Review: AirFrance - Economy - Boeing 777-200ER - Paris CDG to New York JFK


Trip Report Index:

Flight Details:

Air France Flight 8
Paris (CDG) to New York City (JFK)
Depart: Friday, February 22 at 6:10 PM (Actual 6:10 PM)
Arrival: Friday, February 22 at 8:50 PM (Actual 8:18 PM)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200ER
Seat: 26C (Economy)

Booking:

This was the last segment on our six flights to and around Norway. I selected seat 23B, a bulkhead seat. It appeared bulkheads normally cost money (even for those with status), but for some reason I was able to select.


Image courtesy of SeatGuru

I noticed about 3 months before our flight that my seat had been reassigned to 26B (likely due to my original B seating). Thankfully, 26C was still available so I moved there. I was a little disappointed I was reassigned without warning, but it is what it is. At check-in, I was offered a $550 upgrade to business class, which I declined.

Transiting in Paris CDG:

Transferring between terminals this time felt a little easier. Besides the fact that our connection was 3 hours, it was significantly shorter and less crowded. We had a long walk, which brought us to a make-shift passport control room. It seems Terminal 2F is under construction, so we went into a room and then basically turned around and went right back out. We walked through the under passage to terminal 2E, and since we were departing from the main building (Hall K), we did not have to take the tram to one of the satellite buildings.

Lounge:

We visited the Air France lounge for Terminal 2E, Hall K. To access the lounge, you had to take an elevator down one flight. Upon arrival, we asked about switching to the earlier flight to JFK, which was departing one hour from then. We were immediately laughed at (rude) and went into the lounge. There was a decent spread to the left and right of the check-in desk. We went to the left first as there was the ability to sit at a proper table, then went to other side to lounge later on for more comfortable chairs.

Somehow in my tiredness I completely forgot to take any pictures.

The spa was totally booked for the day, so we could not indulge. Soon enough, it was 5:00 PM and we headed to the gate.

Boarding:

Our gate was just a 5 minute trek from the lounge. When we arrived, it took us a while to find someone who would talk to us and grant us early boarding, due to my friend's injury.

Boarding at Paris CDG Airport

They took our boarding passes and motioned for us to enter the cordoned off area. Once again, I beeped and was told I could not board, just like in Oslo, and this time it was for the SSSS screening. While it was not on my boarding pass, I had been randomly selected again (I'm 3 for 3 going back into the USA in the last year).

The woman working with me did not speak a single word of English and was confused why I kept motioning to help my friend who had now limped down the jet bridge alone. The process took about 7 minutes, but in that time a decent portion of the plane had boarded.

Thankfully, she sent me on my way with no questions. I got a quick shot of the plane and then raced to catch up to my friend.

An AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER

Down the jet bridge, I saw boarding has been paused and everyone was crowded in a group giving me time to ask (push) people to move so I could catch up to my friend. At about 5:45 PM, passengers were finally granted permission to step on board.

Cabin:

Forgive the photos, but we first walked through the mini/rear business class cabin...

AirFrance 777-200ER Business Class

...and then through premium economy...

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER Premium Economy

...and finally to economy.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER Economy Cabin

I'm always nervous about flying in 3-4-3 configuration on the 777. The seats are uniformly tight due to the additional seat added in the middle. While that was true for this flight, this plane was nicely updated and looked much newer than our A380 on the way out.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER Economy Cabin

Each seat came with 32 inches of pitch.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER Economy Cabin

Every seat had a variety of amenities, such as a pillow, blanket, headphones and eye mask.

AirFrance Economy amenities

The cabin looked fresh and was in excellent condition. I liked the dark seat with the light accents. One other perk, of course, was the updated in flight entertainment system. It was very responsive to touch and much, much better than the A380's.

Boeing 777-200ER entertainment screen

Below each screen was a single-prong headphone jack and a USB port. There were no regular power ports between the seats.

Each seat featured a full size tray table that did not need to be unfolded multiple times. It had a cup holder, as all other AirFrance flights had on this trip.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER economy tray table

Boarding continued on and many people asked to switch, likely due to the lack of free seat selection without status. As my friend was seated across the aisle from me, I declined.

Flight / Meal Services:

We departed right at 6:10 PM and were informed of our 7:45 flying time. We had about 17 minutes of taxi time on the group before we took off. We apparently had a gorgeous view out of the right side of the plane of Paris, but I could not see it.

Cabin service began shortly after with a bagged towel.

AirFrance economy towel

It was thick and actually fabric.

AirFrance economy towel

Next, we were handed menus, but told the meal service would not be for another two hours. Right now, they were only offering drinks and a small bag of cookies.


AirFrance economy beverage service

The cookies were not great, but the red wine I selected was different than the flight over and not as bad.

To pass time until the meal, I watched "Instant Family," which was excellent.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER economy entertainment screens

Finally, it was meal time.

AirFrance economy menu

The options were a standard chicken or pasta.

AirFrance economy menu

The older male flight attendant working our aisle was an absolute mess. He served meals from the ground, hoisting trays in the air screaming for people to grab them out of his hand. He did not ask passengers what they wanted, and presumed chicken unless you fought back. Luckily, I wanted chicken.

AirFrance economy dinner

The meal was presented covered in plastic with the nutrition facts stamped on top. I ripped it off before I had a chance to look at it.

AirFrance economy chicken dinner

The "basquaise" chicken dinner came with rice, potato salad, chocolate cake, bread, butter and cheese. The food was significantly better, and the chicken did not taste overcooked. I appreciated the water bottle on the tray again. 

The crew came for a second beverage service. I selected another red wine, but this time was served the same putrid bottle as the flight over. I had about half before I had to stop.

The crew came around to offer cognac or coffee, but this time I passed.

Once the aisles were clear, I checked out the bathrooms.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER economy restroom

Considering the rest of the plane had been updated, the bathroom looked older. Unfortunately, it was already starting to look a little dirty 3 hours into the flight.

AirFrance Boeing 777-200ER economy sink

The sink had standard unbranded hand soap and tissues.

I returned to my seat. Every so often the crew came around with beverages on trays. One time, I selected a coffee.

AirFrance economy mid-flight coffee service

The flight was relatively uneventful thereafter. While the seats were definitely narrow, I was never uncomfortable, like on Joon. As this was a daytime flight, I wasn't looking to sleep at all. I probably would avoid these seats overnight, though.

About 90 minutes before landing, a small bagged meal service was offered. Once again, our flight attendant was a disaster. He handed bags out from the ground again. This time, he was dropping bags everywhere, and tried to hand me items that had fallen on the floor. I declined and he was confused why I wouldn't accept it. I was handed another bag.

AirFrance economy snack service

Inside the bag was a ham sandwich, peach juice and madeleine cake. We were served water, too.

AirFrance economy snack service

It was all disgusting. The sandwich tasted days old, the madeleine was over the top sweet and the peach juice was thick and slimy. I had about half of everything since I was hungry, but did not enjoy it.

Arrival:

We landed at 8:02 PM and were at the gate at 8:18 PM, a full half hour ahead of time. Immigration was tricky, as Global Entry claimed I did not have a membership (I do), so I pulled out my phone and used the Mobile Passport Control app. Both Global Entry and those using the app wait in the same line, which I thought was interesting.

Bottom Line:

AirFrance provided a reliable, but standard economy experience. The seats were small, the food was fine and we arrived early.

Comments

Popular Posts

Review: China Eastern - Business Class - Boeing 777-300ER - New York JFK to Shanghai PVG

Review: Joon (AirFrance) - Economy - Airbus A320 - Oslo Gardermoen OSL to Paris CDG

Review: China Eastern - Business Class - Airbus A320neo - Shanghai PVG to Chiang Mai CNX