Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Airline
Air France
Flight
AF6202
Aircraft
Airbus A320-200
Registration
F-HBNG
Class
Economy
Seat
26F
Date
05/07/2023
Flight time
01:00

  Trip to Nice

Air France Paris (ORY)  →  Nice (NCE) A320-200 Economy Class 05/07/2023 Current review
Air France Nice (NCE)  →  Paris (ORY) A319-100 Economy Class 06/07/2023

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to this new Flight review, my first one of 2023! After several months on the ground, it's time for me to take the skies again. Without giving too much away, this review marks the beginning of a busy summer. But we'll start off gently with a short stay on the French Riviera, in Nice.

The round-trip will be operated by Air France in Economy class. I must admit that these reviews don't stray far from the ordinary, but I believe this little experience with the A320 family deserves to be shared. My last experiences with Air France and its cabins were on the A220 between Paris and Berlin last year, and more recently during the Paris Air Show 2023, where we visited the latest A220 received by the French carrier. Over the past few years, I've noticed a certain level of improvement from Air France, with the acquisition of new aircraft and the retrofitting of older planes with new cabins. It's particularly interesting to see how things are going with the "historic" fleet!


Paris Airport

I find myself at Paris-Orly Airport this Wednesday morning, the second airport serving Paris. I got here on the Orlybus, departing from Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris. It's a convenient and affordable option for reaching Orly. For those without the Navigo pass (the Paris transportation card), a one-way ticket costs around 11 €.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Air France operates its short-haul flights from Terminal 2 at Orly Airport. The check-in counters are located in Terminal 3, which is mainly reserved for Transavia France and Air France's long-haul flights.

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

(Indicative images of the check-in area taken during a previous trip when there was no one in sight)

Since I have no luggage to check in, I head towards the security checks at Gates C.

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

The process is not particularly fast today, as only half of the checkpoints are open. I'll have to wait about 20 minutes to get through security.

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

We then arrive in the Gate C area, the hall reserved for Air France's short and medium-haul flights.

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

It's a fairly modern and pleasant hall, despite its initial age. Several Air France flights are departing simultaneously (Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Ajaccio…), but I didn't find it uncomfortable or crowded, as can sometimes be the case at Terminal 2F in Paris-Charles de Gaulle, for example. There is seating available, electrical outlets, and free Wi-Fi.

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

The shopping and dining options are limited to a Relay shop, a mini Duty-Free, a few cafes/bars, and a lounge to which I don't have access.

As an anecdote, I had looked into the price of a Business ticket to test Air France's lounge at Orly. However, it turns out my flight is configured as full Economy. So, no Business tickets are available.


Boarding

After a short wait, boarding begins right on time at 07:05, at Gate C11.

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

Boarding is done by groups. First, groups 1 and 2 together, followed separately by groups 3, 4, and 5. I belong to group 4.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

To optimize the boarding speed, Air France now separates passengers seated in the front from those seated in the rear of the aircraft. Since I'm in row 26, I board from the rear. This is a practice I thought was reserved for low-cost carriers until now... While it allows aviation enthusiasts to admire the plane up close, I find it less pleasant, especially on rainy days, for example.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

But let's focus on the positive side, it allows me to admire F-HBNG, my Airbus A320-214 for the day, which joined Air France's fleet in 2011.

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

I don't forget to take a fuselage shot, this time from the rear.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

I'm welcomed with a smile by a steward at the back of the cabin.


Cabin and seat

Here's the cabin, a single-class cabin equipped to accommodate 178 passengers in a 3-3 configuration.

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

The fabric seats with somewhat worn-out upholstery make the cabin visually outdated compared to the leather seats in the A220 or other A320s in the fleet, in my opinion.

I arrive at my seat, 26F, by the window. I have a nice view of the right wingtip fence.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

It's a standard Economy seat on a single-aisle aircraft. There's a tray table, small but sufficient for the service offered by Air France on this route. The seat pocket contains only the safety card and the sickness bag.

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

A cup holder is much appreciated on short-haul flights.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

The legroom is average for a passenger of 1m82 tall.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

The seat doesn't recline, and it's extremely thin – like ironing boards. However, it is relatively comfortable, considering that there are worse options on the market.

This seat also has USB-A ports, which is a major plus, especially for a cabin that is not so young anymore.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Boarding completed. Safety demonstrations will begin shortly.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Another Air France Airbus A320, "Albert-Méaulte", has just arrived from Toulouse.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Departure

After getting a slot for departure (the joys of Orly), we push back, along with a TAP A321neo also pushing back.

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

We taxi quickly to the holding point for runway 24.

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

At 07:55, with a 20-minute delay from the estimated time of departure (ETD), we take off.

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

It's possible to catch a glimpse of the city of Paris in the distance.

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

We quickly reach an altitude of 10,000 feet, and the seatbelt sign is turned off.

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

Entertainment

While we wait for the crew to begin their service, let me tell you about the two entertainment options offered by Air France on this flight.

Wi-Fi

This Airbus A320, like the entire Air France A320 fleet, is equipped with onboard Wi-Fi. Air France offers three different Wi-Fi packages:

  • The "Message Pass" package allows passengers to use their instant messaging apps to send and receive messages for free. This is a great option offered by Air France, and it deserves a lot of praise. Very few airlines provide this service for free in Economy class!
  • The "Surf Pass" package, reasonably priced at €3, provides a sufficient connection for internet browsing or using social media.
  • The "Stream Pass" package, available for €10, offers the ability to stream multimedia content (videos and music).
Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

The Wi-Fi portal also provides access to an interactive map showing the progress of the flight, destination weather, and games.

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

Magazines and newspapers

The second entertainment option offered by Air France on this flight is a selection of digital magazines and newspapers. These can be downloaded in advance using the Air France Play mobile application.

On an Air France flight, passengers have the opportunity to download up to 8 magazines and 8 newspapers. There is a significant range of content available in multiple languages, with a total of 103 magazines and various genres and 29 newspapers. Air France's onboard magazine, "ENVOLS," is also available for download.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

In-flight service

As the flight continues, the crew comes through the cabin offering each passenger a madeleine and a choice of beverages. This morning, the options include water, orange juice, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. I'll go for tea and water.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

It's the minimum you would expect for a flight operated by a national carrier, you might say. But compared to several other European airlines that no longer offer anything or almost nothing (supposedly due to COVID-19), it's still noteworthy.


Descent and arrival

Shortly after, the descent begins towards Nice as we approach the Mediterranean.

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

It's a beautiful approach that unfortunately ends with an ILS approach on runway 04L. Nice is generally known for its beautiful RNP approaches around Cap d'Antibes...

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Over the Cap d'Antibes…

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

We land on the Côte d'Azur around 08:55, 5 minutes ahead of schedule, after exactly one hour of flight time.

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

We taxi to our gate, passing by the Kilo apron and various parking areas accommodating all kinds of private jets, from the smallest to the largest!

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

We make the final turn and arrive at our stand.

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

After a few minutes of waiting on the plane, we deboard through the front door.

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

Nice Airport

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Welcome to Nice-Côte d'Azur!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

The passenger journey upon arrival is very quick! As soon as I exit the jetway, I'm already on the arrivals level.

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

I pass by the baggage carousels, but since I have nothing to collect, I head towards the exit.

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

The arrivals level of Nice Airport may not be the most beautiful, but it is practical, efficient, and clean.

The airport is connected to the city center by a regular tram service, conveniently located just in front of the arrivals area.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to Nice in Economy

Conclusion

And so, this concludes the first Flight review of my trip to Nice.

Air France

As I expected, it was a rather typical flight, nothing out of the ordinary. No issues and the flight was on time. The crew was very friendly, and the service was quite decent for a flight of this duration, especially compared to what other airlines offer. However, the cabin was rather average, showing signs of age and in need of refurbishment. Not to mention the somewhat limited legroom, small tray table, and the inability to recline the seat. The presence of USB ports, though, is a significant plus. Regarding entertainment, the availability of Wi-Fi and specifically the free messaging option deserves recognition. The selection of digital magazines and newspapers offered is also quite good.

Paris-Orly Airport

Concerning Paris-Orly Airport, it was decent. I didn't have time to explore the few shops, but the presence of cafes and stores, and the availability of seating, electrical outlets, and Wi-Fi were all appreciated. The terminal has recently been renovated and is pleasant and clean. However, the waiting times at security were a bit long, especially for shuttle flights.

Nice Airport

Regarding Nice, I don't have a lot of elements to evaluate the airport. From what I saw upon arrival, it was fast and clean. The passenger journey was optimized for a quick exit from the terminal.

I hope you enjoyed this first review. I'll be back soon for my return flight, which will allow me to explore Nice Airport further, this time from the departure perspective.

Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)


Ratings

4.2/5
Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
4/5
Efficiency
3/5
Services
4.5/5
3.6/5
Cabin and comfort
3.4/5
Entertainment
4.1/5
Food and beverages
3.2/5
Crew
4/5
4.7/5
Cleanliness
4/5
Accessibility and orientation
5/5
Efficiency
N/A
Services
N/A

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