As more countries open up for tourism, airlines are scrambling to welcome flyers back. This means prepping their older cabins and swapping them for newer, fresher products – Air France is doing just this with its two luxury cabins La Première and their business class.
The latest change won’t debut until the next year or so but don’t fret, because Air France’s current offerings won’t disappoint either.
Want to check out the details? We’ve compiled this Air France First Class (La Première) vs. Air France Business Class comparison just for you.
- Quick Glance: Air France First Class (La Première) vs. Air France Business Class
- The Details: Air France First Class (La Première) vs. Air France Business Class
- Air France First Class (La Première)
- Air France Business Class
- Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: Air France First Class (La Première) vs. Air France Business Class
|Air France First Class (La Première)||Air France Business Class|
|Ground Experience||Flying from the Air France hub at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) means you’re treated to luxury as a La Première passenger. In Paris, Lyon, and Marseilles, you get a pickup chauffeur service, a concierge at the terminal, and dedicated check-in. Guests can use the La Première lounge and be driven to the plane in a stylish BMW.||Air France has airport lounges all around the world. In cases where they don’t have a dedicated ‘salon’ available, guests can stay at partner airline hubs.|
|Seat||On their 777-300 aircraft, the La Première cabin only contains 4 exclusive suites in a 1-2-1 layout.||Business class seats differ greatly depending on the aircraft. The 777-300 has the most seating variation. Almost all, however, are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration while rare sub fleets still carry a 2-3-2 arrangement.|
|Amenities||Guests are handed out an amenity kit with a chic design and magnetic closure. Inside are items from the French luxury brand, Carita Paris. You also get slippers and pajamas.||Amenity kits vary in theme and changed every few months. It usually includes a dental kit, eyeshade, ear plugs, sock, pen, and skin products. Another kit with safety masks is also given.|
|Food and Beverage||Pre-flight drinks are a staple. Meal service starts soon after takeoff including an option for caviar. You can expect premium drinks to match your meals in the cabin.||Customary pre-flight drinks are available Meals are served on trays and wheeled out at once. These are offered on fine cutlery as well.|
|Entertainment||A 24-inch touch screen monitor hangs on the wall of every first class seat. Over the ear Denon noise-canceling headphones pair with the monitor. The IFE is pre-filled with hundreds of movies, shows, music, and more.||Seats are equipped with an 18.5-inch touchscreen monitor. It’s highly responsive with an excellent selection of movies and shows. There’s a wired remote as well. On the A350s, an airshow is available.|
|Lavatories||On the 777, there’s a single lavatory in the first class cabin. You’ll find more toiletries inside here.||Business class has access to one or two lavatories depending on the aircraft. These are filled with toiletries but otherwise pretty standard.|
|Bed||The seats transform into a flat bed measuring 79-inches pitch and 24-inch wide. It’s topped by a memory foam mattress topper, fluffy duvet, and pillow.||Seats in this cabin go fully flat measuring 78-inches in length and 21 inches in width.|
|Service||Fantastic! The staff are amazing and trained to be professional, kind, and attentive while dealing with guests.||Friendly and attentive, but it can be impersonal simply because there are a lot of business class guests to attend to.|
|Wi-Fi||Complimentary Wi-Fi for La Première guests. It’s great for checking email and browsing, but not ideal for working.||Paid Wi-Fi is available for business guests, if you want to surf for the entire duration it’s about $18.95 (18 Euros).|
The Details: Air France First Class (La Première) vs. Air France Business Class
Air France First Class (La Première)
Earlier this year, the Parisian carrier teased a sampling of what their first class cabin, La Première, is going to look like after a slated overhaul scheduled to be released in 2023-2024. However, their existing first class product is still considered among the best in the air right now. It’s not as grand as Emirates First Class but it’s still something thoroughly enjoyable.
Fly out from Paris and you’ll know just how seriously Air France takes care of their premium passengers.
After a guided security check-in with an Air France representative, you’ll be escorted to the stylish La Première Lounge, one of the best in the world. Plentiful seating abounds with chairs sporting plush white leather and red accents. Views of the tarmac infuse certain seating spaces with light while the relaxation area presents privacy and loungers for a quick nap.
There are 4 shower rooms, toilets, a buffet section, and a full service à la carte dining experience composed of a menu by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. A bar and an ice cream section are also available for drinks and treats.
Once you’re ready to board, an attendant will guide you through immigration where you’ll have a BMW 7 Series waiting to take you to the aircraft.
Exclusivity is the name of the game inside the Air France First Class cabin. With only four dedicated seats, passengers can relax and be pampered.
Arranged in a 1-2-1 layout, there are no doors for now. Instead, Air France has floor-to-ceiling thick curtains that separate one seat from the next. Middle seats, (Seat 1E and 1 F) are great for couples since the middle partition can be raised or lowered.
The seats measure 79 -inches in pitch with a gorgeous beige, neutral upholstery that echoes understated French luxury. Directly in front is a 24-inch touchscreen mounted on the bulkhead.
Right below the screen is a curvy ottoman which becomes a part of the bed when the main seat is fully flat but otherwise ideal as a buddy seat when dining with a companion. You get storage underneath the ottoman too. This is typically where the bedding is kept but you can store smaller items here as well.
Various compartments are all around the seat, including a spacious area where you’ll also find the headphones, a control display for the monitor, various USB outlets, and seat buttons.
Extra details include a stylish white lamp, a side slider for more privacy, a huge tray table for dining, and more storage.
Every La Première passenger gets a stylish Carita Paris amenity kit. Embracing uniqueness, Air France houses their kits in a rounded rectangular leather box. There’s a hinge that rotates the cover to reveal the contents.
Inside, there’s an artisanal wood comb, a branded La Première pen, together with several skin care products from Carita Paris.
Air France also keeps customers happy with branded airline pajamas. These are beautifully designed with the distinctive seahorse logo on the pocket. It’s comfy and handed out with fantastic slippers as well.
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Food and Beverage
Before takeoff, pre-flight drinks are customarily offered by the staff. Choose from a range of the most premium house champagnes. Typically, Air France serves Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006 / 2007. Bright red menus are also given out shortly after takeoff, so you can go through them and have the attendant take your order.
Meal service is extremely prompt, serviced about 20 to 30 minutes after you’re in the air. Of course, you can decide on when you want to eat – the perks of being in La Première.
Each meal is served in fine china, and as you can imagine, everything is divine. From caviar, and appetizers, to a delectable selection of mains and deserts – it’s a smorgasbord of fine dining up in the air. All of the meals are served with your choice of bubbly, wine, or other drinks.
Take a breather in between meals to enjoy more of your bubbly. It’s one of the perks of having a customizable meal plan in this cabin.
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With both new and old releases, the Air France entertainment system is amazing. Each seat has a 24-inch touchscreen monitor mounted onto the bulkhead. It’s paired with noise-canceling headphones which you can find in one of the seat compartments.
First class guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi. The speed is great for doing work but not speedy enough to load videos or stream with ease.
There’s a single lavatory dedicated for first class guests aboard most 777 aircraft. This room is spacious with a fold-down bench ideal for changing into your pajamas. You’ll find more Carita Paris amenities here and there’s a single sink with good lighting.
Attendants will happily transform your seat into a bed when you’re ready to get some shut-eye. These seats are laid flat and topped with a memory foam pad, a layer of a fluffy duvet, then luxury pillows.
It’s about 79 inches in length so it can accommodate taller individuals. There’s also 24-inch width to adapt to the body comfortably.
Staff and Guest Services
Expect truly remarkable service when flying Air France La Première. The airline knows how to make every guest feel special. From ground services to up in the air, even after you’ve landed at your destination, there’s always an attendant within reach to help you.
Aboard the flight, the service is professional and world-class. You’ll feel cared for and most of the time, you don’t even need to ask for anything, they’ll be ready to assist you.
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Who Is It For?
As more and more airlines are pushing for a business cabin-only offering, experiencing true first class in Air France is a real treat. It’s not as extravagant as the Middle Eastern carriers but it’s definitely well-rounded, ensuring all the bases are covered to provide guests with a memorable experience.
Air France First Class (La Première) Gallery
Air France Business Class
After British Airways’ announced they’ll be upgrading their business class products, Air France is taking a cue and following suit. While the newer business cabins will debut with state-of-the-art sliding doors, the current business product in the fleet is still pretty solid. Let’s check out what it has to offer.
A business class ticket gives you access to Air France business lounges when flying out of their hub in Paris. If you’re flying out of other locations, you’ll likely find partner airlines that will give you lounge access. For instance, you can access Delta Sky Lounges via the SkyTeam partnership.
Air France business class seats are comfortable and stylish. While the latest upgrades won’t be around until the next few months, the seats on the A350 are among the newest installed in the fleet.
Arranged in a reverse herringbone setup, the seats are fully enclosed while giving all passengers aisle access.
The seats are upholstered in a thick, nude/beige upholstery while on others, it’s upholstered in a sleek black finish. These seats are 21 inches wide with cushy padding, even on the headrest. For the length, these are long at 78-inches. There’s a footwell towards the feet, which can be restrictive due to the seat in front.
The solo “true window” seats are a bit more private and protected from the main aisle. It’s ideal if you want a bit more privacy during your travel.
An additional plastic partition can be pulled out to make the window seat feel even more cocoon-like. Around the seat itself is a spacious compartment in leather. It has a water bottle, headphones, and a mirror.
Power outlets including USB ports are within reach. There’s also a wired IFE remote control nearby. Armrests fold up and down for convenience and at the sides are simple seat controls. One neat feature of the A350 is the electronic blinds, which add a unique touch to the window.
As soon as you arrive at your seat, a pair of pillows, duvet, and slippers will be ready and waiting for you. On occasion, you’ll also get a coat hanger, perfect for hanging a jacket or blazer.
After boarding is done, the flight attendants then go around and pass out the amenity kits. These are in a beautiful airline-branded pouch and are usually swapped depending on the season. Unlike first class where they’ve partnered with Carita Paris, the amenity kits in business class aren’t branded.
The kits contain essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, skin products, ear plugs, a shoehorn, and a microfiber cloth. Guests are also given a separate small pouch with a sanitizing kit.
Food and Beverage
It’s not as lavish as in La Première but business class fare in Air France is still a superb soft product. The first meal service starts around an hour or so after takeoff. A tray table slides out from underneath the monitor and it’s laid with a white table cloth before your order is set in front of you.
Everything is served in a single tray. It begins with a starter, including dessert and a selection of French cheeses. Once you’re finished with the starter dish, an attendant will take it out and swap it for your main dish. It’s not the most elegant but it’s practical, especially in bigger cabins like in business.
If you’re flying overnight, during nighttime, guests are offered either coffee, tea, or any drink as a nightcap. Afterward, the shades are lowered and you can enjoy much-needed sleep.
Breakfast is offered about 90 minutes from landing. Passengers are given a selection of parties with yogurt, a fruit salad, and an option for an omelet if they like. If you have allergies or special preferences, Air France lists down the ingredients and they also have Kosher as well as vegetarian meals.
Each seat comes with an 18.5-inch touchscreen monitor. It contains over 200 movies and shows, some old and some new, including a few classics. The shows are only about 2-4 episodes though. There’s also a headset with slight noise-canceling and wired remote control.
Wi-Fi is available but it’s not free unlike in first class. It costs approximately $18.95 or 18 Euros if you want to hook up for the entire duration of the flight. Connectivity is relatively good for surfing and doing light work.
Most business class cabins have either one or two designated lavatories. While they’re not lavish, they are clean and there are also additional toiletries provided.
The seats in business class transform into a bed ready to keep you relaxed through a long flight or if you just want a short nap.
In bed mode, it measures 78-inches with a 21-inch width. There’s no mattress topper but it works out fine because the seat is comfortable. A thick duvet is provided along with pillows.
Staff and Guest Services
Unlike first class where the attendants can provide guests with their full attention, service in business class is professional albeit impersonal. They will still graciously assist you with whatever you need with a smile.
Who Is It For?
Business class is perfect for anyone who wants to travel in luxury but is not ready or willing to spend on a first class ticket just yet. You get a comfortable seat with great meal service. While it will never be as cushy as the service you get in La Première, it’s a reliable product that you can enjoy.
Air France Business Class Gallery
Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Air France First Class (La Première)||With dine-on-demand service plus fine dining, you can’t beat the meal service in La Premiere.|
|Best for Seats||Air France First Class (La Première)||The spaciousness, the cozy ottoman/buddy seat, and the chic ambiance once the French curtains are drawn make the first class seats incredible.|
|Best for Ground Experience||Air France First Class (La Première)||Nothing beats the airport-to-airport service La Première guests receive.|
|Best For Comfort||Tie||Both the first class and business cabins are cozy, have great seats, a fantastic service, and plenty of room to stretch.|
|Best for Families||Tie||These two cabins can work well for families traveling together.|
|Best for Couples||Tie||These cabins have honeymoon seats or center seats that allow couples or families to sit next to each other.|
|Best for Service||Air France First Class (La Première)||Air France’s La Premiere is known for professional and diligent service. Because of the limited seats, the crew can devote focused attention to each guest, making for excellent service.|
|Most Exclusive||Air France First Class (La Première)||No doubt the first class cabin is the most exclusive you can have aboard Air France. It has only 4 seats and chic French curtains that completely separate you from the rest of the other passengers.|
Flying Air France is a real treat, whether you go for business or first class.
Aboard La Première, you have absolute exclusivity as you only share the cabin with four other people. With limited guests, the service and crew can give you their full attention, making the service personalized in these cabins. The superb selection of premium wines and champagnes alongside mouthwatering dishes rolled out one after another is a gastronomer’s heaven.
On the other hand, business class is equally precious. The newer seats offer great luxury, it is spacious and has ample storage.
If you’re lucky enough to take the A350, it’ll have direct aisle access courtesy of the reverse herringbone layout. True windows seats here are perfect for solo travelers because of the privacy while the middle seats let couples sit next to each other with a retractable partition in the middle for convenience.
Picking first class or business class on Air France boils down to personal preference and of course, the costs. Whichever you prefer, you’re guaranteed a satisfying experience only Air France can offer.