Air France Introduces New Business Class Suite With Doors, Debuting In New York This Fall

Qatar Airways was the first airline to offer a business class seat with doors inflight. Delta was second. Since then it’s become de rigueur. The new British Airways business class seat puts doors on a Super Diamond. American Airlines plans to put doors on its new business class seat. And even United has been looking at door options for its next seat after Polaris.

Air France’s seat is a decade old, and a bit drab. But it’s the same basic Cirrus seat that Cathay Pacific uses and that American Airlines uses on its Boeing 777-300ER, among others. It’s an excellent seat.

Current Air France Business Class

Current Air France Business Class

Not to be left behind, Air France will retrofit 12 Boeing 777s with a new business class offering doors. They expect that it will begin flying in September, first on the New York JFK – Paris route. The planes won’t have first class, so presumably will swap with existing Boeing 777-200 frequencies that do not offer first either.

The new seats will be Cirrus reverse herringbone products – so very similar to what Air France offers today – with doors added. However Air France calls it a complete redesign of the seat. I do not see this from the photos, although I do note that the bulkhead seat is far more desirable than those behind it (as is the case in many new business designs).

New Air France Business Class, credit: Air France

New Air France Business Class, credit: Air France

New Air France Business Class, credit: Air France

The planes will have 48 business class, 48 premium economy, and 273 economy seats. Premium economy and economy seats will match what Air France is using on its Airbus A350s already. This project will likely mean more inconsistent seat offerings for some time to come, but at least we should see the product in the air in a matter of months.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Do we really need doors on these seats? It all sounds good as marketing but not really all that useful in my personal opinion. Why not just give everyone a big blanket so they can make a blanket fort over their seat? It would be more private than short doors.

  2. Flew in a Qsuite (Qatar Air) phenomenal. All followers will not suffice in that they are configured in such a way that you are several feet away from your travel partner and blocked off in the middle. I also doubt their service will be as attentive. This being said, if you can do it, pay the extra for the full reclining seat when traveling9 plus hours.

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