Air France Intra-European Business Class Review

Jul 26, 2011

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This trip report is going to be pretty short, but I thought I’d still highlight Air France’s short-haul business class product. While many of us complain about US domestic first class as, “not being worth it” and “paling in comparison to the good old days of travel,” European business class is much, much worse. In fact, it’s basically the same exact seat as coach!

For the most part, European carriers’ short-haul business class is coach seating with the middle seat blocked out. Some may add a little bit of legroom, but for the most part it’s negligible. The only thing you should expect is a meal included, which is your typical airline fare (at least on Air France), and no personal entertainment system and certainly not wifi.

So the moral of this story is to enjoy your big comfy seats in domestic first class, even if you don’t have in-flight entertainment or a delicious filet mignon – because it sure beats flying glorified coach-style in European business class!

Getting ready to board AF Barcelona to Paris.
Wait - there must be a mistake- I'm supposed to be in business class! ... Huh? This is business class? Looks like coach to me!
At least I had the bulkhead, which has significant legroom. The other rows of "business class"? Not so much.
Beverage service. The flight attendant sure looks cheerful!
My meal on Barcelona-Paris. The salmon patty (yes, that's what it was) was inedible, but the Camembert and peach-rhubarb pie were clear winners.
Meal on my Paris to Amsterdam flight: Anchovy sandwich (unsurprisingly un-good), but decent feta salad and rhubarb dessert. What is with AF and rhubarb this summer?

So there you have it. Everyone always knocks on the US carriers for having inferior in-flight products, but I don’t think anyone can argue that intra-European business class is better than even the worst domestic first class product, though I’d love to hear your thoughts and past misadventures if you think otherwise!

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