Air France’s New Premium Cabins Offer More Class for Less Cost

by  Suzanne Steinert | Oct 29, 2009
Air France  Airbus A380
Air France Airbus A380 / joeravi/iStock

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Looking for a happy medium between coach’s sardine-can accommodations and first class’s hefty price on lengthy flights? Premium economy cabins, featuring cushier seats and more space to stretch your legs (and wallet), are emerging as a less extravagant, more comfortable option on a number of airlines (including jetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways, to name a few). Still, said seats on many overseas flights can run upwards of five times the cost of a coach ticket, and transatlantic jaunts in particular see higher fares versus the standard economy class than do their Pacific counterparts.

Which is why Air France’s new Premium Voyageur cabins, which debuted service from New York’s JFK to Paris's CDG on October 25, are today’s golden ticket to affordable premium seating. The starting price point of $1,303 round-trip for the NYC to Paris route (which, including taxes, is only about twice the price of a regular seat), gives passengers double the space, a seat that reclines inside its own “shell,” and worthwhile perks like private widescreens, feather pillows, noise-reducing headphones, and wool blankets. Air France will progressively implement the new 24-seat cabins on all of its long-haul routes to/from Paris (excepting service to the Caribbean and Indian Ocean) over the coming months – including all U.S. gateways by 2010’s end. A second daily flight touting the configuration will be added to the NYC–Paris route on December 9.

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