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As I wrote about a few days ago, I just booked my next big trip to sample some new airline products, including the new business class products on Air France, Iberia, LAN, and Oman Air. I’m especially excited about Oman Air, as it’s an airline I’ve always been intrigued by. The great business class fare I found on Oman Air is the motivation behind the trip — the flights on Iberia and LAN to Frankfurt, and flights on Air France from Frankfurt, are primarily for positioning.
Still, I’m very excited to try Air France’s new business class product, which I’ve heard great things about. It features a reverse herringbone seat, which is my favorite kind of business class seat out there.
Reader KK had left the following comment on the post a few days ago:
I vote for reviewing the paid AF first class ground service and lounge. I know you’ve reviewed this before but it’d be great to get an update and see what its like now. You would also be in a unique position to tell if there is any difference in between a first class passenger and a business class passenger using the service.
It’s something I hadn’t initially considered. As far as I’m concerned, the Air France first class lounge in Paris is the best first class ground experience in the world. It’s truly seamless, and offers an incredible experience, including being picked up and driven to your plane in a private car, an amazing restaurant, spa treatments, and incredible service.
It’s really tough to redeem miles for Air France first class, given that they only let elite members in the FlyingBlue program redeem for it, and you have to book that award at the “standard” level, so it’s costly. But the good news is that there’s another way to access Air France’s first class lounge in Paris.
I’ve written in the past about how you can buy access to the Air France first class ground experience for 300EUR, assuming the following conditions are met:
- You’re flying on a longhaul Air France flight in business class
- The flight is operated by a plane without a first class cabin
- Your ticket is issued by Air France, regardless of whether it’s a revenue or award ticket (in other words, an award ticket booked through FlyingBlue qualifies, while an award ticket booked through Alaska Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, etc., wouldn’t); fortunately my ticket was booked through FlyingBlue, given that I transferred points earned on my Citi Prestige® Card for the redemption
- There are capacity controls, so during periods of high demand they may not sell access to the lounge
Air France first class lounge Paris
300EUR isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. But I was able to plan a long layover in Paris, and think it would be really fun to review this experience as a business class passenger. Why am I doing it?
- I’m curious if the Air France first class ground experience is different if you’re a business class passenger paying for access
- The USD is quite strong, so for someone paying in USD, it’s not going to get much cheaper than this
- You really are paying for quality — while it’s expensive, at least you’re getting a top notch product; I’d rather pay a lot for something fantastic, than pay $50 for cubed cheese in an Admirals Club
To book the La Premiere ground service in Paris I phoned up Air France’s first class hotline at + 33 (0) 1 57 02 16 24, where the phone was immediately answered — I didn’t have to go through a prompt or anything. The agent was extremely friendly, and after providing my record locator and stating what I wanted, he placed me on hold for a moment.
He confirmed they had availability for booking the service, so I gave him my credit card number to process the purchase (I used the Citi Prestige® Card, so I’d earn triple points for the purchase, as it qualifies as airfare). The whole process was painless — it took less than five minutes, and right after getting off the phone I received an email confirmation from Air France with a receipt.
While it’s not cheap, Air France is unique in allowing select passengers to purchase access to their first class lounge. I’m curious to see what the experience is like as a business class passenger paying for access, rather than as an “actual” first class customer. I’m also happy to see that the process of reserving La Premiere ground services is super easy.
Am I crazy for paying to access the Air France first class lounge? Has anyone done this before?