Review: Air France First Class Lounge Paris

Introduction
OneWorld First Class Lounge Los Angeles
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
Hilton Frankfurt
Frankfurt Christmas Markets
Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge Frankfurt
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
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort


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.

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Air France A380 upon arrival

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Air France first class arrivals service car

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Air France first class arrivals service car

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.

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Air France first class arrivals service car

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.

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Air France first class lounge entrance

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.”

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Air France first class lounge entrance

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

To the left of that was a partitioned off area with more secluded and comfortable seating, including several couches.

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

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Air France Paris first class lounge seating

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge bar

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Air France Paris first class lounge bar

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Air France Paris first class lounge bar champagne

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge business center

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Air France Paris first class lounge business center

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Air France Paris first class lounge business center

Past that was an area with newspapers and magazines, which is also the area where the lounge agents hang out.

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Air France Paris first class lounge partition

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Air France Paris first class lounge magazines

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Air France Paris first class lounge Christmas decorations

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge elevators

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge bathrooms

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Air France Paris first class lounge bathrooms

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Air France Paris first class lounge bathroom

There’s also a shower room, which was spacious and featured Biologique Recherche toiletries.

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Air France Paris first class lounge shower room

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Air France Paris first class lounge shower room

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Air France Paris first class lounge shower room toiletries

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Air France Paris first class lounge shower room toiletries

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Air France Paris first class lounge shower room bathrobe

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

Behind the daybeds was an area with two flat day beds.

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

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Air France Paris first class lounge relaxation area

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. ;)

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Air France Paris first class lounge pillow and blanket

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?!

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Air France Paris first class lounge gift

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Air France Paris first class lounge gift

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant

I briefly browsed the buffet, which I feel was more decorative than anything else.

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant buffet

I had a seat, and a super-friendly server immediately greeted me and presented me with the menu, which read as follows:

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“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…

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant setup

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant table setup

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant butternut squash soup

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.

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant pan-seared scallops

Then for dessert I had a cappuccino and the “La Premiere chocolate palet.”

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Air France Paris first class lounge restaurant 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).

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Air France Paris first class lounge spa entrance

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Air France Paris first class lounge spa reception

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Air France Paris first class lounge spa treatment room

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Air France Paris first class lounge spa treatment room

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…

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Air France Paris first class lounge completely empty

We once again took an elevator to the lower level, where I was driven to my connecting flight in a Peugeot.

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Air France first class departures service

The drive took about 10 minutes, and Dominique was awesome and asked how I enjoyed my ground experience.

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Air France first class departures service

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Tarmac views

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Tarmac views

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Tarmac views

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Tarmac views

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.

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Air France first class departures service

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Air France first class departures service

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Air France first class departures service

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!

Comments

  1. Carl says

    Your next assignment is to take this flight originating from CDG so we can see how they do the check-in, security, etc and compare that to TG BKK and LH FCT. Considering your experience at LAX, my guess is that it is even better.

    But wow, what a beautiful lounge. Glad you had a good experience.

  2. concorde02 says

    Wow.. very nice report… worth the wait!

    I am so excited to try this experience in a few weeks :)

    My list would be quite similar to you. But before I try AF FCL, rightnow Qantas is still top of all … minus the escort/ride to the plane :(

    I knew you tried QF FCL at MEL before but you did not eat much there cuz you arrived not too early and wanted to save spaces for on board meal. If you tried QF FCL Lounge food more, I think you would rate them on par with top restaurants too. The service at SYD maybe a little less personal than MEL though.

    Also, it would be perfect if AF can deliver this type of meal service and settings on the planes (glassware: champagne, wine, cognac glass etc., red water glass (in this FCL) similar to BA F water glass, butter/olive oil on the plate instead of packages).

  3. Cathy says

    Lucky, you really have to experience the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney. Once you do, it may make your top 5.

  4. JustSaying says

    It’s hard to think that anyone could compete with the French when they try at fine dining……….it is rather revealing that the initial autos were Mercedes and BMW so even they admit the superiority of the German hard product…………but it seems they still don’t have a “cabana” where you can go lock yourself up? I guess with the kind of service they offer you don’t want to be locked up…………..

  5. Dunc says

    Haven’t you had food from a Michelin Star Chef before? Flying first only lounges, AF CDG best overall, QF SYD, MEl best food can’t wait for their new LAX. These have moved up a notch or two and you can enter anytime on the day of your flight rather than when the flight check in opens. LH F in Frankfurt it’s efficient, it’s German. Emirates F in Dubai well you do like your bling! To locals and guests it’s just Hotel George Cinq and has been for along, long time. The original hotel Luxe. Next time you fly F in LH to Frankfurt try catching a train in first to say Munich some trains in Germany have LH flight numbers and LH first ends with escort to your train. Make sure you book a no smoking carriage. For all paid flights into Germany regardless of class it includes a train ticket ti your final German destination On LH.

  6. Sunrise089 says

    Lucky, not trying to be overly cynical, but from your last review post it looks like you tweeted the airline as you were boarding your incoming flight. It’s…not hard to believe that resulted in some extra personal treatment upon arrival. :)

    I’m I misunderstanding the timeline?

  7. concorde02 says

    @ Ken Y.
    Do you think the food at FRA FCL/FCT is pass-able as well? I think BKK food is a bit better than FRA .. but not restaurant-quality.
    QF FCL MEL/SYD is the only restaurant quality that I’ve tried so far.
    Actually I just ate a very nice steak at CX HKG FCL last night too.
    I also like food at Concorde Room (JFK only) and VS Clubhouse (JFK only), they also pour the soup liquid in front of you there as well.

  8. AC says

    This is first time I hear a hotel vehicle can get into the tarmac and shuttle the passenger away.. That must be a nice experience to just stay in one car all the way from the plane to your hotel.

  9. Claire says

    Apologies for the noob question, but how is tipping handled for complimentary spa treatments in a lounge? At a normal spa I tip when settling my bill on leaving, but I don’t see that working in a lounge. Does one just tip the therapist directly on the spot? Or are tips not customary?

  10. says

    @ Claire — It wasn’t expected, and I don’t think is customary in the lounge. I usually tip at the Thai Airways Spa in Bangkok or at the Virgin Atlantic or BA Spas at JFK, but aside from that typically don’t.

  11. Stephan says

    Very 1970s, but tres chic! And the French know a thing or two about food! Sounds like you had a terrific time. Agree with first poster – you need to go the other way now to see how they handle departure from that hideous CDG for the upper crust;-)

  12. CalAggie21 says

    Wow! First Joel Robuchon on board and then Alain Ducasse in the lounge? That’s like 50 Michelin stars between the 2 of them! AF is on my list now!

  13. says

    @Lucky, I know you say that you now have 4 top lounges world wide but I’d still be interested to know your top 3 lounges – does Air France do enough to knock Lufthansa, Thai or Emirates out of the top 3?

  14. A. S. says

    US airlines need to take a good look at themselves. The WHOLE point of offering (international) First class is to differentiate it from business. Business is meant to be comfortable and efficient. Full stop. First is meant to be luxurious and over-the-top, considering the price difference.

    I fly AA in First a lot (mostly on the new 77W) and although the hardware is nice, the experience is EXACTLY like business — from the treatment, to the amenities, to the food, to the lounges, to the agents… There is absolutely no reason to fly First on any US airline. I only do it to burn my eVIPs, because my underlying tickets are in business class anyway (and not every time, of course).

  15. beachfan says

    Thanks for the report.

    By any chance, did you snap a picture of the wine list or notice what spirits were on offer?

  16. Jonas says

    Wow! I can really understand why the staff is so enthusiastic about their work, since 99% of the lounge visitors are paid First Class passengers. No FF Elites or mileage maximizers, as in the FCT.

  17. says

    That was really awesome to read about. The quotes from the people you encountered really took me there. Good pictures. I especially loved the menu pics and the food pics. Really jaw dropping. I pictured Dominique to look like the hooker John Travolta got in Paris with love. : (

  18. mre5765 says

    Well this easily surpasses the LH FCT. I now have a new entry on my bucket list.

    Superb review, as always.

  19. Barbara Crisler says

    I have a question. I will be flying on a Delta code share flight from ATL to CDG in business elite in June. Then connecting to an AF flight to FCO in first class. Can I possibly expect this kind of servce? It was a nightmare the last 2 times I had to transfer flights there.

    I do agree the lounge is great. I was there right after it opened. They were still working on some problems and the bathrooms weren’t complete. I did get offered a complimentary massage which was wonderful and the food and wine was better than most restaurants.

    Thanks for the write up.

  20. says

    @ Barbara — Unfortunately Air France doesn’t offer first class between Paris and Rome, but rather only business class. So you can use the business class lounge, though unfortunately not the first class lounge.

  21. Barbara Crisler says

    Lucky,

    You are correct. I just went to the website to check my ticket. Oh well, one could only wish!

  22. says

    @Lucky,

    Don’t suppose you have a wine list for us do you? Got an upcoming flight out of Paris and trying to decide if it’s worth the upgrade or not.

  23. Eric W. says

    Lucky wrote “I loved the simplistic and modern design.”

    I think you mean “simple” rather than “simplistic.” :)

  24. Dag says

    Thanks for the report. Not many reports in english on Air France La Premiere out there. I totally agree on your view of the lounge and ground service. Transfer at CDG in first class beats both Thai in BKK and LH in FRA/MUC, the service and the food are better than the other. You just really feel welcome, and that the agents REALLY care. Thanks again!

  25. Kyle McKenna says

    Great review; lounge seems magnifique.

    However “each and every one came by to introduce themselves at some point during my stay and wish me a pleasant time in the lounge” might become annoying at some point. I often wish to be left alone and ‘service’ can be overbearing at times. I have no need for excessive ‘personal attention’ though I may be in the minority these days.

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