Flight Review: Air France A350-900 Business Class – YYZ-CDG

by Anthony Losanno
AF A350-900

Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

We spent a weekend in Paris and got there thanks to a good fare I found on Air France. This had us connecting in Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). Before we took off, we checked out the KLM Crown Lounge (review here). The flight was uneventful, but the crew was mostly indifferent and nonexistent for most of the flight. This was my first time flying Air France’s A350. I liked the aircraft and seat design.

Anthony’s Take: Service was mediocre to poor and if I based Air France solely on this flight, I would likely not fly them again. The crew was in a rush to serve, so that they could hang out and chat, eat, and read in the galley. They did not proactively offer anything on the flight and when anything was requested, it was begrudgingly provided.

AF YYZ to CDG

Booking

This flight was booked as a roundtrip paid ticket on Delta.com. We flew to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
on Air France. The round tickets in Business Class cost $1,685 each. I booked separate WestJet and Air Canada flights to get us to and from Tampa International Airport (TPA).

KLM Crown Lounge YYZ 2

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

We arrived and departed Terminal 3. Lines for both immigration and security were short and we had time to check out the KLM Crown Lounge. It was only a short walk from our gate and was largely uneventful.

AF Flight

Boarding

The flight was on time. Boarding was kind of a mess. There appeared to be three lanes, but only one was being used. The Zone signs did not face the correct directions and everyone was confused as to where they should be lining up. The staff was junior and did not seem to know how to properly designate where the various Zones should be standing. This resulted in a mass of people standing outside of the roped off lanes.

AF A350 Seat

On-Board

We selected seats 6E and 6G as they were the only two together when I booked. We both liked how open the seats felt and that we were able to easily converse. These seats are much more conducive to traveling with someone than the Polaris® seats we were in on the way to Europe. There is a privacy divider that can be raised with the push of a button if traveling alone.

AF A350 Seat 2

A blanket, pillow, and coat hanger were at the seat when I arrived.

AF 351 1

Bottled water and headphones were found in the small cabinet at the seat.

AF 351 2

A remote for the light, flight attendant call button, and entertainment system was also inside.

AF 351 3

Another light and more controls were found on the left side of the seat.

AF 351 4

Additional seat controls were found below.

AF 351 5

The screen was big and bright. Much better than what was on the Boeing 777-200ER (review here).

AF 351 7

A USB port was found under the screen.

Air France 686 6

Amenity kits were distributed. They contain a pen, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, a blindfold, and a few other toiletries.

AF 351 6

No predeparture beverages were provided. A flight attendant came through about 30 minutes into flight and handed out champagne and crackers. I was given neither and had to flag down the flight attendant to get crackers.

AF 351 8

 

AF 351 9

 

AF 351 10

 

AF 351 11

Food

Menus were distributed shortly after we boarded. Air France has a nice wine list, but the food selection was not as exciting.

AF 351 12

Service did not start until we were almost two hours into the flight. Flight attendants brought trays out and plunked them down with dishes still covered. The salad, appetizer, cheese course, and dessert are all on the tray. Apparently, Air France does this on shorter flights to save time. If we didn’t wait so long to start they might not have to offer this poor, rushed service. The scallops were severely overcooked (like little leathery rocks) and the salad could not be plainer. A bowl of lettuce does not make a salad, Air France. The bread was delicious as always.

AF 351 13

My entree followed. My husband and I both ordered the beef and will not be doing so in the future. It was so dry and overcooked. I ate half and got tired of sawing through it. It’s odd to me that I should have to remove my cheese and dessert. There is no reason the flight attendants could not bring it out after I was finished with the entree.

AF 351 14

About two hours before we landed, flight attendants came through and asked if we wanted drinks. These were served with a chocolate and a madeleine. I had iced tea.

AF 351 15

Breakfast was served around one hour before landing. There was no choice. It was eggs, fruit, and yogurt. I did not eat the eggs and was fine with my granola. The pain au chocolat was tasty.

AF Wi-Fi 1

Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi worked for the entire flight. It was speedy and reliable from about 30 minutes into the flight until we landed. The cost for the full flight was €18 for a slower speed or €30 for a faster speed (you could also pay €8 for one hour). This is reasonable for a transatlantic flight.

AF 351 16

Lavatory

There are two lavatories in the front of the cabin. These are standard airplane bathrooms with a sink and toilet. I was surprised at how dirty and worn the lavatory was on a plane that isn’t even three years old. The sink was dirty and stained. The toilet chipped and stained. The flight attendants also did not keep up with stocking or cleaning the lavatories.

AF 351 17

The toilet was chipped and stained.

AF 351 18

Clarins toiletries were in the lavatory.

Service

The flight attendants were not warm nor friendly. They acted like they did not want to be there and were barely seen throughout the flight. When they were around, they were rushed and tried to get through service as quickly as possible. I do not agree with Air France’s service flow and think that dessert can be served separately. Flight attendants were more interested in hanging out in the galley, chatting, and eating than serving any passengers.

Overall Impression:

We departed on time and arrived as scheduled. The service was mediocre to poor and the food was overcooked and meh. Seat comfort, working Wi-Fi, and being able to finally watch Barbie were the only saving graces of this flight.

User Generated Content Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.

Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links above This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

8 comments

Jack December 10, 2023 - 10:56 am

YYZ catering is terrible. Goes for any airlines leaving out of there. KLM crews are better than AF there. I heard the YOW-CDG flight is actually quite good in service.

Reply
Sam kim December 10, 2023 - 11:16 pm

Definitely ac catering is bad. I don’t love the signature suite food always but certainly better and better wine list so eat there and skip the flight meal on ac.

Reply
Christian December 10, 2023 - 7:50 pm

Wait, they dumped off your dessert before your entree, removed it, then never brought the dessert back?

Reply
Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno December 10, 2023 - 8:23 pm

I moved them off the tray for the picture.

Reply
Sam kim December 10, 2023 - 11:14 pm

Thankfully I’ve never had leathery beef on af, only on ua and ac on transatlantic. I’ve flown af long haul in j several dozen times and had some really great service, most times, except once where dinner started very late on jfk-cdg. Not fun for such a short flight.

Reply
Patrick December 11, 2023 - 10:29 am

Wow. This review eliminates any desire to fly AF biz class. They sound like AA in crew service / attitude.

Reply
Sam December 11, 2023 - 11:34 am

Thanks for the great report. Air France has always struggled with outstation catering. Premium cabin catering out of Paris is consistently amazing, but I have always been disappointed by outstation catering, even for La Premiere. Other carriers don’t seem to have such a dramatic difference between what is served from their hub(s) and outstations. One example of many, even British Airways is able to offer it’s festive Decemer holiday menu in all classes from all points of departures including outstations.

One remark about your salad comment; this is a very typical French style of salad in the sense that they typically eat their salad after the main course (alongside cheese) and it is usually just lettuce and a vinaigrette dressing; it is rare to have other ingredients as the point of the salad is to really soak up and absorb in the digestive tract and actually fun fact the word for lettuce in French is simply “salade.” Even in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, this is what your post meal salad would look like (maybe they would shave some truffles over it, but not much else).

Reply
Eric December 16, 2023 - 9:03 am

Great review. Also based in TPA here. I fly back home in France a few times a year and found thar AF crew can be a hit or miss (out of MIA). The salad you got served is exactly a French Salad, i was actually confused in the US when I migrated that Americans would use the French name salad for something totally different (oh! and entrée as well which is appetizer in France!). Anyway very good review and what a steal of a price you got on delta.com for this Z ticket!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Related Articles