Positive flight, but not perfect

Review of Florian de What The Flight about the flight Air France AF066 between Paris Charles De Gaulle and Los Angeles on 15/12/2012 in Economy
Florian de What The Flight AF / AFR CDG / LAX
Note: This review is about an experience that happened more than 3 years ago.

Almost 2 months ago, my companion and I reserved flights from Paris to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to New Orleans, and finally New Orleans to Paris on Opodo. There were several airlines to choose from. We chose Air France, because it offered a direct flight from CDG to LAX. In addition, this flight was on an A380. The other flights were offered by code share with Delta. I couldn't wait to try out this A380. What a beautiful baby this plane is! When making the reservation, my companion asked for a vegetarian menu.

The evening prior to our departure, I went on to the Air France website to check us in. We could also choose our seats. We chose seats other than the ones assigned to us, because Seat Guru found those a bit uncomfortable.

The morning of departure, we took the Air France bus to Charles de Gaulle, toward Teminal E. Upon arriving there, we found ourselves in a large crowd in front of the Air France counters. There were machines for automatic check-in, so we went to one of them. Checking in was done in less than 5 minutes. The machine printed tickets and baggage tags. And then, nothing...

A long line wasn't moving. After a good 10 minutes of waiting surrounding by a big crowd and seeing our departure time get closer, I started to ask myself what was happening. I saw, here and there, people in Air France uniforms passing by. I finally heard a discussion between an Air France employee and a passenger: "The baggage conveyor belts aren't working. Don't worry, the plane won't leave without you and the flights are delayed." So we continued to wait, after all... A sort of organization started to take place and the passengers were divided into lines according to flight in order to check in their baggage. That was easily another thirty minutes. The counter agent was professional and checked in our baggage while explaining the situation to us and apologising.
I truly understand that Air France has nothing to do with the baggage conveyor belts not working, but being a systemwide failure, I wonder why announcements were not made to explain the situation to passengers and especially to reassure them.

Boarding went well. The airplane, an A380, was a beautiful baby. It is impressive from the outside with its two levels. The flight attendants were at the entrance of the plane and wished us a good trip. We were seated in the seats that I had chosen the night before. A blanket and a pillow were on our seats. The seating configuration was 3-4-3. Personal space was ok, but not that big (compared to the huge size of the airplane). We had a large personal TV with a remote control. The seat was comfortable.

Finally we took off after a 45 minute delay. The captain announced that our ride would have some turbulence over the Atlantic, while apologizing for the delay. During take-off, we could see it all thanks to a camera on the tail of the plane. Cool!

Shortly after take-off, menus were passed out and then a drink. We chose champagne. And yes, champage does exist in economy class. A little later, the meal was served. My friend had reserved a vegetarian plate. Unfortunately, her wish was not respected. They asked us to show our boarding passes, but it wasn't written on the boarding pass. The head flight attendant finally came to see us and to let us know that since it was not on the boarding pass, there was nothing they could do. "You really don't eat fish?" Everything was done in a friendly manner, but hey, it's still average all the same. Too bad! We were told to write a word about it for the flight record. My friend then took the "standard" plate. (Fortunately, she is not a true vegetarian.)

The meal itself was good. The pasta and chicken was more than adequate for an airplane meal. I chose red wine to go with my meal.

Next we discovered the entertainment system. There was a large screen with a choice of both new and old movies (about 80) like The Avengers, Prometheus, and the last Jason Bourne movie. the movies were offered in several languages. It was really nice. We felt that our flight would go quickly.

Between the 2 meals, some snacks (cookies) and drinks were offered. Twice during the flight, we were offered ice cream. I really love that idea.

A little before landing, the second meal was served to us. This one was of the same quality as the first: good.

Landing also went very well.

Conclusion: this flight on an A380 with Air France went well. I regret, however, the lack of information during our check-in and forgetting my companion's vegetarian meal.

General
Overall rating
4 / 5
Value (price + quality)
4 / 5
On the ground
Check-in and boarding
2 / 5
Management of luggage
3 / 5
On board
Comfort
5 / 5
Costumer service
4 / 5
Your opinion of security
5 / 5
Food
3 / 5
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By Florian de What The Flight, about Air France,
Posted online by Florian de What The Flight, on 16 December 2012
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Buaires replied

Hi,
Thanks for your interesting TR. Is there anyway you can send me or scan me your menu ? I've flown to LAX two weeks ago and I'd like to write a TR about my experience on AF, but I, unfortunately forgot to take away my menu.
Thanks for your help, Florian.

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