Air France 777-300/ER business class still slaps (despite it’s age)

Air France 777-300/ER business class still slaps (despite it’s age)

Sometimes it’s important to take a moment to appreciate how well premium airline cabins have evolved over the years. That’s what this particular Air France 777-300/ER business class review is all about.

What you’re about to read is a comprehensive review of the old (outgoing) Air France 777 business class product. The seats look somewhat dated (and they’re falling apart), but at least they’re still comfortable.

I’d like to think of this as required reading for anyone about to try the all new Air France business class seats for the first time. It’ll be impossible for you to complain once you fully understand what it used to be like…

Paris, France (CDG) – San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Friday, April 14, 2023
Aircraft: 777-328/ER
Registration: F-GZNE
Duration: 10 hours 37 minutes
Seat: 16L (business class)

Air France 777-300ER (F-GZNE) side view
Air France 777-300ER (F-GZNE) side view illustration by My first ride ever on an aircraft in the SkyTeam livery!
AF84 flight track
Our route from Paris to San Francisco today as AF84.

My full review of Air France 777-300/ER business class from Paris to San Francisco

Full disclosure: I had a pretty good hunch that the aircraft I would be flying on would have the old business class seats. There simply aren’t that many Air France 777s that feature the new seats yet, and I don’t even think they operate those aircraft to San Francisco yet.

BTW, I booked this reservation for only 135,000 Flying Blue points. It was basically a steal considering that every other Air France flight to the US that day was 300,000 points (or more).

Arrival at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris (was a mother******)

Immediately after arriving from Munich in Air France A220-300 business class, I followed the signs for international connections with great anticipation. That all came to a screeching halt once I realized that I had to go through a very long passport control line. It got worse once I realized that it was hardly moving at all.

CDG international connections signage
Welcome to CDG! I took this pic as I was following the signs for “2K” after arriving from Munich, feeling awesome, and completely (blissfully) unaware of the ****show that was about to unfold. 
CDG passport control line
Crap! This is the line for passport control, which wouldn’t have been that bad if it weren’t for the fact that boarding for my flight to SFO is starting in less than 10 minutes. The ****show basically starts now.

For anyone wondering: you don’t normally have to go through customs when making international connections in Europe. You almost always have to go through passport control though, and that’s what totally derailed me this time.

SANspotter running through CDG airport
Good news: I made it through passport control! Bad news: my flight to SFO might already be gone. Run SANspotter, run!
CDG airport terminal 2 E duty free area
Outta my way people! Stressed out airline reviewer coming through!
Terminal 2E interior CDG airport
Of course my departure gate is all the way at the far end of Terminal 2E. It ain’t a true ****show unless it involves running (the non graceful kind).
Gate K35 terminal 2E CDG airport
You’re kidding, right? Not only is the plane still here, the boarding door is still open as well. To say that I wanted to hug everyone in the immediate area is an understatement.
Gate K35 terminal 2E CDG airport ramp to jet bridge
The icing on the cake was being selected for a random security check before being allowed to proceed to the jet bridge. To be honest though, after what I just went through, watching a complete stranger rummage through my dirty underwear was more amusing than it was frustrating.
SANspotter walking down gate T2E k35 jet bridge Paris CDG airport
Whew! Not only did I feel like winning the lottery by making this flight…
Air France 777-300er SkyTeam livery F-GZNE
…I was awarded with the SkyTeam 777-300/ER (F-GZNE) for the journey to San Francisco today. Woohoo!

Long story short, I made it to my flight with no time to spare. They basically shut slammed the door behind me. So much for having a few minutes to relax before the flight!

First impressions of the old Air France 777-300 business class seats

Upon stepping onboard, it became blatantly clear why this was the cheapest flight I could find using points to the US. Yup – this particular aircraft was still sporting the old business class seats.

Air France 777-300er business class cabin
Air France 777-300/ER business class already loaded up and ready to go. It was at this moment that I realized that I was “that guy” (the one who shows up late and delays the flight). I swear it wasn’t my fault!
Air France 777-300er business class seat 16L
I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that there has never been anyone so relieved to see this seat than I was at this very moment. I almost shed a tear.

To say that the seats looked worn out and run down is an understatement, although I will admit that I appreciated the 1-2-1 layout. At least it wasn’t anywhere near as vintage looking as what you saw in my KLM 777-200 business class review.

Air France 777-300er business class blankets pillows and hangers
Waiting (patiently) on my seat for me was a blanket, pillow, and a hanger. What am I supposed to do with the hanger?
Air France 777-300er business class window seat
This is still a very competitive business class seat IMHO. Yeah, it looks (and feels) like the interior of a 12 year old car, but it’s hard to scoff at the generous amount of space.
Air France 777-300 business class leg room
Legroom for miles (I mean kilometers, considering this is Europe and all).
Air France 777-300 business class seats wear and tear
I have a feeling that Air France would prefer if I referred to these scuffs and scrapes as “patina,” so let’s go with that.
Air France 777-300 business class seats USB and electrical outlets
Oh! Looks like I found the USB and full size electrical outlets as I was down here taking pics of the patina.
Air France 777-300 business class seat storage space
The blood red interior of the cubby space is a nice touch. I’d even go as far as to say it felt a bit scandalous.
Air France 777-300 business class entertainment system remote control location
Much like how we used to hang phones on the the kitchen wall in the 1980s, the remote control for the entertainment system is conveniently located next to the cubby space.
Air France 777-300 business class seat control buttons
The seat control buttons (surrounded by more patina).
Air France 777-300 business class seat view while seated
There’s not all that much to see of the rest of the cabin while seated. However, there is a strong “mutant hatching pod” vibe to these seats that I kind of like.
Air France 777-300 business class seat privacy
Yes, privacy is excellent!

The amenities

Crusty old business class seats or not, Air France does really well with amenity kits in my opinion. The one they provided us on this flight was as stylish and useful as you might expect to be. For the record, the amenity kit was already at the seat when I arrived. They don’t hand them out during the boarding process.

Air France 777-300 business class headphones and amenity kit
Located in that scandalous red cubby that I showed you earlier is a pair of noise canceling headphones and an amenity kit.
Air France 777-300 business class amenity kit
Said amenity kit. I think Air France my be slippin’ a bit, because the Porsche-designed amenity kit I got in Lufthansa A350-900 premium economy a few days was far more stylish than this.
Air France 777-300 business class amenity kit contents
The contents of the amenity kit were just as good IMHO. Nope, there’s nothing remarkable here, but all of it will come in handy eventually.
The question is: do I use the hot towel to wipe my hands, or do I attempt to scrub away some of the patina on this seat?
SANspotter wiping hands with hot towel Air France 777-300 business class
Of course I used it to wipe my hands. You don’t even want to know about all the nasty things I’ve touched recently!


Pushing off the gate was the first time in over 90 minutes that I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Nearly missing this flight (and then working hard to get all the pics and the video of the seat) really took it out of me.

Air France 777-300er pushing off the gate at CDG
Commence pushback.

Just knowing that I didn’t miss the flight (along with getting all the content I needed for the review) was a glorious feeling indeed. Here are the sights and sounds of the departure out of CDG this morning:

Air France 777-300er taxi to runway at CDG
Perhaps the most amusing thing about the taxi out to the runway was the fact that it was impossible to avoid getting pics of Delta aircraft. From some angles, it seemed more like ATL than CDG.
Taxi to runway CDG airport
I did see some occasional Air France aircraft though, so that was reassuring.
Air France 777-300er takeoff from CDG
Mental note: seat 16L probably isn’t the place you want to be if there’s an uncontained engine failure on one of these 777-300/ERs. Fingers crossed I don’t get shredded with fan blade debris on the way out of here…

Here’s the full taxi and takeoff video (which is always more exciting than just looking at pictures with stupid captions):

In-flight entertainment

There’s not much to say about the in-flight entertainment on these old Air France 777‘s that isn’t obvious by looking at the following pictures.

  • One hand, the screen is relatively small and low contrast compared to the video screens in modern business class seats.
  • On the other hand, it features a really good catalog of content that’ll please nearly everyone (I’m sure of it).
  • It isn’t their latest and greatest offering though! Be sure to peep my Air France A350-900 premium economy review to see just how good IFE can be on this airline.
Air France 777-300er business class video screen
This is the home screen, but that’s not the point of this picture. I’m actually demonstrating the fact that the latch on this screen is broken and I wasn’t able to place it out of the way and back into its frame. Crap!
Air France 777-300er business class video screen main menu
This is the main menu. BTW, the look on Brendan Fraser’s face perfectly mirrors mine as I realize that the screen is basically stuck in this position for the entire flight.
Air France 777-300er business class in flight entertainment
Despite the vintage of the screen, this is a solid in flight entertainment product IMHO. Movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music galore!

The best way to sum up these video screens (and the catalog of movies and TV shows) is to say that it’s exactly the opposite of what I recently experienced in Aeromexico 787-8 business class. In that case, the screens were phenomenal but the content was lacking.

Air France 777-300er business class in flight entertainment remote control
At least the remote control looked modern(ish). And you’re darn right I’m going to watch Bullet Train. Again.

Audiophiles (or at least those of you who like to be able to hear what you’re watching) will appreciate the noise canceling headphones. They were decent.

Air France 777-300er business class noise canceling headphones
The noise canceling headphones were solid AF.
SANspotter reviewing Air France 777-300er business class
I know! I’m just as shocked as you are that it’s taken me this long to make a cheesy “AF” reference in an Air France review.

The first meal service

This being my first ever flight in Air France long haul business class, I was very much looking forward to the meal. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Air France onboard service over the years (especially in regards to food), so couldn’t wait to experience it for myself. Check this out:

Air France long haul business class menu cover
Holding a pamphlet that simply says “business” could mean lots of things, but I’m going to assume this is the menu for today’s flight.
Air France long haul business class menu contents
It is indeed the menu (and a good one at that). Click on the image to see a high resolution version of it if you’re curious about the meal (and drink) options.
Air France long haul business class appetizer
First up was the appetizer, which consisted of a carrot purée with orange, ewe’s cheese, and pine nuts.
Air France long haul business class appetizer and pre meal snack
The decision to pair it with a Diet Coke was entirely mine. Do I have great taste, or what?
Air France long haul business class meal starter
Next up was the starter, consisting of smoked salmon fillet, raspberry and grapefruit jelly, cream of pea, with lemon and basil soup.
SANspotter eating in Air France long haul business class
I’m detecting a hint of flavors that my inexperienced palate has no idea how to process. 
Air France long haul business class sautéed shrimp lunch
The main course: sautéed shrimp, orange beurre blanc sauce, served with Puy green lentils. It was essentially a bomb *** bowl of shrimp stew.
SANspotter Air France business class food review
The verdict? A brilliant (but complex) blend of flavors that were as interesting as they were delightful. Or, put in more simple terms: yum!
Air France business class dessert
Despite cheese being an option (and y’all know how much I love cheese), I went with the chocolate and hazelnut gianduja for dessert. Being able to add fancy new words to my limited vocabulary is what made this worth it.

Testing out the lie flat seat

I’m not normally able to sleep at all on daytime flights from Europe to the US, but I was very much looking forward to it this time thanks to the crippling jet lag I suffered on this trip.

Relaxing in a lie flat Air France 777-300 business class seat
Well, here we go. I ate so much food just now that the impending food coma is basically unavoidable.
Air France 777-300 business class blankets
And for anyone wondering, yes, the blankets they provide are of decently high quality. It was plenty good enough to keep warm during a deep food-induced coma.
SANspotter in an Air France 777-300 lie flat business class seat
Taking one last look at my disgustingly fat belly before going fully lie flat? Either that or I got caught on camera admiring my manhood again (it’s a guy thing).
SANspotter sleeping in an Air France 777-300 lie flat business class seat
Dreaming of the newest Air France 777-300ER business class seats I’m sure.
sleeping privacy in Air France 777-300 lie flat business class seat
By the way, privacy isn’t so great while in a lie flat position. Those of you who don’t like to be watched while you sleep probably aren’t going to like this.

Say what you will about how ugly and crusty these old seats look, but it was a perfectly fine place to lay my tired body and soul. Yeah, the seats are a little lumpy (and narrow), but that didn’t stop me from getting a solid three hours of sleep.

Air France 777-300 lie flat business class seat footwell
Oh – the footwells in these seats (while in lie flat mode) are quite large. It’s a rarity these days!
Air France 777-300 business class passenger shaming
Then again, who needs footwells when you’re as limber as this?

Taking a walk around the cabin

Three hours of sleep on an airplane is nothing short of a miracle for me, so I chalked that up as a win. I spent the remaining hours before the second meal service walking around the aircraft, getting a little work done, and gently snoozing. These Paris to San Francisco flights are quite long, so there’s a lot of dead time to fill.

Air France 777-300 business class self serve food and snack bar
The first order of business during my walk around the cabin was to check out the self serve snack and beverage bar located in the galley between the two business class cabins. A fresh bottle of water for the second half of the flight has been secured.
Air France 777-300 business class lavatory
The next thing to check out was the lavatory. Why do these things always gotta look the same?
Air France 777-300 business class lavatory soaps and lotions
Lol at the “PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY” disclaimer on these soap and lotion bottles. I used them anyway since nobody was looking.
Air France 777-300 business class cabin view from the rear
Thankfully the feet were nowhere to be seen by the time I returned to the business class cabin (much to the dismay of anyone reading this who has a foot fetish I guess).

The second meal service

The fact that I had to go back and look at my pictures (and video) of the second meal service to write this portion of the review tells you everything you need to know about it. I honestly couldn’t remember what they served. I had no recollection of it being inedible slop though, so I guess that’s a good thing.

Air France long haul business class second meal
“Chicken fillet with tomato sauce.” No wonder it wasn’t very memorable!
Air France long haul business class chicken and bulgur wheat meal
I will admit that it was pretty tasty though. The risotto-style bulgur wheat added some much needed flavor to the overall dish.
Air France long haul business class madeleine sponge cake
They even threw in a madeleine sponge cake to help make the meal as French as possible. Well played, Air France. Well played indeed.

The descent and arrival into San Francisco

The weather was looking nothing short of spectacular as we began the initial descent into SFO. I was quite happy about this, because there are basically only two types of weather in San Francisco: sunny and warm, or foggy and cold.

I do believe I was smiling as we were making the final descent into SFO.

Air France 777-300ER engine and wing view
What a view! The Sierra Nevada Mountains always look great from any angle, but I can tell you from experience that they look even better from the window of an Air France 777-300ER.
Air France 777-300ER landing at SFO
Welcome to San Francisco! Given the age of this airplane, I think it’s safe to assume that she’s been here a time or two before.
SFO international terminal
The same thing could be said about me I guess. SFO is very much familiar territory for this weary traveller.

Well, that was fun! I’m not afraid to admit that this was a flight that I enjoyed quite a bit. As an experienced airline reviewer, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if you think that I’d snub my nose at anything less than the latest and greatest business class seat.

However, I found these old seats to provide a perfectly comfortable and pleasant experience throughout every phase of the journey.

Air France 777-300er business class seat 16L
“12 year old car” vibes or not, I enjoyed the crap out of this seat. Really!
SANspotter walking up SFO jet bridge after Air France flight
FYI, this is my “4 out of 5 stars” face.

One final last bit of advice: SFO international to domestic connection times aren’t that bad. I find it to be one of the best airports to get through customs and immigration quickly, and this time was no exception. I made it through the entire process in less than 20 minutes.

Perhaps they can give the folks at CDG a few pointers on how to move people through passport control without any fuss…

Pros and cons of the old Air France 777-300/ER business class experience

Before getting to the individual pros and cons, I’m just going to leave you with this: a lie flat seat is a lie flat seat. It doesn’t matter what it looks like as long as it lies flat and provides the means for a few hours of deep sleep without interruptions. That’s exactly what I got, so I guess I can’t complain.


  • Despite how old it looks, it’s still a very comfortable long-haul business class seat.
  • The 1-2-1 configuration is perfect for solo travelers and couples alike.
  • Privacy is pretty good for such a vintage seat. It’s not perfect, but it’s hard to shake a fist at.
  • You’ll still get the latest and greatest onboard service from the cabin crew (which is very good IMHO).


  • Expect to have to deal with panels falling off and latches on the doors and armrests not working like they should.
  • You know how old cars rattle and buzz while going over even the smallest bumps? These old seats do the exact same thing.
  • You’ll be far less likely to impress your followers on social media by posting a selfie taken from one of these old seats compared to the new ones. The horror!

Comments (6)

  1. Peter

    May 20, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 21, 2023
      • Levi

        June 9, 2023
        • Scott (SANspotter)

          June 9, 2023
  2. Justin

    May 23, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 23, 2023

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