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Flying with Air France? All you need to know about the menu

Feb. 13, 2020
7 min read
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France is known for its unparalleled gastronomy and fine wines, so you can expect the full culinary experience when flying with Air France. Whether you're planning a getaway to Paris or using Charles de Gaulle (CDG) as a connection point for long-haul travel, you can get a taste of French cuisine on board or in its lounges.

Read more: 4 must-do activities for a very Moulin Rouge trip to Paris

The full French offering is available from the ground to the air with dishes from French chefs such as foie gras, beef bourguignon, croissants and pastries, French cheeses and French wines and Champagnes.

Below is a full breakdown of the Air France food served in the lounges and also on board in each class.

Lounges

Air France La Première Lounge -- Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG)

Breakfast: Choice of eggs, cold cuts, bacon and sausages, sautéed potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, a selection of cereals, yogurts, pastries and bread.

Main menu: A choice of starters including shrimp salad, pumpkin soup, duck foie gras, chicken and comté cheese and black truffle-toasted sandwich. Main courses include seared cod, free-range chicken with ceps (mushrooms) and a grilled thick slice of black pudding. There are also a selection of cheeses and desserts, which feature hot chocolate souffle and praline chocolate made in Paris.

There is also a buffet available with a selection of starters, salads, meats, cheeses and desserts.

Related reading: As good as it gets: A review of Air France La Première (777-300ER) from Paris to Beijing

Beverages: A selection including Louis Roederer Champagne, French red and white wines, cocktails, mocktails, spirits and soft drinks.

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Nutrition tip: Try to stick to a la carte to make sure you don't overload your plate at the buffet. Remember you are going to eat on board too so try just to stick to one dessert, either in the lounge or on board.

Business lounges -- across the world

(Photo courtesy of Air France)

The French brasserie spirit is on offer in both CDG and Orly Airport (ORY). On offer there are French wines, Champagnes, cheeses, croissants, French flan and a Brittany galette dessert, a salad bar, quiches, soup and noodles.

At CDG, there is even an offer from a chef to cook a special dish. At the time of publication, the offering is boeuf bourguignon with celeriac mashed potato. As well as the usual drinks, there is a special cocktail menu available each day from 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

To celebrate Valentine's Day, Air France is organizing Champagne tasting and is giving passengers a chocolate love heart.

On board

Economy

On offer is a main course, French cheese, dessert and bread. Champagne and wine are free-for-all passengers -- an added bonus as most airlines charge for this. On longer flights, you can choose from a self-service snack offering with cookies, sandwiches and ice cream.

A special kids' menu for those up to 8 years old features a fresh salad, a baked dish, soft white bread, apple juice and a fruit compote.

There is also a range of special meals available, which can be ordered 48 hours before your flight here.

Premium economy

On offer in the premium economy cabin is a menu and wines chosen by famous sommelier Paolo Basso.

At mealtime, you start with an aperitif accompanied by salted cookies. The service also includes a starter and a choice of two mains with dessert and coffee. For longer flights, there is also a snack service or a second meal if your flight is over 10 hours.

Business class

Business-class cuisine is curated by Andrée Rosier, the first woman to be awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France and the chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Les Rosiers in Biarritz.

Passengers have the option of five starters. For mains, there are options of confit lamb, guinea fowl, Basque koskera-style haddock and the vegetarian option of bulgur wheat with spices. This is followed by cheese selections and various dessert options.

Not in the mood to eat? You can choose to have an express lunch so you can maximize your rest and then have a pre-landing snack including yogurt, vegetable cake with citrus salad and an apricot cake.

Children can also benefit from a child's business-class meal which can be ordered in advance.

(Photo courtesy of Air France)

Read more: Guide for bidding for upgrades on premium seats

La Première

La Première is one of the most exclusive first-class products in the world. In fact, it won the award of the Best International First Class at the 2019 TPG Awards. The menu on board is curated by chef Emmanuel Renaut who was awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France and is a chef of triple Michelin-starred restaurant Flocons de sel in Megève.

Image courtesy of Air France
(Photo courtesy of Air France)

The offering begins with langoustines, Oscietra caviar, tangy citrus fruit and gentian drops and cream of chestnut and celeriac soup. Starters are a choice of duck foie gras and a mango and pineapple compote or scallop terrine with herb jelly, whipped cream with mascarpone.

Main options: Blanquette-style veal shank with carrots, confit farmhouse poultry salmis with mushrooms, juniper flavored jus, lobster fricassee with seasonal vegetables or risotto-style root vegetables, button mushrooms, porcini mushrooms and Beaufort cheese.

Passengers can create their own salad to accompany their meal and then have a choice of cheeses and a dessert of Lenôtre Paris (dried fruit, nut and candied orange tartlet, almond and hazelnut cake).

Nutrition tip: If you are looking to travel with your health in mind then choose the scallop terrine followed by the farmhouse poultry and try to just have fruit for dessert (yes, very difficult!).

Diners can choose from a selection of soft drinks, hot drinks including Illy espresso choices and a full first-class wine selection including Krug Champagne.

Menus a la carte

If you are traveling economy or premium economy and want to pay for a special menu, you have the option of purchasing from the range of a la carte packages on the Air France website up to 48 hours before you fly.

Fauchon menu: A menu designed by the prestigious French house Fauchon, which is luxurious and even includes the house éclair ($30).

(Photo courtesy of Air France)

Healthy menu: For those watching their waistline try a lentil salad, white cheese and grilled fish with vegetables ($23).

The “my fun menu”: A burger, Kettle crisps, Haribo and doughnut ($14).

A traditional menu: Featuring "delights of culinary French heritage" ($20).

Ocean menu: Variety of seafood dishes ($16).

Italia menu: Italian cuisine from every region of Italy ($13).

Bottom line

You haven’t truly experienced dining on board until you’ve enjoyed foie gras and vintage Bordeaux at 40,000 feet in the air. Air France's menu is exquisite, even in economy. What other airline offers free Champagne in economy? Air France is best experienced when flying from CDG to fully experience the flagship lounge offerings. Some of the dishes can be quite rich to the palate and hard to digest, though, so consider your well-being and perhaps try to steer clear of the fatty cheeses and foie gras dishes.

Featured image by (Photo by Emily McNutt/The Points Guy)

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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
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  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more