Introduction
OneWorld First Class Lounge Los Angeles
OneWorld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles
New Tom Bradley International Terminal Los Angeles Airport
Air France A380 First Class Los Angeles to Paris
Air France First Class Lounge Paris
Air France Business Class Paris to Frankfurt
Hilton Frankfurt
Frankfurt Christmas Markets
Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge Frankfurt
British Airways Club Europe Frankfurt to London Heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways A380 First Class London Heathrow to Los Angeles
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort


Air France 1318
Paris (CDG) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Wednesday, December 11
Depart: 3:30PM
Arrive: 4:50PM
Duration: 1hr20min
Aircraft: Airbus A318
Seat: 2F (Business Class)

After being introduced to the purser I took my seat in row two. As is the norm for intra-Europe flights, business class is simply economy seating with the middle seat blocked and improved food and drink service. Row one was only on the right side of the aircraft, and there were two guys seated there. Then in row two I had the window seat, and the other seats were all empty. Interestingly the business class partition was only behind row four, though business class only went through row two, meaning it was just the three of us.

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Air France A318 business class

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Air France A318 business class

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Air France A318 business class

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Air France A318 business class legroom

Shortly before the door closed the purser distributed refreshing towels to business class passengers.

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Air France business class refreshing towels

A few minutes behind schedule the door closed and the captain came on the PA to advise us of our flight time of 65 minutes, anticipating an on-time arrival in Frankfurt. He also advised us that we’d be delayed about 10 minutes for departure as the two planes next to us were pushing back at the same time and would be ahead of us.

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View prior to pushback

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View prior to pushback

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View prior to pushback

While still at the gate the flight attendants did a manual safety demonstration, which was completed within a few minutes.

Now I’m in no way judging the piloting skills of the cockpit crew, but my gosh were they rough on the controls. I don’t think I’ve ever been thrown around so much even before takeoff. We had a super long taxi to runway 9R, but we taxied there in a matter of minutes, and I don’t think they slowed down one bit for any corner.

As we taxied out to the runway I saw an ANA 777 landing, which was pretty cool.

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ANA 777 landing

I also saw an Air France A318 taking off.

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Air France A318 taking off

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Air France A318 taxiing

By the time we made it to runway 9R we were number one for takeoff, and were airborne in a matter of seconds. There were some great views of the airport as we climbed out, given the beautiful weather.

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View after takeoff

About 10 minutes after takeoff the service began. I don’t actually know what the food was — and for that matter wasn’t at all hungry — but below is a picture of it.

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Air France business class catering

I spent the rest of the short flight marveling out the window given the stunning sunset views.

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Sunset views

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Sunset views

It was extremely foggy/cloudy on our final approach into Frankfurt, and I could only see land maybe 1,000 feet above the ground. We landed on runway 25L and had a quick taxi to our remote stand, which we reached right on schedule.

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View on approach

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View after landing

When we got to our remote stand it took forever for the stairs to be pulled up to the plane. The purser went into the cockpit to see what was taking so long, and when he emerged he told me that a Mercedes was waiting to take me to the arrivals area, separate from the bus. I nearly crapped myself out of excitement, since I found it ridiculously amazing that Air France offers such services for first class passengers in cities other than Paris.

So once the stairs were pulled up I walked to the tarmac only to find the two guys seated in front of me hugging the driver and getting in the Mercedes. I still walked up to the driver based on the purser’s instructions — and at this point felt really embarrassed about it — though he dismissed me and told me to take the bus. Guess it wasn’t for me after all!

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Air France A318 upon deplaning

The bus ride was perfectly pleasant, and within a few minutes I was on the train into the city.

  1. December 23rd, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Andrew B said,

    Had you flown in an A318 before? There aren’t that many of them, and I think AF is the largest operator of the type. I’m sure the experience isn’t any different from any other A320-series aircraft, but I’ve still always wanted to take one (especially the BA flight from LCY-JFK).

  2. December 23rd, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Lantean said,

    you would think that someday one european airline would step it up and offer a real business class seat intra europe… not sure why that is such a problem.

  3. December 23rd, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Joey said,

    That exchange with the Mercedes driver must have been awkward. Wait, did the purser later tell you to take the bus or did the driver of the car?

  4. December 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Curious George said,

    @Lanteen- My intra-Europe TK flights have offered domestic first class style seats.

  5. December 23rd, 2013 at 9:54 am

    elteetrav said,

    The meal pic is very intriguing. I think I can ID the dessert, and some kind of bread item. But the rest is very mysterious. Guess its just some gourmet French airplane delicacy that is unknown to my crude American taste. ;-) And what was the Fauchon? Some kind of amenity kit?

  6. December 23rd, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Buddha said,

    do you ever talk to people “outside” of a plane or a hotel??? Just wondering

  7. December 23rd, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    gstork said,

    I’ve noticed that AF pilots, and especially AZ pilots, are very aggressive. Earlier this year I had several AZ flights both trans-Atlantic and intra-Europe, and on the ground they act like they are driving Ferrari’s. I’ve never been in a fully-loaded 777 that had such an aggressive take-off at LAX before.

  8. December 23rd, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Martin Rim said,

    Was seating just 6 roes behind you!!!

  9. December 23rd, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Josh G said,

    Interesting you flew on the A318, that has been on my bucket list for sometime (silly I know). Until recently it was fairly easy to catch one on F9 but Avianca, BA, and AF are all still possibilities.

  10. December 23rd, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Steven L. said,

    * fruit salad
    * cheese bread
    * macaron and chocolate confectionery
    * in the Fauchon bag: candy for later
    * bottle of Thonon mineral water

    For the life of me I can’t identify the main course. The cup appears to contain some kind of potato salad? Some kind of chicken? Blanking on the last item.

    @elteetrav: Fauchon is a French gourmet food company. It’s a little too thin to contain even a mini spirit bottle. Unlikely to be tea, since there isn’t an accompanying teacup. I suspect it contains some kind of candy.

    Off-topic: Air France uses the Japanese term for hot towel (oshibori) on the US site.

  11. December 23rd, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Andrew B — I’ve done British Airways Club World London City on the A318, but that’s the only time I’ve flown it. Unique little plane indeed.

  12. December 23rd, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Joey — It was the driver of the car that told me to take the bus. At that point I was off the plane so wasn’t talking to the purser anymore.

  13. December 23rd, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Denis said,

    TAP still offers “real” business class intra-Europe, even though on my last flight they said they were missing one person from the crew so there would be no meal service!

  14. December 25th, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Jonas said,

    I don’t recall TAP offering real Business Class on any of their European flights, only the blocked middle-seat version. Even on longer flights such as ARN-LIS which is 4,5 hours.

    TK is the only airline to offer real Business Class intra-Europe.

    @Lucky, did you send a complaint to AF regarding the van situation? I would’ve been pretty pissed off if I were in the same situation.

  15. January 4th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Charlie said,

    Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) has fixed Business class with wider, bigger seats and extended seat pitch on intra-Europe flights.

  16. January 9th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    wwk5d said,

    “Then in row two I had the window seat, and the other seats were all empty. Interestingly the business class partition was only behind row four, though business class only went through row two, meaning it was just the three of us.”

    But…isn’t that a guy sitting on the left side of Row 3 in some of your pictures?

  17. January 9th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    lucky said,

    @ wwk5d — Yep, but they only received economy service.

  18. January 9th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    wwk5d said,

    Gotta love how the European airlines do things lol

  19. January 17th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Ivan Y said,

    Those seats blow. Had to suffer through a 3.5 hr flight on Austrian in “business” class like that (A320). Found seats way better on a much shorter Swiss flight (Avro 100).

    FWIW, S7 (Russian airline) has real business seats (at least, on a few intra-Russia routes my parents had traveled on). Usually book them using BA Avios in business. Interestingly, on one economy award flight, my dad somehow got bumped up to business even though he held no status.

  20. January 17th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Ivan Y said,

    Those seats blow. Had to suffer through a 3.5 hr flight on Austrian in “business” class like that (A320). Found seats way better on a much shorter Swiss flight (Avro 100).

    FWIW, S7 (Russian airline) has real business seats (at least, on a few intra-Russia routes my parents had traveled on). Usually book them using BA Avios in business. Interestingly, on one economy award flight, my dad somehow got bumped up to business even though he held no status.

  21. March 1st, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Sasha Hagen said,

    I’m doing a similar thing, except from FCO to CDG (business) then CDG to LAX (A380First) then to finish LAX to SEA (Delta first, doesn’t matter). I can’t wait to see what the service is like, I haven’t flown air France before, but I hear glowing reviews. This helped a lot, thanks!

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