Air France Has The World’s Best Business Class Seat

Air France Has The World’s Best Business Class Seat

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Air France has recently introduced two new business class seats — the airline has a new Boeing 777-300ER business class, as well as a new Airbus A350-900 business class. While these are two different products, they have a lot in common, including that both configurations have what I’d consider to be the world’s best business class seat. There’s a slight catch, though.

We’re entering an era of business class “plus”

Airlines are all about maximizing real estate onboard, and that involves utilizing space creatively. In most business class configurations nowadays, seats utilize the space to the side of the seat in front, to minimize each seat’s overall pitch. That’s why we often see business class seats with small footwells, since that’s what’s needed to make the seats economical.

In the first row of the cabin, though, space can’t be utilized as efficiently, since there’s no seat in front where you can place a footwell. Historically airlines haven’t done much to differentiate the first row, perhaps aside from a marginally larger footwell. However, that’s a trend that’s changing. From the JetBlue Mint Studio on the A321LR, to the Virgin Atlantic Retreat Suite on the A330-900neo, to the Condor Prime Seats on the A330-900neo, we’re seeing lots of airlines create special, spacious seats in the first row.

The JetBlue Mint Studio Airbus A321lR

There are more airlines introducing similar “business class plus” products, ranging from Air New Zealand, to Lufthansa. As it turns out, Air France’s reconfigured 777-300ERs and new A350-900s also have a special product, which the airline has been pretty modest about, and hasn’t marketed much.

Air France’s eight incredible business class seats

Air France has two new business class products, which are remarkably similar. Both are reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, but the manufacturers differ:

Based on looking at pictures of the cabins (I’m using the 777 cabin below), you might assume the seats are all the same, but that’s not the case.

New Air France business class cabin

The seats at the bulkheads feature an unbelievable amount of space. These are the following seats:

I’m going to go on record in saying that these eight seats are the best business class seats in the world (and I’m happy to be challenged on this in the comments section).

What makes these seats so great? To start, they’re cutting edge reverse herringbone seats which I find to be very stylish. They feature wireless charging, bluetooth audio, and all the other gadgets you’d expect from a new product.

New Air France business class seat
New Air France business class seat

The seat also has a door, which many people will appreciate.

New Air France business class seat with door

Those features make this a highly competitive product, but what makes the bulkhead seats the best in the world? Well, take a look at the amount of personal space you have, and the size of your ottoman. There’s no small footwell you have to squeeze your feet into, but rather you have as much space as you’d expect in first class, if not more.

New Air France business class seat ottoman

When resting, you can basically position your body any way you’d like, which is great for side sleepers.

New Air France business class seat bed
New Air France business class seat bed

It’s great that you have the option of selecting this as a single seat by the window, or in the center if traveling as a couple, as it gives you the best of both worlds.

New Air France business class center seats
New Air France business class center seats
New Air France business class center seats

I just can’t think of another seat out there that offers this combination of personal space, privacy, and modern technology.

  • This is much more spacious than the JetBlue Mint Suite, and you get to face the window rather than the aisle
  • While the Virgin Atlantic Retreat Suite looks great, those seats are only available in the center section, so they’re not great if you’re traveling alone, since you can’t select one and sit by the window
  • I think Singapore Airlines’ bulkhead seats are phenomenal as well, but they’re not cutting edge otherwise, and have been around for a long time; they don’t have doors or the other modern tech features you’ll find in these seats

How you can select these special Air France seats

Air France’s Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 777-300ERs with new cabins feature 48 business class seats. With only eight bulkhead seats, that means at most ~17% of business class passengers can assign these seats.

So, how can you secure one of these amazing bulkhead seats? Up until 72 hours before departure, these can exclusively be reserved by Flying Blue Gold and Platinum members, so assigning them is a perk of elite status.

However, starting 72 hours before departure, these seats can be assigned by any business class passenger, if empty. That’s exactly how I snagged one of these. 73 hours out, the seats showed as not available (rather than occupied).

Air France 777-300ER business class seatmap

Then 72 hours out they showed as being available.

Air France 777-300ER business class seatmap

So if you are flying in this configuration, it’s absolutely worth trying to assign one of these seats, either based on your elite status, or 72 hours out for everyone else. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if Air France tries to monetize these seats eventually, given how exceptional they are.

Lastly, let me emphasize that these amazing bulkhead seats are only available on the aircraft specifically with the above two configurations. If you’re booked on a 777-300ER or A350-900 with exactly 48 business class seats (12 rows) then it will feature this product. But otherwise it won’t.

Bottom line

We’re increasingly seeing airlines introduce “premium” business class products in the first row of the cabin, making the most of the extra space available in this area. I’ve flown in some of these over the years, but nothing has impressed me as much as the bulkhead seats in Air France’s new Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 business class.

These are reverse herringbone seats with doors, amazing tech, and unbelievably spacious ottomans, which will make you feel like you’re in first class. These are only available to Flying Blue elite members at booking, though anyone in business class can start selecting them 72 hours… for now.

I firmly believe that these eight seats on Air France’s 777s and A350s are the best business class seats currently in service anywhere in the world.

What do you make of these Air France business class seats, and the general trend of “premium” business class seats?

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  1. Jean-Jacques Mario Guest

    I recently flew on AirFrance, on the Airbus 350-900 with the configuration mentioned in this article. I was seated in row 10, so I experienced the "world's best business class seat". Sure, the legroom situation is excellent, the seat is very comfortable, the entertainment was great, the food and the service were outstanding etc.

    One thing that bothered me, though, was the noise. Row 10 is close to the middle of the plane, so...

    I recently flew on AirFrance, on the Airbus 350-900 with the configuration mentioned in this article. I was seated in row 10, so I experienced the "world's best business class seat". Sure, the legroom situation is excellent, the seat is very comfortable, the entertainment was great, the food and the service were outstanding etc.

    One thing that bothered me, though, was the noise. Row 10 is close to the middle of the plane, so it's right next to the engines. That made for a relatively noisy environment and, even with earplugs or with noise cancelling headphones, it was quite unpleasant. Also, after laying the seat flat, to get some sleep, I noticed quite a bit of vibrations and low frequency noise from the engine. Fortunately I was really tired, and eventually fell asleep, but this would definitely be a problem for the light sleepers. By comparison, I flew the previous segment with the older configuration AirFrance A350-900, in row 5. That one was much quieter. Somewhat tight legroom, if you're trying to get sleep (I'm 6'3" / 190cm).

  2. DY Guest

    Ben, I read that on A350s, 10D and 10H don't actually have bigger footwell like 1D and 1H do so there are only 6 of these seats on A350s. Also, I was able to book row 1 seats on an A350 award booking without AF elite status.

  3. Tennen Gold

    Where are you supposed to store your bags? From the photos, it's not clear whether or not the ottoman has a solid wall in front of it or if it's open for storage. The expanded space doesn't mean much if you can't have your bags nearby.

  4. Anthony Guest

    We were just on a United flight Europe to the USA. As we walked thru the Polaris section, it appeared stuffed and clastrophobic to us. A compromise between first class and business class.
    It was a 767.

    Yes one gets their own seat, no one next to them like the past. Even the aisle was very narrow and the design all a very dull grey.

    It reminded me of Musk's idea to put one...

    We were just on a United flight Europe to the USA. As we walked thru the Polaris section, it appeared stuffed and clastrophobic to us. A compromise between first class and business class.
    It was a 767.

    Yes one gets their own seat, no one next to them like the past. Even the aisle was very narrow and the design all a very dull grey.

    It reminded me of Musk's idea to put one in a capsule and move at supersonic speeds from NYC to LA. Of course it was discussed about the need for tranquilizers and such type of entertainment that one would not know where they were in the few hours.

    Guess we are moving to that scenario, maybe airplanes will be antiquated (sorry Ben, we know how you love to fly), but fear not, maybe there will be off planet flights.

  5. KK13 Diamond

    Better than the new A350-1000 JAL business class? I doubt!

    We have travelled selecting the first row middle seats. Yes, they’re spacious and I had one of the best sleeps (although short) in a flight. I don't recall having the 72-hour seat choice embargo. I think I could choose our seats right away, months in advance.

    I’m looking forward to traveling by the JAL new business class in May. Will compare.

  6. Krystle Guest

    lol look at that teeny little screen

  7. Andrew Guest

    Personally I hate been near the front near the galley. even with a better seat. I dislike the noise from crew. light from the galley, other passengers hanging about waiting for the toilets or waiting for a drink. I try to pick somewhere midway down the cabin. between the front and rear galleys.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Andrew -- I agree in general, especially on a US airline, where there aren't real curtains. However, Air France has thick curtains, and the bathrooms are well on the other side of the curtain. I had no issues with noise, smell, or light. Though if others want to avoid those seats, that's great, as it leaves them for those of us who love them.

  8. AW Guest

    I would still argue ANA's The Room is more spacious. If that seat had all the new techs (i.e. wireless charging, bluetooth pairing, etc.), it would no doubt be No. 1! The screen is awesome too.

    1. Extraordinary1 Member

      Spacious, sure. But the bed is not at all comfortable.

  9. Mike Guest

    Why do you think I was able to select these seats further than 72 hours out? Is it because I'm a Diamond on delta and put in that FF#? I confirmed its the A300-900 with 48 business class seats, and I grabbed the center bulk head seats in row 10?

    1. Hepworth Guest

      I’ve also been able to select these seats way in advance, despite having no status on AF (or any alliance partner)

    2. Ramon Ymalay Guest

      I have also been able to select these seats when booking with no status and our flight isn’t for 330 days when I booked.

    3. pangsol New Member

      I was also able to select it without status. Also row 10 does NOT have as much space as row row 1. https://www.aerolopa.com/af-359-2
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-france-frequence-plus/2153367-af-a350-new-business-class-seats-how-row-10-near-lavatories.html

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ pangsol -- Sorry, what am I missing about row 10 not having as much space? That's what I flew in JFK-CDG, which I just reviewed:
      https://onemileatatime.com/reviews/air-france-business-class-a350/

    5. pangsol New Member

      for row 10, the two center seats do not have the extra space. Did you have a chance to take a look at the center seats at row 10 and compare it to row 1? the window seats are not affected as you can testify :)

      You can see the difference in space between the center seats from the two rows in the Aerolopa seat map I linked. Also

    6. Ramon Ymalay Guest

      Looks like on the A350 the middle row 10 doesn’t unlike all of row 9 on the 777-300

  10. Sel, D. Guest

    Any idea when mileage bookings will open for PHX-CDG?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sel, D. -- How strange that they haven't opened up... hopefully that glitch is solved soon.

    2. Alexandre Guest

      I flew on an the AF A350 J bulkhead seat from CDG to TLV last September and I definitely loved it. Great intimacy, privacy and legroom. It was so quiet inside that I slept and missed the meal.

      However, I think it's ludicrousy exaggerating to promote it as the "Best Seat in the World".

      It could have made more sensical to probably consider it as the best Business Class seat in Europe.

      It's not the...

      I flew on an the AF A350 J bulkhead seat from CDG to TLV last September and I definitely loved it. Great intimacy, privacy and legroom. It was so quiet inside that I slept and missed the meal.

      However, I think it's ludicrousy exaggerating to promote it as the "Best Seat in the World".

      It could have made more sensical to probably consider it as the best Business Class seat in Europe.

      It's not the main topic here, but I personally won't fly AF anymore until they dramatically improve the +2h30 MH Business Class Catering keeping back the choice of hot dishes instead of a cold (sometimes VEG) salad. Serving exactly the same snack/light meal for 1h (CDG-AMS / CDG-GVA) or for 5h (CDG-EVN / CDG-AMM) flights goes far beyond any rationality or respect for the PAX taking these routes (which I used to be).

      IB/BA/LH/LX/OS/AZ/TP/AT/TU/AH/TK/SU/LO/LY/ME/MS/A3 etc ALL serve a full hot meal in J for flights >2h or 2h30. The only very disappointing exception is of course AF-KL.

      Being French, I'm very disappointed about that and somehow even ashamed.

      Please don't tell us about your amazing super extraordinary meal from Paris to Germany on AF J, I'm talking about flights longer than that :)

    3. Luis Guest

      What makes it even more strange is that they're available via Virgin Atlantic, that's right, I was able to book 3 awards bookings CDG to Phoenix on the second scheduled flight departing 5/25, got a great deal too, only 15K points per ticket

    4. OldCrowAZ New Member

      I’ve been looking for award space since Ben’s original post about this flight. Nothing comes up for me. I’ll keep trying!

  11. Jenny Guest

    I can’t agree.. these seats are a copy of JetBlue and VAA only they don’t have the luxury of a legrest or an enhanced 30” TV… infact the VAA has a huge proper FC size table. These AF seats are effectively a normal seat with a wide footwell.

    It was nice to fly mid you but not the experience, comfort or exclusivity that I get from JetBlue or VAA!

  12. Jenny Guest

    I can’t agree.. these seats are a copy of JetBlue and VAA only they don’t have the luxury of a legrest or an enhanced 30” TV… infact the VAA has a huge proper FC size table. These AF seats are effectively a normal seat with a wide footwell.

    It was nice to fly mid you but not the experience, comfort or exclusivity that I get from JetBlue or VAA!

  13. Romuald Holubowicz Guest

    But not a peep about Air France’s Business Class seats aboard the 787-9, that are the majority of the capacity serving North America?!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Romuald Holubowicz -- I've written about and reviewed Air France's 787 business class in the past, which is a competitive (but not industry leading) business class product. That wasn't intended to be the focus of this post, though.

      Also, 787s don't make up a majority of the capacity serving North America -- Air France has a lot more 777s flying across the Atlantic.

  14. Ary Guest

    Do you know if the new A350’s are on all NY-CDG flights? I’m currently booked on a flight leaving JFK at 5:30pm and managed to snag my wife and I the two middle seats in row 1

  15. JX Guest

    not sure if the policy changed, but I was able to pick one of these bulkhead seats on the new a350 ex-ORD with no status and my flight isn't for another 3 months

  16. Todd Diamond

    Any idea what the tail numbers are for any of these planes? I've checked multiple routings (revenue. not award) in January, including JFK-CDG/CDG-JFK, and I can't find a single one.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Todd -- For the A350s, the new configuration starts with F-HUVA, and all subsequent numbers in that series (so HUVB, HUVC, etc.).

  17. Sander Guest

    I was lucky enough to fly in 9A from Washington to Paris and anxious to experience this seat, as I usually fly KLM (777, 787) or Delta (A330). I could book it as I am FB Plat.

    The room in 9A is unbelievable - I never slept so well (room to move and softness of the chair) on a plane. The monitor (4K) is also crisp and you can control it with a tiny remote,...

    I was lucky enough to fly in 9A from Washington to Paris and anxious to experience this seat, as I usually fly KLM (777, 787) or Delta (A330). I could book it as I am FB Plat.

    The room in 9A is unbelievable - I never slept so well (room to move and softness of the chair) on a plane. The monitor (4K) is also crisp and you can control it with a tiny remote, that also shows the remaining flight time, destination and has Bluetooth for your headphones. The door is nice as well, as that gives you total privacy: it feels like you are the only person on the plane. The tray is a bit small but the storage box is very handy with a mirror, audio-out.

    All in all the best seat I have ever had - but the service was not so good, but let's not go there as that is not what this post is about

  18. Brad1219 Guest

    Can you reserve these seats at booking if you are delta platinum medallion??

  19. Paul Davis Guest

    Are all their 777's upgraded to this configuration?

    1. Shawn Guest

      No - the LAX to CDG route is on their old 777 with the 4 cabin config with La Premiere. Which is horrible, imo.

  20. OptimusP Guest

    Got myself a 9L seat, CDG to SIN. Looking forward to this one :) Thank you very much for the advise!

  21. Ben Chod Guest

    That monitor looks tiny

  22. Sants Guest

    I was able to get one of the bulkhead seats by having a lap infant fwiw

  23. David Guest

    Try Qsuite from Qatar Airways ;)

    1. Julia Guest

      This seat has more room than the Qsuite from Qatar Airways ;)

  24. Gaurav Guest

    Are all the 777-200's the new J? I'm trying to figure out the schedule from PAR - NYC. Looking at AF 62 on March 10th and its a 777-2000 so I think it's the new layout but not sure?

    1. Andrew Guest

      Did you end up figuring out? I too will be on a 777-200

  25. Jay82 Guest

    Is still think the screen size is a joke. What happen to the seriously nice big screens.

  26. hanchicago Guest

    Will the retrofitted AF 77W likely be available on HND-CDG later this year?

    1. Slumdog Broke Guest

      We flew the 777 from CDG to NRT last summer with this configuration

  27. David Guest

    The door here is a mind trick. Given the way reverse herringbone seats are situated and the partial wrap around seat guard, there is no one who will have seated eye level view at you with the door open unless they're really tall and also completely leaned over in their seat. Yet, you can still see into pods while standing or walking down the isle even with the door closed. So the privacy being sold...

    The door here is a mind trick. Given the way reverse herringbone seats are situated and the partial wrap around seat guard, there is no one who will have seated eye level view at you with the door open unless they're really tall and also completely leaned over in their seat. Yet, you can still see into pods while standing or walking down the isle even with the door closed. So the privacy being sold by this door is kind of meaningless. I don't see that being all that much of an upgrade over prior reverse herringbone designs, save for that enormous foot rest at the bulkhead and modern IFE/controls (those are nice, but to be expected in a new design). The bulkhead foot rest--seems amazing to have that much space, but in reality, how much of that is usable given the seat angle and bed layout?

    This is all to say--I really like it still and it is pushing innovation, but I still feel it isn't as groundbreaking as it was when reverse herringbone seats were released.

  28. Terry Guest

    U got lucky, my paris to chicago flight in business was a nightmare
    No aisle access and inedible food.never again

    1. G-Flyer Guest

      Sorry but these comments look more like disguised advertisement than a real assesment of the product.
      Take a note from a professional of the industry : in terms of modularity , 3Ps and delivery at the standards of Top Business : Nothing gets closer than the QSuite....

    2. Highflyer Guest

      I have been flying Qsuite for a while and flew the new AF 777 in row 9 today , food aside this business class destroys qatar pair it with super flexible sky priority treatments ( they let me check in 4 Rimowa trunk XL’s at no extra charge while rimowa even claims its a “odd size item Qatar, singapore and the whole UAE have NOTHING on THIS BEST BUSINESS CLASS OF THE WORLD if AF...

      I have been flying Qsuite for a while and flew the new AF 777 in row 9 today , food aside this business class destroys qatar pair it with super flexible sky priority treatments ( they let me check in 4 Rimowa trunk XL’s at no extra charge while rimowa even claims its a “odd size item Qatar, singapore and the whole UAE have NOTHING on THIS BEST BUSINESS CLASS OF THE WORLD if AF rolls this out for all planes then RIP to any other airlines on the same route we had almost as much space as in la premiere

    3. Shawn Guest

      lolol - Food Aside?! Not like that's an extremely important factor or anything. You're out of your mind.

    4. Julia Guest

      @Terry Were you flying in economy or premium economy?

  29. Randi Stoner Guest

    They also have the absolute worst economy seats it has ever been my misfortune to use.

  30. adam w Guest

    Ben,

    How about the other business class seats, aside from the bulkhead ones? Where do you rank those and more importantly is worth going out of the way to fly a route with those seats taking the chance that I might not be able to be snag in a bulkhead?

  31. Greg G Guest

    What about qatars q suite? Assigned on booking and option of window, double or club?

  32. Larissa Guest

    If you think air France have the best business class you clearly haven't flown business class with many carriers. I've recently flown AF business in their new cabin it was a horrifically bad experience. I think I'd rather fly economy with a carrier like Singapore, Quatar, Emirates or Ethiad. I don't think I've had a worse business class experience except maybe BA.

    1. JeffDC Guest

      He was talking about the seat not the whole experience.

    2. Brylle Guest

      "Air France now has what I consider to be the world’s best business class seat." You might want to read that carefully.

    3. JD Guest

      Certainly you belong in economy class...

  33. Kars Guest

    If you don't consider SQ business class seats:)

    1. mdande7 Diamond

      Really? I hate the SQ seats.

  34. Duck Ling Guest

    Has this made you change your usual preference for a seat in the very last row Lucky?

  35. glenn t Diamond

    Currently booked on AF256 CDG-SIN, but seat plan shows 4 class 777-300 (not ER). Looks like I've missed the new seats! Have reserved 3A which is a bulkhead seat in J, so hoping its better than those behind.
    Which routes have the new seats?

    1. Levi Diamond

      At this point there are 3 planes equipped with the new seats, 2 being refitted as I write, and 7 more scheduled to be refit: all had the configuration for leisure destinations of 6 rows of 2-3-2 angle flat.

      In the past week, F-GZNK has operated (from/to CDG):

      442/443 (GIG), 718/719 (DSS), 22/15 (JFK: 830 WB/1730 EB), 334/333 (BOS), currently on 22 to JFK (likely will come back as 15)

      F-GZNS has operated the above...

      At this point there are 3 planes equipped with the new seats, 2 being refitted as I write, and 7 more scheduled to be refit: all had the configuration for leisure destinations of 6 rows of 2-3-2 angle flat.

      In the past week, F-GZNK has operated (from/to CDG):

      442/443 (GIG), 718/719 (DSS), 22/15 (JFK: 830 WB/1730 EB), 334/333 (BOS), currently on 22 to JFK (likely will come back as 15)

      F-GZNS has operated the above GIG, DSS, JFK flights

      F-GZNQ has operated only the above GIG, DSS, JFK flights

      At this point it's basically the 830 flight from CDG to JFK, the 1730 JFK-CDG, 718/719 to DSS and back, and 442/443 to GIG and back. BOS looks to have got it as a one-off equipment swap from a 789.

  36. Gareth Guest

    TV screen looks like an 'afterthought', I guess your neck might get locked up, as per it's weird positioning .

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Gareth -- Keep in mind the seat is angled a bit toward the fuselage (despite the huge ottoman space), so the view is head-on.

  37. Oriflamme Guest

    The seat itself looks excellent but the finishes really don’t appeal at all. The winged seahorse is a lovely touch but overall it looks sterile and plasticky to me. Quite surprising given how exquisite the La Premiere cabin is, IMO.

  38. Scott Guest

    Even better than ANA’s “The Room?” I’ve flown it a few times and actually prefer the Q Suite overall seat/food/service combo but there’s no denying that the ANA seat gives you a ton of room.

    1. Andrew Guest

      From a seat perspective I think I take ANA.

  39. Bret Guest

    IMO the bulkhead seat on Singapore Airlines still looks much more spacious than this one. Considering that the only improvement on this AF seat is a “door” I still think the bulkhead seat on SQ looks like a better seat. Unless I’m missing something?

  40. Keiron Guest

    Nice, american carriers have plenty to catch up to, i seldom wonder if they see what europe and Asia offer

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Yeah, but they also know how European and Asian customers pay... they'll in significant part do so for brand/soft-service.

      USAmerican and N.American market as a whole? It's schedule (business) and price (leisure). Anything else is the exception, not the rule. The airlines react as such.

  41. AA70 Diamond

    Curious to see how you'd rank the overall product

    1. Levi Diamond

      This is a quick hit right after the flight. I expect we'll see an overall ranking in the full review (probably queued up for next week, after the one review a day from the Aeroplan ORD-VIE-FCO-BAH-SIN-SGN-HAN-FRA-YYZ-MIA run is complete and then it's ITA longhaul/shorthaul J, EgyptAir J, AF J, BA F, VS J reviews).

  42. Mick Guest

    I loved Kenya airways in 2018 for a similar reason. Was with my wife and we had two forward facing seats with huge footwells. Not a highly rated product but for the second leg from the USA to Nairobi it was perfect for sleeping. I’m sick of being squished into a pod on a lot of these airlines. Even front row in the old United was good. Bulkhead on sq good.

  43. Gabriel Guest

    Ben - I'm dreaming of Flying Blue putting out a few biz saver awards for this year.

  44. Bob W. Guest

    What you describe is a bit confusing to me, and raises a few questions. My wife and I have reserved two business class seats on Air France 777-300 Ft. 11 from JFK to CDG on March 30. Looking at the diagram for our flight, it does not show two center seats in Row 9, as does the chart in your article and you recommend. Also, didn't you find the row 9 seats to close to...

    What you describe is a bit confusing to me, and raises a few questions. My wife and I have reserved two business class seats on Air France 777-300 Ft. 11 from JFK to CDG on March 30. Looking at the diagram for our flight, it does not show two center seats in Row 9, as does the chart in your article and you recommend. Also, didn't you find the row 9 seats to close to the cooking galley just in front of it? Finally, we selected seats in row 5 which is ahead of the galley, but your pics do not seem to show those. What's up?

    1. Lukas Guest

      Different airplane configuration, simple as that.

    2. Lee Guest

      Bob W, the article stated "on select flights." Air France has four different 777-300ER configurations. The configuration that Ben is discussing is the 48J configuration and the "big front seats" are in rows 1 and 9. The other three configurations do not have the "big front seats." (Based on your comments, I'd guess that AF Flight 11 on 3/30 is the 4P configuration.) Hope this clarifies things.

    3. Levi Diamond

      AF11 is a La Premiere flight. This seat is only on 777-300s without La Premiere and a reverse herringbone layout (there are also 777-300s with 2-3-2 layouts in J (these will convert to the reverse herringbone with doors seats over the next couple of years) and 777-300s with a 1-2-1 Polaris-style seat).

  45. Ibiza Guest

    I believe that I have a new AF business class seat next month, JFK-CDG. Ticket was purchased via Delta for AF operated, but DL marketed flight. As a DL DM I was allowed to select a bulkhead, 3A, which I did last month. Mater of fact, I flew the same AF flight number last month, Jan 2023, and it was the older business class seat (JFK-CDG).

    1. Jake R. Guest

      If it's a bulkhead 3A then it's not the new product, it has La Première... As stated in this review bullheads are rows 1 & 9 in this cabin. And I believe in cases like this, the ability to book the seats in advance would be limited to Flying Blue Gold & Plat, not Sky Team Elite Plus on partner airlines.

    2. Levi Diamond

      This configuration has 1A as a bulkhead seat and 48 business class seats. 3A being bulkhead sounds like a La Premiere equipped configuration, which has the old reverse herringbone configuration.

  46. Ted Guest

    How do the seats in Row 9 compare to those in Row 1? Do they have small footwells/ottomans, and larger space at the shoulders, for example?

  47. echino Diamond

    I don't like seats that are angled relative to direction of travel, like herringbone or reverse herringbone. I think seats that are straight are much better.

  48. AT Guest

    I love the review and the seat looks snazzy - BUT presenting the bulkhead row seats and calling those the best in the world isn't quite fair as that only applies to a (small) subsection of the seats.
    How do the regular (non-bulkhead) seats compare to other leaders such as QR, ANA?

    Also I was surprised that the product is on a 777-300 without First Class. Isn't AF also coming up with a new Premiere? I thought the new First and new Business would go hand in hand.

  49. Juno Guest

    Lucky, how can you tell which plane has these? I am on 777-300 fro CDG to JFK in April But no way to tell if this is the refreshed plane.

    1. Levi Diamond

      777-300
      No La Premiere
      48 business class seats

    2. Levi Diamond

      Quick guide to AF 773 configs:

      Variant 1 ("4P"): 4 La Premiere seats, 58 "BEST" business class (reverse herringbone)... Generally only flies JFK, LAX, SFO, MEX in North America

      Variant 2 ("48J"): no La Premiere, 48 business class (reverse herringbone with doors)... For now only JFK, though I'd expect one of the YUL flights (traditionally AF's 2nd most important outstation, though one with little La Premiere demand) to get this before too long.

      Variant 3...

      Quick guide to AF 773 configs:

      Variant 1 ("4P"): 4 La Premiere seats, 58 "BEST" business class (reverse herringbone)... Generally only flies JFK, LAX, SFO, MEX in North America

      Variant 2 ("48J"): no La Premiere, 48 business class (reverse herringbone with doors)... For now only JFK, though I'd expect one of the YUL flights (traditionally AF's 2nd most important outstation, though one with little La Premiere demand) to get this before too long.

      Variant 3 ("42J"): no La Premiere, 42 business class (2-3-2 angle flat "NEV4")... Seen on lower yield North American routes sometimes, especially as an equipment swap (I believe tonight's BOS-CDG switched from 789 to this config)... This version is getting reconfigured into the 48J variant

      Variant 4 ("COI"/"Loisirs"): 14 business class seats (same seat as Polaris and AF's A350) used mainly for flights to Caribbean or Indian Ocean destinations that need 430 economy seats, though it's been seen recently at YYZ.

    3. Levi Diamond

      4P also makes occasional IAD, MIA, and IAH appearances.

    4. Levi Diamond

      I stand corrected: CDG-BOS on 12 February was operated by the new business class.

    5. Benny Guest

      When looking at the seats, look for USB type C as an amenity. That will have the new seats with these configurations :)

  50. Julia Guest

    So if definitely gets edge over ANA's seat?

  51. Reyyan Diamond

    Looks like a pretty awesome seat!

    The "longest" business class seat I ever experienced is SWISS on their 777 bulkhead row (albeit not wide). I measured around 250+cm!! As someone who is close to 2 meters, I was almost hiding in the foot cubby, never seen that before.

  52. Hank Tarn Guest

    So you like Asian and European carriers best. I don’t see much praise for American carriers.

    1. Matt Guest

      That’s because, in general, American carriers don’t provide a level of service worthy of much praise.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      ....and THAT is because Americans won't pay for it, even if they do. No matter how much AvGeeks may be in denial about it, it's been proven by the general public time and time and time again.

      If anyone wonders why US carriers won't do shit for service, particularly in terms of Economy, then simply review American's "More Room Throughout Coach" experiment from spring of 2000, and you'll (hopefully) understand.

    3. InternationalTraveler Gold

      I really liked American's "More Room Throughout Coach" . I wish they had continued it, however traveler like me seem to be the minority.

    4. Antwerp Guest

      @Concorde Boy. In fact Intl. premium cabin flights are more expensive ex US than anywhere in the world with the exception of maybe London. And we suffer the worst product and service in the world. Which is why I typically book ex Europe round trips for my monthly flights as it’s so much cheaper originating out of Europe. Americans get gouged on price and product. All So we can pay for the absurd contracts the...

      @Concorde Boy. In fact Intl. premium cabin flights are more expensive ex US than anywhere in the world with the exception of maybe London. And we suffer the worst product and service in the world. Which is why I typically book ex Europe round trips for my monthly flights as it’s so much cheaper originating out of Europe. Americans get gouged on price and product. All So we can pay for the absurd contracts the crews get along with assuring shareholders get fat wallets.

    5. Clem Diamond

      That's because American carriers are mostly terrible particularly compared to Asian and European carriers.

    6. TravelinWilly Diamond

      It sounds like you’ve never been on a plane.

  53. Clem Diamond

    Very much looking forward to the more detailed review! I was scheduled to fly this exact same seat and then in the last weeks before my trip they pushed back the roll out of the seat, I was super disappointed!
    I'm curious, would this still be a better biz seat than the new ANA seats?

  54. Julie Guest

    Not sure what day you flew, but I flew this last night (so maybe on the same flight?)

    I tried (hard) to get these seats. Asked a few days ahead and day before check in and was told they were not available. Upon Check in at 30 hours ahead they were unoccupied but unavailable. We landed at jfk around noon and trekked over to terminal 1 (air train not open at terminal 1, so...

    Not sure what day you flew, but I flew this last night (so maybe on the same flight?)

    I tried (hard) to get these seats. Asked a few days ahead and day before check in and was told they were not available. Upon Check in at 30 hours ahead they were unoccupied but unavailable. We landed at jfk around noon and trekked over to terminal 1 (air train not open at terminal 1, so go to 8 and take a bus), and check in wasn’t open yet so went to the Air France club. Asked and they said system had issues but not available and come back in 3 hrs. I stopped by for something else and asked a few hours later and told due to system issues can only change when on board. But row 1 now not available. Then went back when told and was told they are now assigned and not available. I got a different answer from every person. Super disappointed that I couldn’t get a straight answer and missed out. I would have just gone to centurion lounge instead.

    So I didn’t have extra leg room in my seat, but the seats were quite hard, I thought. We were delayed a bit and sitting in the upright position got uncomfortable quickly. The seat controls are touchy and not intuitive. There is a small triangular section between the seat and movable armrest that was at a slightly different height than the seat or armrest. Not sure if that was just my seat or all seats.

    I will say it is very pretty and the wireless charging worked well for me, although tough to find the exact spot. I liked the open surface between me and my husband, it felt like we could interact better than other planes. Better than emirates first class.

    The tv is nice, had a decent selection, and was a nice size screen and good quality picture.

    The door was nice, gave a small sense of privacy. It doesn’t go down far and isn’t tall, but was a plus I thought.

    There was a couple moved before the flight due to an inoperable seat, which surprised me after just a few weeks of flying.

    So while good, not sure I would say best. I don’t think that extra amount of space pushes this to best business class seat, when looked at as a whole.

    Wish I had gotten that kind of seat, maybe I would like it better, but that won’t fix the hardness of the seat.

    Overall very good biz class flight with a pretty cabin.

    I fell asleep 3 times writing this on my phone, so time for dinner and early bed for me.

    Glad Ben got the seat he wanted, if anyone has more insight on how to get it I would love to hear.

  55. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Hopefully AF blocks off these seats for Plats only, especially as they (seemingly) reduce the number of planes featuring La Première.

    1. Jake R. Guest

      As far as I know these planes never had La Première?... They previously had a very old & out of date biz class that is now being revamped.. Perhaps I'm wrong, but seem to remember reading that somewhere. As an AF Gold I certainly hope they don't restrict to Plat only, esp as they have done that with La Première award bookings.

    2. Mark Guest

      As Gold was able to select one of these when booking an award ticket.

    3. NB Guest

      These planes will get La P soon. Too many Premium Economy. It will get 4/47/24+ eco

  56. SR Guest

    Not a big fan of reverse herringbone seats. I personally like seats as close to the window as possible. When traveling with my wife I prefer sitting as close to her as possible. Double bed are even better ! Both these are not possible in reverse herringbone configuration
    QR QSuite are still the best business class for me. (Haven’t flown ANA’s new business class yet). QSuite is a well thought out design overall keeping...

    Not a big fan of reverse herringbone seats. I personally like seats as close to the window as possible. When traveling with my wife I prefer sitting as close to her as possible. Double bed are even better ! Both these are not possible in reverse herringbone configuration
    QR QSuite are still the best business class for me. (Haven’t flown ANA’s new business class yet). QSuite is a well thought out design overall keeping all kind of travelers in mind. Space is not a big deal for me as long as I can lie flat !

  57. tuotuo Gold

    You don't mention a word of The Room by ANA in your article,why?

  58. Bruce Guest

    I know it wasn't designed as a business class seat but Asiana A380 'business plus' (their old first class) might be more spacious than this arrangement. But, it's missing the technology of course.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Bruce -- That's a good point. That is technically a business class, even if it's a rebranded first class. However, frankly I'd even prefer this for the much better technology, given that Asiana doesn't have Wi-Fi, very good entertainment, etc.

    2. Al Guest

      I guess you don't consider Q-suite to be business class?

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Al -- I absolutely do. Qsuites is an amazing business class product, and better than standard business class seats in this configuration. However, it's not as spacious as the bulkhead seats in this configuration.

    4. Willem Guest

      I loved my flight in actual Asiana First in February 2019, and if it was possible to book w/ miles I’d love to fly it again despite lack of Wifi & entertainment. Will just eat & sleep a lot (which is typically all I do on longhaul flights anyway)

  59. JB Guest

    That seat looks similar to the space you get in BA's First Class! So, which seat do you think is better?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JB -- Well stay tuned for my next flight, which was in BA first class. ;-) I'd actually say this seat probably offers a bit more space.

    2. willmo Guest

      I mean, you did say AF now has the worlds best business class...

  60. ArnoldB Guest

    1) Could the TV be any tinier?
    2) What good does the huge ottoman do, if in bed mode the seat is so thin that you can only use half of the total space the ottoman could give you

  61. Santastico Diamond

    Usually first and last rows on business class are the closest to bathrooms and the area where food is prepared. Is that the case here? If yes, the cons outpaces the benefits at least for me.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Santastico -- Indeed the galleys and bathrooms are the same places they are on other planes, so they are close to these seats. However, Air France uses thick curtains, and I had absolutely zero issues with noise or odor.

    2. Santastico Guest

      Good to know. My problem is usually that the curtains are opened and closed several times during the flight and the light will come straight to your eyes (I hate using an eye mask). For that reason I always book seats in the middle rows of business class cabins by the window.

    3. Jake K Guest

      Me too, I never had a good experience in a first row business seat due to the traffic, noise, and light.

  62. Debo Gold

    Great post Lucky. Has Air France announced which routes will start getting the renovated cabins? I’m flying SFO-CDG next month, so I think my chances aren’t too good.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Debo -- Currently it's available on select flights to New York and Dakar. Over a dozen 777s should get these new cabins this year, so you can expect more routes will get these planes in the coming months. Any 777-300ER without first class and with business class in a 1-2-1 configuration features these seats.

    2. Levi Diamond

      There are 773s with a small Polaris-style business class (same seat as AF's A350) and a dense economy configuration (14J, 28W, 430Y), but that's mostly only seen on routes to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean leisure destinations.

  63. Nikojas Guest

    I think this headline deserves a "Crikey". Air France and world's best aren't words you would have used together 20 years ago.

    1. Maxell Guest

      Or even today. Cricket indeed.

    2. Julia Guest

      You might if referring to their First Class experience.

    3. Ryan Guest

      Ben - I wish you included that seats 10D and 10H on the A350 don’t include the extra footwell. I moved from a window seat to 10D for a flight on Friday, only to find out on FlyerTalk that the seat 10D doesn’t have the amenities you mentioned (and now no window seats are open). Pretty bummed here because I followed your advice — can you update the article so no one else makes that mistake?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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NR Guest

Well that’s a bit homophobic /s

4
Matt Guest

That’s because, in general, American carriers don’t provide a level of service worthy of much praise.

3
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Romuald Holubowicz -- I've written about and reviewed Air France's 787 business class in the past, which is a competitive (but not industry leading) business class product. That wasn't intended to be the focus of this post, though. Also, 787s don't make up a majority of the capacity serving North America -- Air France has a lot more 777s flying across the Atlantic.

2
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