Air France’s first 787 was delivered to them on November 26th 2016. When it was announced that the aircraft would operate on the LHR-CDG route, I booked immediately.
It is important to note that I booked the flight for February 14th but due to the aircraft going to tech in Cairo, the flight was operated by an A321. I called Air France who quickly and easily changed my booking to Saturday 25th of February. Very good customer service.
I arrived at Heathrow early enough to see my aircraft land and role into gate 11 at Heathrow’s Terminal 4. I wasn’t surprised to see fellow aviation bloggers and fans watch the arrival. There was a real sense of excitement to fly on this aircraft for the first time. I was allowed to board before Air France’s premium customers to get some photos of the aircraft’s interior.
Once onboard the Dreamliner I was allowed into the flightdeck for a few minutes and then led to my seat by Pascal, who was flying on the 787 for the first time. My seat was a premium economy seat, 10K, and had a fantastic view of the right engine.
In the premium cabin you get a fantastic window view and excellent sense of the huge size of the GEnx-1B engines. The configuration of the premium cabin is very impressive for the small cost at which you can sit in it. The setup is 2-3-2 which differs from the 3-3-3 cabin in economy. This means you can both sit with a friend on either side of the cabin to enjoy the flight together or sit alone in one of the seats and have a decent separation gap between you and your neighbour. The seats are supplied with headphones and reading lights in the middle for you to watch a film or read a book mid-flight. The seats are extremely comfortable and sit in a white shell which helps you not interfere in others personal space behind you. I was struck by both the comfort and the width of the seats which allow you to relax and enjoy the flight. The legroom is also very impressive. Admittedly, I was sitting in seat 10K which is at the front of the cabin but I could stretch my legs out fully and had two windows that I could look out of. Overall, a fantastic cabin on this aircraft and a great job by Air France.
As this was a morning flight, I was given a choice of coffee or tea and a croissant. They were both very tasty, but even better was the cost (free) which is becoming a rare novelty in economy cabins as airlines make cuts to increase their profit and allow reductions in price to oppose the rise of budget carriers.
The crew were one of the friendliest I have seen. Whether this was because they were all newly trained on the aircraft, I don’t know. They were happy to chat to me during the flight and were overly polite while serving customers. The feeling I got from them was one of real excitement to be flying on this new aircraft.
Air France have done a fantastic job with the design of this B787, especially in the premium cabin, and the crew were fantastic. I thought the flight was a really enjoyable one and I would recommend Air France to anyone. Professional, clean and very appealing. Well done Air France.