Review of the impressive new Air France lounge at Terminal 2E (L gates) at Paris Charles de Gaulle

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This is my review of the Air France lounge at Terminal 2E (L gates) at Paris Charles de Gaulle.  This lounge opened last year and is impressive.

This is the third part of my review of an Air France business class flight from London Heathrow to Dubai, via Paris.  Part 1 (click here) reviews the SkyTeam lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4.  Part 2 (click here) reviews Air France short-haul business class from London to Paris.

I took this trip in order to try out Air France long haul, as it will soon be bookable by Virgin Flying Club members using their miles.  The introduction of Air France and KLM to Virgin Flying Club will transform your redemption options to everywhere outside North America, but are the two airlines any good in their premium cabins?

This was a self funded trip booked with Delta SkyMiles gained from an American Express Membership Rewards transfer.

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

The Air France lounge in Terminal 2E, L Gates

The L Gates are in a satellite building at Terminal 2E.  My flight from London landed here, which may have been a coincidence or it might have been planned to allow connections to a bank of long-haul flights.  Whilst I had to clear security again, I didn’t need to get the transit train.

It is important to note that there are various Air France lounges in Terminal 2E and the one you use will be dictated by the departure gate for your flight as the satellites are not connected.

There are two things you instantly notice about the Air France lounge, which has recently been renovated.  The first is that it is enormous – 34,000 square feet, apparently.  This is the best picture I have which shows the scale of it, but what looks like the back wall is actually just a bar in the middle of the room.

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

The second thing is that it is built on a bridge over a major road!  Cars are shooting under you all the time, although the lounge is sound and vibration proofed:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

There is a funky video wall lining the corridor as you walk towards the lounge, showing air bubbles in water shooting up.  The reception desk is manned but also has a couple of automatic scanners.  I waved my iPhone boarding pass at one and the scanner turned green, which gave me confidence to walk past the reception staff and in.

Looking left and right, all you see is seating and food and drink stations:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

What you don’t see is the large spa area around the corner:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

Having left the house without a shower at 6am, I thought I’d take a wash.  The shower suites were impressive – large and well maintained, with towels, a razor, shaving cream, toothpaste / toothbrush and deodorant provided. There was no queue either.

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

Next to the showers is a chill out area:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

…. featuring day beds (these are only curtained off, not private rooms).

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

There is also a Clarins spa, similar to the one in the SkyTeam lounge at London.  I forgot to check pricing but I believe that there are complimentary 20-minute facials with other treatments charged.  The spa includes two saunas!

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

Food and drink

Having eaten at Heathrow and on the plane to Paris I wasn’t in need of another meal.  It was that odd gap between breakfast and lunch when food offerings are always limited, but there was a good particularly good patisserie selection:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

and some hot options:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

The food selection looks sparser than it actually was.  The serving area is very large and the dishes had been widely scattered.

At certain times of day, the lounge has a chef who prepares food on demand.  The area was deserted mid-morning, however, so I have to rely on a PR picture:

You wouldn’t have gone hungry although it was clearly not gourmet level.  Charles Heidsieck champagne was freely available to help yourself:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

along with a selection of self-pour wine and spirits, although there was a separate bar with a good cocktail menu if you wanted anything more complex than a shot.  This is a PR picture of the smart central bar area:

For the kids, one end of the lounge featured a small childrens area although it had little to offer apart from this video games machine:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

As with the lounge in London, there was a separate cordoned off area.  It wasn’t clear who was meant to use this but I imagine it is used by some First Class passengers:

Air France business class lounge review Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E

There was no shortage of power points, with most of the seats being separated by small tables which contain plugs.  What I forgot, of course, was a European converter socket – I had smugly thrown my cables into my bag thinking that, as I was off to the Middle East, no converter was needed.  Travel tip of the day: think about the plugs you might need whilst in transit, not just at your destination.

Don’t come here without anything to read, as there was nothing in English I could see amongst the large selection of magazines and newspapers.

Conclusion

The Air France lounge at Terminal 2E (L Gates) in Paris Charles de Gaulle is a modern and impressive space. 

I have a niggling feeling that they could have done a little more to break up the l-o-n-g room although they have tried.  One of the things I like about BA’s Galleries First lounge at Heathrow is that you have a number of totally separate spaces – champagne area, business centre, kids room, the terrace, dining area, main lounge area – which makes it feel more welcoming.

Overall, it was a perfectly pleasant place to catch up on emails for an hour or so and I was particularly impressed by the showers and spa / relaxation area.  My only regret is that I wasn’t there at the right time of day to get a proper feel for the food and cocktails.

The next article in this series will look at Air France business class on a Boeing 777-300.

How to earn Flying Blue miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Air France and KLM do not have a UK Flying Blue credit card.  However, you can earn Flying Blue miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Flying Blue miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Flying Club mile.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Really nice.

    Galleries First is a very odd shape and doesn’t flow. Food is down one alley, the champagne bar down another. It’s really a bit of a mess.

    • And there are no plugs in the food area so you have to choose between eating on a sofa or not charging your devices. (The same is true of CX F dining area which is its one flaw)

  2. “Having left the house without a shower at 6am” Getting into the French way Rob, that’s really taking one for the team.

    “There was no queue either.” LOL

  3. You should have skipped the onboard meal and eaten the food here… but I suppose it’s for research

    Annoying that you need to clear security again – you don’t at most European airports (and in case anyone wants to bring up the EU, those airports also trust US originating flights)

  4. A bit of a fail not to have USB sockets with the plugs.

    Should be compulsory in this day and age to have them especially in a newly renovated lounge.

    • By USB do you mean USB A or C? I suspect A bit that’s coming to the end of its life. New Apple laptops only have USB C ports, Android phones use USB C, most new Windows laptops have USB C ports (alongside USB A as they’re not as aggressive as Apple at phasing out old ports).

      So it makes things awkward for new lounges USB A will probably be more useful now, but in a few years it’ll seem outdated. USB C is the better standard and can even provide enough power to charge a laptop.

      • Shoestring says:

        Yep but making provision for them with the refit means A can be swapped out for C (or whatever) very simply at a later date

      • Although it doesn’t really matter as you can get A to C or C to C cables. I have an A to Micro USB that then has a micro USB to C adapter, covers all my bases!

  5. Unless this satellite is also used by other SkyTeam airlines I doubt the cordoned off area is for first class. Air France has an amazing first class lounge which is used for all first class passengers whether flying first class or connecting from first class. Regardless of actual departure terminal you check in at the same place and are escorted to the lounge. You are driven to the plane so I see no reason for a separate first class section in their business lounges.

    That said for a business class lounge it does look nice. Traditionally AF business lounges were dreadful but their first class lounge was the best lounge I’ve been in.

  6. Concerto says:

    Amazing, you really echo my feelings about the place when I was there last summer on the way to S Korea. The lunchtime hot food was quite good, actually. Some of the other lounges at CDG are really bad.

  7. “It is important to note that there are various Air France lounges in Terminal 2E and the one you use will be dictated by the departure gate for your flight as the satellites are not connected.”

    I think you can go in any of the 3 lounges you want.
    You may have to clear security everytime you come inside another satellite but I believe you are authorised to do it.
    And the satellites are connected by the train, so no issue to go between all of the 3 satellites.

  8. “As with the lounge in London, there was a separate cordoned off area. It wasn’t clear who was meant to use this but I imagine it is used by some First Class passengers:”

    I guess the cordoned off area, at least in the lounges in CDG, is not for First Class passengers.

    The first class passengers will go to the La Première lounge.

    I believe it is for the ULTIMATE flying blue passengers.
    The little board you see on the table of Rob’s picture may said that.

    The ULTIMATE character of your flying blue card has been created two years ago.
    It is a little bit like the KLM’s skipper character or the air france’s CLUB 2000 one.

  9. Flying Etihad from CDG at Easter, planning to travel over by Eurostar for a 21.55 flight on a Sunday.
    Is this a sensible strategy as I will be at LHR Saturday night at Hilton T5.
    Never taken the Eurostar before so interested to try it and travelling with an 11 and 13 year old.
    Am I mad…..🤷🏻‍♂️

    • Not massively sensible, no!

      I would potentially book a flight for the afternoon and then go down to Windsor or similar in the morning. You’d be looking at 90 minutes hotel-to-St-Pancras (1 hr of which is a grotty tube ride), the Eurostar trip and then the tiny problem of how you get to CdeG.

      • Plus the frustration of seeing CDG go by from your Eurostar window. If staying at LHR, I suggest taking a flight from LHR. As Rob noted, the travel to St Pancras, and then from Gare du Nord back out to CDG, will add significantly to the travel time, and offset any potential cost savings. It would only make sense if you are trying to spend the day in London, and have somewhere to store luggage (try Stasher.com if nothing better).

        NB LHR-St Pancras could be done in 60 minutes. However, that’s still 60 min you can sue otherwise if staying at LHR.

  10. I thought this was one of the nicest lounges I’ve been to when I visited in October transiting to Seoul with Korean (having done AF to CDG). The shower rooms are lovely, nice Clarins products, and the food was great (in both directions at different times of day).

    Best thing though was the champagne cocktail bar that was there – stunning (and very potent) cocktails, my favourite being ‘Un Air de Paris’ – Cointreau Noir, fresh lemon juice and champagne. I enjoyed it *so* much that on arrival home I immediately sourced a bottle of Cointreau Noir so I could make them myself.

  11. Out of interest do you have any insider info, Rob, or is it just conjecture re redemption options with VS miles in the future?

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