January 19, 2013

Have You Tried the Premium Economy Class: Paris-Beirut On-board Air France?

Phone Number:

Address: https://www.airfrance.com.lb

Website: https://www.airfrance.fr

Price Range: 450-4000 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 7/10

Ambiance / Music: 7.5/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 23/30

Architecture / Interior: 5/10

Food presentation: 6/10

Service: 7/10

Value for money: 7/10

Traveling in the Premium Economy cabin of Air France, you will enjoy additional space and superior comfort at a price suited to your personal and professional needs. At the airport and on board, Air France tries to provide everything you need to make your trip a stress-free, relaxing experience.
  • On-board Air France, staff not assigned in the business class is not allowed in this section whatsoever. They wait behind the curtain for a colleague to appear: When I asked for a business menu, it was delivered by phone and the attendant didn't go in there to get it for me. On-board MEA expect to be annoyed continuously by heavy steps of every single staff member who feels like trotting into the business class because it feels classier.
  • The wines on Air France is much better, each is served in individual bottles and the same goes for soft drinks, where each is served in a mini can; while on MEA you are served off the huge plastic bottles
  • The duty free service does not block the passages and annoy the passengers with their credit card machines, bags, noise and bargaining. Instead, the chief of cabin invites the interested party to the back of the plane to buy discretely.
  • The most important thing is that hostesses do not spit in the PA on-board Air France. MEA hostesses just shout in the microphone creating unpleasant noises around the cabin. Unprofessional!
Here I would like to state a fact: I would prefer that hostesses wear a decent and classy uniform that's neat and comfortable. Even though they wear pants on Air France, the staff looks professional  compared to the ugly and hideous uniforms the hostesses wear on MEA. Thick blue curtain like fabric, super tight, worn with black thick tights...horrible patterned shirts. What does it signify?  I am no fashion expert, but these outfits are disastrous and need to be changed earliest possible.
Back to Today's flight: The first thing I noticed is that the bed covers used are different than the usual grey ones. These beige ones are thicker and warmer than the conventional grey ones. I presume these are the winter ones since the outpace temperature was close to -2 degrees.
The menu proposed on this flight:
  • Aperitif drink with cheese crackers different from the gaufres we were used to on Air France
  • Sautéed scallops with ras al-hanout spices, pearl pasta salad with edible flower petals, baby spinach
  • Chicken mushroom sauce, pasta, carrots and zucchini
  • Hoki fish, lobster sauce, mashed potatoes, spinach and tomatoes
Watching the new Asterix and Obelix movie, I enjoyed every ingredient of my meal: tender pieces of chicken floating in a hot mushroom sauce, served with pasta that have the shape of fortune cookies. The salad is zesty and nice looking. Tiny little pasta circles with dried tomatoes and four pieces of sautéed scallops. Not bad for a plane's mealish: creative.
The best thing today is the dark chocolate fondant. Delicious melting and concentrated real chocolate with a passion felt in every bite. I was amazed.
Wines tasted:
Red: Vins de France, La Vieille Ferme 2011, Perrin & Fils
White: Yvonne Mau, Colombard Chardonnay, 2011
Today's flight was not as expected: No camera to watch the departure and landing, no oshibori to refresh on arrival, no Gaufres and no refreshing kit. Thank you for the Valrhona chocolate box offered at the end, well appreciated. The hostess responsible of the premium class today was not up the standard I was expecting. She might have had a bad night.
Whatever happened on today's flight, I would still highly suggest you travel Air France and not MEA on the Paris route as the hostesses are better, the service is more professional, the food is tastier, the wines are better and the desserts have more finesse. A complete package of positive things, all at the same price.
"I kindly ask Air France to choose English speaking hostesses to make the announcements because the ones doing so are massacring the language and hurting our ears".





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