Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) – Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL)
STD: 12:50 PM ATD: 1:25 PM
STA: 2:30 PM ATA: 2:41 PM
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Flight Date: November 25, 2016
Class of Service: Business
After a red eye from New York, we connected through Charles de Gaulle to catch our flight to Berlin.
We had a 2 hour layover, which was plenty of time to get through immigration and security. Our flight to Berlin departed out of Terminal 2F, which hosts primarily intra-Europe flights. I was hoping that my Saturday morning arrival would mean the lounge would be empty, but I was sorely mistaken.
See my review of the Air France Salon at Terminal 2F
We ended up leaving the lounge early since it was so crowded, and decided hang out at an empty gate where there was plenty of seating. Our flight ended up being delayed 30 minutes, so I had some time to do some window shopping.
There were no announcements about the delay or the new boarding time, so I frequently had to check back at the gate to make sure we didn’t miss our flight. Fortunately (I guess), I’ve had a few delayed flights out of CDG, so I was aware of this, though I’m sure more than one person has missed their flight if they were expecting to hear gate announcements.Looking for a Snapshot of the trip? Jump to the Takeaway
Boarding and The Flight
At around 1pm, it was finally, it was time to board. As expected, there was a separate boarding lane for SkyPriority and premium cabin passengers. Boarding was quick and efficient.
As expected for an intra-Europe flight, the configuration for the business class cabin was the same as the economy cabin – where seats are arranged in a 3-3 set up, with the middle seat unavailable for booking when seats are selected.
Brian and I had selected seats 2A and 2C, so we effectively had an extra seat to ourselves.
There was no real difference between the economy class seats and the business class seats, except for the fact that the business class cabin had pillows on the seats and the seats came with a leather business class seat cover/marker.
As expected, there was no in-flight entertainment on this very short flight. The seat in front of me had a tray table and built-in cup holder (which oddly was too big for the glasses they served us with).
Attached to the seat in front of me was a coat hook, which is a nice feature. Fortunately, I didn’t need it thanks to the extra seat.
We pushed back at around 1:15 and taxied to the runway. Our take off time was delayed by about 5 minutes, and took off at about 1:25.
As we reached cruising altitude, the Flight Attendants began to prepare for the meal service. On this flight, there was only one options for the meal. We were handed our tray, which came with a meal card that described what we were served.
Everything was served at the same time. I ate just about everything on my plate, with the exception for the chicken terrine, which I wasn’t a fan of (I’m just not a fan of chicken terrine in general. I did pick out the layers of foie gras and ate it with the bread, which was delicious.
The vanilla creme pastry was the surprising winner of the meal. I’m not usually a fan of pastries with creme filling but the flavor was incredible!
The FAs came by to clear our plates after I finished my meal. Though the flight was very short (about 1.5 hours in total), service was very prompt and attentive.
We began our descent into Berlin-Tegel Airport shortly after our trays were collected.
We landed at around 2:40 PM CET, didn’t deplane until 2:51 PM. We deplaned using air stairs into the tiny domestic arrivals terminal.
Nothing unusual to report from this flight, this was a fairly standard intra-Europe flight. A stark contrast to domestic flights in the United States, where the business class seats tend to be nicer (well, larger), but on a flight as short, a meal of this level would likely not be served. While this in no way compares to Air France’s long haul flights in terms of service or comfort, it’s certainly not a bad way to jet around Europe. While I don’t think I would outright pay for this business class cabin had it not connected from an international leg (this flight could go for around 400 euro round trip), but I enjoyed the service on this very brief flight.
Check in: 9/10 – Same rating as the check-in at JFK. Bonus points – both legs of this flight were printed on one ticket (glad I didn’t lose it!)
Lounge: 6/10 – Tiny, crowded, and underwhelming, considering we departed from Air France’s hub.
Boarding: 8/10 – Standard and quick.
Food: 8/10 – I would normally give this a 7, but they served a meal on a 1.5 hour flight. American carriers can barely manage to accomplish serving cookies on a 2 hour flight.
Seat: 7/10 – Expected to this be on the smaller side.
Cleanliness of aircraft: 10/10 – Spotless, pretty much.
Crew: 9/10 – There really wasn’t anything wrong with the crew, but the crew on my JFK-CDG leg were a tough act to follow.
IFE: N/A – There was none.
Elite recognition: 8/10 – Nothing special here – just the standard SkyTeam elite treatment
Flight Timeliness: 8/10 – Departed a full 35 minutes late, landed 10 minutes late.
Overall Rating: 73/90 (81%) ★★★★★