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Review: Air France business class lounge at Terminal 2E, Paris CDG (a Virgin Points trip)

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This is my review of the Air France lounge at Terminal 2E (L gates) at Paris Charles de Gaulle.  The lounge opened in 2018 and is impressive, although busy.

I will be following it up with a review of Air France business class from Paris to Dubai. This was part of a long half-term family trip which started with a Eurostar redemption to Paris, a day of sightseeing in Paris and then the flight to Dubai itself.

The saving on taxes and charges by starting in Paris easily covered all of our other costs. We paid just £200 each, vs £470 for a one-way Avios business class flight from London to Dubai.

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

The flight was booked with Virgin Points as I described here.

The Air France lounge in Terminal 2E, L Gates

The L Gates are in a satellite building at Terminal 2E.  This is a bit of a trot from check-in and involves a transit train, although if you are connecting from a UK Air France flight you are likely to be in the same area.

There are two things you instantly notice about the Air France lounge, which still looks good following its 2018 renovation.  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 there is actually a lot of space behind me too:

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

The second thing of note 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

The reception desk is manned as you enter but also has a number of automatic scanners.  We scanned our iPhone boarding passes, the scanner turns green and the staff – who presumably have a quiet eye on you – let you walk past them into the lounge.

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

When I was last here in 2019 I took a shower, and I found the shower suites impressive – large and well maintained, with towels, a razor, shaving cream, toothpaste / toothbrush and deodorant provided. Hopefully nothing has changed. 2019 picture below:

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

Next to the showers is a chill out area and this group of day beds, each individually curtained off:

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

There is also a Clarins spa which I didn’t check out, but it does look a very impressive facility. It is well ahead of the Elemis spas which used to be in the British Airways lounges.

Food and drink

In truth, the spa and day beds are the highlight of the lounge. As with most airport lounges at the moment, the main seating area was overcrowded and we couldn’t get three seats together until a few flights were called.

We there from around 11.30am so the lounge was drifting towards lunch. As you would expect from France, there is a good patisserie selection (when will Eurostar finally start serving decent pastries on its trains and lounges?!):

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

…. and some hot options (this is pork in mustard sauce):

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

…. and a decent salad selection:

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. Pre-covid the lounge had a chef at peak times to prepare food on demand, but the area was deserted mid-morning – I’m not sure if this is still active in the evening.

You wouldn’t have gone hungry although it was clearly not gourmet level.  Duval-Leory 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, although there was a separate bar if you wanted anything more complex than a shot.  This is a PR picture of the smart central bar area:

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

In general, when you remember that this is purely a business class lounge, it was a decent selection. (There is an exclusive space elsewhere for the handful of First Class passengers passing through each day – remember that there are only four First Class seats on most flights.) Get rid of half of the people and it would have been great …..

For kids ….

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

There was a separate cordoned off area.  It wasn’t clear who was meant to use this, although there was a group in there:

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.  At least on this trip I had brought a European converter socket – last time I was here, I had smugly thrown my cables into my bag thinking that, as I was off to the Middle East, no converter was needed.

The lounge still hasn’t reinstated third party magazines – the racks were filled with literally hundreds of copies of the Air France inflight magazine and nothing else. I can only assume they are less likely to transmit covid than third party newspapers and magazines …. That said, when I here in 2019 there wasn’t anything in English anyway.

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

Conclusion

The Air France lounge at Terminal 2E (L Gates) in Paris Charles de Gaulle is a modern and impressive space.  If they could just get rid of half of the people in it, it would be great ….

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, relaxation area, kids room, the terrace, dining area, main lounge area – which makes it feel more welcoming.

Overall, it is a perfectly pleasant place to spend an hour. It is probably best experienced as a couple – you may well struggle to find seats for a group of more than two. It is so busy that if you were on your own I think you’d be nervous about leaving your personal items to take the lengthy stroll down to the refreshment areas.

The second article in this series – click here – will look at Air France business class on a Boeing 777-300, and explain why this is a good way to spend Virgin Points.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (January 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (32)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jenny says:

    I used this lounge in late 2019 and was offered a facial in the spa on arrival. It was fabulous. As a business class passenger connecting in CDG they also made sure you knew where you were going, and since nearly everyone on the plane was connecting, they made damn sure the hop from Heathrow left on time.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Most AF flights don’t have first class and the few that do only have 4 seats. The way your post is currently worded “remember that there are only four First Class seats on most flights” makes it sound like first class is available on most flights.

    That said, on the few flights that offer it, it’s excellent. No navigating the airport for you, you’re met at the aircraft door and taken by car to their lounge, through a private security scanner and once inside the lounge you don’t need to keep an eye on your flight, someone else does that for you, let’s you know of any delays and then when ready for boarding takes you to the aircraft (usually by car but one time my flight was close to the lounge so was walked over). It’s how first class should be.

    Even with reducing the first class cabins to 8 and removing it from some routes BA will not reduce the numbers in first class enough to be able to offer such a personal service. AF La Premiere is expensive but worth trying at least once if you can.

    • Harry T says:

      BA’s First is barely business class for most airlines, so I think they don’t have any interest in offering a product remotely within the same ball park as La Premiere 🙂

      • Kevin C says:

        I have traveled business class on ten or so airlines. BA First Class is better than any of them.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          I agree, on board BA first class is very significantly better than business class and the Concorde Room is better than most business class lounges in the world but the rest of the ground experience isn’t that first class. For example being packed onto a busy bus or train to B/C gates (if you don’t know about the tunnels) isn’t first class service. However, for many of us that’s a good thing. Many routes having F means that there’s more chance we can redeem Avios (or if we’re paying cash more chance our route has F) plus as far as I know there’s no status level in Flying Blue that gets you into the La Premiere lounge in CDG if you’re flying a route with no first class. Because of the reduced TP thresholds this year GGL became in reach for me and I’ll soon be able to make the CCR my regular lounge in T5 wherever I’m going.

  • merlin90 says:

    I don’t think the overcrowding is unique to that particular AF lounge either. I flew CDG-MRS from 2F earlier this year. I really liked the lounge—it felt very new and had a ton of natural light; the food and drink options look similar to the 2E lounge, based on this review—but it was tricky for even two of us to find a seat. This was a mid-morning flight.

    I booked that flight using VS points. I can’t remember exactly how much they were but flying in J instead of Y was something like an additional 3,000 points each, so I thought it was very good value.

    • dundj says:

      That lounge opened at the end of June last year. Much better than the two old lounges in each of the departure halls in 2F.

  • Lauren says:

    Taking my first AF biz flight next Wednesday. I was excited to read that the lounge has a Clarins spa; until I researched it and the spa is not open on Wednesdays!

  • Lauren says:

    Took an AF CDG – DXB flight yesterday (AF658) at 23.35. The flight was from the K gates and the AF lounge in the K gates was quite poor. There were barely any tables with charging points. I managed to get a table with a charger, but it didn’t work. It felt really cramped inside the lounge and it seems the chairs needed replacing years ago. I used the escape lounge in Manchester terminal 2 on my MAN – CDG leg and that was miles better.
    I felt the CDG AF lounge was so dissapointing for a carrier in it’s home city.

  • Tom gold says:

    Does anyone have a clue if there is an overnight option in this lounge?

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