Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Airline
Air France
Flight
AF1734
Aircraft
Airbus A220-300
Registration
F-HZUB
Class
Economy
Seat
09A
Date
20/05/2022
Flight time
01:25

  Trip to Berlin

Air France Paris (CDG)  →  Berlin (BER) A220-300 Economy Class 20/05/2022 Current review
Lufthansa Berlin (BER)  →  Frankfurt (FRA) A319-100 Economy Class 22/05/2022
Lufthansa Frankfurt (FRA)  →  Paris (CDG) A320neo Economy Class 22/05/2022 Short review - 3.4/5

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  Trip to Berlin

Air France Paris (CDG)  →  Berlin (BER) A220-300 Economy Class 20/05/2022 Current review
Lufthansa Berlin (BER)  →  Frankfurt (FRA) A319-100 Economy Class 22/05/2022
Lufthansa Frankfurt (FRA)  →  Paris (CDG) A320neo Economy Class 22/05/2022 Short review - 3.4/5

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to this new Flight review.

Today, I am happy to take you with me to Berlin-Brandenburg on board the brand-new Air France Airbus A220-300.

Last October, I should have been on board the inaugural flight of this new aircraft - the future flagship of Air France's short/medium-haul fleet - which also connected Paris to Berlin. However, due to a last-minute unforeseen event, I could not be present that day. Not wanting to remain on a "failure", I finally realized this flight today. Better late than never! The opportunity for me to spend a little weekend in Berlin.


“Ready to Fly”

It all started 48 hours before my flight departure when Air France sent me an email inviting me to use the "Ready to Fly" service. This service consists in sending them your vaccination certificate, your Covid negative test certificate, or your recovery certificate; Germany still imposes restrictions to enter its territory. The "Ready to Fly" service checks the documents and then adds the "Ready2Fly" note to the boarding pass. This avoids the need to present documents at the airport and saves time during the trip. A great initiative from Air France!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Paris Airport

We meet at 7:30 am at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, two hours before the flight departure. After arriving by RER from Paris, I head for Roissy's terminal 2F, the terminal dedicated to the Schengen flights of Air France, KLM, and SkyTeam member airlines.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Having only one baggage to check, I go to the Air France check-in hall.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Everything is now done by yourself: retrieve your boarding pass from your phone or print it from a kiosk; print your baggage tag and stick it on your suitcase; and finally, scan the tag and place the baggage on the belt. In theory, this is a good thing. In practice, if it is perfect for the frequent flyers who do it in a snap, it is much more complicated for people who are not used to travel and who "waste" a lot of time and still require the help of airport employees. On the totality of the passengers, not sure that it is really profitable. It was my lucky day, there were not many people. My luggage was checked-in in barely 5 minutes.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Then came the security checkpoints, where the queue stretched across the entire check-in hall of the terminal. 12 open positions out of the 14 available, and yet it was long... very long. It's quite chaotic, the line is not really respected. The understaffing of the airport staff is felt. The same person invites you to put your stuff on the carpet, checks your luggage on the screen, and then searches your luggage (usually a different person is assigned to each of these tasks). And all this causes a real lack of fluidity. It took no less than 35 minutes from the time you arrived in line to the end of the screening station.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

We are now in the transit area of Terminal 2F, probably the terminal that I find the least cold and old-fashioned in this airport. A kind of glass roof covers each of the two corridors of the terminal, which I find particularly aesthetic. There are several stores as well as restaurants/cafes. I won't have time to enjoy them.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Nevertheless, at this time of the day, there are many Air France flights from this terminal. This is when we quickly notice its limits: a terminal absolutely not adapted for so many people, queues going on indefinitely in all directions, not enough places (standing as well as seated) to make everyone wait…

A glimpse of my aircraft of the day arriving from Helsinki, where it spent the night: F-HZUB "Saint-Jean-de-Luz", an Airbus A220-300 barely 6 months old.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

And here is my gate of the day, the F49.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Boarding

It is 09h00, the boarding starts right on time. This one begins with groups 1 and 2. Then follow groups 3, 4, and 5.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Nevertheless, due to a delay in the preparation of the cabin, all passengers had to wait a little less than ten minutes in the jetway, before the boarding finally started officially.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

During the short wait, we can see on the right an Air France Airbus A318 and an Airbus A321. Another A220 (F-HZUG or "Provins") can be seen on the left.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Before boarding the plane, a little close-up of the nose of the aircraft. A characteristic nose of the 220.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

And the famous fuselage shot, allowing to contemplate the sublime Pratt & Whitney engine of this Airbus A220, within bonus another A220 behind, from airBaltic this time!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Finally comes the boarding. We are very well welcomed by the chief purser, accompanied by a stewardess.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Cabin and seat

I take advantage of the walk to my seat to take some pictures of the cabin. A brand-new cabin that equips these Airbus A220. Beautiful black leather seats in a 2-3 configuration (standard configuration on A220). It is really a very nice configuration in my opinion.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

I finally arrive at my seat, the 09A. I take the opportunity to give you a little tour of its specificities.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

First of all, the legroom. It is correct, without being incredible either.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

The seat pocket only includes a safety card. No sickness bags. Also, no magazines either, as these are available digitally on the Air France Play application.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

There is of course a tablet, as well as a cup holder that I stupidly forgot to take a picture of. I would note that the shelf does not move forward enough for my taste. If this is not annoying when eating a meal, it becomes more annoying when using a computer. The screen of my 14 inches won't even be able to stand up straight; it will remain leaning forward…

Each seat is equipped with two individual personal USB ports: one USB type A and one type C. Unfortunately, these will not work at all during the flight. The other passengers around complained about it too, so I'm not the only one concerned...

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Another interesting feature is the integration of a tablet holder allowing one to fix a tablet to easily watch a movie for example. In my case, I showed you the principle by fixing my smartphone (not having a tablet with me).

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

The cabin is, I think, really beautiful and elegant. Specially added to the small details that make all the difference.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Seat 9A offers me a nice view of the left engine, the leading edge, and the winglet. For the moment... under the rain.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

A few moments later, the boarding is finished. Nevertheless, the captain informs us that we will have a little delay due to the storms over Paris and the East of France.

We push back finally at 09:45.


Departure

We finally start the taxiing. A quite long taxi will make us cross almost the entire airport until runway 09R and make us bypass Terminal 1, still closed today.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

After an AF A320 at arrival, we line up on runway 09R.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

At 10:05 am, with almost 30 minutes of delay, we leave Parisian lands, to Berlin!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

As announced by the captain before the departure, we meet a beautiful storm with strong turbulences. I see great opportunities to take some pictures through the clouds!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Once the clouds are gone, we can admire a sea of clouds overhung by the beautiful blue sky. What to highlight the blue wing of the A220 in picture, with the winged seahorse of Air France.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Moreover, thanks to the huge windows of the A220, it is a good opportunity to finally notice the brightness of this cabin.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

In-flight service

The service starts right away. The choice is correct for a flight of this type: coffee, tea, orange juice, or water. Champagne is reserved for Business Class.

For my part, I will start with a glass of water and a cup of tea. This is accompanied by a snack: a small almond financier.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

The drinks and the snack are not incredible, but it is still appreciable, compared to many other airlines which do not propose anything (or almost) on this type of flight.

The crew is professional and very friendly. The service is done quickly.


Wi-Fi

I took advantage of the cruise to test the Wi-Fi offer onboard proposed by Air France. Three packages are offered on this flight: the first one, which is complimentary, allows you to send and receive WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.; the second and third ones, offered respectively at the price of 5 € and 15 €, allow you to surf freely or to enjoy sufficient speeds to watch video content.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

For my part, I will limit myself to the free offer. Very practical I must say! Other airlines should follow…


Descent and arrival

We quickly start the descent.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

We fly around to the north and establish on runway 25L of Berlin airport.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

A few minutes before the landing, we see on the left-hand side the huge Tesla Gigafactory, the first production site of Tesla in Europe.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

We finally landed at 11:30, only 10 minutes later than the scheduled time. Willkommen am Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg! My first time at the new Berlin airport!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

We quickly vacate the runway and taxi to Terminal 1.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

One cannot help but notice the control tower, in the center of the airport. A tower, with rather modern architecture, which reminds me strangely of the one in Frankfurt.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

A last turn and we come to park at gate B14.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

The Sixt ads are systematically present!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Very quickly, the jetway approaches our plane.

We start to leave the aircraft when I am intercepted by the chief purser offering me to stay on board for a few moments, which I gladly accept.

I have the opportunity to do a small visit of the galleys of the A220, front as well as rear, as well as the safety equipment.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Once the deboarding is over, I have the privilege to visit the cockpit. Small discussion with the captain while the co-pilot prepares the return flight to Paris.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Thank you once again to the Air France crew, they were really great!


Berlin Airport

I get out of the plane 10 minutes after the other passengers. I take the jetway and I cross the few meters of the terminal separating me from the exit.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

I arrive in front of the belt to get my luggage checked three hours earlier. It is already on the belt.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

I hurriedly left the terminal and went to the train station to take the S-Bahn to Berlin! And that's how my Flight review ends.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Berlin in Economy

Conclusion

Air France

In conclusion, this flight with Air France was really nice. The services were correct for this type of flight. The crew was really at the top. The cabin was nice and pleasant with a brand-new plane (Airbus A220). The Wi-Fi (for free) was a real plus. The choice, even limited, of drink, as well as the small cake, are also good points to value. It was just a pity that the USB ports were not functional, and the tablets were a bit too close to the front seat for my taste. An almost flawless flight, very promising for the flag carrier, which really makes me want to discover the services of Air France on long-haul flights!

Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport

Concerning Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, waiting times are still too long, the organization is almost chaotic, and there is a huge lack of fluidity despite the rather aesthetic Terminal 2F, which offers many choices in terms of restaurants and shopping.

Berlin-Brandenburg Airport

Concerning Berlin-Brandenburg, from the little I saw, it was fluid, clean, and quite modern. It's a nice change from the old Tegel... Anyway, too few elements to have a real idea about this airport. I will discover more on my return flight.

I hope you enjoyed this Flight review and I'll see you soon for the return flight, which will be this time with another airline...

Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)


Ratings

Cleanliness
4/5
Accessibility and orientation
3.5/5
Efficiency
2/5
Services
4/5
Cabin and comfort
4.4/5
Entertainment
3.6/5
Food and beverages
2.8/5
Crew
5/5
Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
5/5
Efficiency
N/A
Services
N/A

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