Air France Business Class Review: Detroit (DTW) to Paris (CDG)

Mauritius, Munich, Oktoberfest, Berchtesgaden and Paris: Air France Business Class Review

Trip Summary: Back in January of 2012 I decided to put my frequent flyer mileage knowledge, skills and learnings to the test and book the honeymoon of our dreams for my wife and me. While it took several months for the plans to fully materialize, the result was an amazing, while not always seamless trip. This is not only a recap of the trip we took and how we got there, but also the beginning of more formal travel blogging to showcase my adventures in the United States and abroad. 

This trip will be summarized in the following topics:

This was perhaps the best flight of my life until this point for reasons outside of the actual level of service received on the flight. As explained in a  previous post about a passport scare, this flight almost never happened.  The space we were able to secure on AF377 to Paris was a blessing, and I have counted my blessings ever since.

The airplane itself was an Airbus A340-300 with 6 rows of business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. While I was slightly disappointed that I would not have the chance to ride across the pond in an Airbus A380 that was scheduled originally, I was simply counting my blessings that I had a flight at all at this point. My companion and I were situated on the right hand side of the plane, in row 5. This is definitely my preference for international flights – sitting next to companion with one window and one aisle seat for maximum flexibility.

Business Class Seats on Air France

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An Unexpected Passport Scare and Public Service Announcement About Passports

Passport Expiration Scare: Your Passport may not be accepted even if it has not expired yet

After a 48 hour whirlwind travel experience, I’m finally settled in to my villa in paradise – otherwise known as the Four Seasons in Mauritius. While I have already mentioned in this space that I will be writing about my amazing travels across the world, this story is about how the trip almost never happened. It may not be for the faint of heart, but as I sit here in the luxury of a tropical destination, I feel I can already look back at what happened and breathe a sigh of relief.

It all started innocently enough. Wedding reception on Saturday (blogged about here), travel plans beginning with a 7 AM flight on Monday morning, and then after 45 hours of travel, arrival in Mauritius. While I wasn’t looking forward to the time of the travel, we were able to secure business class seats for most flights, so at least we could get some sleep on the plane.

The least of my worries was the first day of travel, which featured a seemingly routine flight from MSP to Washington Dulles Airport, with a ~7 hour layover before our next flight to Paris. In fact, it was so routine that I made a list of tasks I wanted to accomplish while sitting in the Air France ‘Salon’ for that entire time. A mix of personal and professional tasks would keep me busy that entire time, no doubt.

After checking in to the Air France Lounge, the attendant asked us to have a seat while she looked made sure everything was in line with our tickets. While seated in the lounge, I was looking up information about things to do in Mauritius, trying to change our train tickets from Munich to Paris later in the trip, etc. Basically tying up last minute details.

The lounge agent came up to us and said, in her best and most condescending French accent (it helps if you read it all with an accent):

“We have a small problem. You can’t go to Mauritius and I am canceling your tickets” [Read more…]