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OneWorld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles
New Tom Bradley International Terminal Los Angeles Airport
Air France A380 First Class Los Angeles to Paris
Air France First Class Lounge Paris
Air France Business Class Paris to Frankfurt
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British Airways Club Europe Frankfurt to London Heathrow
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways A380 First Class London Heathrow to Los Angeles
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
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As soon as the door of the aircraft opened a lovely agent came to my seat, addressed me by name, and said she’d be taking me to the lounge before my connecting flight to Frankfurt.
One other first class passenger who was connecting as well joined me, while the other two first class passengers were terminating in Paris. Interestingly one of them had an escort from the Four Seasons George V waiting for her at the jet bridge, and she was also whisked into a Four Seasons car right on the tarmac — now that’s what I call an airport pickup!
We walked through the jet bridge and took an elevator down to the ground floor, where we briefly walked across the tarmac to the waiting Mercedes minivan with a “La Premiere” sign in the front window. It was pretty awesome to walk right up to the nose of the A380 that just flew us from Los Angeles.
The agent was extremely friendly during the five minute drive and explained a bit about the lounge. Before I knew it we pulled up to a parking lot full of cars with Air France logos on them.
We headed towards the door, where the dedicated first class security checkpoint is located. There was no wait at all, and in less than a minute I was through security.
From there the first class lounge is located just one level up, and can be accessed by elevator. The agent asked if it was my first time in the lounge, and when I told her it was, she seemed genuinely excited and said “then please allow me to give you a tour, Mr. Schlappig.” I had also mentioned I frequent the Lufthansa First Class Terminal and that it was a similar concept, and with a smirk she said “Well then Mr. Schlappig, when you leave you’ll have to tell me which you like more.”
I put my stuff down and followed the agent around for a tour. There was the general “lounge” area right by where we entered, with quite a bit of seating.
To the left of that was a partitioned off area with more secluded and comfortable seating, including several couches.
Next to that was the bar, which was really interestingly designed, given the “red” mood lighting. It was empty given that it was only 11AM at this point.
On the opposite side of the large seating area was the restaurant, which featured plenty of tables. It was partitioned off from the lest of the lounge by a leather divider, though really you can eat anywhere in the lounge.
Past the restaurant were some workstations and a business center, with a variety of “setups,” including tables with multiple chairs, desks, etc. I loved the simplistic and modern design.
Past that was an area with newspapers and magazines, which is also the area where the lounge agents hang out.
Past that were some elevators, which I assume is how passengers originating in Paris enter the lounge. Best I can tell all passengers leave the lounge by car.
Then there was the relaxation and spa area of the lounge. The bathrooms in the lounge have to be some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. They’re basically all individual circular rooms.
There’s also a shower room, which was spacious and featured Biologique Recherche toiletries.
Past the bathrooms and showers was the “relaxation” area of the lounge, which was probably my favorite part. There were a handful of daybeds, though in general I just loved the way the area was designed, between the lighting and privacy.
Behind the daybeds was an area with two flat day beds.
Pillows and blankets were available as well. I know in the past they gave out $1,400+ Hermes blankets, though I don’t think I got one of those. I guess they knew I would’ve had a hard time parting ways with it. Kidding… sort of. 😉
Anyway, the tour was great, and the agent couldn’t have been more professional. She insisted on helping me “make the most of [my] time in the lounge,” so she asked if I wanted to eat now or later, and when I wanted a spa treatment. She recommended that maybe I have lunch around 1PM and then a spa treatment at 2:15PM, shortly before boarding my flight to Frankfurt. That sounded great to me, so I went with that.
I was really impressed by how much pride everyone in the lounge took in their job. I love the service I get in the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, for example, where I’m escorted every step of the way and don’t have to keep an eye on the clock. But the agents in this lounge really take it a step further, as they almost helped me create a schedule for my time in the lounge. They genuinely wanted me to enjoy it as much as possible.
I decided to use the wifi while sitting on a day bed under a blanket, which sure was comfortable for about an hour. During that time the lounge manager came by to introduce herself to me — “Mr. Schlappig, I hear it’s your first time in our lounge. Are you enjoying everything so far? I just wanted to give you a small gift since I hear it is your first time in our lounge, and hopefully not your last.”
She gave me a USB drive in a beautiful La Premiere bag. A gift in a lounge? How awesome is that?!
At around 1PM I headed over to the restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is catered by Alain Ducasse, and almost all of the food is a la carte, with a three course menu. At this point I really wasn’t hungry after how much I ate on the flight, though I figured I had to take one for the team since it’s not everyday I experience this lounge.
I briefly browsed the buffet, which I feel was more decorative than anything else.
I had a seat, and a super-friendly server immediately greeted me and presented me with the menu, which read as follows:
“Sir, would you care for some wine to start?” “No, I’m okay, thank you, just a Cola Light please.” “You… you… you… don’t want wine?” He sheepishly and inquisitively followed that up with “well… maybe with your main course?” The concept of not having wine seemed unheard of him to him. 😉
For me one of the highlights of the dining experience was that they have over a dozen brands of water to choose from, so I ordered VOSS. I was also brought fresh baguette from a basket, which was still warm. Mmmm…
So there’s lots of lounge food out there that’s edible and even “tasty.” For example, I’d say the food in the Thai Airways lounge in Bangkok is very good, though by no means gourmet restaurant quality.
But my gosh, the food in the Air France lounge was beyond restaurant quality… it was spectacular.
To start I had the butternut squash soup. The ingredients were already in the bowl when it was served, and then the server poured the “liquid” over it in front of me.
Then for the main course I ordered the pan-seared scallops. Seriously, it was possibly one of the best scallop dishes I’ve ever had, from the taste to the presentation.
Then for dessert I had a cappuccino and the “La Premiere chocolate palet.”
As odd as it might sound, I can’t stress enough how good the service was throughout the meal. The server was incredibly friendly, and if my glass was even ever only half full he’d apologize profusely. I was working on my laptop during the meal, and would place my laptop on the other side of the table when each course arrived. Without asking he carried a side table from the other side of the lounge so that he could place it next to my seat for my laptop. Amazing.
And really the service in the lounge in general was amazing. There were maybe a handful of agents working in the lounge, and each and every one came by to introduce themselves at some point during my stay and wish me a pleasant time in the lounge.
At 2:15PM I headed over to the spa area, where I was immediately greeted and brought to my treatment room. Per the agent’s recommendation I asked for a 30 minute facial, though it ended up being about 45 minutes. As a first class passenger they have several complimentary 30 minute treatments to choose from, or you can pay for an even longer treatment (though prices were really high, as you’d expect in a first class lounge in Paris).
The treatment was lovely, and I was done at around 3PM. At that point I was approached by one of the agents that had introduced herself earlier, Dominique, who informed me that my flight was ready for boarding at my convenience. While there were never more than a handful of people in the lounge, when I left I was literally the only person there, which was pretty cool. I really didn’t want to leave…
We once again took an elevator to the lower level, where I was driven to my connecting flight in a Peugeot.
The drive took about 10 minutes, and Dominique was awesome and asked how I enjoyed my ground experience.
Eventually we pulled up to the jet bridge for my connecting A318 flight to Frankfurt, where we once again went up the elevator and into the jet bridge.
Dominique didn’t just walk me to the jet bridge, but rather all the way aboard. She introduced me to the purser and asked him to take good care of me, which was borderline awkward as all the passengers in the area had no clue what was going on.
There are some great airline lounges I’ve visited in my life. The three best are definitely the Emirates A380 First Class Lounge in Dubai, Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa in Bangkok. The Air France Class Lounge Paris now belongs on that list as well, as I can confidently say there are four lounges in the running for being the world’s best.
I found the Air France Class Lounge Paris to be the most seamless airport experience I’ve ever had. The food was also possibly the best food I’ve ever had in a lounge. On the whole I was simply blown away by my Air France experience, and have no clue why I went into it with fairly low expectations.
Well done, Air France!