Call me crazy, but I have a strong desire to fly on the Air France A380 while still in service.
Yesterday I wrote about the decision by Air France to retire its entire A380 fleet by 2022. This move makes total sense considering the high costs of retrofitting and CEO Ben Smith’s vision for a more streamlined fleet.
And yet the news has got me thinking about an A380 trip on Air France. I’ve made it a goal to review the first class product of every single airline that offers it. I’ve almost met that goal, having flown the A380 on:
- British Airways
- China Southern
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
I’ve just got two left: Korean Air and Air France. And now we know time is limited on Air France.
Part of me thinks I am crazy for even considering this. Unlike many of the first class products above, there is no “smart” way to book Air France La Première first class. That’s part of its allure…a first class ticket will set you back 200,000 miles one-way between North America and Europe and you can only book an award ticket with Flying Blue elite status. Paid tickets occasionally go on sale, but the object of the miles & points games is to minimize out-of-pocket spending.
The Main Issue
But that’s not even the main issue. The main issue, it seems to me, is that the Air France A380 has an incredibly dated first class product that does not come close to measuring to the luxurious 777-300ER in first class I reviewed last year. The seats are open with virtually no privacy, a far cry from the curtains on the 777.
And yet I’ve got a trip in mind. I’m thinking JFK. There’a first class lounge there with a la carte dining I want to review:
And it would give me a chance to spend a night at the TWA Hotel, the number one hotel I want to review in the near future.
But if I want to the full experience, it seems to me I should originate in Paris this time and fly to San Francisco. But even that…I mean why spend so many miles or dollars to review a product that will soon be decommissioned? It doesn’t make financial sense, so the only reason to do it would be for nostalgic reasons.
What do you think? Should I even bother? Is it wrong that I am hoping for another sale fare that is actually honored?
If you’ve flown the Air France A380 in first class, was it worthwhile?