All things considered, my family enjoyed a lovely flight from Los Angeles to Paris onboard an Air France 777-300ER in economy class.
First Impressions: Air France 777-300ER Economy Class
For our winter trip to Germany this year we chose to fly Air France and KLM using Flying Blue points. At only 44K round-trip with stopovers, it just made more sense than flying nonstop on SWISS or Lufthansa. Furthermore, we felt my daughter does not have the appropriate disposition right now to fly in a premium cabin.
I previously mentioned that our flight to Paris was cancelled and we wound up spending a night at the Sheraton Gateway LAX before taking an early afternoon flight to Paris the following day. This was not a regularly-scheduled flight, but a special section to compensate for the cancelled flight the previous evening. Since most passengers had already been re-accommodated the flight load was very light and we found ourselves (as did others) with our own rows.
We ended up spreading over three rows, such that we all could stretch out (even though that was less important on what essentially was a daytime flight to Paris).
Seating is tight in economy class on the Air France 777-300ER with ten across in economy class, though the legroom at 32 inches is manageable.
A hot meal was served after takeoff, which included chicken with rice, a quinoa salad, a bread roll, a piece of cheddar cheese, and a small chocolate sponge cake (the other choice was Asian noodles).
Carb overload for sure…a very unmemorable meal. I found it particularly sad that Air France does not offer a nice piece of French cheese with the meal or warm the bread roll.
Breakfast was offered prior to landing in a cute little bag, with contents that included a processed fruit cup in a sugary syrup, drinkable kefir, orange juice, a deplorable bread roll, and a warmed type of flaky flatbread that tasted a bit like a croissant.
Overall, I found the food in Air France economy class very disappointing.
But while the food was bad, the service was great. The crew was incredibly kind and quite attentive, which is always impressive when this occurs in economy class.
I also appreciated how Air France kept the children occupied with very cool little activity packets.
There was also a wide range of IFE options and wi-fi internet was available for purchase (a flight pass cost about €18).
As for my daughter Claire Marie, she behaved quite well onboard. She fussed a little bit when we tried to put her to bed, but as long as she was sitting in my lap or Heidi’s lap she was perfectly fine. That may have been somewhat annoying on this flight, but we will miss those days as she quickly grows. Once she conked out we laid her down and she slept just fine on her own.
Air France was just fine in economy class (especially for the price we paid). The food was not great, but the service was gracious and kind and we greatly appreciated the ability to stretch out over several seats. I’d happily fly Air France again in economy class (and perhaps the catering is better out of Paris?).
Once I get through my current Middle East trip report, I’ll offer a full review of this flight, including a lot more detailed info on the seat, IFE, food and drink, and other amenities onboard.
On the way out, my son asked, “Why couldn’t we fly business class?”
I told him to take a look at who had just run past him.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find widebody AF/KL economy seats reclining more than even Delta Comfort+ and maybe as much as a Premium Select seat. I’m more comfy in a AF 777 3-4-3 than a DL A350 Comfort+, but then again I’m not particularly wide.
And looking at it from an Economy lens, the food is usually better than most SkyTeam partners. KLM Economy meals are particularly abhorrent. Not for a lack of trying (like, say, UA) but I just don’t think the Dutch knows a good meal, lmao.
love the kids eyeshade!!!
Back when I flew international economy, AF was my favorite experience.
Your kids are sooo cute!! How did you manage to get those flights for only 44k miles? I am looking to fly to Paris in July and minimum I can find is 150k miles for economy. I appreciate any light on how to get a better deal.
Booked via Flying Blue just a few days before travel. If you book via Delta you’ll see the 150K pricing.
Flying Blue has no award chart so prices are all over the place, but I’ve seen as cheap as 15K one-way from NYC.
@Santastico book your From->To airports under “Book with Miles”, but don’t enter any dates. It will bring you to a calendar showing the cheapest days to fly. I just got my parents to book a Paris getaway for 22.5k FB miles each, round trip, in May.
@Jan: Thank you for the tip. For some reason when I go to the Air France website it does not allow me to search without adding dates. What is crazy is that when I look for the dates I want, flights using Air France or KLM with a stop are coming to 199k miles per passenger in economy while the flights on Delta non-stop are coming to 144k per passenger. Go figure!!!!
@Santastico: isn’t that’s all-in pricing for your entire party? (That’s the way FB displays results)
@Matthew: Nope, 597k miles for 3 people plus $656.85 in fees using Flying Blue. For the same dates, I can get 3 award tickets on Delta for 432k miles plus $257.55 in fees. Air France has a connection and Delta is non-stop.
Odd. Try the flexible date search (leave date field blank).
@Matthew: Yes, you can get it a bit cheaper in terms of miles but not on the dates I want and still very expensive on the return which makes the overall cost very high. Thank you for the tips and I think it makes sense if you are flexible. When you need 3 tickets and have some dates that you need to fly it makes way more difficult.
I did my search in the PC website, I think phone app can’t do the search quite right. Like Matthew said, 15k from NYC is common, and like I said, I’ve been able to find 11250, one way. But it’s also a weird Wednesday to Monday itinerary, so if you do something like a weekend-to-weekend then yes you might see a 60k+roundtrip fare.
This is also how I’ve now been able to find the 56k J fares.
It seems that you really did not fly economy class, especially with the children being able to have their own rows for sleeping.
Do you think you would have the same laudatory comments if your family had had to fly in a sold-out economy cabin, being restricted to sitting in one seat for the entire 10.5 hours?
Probably not. But I will say I can tolerate 32 inches of legroom.
“Probably not” lol.
There is always a much bigger lottery element to economy. How busy is the flight, how is my seatmate (are they >\< than 400lbs), will the FAs be decent, delays are accentuated etc.
But when you get lucky with load etc you have to review what you get?
I think if it had been a full overnight there would still be a longing for those j pods but you’d get off and still be glad with the points decision.
I can imagine the food being better (or at least having French cheese) on the return flight from Paris.
Nice review. Had a similar experience when arriving in Reykjavik after a flight from ord with the family “that’s wasn’t bad, and I’m glad I saved 300k~ points” for the five of us.
That cheese block and cold roll reminds me of travel as a kid. It was often the only part of the meal I liked!
I recently got Alaska airlines Dublin to SFO 22k miles economy, it’s out there but you have to constantly look online, but worth it
“Air France does not offer a nice piece of French cheese with the meal”
Do not have high expectations about that: all French passengers are ashamed of French cheese served in all classes (except maybe in La Première) and in the lounges in CDG.
AF and servair must have a 100 years contract with the same suppliers.
Even the more ordinary spanish cheese that Iberia gives you seems to have more taste.
Thansk for the review.
I think you can buy in economy and in premium economy an enhanced meal for less than 20 euros, if you are willing to pay for it.
The menu may depend on the departure airport.
And you need to book it and pay for it in advance: you cannot buy it on board.
I have no idea when there is an IRROP, if AF remember to load it on your next flight.
But it looks better from the pictures posted on some flight reports.
My wife and I are flying Air France economy on May 29 from Paris to Newark. Got one way tickets for 25k FB points with cash tickets retailing for $1400 each.
I really hope you’re right about the food being better out of Paris.
“I really hope you’re right about the food being better out of Paris”
It almost always is, but sometimes you’ll end with a blah meal out of there too sometimes.
But yeah, overall I find their catering out of Paris better than it is out of the US.
Just book a throwaway Yul-Cdg and the fare is $500 round trip. 2 cents per point before taxes.
We have flown home, from Paris to Los Angeles, twice on Air France in premium economy. The same terrible food — what is that “sort of croissant-like thing?” I asked, but the flight attendant did not speak much English. I took a couple of bites and left the rest.
I couldn’t agree more!
My partner and I travelled from Paris to Buenos Aires, a 14h flight, and I STARVED on the flight.
We had the same meal as yours, a warm meal tray after take off, and a basket with a yogurt and a roll before landing.
I always carry snacks when I travel, delays, good movies, life a lot of things can happen … But Air France’s catering forecasting that passengers eat a meal and a snack on a 14h day flight, is just outreageous !
Passengers were queuing in the galley for snacks, the crew ended up recycling the untouched deserts from the lunch trays to hand hAngry passengers.
The crew was friendly indeed, but the whole situation seemed normal to them, they seems to be doing this on all Ultra Long Hall flights.
I noted this on my flight too and it was just under 11 hours! The people were crowding in the back for the snacks and the tray was empty in like 30 minutes (because I wanted another cookie too!). Air France really has room for improvement in this respect.
I’ll write-up my KLM review for the flight home, but what a difference. So much more food…
Do they still pour champagne for everyone
Only a American wants his roll warmed! Welcome to the normal world.
Sorry you’ve never been to France, Eric.
I enjoyed the economy menu out of IAD
I’ve flown AF IAD – CDG several times in economy on a packed 777 and it sucks big time. If it were anywhere else you would risk being arrested for making that much physical contact with a stranger.
Are you sure you didn’t mix up photos? That meal looked like a United Intl. J dinner….only better.
Nice to know that the airline is comfortable.
Sad review. Times must be tough flying economy. Don’t be stingy, fly business next time.
It’s not about being stingy as much as it is about making me comfortable while traveling with a little girl who is unpredictable.
Gosh – Augustine has grown!!
Air France food is not very good in business class either. They seem to try to make airplane food gourmet and it doesn’t work.
Thank you for sharing, it gives a good overview of what one can expect. Can’t wait to read your full review of the flight particularly your views on the seating – the extra legroom or duo options etc. Many thanks