Air France flies between Paris and Budapest several times a day. I travelled Business Class (called Classe Affaires) on an evening flight, departing at 2020.
Paris Charles de Gaulle’s confusing layout meant it was quite a challenge to find the check-in desk – and I arrived there to be told that check-in would only commence 90 minutes before departure. Once through, the ‘airside’ area at Terminal 2D was incredibly cramped.
At CDG the lounges are located before check-in. The Air France Lounge was airy and spacious, and most excitingly, offered guests the opportunity of a 15 minute Clarins massage. I signed up, and once the time slot had long passed, entered the room in anticipation of some gentle relaxation. Unfortunately I had walked in on another sleepy soul’s session. The therapist’s reaction was far from polite – and my resulting session was one of omy more awkward massage experiences. The Air France lounge contained a good selection of food and drink available, including pasta dishes, sandwiches and tomato soup
All was (almost) forgiven on arrival at the aircraft door, where two very cheerful cabin crew greeted me.
The Cabin, Seat and Service
On board, it was evident that the Affaires (business class) seat is very similar to the economy class seat, although the middle seats are blocked to create a sense of space. The seat pitch is the same as in economy; 32 inches.
Food and Drink
I was offered water and orange juice on alighting the aircraft, and champagne shortly after reaching cruising altitude. The meal itself was disappointing and badly presented in a cardboard box. The salmon, bread, butter and condiments looked sad in their meagre container. As did the accompanying chocolate cake. The wine list is brilliant however.
A good selection of French and international dailies was available; also, Air France's inflight magazines are a good read (female travellers will appreciate the Air France Madame magazine).
A timely arrival into Budapest and we arrived at an airbridge (no pesky bus ride). The cabin was very tidy on arrival and the crew saw us off with a - genuine - smile. Bags were on the belt within fifteen minutes.
A disappointing journey. RASK advises you to save your money and splurge on one of Air France’s exceptional long haul flights instead. The good news is that Air France seemingly has recognised the poor quality of its short haul business class product and is now improving the offering.