The flight itself was near-flawless. The service excellent. But there was one thing that annoyed me about my first class flight on Air France: another passenger in the cabin.
Let me start by saying that this is a first world among first world problems. Nevertheless, it annoyed me, so let’s discuss it and see if it would have annoyed you too. Maybe I’m just totally out of line.
I booked my ticket a couple weeks in advance and noticed that there appeared to be one other passenger in the cabin, who had chosen the other window seat. But on the day of travel, that passenger cancelled and I was left with the cabin to myself (F3).
I still did not not expect the cabin to go with just me, so that is not the issue.
While checking in, I noticed a non-rev passenger checking in with her companion. She could have been a Delta flight attendant, though that is just a guess. She appeared to be standing by for a first class seat and wanted to get her companion, who was seated in business class, an upgrade to first class.
So far, so good, right? I have nothing against non-revs in premium cabins, as long as they are well-behaved. Most of the time, it is not even clear who is a non-revenue versus a paying passenger. I just happened to hear them check-in…
Interestingly, Air France seems to not only allow non-rev passengers into first class, but offers them the same superior ground service as other passengers. They dined next to me in the Qantas Lounge at LAX, were also escorted to the plane, and were picked up by separate car and taken to the La Premiere lounge in Paris. Or maybe that was just the companion’s benefit and the non-rev was his guest…
Here’s what annoyed me. I was seated in 1L and the non-rev plus companion were seated in 1A and 1E. That meant the seat across the aisle from me, 1F, was left open.
Now again, let’s be clear. I had no “claim” on that seat.
But after a few minutes onboard, the non-rev ordered her companion to take seat 1F, explicitly stating that she wanted to sit in 1B and sleep in 1A.
This is what annoyed me. I may not have even used the open seat across the aisle from me, but it was nice to have the privacy and not hear their conversation. Instead, there was more traffic in the aisle while the non-rev (or whoever the lady was) enjoyed two seats instead of one.
In the end, I just dismissed it and thoroughly enjoyed my flight. The couple were mostly quiet after takeoff and slept through breakfast prior to landing.
There were two parties in the first class cabin. It would have been nice to have one seat separating the two parties. I viewed the non-rev’s action as presumptuous, since they may have been assigned those seats in the first place precisely to separate us.
But whatever. I still greatly enjoyed the near-flawless flight. And I guess the powdered cappuccino should have annoyed me more, though I expecting that and just avoided ordering it…
Does anyone know if Air France-Delta-KLM employees can standby for Air France first class on a regular basis?