What to Expect From Air France Seats and Fare Classes

Air France's seat classes offer a range of comfort and cost options, with La Première as the most luxurious.
Peter Rothbart
By Peter Rothbart 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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As one of the world’s largest airlines, Air France serves more than 200 destinations in over 90 countries. Across that global network, there are four Air France classes of service, ranging from standard economy to first class.

While service in a given Air France cabin is mostly similar across the airline’s fleet, there’s some variation from one flight to the next depending on the aircraft and route being flown.

This guide will take you through the four service classes Air France offers so you know what to expect from each one.

Air France La Première

La Première is the name for the first class Air France cabin offered on flights between Paris and 11 destinations worldwide, including six in North America. La Première is available exclusively on Boeing 777 flights, comprising a single row in a 1-2-1 configuration. However, not all of Air France’s 777 aircraft are equipped with a first class cabin.

The La Première experience begins on the ground with personal chauffeur service to the airport in Paris and five other French cities. At Charles de Gaulle airport, La Première passengers can use a private check-in lounge, security lane and baggage concierge (with added allowance for checked baggage).

Passengers also have access to the La Première lounge, which features full meal and beverage service, complimentary spa treatments, shower suites and more. When it’s time to board, passengers can avoid the terminal with a private transfer to the aircraft in a Porsche Cayenne.

La Première offers individual suites with seats that recline to a flat bed. Seat amenities include an ottoman that doubles as a companion seat (for dining together), floor-to-ceiling privacy curtains, a personal 24-inch HD screen with on-demand entertainment, noise-canceling headphones and private storage.

Other in-flight amenities include dine-on-demand meal service and turndown service, an Air France travel kit with body and facial care products by Sisley, complimentary La Première pajamas and slippers and a private cloakroom.

Air France business class

Business class service on Air France doesn't match the consistency of La Première, with wide variation in seating and cabin configuration among different aircraft.

Air France offers long-haul business class seats aboard Airbus A330s and A350s, as well as Boeing 777s and 787s. If you’re uncertain about your options, use a database like AeroLOPA or SeatGuru to compare with the airline’s seating charts and see which Air France cabin is available on a flight.

Many Air France business class seats provide an angle-flat bed and lack direct aisle access. However, the airline is updating all its wide-body aircraft to include the airline’s new business class seat, which offers a lie-flat bed, direct aisle access and a sliding door to create a fully enclosed private space. In the meantime, angle-flat and lie-flat seats offer at least 21 inches of width.

A window business class seat on the updated A350. (Image courtesy of Air France)

Long-haul business class passengers can expect amenities including a full meal and beverage service with a self-serve snack buffet, a personal HD touch screen with entertainment on demand, a complimentary comfort kit with cosmetics and essentials, noise-reducing headphones, in-seat power and personal storage.

A business class ticket also grants access to business class lounges and provides SkyPriority perks like priority boarding and baggage handling, as well as dedicated check-in and security lines and a higher checked baggage allowance.

The Air France business class experience is vastly different on short- and medium-haul flights. Air France’s Embraer 170 and 190 aircraft offer a business class seat that scales between premium economy and first class on domestic carriers, while the business class cabin on Air France’s other Airbus aircraft is simply the front of the economy class cabin with the middle seat blocked off.

The in-flight amenities are sparse compared with long-haul service, but you’ll still get lounge access and airport benefits.

Air France premium economy

Air France offers its premium economy cabin only on wide-body aircraft, meaning the cabin is available almost exclusively on long-haul flights. Most premium economy seats on Air France are 19 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch. The seat width is fairly consistent among different aircraft, but the pitch varies from 36 inches (in some Boeing 777-300 layouts) to 40 inches (on the Boeing 787-900).

The premium economy seats on a refurbished 777-300 ER designed for long-haul flights. (Photo courtesy of Air France)

Premium economy in Air France cabins comes in a 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 configuration with direct aisle access only for aisle seats. This is different from the Seat Plus option, which is an Air France economy standard seat with more legroom (such as an exit row) in a 3-4-3 configuration.

In addition to a wider seat and more legroom, Air France’s premium economy seat offers greater recline, a larger personal touch screen and a universal charging outlet and USB port.

Premium economy passengers also get a noise-reducing headset, a comfort kit with travel essentials like an eye mask and earplugs, and a bottle of water at the seat upon boarding.

There isn't complimentary lounge access for those flying premium economy, but day passes are available for purchase.

Air France economy

Economy seats in a long-haul cabin on a Boeing 777-300 ER. (Photo courtesy of Air France)

Economy is the lowest Air France class of service. The Air France economy standard seat is comparable with what airlines like Delta and United offer in economy on domestic flights. In most cases, wide-body and narrow-body aircraft provide 31-32 inches of pitch and 17-18 inches of width.

Seats with extra legroom (like exit rows or bulkheads) can be booked for an additional fee, or they may be available to Flying Blue elite members to select at a set time before departure.

Air France economy lacks the amenities found in other Air France cabins, but it still offers standard features like reclining seats, tray tables, adjustable armrests, drink holders and jacket holders. Economy seats on most aircraft have personal USB ports, and long-haul aircraft are equipped with individual HD touch screens for in-flight entertainment. Long-haul passengers also get a pillow and blanket.

Long-haul flights include a full meal service with a selection of hot dishes, as well as an additional snack or second meal depending on the flight length and schedule. All economy passengers receive a complimentary beverage service (which includes wine and Champagne on long-haul flights) and a selection of sweets and snacks available between meals.

What's the best way to book different Air France fare classes?

Air France premium economy and Air France economy standard are comparable with other major carriers, so while you shouldn’t go out of your way to book these seats, you also don’t need to avoid them.

Air France business class is more moderately priced and more widely available when booking with points, making it a good target for award travelers.

Premium seats are priced accordingly and can’t be booked with points unless you have high-level Flying Blue elite status. As a result, the best opportunity to fly La Première may be as a cash upgrade from one of the other classes Air France offers.

Final thoughts on Air France seat classes

There are four service classes: La Première, business class, premium economy and economy. As the pinnacle of Air France classes of service, La Première is one of the more glamorous first class products in the skies. Economy is the lowest class of service, but still offers standard features.

Choosing among the four Air France seat classes is a trade-off between cost and luxury.

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