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Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Alexandria, Virginia
posts: 11
reviews: 14
Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

I just flew on Air France from CDG on 777-200 in PV class, and here are my thoughts (I share this information because I discovered a few things about that class that I saw mentioned nowhere, including Air France's site):

Pros:

Good amount of personal space. I'm 6 feet tall, and I didn't feel cramped. Seats are wide enough, and I was able to stretch fully at about 30 degrees without touching seat in front of me. Part of the seat raises up to support knee area, and there's a foot stool.

Board with Elite class, before coach.

Deplane before coach.

You're in your own 'curtained' cabin between coach and business. More intimate than coach.

Cool looking seats. Unlike some so-called PE classes with some airlines (which only give you a bit more leg room), you actually feel like you got your money's worth.

Same size screen as in Business class (10")

Overhead space abundant since fewer seats in PV with same amount of bins.

Big tray.

Same travel kit, blanket and pillow as in Business class.

Can use lounge, for a fee (I paid 35 euros in Paris). Well worth it as the departure lounge there is awesome!!!!!!

Noise cancelling earphones. Actual earphones (use the protective covers located in your kit), and not those coach class plastic things you try and shove into your ear that won't hold.

Cons:

Seats are extremely HARD!!! Harder than coach! Bring a pillow; I'm not kidding. After 90 minutes of flight you'll see/feel what I mean.

Coach food (although AF coach food is pretty good).

You have to use coach bathrooms in coach class.

If you're trying to climb over someone to get to the aisle, good luck!

Flimsy earphone cord. On both flights the sound would go from mono to stereo. Can't remember if business class has same issue.

51 replies to this topic
Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,023
reviews: 51
1. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Hello Titibalou,

All this is very helpful, as I will be flying this class in Air France next week for the first time.

I do have a question regarding carry on luggage:. as my "small" suitcase is slightly bigger than the allowed size (115 cms total for the 3 measures, mine is about 122 cms), I wondered if you noticed how strict is Air France about this??? I would have only this case with me and a normal - sized woman's bag.

Alexandria, Virginia
posts: 11
reviews: 14
2. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Hello verobaires,

I think you'll be all right with your carry on. PV is treated like business class while boarding (make sure you use elite class when checking in, and elite/business class when boarding). When I traveled in PV, bins were under utilized. If it fits in the bin, you can bring it in. I've flown Air France for many years, and crew (including checkin) does not worry about carry on as long as it is not a full size suitcase (which is not the case for you). I think you'll be all right. Any trouble with bins, ask the crew to help you. They're always very helpful :)

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,023
reviews: 51
3. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Thank you once again!

It's true that Air France crews can be extremely helpful when they wish to do so.

And good thing my carry on is somewhat too big if I have to take a cushion for my ... seat!.

Carlsbad, CA
posts: 243
reviews: 97
4. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

We just returned from a trip using Premium Voyager and I would agree with most of your comments.

The seats were roomy but so hard as to be worse than coach. My short girlfriend would have been thrilled to be allowed to move to coach on the way out, the seats were so hard. While in Italy, I had to buy her a pillow to sit on for our return flight. Then I swiped two pillows from business class on the way in for our return flight. I figured someone in business class had a better chance of getting a stolen pillow replaced than we had of getting extra pillows in PV. zi was right. Other people in PV asked for more pillows but were told none were available. The pillows helped a little.

Because the seats are in a shell, they slide rather than recline. We found them awkard to adjust and almost impossible to return to the upright position. Other people near us also complained about the seats.

If you look at a photo of the seats, you will see the snake-like reading lights. They are placed so low in the shell that they sometimes get in the way. And I read elsewhere that they break a lot.

The tv screens may be large, but on the 10.5 hour return flight, my girlfriend's tv was broken. The flight attendant kept saying it might reboot eventually, but I think that was just to stop us from complaining. There were no empty seats to which she could move. Eventually a senior flight attendant bought us off by providing a form to send in to get 5,000 frequent flyer miles on AF or a partner. That won't help us much, since it has become so hard to use FF miles to get seats.

The meals were pretty bad. On the way out, dinner was a combination of a pasta entree and a rice salad. Talk about unbalance. On the return, the hot dinner wasn't hot.

The same flight attendants served both PV and economy, so service was pretty non-existant. I had to go from PV all the way to the back of the plane to get a bottle of water. There I encountered two flight attendants who were talking and clearly did not appreciate being interrupted.

As usual, sometimes the cabin was cold and sometimes it was hot. It was rarely comfortable.

We did have lavatories at the front of the PV section that were usually available. A few passengers sneaked up from economy because the dividing curtains were left open most of the time, but it wasn't a big issue.

When I had booked our tickets, the only seats available were two centers. However, I was told that there were two sets of center and aisle seats that would not be assigned until the day of departure, so I should go to the airport early and I might be able to change seats.

We arrived when recommended only to find out that AF didn't begin operations for 90 minutes. Then, I was told at check-in that the seats couldn't be changed at baggage check-in but they might be able to be changed at the gate. I arrived at the gate when told and discovered noone would be there for 30 minutes. When someone arrived, I asked about changing seats and I got this rude "Have you lost your mind" look.

Why did AF have to give me such a run around? I ended up spending several extra hours at the airport for nothing.

When I booked, I used AF. However, the confirmation came from Delta, I guess because I gave my Delta FF number for miles. However, whenever I called Delta with follow-up questions, the people would admit to being confused because AF has different procedures. So why was I ever referred to Delta?

Based on our experience in PV, and seeing what a zoo economy was, we will try to avoid AF altogether in the future.

posts: 5,901
reviews: 114
5. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Glad I can't afford to fly in PV. Does not sound like a stellar experience. The seats in economy are already harsh on the behind, but at least the AVOD works though one may have bad luck to fly on a plane that shows only the same five films continuously. Thought the meals would be a tad better in PV-surprised to know that is not the case. We just flew AF a few weeks ago and felt the meal quality diminished a lot since our flights from the year previous. Besides the pasta the only other choice was hard, dry chicken chunks combined with apricots or fish (salmon bits covered in a pasty mashed potato mixture). Yet I still prefer AF over the US-based airlines like their partner, Delta.

Edited: 12:56 pm, June 12, 2011
NJ
posts: 6
6. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

We plan on flying to Paris in September using either Delta or Air France premium economy. Which one should we chose. The choices are Air France airbus 380-80 on the top level at the back of the plane which is two across, or Delta's Boing 777-20 which has 3 across behind business class. I'm more concerned with room and seat pitch, than food.

Thank you.

Argentina
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
posts: 4,023
reviews: 51
7. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

I just returned from Paris to Buenos Aires in Air France Premium Voyageur, (Boeing 777-200). Had read comments here about the hard seats, so I took a small pillow in my carry-on ... and spent the next 13 hours thanking in my mind the member of this forum who gave this advice!

My main concern being that my feet tend to swell very much in long flights, I chose the first row (22), in order to be able to put my feet up in the partition (? = small wall) just in front of me; and noticed that all passengers in that row did the same.

Very tall people in rows 23 and 24 were quite comfortable as well, being able to really stretch their legs.

Food is the same as economy, so it will be never something to write home about, that's for sure.

I find 3 advantages in PV: a) being only 4 rows, isolated from both business and coach, it gives a sense of privacy, as opposed to the feeling of being in a cattle train that you have in economy class. b) there is definitly more room to stretch, c) luggage allowance: 2 suitcases up to 23 kilos each, and 2 carry ons, totaling 15 (or 13, ?) more kilos.

P.S: please excuse any mistakes in my writing, English is a foreign language for me.

DUS
posts: 314
8. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Thanks to titibalou for your great review! Very helpful, have taken it down, also some of the replies.

Thx again to all of you

KK

NJ
posts: 6
9. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

Thank You. Does anyone have experience with the airbus pv? I will definitely bring a pillow!

WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,070
reviews: 36
10. Re: Air France Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) Info!

This is very useful information. I too flew PV on Air France this summer; I was 'bumped' to Business Class (no, I have no idea why) for the flight to France - PV on the return. So, I was keenly aware of the differences, and I too was surprised at the lack of comfort of the PV seats. The diminished food service is apparently nearly universal in air travel today - but hard seats !

Can we send this thread to Air France ?

~MarnieWDC (an Air France frequent flyer)

Edited: 8:58 am, July 30, 2011
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