In this review, we will visit the Air France Business Lounge at Terminal 2E (Hall L) of Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport.
Paris CDG connection
After a pleasant Air France flight from Munich to Paris, I found myself in Terminal 2F of Charles de Gaulle Airport, the place where all intra-Schengen flights of Air France and its SkyTeam partners arrive and depart.
As I had an onward flight to Bucharest, I had to make my way to the non-Schengen Terminal 2E, which again is solely used by Air France and its partner airlines.
Although transits through Charles de Gaulle Airport can be a cumbersome affair, this fortunately isn’t the case when you are on connecting Air France flights. Going from 2F to 2E is an easy, well-signposted airside walk which shouldn’t take too long.
When coming from Terminal 2F, you will first reach Terminal 2E Hall K. The non-Schengen Terminal 2E is actually divided into three separate buildings. There is the main Hall K, and the satellite buildings of Hall L and Hall M.
When travelling between these halls, you have to take an automated people mover (officially called the CDGVAL LISA line) which should take just a few minutes only.
Air France has a business lounge in every hall of Terminal 2E. I’ve reviewed the Air France Lounge in Terminal 2E Hall K before. And although it’s definitely a solid lounge, it doesn’t come close to what will await you in Hall L.
Air France business lounge entry requirements
The usual entrance requirements apply to the Air France business lounge in Hall L of Terminal 2E. You need to be on a same-day business class ticket on Air France or another SkyTeam partner, or have Flying Blue Gold status (SkyTeam Elite Plus) or higher.
Although I was flying in economy class, I could still access the lounge thanks to my Flying Blue platinum status.
Do note that you can only access Hall L if your flight actually departs from there. If your flight departs from the K or M gates, you will be sent to the respective lounges there as airport employees will simply not allow you to clear security at the L gates if you don’t have a boarding pass of a flight departing from Hall L. By all means give it a try – but I found out they are rather strict on this!
The Air France lounge does not accept any lounge membership cards such as Priority Pass.
A first impression
The 2E Hall L lounge is Air France’s flagship business lounge – and it clearly impresses from the moment you set foot inside. The first thing you will notice is just how massive, bright and spacious the main lounge area is (the official capacity is 540 seats).
Given the size of the lounge and seating available, it will never feel crowded, not even at peak hours. I’ve visited this lounge some 7-8 times before at different hours of the day and it was always perfectly calm and peaceful.
When you enter the lounge, you can find an open kitchen and main buffet area to your right-hand side. Towards the left is another, smaller buffet. There is a wide variety of different seats available in both directions, ranging from comfortable sofas and chairs to high-top seats and dining tables.
Right in front of you is the masterpiece of the lounge, a circular seating area called “le Balcon”. Towards your back you will find the so-called “relaxation” area with lounger chairs, toilets and showers and spa facilities.
If you arrive for the first time in this lounge it is probably best just to have a small walk around and see what the different areas have to offer. In this review of the Air France 2E Hall L lounge, I will describe each area one by one and take you through all the amenities you can expect.
The centrepiece of the lounge is called “le Balcon” (‘the balcony’), which basically is a large, circular seating corner around a self-service bar. It is described by Air France as an “exclusive space” and is clearly the heart of the lounge, both design-wise and by its central location.
Created by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, the curved structure is sheltered under a huge golden mirrored ceiling. It’s the perfect glitzy space to sit down with a glass of proper champagne and my favourite spot in the lounge.
There are two buffet areas in the Air France lounge. You can find one to your left as you enter the lounge, while the main buffet area is to your right.
Although food offers are identical at both buffet stations, the area on the right is set up more as a dining area and features and open kitchen and plenty of dining tables.
According to the Air France website, a chef does live cooking in the open kitchen at set hours, although I have actually never seen someone there all the times I visited the lounge.
As you might have expected from the French national airline, the quality of the food in its flagship lounge is generally high. In the morning you can expect freshly baked pastries and croissants, bread, cold cuts, bacon and eggs and other continental breakfast favourites.
Late in the morning the breakfast food is removed and replaced by lunch/dinner staples. Most of the times, you can expect at least a soup and two to three hot dishes, as well as a large assortment of salad, veggies, fruits and other smaller snacks and side dishes.
For example, on my last visit to the lounge there was a fish dish, rice and vegetables with some sauce, as well as beef bourguignon.
It being France, you can of course count on some good quality cheese as well. There are always some tasty desserts and sweets as well – another food category which I think Air France always does well both on their planes and in the lounges on the ground.
At each of the buffet areas you can also find drink stations. There are coffee machines making decent brews, as well as a small tea selection. For soft drinks and bottled water, you can help yourself in one of the many fridges. Canned Heineken beers can also be found in the fridges.
When it comes to wine, Air France apparently lives by the motto of “quality over quantity”. You are unlikely to find more than 2 different whites as well as 2 reds at any moment in the lounge. That said, the wines that are served are usually of high quality and well above the mid-shelf bottles or lower-shelf plonk you would normally find in the average European business lounge.
On my last visits to the lounge, I thoroughly enjoyed the Chateau Rollan de By from the Medoc area, as well as the Chateau de La Soujeole Malepère Rouge 2016.
Of course, there is plenty of champagne as well in the Air France Business Lounge. Solid business class champagnes such as Charles Heidsieck or Joseph Perrier are usually served. Just like the sodas, all the alcoholic drinks are self serve.
The booze selection isn’t necessarily large, but all the main hard liquors as well as some eternal French favourites are there as well at the drinks station.
The brands are mostly mid-shelf, think for example of Jack Daniels whiskey or Bombay Sapphire gin. If you prefer cognac, pastis, rum or vodka you can also find a decent bottle for you.
Each evening from 7pm to 9pm, Air France organises a cocktail evening in the lounge in cooperation with the Hotel Lancaster Paris. A professional barman will take over the drinks station of ‘Le Balcon’ where he will create delicious cocktails, often based on champagne.
The cocktail menu changes seasonally, but usually involve two alcoholic cocktails (one sweet, one sour) and one non-alcoholic cocktail (mocktail).
It is a really nice addition to the lounge experience which certainly adds a bit of class and style – and you won’t find it in any of the other Air France business lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Another unique aspect of the Air France Hall L lounge is the special relaxation area. You can find this area to your back as you enter the lounge.
This area, also known as the wellness area, is an oasis of calmness and is specifically designed for passengers wishing to have a rest or to recover from their jetlag. I do absolutely love the design and beautiful, warm blue colours in this part of the lounge.
You can find special sleeping chairs here, some of which can be curtained off from the rest of the room to create your own private napping space. There is also a small drinks station here with wellness teas.
In the wellness area you can also find a Clarins Spa where passengers can receive a complimentary 15-minute facial massage. It’s not a place where you can just burst in, you have to book a spot first, which can only be done on arrival on a tablet in front of the entrance to the spa cabin.
If you want to receive a free massage, I highly recommend to walk to this computer immediately when you enter the lounge, as time slots quickly book out. Needless to say, these free massages are extremely popular!
There really is no possibility to reserve a time slot in advance by mailing or calling – you can only do it yourself upon entering the lounge. A bit of luck is thus required!
The massage itself is certainly invigorating and highly recommended. The masseuse will also give you some complimentary Clarins goodies after the massage, which is another nice touch.
Toilets and showers
Of course, the wellness area also has its own showers. You can just walk directly towards the shower rooms and ask one of the cleaners if one is available. I never had to wait for one at any of my lounge visits, as there seems to be plenty of cabins.
There are also a big number of toilets in this part of the lounge, which are taken care well after by the staff. You can find another toilet area all the way to the left in the lounge.
One of the nicest features of the Air France Hall L lounge is that it has a sauna. To be precise, there are two sauna cabins which are both for individual use, unlike for example the sauna in the Finnair lounge in Helsinki (the only other airport business lounge in the world with a sauna that I’m aware of) which is mixed-sex in true Finnish tradition.
I did found it a bit confusing how to actually get one of these sauna cabins as lounge workers gave conflicting answers.
Some said just to look and wait around until one is available and that you are free to use it, while another lounge attendant said that you need to reserve a sport. But when I inquired about this at the front desk nobody seemed to have any idea about sauna reservations at all.
If you are lucky enough to get a sauna cabin you are supposed to only use it for a maximum of 40 minutes, something which I feel not every other lounge guest is strictly adhering to!
Inside the sauna, which is cleaned after each use, you can find fresh towels and the usual shower amenities. The sauna cabin has its own shower, which is of course super handy to go from the actual sauna right to a cold shower and then back into the sauna. It’s a real treat!
The lounge as a work space
Although the Air France Hall L lounge does not have a real dedicated work area, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a quiet, private enough spot to work.
I never seen the lounge more crowded than about 40 to 50 percent full – and often it is much, much emptier than that. The general lounge atmosphere can only be described as calm and quiet.
At almost every seat, whether this is a comfortable chair or high top table, you can find some power sockets nearby. The WiFi internet in the lounge is fast and reliable.
The Air France Lounge in Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E Hall L has to be one of Europe’s finest business lounges. It has a sleek, modern design which creates a spacious, airy feeling throughout the lounge.
There is plenty of seating in this vast lounge, which never even seems to get close to 50% of its capacity. It’s a huge difference in peace and quietness compared to the much busier Air France lounges in Terminal 2E Hall K – and especially the often overcrowded 2F lounges.
It’s just an extremely well-thought out lounge, with plenty of flight information signs, power sockets everywhere and clearly defined areas.
Although the food buffet is not exhaustive, the quality is certainly good. With some great champagnes and wines on offer, as well as an evening cocktail hour in cooperation with the Hotel Lancaster Paris, frequent flyers who love their pre-flight drinks will certainly enjoy this lounge.
The relaxation area makes for a perfect place to have a nap in between flights, while the spa with complimentary Clarins massage and sauna is another immensely attractive feature of this lounge.
The Air France Hall L lounge is almost unparalleled in Europe, with only the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul and the Swiss Senator Lounge at Zurich Airport Concourse E being in the same league.
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 Munich to Paris CDG (Airbus A319)
20. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Airport Terminal 2E – Hall L (current chapter)
** rest of the chapters to follow soon **