Earn Up to 70,000 Points + First-Year Free

Review: Air France B777 – Economy Class

YUL CDG
Arrival Airport Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport
Flight Carrier Air France
Flight Number AF347
Duration 6:40
Aircraft B777
Cabin Class Economy
Cost 40,000 BMO points
To the point See our photo report from the flight from Montreal to Paris with Air France in economy class with BMO Rewards points.

For a friend’s 30th birthday, we decided to surprise him at the exit of his work – in front of the Montreal-Trudeau airport, it’s good timing – to take him for a long weekend to Amsterdam for an electronic music festival.

The first flight will be to Paris to catch our connection to Amsterdam.

amsterdam
The canals of Amsterdam

Booking your flight with BMO Rewards points

For this group trip, I didn’t use Aeroplan miles as I usually do when traveling in business class on Air Canada, Swiss, Lufthansa or United or even Turkish Airlines. I also did not use Avios miles to fly on British Airways.

I could have transferred starpoints from Marriott Bonvoy to Air France’s Flying Blue program… but it wasn’t worth it at all considering that the round trip ticket cost less than $700… and the other members of the group were taking that same route.

So I turned to the points on my BMO World Elite MasterCard. By using the BMO Rewards booking portal, I was able to apply a portion of my points towards the purchase of the flight, in this case 40,000 BMO points.

bmo rewards af klm
Using BMO Rewards points on an airline ticket

So this is not a business class flight as I usually do, but rather a trip in economy class, completing the collection of those made by my friend Matthieu during the last months with Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat, WOW Air and short-haul flights of Air Canada and Porter.

Check-in on Air France and Boarding at Montreal-Trudeau

36 hours before the flight departure, we were able to check in from the Air France mobile application. Since we didn’t want to pay the extra fee for a better seat when we bought the ticket (between 50 and 100$ for a seat at the emergency exits), we had to make do with what was left.

With no luggage to check – having made sure we all had carry-on luggage for this short stay in Amsterdam – we headed straight to the security line. On this Wednesday evening, there are not many people and the passage will be done in less than 5 minutes.

af347 yulcdg1
End of the security passage – Montreal Trudeau

The aircraft is displayed on time on the screens. We have an hour ahead of us which we will spend, as usual, at the National Bank World MasterCard lounge thanks to the Priority Pass offered by the American Express Platinum card. This card allows the holder AND a guest to enter free of charge.

af347 yulcdg2
The National Bank World MasterCard Lounge: a tradition for milesopedia

Installation on Air France flight AF347

As this was a surprise for our friend, we boarded the last flight to Paris. Indeed, I had his ticket and he did not have to show it himself at the security checkpoint or at the show.

af347 yulcdg25
Aircraft door – Air France AF347

Boarding in the last few seats is rather risky for your cabin luggage… the plane being almost full, you may have to check your luggage. This was not our case, and we found space.

af347 yulcdg12
View of the cabin from the back of the aircraft – Air France AF347

Air France has configured the cabin of its Boeing 777s with 10 seats per row… which is starting to become a standard, whereas the aircraft was originally designed to accommodate 9 seats per row. As much to say that the comfort is not optimal…!

The best seats are those at the emergency exits or facing the partitions dividing the travel classes (more legroom). If you can’t get one of these seats, the back of the plane is a good compromise: on both sides of the cabin, the 3-4-3 becomes 2-4-2 (8 seats per row) which frees up some space in the aisle.

af347 yulcdg8
View from my seat – Changing from 3 seats to 2 seats for the left row – Air France AF347

Legroom is not exceptional. However, my friend sitting next to me points out that it’s not the worst he’s seen (he’s 6’1″).

af347 yulcdg7
Legroom for a person of 1,88m. – Air France AF347

I am used to the large spaces of business and first class, but I am obviously cramped. I don’t really understand the purpose of the footrest, preferring to stretch my legs out under the seat in front of me.

af347 yulcdg4
Legroom for a 1.78m person – Air France AF347

The individual screen is small… and very old. It is difficult to see a movie properly on it.

af347 yulcdg5
Screen and remote control – Air France AF347

No USB port or electrical outlet, so you won’t be able to recharge your electronic devices. Flight attendants distribute menus before takeoff.

af347 yulcdg9
Menu – Air France AF347

This evening, we will offer a common starter (orzo pasta salad with curry) and the traditional choice between Chicken or Pasta.

Air France differentiates itself from other airlines such as Air Transat or Air Canada Rouge with a good selection of drinks and spirits. It is also possible to request champagne, which is often reserved for premium economy or business class.

af347 yulcdg10
Menu – Air France AF347

A bottle of water will also be served before take-off. The remote control reminds me of the controller of my very first video game console… in the early 1990s.

af347 yulcdg11
Water bottle and remote control – Air France AF347

Shortly after takeoff, I visit the back of the aircraft, located only a few rows behind me. This is where one of the kitchens and toilets is located…. and the place where you can stretch your legs.

af347 yulcdg13
Kitchen at the bottom of the aircraft – Air France AF347
af347 yulcdg16
Living space at the back of the aircraft – Air France AF347

The toilets are rather large.

af347 yulcdg15
Toilets at the bottom of the aircraft – Air France AF347
af347 yulcdg14
Toilets at the bottom of the aircraft – Air France AF347

After reaching our cruising altitude, dinner will be served. Being close to the kitchens, we will be among the first to be served.

Tonight I opted for the chicken with a small bottle of red wine. The meal is very correct (Air France distinguishes itself here from the sandwich provided by Air Transat).

af347 yulcdg17
Dinner – Air France AF347

However, despite all the goodwill of the flight attendants (I would like to emphasize the quality of the service provided), we will wait a long time before seeing our trays being served. Indeed, the plane being full, the service is affected.

Here is where we are at the time our meal trays were picked up.

af347 yulcdg18
End of service – Air France AF347

There are only 4 hours of flight left to try to sleep a little.

af347 yulcdg19
End of service and beginning of the night – Air France AF347

The alcohol mints, the sleep aid pill, the earplugs and my noise-reducing headphones will help me get some rest. I wake up 3 hours later, just at lunch time.

af347 yulcdg21
Alarm clock – Air France AF347

We then fly over the United Kingdom.

af347 yulcdg22
Lunch over the UK – Air France AF347

The lunch is very simple.

af347 yulcdg20
Lunch – Air France AF347

The landing will be on time and the disembarkation will be rather fast. A few pictures when leaving the plane to realize that it has not been cleaned for a while. Air France is “famous” for this among Montreal spotter.

af347 yulcdg23
Air France AF347

The B777’s engine, still as impressive as ever.

af347 yulcdg24
Engine – Air France AF347

A last view on the plane that brought us to our destination (and that still hasn’t changed its livery).

af347 yulcdg27
Former livery – Air France AF347

Bottom line

For many years, Air France has kept the unfortunate habit of positioning its oldest aircraft in Montreal – with the exception of the A380, which unfortunately disappeared from the Montreal landscape due to the lack of profitability of its business class.

For Air France, this is a “vacation” destination and not a “professional” one like Toronto or New York. Air France is therefore competing with Air Transat or Air Canada Rouge.

But other “traditional” airlines are adjusting: Air Canada has revised its travel cabin serving Paris, and British Airways has put the famous B787 Dreamliner on the route serving London.

So Air France is lagging behind and you can see it in the aircraft. Let’s hope that the upcoming entry into service of the B789 within the tricolored airline, but especially the refurbishment of the cabins will help to restore the reputation of the airline’s 2 to 3 daily Montreal-Paris flights!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

Suggested Reading