Air France Introduces Lounge Dining At New York JFK

Eastbound transatlantic flights can be very short, so it can be tough to maximize the experience on those flights. In many cases the best you can hope for is a decent nap. For example, New York to London flights tend to be around six hours, which really isn’t enough time to get a good night of sleep, let alone have a meal or watch a movie.

That’s why many airlines offer proper lounge dining prior to short transatlantic flights.

For example, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse New York JFK has a full menu, so all lounge guests can enjoy dinner before their flight.

Virgin-Clubhouse-JFK-26

The British Airways Galleries Lounge New York JFK has a pre-flight supper area for British Airways business class passengers, who can elect to dine in the lounge rather than on the flight.

British-Airways-Supper

For those traveling in British Airways first class, The Concorde Room New York JFK has an impressive a la carte dining experience (with very nice champagne to boot).

British-Airways-Concorde-Room-JFK-43

It looks like another airline will soon be offering a pre-flight dining facility at New York JFK. As of today, Air France is offering a new night service, where business class passengers departing New York JFK have the option of dining in the lounge before their flight.

Air-France-Lounge-Dining

This pre-flight dining service will be available for those booked on AF009 and AF011, which depart New York at 9:45PM and 11:25PM, respectively.

Here’s how Air France describes the new concept:

We are innovating and anticipating our Business customers need to rest on departure from New York-JFK airport on its night flights. Eager to offer you the optimum comfort, we have introduced our “Night Service”, a free and exclusive option that enables you to enjoy the same meal in the airport lounge as the one served on board*. Customers will be served their meal at their table, in a dedicated private area.

During the flight, you can therefore enjoy a good night’s sleep in the comfort of the Air France Business class cabin. Customers with a very healthy appetite can, of course, eat again during the flight.

A gourmet and practical new service available exclusively at New York JFK.

The Night service is only available as of April 11, 2016 on departure of flights:

  • AF009 from New York JFK
  • AF011 from New York JFK

Customers do not need to register to benefit from this service; they just need to go to the Air France Business class lounge.

What makes this service especially interesting is that they apparently offer the same meal in the lounge as on the plane. I don’t know of any other airline which offers the same menu on the ground as in the air, and for that matter I’ve never seen an airline use airplane food as a selling point for what they offer on the ground. 😉

It’s also not surprising that you can still dine on board if you wish. I love how they phrase it — passengers “with a very healthy appetite” can eat again on the plane. Hah.

Air-France-Lounge-New-York

Bottom line

Air France’s new business class product is fantastic, so this is a very nice addition to their overall offering. While I doubt pre-flight supper will sway which airline someone chooses to fly, it does create a more seamless experience for a quick six hour overnight flight.

Air-France-Business-Class-777 - 15

Are you a fan of the pre-flight supper concept, or do you prefer eating onboard?

(Tip of the hat to Wandering Aramean)

Comments

  1. “Customers with a very healthy appetite can, of course, eat again during the flight.” DEAD…that’s hilarious. I love it.

  2. Love the idea of eating a good meal before boarding so you can maximize sleep time. We flew BA first class Chicago to London this last summer and had a nice meal (in a small dedicated First room within the larger business lounge) so that we didn’t have to wait for inflight meal once we got onboard. Great concept for those that would rather sleep than watch the food and beverage carts.

  3. This kind of pre-flight supper is always good in paper because for these short transatlantic flights, it made sense especially passengers are arriving earlier at airport now. However, in reality, the food served in the lounge(s) is often so bad that I actually prefer the food at the flight. British Airways’ Pre-flight supper at JFK is pretty bad, and the buffet resembles a college/university food court, rather than a premium buffet. Sometimes you expect the food to be better in the ground because airlines have more money to spend on the food, rather than equipments and other safety issues. In reality, it is pretty bad and to me, it is just an excuse to cut cost. Unless the food offered is a proper sit down/restaurant quality food (sort of like Etihad Airways First/Business class lounge at Sydney), I vote against a nasty buffet replacing a proper meal at 35,000ft.

    I also hope Air France will offer a heartier late night snack on board for those, who don’t have a chance to eat due to various reasons too. Don’t serve the same crap as British Airways. You need a proper hot meal option!

  4. When I have time I prefer the NYC-London daylight flights as the night flights are too short to get good sleep. On my last night flight I had a preflight dinner in the Virgin Clubhouse and breakfast in their arrival lounge. Sleep is good and good for Air France to do this.

  5. @Adrian: I agree, I was surprised at the bad food-bad atmosphere combination for pre-flight dining in the JFK BA terminal. I prefer the AA Flagship Lounge next door: food is no worse, but the place does not feel like a cheap, overcrowded underground cafeteria.

  6. So does this mean the cabin lights will be dimmed during meal service so those who eat in the lounge could really get some sleep, or will the FA’s keep the cabin lights on the whole time to make it impossible to sleep?

  7. I am based in NYC and whenever I fly redeye to Europe, I always eat dinner in the lounge to maximize sleep time during the flight. I love the JFK VS Clubhouse and hope that Air France will follow Virgin Atlantic’s lead on this!
    I wonder if skyteam elite plus members flying in AF economy will get to try this too in the AF lounge or if this is solely for business class passengers.

  8. I find that airport restaurants are often a better option than lounge food. Sure it is not free, but you can have an okay meal for a few bucks and then sleep on the flight. I usually do this when flying business. If my company is spring for a $4000 ticket, what is an extra $30 on a meal anyway. I also feel guilty eating on these short redeyes. If my company is paying extra for me to have a place to sleep, I better use that time for sleeping.

  9. LH REALLY needs to look at a lounge dining option at JFK for their Business Class. I know they have a buffet set up but it really does suck. As a Senator I have access to the lounge on the second floor but it really is not much better. The area on the third floor is usually completely empty and could be put to better use to offer Business pax something better (while still offering F pax a full meal option)…especially if AF is upping their game. BA food in general is some of the worst out there in Business so I always either eat in the lounge or pick up a sandwich in the terminal which is better than what they offer onboard.

  10. @Jimmy, yes the VS Clubhouse has full restaurant dining (waiter goes to you, you order from a dinner menu, and you get your order served on a plate.) It’s not setup as a buffet line but you can certainly order the same dish as many times as you wish. I also recommend calling to make a reservation on their spa as they get booked out for some reason (even if you get there early.)

  11. Hmm… What do AF F passengers are supposed to do?

    But this does bring up an interesting point. If flying J/F, sometimes longer flights are better. Not just US-Europe but Japan-West Coast are on a short side.

  12. My solution is to take the 7 AM flight from New York to London, have a nice dinner and night out in London and then fly on to the final destination on the next day. I don’t know why every transatlantic carrier doesn’t have an early morning NY flight.

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