After sitting at the top of my bucket list for years, I finally had the chance to try Air France La Premiere First Class from Los Angeles to Paris. Despite dangerously high expectations, the experience did not disappoint. In fact, I walked away even more impressed.
I was on my way to Germany for Christmas and had a lot to do before my flight departed. Still, I wanted to leave enough time to enjoy the full ground experience at LAX. In the end, I only arrived about two hours before my flight.
Air France departs from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. I found the first class check-in occupied by a couple arguing over checked bags. An agent working the business class line signaled for me to come over and quickly checked me in. Another agent was summoned to escort me through security and to the lounge.
Normally, escorts will cut in line and take you to the front of the security line. There was no need for that today as the PreCheck line was deserted. After clearing security, my escort took me to the Qantas First Class lounge at LAX. That may strike you as odd, considering Qantas is part of the oneworld alliance and a Korean Airlines (from the same SkyTeam alliance) first class lounge was nearby. But, to put it bluntly, Air France has recognized that the Korean Airlines lounge is horrible. So bad that it pays Qantas for access for its first class passengers. I was happy to enjoy a late lunch prior to boarding.
About 45 minute before scheduled departure, my escort returned and took me to the gate. Pre-boarding had already begun and we simply bypassed the line and stepped right in the jetbridge foyer. There, however, we waited several minutes because the crew was not quite ready for boarding. Finally, we received the green light to board and I headed down the dedicated first class jetbridge.
Air France 69
Los Angeles (LAX) – Paris (CDG)
Saturday, December 22
Depart: 6:20 PM
Arrive: 2:05 PM+1
Duration: 10hr, 45min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1L (La Premiere First Class)
Onboard, two flight attendants warmly welcomed me to my seat. I surveyed the luxurious four-seat cabin, noting how beautiful Air France had made La Premiere on the 777.
Air France 777-300 First Class Seating
First class is only a single row of four seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seat reminds me a bit of the Qatar Airways First Class seat, but the cabin is far more intimate on Air France.
Here are a few more pictures I took in the light of day after landing:
The seat includes plenty of personal storage and a pair of power plugs. A lamp adjacent to the seat provides additional light and a reading light is located above the headrest.
To be fair, I must note that the seat was slightly chipped in one area, which detracted from the overall appearance of the product.
I appreciated the red velvet-lined drawer under the ottoman that included plenty of storage space for my smaller carry-on items as well as a lighter blanket.
What sets this seat apart is the curtains that close around it, giving immense privacy when closed. The curtains snap shut magnetically, providing even more privacy. When the curtains are closed, it feels like you are in a first class train compartment.
While the seat is comfortable in all positions, the superior bedding make the seat especially comfortable in the lie-flat position. I slept very well for nearly seven hours.
Air France 777-300 First Class Meals
Maurice, my amazing first class flight attendant, introduced himself and offered me a choice of beverage prior to takeoff. I opted for a glass of Krug champagne.
Menus were distributed for the flight: Air France offers a separate food and drink menu.
What a culinary treat this flight would be! After takeoff, I was offered an amuse-bouche of date-stuffed goat cheese and chorizo, pineapple marinated salmon, and eggplant as well as a bowl of nuts and additional glass of champagne.
Maurice set the table for dinner, placing a beautiful charger down at the center of the my tray table and carefully laying out each item with immense precision.
For my first course, I opted for parsnip cream soup and bresaola julienne. The soup was creamy and hit the spot on a cold winter night.
Hot bread was also offered with premium French butter.
I opted for glass of Chateauneuf du Pape which retails for about $75. It was fabulous red wine.
My next course was caviar. In my teaser post on my flight I received from comments skeptical that Air France would serve such “poor quality” caviar in first class. Now I’m willing to concede that my caviar tastes are probably just not refined, but I thought the caviar was just as tasty as usual. I was offered vodka with the caviar but just stuck to my red wine.
The Main Course Arrives…
Finally, the main course arrived under a silver top. I had ordered “prime cut” filet of beef with pepper sauce, served with potato puffs, pan-fried mushrooms, and braised romaine lettuce.
It was still clearly a high-quality cut of beef, but sadly arrived well-done. In Maurice’s defense, we ran into some horrible turbulence that delayed delivery by five minutes. Five minutes is all it takes to make a medium-rare steak well-done…
So the main course was a bit disappointing, but the meal was far from being complete. The French eat salad after their main course and Maurice prepared a beautiful salad with an assortment of 14 ingredients you can see on the list above. This was the best salad I have ever had onboard a plane. I was even offered three different salad dressings.
The meal continued with a lovely cheese course.
You would think after a hearty meal in the Qantas lounge followed by a multi-course feast I would be bursting at the seams, but I was not about to turn down dessert.
I ordered a tiramisu cake with berries, raspberry sorbet, and a decaf espresso. Once again, Air France wowed me with an excellent dessert.
Maurice also offered a nice chocolate bar with dessert that I took with me.
Honestly, I wasn’t stuffed…just pleasantly filled. Even with the disappointing beef, it was a great meal overall.
90 minutes before landing Maurice woke me up and set the table for breakfast. I could have slept through and wasn’t that hungry, but could not pass up reviewing breakfast as well.
After setting the table, the meal began with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, espresso, yogurt, small bowl of fruit, and croissant.
If you read my reviews regularly, you know how much I love cappuccino any time of day. Sadly, even in first class Air France offers only powdered cappuccinos. No thanks…I’ll skip it. I was also surprised to see the yogurt served in its plastic container.
Too full to order the omelet, I ordered buckwheat waffles instead. They arrived beautifully presented and also tasted great. I loved the pecan, berries, and whipped cream topping. Another great meal!
Overall, I was so pleased with both meals and the entire onboard dining experience in Air France La Premiere.
Air France 777-300ER La Premiere Amenities
First Class passengers receive pajamas, slippers, and an amenity kit.
The amenity kit included Carita cosmetics/moisturizers, a wooden comb, ear plug, eye cover, and a pen. Surprisingly, there was no dental kit though toothbrushes and toothpaste were available in the lavatory.
Slippers came in a reusable shoe bag and were quite comfortable. The pouch included socks and a shoehorn.
I liked the style of the pajamas and found them to be comfortable and stylish, but have two complaints. First, there were no pockets in the trousers. Second, “large” is more like small. I’m 6’1″ and thin and could have used at least XL and possibly 2XL.
Air France 777-300ER First Class IFE + Wi-Fi
Air France is finally installing wi-fi onboard its fleet and my 777-300ER was equipped with wi-fi. Like Lufthansa, the service is operated by T-Mobile. First Class passengers receive complimentary unlimited use of the internet via an access card provided before takeoff. The internet is not gate-to-gate, but functioned well the two times I connected. Speeds were about 7MB down and 0.2MB up.
The IFE selection included a large library of French movies as well as plenty of Hollywood movies, games, TV shows, interactive map, and audio selections.
I should add here that I do love the very-French Air France safety video. I think it superbly done.
The Denon noise-cancelling headphones are better than Bose.
Air France 777-300ER First Class Lavatory
The lavatory was quite small, but sufficient for the three passengers in the cabin. It included Clarins and Carita product as well as razors, mouthwash, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Most importantly, at least in my book, were real towels instead of paper towels.
Air France 777-300ER La Premiere Service
If it is not already clear, service shined on this flight. Maurice took care of me for almost the entire flight and was simply a gentleman. He was courteous and very polished, but not the least bit stuffy. He seemed to love his job and it certainly showed.
Here’s an anecdote. I woke up and had lost my voice. It was so weird, as it was the first time in my life I’d ever lost my voice. Literally, I could barely rasp a few words. Without prompting, Maurice brought over some hot water with lemon and honey. What a nice touch.
Other crew members were equally courteous and the purser came around just after takeoff to offer his greeting and prior to landing to thank me for flying Air France.
The captain also came out before takeoff to shake the hand of each first class passenger and welcome them onboard.
Service was flawless on this flight.
We landed on-time in Paris and my amazing experience with Air France would continue as I was whisked to the La Premiere lounge in a black BMW.
It was worth the wait. I had a truly amazing onboard experience on Air France and La Premiere is every bit worthy of its hype. Now the only question is when can I fly it again?
Matthew – question: What are you supposed to do with the real towns in the lav after using them? Just leave them on the counter?
Lufthansa has a special container to dispose of them in. Since Air France did not, I just threw mine out.
Hahah that was my question too!!!!! I’ve never known what to do with them.
Swoon. It looks divine. I love the idea of a mini cabin, and curtains instead of narrow high walls. That soft fabric makes things homey and cozy rather than coffin-like as in some of the smaller first and business class “suites” with doors. Thank you for the wonderful review.
Great review! I think you got the city pairing wrong. You have AF 069 LHR-LAX iso LAX-CDG….Small typo, but still an excellent review. Thanks.
A question – when flying long haul first class, do you ask the FA to make up the “bed” for you? Or is typically done at a scheduled time?
It is done on-demand. I requested the bed be made while I changed into my pajamas and brushed my teeth after dinner.
Air France La Premiere really is the Gold Standard for airline First Class. Just amazing that an airline would have Green Chartreuse-probably my favorite after dinner drink.
Haven’t flown AF F yet (I’m a *A guy), but the reviews I’ve read make it seem like it’s the best F class product in the world. It looks absolutely fantastic.
I would love to fly it, but the only option I think is to blow my entire yearly travel budget on a one way AF F ticket LOL.
Thanx for the review. Id really appreciate if u can do like other blogs and start a trip report with how u booked this flight. As obviously everyone is really curious about this one
I did not do an intro post to this trip report since it just the Air France flight + lounge, but I paid 200K miles plus about $220 in taxes/fees.
Which one are hotter? French women or German women?
Look at the safety video picture above! Obviously the French women.
Great review! Maybe I missed it… but *how* did you get an AF F ticket? I thought only top-tier Flying Blue members could redeem for F?
Any Flying Blue elite member, even silver, can redeem for F.
If you get a cash upgrade offer to La Premiere, it is well worth considering, especially if you have not done it yet.
that is not quite correct. only Gold and above can use miles to upgrade to La Premiere.
When I wrote this review, silvers could still get La Premiere.
Great review, Matthew.
We you making a further connection on AF at CDG, or is the AF La Premiere lounge also accessible when terminating at CDG?
Good question. I don’t know. Maybe someone else does?
A couple of years ago, the answer was no, you only got to use if on arrival if connecting. But they change their rules every now and then.
AF LaPremiere lounge is NOT available when terminating in Paris. Upon departure, yes. Connecting to an onward flight, yes. But not as terminating.
I completely agree with this report – including to make sure that you ask for a much larger size of PJ than you normally use. I love AF La Premiere and wish I could take it more often.
So is the Air France safety video still with the original music or the horrible replacement version they posted on YouTube?
I’m not sure, but I really liked it.
Does it beat apartments ? Still my favourite 🙂 but I’ve not flown AF
I found AF more comfortable than the Apartments, though not as spacious.
Are you sure that Chateauneuf du pape was $75 a bottle retail? I agree E. Guigal is good stuff, but I’m thinking that’s in the $40 range…
I did a quick search. Looks like it goes from $60-90 for 2013, unless those were cases.
Just checked the price for the 2013 at Total Wine…$43. (Not trying to be argumentative, but I know I’ve bought that wine several times and I keep a $50/bottle limit on my purchases.) And to your point, it’s an excellent wine and I bet it paired very well with your beef.
I love the interactive map on the AF 777. I play with the map for hours! You can get the left view, right view, top view, etc. I think it is the best airplane map out there. The AF A380 still have the old not-at-all-interactive map.
Can not wait for it. Will be travelling soon on AF from CDG to DXB and DXB to CDG in late Nov 2019. Sadly had to split up the family members as there are 5 of us so only 2 can go on later flight date and 3 will be travelling earlier. Been looking forward on this class for sometime. Only exception that makes AF stands out among the ever crowded 1st class like SQ is the personal escort and private pickup and waitress/waiter waiting to take your order at the lounge. This is what I call service with a touch.
Well, this looks great. Sad there’s no pic of the rude lady in 1A. Also, it’s a bit tacky to serve the yogurt in plastic packaging: they could have put it in a dish. Heather Cho would have gone ballistic.
How would you compare this to first class in the new Singapore first class suites?
Haven’t flown the new suites yet. Will do that soon.
We’re flying AF La Premiere in Sept from SFO to CDG on the 777. We’ve flown Business Class on AF on the A380 but this is our first time in First on AF. Flew British Air to London last year in First. It was good but not great so am really looking forward to this experience. The 777 really seems to be the favorite so very excited!
Enjoy your flight!
Wonderful post! The food looks amazing. Any snacks provided between meals? In terms of bedding, what was provided? The curtains definitely feel more classy, and elegant than a high partition. I’m a *A guy but hoping to attain Flying Blue silver by next year so I can try out their F class.
Excellent review. I very much appreciate the comprehensive portfolio of photographs. (Not just one shot of say the dinner setting.) Fine work.