On our way to San Francisco, all our French bloggers had a pit stop at the Air France super lounge at the end of terminal E in Charles de Gaulle Airport, as a matter of fact, Air France’s biggest in the whole world. And when I say big, I mean what I say!
The lounge was opened at the very end of June 2012 and we were part of the happy few who are allowed to relax, read, eat and even take a nap on location. When I write happy few, this isn’t quite right though, because the new Air France lounge at the end of the so-called ‘K.L.M’ satellite of terminal E is in fact massive (with its 3,483 square metres and close to 700 seats!). The brand new extension of the Air France hub was opened recently in order to accommodate all internal long-haul flights passengers of the airline. The ‘K.L.M’ moniker is intended as a pun and “a way to celebrate the Franco-Dutch alliance” the Air France lounge manager told me.
Photo 1: the lofty Air France lounge with plenty of leg-room and beautifully crafted designer spaces
I was shown around by the personnel who gave us a very warm welcome and I had a chance to take these pictures which are now available on our online live.orange.com gallery thanks to the Orange Wifi service conveniently placed at the users’ disposal.
Photo album: a visit of the exclusive super Air France lounge at CDG airport (all photos by Yann Gourvennec for the Live Orange Blog)
‘CDG’ – as the airport is known to be called by airline professionals – is in constant reconfiguration since it is one of the only European airports in Europe with space available around it. Terminals A, B, C have been left by the French company and D will be closed by October 2012. All of Air France is now moving to terminals E and F, from which all their international flights now depart. Terminal E is now dedicated to both the US and Africa. “€ 560m went into the new development and more than 7.5 million passengers will be transiting via the airport each year!” the lounge staff told me. This is the reason why Air France decided to build that second-to-none business lounge for its ‘elite’ customers. The lounge, so far, is only opened from 5.00 am till 2.00 pm CET but opening hours will be extended later, the staff told me.
The lounge is not only beautifully designed (by Noé Duchauffour Lawrance), it can also boast wide-ranging kinds of foods (Asian visitors will feast on Chinese noodles for instance), a broad selection of newspapers and various amenities such as free showers (something like 14 booths are made available to clients!), Desktop and Tablet computers, relaxing couches, a customer service desk, and even complimentary massages and other beauty services by Air France partner Clarins.
No wonder that early visitors to the lounge have covered the guest book in praises about the service, comparing it to that of Emirates’s. A well deserved compliment in my mind and that of the blogger bus tour bloggers who were with me today.