Air France Raises the Bar With Its New Business Lounge at CDG
As more and more airlines phase out international first class, they're upping their business class offerings. Besides improving products on board, many airlines are also completely revamping the on-the-ground experience. In the past year alone, Air Canada, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Qantas and United have all turned heads with brand new international business-class lounges. And now, Air France, too, has a new 34,000-square-foot lounge at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to show off.
The newly overhauled lounge is located in Hall L of Terminal 2E, from where many overseas flights depart, and is accessible by international first and business class passengers, as well as SkyTeam Elite Plus members traveling in economy with any SkyTeam carrier. Alternatively, day passes can be purchased for €45 (~$53). Since Delta operates out of of 2E at CDG, this is the go-to lounge for Delta One and eligible elite fliers. Do note that only those flying outside the Schengen area can enter.
Food & Drink
While the lounge doesn't offer a-la-carte dining per se, it does have a "Gourmet Table" dining area, featuring an open kitchen where chefs prepare dishes in front of customers.
There are also hot and cold buffets, and a selection of wines chosen by the airline’s sommelier, Paolo Basso.
The highlight of the food and beverage offerings, however, is at the 1,700-square-foot bar area, better known as Le Balcon. Every evening from 7:00pm-9:00pm, Air France offers a selection of cocktails (and mocktails) specially designed by the head bartender of the Hotel Lancaster in Paris. The custom drinks include the "Un air de Paris," consisting of champagne, cointreau and cognac, and a rotating destination cocktail of the month inspired by the cities Air France serves.
The space itself, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur, is quite swanky with a white marble bar at the center, a succession of theatrical box seats upholstered in blue velvet and a gold-paneled ceiling. There is also an LED screen integrated into the parquet floor depicting an image of the sky in real time.
Besides boozing up visitors, the lounge offers a nearly 6,000-square-foot wellness area where guests can refresh, relax and recharge before their flight. That's the largest wellness area of any Air France lounge, including its phenomenal La Première First Class Lounge. It offers features like an "Instant Relaxation" area complete with loungers and La Première-looking mini-suites, and a detox bar serving flavored Evian infusions and detox teas from Palais des Thés.
There are also boudoir-like shower suites and two private saunas.
But if you really want to pamper yourself, you'll want to take take advantage of the complimentary 20-minute facial treatment at the Clarins spa. Just remember to make a booking as soon as you arrive.
Children, too, will have fun in the new lounge with a dedicated kid’s zone complete with Sony PS4s and other games.
As Europe's second-busiest airport, premium and elite passengers have a lot to look forward to the next time they travel through CDG. And if you aren't eligible for lounge access, amenities like the complimentary Clarins spa treatments may help justify paying the ~$53 for a day pass. The lounge is open from 5:30am to 11:30pm daily.
Images courtesy of Air France.