Earn $300 Cash Back + First-Year Free with this Welcome Offer!
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris

Review: Air France A350 Business Class – Toronto – Paris

To the point Check out our review of an Air France Business Class flight between Toronto and Paris aboard its new aircraft: the Airbus A350-900.

Foreword

On September 27, 2019, Air France received its first Airbus A350, first of 28 ordered.

Its name: “Toulouse.” It was followed in October by “Lyon.” A third will join the fleet by the end of the year, and three more in 2020.

For the next few months, the new A350s will operate short flights to familiarize the crews: Abidjan, Bamako, Cairo… Toronto. They will then take their passengers to longer destinations such as Seoul or Bangkok.

Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350 - Toulouse

With an A350 on Toronto-Paris flight from October 27, 2019, I decided to burn some of my Flying Blue miles during the exceptional Flying Blue promotion of October to review it!

Booking this flight

In October 2019, Flying Blue launched a Special Edition of its “Promo Awards”. For a few days, it was possible to book a flight between Toronto and Paris for only:

  • 11,000 Flying Blue miles in Economy class
  • 25,000 Flying Blue miles in Premium Economy class
  • 32,000 Flying Blue miles in Business class, the option I chose.
promo rewards flying blue fr toronto

For the same itinerary, it usually costs the double (and Aeroplan charges 55,000 miles for the same trip on Air Canada).

With American Express US cards in my wallet, I transferred Membership Rewards Points to Flying Blue miles, taking advantage of a 25% bonus conversion!

Thus, only 26,500 Membership Rewards points have been used to book this flight!

American Express and Flying Blue in Canada?

In Canada, Flying Blue is not a transfer partner of Membership Rewards from American Express, unlike in the United States.

It is astonishing given the large French diaspora in the country and the many flights offered by Air France and KLM from major Canadian cities.

As Skyteam transfer partners available, in addition to Delta Skymiles which has its usefulness for the North American continent, we only have Alitalia MilleMiglia.

Suffice to say… unhelpful for flights to Europe and elsewhere around the world

American Express + Air France: Please offer your Canadian and French customers solutions to travel with their points and miles!

We believed it for a day in 2018:

afklm amex

Marriott Bonvoy to Flying Blue

Meanwhile, the only solution for Canadians to easily earn Flying Blue miles is by converting Marriott Bonvoy points at a rate of 3:1, and benefiting from the conversion promotion per 60,000 points transferred (5,000 miles bonus):

60,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points = 25,000 miles Flying Blue

This flight has been fully paid by milesopedia. However, Air France Canada gave us priority access to the aircraft to take pictures of the cabin. A big thank you to Air France and especially Diane, from Air France Canada!

My opinion on Air France's Business Class - A350

Boarding

After a visit to the Air France KLM lounge at Toronto Airport, here I am at the boarding gate for this AF 351 flight to Paris Charles-De-Gaulle.

Afa Yyz Extérieur
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The Airbus A350, with its easily recognizable nose – as well as its “mask” has just arrived from Paris.

Afa Yyz Extérieur
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

While the crew is on board, I am accompanied outside by Yolla – Duty Station Manager – for a unique view of this brand new aircraft:

Afa Yyz Extérieur
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Extérieur
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Extérieur
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

I then take advantage of the few minutes that will be given to me to review the cabin.

Air France A350 Economy Cabin

Air France has chosen a classic 3-3-3 configuration for the 266 seats in its Economy cabin.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Economy
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Economy

Note the large 11.6-inch touchscreens installed at each seat.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Economy

When travelling in Economy Class, I recommend a seat at the emergency exits row for the legroom they provide.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Economy

Air France A350 Premium Economy Cabin

The Premium Economy Cabin is insulated from the Economy Cabin by a partition and curtains.

There are 24 seats in the Premium Economy Cabin, with a 2-4-2 configuration.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Premium Economy

Unlike most of the other Air France aircraft configurations, these seats are not integrated into a shell. The seat reclines at 124 degrees and has a personal light.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Premium Economy
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350 - Premium Economy Class - Credit: Air France

The touchscreen here is 13.3 inches.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Economy

Air France A350 Business Cabin

Now, the Business Class of this Air France A350. 34 seats are there, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The seat can become a 2-meter long bed, and all have direct access to the hallway. It is appreciable considering that some airlines offer configurations on their Airbus A350 enclosing some passengers at the windows, as is the case with Lufthansa.

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The 34 business class seats on the Air France A350 are divided into four different ways:

  • Individual window seats: A – L (those offering the most privacy)
  • Individual window seats but facing the aisle: C – J
  • The central seats in the“honeymoon” position: E – F (perfect for couples)
  • Aisle-facing central seats: D – H (in my opinion, the least satisfying)

Here are the 4 choices:

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

As I was travelling alone, my choice naturally turned to a window seat: 6L.

Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris

Air France A350's Business Class seat

Unlike Audrey, I have not yet had the opportunity to review the Business Class seat in the “Best” Configuration installed on some B777.

However, this seat is a significant leap forward for Air France (which still offers non-flat bed seats on some of its aircraft)!

Afa Yyz Cabines
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Several storage spaces are available:

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

And what about shades and fabrics, chosen by Air France: the real “French Touch.”

Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350 - Business Class - Credit: Air France
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

At each seat you’ll find:

  • A pillow
  • Blanket
  • Socks
  • Slippers
  • A hanger for your jacket
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The windows are 30% larger than the previous generation aircraft, and we can see it! I like the “double curtains,” preferring this system to the one on the Boeing 787.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The tablet is large and disappears entirely under the screen when not used.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

I switched the seat in bed mode with a surprise; there is a significant gap in the lumbar section (hidden under the seat belt):

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

However, this one will not be inconvenient to sleep, even if a mattress pad would have been appreciated (as offered by other airlines like Turkish Airlines or United).

Note that it is possible to buckle your belt at the ventral level when you sleep.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Once on a flat position, the legroom is rather broad, and it didn’t disturb me at all during my sleep, even when sleeping on the sides.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350

Note this removable separation to add privacy with the hallway:

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The multimedia system

The screen offered in Business Class is significant: 18.5 inches. Here is the famous “milesopedia coaster test”.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Unfortunately for me, I was the only passenger to experience a malfunction on this one: a youthful error quickly addressed by the crew after a system reset (removing the screen from the seat!)

Aside from this inconvenience, the entertainment system perfectly met my expectations (more than 1,400 hours of entertainment are loaded!).

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

A noise cancellation headphone is provided to Business Class passengers.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

You can, of course, check the flight route, get information about your flight and your arrival airport. But being #avgeek at heart, my favourite feature was the outdoor views thanks to 2 cameras!

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Wi-Fi is available to all passengers:

  • 0 euro for a “Message” pass (Messenger, iMessage, Whatsapp)
  • 3 to 18 euros for a “Surf” pass (internet, emails…)
  • 30 euros for a “Stream” pass (high speed for streaming and download)

For this night flight, the “Message” pass was enough for me and worked perfectly well! On the way back – a day flight – I will review the “Stream” pass!

Img
Air France - A350 - Pass Message
Img
Air France - A350 - Pass Surf
Img
Air France - A350 - Pass Stream

The Business Service

There is one area where Air France excels in Business class: its onboard service.

The crew members are smiling and caring for the comfort of all their passengers. For example, the Business cabin manager has introduced himself to each passenger, calling them by the last name at the beginning and the end of the flight to ensure that the service rendered has lived up to their expectations. And during the flight, I’ve been served with excellence by Cecile.

During boarding, champagne and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages have been served.

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Then, the flight attendant brought a welcome amenity kit (and it is possible to choose from 4 categories: I naturally picked the “milesopedia blue”)!

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

All accessories are there:

  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • earplugs
  • Mask
  • face cream
  • shoehorn
  • Pen
  • Soft wipe for glasses
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

The diner menu on this flight:

  • Pan-fried scallops on truffled shiitake duxelle, duck shredded with tarragon, cabbage pickles with turmeric and yuzu marmalade
  • Seasonal salad
  • Beef stew with blueberry sauce, creamy quinoa with crunchy vegetables, zucchini and young carrots
  • Hot chicken paté and foie gras
  • Ravioli with portobello mushrooms with porcini sauce and parmesan
  • Grilled salmon creamy lemon sauce, potatoes, broccoli and edamame beans
  • Cheese
  • Raspberry cheesecake, chocolate square, cherry financier
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

For take-off, the light has been dimmed, giving the cabin an interesting atmosphere!

Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Business
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Once the cruising altitude reached, dinner has been served.

I chose:

  • Pan-fried scallops on truffled shiitake duxelle, duck shredded with tarragon, cabbage pickles with turmeric and yuzu marmalade
  • Hot chicken paté and foie gras
  • Cheese
  • Raspberry cheesecake, chocolate square, cherry financier

As an aperitif, Gavottes (crepes stuffed with cheese) have been served.

Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Like Audrey during her Business Class review between Montreal and Paris, I am surprised to see the cheeses and desserts being brought at the same time as the starter!

Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Visually uninteresting in this photo, the main course was succulent.

Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

One hour and a half after take-off, it was time for me to fall asleep for a few hours. The flight attendant asked me if I wanted to be wake up for lunch: I said no.

On transatlantic flights, I usually prefer to have breakfast at the lounge to maximize my sleep time. Note our cruising speed of more than 1,100 km/hour thanks to the winds!

Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

However, I naturally woke up and so tested the breakfast. There, too, a no-fault service.

Afa Yyz Repas
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Shortly after, we landed on time in Paris Charles-De-Gaulle thanks to very favourable winds, despite a 45 minutes late departure.

Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Air France A350 Flight Deck

I asked the flight attendant to visit the cockpit, which was granted to me after other business class passengers left the plane.

Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business

Always a great pleasure for a #avgeek like me to enter a cockpit. And I even had the chance to sit in the captain’s seat (pic taken by the captain)!

Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350

A big thank you to Bertrand for making this possible!

The arrival was by bus, which I was hoping to be able to take some day pictures of this first Air France A350: “Toulouse”!

Afa Yyz Pilotage
Air France - A350 - Classe Business
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350 - Toulouse
Review: Air France Business Class – A350 – Toronto – Paris
Air France - A350

Conclusion

It is always a pleasure to travel on Air France: a great hard product with an outstanding soft product!

Air France is a sharp competitor against Air Canada on this strategic Toronto-Paris route. Let’s hope to see this aircraft land in Montreal one day! And above all, let’s hope for a partnership between American Express Canada and Air France Canada! 😉

Best Credit Card Offers

Leave a Reply

Suggested Reading