Note: This is a review of the old Air France business lounge in Terminal 2F of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You can find a review of the renovated, new Air France Schengen lounge here.
After another pleasant flight on Azerbaijan Airlines I arrived in Paris on this dreary March day. When planning this trip, I knew that this would be one of my longest days of flying, as I had two more upcoming segments today. First from Paris to Amsterdam, followed by a final Amsterdam to Bergen flight.
Between them, Air France and KLM have dozens of flights a day between Paris and Amsterdam and theoretically I could have booked myself on any of these flights. I could thus easily opt for the first flight out of Paris to Amsterdam and a long layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, or select a very long connection in Paris and only a short time in between flights in Amsterdam.
Although both options sounded attractive as it would allow me to leave the airport for a while, I decided against it during the booking process. Given I was travelling in winter and you are never sure about possible delays due to inclement weather or other disruptions, it seemed like the safest bet to have an approximately four-hour layover at both Paris and Amsterdam in case any of my flights would be delayed.
CDG terminal change
Even though some of the last few Charles de Gaulle transits were not always smooth, it was fortunately not the case this time. Within minutes I had cleared passport control on arrival into Terminal 2D which is used by Azerbaijan Airlines.
After a quick security check and a two-minute inter-terminal bus ride I already found myself in the vast concourses of Terminal 2F from where Air France and KLM operate their Schengen flights. The terminal itself looks actually quite pleasant and is certainly not the worst place to wait for your flight if you do not have lounge access as there is free WiFi internet and plenty of shops and cafes.
Air France business lounge
The location of the Air France business lounge is well-signposted as you just have to follow the signs that say ‘salons/lounges’ in both French and English. The Air France lounge is located one floor down from the main terminal by escalator.
There are currently actually two comparable Air France lounges in Terminal 2F, one near Gate 30 and one near Gate 50.
For what it’s worth: Air France will replace these two lounges by a single brand-new lounge in Terminal 2F which is expected to open at the end of 2020. Given the state of the current lounges this is an exciting development, as I will explain in more detail in this review.
Air France lounge entry requirements
The normal lounge entry requirements apply to the Air France lounge in Terminal 2F. You need to have a same-day business class ticket on Air France or another SkyTeam airline, or a frequent flyer status equaling SkyTeam Elite Plus such as Flying Blue Gold or Platinum.
The other Sky Team airlines currently operating out of Terminal 2F besides Air France and who are therefore using this lounge as well are KLM and Alitalia. Air Europa flies out of 2F too, although given the fact that this airline will leave SkyTeam it is unclear if passengers flying them will still have access to this lounge in the future.
The Air France business lounge can hardly be described as having a beautiful design. It is unfortunately all rather functional inside. The lounge consists of two levels, the main level, where also the toilets and showers are located, and one floor further down. There are identical food and drink stations on both floors of the lounge.
On my arrival, the top floor was packed to the brim and every seat was taken. However, downstairs there were quite a lot of seats available when I arrived, although these would later fill up quickly too.
Some people on the top floor were actually even standing in the aisles of the lounge being unable to grab a seat, which was weird given that there were still seats available downstairs to sit down.
If you do somehow arrive on an off-peak time (like early afternoon) and have the luxury to pick your seat, the top floor area is the nicer one with the seats being more secluded too, while the downstairs are has more the feeling of a canteen.
There are fortunately plenty of power sockets available throughout the lounge and WiFi speeds were fast.
It being France, the breakfast spread was entirely continental and featured croissants, pain au chocolats, cold cuts and the like. Although the buffet was certainly not extensive, I thought the quality was actually quite good.
Later on in the afternoon, the breakfast spread was replaced with lunch which included two hot dishes (one vegetarian, the other one shrimps). The food – especially the shrimps – seemed to be quite popular so the quality must have been good too I reckon, this being in line as well with my lunch experiences in other Air France lounges at Charles de Gaulle.
Not being a fan of shrimps, I however kept well clear of it and just sampled some cheese and wine during the remainder of my lounge stay while getting some work done on my laptop. I also tried some of the desserts such as the cherry crumble pie, which was certainly tasty too.
Air France lounges certainly do not offer the most extensive food options of lounges across Europe. The selection of dishes is often fairly limited, but you can really get a good meal or bite and I’m rarely disappointed by the quality of the Air France food.
At both food stations in the 2F lounge there is a self-serve bar. In the fridge, you can find soft drinks, bottled water and beer. There is also a juice dispenser and a coffee machine which makes a decent brew.
On the shelves, you can find a small selection of good quality French wine (2 whites, 2 reds normally), although champagne was unfortunately lacking in the 2F lounge, which was a bit of a letdown considering the champagne always flows freely in the non-Schengen lounges of Terminal 2E.
That said, I’ve read on frequent flyer forums that occasionally lounge employees do make a round through the lounge with a special champagne cart, although I have never seen this in person.
When it comes to hard alcohol, there are the standard bottles of booze on the shelves which you can take such as vodka, gin, cognac and a few other drinks. It’s a fair selection of mid-shelf brands.
The Air France 2F lounge does have showers in the upstairs restrooms. To use them, you have to reserve a spot on the waiting list with the lounge reception staff, who will inform you about the approximate waiting time.
In my case arriving late in the morning, I was told there was a 45 to 60 minute wait before I could use the shower. Given I had a layover of around four hours, this was not a problem for me at all.
Indeed, after some 50 minutes in the lounge my name was called through the intercom by the lounge reception staff and I was handed the keys to the shower room.
The shower itself was perfectly clean, spacious and comfortable. You will find a small amenity kit containing such items as a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste and a shaving razor and cream.
There are two other aspects – one good, one bad – which I need to address to do justice to this review. To start with the good, I thought the service in this lounge was impeccable, as lounge attendants regularly walk through the lounge to clean tables, throw leftovers in the rubbish bin and collect empty plates and glasses.
Unfortunately there are many lounges were such empty plates and glasses are stocked up on the tables, but I never find this the case at any of the Air France lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle.
There is however the big issue of overcrowding in this lounge which is a negative aspect which must be mentioned. Given the vast amount of domestic and Schengen flights operated by Air France and partner airlines, the number of passengers with lounge access is much bigger than the capacity of the lounge.
It is not uncommon to see people standing and to see every seat taken in the lounge. This also means that if you do manage to grab a seat, you will not have much privacy at all during peak times.
The Air France lounge is certainly acceptable for a short layover. The food quality is good, and even though there was no champagne the lounge does have a decent choice of alcoholic drinks. During the calmer off-peak hours in the late morning and early afternoon, I even managed to get some work done in peace and quietness.
The lounge also features comfortable showers if you need to freshen up after a long flight.
The 2F lounge is however not one in which you want to plan a long layover. Having a four-hour layover myself, I grew quite tired and bored of this lounge. With its functional design, the lounge isn’t a stunner to look at. At peak times, it will be overcrowded and there is no privacy whatsoever.
Overall, it is a fairly outdated lounge which lacks the great facilities of some of the Air France lounges in Terminal 2E (non-Schengen flights), which are not only aesthetically much more pleasant but also feature cool complimentary extras such as a sauna and massage services.
The Air France Terminal 2F lounge is certainly not a bad lounge and it will certainly be sufficient for most passengers on a short layover, although I can perfectly understand why Air France is currently working on a larger, brand-new lounge in 2F to replace this ageing and overcrowded facility!
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Siberian Shuffle – A Crazy Winter Trip Around Eurasia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Oslo Sandefjord Torp (Airbus A321)
2. A Day in the Norwegian Capital of Oslo
3. Review: Norwegian Railways Night Train Oslo-Stavanger in a Private Sleeper
4. Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
5. Stavanger – A Great Norwegian City Trip Surprise
6. Review: North Sea Lounge Stavanger Airport
7. Review: KLM Cityhopper Business Class Stavanger to Amsterdam (Embraer RJ-175)
8. Guide to the Carnival Celebrations in the Netherlands
9. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
10. Review: Air France Business Class Amsterdam to Paris (Airbus A319)
11. Review: ‘Salon Paris’ Business Class Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2C
12. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Paris to Moscow (Airbus A320)
13. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Lounge Moscow Sheremetyevo
14. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Moscow to Irkutsk (Boeing 737-800)
15. Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk
16. Irkutsk Trip Report: Exploring the ‘Paris of Siberia’ in Winter
17. Review: Mayak Hotel, Listvyanka (Lake Baikal)
18. A Winter Trip to the Frozen Wonderland of Lake Baikal
19. Review: Ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel, Irkutsk
20. Review: Domestic Business Class Lounge Irkutsk Airport
21. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Irkutsk to Moscow (Boeing 737-800)
22. Review: Pushkin Hotel, Moscow
23. A 24 Hour Stopover in the Russian Capital of Moscow
24. Review: ‘Moscow’ and ‘Jazz’ Business Lounges Moscow Sheremetyevo Terminal D
25. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Moscow to Paris (Airbus A320)
26. Review: TAROM Business Class Paris to Bucharest (Airbus A318)
27. Review: TAROM Business Lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
28. Review: Air France Business Class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
29. A Short Overnight Stopover in Paris
30. Review: Sheltair Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2D
31. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Paris to Baku (Airbus A320)
32. Review: Old City Hotel and Apartments, Baku, Azerbaijan
33. Destination Baku: An Intriguing Mix Between Old and New
34. Guide: Train Travel in Azerbaijan
35. Sheki: Azerbaijan’s Most Lovely Town and Springboard to the Caucasus
36. Must Be the Ganja! A Visit to the City of Ganja in Azerbaijan
37. Review: Shah Palace Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan
38. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Lounge Baku Airport
39. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Baku to Paris (Airbus A320)
40. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F (current chapter)
41. Review: KLM Business Class Paris to Amsterdam (Boeing 737)
42. Review: KLM Business Class Amsterdam to Bergen (Boeing 737)
43. Blissful Bergen – Is It Really Norway’s Most Beautiful City?
44. Review: Bergen to Oslo on a Norwegian Intercity Train (Bergensbanen Railway)
45. The Flamsbana Railway – From the Myrdal Mountains to the Fjord at Flam
46. Review: SAS Economy Class Oslo to Brussels (Boeing 737-600)
47. Review: Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport Pier B Non-Schengen
48. Review: TAROM Economy Class Brussels to Bucharest (Boeing 737-800)