Business Class ROCKS – or what a difference a Plane Reno Makes

I knew that they had changed something about my long leg – the flight from Paris to Singapore. When I went to print my boarding passes – my seat assignment was different – and when I went to change it back – the seat map was completely different.

So no surprise that there were changes – but I was still stunned by the difference!

But before I get to my flight – a quick review of the Charles De Gaul Hilton. I arrived in Paris at 8:00 AM – and had to fly out at 7:30 PM – and I can’t sleep on airplanes. So I knew I was going to need to find a bed when I arrived in Paris. My husband encouraged me to stay at the Hilton – he’s used it before on these airport stays – and thinks of it quite fondly.

So – expensive reservation made (I opted for the room that gave me access to the executive lounge, figuring I’d grab breakfast before hitting the sack) – I arrived in Paris – terminal 2E. There’s a shuttle every 15 minutes from 2E to the hotel – but who knew. Despite telling the hotel when I was arriving – the only instructions they gave me had me on the airport metro – a short 4 stop metro between Terminal 2, Terminal 1 and 3, and a parking lot.

So – I got off the plane – walked thru passport control and luggage claim, out to the airport, back towards the center of the airport, got on the metro thingy, go off 2 stops later, then walked around that building until I spotted the Hilton. It was a huge problem – but the entire thing could have been easily avoided had I known to grab their shuttle from terminal 2. Good news – used that on the way back – dropped me right off at my gate.

Breakfast in the Executive Lounge was ok – but not worth what I paid for the upgrade. Message to self – next time don’t bother. I got to the room – nice comfy bed – great bathroom – and collapsed. 4 Hours later – I awoke – really to boggie. Had a very refreshing shower – took the shuttle to the airport – and found the Air France Executive lounge. All good!

On to the flight.

On January 1, 2015 – Air France introduced brand new seats in Business Class on several of it’s long haul flights – and mine was one of the lucky ones. Oh – what a seat. I’ve walked past these egg shell shaped curved seats many times – this was the first time I got to press the buttons!

My seat was awesome. No seriously – really amazing. It was a full Flat bed – which means that it goes completely flat – so comfy for sleeping. The TV screen is huge – and close enough to my face for me to see it easily – and it was clean. And touch sensitive. They provided a fancy touch sensitive remote – but I never actually used it. One part of the egg hold the TV, and a shelf that becomes part of the bed when the chair is extended. Super large – super handy for my purse and back-pack. On the other part of the egg – the part with the chair – there was a very large area for putting stuff – and a cabinet that opened. It held the provided headphones (dearly wish they were more comfy – my ears were in pain by the end of the 19 hours) – and was large enough for me to tuck in my ipad. There were 2 plugs – one a multi-plug outlet that accepted not only my US connectors – but also the connectors for a multiple of other countries. The other plug was a USB port – which would charge my iphone – but not my ipad. Oh well.

So – I sat down – and my neighbor quickly realized I was new at this – and was very happy to demonstrate all the bells and whistles! Up down, into a bed, into a chair – move the back of the chair – what fun. Only thing missing – built in massage!

Standard amenities (how many cheap toothbrushes does anyone need), little slippers – and those socks that fit no one. Nice blanket, big pillow – I was in heaven.

And the food was pretty darn good too! I loved the amuse Bouche of peas and cream, the shrimp was ok – but the winner was the Cod with black Rice. It’s a celeberty chef’s dish – and it was yummy. And the fish was properly cooked – amazing for airline food. Standard cheese course (and great bread), plenty of water – this time wihout needing the constant reminders, and a very light dessert completed the dinner portion. The staff passed several times during the night – and if you were obviously awake (ok – I slept a total of 5 hours – which is probably some kind of record for me) – they gave you little bowls of rubarb-apple sauce. Very refreshing.

Entertainment – watched 3 films – Magic in the Moonlight by Woodie Allen – great film – you have to watch it, and 2 smash ‘m up films – Milifcent and Guardians of the Galaxy. Not sure why I watched the Guardians of the Galaxy – it’s quite silly on a tiny screen. But it is what it is.

Breakfast was a waste – terrible coffee (I forgot to ask for the hot chocolate – and they didn’t offer it either), and unlike the flight from Montreal – the bread was cold. I did enjoy the Broiche though.

Fussy about breakfast aside (I think the big problem for me was the abundance of fancy mushrooms on the omlet. I love omlets – hate mushrooms), I was dutifully impressed. Absolutely worth every penny to get that seat and that food for that long of a flight.

We were a bit late departing from Paris – which put us in late to Singapore – but I had no issues with the transafer – in fact the new gate was directly accross from the old one. One thing surprising about Singapore – the gates are all encloed in glass (floor to ceiling), and the security check is INSIDE the glass. So about 40 minutes before departure – the gate opens and you must go thru security at that point. This despite the fact that you had to have cleared security before getting on the plane you just got off. I guess they have decided that having 2 machines at every gate is more efficient that having one big line at the spot where people enter the entire gate area. Interesting.

Ok – enough of this – I’m waiting for my flight to Bali – making good use of their free internet here in Singapore. It’s 30 degrees C outside – that’s 50 degrees WARMER than what I left 2 days ago in Montreal. But you can’t tell that from here – the airport is of course air conditioned – and people don’t look much different from how they’d be dressed for a Montreal summer. Sandles and flip flops are the norm – but only one gal is wearing a tank top – everyone is pretty conservatively dressed for that hot a climate.

Moving on – The Soup Lady

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