Air Travel

Air France – Fly French Style

Air France is the best airline to travel to France and the world. The French know how to live in style and comfort, and Air France captures the elusive, and compelling feeling that is called Frenchness.  It is that certain something that the French call “Je ne sais quoi” It is hard to describe but extremely pleasurable to enjoy.

Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest writers of our age and a prolific traveler referred to Paris as a movable feast in this quote:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast.”

Ernest Hemingway (1950)

He experienced what I have come to call the “French” feeling. To me, Paris is not just a place but a state of being, a way to see the world’s beauty at a relaxing and sensual pace. Air France has worked hard to encapsulate that “French” experience into an airline and succeeded splendidly.

In today’s travel world with the average airline flight being dreaded instead anticipated,  look forward to your next international flight by choosing Air France as your airline carrier.  While most major airlines are reducing their services, amenities, cabin sizes and support staff, Air France continues to improve on all these fronts and more.

My first experience flying Air France was when I took a river cruise with my favorite and voted best by Conde Nast travelers, company Grand Circle from Paris to Nice. I simply booked the package including airfare, assuming that it would be an acceptable airline flight. So I was pleasantly surprised by Air France’s quality on every level from terminal lounge, airline design, roomy seats and delicious food.

My flight originated in New York’s JFK airport. The moment I stepped on the Air France plane, while technically still in America, I was emotionally transported to France. All the beauty, style and joy of living the French are famous for was evident.

I flew standard coach class but had an almost first-class experience. One of my favorite things about the French is their impeccable attention to detail, both in physical and emotional ways.

Entering the airplane you get an immediate sense of spaciousness, not like other airlines that are cramped and boxy. The seats are amply sized and very comfortable – even after a 7-hour flight from NYC to Paris. I am uniquely qualified to report on this being a full-size 16 woman married to a full-size 2XL American man. Check out my photo showing the well-designed tray table with a special compartment for two bottles of water. The French think of everything! They know you will be dehydrated and need refreshment during your flight, but don’t always want the tray table down. So they created a space for two water bottles.  Simply brilliant! Industry publications, reports that Air France seats are roomier by a critical few inches, 8% wider than other airlines.

My husband watched three recent released American movies on the oversized video screen in front of his seat – while stretching out with the extra legroom that makes a difference. There were no additional costs for these video rentals, as we have paid on other airlines. I use the long flight time to practice my French by watching a fun and informative short shows and documentaries. The range and selection of entertainment choices are extensive and comprehensive. Additionally, they had a large number of news music channels in many languages.

Oh la la, was food was scrumptious! I included a photo of our breakfast complete with the buttery, flaky croissants every French person eats for breakfast. It was a genuinely impressive meal complete with beautifully presented fresh fruit, scrambled eggs with nicely seasoned with fresh grilled mushrooms and tomatoes. Additionally, there was a small serving of a deliciously creamy hot grain cereal, a whole grain roll plus a pretty petit jar of jam. And yes, real silverware -made of metal, not plastic. This breakfast was truly a delight after a long overnight flight. What a wonderful way to start our day in Paris, ready to visit the city of light, and experience all of its delights.

Then, while still smiling from this delicious breakfast, the flight attendants brought around most darling little gift bag with all French personal-care products. I dashed off to the laboratory and began my French girl beauty routine with such exquisite products made by esteemed French companies such as Fragonard. After a quick 10 minutes in the bathroom, I came out looking and smelling like Gigi, that beautiful French girl. Wow, what a super way to start your French holiday.

An important part of your air travel experience is the terminal that you will invariably be spending some time waiting for your flight. In New York’s JFK airport, Air France has a special lounge that is 2 stories high. It is usually reserved for business class and above. However, when it is not full kind Air France ground personnel invite other class passengers to enjoy the luxury – like Lucky me!

Wow, such an impressive airport lounge. The modern, sleek design is also comfortable and embracing. Travel can be so stressful and be tiring so a good airport lounge can make all the difference in your airline experience. The room was huge and offered many different types of seating nicely tucked throughout the large space. Whether you wanted an intimate space for two, or a conference table setting or a small bistro dining set up, all were available. Space was well-designed by a good architect, probably French, since the many wall partitions of varying heights made the lounge, private and relaxing, even though it was an enormous space. Hubby and I settled into the leather padded bucket seats and dreamed of our French holiday to come while snacking on freshly prepared food and designer coffees.

While we were traveling to France on Air France, they fly to destinations worldwide from Vancouver to Panama City and almost everywhere in between. As of May 2004, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are the largest European air travel, group. According to their corporate website, they carry more than 70,000,000 passengers annually to 243 destinations in 103 countries worldwide. I appreciate their on-time record. Approximately 80% of the time their flights departed as scheduled. They experienced fewer delays than many other airlines.

You would think with all this luxury and amenities that the ticket price would be higher than others. However, surprisingly, that is not so. In online website comparisons, Air France fares are comparable, and sometimes cheaper than other major carriers such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and British Airways.

My review here is just one person’s good experience, however, upon studying Air France’s reviews across the Internet, I found that they are amongst the most positive rated international airlines.  The authoritative rating site Skytrax rates it 4.0 stars in these categories: LONG HAUL: First Class – 4-Star Rating Business Class – 4-Star rating Premium Economy – 3.5-Star Rating Economy Class – 3-Star Rating SHORT HAUL: Business Class – 4-Star Rating Economy Class -3-Star Rating.

Here’s an example of the voted most helpful review – 5 stars ”perfect flight, delicious food, and perfect attention. I recommend this airline. AIR FRANCE IS QUALITY I LOVE IT.”

In conclusion, your best choice for international travel is Air France, whether you are lucky enough to be traveling to Paris or any of their other destinations. Don’t delay. Book your ticket on Air France today.

Vous voir a’ Paris. – See you in Paris

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Marsha Kelly Business Blogger - Serial entrepreneur, after doing Time in corporate America, who has learned about what products and services really work well in business today. You can learn from my experience and my associates as we shop from the internet for tools, supplies and information to build our businesses and improve the lives of our family and ourselves on our site
My strongest belief is that the safest, most secure and most lucrative job you can have is owning your own business. I learned this valuable lesson the hard way by investing time, energy and emotion into a corporate career only to be fired unceremoniously –when I dared think creatively outside the box. My entrepreneurial journey to starting my own business was first by necessity but then turned into a great blessing of prosperity and freedom. Graduating from the school of business hard knocks and learning how to start, manage, and then sell my business for over $1,000,000. Learned more about real life business this way that I learned in my four years at the NYU School of Business.

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