Review of Air France Premium Economy

May 5th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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Review of Air France Premium Economy

As previously promised, here's my review of our recent travel on Air France's Premium Economy. First let me start by saying that we thought it was money well spent and we wouldn't hestitate to book it again.

We flew from PHX to LAX on Delta and then LAX to PPT (Papeete, Tahiti) on AF. We traveled out on 4/2 and back on 4/19.

Perk No. 1 - Because we had purchased PE tickets, it entitled us to the shorter priority line through security in LAX as the tickets were marked "Sky Priority."

Perk No. 2 - Because we had such a long layover in LAX, we opted to kill time before the flight at the AF Business Club lounge. Having bought PE tickets, it entitled us to purchase a day pass at the lounge. According to AF's website this is not available if you flew in just straight economy seats. Despite some bad reviews I had read, we thought the lounge was great for a 6 hour layover. The seats were comfortable, it was quiet and they offered enough snacks such as mini-sandwiches and soup that we were comfortable food wise. The AF rep was friendly and ensured that our bags (which had been checked through to PPT on Delta when we departed PHX*) were also noted in the AF system.

Perk No. 3 - The seats themselves. We were very pleasantly surprised at the amount of legroom. Honestly - as good as some business class seats we have flown and much better than the U.S. Airways first class flight to Mexico we took in January! The cabin was configured with 2 seats then 4 then 2 with only 3 rooms of same in a section between business class and economy. During flight they curtained off both other classes so it was cozy. Going out we had Row 11, Seats K & L; coming back Row 12, Seats K&L. Someone commented that the seats don't recline like typically seats which is true, but DH still found them very comfortable. I never recline my seat regardless because I'm so short and an additional perk of the seats for me were the leg rest and foot rest offered. Food on the flight was pretty good. They offfered a snack and meal each direction. In-flight entertainment with a small screen in the seat in front of you. Good selection of movies and other entertainment.

Perk No. 4 - Because we were so close to the front, getting off was a breeze and being a lot closer to the head of the customs lines.

Perk No. 5 - Return leg from PPT to LAX - PE checks in with business class so again no long wait in the economy line to check luggage and check in.

So - yes we thought it was worth the extra cost from economy seats.

*Some may remember I did earlier posts with questions/concerns since DH and I were both on 2 different tickets (1 for Delta & 1 for AF) purchased at different times. We had no trouble getting Delta to check our bags all through way through to PPT (I simply showed them the AF boarding pass) and same with AF coming back who checked our bags all the way to PHX. Also there is in fact a domestic "recheck your ticketed bag" conveyor belt just as you clear Customs in Terminal 2. You do not have to schlep your bags to the domestic carrier if you have the bags ticketed to your final destination.

And last but not least - thanks to all of you that gave us the tips on getting through the 2 parking garages at LAX to go from Delta terminal to the AF terminal. Worked like a charm and much quicker than waiting on the circle bus.
patandhank is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 12:51 AM
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I always ponder about Economy Plus in regards to prices and benefits. Business is ridiculously more expensive. Do you mind if I ask how much more it was than Economy?
MissGreen is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Leg rest and foot rest would be my no. 1 priority! I don't need more room, just some leg/foot support. Thanks for the report.
sf7307 is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Many thanks for this helpful report on PE. Just can't do economy any more, so don't usually travel unless I can upgrade to biz. This PE sounds feasible.
annw is online now  
May 6th, 2013, 03:43 PM
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Not to hi-jack this post, we too just returned from a flight in Air France Premium Economy. Totally agree with all that patandhank stated. Our flight was from IAH (Houston) to CDG (Paris), outbound 4.20 and return 5.5, would definitely recommend it. While we have flown Economy Plus on United many times this was so much more comfortable, loved the extra leg room, foot rests, difference in seats, while not exactly Business class it was well worth the extra we spent.
wunderbar2 is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Miss Green - I'm sure the cost would vary based upon travelling dates and destination. I believe we paid about $800 - $1000 more for the tickets.
patandhank is offline  
May 7th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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A much needed report. Thanks for psoting.
Femi is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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While I do agree that they are definitely better seats. We were downgraded at the gate in Marach from CDG to Houston. When we tried to get EU compensation for downgrades we ultimately learned that the premium economy are coded as economy seats in the Solidarity Tax customers pay. So in the end we only got a $420 refund. The seats are nicer but be aware that in the case of being downgraded, or reseated in Air France words, they do not qualify for EU compensation.
lrock5 is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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lrock5 is offline  
May 11th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Irock5, I had read your earlier posts prior to our leaving in April, sorry for your misfortune but if I'm not mistaken, there was an issue with your not checking in prior to arrival at CDG and this was a flight originating elsewhere, correct? I understand your feelings and know all too well that it can happen to any of us, we just hate flying anymore, there is so much to contend with, late flights, seat reassignments, etc. however your compensation seems fair for one leg of a multi-stop flight unless that was the total compensation for all of you.
wunderbar2 is offline  
May 13th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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No this flight originated from CDG to Houston. We checked in 3 hours early at the airport as our apartment did not have WIFI. But it left from CDG. I received no refund, only my husband and sister-in-law. They said I voluntarily sat in economy, which I did. But I was given no choice at the gate of whether to be with the rest of my party or not. I would have let them put me there too if I had the choice.

But it is what it is and we are going to Paris in February and I do want to use the vouchers we got for the way we were treated. So I guess I will be holding my breath until I am in my seat on the way home!!
lrock5 is offline  
May 13th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Sorry I misunderstood, Irock5. It is frustrating isn't it? Hopefully your next trip will go as it should with no surprises.
wunderbar2 is offline  
May 14th, 2013, 06:52 AM
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Thank you. Even with the frustrations, travelling is the best thing we have ever done so we will continue to go and try our best to roll with the punches.
lrock5 is offline  
May 28th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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I was interested to read that your section was curtained off. I thought that was banned because of security reasons.
Underhill is online now  
May 28th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Underhill: >>I was interested to read that your section was curtained off. I thought that was banned because of security reasons.<<

Every international flight I can remember had cabins curtained off.
janisj is online now  
May 30th, 2013, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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janisj - I've never seen premium economy curtained off. It would only make sense if they had washrooms between PE and E.

It's often cheaper to upgrade at check in depending on your carrier/destination etc. It's normally $85 or so to upgrade to PE and the flight attendants do not let people in E move to PE after the flight takes off.
internetflyer is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:00 PM
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Nope - curtains are still used. All they do is pull them back for landing and take off.

I can tell you at the time we booked out PE with Air France there are were only 4 seats left and we booked pretty far in advance. I think that asking about upgrading at the last minute is a great idea if you're willing to be told no. In our case, we weren't willing - especially given the availability of seats.
patandhank is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I read another review of premium economy that said the seats were extremely hard and that the seats in economy were actually more comfortable to sit in. What did you think?
hlbyrnes is offline  
Jul 4th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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I had read that too before we flew so I initially had some of my own concerns. The seats are made of a hard plastic-like material but they had cushions in them for butt and back. We didn't find them uncomfortable at all to sit in. DH seldom gets up (he takes the window)and he still didn't have any issue.
patandhank is offline  
Jul 21st, 2013, 04:21 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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patandhank, how far in advance did you book PE? I'm looking at a trip from Detroit to Munich via CDG and the fare is reasonable given all the perks (plus it's for a celebration, so I can splurge a little). I plan to fly late May, would you recommend booking now?

Thanks for all the details, but I have one other question. You said the seat doesn't recline? But what about sleeping?

Thanks again. And Bon voyage prochain!
Thomas1836 is offline  

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