Review: Air France Business Class DFW-Paris-DFW (My new favorite?)

A few weeks ago I got to fly Air France’s “new” business class for the first time on the DFW to Paris and Paris to DFW routes. And I must say that I was quite impressed with the seat, the service, and the food on board my flights. From what I saw in the soft and hard product, I will go as far as to say Air France is probably the best European airline out there by a country mile. Note I did have my share of issues with Air France, but they were negligible compared to what I experienced with Lufthansa and British Airways.

First of all, Air France uses the Capital One Lounge at DFW, which is no doubt the best lounge at the airport today. Many other airlines tend to use a contract lounge, but Air France seems to have ponied up the money for their premium customers. This has obviously lead to crowding during peak departure times, but it’s nevertheless nicer than the alternatives.

a room with chairs and tables and a window


Our outgoing flight to Paris was a bit delayed because of the inbound aircraft being delayed by employee strikes in Paris. Boarding was initially a chaotic line, but everyone made way for business class to board first. This is where airlines really have something to learn from Southwest. Their boarding is perhaps the most organized despite it being dubbed the “cattle call.”

On board I took a left turn and made my way to my seat 4A where a pillow, hanger, and blanket were waiting.

a seat in a plane

The reverse herringbone style seat that Air France uses on this aircraft is quite proven and is found on many airlines. In my opinion it still works well and the foot rest provides plenty of space to sleep sideways or on your back.


a hat and pillow on a seat

Now I wouldn’t say the seat has terrific storage space, but it does have the usual cabinet space to store small items.

a window in an airplane

After take off, the FAs served a type of cheese biscuits instead of warm nuts like other airlines. I would say it’s actually a nice change up though it may feel cheap to some. Service on this flight was very good with the FAs coming by several times to make sure my glass was full of………. Coke Zero. This could just be in my head, but I thought they were even more polite and friendly after they figured out that I speak a little French.

a box of crepes on a napkin

Views out of the window were nice before the clouds completely obstructed any views.

a river flowing through a green landscape

I decided to sleep for the rest of the flight and skip the meal to which FAs asked if I was doing alright. They pretty much insisted and took my hesistancy for a ‘yes’ when it came to being woken up for breakfast. Here was the menu for those that are interested:

My entire strategy for super early transatlantic flights is to start packing at 3 AM so that I don’t sleep that night. I was noticeably tired and we had atleast 7 hours to go. Unfortunately for me, most of the flight was super bumpy. It started around the Chicago area and didn’t calm down until we were well past Newfoundland which is like 4 hours of the flight. Luckily Air France has free messaging for all passengers

After 60 minutes of sleep I was woken up by the purser for breakfast. It looks like none of the other passengers had much of a choice either because the lights were completely turned on. Those people that managed to sleep, take a bow.

Here is what was super annoying, Air France controls the window shades on their 787s. So there was absolutely no hope of capturing sunrise from the plane. The FA even came by and said “beau lever de soleil”, smiled and ignored my plea to untint the glass.

a window of an airplane

Ok let’s say Air France thinks its impolite to wake people up from their slumber. Why turn on the cabin lights 2 hours before arrival? Why not dim the window shades as soon as we reached cruising altitude?

Anyway, here was my “Asian Vegetarian” Breakfast, which consisted of some Indian pancakes (utthapam), masala porridge (upma), and some potato mash. Despite the look, it was actually quite flavorful and ranked as probably the best Asian Vegetarian breakfasts I’ve had departing the US. It’s quite heavy on the carbs, so I didn’t actually eat all of it.

a tray of food on a table

Before we knew it, we were on final descent into Paris Charles De Gaulle on a rather hazy day. Views weren’t great on this particular day of Central Paris, but the views on my return flight were jaw dropping. (more on that in another post).

an aerial view of a city


a green fields and roads


The worst part of the journey was perhaps our experience at Charles de Gaulle where protests about France’s new retirement laws caused significant delays. There was literally just two people manning the border control desk and the automatic kiosks were just not working properly. We spent about 2 hours in line and if our flight hadn’t arrived early, there would’ve been no chance of us catching the Florence flight.

a group of people in a terminal

The nice thing about CDG though is that the terminals are modern, large, and airy. In my experience it means long walks, but it doesn’t have the same congested and industrial feel that other European airports do such as Frankfurt and London.

a large building with windows and a runway

On our journey back from Italy, we luckily cleared Border Control in a manner of minutes and got to enjoy the Air France lounge Hall L. I have to say it’s probably the best designed business class lounge in all of Western Europe. There’s so much space and the food as well as amenities are great. Shame on you British Airways for your lousy lounges.

a room with a large window

Anyway, the return journey went without a hitch. I was back in the same exact seat ready to catch some shut eye after a very tiring week of mostly work believe it or not.

a seat in a plane

This time I intentionally did not order an Asian Vegetarian Meal beforehand so that I could try the meal on board. Luckily Air France always has a vegetarian option on the menu and there were no issues getting every passenger what they wanted. Here is the menu for your reference:

The meal service started promptly about 45 minutes after take off. The appetizer happened to have fish (salmon) in it so I politely declined it. I was given an extra helping of salad and a loads of baguettes which IMO Air France does so well. Of course I also had a Coke Zero to go along with it.

food on a table

For the main course I had the Ratatouille cake which consisted of eggplant, zuchini, and celeriac. It was flavorful and didn’t have too much cheese which is often the issue with vegetarian dishes.

a plate of food on a table

This was followed with some cheese and more bread:

a plate of cheese and bread on a table

And then it was topped off with a pistachio maccaroon, a tart, and a brownie like bit alongside some vanilla ice cream. Nothing was too heavy and it all hit the right balance.

About 30 minutes after the food was over, I completely fell asleep and didn’t wake up until I was nudged awake by the FA for a before landing meal. This time everything was served on a single tray which included a diced pair, dark chocolate, and almonds salad, a madeliene, and some butter pasta with mushrooms and green onions topped with pepper. It was a simple pasta, but managed to have the right amount of flavor without feeling too unhealthy. Air France certainly hit the right balance with their meal once again. This is especially true when measured up to the garbage served on US carriers.

a tray of food on a tray

Before we knew it we were on descent into Dallas. We had some magnificent views of Love Field and the skyline on our final approach.

an aerial view of a city

How I booked these flights:

Air France is perhaps the best airline when it comes to transatlantic award redemptions. They regularly have award sales like the one they are currently having. You can buy business class tickets for as low as 41,250 miles each way. It’s important to remember that Ultimate Rewards, CapitalOne, AMEX Membership Rewards, and Citi Thank You all transfer over to Flying Blue. AMEX even has a 25% bonus for transfers to Flying Blue right now. This brings that price down to 31,000 points, which is what most airlines charge for economy to Europe!

I paid a total of 82,000 membership points + ~$600 per person in taxes for these tickets for DFW-CDG-FLR and VCE-CDG-DFW. $600 may seem steep to some but award tickets also offer greater flexibility to cancel and get most of the miles and money back. Air France charges just 50 euros to cancel and award ticket and redeposit miles. I will gladly book award tickets for these rates because I rarely am 100% sure of my travel plans with work.

Bottom Line:

Air France is probably my new favorite transatlantic airline. The lounges are great, the service is pleasant, award tickets are readily available, and the food is a step above its peers. Let’s also be honest and say that Charles De Gaulle is still a way better airport than Heathrow or Frankfurt despite that unusual immigration line. The negatives of my experience had to do more with the 787 window shades and lighting policies. Air France controls electric shades too tightly and turns on the lights before landing way too early.



  1. Brad

    Air France J class is just ok. Nothing special about. Good seat that’s about it. CDG is arguably the worst airport in Europe. I fly AF only because I tend to get cheaper flights. Fares being equal I’d look at my options.

      1. Susan

        Thanks for this great info, Teja. Did your business class ticket not let you skip any lines at CDG? I am hearing different stories on the matter. We have a 1 hr 40 min connection to Florence. Should I pay for the meet and greet service? Also, we are seniors who can walk but not fast!!

        1. Hi Susan,

          I believe the issue was specific to April and the summer when there were staffing issues at CDG. I connected through again in July and didn’t have the same issue. It should be smooth sailing for the most part. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  2. Uzma

    Couldn’t you have just used the eyes mask provided in you amenity kit if the cabin lights bothered you so much.
    It’s really a non issue and very easily solved.
    Also, please use spellchecker before publishing an article.
    It’s PEAR not Pair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.