Air France A220-300 business class is a solid step in the right direction

Air France A220-300 business class is a solid step in the right direction

It’s not very often that I look forward to a 7 AM flight (especially when suffering from crippling jet lag). However, the anticipation of flying Air France A220-300 business class was enough to get me going with a spring in my step and a giant smile on my face.

As you’re about to see in this review, things didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Yes, it was a great flight with decent seats, tasty food, and a happy flight attendant.

The only problem is: I’ve had better.

Munich, Germany (MUC) – Paris, France (CDG)
Friday, April 14, 2023
Aircraft: A220-300
Registration: F-HZUO
Duration: 1 hour 11 minutes
Seat: 3F (business class)

Air France A220-300 (F-HZUO) side view
Air France A220-300 (F-HZUO) side view illustration by
AF1123 flight track
Our route from Munich to Paris this morning as AF1123.

My full review of Air France A220-300 business class from Munich to Paris

7 AM flights suck no matter what, but they’re far worse when you only got about an hour of sleep and leading up to it. Jet lag is a mofo!

Thankfully, I stayed at the Munich Airport Hilton (which is connected directly to the airport), so it was just a 10 minute walk over to Terminal 1 to catch this flight. Actually reaching the Air France check in counter was another story…

SANspotter in the central courtyard at MUC
One last look at the central courtyard at MUC before making the walk over to T1. Truthfully, it was so early (and I was so jet lagged) that I don’t recall any of this.

Arrival at MUC Terminal 1

The Air France ticket counter is located at the far east end of Terminal 1 is it the Munich Airport. That’s especially worth mentioning if you’re coming from the Hilton.

In that case, it pretty much doubles your walk time since you’ve got to walk the entire length of T1. It’s extremely long, and there was a moment that I thought for sure it was going to go on forever.

Curbside terminal 1 Munich Airport
Welcome to Terminal 1 at the Munich International Airport!
SANspotter at the Munich Airport departures area
It’s probably a good thing I don’t know how to swear in German, because I would’ve been spewing the worst of it after the unexpectedly long walk I just had to get here. Yes, even travel bloggers get frustrated sometimes.
Departures entrance D Munich Airport terminal 1
Speaking of fun German words, saying “abflug” (which means “departures”) out loud a few times was enough to satisfy my desire to say something nasty in the native language.
Air France KLM check in terminal 1 Munich Airport
Air France and KLM share the same check in area here at MUC. So basically, it’s a line of people going to either Paris or Amsterdam this morning.
terminal 1 Munich Airport
Once past the security checkpoint, you’ll see that Terminal 1 is essentially one long (very long) line of gates. It’s abfluggingly busy in here!

Lounge access

Air France business class passengers flying out of Munich have access to the Air France KLM Lounge located on the second level of Terminal 1 near the D gates. It’s an OK lounge with really good food. The food is all that really matters though, right?

pics of the air france KLM lounge munich airport
Any airline lounge with bacon and eggs is a decent one in my book. The MUC Air France KLM Lounge succeeded magnificently in that regard.

The boarding process for flight number 1123 to Paris (Charles de Gaulle)

Screw Murphy and his stupid law. Why is it that whenever you need a flight to be on time, it’ll definitely be running late?

I had a fairly tight connection to make in Paris, so it was absolutely brutal to stand there at the gate as the boarding time came and went with no announcement from the gate agents. I wasn’t expecting to have to clench my butt so tightly so early in the day!

Air France A220-300 F-HZUO Munich Airport
< thick French accent > Ooh la la! < / thick French accent > Without sounding like a total perv, let’s just say that I was enamored by the beauty of the Air France A220-300 taking me to Paris this morning.
Air France business class mobile boarding pass
The anticipation and excitement I was feeling 10 minutes before the scheduled boarding time shown on my boarding pass was nice while it lasted I guess. 
Boarding at gate D15 Munich Airport terminal 1
20 minutes later, and my clenched butt cheeks are making it difficult to look calm and collected anymore. Let’s go!
Munich Airport jet bridge
At least the walk down the jet bridge was kinda fun. It’s amazing how just a few strategically placed bubbles can liven the mood of a stressed out traveler worried sick about making his connection.
Air France A220-300 boarding door
This is it. A quick check of my flight log reveals that it’s been exactly 11 years, 6 months, and 5 days since my last flight on Air France. It’s good to be back!

My first impressions of the business class seats on the Air France A220-300

The business class seating configuration on the Air France A220-300 is nice. It’s a 2-3 layout, which means that couples traveling together can do so comfortably on the right side of the aircraft.

On the left side, solo travelers can choose either the aisle or the window seat feeling happy knowing that the middle seat is going to be blocked.

Air France a220-300 business class cabin
Abflug me it’s busy in here! Despite the crowd, this looks like a really nice (and large) business class cabin. I didn’t expect to see 5 rows of premium seats. 
Air France a220-300 business class seats
It’s borderline criminal that they’re allowed to call these business class seats. It’s like the ‘lite’ version of what you saw in my Air France A350-900 premium economy review.
Air France a220-300 business class seats row 3
Then again, what we refer to as first class seats back in the US is highly questionable as well. Let’s just call it even.
Air France a220-300 business class leg room
There’s about a crossoaint’s worth of space between my knees and the seat in front of me.
Air France a220-300 business class seat thickness
Slimline business class seats, eh? Welcome to Europe!
Air France a220-300 business class blocked middle seat
In all seriousness, thanks to the blocked middle seats, I don’t mind the lack of seat thickness at all. Having a guaranteed empty seat next to me makes all the difference.
Air France a220-300 business class USB C power outlets
I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen USB C outlets on an airplane. Finally!
Air France a220-300 business class coat hook
That black doohickey on the side of the seat is either a beer bottle opener or a coat hook. The jury is still out on that.
SANspotter in Air France a220-300 business class
No doubt feeling miffed at myself for not bringing a tweed jacket (and a Heineken) to test out the doohickey.

I think one of the most interesting thing about these seats is the fact that everything about them (colors, textures, etc) were unmistakably “Air France.” It would have been extremely easy to identify what airline I was flying just by looking around the cabin.

This was essentially a “lite” version of what you saw in my Air France 777-300 business class review. Without the wear and tear of course.

Air France a220-300 business class amenities
Here’s the amenity kit (which will certainly come in handy during my next spirited bathroom visit).
Air France a220-300 business class cabin view from row 3
Boarding complete. Next stop: Paris! I hope.

Business class in Europe is weird. Yeah, I certainly liked what I saw as I was getting situated and ready for takeoff. But let’s be real. These seats are nearly identical to the ones you saw in my review of the Breeze Airways “Nicer” seat (which was pretty darn far from being a luxurious experience). 

At the very least, I just wish Air France had the kahunas to be a bit more bold in regards to the style and design of this business class cabin. They really need to check out ITA Airways A320neo business class – that’s an excellent example of how to spice up an otherwise boring seat IMHO.

The departure

Despite the low energy boarding process by the gate agents, we managed to push off the gate right on time. Of course, the weather was looking terrible, so we weren’t exactly out of the woods yet. I crossed my fingers (and toes) as tightly as I could as we taxied out to the runway in the pouring rain.

Air France a220-300 pushing off the gate at MUC
As long as you try not to think about French pilots talking to German ATC in broken English, it’s a pretty good feeling to be pushing off the gate right on time.
Airbus A220-300 window
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before, but one of the (many) reasons why I like the A220 so much is the large windows. They’re huge!
Air France A220-300 taxi to runway Munich Airport
The larger the window, the easier it is to spot a weather delay before the captain even makes the announcement. It was a sporty taxi out to the runway this morning for sure.
Air France A220-300 takeoff from Munich Airport
Speaking of sporty, the A220-300 is a ripper!
Air France A220-300 takeoff from MUC
One last look back at the entirety of the Munich Airport before we get swallowed up by the clouds. Yeah, I would have preferred to be all dramatic and say “before we punched through the clouds” but let’s be real here: Mother Nature > A220.

In-flight entertainment

Much like how it is on all European airlines, there are no video screens in business class. That said, Air France has a really nice streaming in-flight entertainment offering, which is a lot like any of the streaming services you’ll find on airlines back home in the US.

The only problem is that it requires a dedicated app to access it, which I didn’t have the forethought to download before the flight. Oh well.

Air France play app
Oh what could have been. Had I any forethought to download the Air France Play app before the flight, I could have showed you firsthand what my bad taste in TV shows and movies is like. 
Air France app in flight
Don’t worry if you’re forgetful like me and you forget to download the Play app. You can still access basic data and info about your flight from the main Air France app. 
Air France A220-300 business class mobile device holder
Those of you who aren’t so forgetful will appreciate the handy mobile device holders built into the seat back headrests.

I was surprised to see that full Wi-Fi access isn’t included with business class. Messaging is free, but web browsing (and streaming) is not. You’re gonna have to shell out at least 5 big ones (the Euro kind) to stay connected while in flight.

Air France in flight wifi prices
Here’s the in flight Wi-Fi pricing chart. Read it and weep.
Air France in flight wifi coverage map
At least they are kind enough to provide this handy Wi-Fi coverage map (complete with a pretty darn accurate map of our flight plan). I’m totally jealous of European wireless coverage!

The food

I really need to learn to control my expectations. For some reason or another I assumed the food on this flight was going to be fantastic. You know, that gourmet French food thing and all.

Air France A220-300 business class meal cart
Hmm, what will it be this morning? Rouleaux de Pain Perdu? Croque Madam? Escargot? I can’t wait!

Well, the breakfast they served wasn’t anywhere near as good as what I got in KLM 737-800 business class just six months earlier. It tasted fine though, and it was enough to keep me going for another few hours. That’s a win I guess.

Air France A220-300 business class breakfast
Will someone please remind me to keep my expectations in check? I should’ve known better!
Air France A220-300 business class club sandwich breakfast
In all honesty, this was a really decent breakfast consisting of Gouda and Mimolette cheese club sandwiches, pancakes served with caramelized pineapple, and a bowl of fresh fruit. A croissant was optional.
Air France European business class breakfast
Those pancakes were the bomb, btw.
Air France European business class breakfast tray
The fact that I already had a full plate of eggs and bacon in the lounge this morning is making me second guess my decision to accept this meal.
SANspotter eating in Air France a220-300 business class
But it wouldn’t be a proper SANspotter airline review without a pic of me stuffing my face, now would it? Down the hatch it goes!
Air France a220-300 business class drink holder
On a side note, can someone please explain to me how these drink holders are supposed to work? I honestly don’t get it.

Seat comfort

Those of you who skipped right to this section to find out how comfortable the seats are will be a little bummed out I think.

Crossed legs in Air France a220-300 business class
Yeah, it is possible to cross your legs in these seats. I’m going to warn you though: it’s every bit as uncomfortable as this looks.

Intra-European business class is essentially intra-European economy class – with just a bit more legroom. It’s the exact same seat. That said, they do block the middle seat (which actually helps quite a bit to make it a more comfortable experience).

Air France a220-300 business class adjustable head rests
The headrests are adjustable (as they dang well should be).
Air France a220-300 business class empty middle seats
It didn’t occur to me until just now that maybe solo travelers on the other side of the aisle get a guaranteed empty seat next to them as well. If so…those are the best seats on the A220!
Air France a220-300 engine and wing
“Best” is relative though. Here on the left side, I was happy to not have to be blasted by the sun. (At least what I kept telling myself to feel better about not choosing a better seat).

The arrival into Paris

The weather wasn’t looking all that much different than it was back in Munich as we dropped into the clouds on approach into the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The rain and fog was fierce, but I was feeling great knowing that we were exactly on time and that I wasn’t going to miss my connecting flight.

In hindsight, I was being overly naive again, because things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Dropping beneath the clouds in an Air France A220-300
Goodbye for now sunshine – you will be missed. See you back in San Diego!
Approaching Paris de Gaulle airport over the French countryside
Looks like France hasn’t changed a bit since I last saw it from above (which just so happened to be from my seat in Air Canada 777-300/ER business class six months ago).
Air France A220-300 engine and wing view from seat 3F
Zoom in on this picture a bit and you’ll see an Air France A320 flying parallel to us in the distance. And if there happens to be an airline reviewer on that flight, he (or she) will no doubt be taking note of the Air France A220-300 flying parallel to them in the distance. Funny how that works.
Air France A220-300 approaching runway CDG
Air France A220-300 landing at CDG airport
Welcome to Paris!
Moments after landing at CDG airport
I remember being thankful for having an hour and 20 minutes to make my connection to SFO as I was taking these pics. Ignorance truly is bliss I guess. 
View of Paris airport terminals from taxiway
A quick look at the action here at CDG as we taxi over to Terminal 2 F. Oddly enough, most of that action appears to have an EasyJet livery slathered all over it.
Air France terminal 2F CDG
Pulling up to the gate at Terminal 2F next to what appears to be the very same Air France A320 that was flanking us on the way in. Then again, they all sorta look the same, so it’s just a wild ass guess on my part.
Air France a220-300 business class aisle
“Ladies and gentleman, the jet bridge at this gate is not operational. Please stand by.” Uh oh…
Air France A220-300 remote gate air stairs CDG
Actually, there was nothing to worry about. I’ll take air stairs over a jet bridge any day!
View of Air France a220-300 from ground level
Now that’s what I call a good lookin’ airplane (and anyone who thinks otherwise is no friend of mine).
Walking into terminal 2F at cdg from ground level
And thus begins one of the most hairy connections I’ve had in a good long time (and not in a good way). Abflug!

Pros and cons of Air France A220-300 business class

For short flights such as this one from Munich to Paris, I actually don’t mind the fact that the business class and economy class seats are nearly the same. Having a guaranteed empty seat next to me is enough to make it worth it in my opinion. Otherwise, here are all the specific pros and cons:


  • The A220 is a relatively new aircraft to the Air France fleet, so everything looks (and feels) shiny and new.
  • The 2-3 seating configuration is great for both solo travelers and couples.
  • You’ll be served a full meal – or at least a very substantial snack. It doesn’t matter how short the flight is.
  • The added legroom was noticeable. It makes a difference!


  • It doesn’t feel all that “premium” if I’m being honest, but that’s no fault of Air France. It’s just the way that intra-European business class is these days.
  • Accessing the in-flight entertainment requires downloading and installing a dedicated app.
  • Wi-Fi isn’t free, and it’ll be very expensive if you need to use it.

Comments (5)

  1. Peter

    May 17, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      May 18, 2023
  2. Levi

    June 9, 2023
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      June 9, 2023
  3. Justin

    June 12, 2023

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