Air France offers a Premium Economy product on board all their widebody jets. This Y+ product is intended for customers looking for extra comfort over the regular Economy Class product but at a lower fare compared with Business Class.
I just disembarked AF 83 SFO-CDG,and I’m typing as I wait my connection flight to BCN. Let’s take a look on how Air France’s Y+ product looks like on board their A380.
The Seat and the Cabin
On the A380, AF offers a 2-3-2 configuration on the Premium Economy cabin, located on the back side of the upper deck. The cabin consists of 5 rows of seats right after the Business Class cabin. The cabin shares lavatories with a small Economy Class cabin (5 rows) on the back-end of the plane.
With 7 seats across, the Premium Economy seat is significantly wider than the Economy seats on this plane (configured as 10-accross). The product offers an individual 8″ screen, individual light and both a power outlet and a USB connector. At boarding, a blanket, pillow and a bottle of water were placed on each seat.
Legroom was also larger than in an Economy Product. With 38″ pitch I had no issues, but it’s still not enough for tall people (my neighbor accross the aisle, 6’2″ barely had space for his legs). The seat offered leg rest and foot rest.
SeatGuru clasifies AF Y+ seat as a “recliner”, but I’d say it’s more of a “slider” seat. The seat slided a few inches down, creating some recline. It didn’t make for the most comfortable position for sleeping, but the large legroom helped so after multiple twisting and spinning I finally found a somehow comfortable position where I was able to sleep.
The blanket provided was thick and plush, which helped a lot: the temperature of the cabin was on the freezing side!
The Amenity Kit
The amenity kit provided after take off was shiny and basic: it included eye shades and socks, earplugs and a dental kit. It also included covers for the headphones.
Air France’s In-Flight Entertainment interface felt old and slow. Movie and TV offerings are not packed or clasified by shows or categories. There was a large offering of French content (both TV and movies), European films as well as Hollywood productions. It certainly can use an update.
The screen was somehow small and with low brightness, which also didn’t help me get an overall good impression of the system. It definitely needs a better interface.
The IFE could be operated both using the touch screen or with a remote handle attached to the seat. The noise-cancelling headphones were also attached to the seat.
The food offered on board din¡t make me think of “premium” and suggested it was more on the “economy” side. The only premium part of it was the champagne offered both as aperitif and during the first meal service. The food was edible, but completely unmemorable. Plastic cutlery and paper napkins didn’t help either to get the “premium” feeling.
The price difference between Economy and Premium Economy when I booked this flight was of $150. For that difference, this product is reasonably priced. I wouldn’t pay much more for it as the seat was not that comfortable and the food was unmemorable.
My flight SFO CDG was delayed due to a flat tire, and I misconnected in CDG, so expect in the following days a follow up of this post with my Compensation Clinic case, as I’m entitled to a cash compensation due to the late arrival to my final destination according to EU passanger rights.