We spent the holidays in Europe and decided to break up our flights to get a direct flight to and from each destination. We've flown Air France La Premier class before and the first time we did it it was wonderful, but it was not really something that compared to other products from European carriers. Our last flight on Air France was in the fall of 2015 (and it was a flight from Israel to LAX with a stop in Paris to relax after hectic holidays) and I knew Air France was good, but I was not expected that they would be as good as they've become.
Like our previous review of British Airways, I think it is safe to say that European airlines realize that it is probably fairly easy to fill planes to the capitals of Europe during the busiest travel times of the year, but it is not as easy to make people say that the product rivals that of the 'standard setter' in the market (I think Lufthansa is that standard) and it has become what I compare other airlines to when it comes to flying.
La Premier is everything it is advertised to be and is (was) a wonderful experience for us. From the time we arrived at CDG to the time we left LAX (with the helpful Air France staff member helping us through the process the whole way) - every expectation was met and every advertised "perk" was achieved. Nothing was left to chance and there was nothing to do except to wait for the flight in the lounge at CDG and then - moments before the flight was ready to leave - be taken to the plane, settled in, and airborne in what seemed like mere minutes.
This was not the first time I used Air France as the airline of choice, but it was my boyfriend's first time on the airline and he loved it. He'd never flown in La Premier (he's never flown Air France) and we were lucky to take a joint vacation that had nothing to do with going anywhere other than London and Paris. We flew home on a wonderful flight in a nearly-empty cabin with an attentive staff who made sure we were comfortable the whole way.
While there is little an airline can do if they are mere tenant airlines at major airports (like my review of British Airways at LAX), CDG is obviously built for Air France and there was no worry that somebody was going to jump the line and get served before those of us who paid for the service of getting in and out of every aspect of the flight quickly. Air France thought of everything and we were provided wonderful treatment by everybody on the ground.
In the air, we could not have asked for anything more and it would really be hard for me to point to anything that could be better. Everything from the seats to the food to never wanting for anything the entire flight was thought of. If there was ONE thing I would do it would be to ask the flight attendants to stop people from traveling to the cabin to take photos when we were in the air. I don't know the purpose of taking pictures on the ground or of all the Instagram pictures of the airline that exist out there with hashtags galore (maybe that is a product of my age), but if people are sleeping or relaxing and we've been in the air for a few hours it is distracting when people decide to walk though to grab a snap of the cabin.
I know people are interested in products and maybe they'll take it one day, but until they do, I really think they should make sure that everybody is in the cabin that they paid to be in and certainly if people do wander, people should be asked not to take pictures of sleeping passengers.
On arrival to the United States we were met by a lovely person who helped us from arrival until we got our bags and out to the waiting car. We were taken to our hotel (where we would ring in the new year), but the Air France representative never left us and it made things go a bit faster than if we were schlepping things through the airport on our own.
I think my first Tweet on arrival was how wonderful the person was who helped us and just how great La Premier has become. I don't flatter for the sake of flattery, but if you are going to France or flying from CDG and LAX is your destination - everybody here will help you and they will make sure that your flight and your experience is as first class as you expect.