As of February 2024, Air France has rolled out a new dining concept in domestic business class. While the concept might not sound premium on the surface, it’s a significant improvement over the old offering.
In this post:
Air France domestic business class gets improved catering
Air France has started offering boxed meals in short haul, domestic business class, created in partnership with Chef François Adamski. The airline will be offering a selection that changes throughout the day:
- On flights leaving before 10AM, breakfast will be served, consisting of sandwiches with different fillings (such as smoked salmon and cream cheese with dill on white bread), accompanied by a breakfast pastry
- On flights leaving after 10AM, lunch or dinner will be served, consisting of a signature sandwich (such as smoked paprika chicken and tarragon vegetables on granary bread), accompanied by French sweets and desserts, such as a calisson, a cannelé, or a tropézienne
- On all flights, drinks will be served in proper glassware, compared to the plastic cups that they were served in before
The menu will be rotated each month, and will be served in a box designed specifically for Air France business class. This is in addition to the standard selection of drinks, including wine and champagne.
Air France claims that this is part of the carrier’s effort to continue to move upmarket, while promoting French cuisine. The meal box and food waste it contains will be sorted onboard, and the boxes will be subject to methanization for reprocessing purposes.
Why these boxed meals are an improvement
“Boxed food” and a “move upmarket” rarely go in the same sentence. However, in this case it is actually a positive change.
First of all, nothing is changing with Air France’s short haul international catering, if you’re traveling from France to a nearby country. Those meals will continue to be served on proper trays and plates. As you’d expect from a French airline, Air France has among the best catering of any European airline in business class.
Rather, this applies exclusively to short haul domestic flights. Air France doesn’t actually operate all that many of those, given that France has banned many kinds of domestic flights.
Previously, Air France just served small packaged snacks on short haul domestic flights, much less substantial than on flights to neighboring countries. So this new boxed meal service concept does represent an improvement over what used to be offered, as does the introduction of glassware.
The fact that this is served in a box allows the crew to provide an efficient service, given the duration of these flights. The crew can just hand each passenger a box, rather than having to “arrange it” on the galley cart. I’ve gotta say, the new boxes do look very elegant.
In the Air France-KLM Group, KLM has been serving boxed meals in short haul business class for a long time. While I’m not a fan of the plastic containers things are in, it’s otherwise a pretty nice presentation. Fortunately on Air France, this change is only coming to domestic flights.
Air France is introducing boxed meals in short haul, domestic business class. The airline is promising a selection that rotates each month, with sandwiches, pastries, sweets, and more. On top of that, the airline is introducing proper glassware.
Given the limited service that was previously available on domestic flights, this is a great development.
What do you make of these new Air France boxed meals?