Air France Business, Paris CDG – Cancun, Boeing 777-200 : Excellent crew

After a few hours of waiting in the lounge of hall K, we head for the boarding of our flight to Cancun.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryMexico City and Cancun
2HotelCourtyard Marriott London Heathrow
3LoungeAmerican Express Centurion Lounge, London Heathrow T3
4FlightAir France Business, Londres Heathrow – Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, Airbus A320
5LoungeAir France Business Lounge, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle 2E-K
6FlightAir France Business, Paris Charles-de-Gaulle – Cancun, Boeing 777-200
7HotelRoyalton CHIC Cancun, an Autograph Collection Resort
8DiaryMexico day 3 : Playa del Carmen et Tulum
9DiaryMexico day 4 : Chichén Itzá
10LoungeThe Lounge, Cancun T4
11FlightAeromexico Domestic Business, Cancun – Mexico Benito Juarez, Boeing 787-9
12HotelThe St. Regis Mexico City
13RestaurantQuintonil, Mexico City
14DiaryMexico day 7 : Mexico City
15DiaryMexico Day 8: Mexico City, Historic Center
16RestaurantLa Buena Barra, Mexico City
17DiaryMexico day 9 : Teotihuacan
18DiaryMexico day 10 : Xochimilco
19LoungeGrand Elite Lounge, Mexico T1
20FlightKLM World Business Class, Mexico Benito-Juarez – Amsterdam Schiphol, Boeing 787-9
21FlightKLM Business Class, Amsterdam Schiphol – Lodon Heathrow, Boeing 737-900
Today’s itinerary

Boarding

As we left the lounge with boarding normally already underway, we arrived at the gate to a totally blocked situation. I tell myself that nothing has started yet… Until I realize that 3/4 of the plane has already boarded and is stuck in the jetways… It’s overflowing, so boarding is stopped. After a few minutes, it resumes but in a beautiful mess, because everyone boards at the same time, priority lane or not.

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Surprisingly, it is security personnel who check identities and not Air France ground staff. Moreover, only one agent is present for the boarding of a 777-200, a little bit too little.

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A few minutes later, we nevertheless managed to board the plane for Cancun and enter the (unmarked) jetway to the Business class.

Cabin and welcome

The welcome is warm and we are installed in our seats, the 01E and F by the Business cabin purser.

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The cabin is of the BEST type, with Cirrus seats in 1-2-1 configuration. So we are installed in the first duo in the middle.

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The first thing you notice is the apparent dirtiness of the cabin: crumbs on the seats, crumbs in every corner. We’ll clean it up ourselves.

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The second thing we note is the questionable state of maintenance of this cabin. Of course, some of these seats are almost 10 years old now. But having 8 inoperative seats in a 7-row cabin on departure from Paris CDG is unacceptable. Maintenance will spend nearly 40 minutes on board to perform cabin repairs.

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During the boarding process, several passes are made to distribute comfort kits, sanitary kits and menus.

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The comfort kit has a simple but elegant design, and is very complete for my taste.

However, the welcome drink is still not back.

During the boarding,the Business class purser and the Main Cabin purser will come to greet us.

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Service and catering

The service starts quickly after we reach our cruising altitude.

The choices of dishes will be taken in priority for us.

The menu offered today is just as I like it. I am actually impressed by the menu format, more First than Business.

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On the other hand, it is indeed a Business protocol that will start…

The aperitif pass has been eliminated. Too bad for such a long daytime flight, it makes the time fly by.

The aperitif is nevertheless offered at the same time as the tray distributed which will contain all the cold elements: starter, salad, cheese and desserts.

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As an aperitif, I would choose a glass of Gosset champagne served with crêpes dentellewith cheese. Very good champagne, which contrasts with the infamous Pommery currently served in the lounge.

As an appetizer, it is the return of the foie gras on Air France, which I rediscover with happiness. The combination with the onion is not to my taste, and I don’t understand the other combination with the artichoke. So be it. The bread will be served hot. I will accompany with a Chablis, a sure value.

For the main course, I would choose the fillet of pike-perch with lobster sauce, really excellent despite the presentation that needs to be perfected. I will accompany it with the Bordeaux which will be little tannic.

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I will continue with the Bordeaux to accompany the cheese which will definitely lack character.

For the dessert, really industrial, I will accompany with a green tea mint and a beautiful green chartreuse that I particularly like, then a decaffeinated espresso.

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Surprisingly enough, there will be no pass with water bottlesor snacks during the flight.

Even at the Business bar, no snacks but only drinks.

The second service is done a little more than an hour before arrival to maximize the passengers’ rest.

I would choose the cod brandade which was excellent. On the other hand, the pear-cranberry-chocolate combination left me speechless, unlike the financier which was excellent.

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Arrival and disembarkation

We will arrive on time in Cancun and go to park… Right next to another Air France plane that arrived two hours earlier!

Disembarkation will be easy, and immigration will be passed in less than 5 minutes.

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The luggage will take a little longer to arrive but ours will be in the first batch.

Bottom line

A very good flight, confirming the good quality of the Air France Business product on long-haul. And above all an excellent crew, very attentive.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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