Air France Business Class within Europe

Old Aug 15, 05, 11:57 am
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Air France Business Class within Europe

I am wondering whether business class on Air France within Europe has gone the way of KLM and Luftansa. By that I mean is it essentially 3-3 coach seating on a typical narrow body aircraft, with maybe a couple more inches of legroom? Or, is it more like the US Airlines domestic first class which would typically be 2-2 seating? Any information would be appreciated!

BTW, there are no seat maps on the Air France web site, and seat guru appears to have only international aircraft seat maps - no map for A320 used within Europe.

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Old Aug 15, 05, 12:06 pm
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Business inside Europe is pretty much the same on all airlines.

On AF it will be a narrowbody with the middle seats blocked and a little better service in front of the curtain.
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Old Aug 15, 05, 12:13 pm
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It will be 3-3 coach seating, unfortunately without any extra legroom (at least to my sense)! However, the service is a little bit better and faster!
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Old Aug 15, 05, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by alanw
Business inside Europe is pretty much the same on all airlines.

On AF it will be a narrowbody with the middle seats blocked and a little better service in front of the curtain.
I've only flown LX, LH, KL, and AZ. Are there actually any airlines that have a proper business class?
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Old Aug 15, 05, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by bau31888
It will be 3-3 coach seating,
with the middle seat blocked. Better than BA where you can be in a middle seat with 2-3 seating, middle seats are definitely NOT blocked on BA.
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Old Aug 16, 05, 11:14 am
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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?
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Old Aug 16, 05, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
with the middle seat blocked. Better than BA where you can be in a middle seat with 2-3 seating, middle seats are definitely NOT blocked on BA.
Nor are they by KL, just for comparison.
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Old Aug 16, 05, 1:11 pm
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Recently flew biz class AF LHR-CDG and return on A319. No discernable difference from coach in terms of legroom. Middle seat is blocked with a fold-down drink tray and armrests are shfited to give another 2.5 inches (or so) of additional width. Cold breakfast was served - I expect better than what economy was offered, but not by a lot. But given the short flying time (I think 40 minutes), there isn't a lot they can do. Not sure if longer flights are any better in terms of catering.

(I was rather shocked that neither on this short-haul nor on the long-haul I was connecting to did I ever see a warm piece of bread. I def would no longer point to catering as a positive AF differentiator.)
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Old Aug 16, 05, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulo
But given the short flying time (I think 40 minutes), there isn't a lot they can do. Not sure if longer flights are any better in terms of catering.
Of course they can! I can remember flying UTN-KIM-BFN-JNB on an SA 732. This was in the good old days, i.e. less than ten years ago. Three short domestic hops, an almost full aircraft, yet somehow they managed to provide a full bar and snack service on the first two legs, followed by a hot dinner + bar service on the last. And this was in economy class! The cabin crew really had to work hard, especially on the last segment, but they did cope.

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Old Aug 16, 05, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulo
Not sure if longer flights are any better in terms of catering.
The cut off point for AF intra-European flights in C used to be 1h40mn. Above that, you had a hot meal. Now, for the last eighteen months or so, the cut off point has been raised to 2h55. For flights above 2h55 (ATH, IST, Russia ?), you get a hot meal, an amenity kit, and a selection of wines served on long-haul flights, served from real size bottles, not the dreadful generic vins de pays or vins de cépage, Merlot, Chardonnay, whatever . Nevertheless, my experience is that on flights to ATH, meals are not as good as they used to be.

And digestifs have yet to reappear

Having flown to several European destinations in C on both BA and AF (it's been almost a year since I have flown LH), I prefer BA catering (provided GG is operational ...) for flights shorter than 3hrs. For flights to and from ATH, I definitely prefer AF catering.

Regarding the issue of hot bread, it may be (I may be mistaken) that French passengers are more interested in having good bread than having any type of bread warmed, either on board or in a restaurant. And the type of butter is also important ...

Last edited by JOUY31; Aug 16, 05 at 2:45 pm
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Old Aug 16, 05, 2:35 pm
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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.
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Old Aug 16, 05, 2:49 pm
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Markets are different.

Another difference, travelling in C between European cities for flights about 1h40 mn is more expensive than long-haul F on CX between HKG and TPE and the experience is completely different ....
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Old Aug 16, 05, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by JOUY31
Markets are different.

Another difference, travelling in C between European cities for flights about 1h40 mn is more expensive than long-haul F on CX between HKG and TPE and the experience is completely different ....
The US carriers offer first class (or what's left of it... NWA flyer here) for shorter routes, so why can't the European carriers? I guess what bothers me is if I pay the hefty price for a transatlantic business class ticket, then connect in Europe, I have to sit in what is essentially a coach product for the remainder of my trip. For the price, I'd expect more.
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Old Aug 16, 05, 4:17 pm
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Oh, I think it's a "decent" business class product, as do all the carriers, evidently. KL's "Europe Select" five-to-a-row cramfest aside, I find it universally comfortable enough. JK serves a light meal on a 50-minute domestic flight, and I'm sure most other carriers to in C as well.

It's about the flexibility of the fare, earning more points, lounge access, and other tangibles more than the width of the seat.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 12:00 am
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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?
I flew AZ last month from CDG to MXP which was maybe in the air an hour. I was pleasantly surprised, maybe because I had low expectations from reading reports on this board. The MD80 was configured like US First Class, a very nice cold lunch was served by two excellent attendants who each spoke at least four languages very well. My champagne, I mean Spumante, as the flight attendants jokingly informed me, glass was kept full. The seat was wide and quite comfortable. The plane looked older than dirt and the seats were a little threadbare, but it was spotless. All this with a short turnaround in Paris due to late arrival of the aircraft. They'll be my first choice SkyTeam connecting partner in Europe from now on.
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