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Air France Business Class: Seoul-Paris

Air France Business Class: Seoul-Paris

Old Feb 25, 07, 5:50 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Europe
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Air France Business Class: Seoul-Paris

Check-in

Arrived at the Incheon Airport by taxi from Seoul (COEX area) and it took 50 minutes with no traffic on a Saturday morning.

Air France check-in was very efficient and professional. No line for premium check-in and a reasonable line for economy check-in. The areas surrounding AF check-in was however quite chaotic due to a great number of Korean Air group check-in counters nearby.

The people at the desk said that the flight had been retimed from 10:20 to 10:00 and made a big deal of the fact that the gates closed 20 minutes prior to departure. It turned out this was all a rouse to get people earlier to the gate. I found this a bit annoying, but it certainly was effective.


Security

The line at security was short. A central line was directed to multiple security channels with no more than 5 people waiting at each one. Security was thorough but conducted with respect – i.e. total opposite of USA. [You did not have to take your shoes-off but I noticed there was a stack of slippers available in case you needed to do this.]


Immigration

Yes, Korea has exit formalities as well as entry formalities. There were more immigration counters than security channels so you immediately went to a counter with no line whatsoever. This took 30 seconds.


Lounge

Air France uses the Korean Air prestige class lounge for their C passengers. I was a bit confused since Korean Air calls them “transfer lounges” and they seemed to have another tiny lounge before the entrance to their main lounge area. Entry to the lounge was up an escalator and the boarding pass was swiped for entry.

The first impression of this lounge is very good. It is big, airy and has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the aircrafts for the length of the whole lounge. The lounge did not have a luxurious feel to it, just an efficient feel.

There was a cereal bar and breakfast breads available – but no warm foods. All alcohol was available at 9 am – beer, wine, liquor but no champagne!


Boarding

Boarding had already commenced by the time I got to the gate. There were very distinct F/C/Elite and Y boarding channels – no line at the former but a rather substantial one for Y.

The flight attendant (male) was very proactive in taking jackets and helped (women) passengers stow their cabin bags in the overhead bins.

Right after the doors closing, they brought around a selection of French and English-language newspapers. [This flight was code-shared with KoreanAir and there was a flight attendant from them --- dressed in a very unusual national costume (I assume) --- who took care of newspapers for the Korean passengers among other things.]

There were no pre-takeoff drinks offered, which is a first for me on an AF long-haul no matter what time of day it departed.

Also, the captain made no announcement prior to takeoff. Indeed, he did not say a single word for the duration of the flight.


Seat / In-flight Entertainment / Amenity Kit

This was the “old” version of the “new” business class seat. Certainly a different world from the old seat, but very much inferior to the new “new” seat. There is no ledge on the footrest – so you just slide down – and I can never get the seat into a very comfortable position.

The IFE was significantly improved from just a year ago on AF but no competition to the likes of SQ. Probably about10 movies on demand, but offered in a great number of languages.

The amenity kit – which was in the seat upon boarding – included socks, toothbrush, moisturizer, eyeshades and earplugs as well as sanitary covers for the headsets which are attached to the seat. This basic amenity kit contains what you need but the hard-box that it’s contained in appears to have no practical purpose whatsoever for subsequent use.

A bottle of Korean water was also in each seat upon boarding.


Immediately after takeoff


As soon as the fasten seatbelt sing went off, the “pre-takeoff “ drinks were served - champagne or OJ.

The crew distributed the menu. This is posted on the AF Catering thread. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...18#post7294418 (Post # 105)

A bit later hot towels were distributed.


Drinks Service

About 30 minutes later, the drink carts were brought out. Most people had a glass of wine. This was accompanied by a box of Fauchon snacks (Fauchon = French luxury foods store)

No refills were offered.


Meal

The carts came out about 20 minutes later. Everything was already set up on a tray and one had a choice of two starters. They also served drinks again.

Very shortly afterwards, the starter plate was cleared and the main courses were offered. There was a choice of three. The quality of the food was very good.

They also served the cheese plate at the same time and one had to put it on the hand-rests – there was no space on the table. I find this a very pathetic way of service. Again, drinks were offered.

No refills were offered for the duration of the meal (and cheese) service.

After quite some time, the tray was cleared. One was supposed to keep the cup for coffee or tea. Shortly afterwards, the desserts carts came out where you could select one or more items. Coffee and tea was served along with a very limited selection of after-dinner drinks. (If you wanted a refill of your wine, this had to be requested specifically and they went back to the galley.]


“Overnight” service and In-flight bar

Although this was a daylight flight throughout, the crew disappeared completely after the meal service. They did not even offer refills of water during the duration of the flight. Everyone was to use the self-service in-flight bar. Again, I find this pathetic service.

The in-flight bar was set-up by the galley/lavatories. It had a good range of sandwiches, noodles, fruit. They only had champagne and sparkling water out. Everything else had to be requested from the crew. Late into the flight, I went for a glass of champagne and I found it completely flat. It had obviously been sitting there without a stopper for 7 hours! So much for the land of Champagne.


Second Meal

The second meal was served about 1 hour prior to landing. It was served on a tray with a choice of two courses. [Again, the menu in posted on the AF Catering thread.] Wine was offered but most people took coffee or tea.


Arrival Formalities

We arrived at Terminal 2F (at a real gate, no bus) at a time of day when there is very little non-Schengen traffic arriving. There was practically no line at immigration. Since I had no checked bags, I was in a taxi within 10 minutes of the doors opening.

Last edited by Braniff; Feb 25, 07 at 6:27 pm
Braniff is offline  
Old Mar 1, 07, 4:34 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
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What a great trip report - it summarises so many AF flights - good in parts, but other areas really needing some attention.

What's with the AF attitude to wine? Are they:

1. Trying to demonstrate that AF is concerned about alcohol consumption in France so is cutting back

2. Is seriously worried about your alcohol consumption so is actually serving everyone else apart from you

3. Just can't be bothered to pour any more

4. Has glugged it all back in the galley which is why you don't see any attendants for hours on end

TechnoOenology is offline  

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