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Regaining in-flight glamour at Air France...at a price

Posted by Patricia Harris  February 27, 2011 12:18 PM

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We remember when flying was a somewhat glamorous occasion. When pillows and blankets were free. When you could fly to Europe and arrive without leg cramps and a fear of deep-vein thrombosis. In this era of cramped seats, tooth-and-nail fights to cram luggage into the overheads, and amenities-at-a-price, Air France is among the carriers that have brought a little civility back to flying. You are still on your own back in the Economy cabin, but the new class called Premium Voyageur (introduced in October and now available on all flights from Logan) offers a lot of the perks of Business at a price much closer to Economy. (For seats a month out, Boston-Paris roundtrip is around $800 in Economy, around $1450 in Premium Voyager, and around $4,000 in Business.) The seats look like standard Business class seats did until the high-end competition made fold-out beds the de rigeur standard for transoceanic flights. The new class--segregated in its own cabin--has wide seats with real leg room. They're in hard shells, so when the person ahead of you reclines to sleep, his or her head isn't in your lap. Premium Voyageur passengers also get priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, a feather pillow, and a real wool blanket. On the down side, they get the Economy meal, which Air France does better than most airlines. Don't think of it as Economy Plus--it's more like Business Lite.

Photo: Air France

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