Air France: French elegance or just over the top (Part II)

What never ceases to amaze me with Air France is that they believe they have excellent service and quality.

In the past I have travelled with numerous airlines including British Airways, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific for long haul. These 4 airlines alone have a much better quality of service than Air France. It is not just about offering a glass of champagne or the latest culinary delight even if that is very enjoyable. Nevertheless the whole process of travel today is so stressful that anything that can relieve that get many more points that a glass of champagne.

This is where Air France lacks total customer service going right up to the level of Platinum or their Elite Plus status.

Travelling on a French domestic flight is pretty hilarious. The cabin crew will come along with a box filled with either savoury or sweet mix (melange sucré ou salé). Neither one deserves such attention as if serving the latest Pierre Hermé Macaron !
The way they ask if you want to drink something is not really translatable into English.

Qu’est ce qui vous ferait plaisir? I suppose would be
What would make you happy? Yes you can imagine the reply you can be tempted to give sometimes!

Que desiriez-vous boire ? What could I get you to drink ?

They sound like sentences from a time gone by and frankly not adapted to the cheap orange juice the spring water (not even mineral) that they’ve picked up in the local discount store. As for the coffee surely there is a law against calling the warm black water they serve: coffee.

I am not saying that other European airlines or low cost carriers are any better. It’s just that they way they serve really doesn’t fit and to come back to customer service: Don’t even think of asking for another glass of water once they’ve been past. You will get that dagger look!

This makes me think of the time when I had to opportunity to travel with AF in first class, using all my frequent flyer miles I had accumulated over the years, only to be extremely disappointed. In the First Class lounge they had packets of plain crisps of a French make Flodor (not top of the range) and the cheese on offer was little Babybel. I was expecting more of plate of French regional cheeses !

I travel on Air France pretty much only when I have to. Maybe KLM or BA are not quite a refined in their service but they are certainly much warmer, friendlier and realistic.


4 thoughts on “Air France: French elegance or just over the top (Part II)

  1. In CDG, on the way to Nice from LA, I spotted a connecting flight about to leave for Nice and asked an Air France attendant what my chances of getting on it were. She took one look at the plane, grabbed me by the elbow, hustled me out to the plane and bundled me on it, saving me hours of waiting and flying time. Sometimes you get outstanding service from Air France and sometimes you don’t. But the food is always better.

    1. That’s true you get good cabin crew and bad ones. I generally don’t ask for anything. What I dont like on AF is their false elegance. They pretend to be very posh etc but then serve cheap stuff, but they are no way near Ryanair ….

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