Zone Boarding With Air France: How Does it Work?

To the point Many are wondering how boarding by zone works with Air France, and what zones 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 mean. Today, we solved the mystery.

For a number of years now, Air France has been boarding its flights by zone to facilitate departure. As a result, queues are generally shorter and gate congestion is less chaotic. But although the numbering system is fairly straightforward, the rules surrounding it can sometimes confusing. Which passengers benefit from priority boarding in zones 1 and 2? And who’s in zone 5? Milesopedia helps to sort it all out.

What is a Zone?

Boarding with Air France is based on the allocation of a zone number according to the passenger’s cabin and Flying Blue status. This zone number is clearly printed on the boarding pass. As boarding approaches, ground crews direct passengers sequentially through numbered zones, from zone 1 to zone 5.

It is important to note that boarding is only authorized when the corresponding zone number are announced, not before. Signs indicating the zones are visible in front of the flight’s boarding gate, providing clear cues. This method ensures a smooth, orderly boarding process, allowing each passenger to board at a time that suits them, while promoting efficient organization of the entire process.


Identify Your Zone: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

You’ll find your zone number on your boarding pass, whether you obtained it at the airport, on the Air France website or via the airline’s app.

Zones 1 and 2 are called first, followed by zones 3, 4 and 5.

Air France - Zone 1

Flying Blue members with Gold or Platinum status traveling with SkyPriority are generally in zone 1.

Air France - Zone 2

Flying Blue members with Gold or Platinum status traveling in Economy or Premium Economy retain their SkyPriority benefits, with boarding in zone 2.

Air France - Zone 3

Flying Blue members with Silver status are usually called zone 3.

Air France - Zones 4 and 5

Passengers traveling in the Economy cabin who have no Flying Blue status are the last to board the aircraft, which is why they are generally classified in zones 4 and 5.

Travelling in Zones 1 and 2

To travel in zone 1 or 2 and qualify for priority boarding, you need to use Air France‘s SkyPriority program. To be entitled to the various privileges of the program, you must :

  • Hold SkyTeam Elite Plus status
  • Reserve a seat in La Première, Business or Premium Economy cabins
  • Book a Flex ticket on flights between France and Europe or North Africa
  • Purchase a memebership card

SkyTeam Elite Plus status is the equivalent of Flying Blue Gold and Flying Blue Platinum status inAir France KLM‘s Flying Blue frequent flyer program. To obtain it, all you have to do is fly with Air France or any other Skyteam member airline in order to accumulate enough XP points to reach the objective required to obtain it.

How Do I Get My Boarding Pass?

You can check in at any time from 30 hours before your flight’s departure. There are two ways to register:

  • From your Flying Blue customer account
  • With your reservation number

Once you have completed online check-in, all you need to do is download your boarding pass. How? You have four options:

  • Receive it by e-mail
  • Download it to your phone
  • Print it
  • Pick it up at the airport, at an Air France terminal

If your boarding pass cannot be obtained online or via a self-service kiosk, you will need to go to the Air France counter at the airport to obtain it. In such a situation, it is recommended to plan an early arrival to allow enough time to pass through security checks, as additional checks may be required.

Check-In Online on the Air France Website or via the Application

You can check in online, on the Air France website, or on the airline’s app.

  • If you choose to register on the site, you must go to the Registration area, then enter your reservation reference or your Flying Blue number.
  • If you choose to check in via the app, simply log in to your account and download your boarding pass.

At the Airport

When you travel with Air France, you have the option of checking in at the airport on the day of your flight, right up to check-in closing time. This allows you to choose your seat and acquire your boarding pass.

The French airline has self-service kiosks available at all times in many airports. These not only allow you to check-in in a few simple steps, but also to print out your suitcase label if you’re traveling with checked luggage. You can also use them to make changes to your reservation or to purchase additional options for your ticket. It’s a fast, efficient way to customize your trip to suit your needs.

In the event of problems, Air France agents are available to answer passengers’ questions.


Bottom Line

Boarding by zone with Air France helps avoid congestion when passengers start boarding. Priority boarding passengers, i.e. those traveling with the SkyPriority program, are generally the first to board the aircraft, in zones 1 and 2 groups. Depending on status, cabin and additional services, other passengers are invited to board in zones 3, 4 and 5.

Boarding by Zone With Air France - Frequently Asked Questions

How does boarding with Air France work?

Boarding with Air France is based on the allocation of a zone number according to the passenger’s cabin and Flying Blue status. Zones 1 and 2 are called first, followed by zones 3, 4 and 5.

How do I qualify for priority boarding with Air France?

To qualify for priority boarding with Air France, you must hold SkyTeam Elite Plus status, book a seat in the La Première, Business or Premium Economy cabin, book a Flex ticket on flights between France and Europe or North Africa, or purchase a membership card.

How do I check in online before an Air France flight?

Check-in can be done online, on the official Air France website or via the airline’s mobile application. All you need is your Flying Blue membership number or reservation number.

How long before a flight can I check in online?

With Air France, you can check in online beginning 30 hours before your flight. For Delta Air Lines flights departing from the United States, and for Air France flights departing from Atlanta and Detroit, online check-in is available 24 hours before takeoff.

How long before a flight do we need to arrive?

The boarding pass obtained online displays the recommended time of arrival at the airport, based on the airport’s busy periods. In the absence of this indication, we recommend arriving at the airport 3 hours before the departure of an international flight, and 2 hours before a domestic flight in France or Europe.

Why do we have to arrive 2 hours before the plane takes off?

Airlines recommend arriving at the airport two hours before a European flight to take into account all the steps to be followed once at the airport, such as check-in, baggage drop-off and security checks.

When does check-in end with Air France?

The end of check-in for an Air France flight depends on the airport and destination. It usually takes place between 30 and 90 minutes before takeoff.

What is the boarding time?

Depending on destination and airport, such as Paris-Orly or Paris-Charles de Gaulle, boarding can begin between 45 and 15 minutes before flight departure.

When is the boarding gate displayed?

The boarding gate is not indicated on the boarding pass, unless it was printed at the airport shortly before departure. The boarding gate is shown only on the departure signs at the airport a few hours before take-off.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

Suggested Reading