Air France: LHR-CDG, Economy


This Trip:


After having my fill of the lounge, I made a visit to the Terminal 4 observation deck for half an hour or so.

View Heathrow Observation Deck

Situated in a corner of what was at one time a British Airways Lounge, the View Heathrow observation deck is the only place where you can officially watch planes at Heathrow these days. When runway 27L is in use, you can get a very good view of what’s going on. Although being armed with just an iPhone, my pictures aren’t the best.

Boarding

Due to the inbound aircraft arriving over 30 minutes behind schedule, boarding was late. Although that didn’t stop most people queuing up anyway.

The queue

Despite the ground staff telling people to sit down due to the plane not being here, this fell on deaf ears – mostly because the majority had their heads buried in their phones and were wearing headphones. Seems to be the way of the world these days. A further three announcements took place saying the same, but still the majority stayed put.

Air France A320
Air France A320 arriving

Despite announcing that boarding wouldn’t begin for another ten minutes and once again announcing that everyone should sit down, this still resulted in a bit of a mass scrum.

Matters weren’t helped by a Kenya Airways flight boarding at the adjacent gate and nobody being quite sure which flight the respective boarding calls were for.

Once we were on to the jet bridge, there was still a holdup.

Boarding
#boardingnotboarding

On Board

After a good 15 minute hold on the jet bridge, we were on our way. I took my assigned seat of 7F.

Air France A320 seating
Air France A320 seating
Air France A320 seating
Air France A320 seating
Wing view

Despite being billed as an economy plus seat, the legroom here definitely wasn’t as generous as the KLM economy comfort seats experienced a few weeks back.

Everything was much the same as how I remembered it, at least on the A320’s. Air France features different seats on their A318 fleet, and the last time I was on board one of their A321’s, they had some very 1990’s seating.

Departure

Despite the ground crew saying they were aiming for an 18:00 departure, this came and went. A further delay was experienced due to the fact there wasn’t enough room for all the carry on luggage, yet despite the crew making announcement saying we couldn’t leave until people checked their luggage most people seemed reluctant. Which then delayed us even further.

JAL 777
Watching planes while waiting

Flight time was given as 45 minutes.

We finally pushed back around an hour behind schedule.

Despite the crew mentioning in the safety demo that all laptops and tablets should be put away for departure, this wasn’t enforced in the slightest. My seatmate had both on her lap throughout.

As we were at the favourable end of the terminal in order for a runway 27L departure, I expected a quick taxi. This wasn’t to be though, as there was quite a queue of aircraft departing from Terminal 4 at this time. Although I have found that most departures from Terminal 4 these days tend to pull the short straw when it comes to any sort of priority.

After a good 15 minutes of going precisely nowhere, the captain announced that we were number three for takeoff, but we would still have to wait for a while.

We eventually took off around ten minutes after we were scheduled to arrive into Paris.

Liftoff

On Board Service

Air France still offers complimentary food and drink in economy on European flights. In the past, I’ve found the catering options to be a little interesting to say the least. This flight was no exception.

Air France cabin

The only snack option was a carrot, cumin and courgette sandwich. I had low expectations for this, but it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought.

Air France catering
Air France catering

The presentation of the water left a lot to be desired, but I guess you can’t expect too much on a short sector like this.

Air France catering

Arrival

By the time I had finished eating, descent had started. The flight deck gave an arrival time of around 50 minutes behind schedule and mentioned that the weather was far better in Paris than it was in London.

Paris

Touch down came and a speedy journey over to terminal 2E followed, arriving on to stand 1h1m behind schedule.

Wingview
Wingview
Arrival
Arrival
Air France A320

After this, it was a pretty easy journey through to arrivals.

Arrival
Arrival

My Thoughts

Not the best flight this evening. The delay was a little frustrating, but it could have been worse I guess. The free catering was appreciated, although much like previous flights with the airline it was interesting to say the least! The crew didn’t seem all that apologetic about the delay, but they did do everything that was asked of them.

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