This Airline Is Getting a Major Upgrade to Some of Its Business-Class Seats

Lie-flat seats, 4K high-definition screens, and sommelier-selected wine up the ante on Air France’s new front-of-the-plane seats.

Interior of Air France business class

Air France’s business class mimics the colors of the French flag.

Courtesy of Air France

If you’re flying business class to Europe this summer, you might be in for a surprise seat upgrade. Air France is slowly rolling out new business-class cabins in its Boeing 777-300s, with the first 12 flying from New York–JFK to Paris. The airline’s fleet of new Airbus A350s will also get the upgraded cabin starting in July, although it hasn’t yet disclosed which routes.

Here’s what Air France’s newest business-class seats look like.

Seat designs and dimensions

Overhead view of single pods in Air France's business class

All of the pods in Air France’s business class are angled toward the windows.

Courtesy of Air France

The new business-class cabins feature 48 pod-style seats arranged in a one-two-one reverse herringbone configuration. The two center seats have a movable divider, which can be raised and lowered for those traveling with a companion (if they want to see them, that is).

According to the airline, the cabins are based on the three “F”s: they’re full flat (the seat transforms into a 180-degree, 6.5-feet-long, lie-flat bed), full access (every seat has direct aisle access), and full privacy (with sliding doors on the pods to screen out other passengers).

Each seat includes a 17.3-inch, 4K high-definition, anti-glare screen, which comes with noise-reducing headphones, as well as Bluetooth connection so guests can use their own headphones if they’d prefer. There’s also a fold-out table, cubby space, and a counter for storing personal items. (It’s also a wireless charging station, though there are USB-C and universal 110-volt outlets too.)

Seats by the window feature automated shades. Bulkhead seats swap the footwell for an ottoman, where a guest could sit. When you’re ready to sleep, there’s a Do Not Disturb button, which turns a light on the outside of the pod from green to red, so flight attendants know you’d prefer to be left alone.

Service and amenities

The menu for the cabin was designed by a collection of more than a dozen French chefs (some from Michelin-starred restaurants), including Régis Marcon (Le Clos des Cimes), Anne-Sophie Pic (Maison Pic), and Michel Roth (Hotel President Wilson). Together, they have developed a selection of vegetarian, fish, and meat entrées, which rotate among the various flights. Entrées include beef fillet with port sauce and carrots, duck lasagna with blackcurrant sauce, basil ratatouille cake, salmon with vegetable fondue, and risotto with artichokes and mushrooms.

For the wine and champagne list, Air France tapped sommelier Paolo Basso, who selected 2021 Chablis Jean-Marc Brocard Vieilles Vignes De Sainte-Claire, 2017 Saint-Estephe Chateau Lilian Ladouys, and Fleur De Champagne, among others to complement the meals.

As far as amenities go, all business-class travelers receive a blanket, pillow, and a Clarin’s-branded amenity kit, which contains an eye mask, dental kit, earplugs, socks, lip balm, and lotion.

Business-class travelers can also experience the Air France lounge at JFK, which as of late 2022 features a Clarin’s Spa, where guests can get complimentary facials before their flight.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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