Air France Adds (Paid) First Class Airport Suites In Paris

Air France Adds (Paid) First Class Airport Suites In Paris

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Air France is well known for its La Premiere first class, which is among the best first class products in the world. In particular, the carrier’s experience at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is the best first class ground experience in the world. The airline is now taking this to the next level, though at a cost.

New Air France La Premiere check-in lobby

Let’s start with the service that’s open to all first class passengers. By July 2024, a new check-in lobby will open at Paris Charles de Gaulle for La Premiere customers. This is intended to be the first step in the personalized journey through the airport.

Here an Air France employee will manage all departure-related procedures, including check-in and luggage assistance. This area will feature 15 seats and two private lounges (these are paid, more on that below).

This will also act as an arrivals lounge for La Premiere customers, with the option to relax post-flight, use showers, and retrieve checked bags. That’s awesome, given that Air France closed its arrivals lounge a few years back.

Once check-in formalities are concluded, each guest will be escorted to the La Premiere Lounge, via a private passage, featuring a dedicated security checkpoint.

New Air France La Premiere check-in facility seating
New Air France La Premiere check-in facility private suite

For what it’s worth, Air France already has a La Premiere check-in area, but this new facility looks much more elegant, will have showers (for arriving passengers), and will also have a dedicated security checkpoint. This marks a significant improvement over the current setup.

New Air France La Premiere airport suites

Now this is where it gets really interesting. Air France already has its excellent La Premiere Lounge, and not much is changing there. However, as of July 2024, there will be three new private suites adjacent to the lounge, which La Premiere passengers can buy access to.

Let’s get the cost out of the way upfront — they’ll be offered as an option to La Premiere customers, starting at 800 euros. More specifically, passengers are being quoted 800 euros per person to use these suites, and that’s for a stay of up to three hours. That’s really steep pricing, and it’s interesting how the cost is per person rather than per suite, since there’s not much incremental cost to accommodating multiple people.

So, what can passengers expect from these private suites? They’ll each span around 500 square feet (45 square meters). Each suite will feature a spacious living area, a bedroom with a double bed, a private bathroom, and an outdoor patio.

Each passenger booked in a suite will also have a dedicated butler, who will look after the guest throughout the entire experience. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy an Alain Ducasse meal, or take advantage of a Sisley spa treatment.

Each of the three suites will have its own distinct character, with “iconic examples of French design,” including Charlotte Perriand’s writing table, Pierre Paulin’s Ribbon chair, and Philippe Starck’s Privé sofa.

Those who book this private experience will also receive one of the private suites at check-in.

New Air France La Premiere airport suite living room
New Air France La Premiere airport suite bedroom
New Air France La Premiere airport suite bathroom
New Air France La Premiere airport suite terrace

This takes commercial aviation to the next level

While I’d argue Air France already offers the world’s best first class ground experience, these latest updates really sort of blend private aviation and commercial aviation.

Now, some lounges already have many of the individual elements you’ll find in Air France’s new airport suites, like a terrace, or bedrooms, or showers. However, to be able to reserve all of this in advance for just for yourself, to be able to skip the airport experience altogether, is something no other airline offers to this level.

I mean, how many people essentially get what amounts to a full hotel suite with a private terrace in an airport?

Now, understandably some people will say “well, it seems kind of cheap to charge first class passengers for this.” I hear you, though realistically, it’s the only way something like this can be done, and on top of that, this is a legitimate value-add.

If these were offered on a first come, first served basis, they’d probably always be full, and there would be no way to ensure that you could get one of these during your visit. For some high profile guests, this kind of a private facility might be a reason to choose Air France over other airlines.

It seems like this is intended for the type of person who might ordinarily fly private on short or medium haul flights, and only fly commercial on long haul flights.

Air France is essentially introducing a private aviation-like facility, which is something we’ve never seen an airline do before to this extent. And as you can see, it’s priced accordingly. This isn’t intended for those with a 12-hour layover who want to sleep in a room all day, but rather it’s intended for those passengers where cost is no issue, and privacy is paramount. I can’t blame Air France for trying, and I’m curious how often these suites are occupied.

Bottom line

Air France is improving its La Premiere ground experience at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The airline is introducing a new check-in facility (which can be used as an arrivals lounge), a private security channel, and three private suites, each featuring a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and terrace.

Between these updates and plans for a new La Premiere cabin within the next year, it’s an exciting time for Air France’s most premium product.

What do you make of Air France’s first class airport suites?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Manny Guest

    Its a good suite. But not 800 bucks for 3 hours good.

  2. Sam Guest

    Just one point of clarification, the journey from the check-in area to the LP lounge will actually be completed via car, not passage. Once you clear security in the check-in area, you will be driven by car to the LP lounge and then driven to the plane. If you are arriving close to departure, you will have the option of being driven directly from the check-in area to the plane.

  3. BOb Guest

    Well I guess if you've got money to burn you can waste it without thought.

    What a pointless expensive waste.

  4. Al Guest

    Great insight, thanks!
    Anyway, as I read these first class stories I wonder how many chef meals do / can these people eat in a day and how much champagne are they supposed to drink if you combine the lounge and flight :-)

  5. perfusionist1982 New Member

    Glad they are introducing sleep suites. Looks like 2 of those suites can be combined upon request which will be nice for families. Now they just have to work on their Champagne and Wine offerings.

  6. Nb Guest

    “iconic examples of French design’’ what the hell is that?

  7. Greg Guest

    AF cutting off any LHR / LAX premium suite type product from a third party with this option.

    There is a small market of 'ultra long haul private too expensive,' but regular commercial not private enough

    Though with only 3 seats in F it's pretty much not useful for families seeking privacy. They should have gone for a proper 6-8 seat cabin.

    1. Icarus Guest

      What do you mean cutting off LHR and LAX? AF has upto 4 flights a day from CDG to LAX 3 with the LP cabin, along with JFK is the most important LP market.

      There are also 4 not 3 seats. There’s a reason - economics and exclusivity. If you had for example 8 in two rows it is less viable

  8. JetSetFly Guest

    The really important question is would that terrace be a great place for plane spotting? Or does it face a parking lot? Also how long can one stay in that suite? Is there a time limit? Sometimes layovers can be quite long and one can certainly pick ones that can easily be over 12 hours or more.

    1. Icarus Guest

      I don’t believe there’s a view, and definitely not a car park, as it is surrounded by a wall. It should be in K concourse between the main building and airside gates where the current lounge is.

  9. TravelinWilly Guest

    What is the amount of time one id allowed in the room?

    There are always 11-to-14 hour layovers going to Africa on all carriers that offer first class.

  10. Randy Diamond

    I would think the most practical use would be someone arriving early in the morning, and the connecting on an evening flight that evening. Swiss has two bedrooms for FCFS in its F lounge in ZRH.

  11. Lee Guest

    The price isn't that bad. Considered VIP at LHR or PS at LAX.

  12. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This seems like it could be a major issue if guests start having sex in the suite.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ FNT Delta Diamond -- I can't say that's something that crossed my mind or that I see being terribly common, though I'm not sure I see what the "major issue" would be with that? How is it different than people getting it on in a hotel room?

    2. Lee Guest

      Not that I advocate it but do you think sex never occurred in BA's Concorde Room cabanas or Etihad's Residence departure lounge or even an Embraer 175 lavatory? (Think about that last one.)

    3. Christoph Guest

      As it's France, you will even get applauded for that ;)

    4. TravelinWilly Diamond

      Is having sex in the suite bad?

      Why are you so concerned about something that has zero impact on anyone?

  13. Ben Guest

    Don't forget the line at the bottom of the press release that says AF will introduce La Première cabins on more aircraft. Their first class footprint will expand as well.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ben -- I have a separate post coming shortly about the La Premiere inflight experience. :-)

  14. Christopher Rupp Guest

    I wonder if the private suites will have an elevated menu, bar, and better message options than the normal lounge, or if the 800 euro premium will primarily be for the space.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Christopher Rupp -- I could be mistaken, but I think it's the latter. The dining menu is already probably the best in the world (as far as lounges go), so I'm not sure how much more it could be elevated.

    2. Marcus Guest

      Grand Cru Burgundy would certainly elevate it but alas both DRC and Rousseau at over 6000€ a bottle will be unlikely additions

  15. Moyeni Guest

    I'm curious about the use case here.
    When would you use the bed? On arrival, you would presumably go to your destination after your shower.
    In transit, you would go to the current lounge, without the beds?
    If departing, you wouldn't arrive early enough to use them?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Moyeni -- That's a great question, because most people dropping this kind of cash aren't spending more time at the airport than they have to. I think the primary use case is a celebrity or public figure who has a fairly short connection in Paris (no longer than it needs to be), but values privacy. For some people, dropping 800 euro is nothing. Obviously the amenities of this suite are excessive for those purposes,...

      @ Moyeni -- That's a great question, because most people dropping this kind of cash aren't spending more time at the airport than they have to. I think the primary use case is a celebrity or public figure who has a fairly short connection in Paris (no longer than it needs to be), but values privacy. For some people, dropping 800 euro is nothing. Obviously the amenities of this suite are excessive for those purposes, but I think that's part of the goal, to create something quite over the top.

    2. Tom Guest

      I think also there will be e.g. passengers flying between the US and certain places (e.g. African countries) where AF is the best option but involves a reasonably lengthy layover.

      BA’s Nigeria services are, for example, ridiculously profitable with heavy premium traffic, I suspect AF may be in the same situation for certain parts of Francophone Africa with oil reserves.

    3. Mick Guest

      Agreed. Celebrity types who just want privacy. 800 euros for an hour or two probably a drop in the ocean.

    4. Albert Guest

      I'm sure that Dominique Strauss-Kahn would have other uses in mind!

    5. Throwawayname Guest

      Flight lengths of 6-7 hours are too short for me to get more than a couple of hours of sleep, and I can't be alone in that, so arriving from YYZ/NYC/BOS in the morning and having a connection in the afternoon would give one an opportunity to make up for (some of) the deficit between the 3 hours or whatever they managed onboard and their normal amount of sleep. I'm sure there are a few...

      Flight lengths of 6-7 hours are too short for me to get more than a couple of hours of sleep, and I can't be alone in that, so arriving from YYZ/NYC/BOS in the morning and having a connection in the afternoon would give one an opportunity to make up for (some of) the deficit between the 3 hours or whatever they managed onboard and their normal amount of sleep. I'm sure there are a few people willing to pay that sort of money for a few hours of quality rest, after all there's a market for hotels charging €1000+ per night when perfectly functional (if not luxurious) alternatives can be found for about a tenth of that.

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Manny Guest

Its a good suite. But not 800 bucks for 3 hours good.

3
TravelinWilly Guest

What is the amount of time one id allowed in the room? There are always 11-to-14 hour layovers going to Africa on all carriers that offer first class.

3
Tom Guest

I think also there will be e.g. passengers flying between the US and certain places (e.g. African countries) where AF is the best option but involves a reasonably lengthy layover. BA’s Nigeria services are, for example, ridiculously profitable with heavy premium traffic, I suspect AF may be in the same situation for certain parts of Francophone Africa with oil reserves.

2
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