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Review : Air France Bus & Flight 777-300ER | Premium Economy | YUL-CDG

Departing Airport Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
Arrival Airport Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Flight Carrier Air France
Duration 6h45
Aircraft Boeing 777
Cabin Class Premium Economy
Tutorial Air France: 7 ways to make the most of your Flying Blue Miles

Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
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To the point Discover my very first experience with Air France's Premium Economy cabin on the Montreal - Paris route, aboard a Boeing 777-300ER.

My trip started in Ottawa, and included a ride on the Air France bus to Montreal-Trudeau airport, so here’s my review of this rather unusual part of the trip.

First of all, I’d like to inform you that 24 hours before my departure, when I checked in using the Air France application, I was offered to upgrade to the Business cabin on the Montreal – Paris segment for CAD 659 or 64,200 Flying Blue Miles. In other circumstances, I might have accepted the cash offer, but not today. As for the Miles offer, certainly not.

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Air France 777 Premium Economy - Ottawa to Montreal bus

My departure is from the Ottawa train station. I waited for the bus directly at the station’s main entrance with my three bags.

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Fifteen minutes before departure time, the bus arrives and parks directly in front of the station’s main entrance.

I place my luggage in the hold, the driver offers me a bottle of cold water and I board. All I need to do is give the driver my name to confirm my access. I could even have decided at the last minute to make my own way to the Montreal airport to catch my flight, and this would have had no impact on my plane ticket.

Surprise, surprise! There are only two of us on the bus. The driver confirms that this is a frequent occurrence. Of course, we can sit wherever we like, but all the seats have the same characteristics. There is no Premium Economy category on the bus.

I’m pleasantly surprised: the trip is very comfortable and relaxing. Definitely better than driving, and even better than flying from Ottawa to Montreal, which most of the time is done in very small, uncomfortable aircraft.

The schedule of the Air France shuttle bus has been designed to ensure hassle-free connections with Air France flights. As planned, the bus left Ottawa at 1:20 p.m. and arrived at the Montreal airport at 3:20 p.m., giving me plenty of time before my 7:05 p.m. flight.

On my return from Europe, I also took the Air France bus back to Ottawa. At Montreal airport, the bus is picked up at gate 28 (Uber) and arrives about 15 minutes before the time indicated on your ticket. I was even pleasantly surprised that an announcement was made just before my Paris-Montreal flight landed, informing us how and where to catch the bus in question. Once again, there were only two of us on the bus and everything went very smoothly.

I was told that another Air France bus also ran between the airport and Quebec City. Check with the driver to make sure you’re taking the right one, as both arrive at the same time and park in the same place.

Air France 777 Premium Economy - Montreal to Paris flight

Hold baggage is checked in at Montréal-Trudeau airport and labelled ” SkyPriority “. I don’t know if it made any difference, but my connection at the Paris airport was tight and to my surprise, my luggage followed and arrived at the same time as me at my final destination, Geneva.

With my ticket, paid for with Flying Blue Miles, I had the right to carry up to two pieces of baggage weighing up to 23 kg free of charge in the hold, which was particularly appreciated as I was traveling with my ski equipment.

The Premium Economy ticket does not in itself give access to the airport lounges, but it did enable me to get priority boarding in Zone 2.

When I arrive on the plane, I discover that the Premium Economy cabin is isolated from the others by partitions. This will give us a little more peace and quiet, especially at night. There are only three rows of seats with portholes and four rows in the middle. Leaving the plane among the first passengers is another significant advantage of the Premium Economy cabin, especially if you need to make a quick connection for your next flight.

My seat, 5C, indicated by the letters “DL”.

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Here’s a view of the Premium Economy cabin, taken from the rear.

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Featuring a wide, relaxing seat, the Premium Economy seat offers a more generous recline with more legroom for greater comfort than the Economy cabin. The seat also features numerous storage compartments.

There’s also an easy-to-adjust headrest, footrest and leg rest.

We are given an amenity kit containing a sleep mask, a pair of socks, earplugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. A small wet wipe is also distributed before take-off.

A bottle of water, a fleece blanket and a pillow are also at my disposal.

Shortly after departure, Air France offers a glass of champagne to all passengers, regardless of ticket fare. Only the quality of the champagne varies.

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In terms of entertainment, the Premium Economy seat features a large interactive video screen, a small adjustable reading lamp, a power socket, a USB port and noise-reducing headphones.

The advantage of having a seat in the first row of the Premium Economy cabin gives me even more legroom and pushes my video screen a little further away from my eyes.

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A remote control lets me interact with on-screen menus without having to lean forward to use my touchscreen.

My favorite feature of the entertainment system is the camera that gives me the pilot’s view and also the interactive map that lets me check our route.

Two meals are served on board this flight.

This is what I was offered in Premium Economy.

The main meal included: roasted vegetable salad, red beans and pineapple, veal blanquette, rice and carrots, cheese and all-chocolate shortbread. The second option would have been a pumpkin gratin with seasonal vegetables.

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I must say that veal cuts were rather rare.

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The second meal (breakfast), served just before landing, was lacklustre.

On the return flight, still in Premium Economy, the two meals served were as follows and were better in my opinion:

Bottom Line

I think the Premium Economy ticket was well worth it, and in future it will be an option I’ll consider for my next flights to Europe. For example, it’s just as much a way to get more comfort than in the Economy cabin, or a way to replace a Business ticket and save precious air miles.

Nothing beats a Business ticket, especially for the privilege of sleeping on a flight to Europe, thanks to the seat that converts into a lie-flat bed. However, if you’re flying back to Canada from Europe during the day, Premium Economy is an excellent option.

As for the trip on the Air France bus between Ottawa and the Montreal airport, it was a “wow” all the way!

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