Flight test: Air France

Air France 'Affaires' class on a Boeing 777.
Air France 'Affaires' class on a Boeing 777. 

Aircraft Air France Boeing 777-300ER.

Route Singapore to Paris.

Class and seat Affaires (business), 9D.

Seat pitch and width Seat pitch is 61 inches and seat width is 21½ inches. It reclines to a flat base but is slightly angled to the floor.

Seat configuration 2-3-2 layout for a total of 67 seats. All seats are forward-facing.

Flight time 13 hours 10 minutes

Lounge access This leg of the flight is a late-night jump. The Air France flight code-shares with Qantas, so there's access to the Flying Kangaroo's lounge. A generous passenger gives us access to the First Lounge, which is quite a walk from the gate, up an escalator and behind the seemingly never-ending airport renovations. There are showers, champagne and ordinary finger food such as pizza and spring rolls.

Entertainment It's Steve McQueen in Bullitt, back-to-back with Le Mans. Good selection of French cinema, too, with an unexpected dose of on-screen nudity.

Comfort The Affaires seats are generous, suiting even my large frame. Our flight is only half-full, so I have the three middle-row seats to myself. It's a restless night, though, with the angled seat. Storage space around the seat for small items is limited and more so because the seat's headphones are wired in, even if you want to use your own earphones. There's a universal power point at each seat.

Service It's a long wait for pre-flight drinks and it takes a while to get a steward's attention in the galley for a cup of tea after the cabin lights are dimmed. Otherwise, staff are attentive and friendly, always greeting you by name.

Food and beverage A 2002 Nicolas Feuillatte blanc de blanc champagne, foie gras with marinated pear, filet d'agneau (lamb) on a bed of pureed cabbage with a good bordeaux, lemon meringue tartlet and a 12-year-old calvados. It's served on white linen with stainless-steel cutlery. Mid-meal snacks out of the galley, safe under their plastic covers, include instant noodles, petit-fours and more foie gras.

Amenities The smart, soft-finish toiletries kit includes Clarins hand cream, moisturising spray, eye mask, socks, shoe bag and a set of protective covers for those now-annoying headphones.

Flight frequency Air France flies once daily from Sydney to Paris via Singapore.

Online airfrance.com.

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