta.
My last flight in J on DL (Monday) was quite nice. Outstanding service, friendly people, and good enough food (though no AF).

Go fly a CO or American transcon in Business and come back and chat. Since right now it is like me going over to Europe and complaining about business classes after I just flew Virgin Express.
Actually, we're here to talk about intra-Europe C on AF for someone used to flying US domestic flights, not the other way around.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 11:11 am
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Now back to intra-european C...

Up to end of last year I commuted every week between DUS and CDG, sometimes with LH but more often with AF.

I think you can't compare intra-european C with american F. The longest routes in Europe I flew (I can't think of many longer routes) have been about 3 hours flight.
One can't compare that with the long american routes (ORD-LGA: 2,5 hours for example, and you have not yet passed half the way transcon), these are other distances. I would be also completely pissed off to spend a transcon route in the USA on a A320 like AF has configured it.

For my travel habits I spend mostly between 1 and 2 hours on intra-european flights, and for that C class in 3-3 config is pretty ok...


And AF C Class is really not that bad, ok, you have plastic cups, etc... But the service is quiet attentive and mostly very nice.

One more good thing about AF on "my" DUS-CDG route is they fly A32X , while LH only flies CRJ's. Now lets talk about C Class on a CRJ, there is virtually no difference between C and Y.

So I think, you're not that bad with AF.

Cheers
AF_FP

Last edited by AF_FP; Aug 18, 05 at 11:15 am
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Old Aug 18, 05, 11:55 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by alanw
On AF, the seats are about as wide as any USA "first" class seat -the armrests are moved inward for the middle seat and covered with a table for drinks or whatever.
Actually, as the same airliners (A3129-321) are used on both domestic and European routes, it's always nice when nobody's in the middle seat, to press the button under the armrest and gain 10 cm of comfort
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Old Aug 18, 05, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by asnovici
Yes, check out Aeroflot's intra-European business class seating... their catering services are superb as well and superior to those of KL, AF, OZ, LH in C and Y on intra -European flights.

http://www.aeroflot.aero/eng/service.asp?ob_no=3060
I second asnovici with one caveat: this sort of biz service is only available on SU Airbus aircraft (many of their European routes are served by Tupolev 154M's and that's an altogether different story)
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