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Air Mauritius CDG-MRU Business Class Review

by on July 22, 2011 · 8 comments

in Air Mauritius, Trip Reports

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Flying new airlines is one of my favorite things to do. I always see interesting looking jets at airports and wonder what it’s like inside their cabins. And when I spot decked-out flight attendants I wonder if their in-flight service is even half as good as their immaculate outfits!

Last summer I tested out Air Seychelles, which was a really unique experience (see those reports here and here). While the seats were outdated recliner style business class, the service was great and the food and amenities truly unique. I mean how many times have you gotten scented home aroma oil and cocoa de mer shaped soaps on a flight?!

Anyway, I was excited to be able to book Air Mauritius as part of my 120,000 mile Delta summer award which also included business class on Air Europa, Air France intra-Europe and KLM World Business Class (reports to come). Air Mauritius and Seychelles are not part of Skyteam, but because their flights are loaded as Air France flights and Air France assigns availability in award buckets, you can use Delta miles to book them, which is one of the best uses of Skymiles in my humble opinion.

I had flown Barcelona to Paris earlier in the day and had a couple hours to kill, which I did in the lounge and browsing nice terminals in the CDG lounge (which prompted me to write my post about duty-free shopping). Many people complain about CDG, but I think its a pretty decent airport to kill a couple hours.I like the sunny, open terminal and decent shops.

CDG International Terminal

I ended up waiting at the gate for a while, because I wanted to people watch and get a flavor for who was flying CDG-Mauritius. It was a good amount of honeymooners, but since it’s winter in Mauritius I feel like the flight was filled with a lot of business people. The gate area was packed and before I knew it, they were calling business class passengers to board. I like taking pictures when the cabin is empty, so I was one of the first people to board our A340 “The Pink Pigeon.” This trip was already starting off on the right foot!

The Pink Pigeon ... seriously!

I snapped a couple pictures of the coach cabin before turning left to business class. The coach seats were a bright yellow and business class a deep orange. I loved how Air Mauritius was unapologetically tropical in the decor. The coach seats actually looked really comfortable and padded and the bulkhead seats had tons of legroom. While I still wouldn’t want to ride in them for 11.5 hours, I was impressed.

Economy cabin

Not bad for coach!

Business class was a 2x2x2 configuration of shell style seats.

Air Mauritius Business Class

Aerial view

Seat controls

Flight attendants soon came around with choice of champagne or fruit juice (not sure which kind, because I obviously opted for the champers). While awaiting take-off I occupied the time by reading their in-flight magazine, “The Islander” and learned all about their frequent flyer program: Kestrel Flyer. An interesting aspect of their program is that upon reaching elite status, you can add relatives to your account and get 50% of the miles they travel. I think that’s pretty interesting that they let you take a cut of your family’s travel since most individual non-frequent flyers don’t earn enough miles to reach an award (I don’t think big-time credit card bonuses exist in Mauritius!).

After take-off the flight attendants were quickly in the aisle passing out menus, which looked pretty good. Some solid wine choices and a very inspired list of options. The starter was duck liver with fig mango and papaya chutney and for entrees a choice of either Salmon with Saffron and Citronella, Chicken with Green Curry or Pan Fried Lamb with Rosemary and Cream. I chose the Salmon, which would end up being the least impressive part of the food experience. The wine was great – I went with the 2002 Brio de Cantenac Brown Margaux 2002 (note: when they poured the wine, the bottle said 2007, so I think 2002 was a typo).

Canapes

Duck liver - went great with the relatively fresh baguette

The salmon - to be honest, it was just okay and could have done without the dry pasta

Really delicious dessert

Overall, the food was above average, but not mind-blowing. I always give points for creativity and maybe I was just blown away by the “raspberry dacquoise with raspberry coulis” dessert, that I forgot about the underwhelming and dry salmon.

After dinner, I popped my 2mg Lunesta and headed for la-la land. Before I entered my artificially induced slumber paradise, I checked out the in-flight entertainment, which looked decent at first glance. An average-sized personal screen that came out of my armrest. Except you could only watch the movie selection that was playing on the main screen. That’s right – even the music was at the mercy of whatever choice they had playing on the one music channel. Overall, a very disappointing experience, but it didn’t really affect me because my main goal was to eat and sleep on this flight.

I changed into my British Airways First Class pajamas, which I bring on 10+ long flights because they are light and comfortable. Although they weren’t made for long-term use, so if anyone has any other in-flight pajama solutions for a 6’7″ person, please comment below!

The bed was an angled lie flat, similar to the seat on the Delta 747. I found Delta’s business class to have more legroom – I felt a little bit cramped when fully stretched out, but that didn’t really stop me from getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep. The pillow and blanket were meager, but luckily the in-cabin temp was kept pretty neutral, so I didn’t end up waking up with teeth chattering or in a pool of sweat.

Ready for 8 hours of Lunesta-induced sleep!

I was woken up for breakfast, which was a nice tray of fruits, cereal and yogurt. After I finished, they also asked if I’d like an omelet, which I declined – to me airlines and eggs rarely mix to make an enjoyable combination. Plus, I was just happy sipping on my instant coffee (which actually wasn’t bad) and getting ready to hit the ground running.

Healthy breakfast - an omelet was offered after this, but it was not necessary.

Making our way to Mauritius!

Landing was smooth and I was one of the first people through customs. I was waved through after a 10 second glance through my passport and I was on my way to enjoying Mauritius! Unfortunately, Hertz had lost my reservation and I had to make a last minute reservation with Europcar, but that ended up being a blessing in disguise. The  hotel was a solid hour-long ride from the airport and I really would not have wanted to do the drive just getting off a 12-hour flight, especially since there ended up being crazy rush hour traffic.

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  • thegasguru

    For sleepwear, you need some surgical scrubs. They’re lightweight, fold or roll up to nothing for packing, easy to change into and out of. Perfect for pajamas! PM me your mailing address, and I’ll send you an extra tall set! :)

  • Phil

    Thanks for the report! Doing this exact same trip in a week’s time. Looking forward to it a lot! Then coming back via Seychelles and trying out their new lie-flat biz class. As you did, all for 120k DL

  • Jxkkdkdkdkdkdkd

    Disagree sorry.

    Scrubs do not breathe

  • Davids

    I know that this is a bit OT, But I noticed something really odd when trying to book flights to SEZ and MRU for this winter. From Dec onwards there are a ton of business seats on Air SEYCHELLES ex-CDG to SEZ but not a single seat from SEZ-CDG the entire winter. Any idea why that would be?

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  • Grahamh

    Hi, really enjoy reading your reviews. Have you got any images of aircraft lavatories (my line of work is aircraft interiors) and interested to know the style.

  • http://twitter.com/mhbarker Michael H. Barker

    A good review!

    We travelled CDG-MRU on Air Mauritius in economy on 16 July 2012 (20A, 20B?). Whilst the yellow Air Mauritius seats weren’t so uncomfortable to sit in the upright position, they were pretty rickety. The seat pitch was pretty poor for such a long flight and the tray-tables were in very poor shape. Many people (us included) needed to support the tray with a cushion and our knees to get it flat.

    The main problem in economy was the horrendously long time it took them to clear the food trays – that cost us at least an hour in which we might have *tried* to sleep.

    On the return leg on 30 Jul 2012 we paid an extra €600+ per head to upgrade to business (3G, 3H), the gulfbetween economy and business was far greater than I’ve had with other airlines (mostly Finnair, American and occasionally Lufthansa).

    The business class seats were an old style – like Finnair used to have in their now retired MD-11s – but they were in decent condition and allowed me to get 7 hours of sleep waking every couple of hours. Service in the business cabin was very good, and the food was excellent. As we upgraded only 4 hours before the flight I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to rustle up really good VLML fare. Both dinner and breakfast main dishes were curry based, which they were apparently worried that I might not like, but it *was* really good!

    In summary – I wouldn’t touch their cattle class with a bargepole, but their business class cabin is decent.

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