A Review Of AirFrance Business Class DTW>CDG: Worth The Cost?
As you guys all know, airline miles lose value over time. Because I wasn’t sure what international travel would look like in the next year and some countries had relaxed their entry requirements, I decided to cash in all my Delta SkyMiles on a last-minute ticket to Portugal (+$90 in taxes). So at the gate in Detroit I asked about upgrade options, and decided to upgrade to AirFrance business class on the overnight flight for $700.
You know I love a “treat yo’self” experience. It’s always a thrill to “turn left” when you board! I was welcomed with a glass of champagne and a warm damp cloth. After two years away, it was so amazing to be headed back to Europe!
You might also like: 20+ Tips to Survive & Thrive on a Long Flight
Now here’s a caveat: I hadn’t flown Air France business class previously, so I can’t speak to whether this was a “scaled back” version of their usual offering due to COVID. I was traveling in late October 2021, when a number of countries had eased up on entry restrictions.
The specific elements felt fairly normal compared to what I’ve experienced in other business class settings, so I’m judging them as apples-to-apples.
I don’t know that there’s any special lounge access you can take advantage of in Detroit (I already have Delta lounge access) and upgraded at the gate, plus I had a very short layover in Detroit. If I’d been originating in Paris instead, I could have used the AirFrance business class lounge, which I hear is awesome.
Compare this to other business/first class experiences:
You might also like: Why Fleece-Lined Leggings are a Travel Gamechanger (& the Best Ones)
My experience flying AirFrance business class
From what I understand, the Airbus (A)350 is AirFrance’s newest business class offering and that’s what this route is *supposed* to fly (though all that got thrown off during COVID). But from everything I can tell, this was not the A350, and felt a little older and less comfortable.
I am trying to get confirmation from the airline on what plane it was, but for now let’s assume it was not the A350. I actually think it was the 787 instead.
All the seats recline to lay flat, for a bed that is generally long enough to be comfortable for me (I’m 5’6″) but I always feel like it would be a bit cramped for a tall person. The second pic below I tried to pull back a little so you could see more.
The seats were adequate but not particularly cushy or comfortable, and I wished there was a bit of lumbar support. The blanket and pillow provided for bedding were pretty thin, and definitely disappointing compared to Delta’s cushy bedding.
You might also like: The Only Carry-On Suitcase You’ll Need
You can also get a better look at the foot rest and space in these pics. You also get a glimpse of the large, high-quality screen for entertainment. There were a lot of different movie and TV choices, as well as music and more.
You might also like: A Travel Bucket List for Your 30’s
The business class seats are configured in a 1-2-1 layout and I had selected a window seat. You can see below the way it’s laid out.
You might also like: A Guide to Choosing the Right Flight Every Single Time
My seat had a small cupboard where the headphones, water bottle, and more were located, and where I could keep my own things close at hand (like phone, chapstick, sleep mask, etc). The door was a little fiddly on mine. There were plugins for regular cords and USB here as well.
I enjoyed my Clarins toiletries and the little corduroy bag they came in.
You might also like: My Favorite Bra for Travel
So let’s talk food. I always find the differences in menu options between economy and business class to be interesting. In this case, I found the food on AirFrance okay but a bit underwhelming vs. its reputation.
I enjoyed the hot-smoked salmon with chive cream, and then a braised Wagyu beef in port sauce, and some mini desserts. I sipped some wine and then had a glass of port, then got my lay flat bed situated. Everything was fine, but nothing especially great—the desserts in particular weren’t anything to write home about.
You might also like: 6 Travel Intentions for 2022
Here’s a full look at the dinner menu provided. You can also get a glimpse of the France-forward wine selection (as would be expected). That 10-year tawny port on offer is a surprise, and was very enjoyable!
You might also like: How to Make Every Itinerary A Little Epic
Breakfast was uninspiring and cold (as I remember), but I did get an espresso rather than drip coffee, which is always appreciated!
I don’t have too much to say about the service in business class, but I found it fine if a bit aloof and minimal for business class. They were a little hard to catch going by, but I always hate to use my Call button unless it’s really important (which is totally on me). They didn’t go out of their way to check in or be friendly (fairly aloof) but they were polite and responsive.
We landed in Paris on a chilly, rainy morning, and then I navigated the maze that is CDG to find my gate for Porto.
You might also like: 11 of My Best Tips for ANY Trip
I flew the regular economy AirFrance offering on the way back from Paris to Atlanta a few days later, but on the Airbus 350 (A350). It’s definitely a nicer plane, and this is what the seats in economy looked like, for reference (I was lucky, I had the entire row to myself). I’ve heard the A350 business class is the best AF has to offer.
You might also like: My Fave Face Sunscreens & Moisturizers for Travel
Is AirFrance business class worth it?
Ehh…based on this experience on the 787, I wouldn’t be willing to pay a ton extra for it. It didn’t compare favorably to DeltaOne on any of the key elements. However, it’s possible the new A350 business class will elevate the experience more, and I’d love to try it. On the 787, I’d maybe upgrade with points or a few hundred dollars, but would not pay thousands for AirFrance business class.
Other splurge experiences you’ll love:
- Eating At Istanbul’s Mikla…One Of The World’s Top 100 Restaurants
- Exploring Mendoza’s Wine Country
- Fancy Afternoon Tea at London’s The Langham
- Skydiving Over Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
- Staying At The 250-Year-Old Quinta Nova Winery in Portugal’s Douro Valley
Pin for later!