Trip Report: Air France (B777-300ER) Business CDG-IAD

The Details

  • Flight: AF54
  • Aircraft: B777-300ER
  • Class: Business
  • Seat: 6A
  • Route: Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)-Washington Dulles (IAD)
  • Distance: 3,937miles
  • Duration: 7hrs 59min
  • Departure: 2:20PM
  • Arrival: 4:20PM

After landing at CDG in Terminal 2F on my previous flight from Stockholm, I had to leave the Schengen zone through the passport check to get to Terminal 2E. There was a tremendous amount of passengers in a mass of poorly organized lines to get up to the border agents. In total, it took me over fifty minutes to get from my arrival gate to the Air France lounge.

The lounge in Terminal 2E was recently renovated and the entrance featured a nice champagne-styled logo.

The lounge itself was mostly one large rectangular room. There was a variety of comfortable sofas, couches, and tables available. Unfortunately, the lounge did not have any views of the apron but rather faced the road.

At one end of the lounge was a dining area with a bar and two buffet stations.

Breakfast options included a large number of pastries, bread, and gluten-free bread. Hot options included scrambled eggs, bacon, as well as sausage.

There was also an assortment of yogurt, fresh fruit, smoothies, and cold cuts with cheese.

Sweet options included brownies, muffins, and crepes.

There was also a respectable alcohol selection which included medium-shelf liquor as well as two white and two red wines.

Coffee was available from espresso machines.

The middle of the lounge was a stylish seating area with velvet-clad booths arrayed around a central marble table.

The marble table had a selection of boxed cookies along with additional wines.

To the left of the velvet booths was another small buffet area. The offerings were similar to the main dining area ones.

Additional sofas, couches, and tables were arranged on the far side of the lounge.

Behind the main lounge area was a hallway that led to the showers and other lounge amenities.

This lounge featured a complimentary Clarins Spa.

There was a sign-up seat directly outside of the spa with slots every 30 minutes. Luckily, with my long layover, I was able to score a slot two hours after my arrival into my lounge.

The complimentary spa treatment for men was a facial with hand massage which I enjoyed. At the end of the treatment, I was given a complimentary moisture balm.

Next to the spa was a quiet area with a few curtained rooms with recliners.

There were also excellent showers available in the lounge. The shower featured a rain shower head and the water pressure was fantastic. Amenities in the shower included towels, a toothbrush, as well as Clarins branded shampoo, and shower gel.

There was also a small beverage area and dining table.

At 11:00AM, lunch was brought out. Hot options included beef pasta, roasted pork, and roasted veggies.

There was also a more extensive dessert and sweet selection.

Additional lunch options included carrot soup and sandwiches.

The dining area in the middle also featured a small salad bar.

I left the lounge with 30 minutes until the scheduled boarding time of 12:50PM to walk around the terminal and get a nice view of our aircraft. The B777-300ER taking us to Washington Dulles, registration F-GSQI, was an 18-year-old aircraft that was delivered brand new to Air France in 2005.

While our scheduled departure time was supposed to be 1:45PM, it was pushed back to 2:00PM without any clear explanations. Boarding began at 1:00PM with separate lines for business and economy passengers opening at once.

The Flight

Air France has a total of four different B77W configurations in their fleet. 19 of their B777-300ERs (including this aircraft) have four La Premier seats, 58 business, 28 premium economy, and 206 economy seats. This configuration is the Air France flagship and flies the highest-yield routes from Paris.

The front of the aircraft features four La Premier first-class seats separated from the business-class cabin by a wall. A small business class cabin of 24 seats is directly behind first class. A larger business-class cabin of 34 seats is behind the second set of doors.

The Safran Cirrus II reverse herringbone seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration with each seat offering direct aisle access. I was seated in 6A, the last row in the small business cabin. Since I was in the last row of the cabin, I had an ample amount of privacy despite the lack of doors on the seat.

Each seat was 20 inches wide. When fully reclined, the seat was six feet and seven inches long.

Directly in front was a 16-inch HD touchscreen that folded outwards. There was also a built-in coat hook to the right of the screen.

Below the inflight entertainment screen was the footwell. I find the Cirrus seats to have the largest footwells of reverse herringbone seats. Underneath the cushion was a small storage space perfect for shoes.

On the left of the footwell was a literature pocket with a dedicated bottle holder.

In-seat power included a USB port as well as a 110V outlet.

Each seat also had a large countertop space with a built-in cup holder.

Seat controls were rudimentary.

A retractable bi-fold table was located beneath the countertop. It was sturdy and large when fully expanded.

Each seat also had a large storage bin where the headphones and amenity kit were placed. There was also a built-in mirror on the door.

The inflight entertainment control was stowed next to the storage bin. Above that was a small retractable reading light.

I always appreciate it when the IFE remote can double as a second screen. I was able to keep the IFE map loaded on it while I watched movies throughout the flight on the main screen.

The seat itself was fairly comfortable with comfortable padding. The four-way adjustable headrest was also well-padded. Awaiting each passenger at the seat was also a clothes hook, pillow, and blanket.

The Air France branded noise-cancelling headphones were OK. Not the best but also not the worst.

A small Evian water bottle was also provided.

The business class amenity kit was fairly basic. Contents included socks, an eye mask, a toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, a pen, and Clarins branded lotion and moisturizer.

I found the pillow to be very comfortable. The blanket was dense and warm.

Forty minutes after boarding, flight attendants came through the cabin to offer a pre-departure beverage. Options included water, orange juice, or champagne.

The menu was handed out a few minutes later.

Flight attendants also passed out a hot towel.

We pushed back twenty minutes late at 2:05PM. As we taxied to the runway, I enjoyed the forward-facing external camera that Air France installed.

We took off from runway 26L at 2:19PM.

Service began quickly with a beverage service thirty minutes after takeoff. I went with a glass of the excellent Pommery Brut Royal champagne. It was served with a box of salted crackers.

The first course was served 25 minutes later. There was a basic salad, shrimp tartare with mango, as well as a pea cream with lemon. I found the shrimp and pea dishes very tasty. A warmed bread basket was also offered.

For my main course, I had the pollock with lovage sauce served over a bed of spinach and fennel compote. This was phenomenal, by far the best fish dish I have been served on any aircraft.

After the main course, flight attendants offered a cheese course with three delicious slices of goat cheese (crottin de chavignol), blue cheese (fourme d’Ambert), and Cantal cheese. Another round of bread again.

For dessert, there was a trio of small cakes including a vanilla cream puff, opera cake, and cherry tart. All three were fantastic. Throughout the four courses, flight attendants made numerous passes throughout the cabin offering additional drinks and topping off my champagne. In total, the meal service took 90 minutes.

Flight attendants also set up a small snack and beverage station between the two business class cabins halfway through the flight.

There were a total of three lavatories available for business passengers in between the two cabins. Amenities included Clarins branded lotion and freshener.

After the delicious meal, I set up the bed and tried to fit a nap in. Unfortunately, Air France does not provide a comforter but regardless, the seat was still comfortable to lay in.

I could easily fit my size 11 feet into the footwell. It was perfect for both side-sleeping as well as sleeping supine.

I was able to nap for about two hours before waking up. Once up, I watched a few movies including a sad romannce called All My Life.

Ninety minutes prior to arrival in Dulles, a snack was served. The single option was a cold croissant sandwich with smoked salmon over coleslaw. The two sides were blueberry yogurt with a vanilla cream puff. While I was disappointed no hot food was served, the dishes were tasty nevertheless.

At the completion of the second meal service, another hot towel was provided.

The cabin was prepped for landing forty minutes prior to landing. On our approach, we had great views of the surrounding suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.

We touched down at 4:20PM local time, just five minutes after our originally scheduled arrival time.

The taxi to gate A20 took just six minutes. Thanks for the ride!

I found the Air France business class experience to be one of the best for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The food was phenomenal, the service efficient, and the seat comfortable. I would definitely choose Air France over other carriers if available.

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