Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Airline
Air France
Flight
AF82
Aircraft
Boeing 777-300
Registration
F-GSQL
Class
Economy
Seat
32H
Date
10/07/2022
Flight time
10:35

  Trip to US West Coast

Air France Paris (CDG)  →  San Francisco (SFO) 777-300 Economy Class 10/07/2022 Current review
Air France Los Angeles (LAX)  →  Paris (CDG) 777-300 Economy Class 25/07/2022

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to my very first Flight review! Today, I'm taking you aboard an Air France Boeing 777-300ER bound for San Francisco.

This trip has been planned for almost a year. Finally, the day has come, and I'm taking you along with me! It's been a while since I've taken a long-haul flight. My last one was on February 22, 2020, from JFK to FRA on a Lufthansa B747-8, registered as D-ABYU. So, I'm thrilled to rediscover long-haul flights, especially with my national carrier.

Two weeks ago, the flight was scheduled to be operated by a B777-200ER. However, I noticed on the Air France app that it had changed, and the flight would now be operated by a B777-300ER, the extended version. I was a bit disappointed because I really wanted to experience Air France's B777-200ER since they are gradually phasing them out of their fleet... It would have been a sort of farewell flight for me. Nevertheless, that's no longer the case, so I'll have to make do.


Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport

Check-in

The journey begins at Terminal 2E of Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 11 a.m. The terminal is packed, and I'm not really reassured about the situation. The strikes at Charles de Gaulle, even though they're over, have caused quite a mess, and many flights are delayed. The queues are already very long. So, we hurry to check in our luggage. Off to check-in zone number 9.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

At the check-in counter, I use a self-service kiosk to check in my luggage and receive all the necessary documents for sending my suitcase to the hold and for boarding. It's possible to send your luggage on the conveyor belt alone or with the assistance of a hostess. I choose the first option, and within 5 minutes, I'm free from my suitcase.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Security check

It's 11:10 a.m., and I'm already heading to the queue for passport control. And of course, the troubles had to start...

You should know that I have access to SkyPriority benefits because my father is a Gold member of Air France. So, we can bypass the regular queue. We approach the entrance of this queue and ask an airport agent where we can go to enjoy our privileges. This agent explains to us that we can't benefit from our privileges together because we don't have the same status as Air France. So, despite the benefits Air France offers us, we have to endure an infernal queue. It's obviously not normal, but the agents, who are very unfriendly, tell us that it's the rule. We had to speak to two other Airport de Paris employees to finally find an understanding one directed us to the SkyPriority entrance and explained to his colleagues that they should let us through... Despite that, there were no apologies from the ADP agents for making us lose 25 minutes, but we're finally in the right queue.

10 minutes later, we reach the customs counters. We pass through a very welcoming, friendly, and kind customs officer. After the ADP agent's episode, it's a pleasant change. I go through security, which I didn't capture in photos, and I'm surprised to see that there's almost no queue.

Then, it's off to the CDGVal to reach Terminal 2E.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Air France Lounge

Our SkyPriority benefits give us access to the AF lounges, so it's a nice way to wait for the boarding scheduled at 2:50 p.m.!

The lounge is located on the upper floor, and I take the elevator with glass doors, which is quite unique. Unfortunately, I didn't take many photos of the lounge, just these two.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

The lounge is crowded, and there's no available seating. I have to wander around for 10 minutes to find a place where I can eat. I'm disappointed to see that the lounge isn't very clean (stains on the chairs, carpet, etc.), but it's much more comfortable than the departure hall, of course. The buffet offered is good but not extraordinary. However, there's a fairly diverse selection of appetizers, main courses, desserts, and hot and cold beverages. The cleanliness of the restrooms is maintained. Now, I'm going to rest a bit before boarding.


Boarding

It's 2:30 p.m., almost time to board, so I leave the lounge and head to our boarding gate, L53, all the way to the end of the terminal. I really like this terminal; it's quite bright and spacious. So, it's rather pleasant.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

While waiting to board, I engage in a little bit of plane spotting, haha! I don't have much time left, but it's always nice to have some planes to photograph, even through a not-so-clean window.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

After this short plane spotting session, it's time to board, or rather, pre-board. I'm the first one in line, so I have the chance to take a photo of the empty jetway.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

And after a 10-minute wait inside the jetway, we finally board.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Cabin and seat

Our aircraft is a 16-year-old Boeing 777-328(ER) registered as F-GSQL. It has been renovated, which is good news!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

I'm seated in 31H, which is in the middle row, the aisle side. It's a shame not to have a window, but I'm happy to be on the aisle. Since I'm the first to board our 777, I have time to take a photo of the view on the right side of the aircraft.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

The cabin is pleasant, and the plane is equipped with all four classes offered by the airline: La Première, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy, the class I'm in.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

I'm comfortably seated, and I begin to explore the features of the seat.

The new design of Air France's safety cards is fantastic. In my opinion, the French airline has the best safety cards. They're small and practical.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

The in-flight entertainment (IFE) is modern and responsive. It looks great, but the downside is that it's fixed and cannot be adjusted manually according to the position of the seat in front.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

The interactive map is smooth and offers several interesting views!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Air France provides a small pillow and a blanket for the flight, as well as headphones for the IFE.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

We have access to two cameras: one located on the front landing gear and another on the belly of the aircraft. The quality is not great. After all, this 777 is 16 years old, so the cameras must not be very young either.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Universal power outlets are installed near the feet, and there's a USB port integrated into the screen. Quite good so far :)

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Push-back, taxi, and takeoff

Since I'm not at the window, I can't take photos or see the outside of the plane. So, I follow the taxiing through the old cameras. The problem with these cameras is that we can't choose which one we want to watch. The system automatically switches to the camera located on the belly of the aircraft just after takeoff, and it remains that way throughout the flight. It's not a big deal today since there are clouds throughout the entire journey :(

By the way, Air France's new safety video is excellent!

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

We take off with a 10-minute delay. Once in the air, I take a photo of the exterior view, and at the same time, we pass by another plane above us. I capture a fantastic shot at 33,000 ft. On that day, we will fly up to 39,000 ft.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Onboard service

First meal

Shortly after takeoff, our first meal is served. Rookie mistake, I didn't take a photo of the meal. But I made up for it with breakfast a few hours later :)

The meal consisted of cucumber as an appetizer, followed by chicken mixed with a moderately spicy sauce and mashed potatoes as the main course. For dessert, there was a plum-filled cake. All of this was accompanied by water, cheese, bread, and a choice of beverages served by the crew. I must emphasize that the food was very good! Once again, I'm pleasantly surprised by the food in Air France's Economy Class. A big plus for the airline.

After the meal, we were offered a hot beverage (which I photographed). I had a hot chocolate, not incredible, but it's always nice to have a good hot chocolate.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

The service on Air France's Economy Class is good. The crew's service is flawless. After the meal, the beverages were self-service near the trolleys in the galleys. The crew itself is friendly, but there was nothing particularly special about them during this flight. I find it unfortunate that I wasn't allowed to cross through a class to take a few photos through the window of the front door to get an engine view. The crew explained to me that it was for security reasons.

Breakfast

Just after being woken up by an unbearable baby at 12:30 a.m. (French time), breakfast is served. It consists of fresh cucumbers, a lemon muffin sprinkled with sugar, a drinkable yogurt, a milk bun, orange juice, and a hot ham and cheese bun. There was nothing left 10 minutes later, haha. The meals were really good. I'm very satisfied. I then asked for another hot chocolate.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Inflight entertainment

Regarding the IFE, it offers a wide range of entertainment options that I didn't photograph. Don't be too upset about it; it's my first time doing this kind of review ^^

The IFE offers a wide selection of movies and TV series. The latest films had just been released in cinemas. However, it was rather lacking in documentaries, offering only one. Air France provides a large number of videos aimed at helping passengers relax onboard. These videos target a somewhat anxious audience during flights. I find this initiative fantastic on Air France's part! Some airlines should take inspiration from it. Games are also available. I didn't explore that section, so I can't give an opinion on that category. The airline also offers music, ranging from older songs to the most recent ones (Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Harry Styles, etc.). Finally, the French airline allows us to watch a multitude of catalogs about its destinations, as well as videos highlighting must-see attractions.


Descent and landing

At 5:50 p.m. (San Francisco time), we started our descent, which was rapid and rather smooth. We flew over SFO airport, a magnificent view!! The camera on the front landing gear activated just after the landing gear was retracted, and for the first time, I was able to admire the iconic double runways of San Francisco Airport.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

A good and smooth landing on runway 28R. The braking was gentle, and we vacated the runway. The taxiing was long. Our gate was on the opposite side. After a 15–20-minute taxi, we finally arrived at the gate with a 1-minute delay :)


San Francisco Airport

The deboarding was not very long. We proceed to customs, where we submit our documents and fingerprints, and then we retrieve our luggage.

Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy Flight review: Air France from Paris to San Francisco in Economy

Conclusion

In conclusion, Air France's services were very good for a long-haul economy-class flight. The cabin was modern, and the crew was impeccable! The access to free Wi-Fi for sending and receiving SMS messages worked with a bit of waiting time for each message, but it worked. The power outlets were functional, and I must highlight once again that the food was very good! The seats are comfortable but not necessarily suitable for a 10-hour and 40-minute flight. The legroom is decent. My experience with the French airline is much better than my last long-haul flight with their services in 2018 on a B777-300ER as well. However, I find the B777-300ER quite noisy.

As for Charles de Gaulle Airport, I wonder how it was voted the best European airport. The organization seems to have disappeared, and the queues are endless for passengers who can't skip lines. The staff is unfriendly, even unpleasant... Although I really like this airport and its terminals, I believe the organization and staff need to be reviewed. Passengers will remember it negatively.

Regarding San Francisco Airport, I only saw the arrival hall, so I refrain from giving an opinion with such limited exposure.

Thank you for taking the time to read my very first Flight review. Please be kind :)

See you soon for the return flight from... LAX!

Safe travels!


Ratings

Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
4/5
Efficiency
3/5
Services
4/5
4.2/5
Cabin and comfort
4.1/5
Entertainment
4.7/5
Food and beverages
4.4/5
Crew
3.8/5
Cleanliness
5/5
Accessibility and orientation
4.5/5
Efficiency
5/5
Services
N/A

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