In this review, we will fly with Air France in economy class on the Airbus A319 from Munich to Paris CDG.
After paying the Air France/KLM Lounge a visit, I went to the boarding gate for today’s flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle. Munich Airport’s terminal 1 consists out of five separate halls (also called modules) designated as A, B, C, D and E. My Air France flight departed from hall D.
Each hall only has a few departure gates, shops and conveniences only – meaning there isn’t really much at all to do. If you are flying with Air France out of Terminal 1, I certainly would not recommend to get too early to the airport as there aren’t a whole lot of exciting facilities!
As I received an automatic message on my phone (both by text message and email) that the inbound flight from Paris was late and the departure back to France would be pushed back, I headed back to the lounge for a while to drink another glass of wine.
In the end the delay would be 1 hour and 15 minutes, even putting my connection in Paris at risk.
When boarding finally commenced, priority boarding was completely forgotten as people were allowed to board at random irrespective of their boarding group. Fortunately, I was standing in front of the queue near the desk so was on the first on board.
Although I have flown Air France many times before in both classes, I was still curious how the experience would be like compared to my last Air France economy flight a year earlier, as the airline has since rolled out some improvements to its short haul fleet when it comes to power sockets and on-board internet.
Munich (MUC) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Air France
Flight AF1623 – Airbus A319 – Economy class, seat 5A
Departure 3.25pm – Arrival: 5.10pm
Actual departure: 4.40pm – Actual arrival: 6.25pm
Flight time: 1h45m – Distance: 425 miles
Costs: 99 EUR for MUC-CDG-OTP one-way
Air France A319 cabin and seat
Together with the Airbus A320, the A319 forms the backbone of Air France’s fleet for short to mid-haul flights. The black leather seats with red-and-white coloured antimacassars looked quite striking and made for a clean, modern look.
The seats are similar to those on the A319 and are actually quite comfortable for a short-haul hop within Europe. Seat pitch, shoulder room and leg room were all decent too, creating an above-average economy class hard product.
A new addition at the seats are USB charging ports, which Air France has now rolled out at almost their entire fleet. Given that my last flight on Air France in economy class was lacking these, this was a welcome addition.
As a Flying Blue platinum member, I managed to snag seat 5A when booking my flight. Seats in the front of the cabin, as well as emergency exit row seats, normally command a small premium if you select them, but this fee is waved for platinum members.
For Flying Blue gold, silver and explorer members, there is a 50, 25% and 10% discount respectively if you want to assign yourself one of these ‘premium’ seats.
Even if you do not hold status and want to pay for a front row or emergency exit seat, it is therefore worth it to sign up for the Flying Blue frequent programme, given that you will automatically start at explorer level and thus can still get the 10% discount.
All standard seats on board of the plane can be assigned for free at online check-in, which opens 30 hours before the departure of your flight.
It turned out the flight load of today’s flight was relatively light, and the seats next to me both stayed empty to my delight. We rolled back from the gate with a delay of more than an hour, with the captain apologising over the PA system for the late departure from Paris which was to blame for it.
Take-off from Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport was smooth and there were some decent views over the terminal and airport premises from the window.
On short hops within Europe, Air France offers a complimentary snack in economy class, which on this flight was a fairly tasty pastry.
Drinks were served as well, with a choice between coffee or tea, soft drinks and juices, as well as alcoholic beverages. I went for some red wine, and was pro-actively offered a cup of water with it as well.
On longer flights within Europe, you can expect a larger snack box or even a hot meal, as well as a separate drinks and coffee & tea round.
There are no personal in-flight entertainment screens, so it’s best to bring your own tablet, laptop or book if you want to watch or read something, unless you are (like me) easily satisfied with the entertainment from the plane window or the in-flight magazine.
Just like Air France is configuring all its narrow-body planes with USB ports, it is doing the same with WiFi internet. This Airbus A319 indeed had working internet (called ‘Air France Connect’), which was easy to set up and had decent speeds.
You can choose between three different WiFi passes. The ‘message pass’ is free and allows you to send WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger messages and the like.
The basic ‘surf pass’ was 5 euro, allowing you to browse the internet, while the 15 EUR ‘stream pass’ also allows you to stream online videos. I though the costs were very reasonable.
Another fun feature of Air France Connect (irrespective of which pass you opt for) is that you can access the flight tracker feature, showing you the route map and major flight details such as altitude, ground speed and such.
You can also access other free content such as city destination guides and online magazines and newspapers, which is a nice addition as well.
The flight passed by fast and soon we were already descending towards Paris Charles de Gaulle. There were some views over the fields of Northern France from the window.
After a safe landing, it took a relatively short time to reach our designated gate at terminal 2F. I thanked the crew for the pleasant flight upon disembarking the plane, and set off in a firm pace towards terminal 2E for my connecting flight.
Air France has one of the all-round best economy class products in Europe. With decent seats, a complimentary on-board snack or meal and free-flowing drinks, it already made for a pleasant way to fly.
Now that almost all of Air France Airbus A319s and A320s are equipped with USB ports and WiFi internet, it is even getting one step ahead of much of its competitors.
I can certainly recommend Air France and look forward to my next flight with the French flagship carrier.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘An Adriatic Adventure: Off-Season Travel to Dubrovnik, Montenegro and a Bit of Bavaria‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: MasterCard Business Lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
2. Review: Aegean Airlines Economy Class Bucharest to Athens (Airbus A320)
3. Review: Aegean Business Lounge Athens Airport Hall A (Non-Schengen)
4. Review: Olympic Air Economy Class Athens to Dubrovnik (Bombardier Dash 8-400)
5. Review: Apartments Festa, Old Town of Dubrovnik
6. A Dubrovnik Winter Trip: Off-Season Travel Away from the Tourist Crowds
7. Review: Dubrovnik (Croatia) to Kotor (Montenegro) by Bus
8. Review: Palazzo Drusko Deluxe Rooms, Kotor, Montenegro
9. Kotor, Montenegro: Old Town Charm in Europe’s Most Spectacular Scenery
10. Cetinje – The Old Royal Capital of Montenegro
11. Review: Ramada by Wyndham Podgorica, Montenegro
12. Podgorica: Is the Capital of Montenegro Worth a Visit?
13. Review: Wizz Air Podgorica to Memmingen (Airbus A320)
14. Memmingen: More Than Just a Low-Cost Airport Close to Munich
15. The Bavaria Ticket: Unlimited Train Travel Across the German State of Bayern
16. Review: Michel Hotel Landshut, Bavaria, Germany
17. Landshut: Bavaria Off The Beaten Track
18. Review: Air France/KLM Lounge Munich Airport
19. Review: Air France Economy Class (Airbus A319) Munich to Paris CDG (current chapter)
20. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Airport Terminal 2E – Hall L
** rest of the chapters to follow soon **