NEWS: Air France First class experience, How to find the costs of BA redemptions and BA Dublin changes

NEWS: Air France First class experience, How to find the costs of BA redemptions and BA Dublin changes

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Air France refines its First class La Premiere experience

Air France will unveil its new La Première cabin next winter, but in the meantime, it is getting ready to inaugurate a new and exclusive passenger airport experience this summer, featuring a dedicated check-in lobby and suites. While La Premiere currently does not have the most exciting seats, the overall experience is excellent, especially the food and drink. These improvements take it to a whole new level. When the new seats are introduced, I think this will be amongst the best First class products in the world. You can read our recent review of La Premiere here.

The new service will start at Paris-Charles de Gaulle beginning in July, just in time for the opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which Air France is an official partner.

A new dedicated check-in lobby

The new La Première check-in lobby
The new La Première check-in lobby

Upon arrival at the airport, every La Première guest will be welcomed by a dedicated concierge who will attend to their luggage. Guests will then be guided to a newly established exclusive check-in lobby. The area is furnished with 15 seats and two private lounges. The private lobby lounges are reserved for passengers enrolled in La Première’s “suites” option (see below). The check-in lobby will also cater to La Première passengers arriving at the airport. Customers can relax post-flight, avail themselves of shower facilities if desired, and retrieve their checked baggage.

Private lounge of the new La Première check-in lobby
Private lounge of the new La Première check-in lobby

Once formalities are concluded, guests will be escorted to the La Première lounge via an exclusive private passage featuring a dedicated security checkpoint. Along this pathway, there will be a series of images portraying the airline’s iconic winged seahorse.

An exclusive lounge reserved for La Première passengers

The Air France La Première lounge is designed to epitomize exclusivity, spanning an impressive 1,000 square meters (10,700 square feet). The curated menu and wine selection has been crafted by 3* Alain Ducasse and his team. There is also a luxurious spa and beauty treatments area, operated by Sisley.

New suites connected to the lounge

New suites of the La Première lounge
New suites of the La Première lounge

For the utmost privacy prior to a journey or during layovers, La Première passengers will now have the option to reserve paid suites spanning nearly 45 square meters (nearly 500 square feet), located adjacent to the La Première lounge. Three suites will be available, with the option to adjoin two of them upon request.

Upon arrival, a dedicated butler will personally guide guests through the suite options and amenities. Each suite will feature a spacious living area, a bedroom with a double bed, a bathroom, and even an outdoor patio which I have never heard of in an airport suite before.

Private patio of suite
Private patio of suite

Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in a specially curated menu by Alain Ducasse, as well as access the renowned Sisley spa. The suites will have fresh flowers, luxurious linens, and haute-couture finishes with each suite having its own distinct character.

This new private airport check-in area and access to the La Première lounge are included as part of Air France’s La Première service. The airport suites are offered as an additional option, starting at 800 euros. They are not exactly cheap considering how much you have already paid for your ticket, but they are certainly the ultimate luxury airport experience. 

A new La Première cabin coming soon

Following the implementation of Air France’s new exclusive airport experience, the airline will shift its focus towards introducing its extensively redesigned La Première cabin in winter 2024-25. Setting a new standard in length, this cabin will boast the longest configuration on the market, offering five windows to passengers. It will also have up to three modular and entirely private living spaces, with a seat, a chaise lounge, and a flat bed. La Première will be extended across a greater number of aircraft compared to now.

As of summer 2024, Air France will have 19 Boeing 777-300 ERs outfitted with La Première suites, flying to Abidjan, Dubai, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo-Haneda and Washington.


New way to check the price of Avios redemptions

If you are a regular reader of TLFL you will have seen some of the great photos by my friend Marek. Marek is also something of an Avios guru and IT wizz, so he has created a way to look up the correct pricing of BA Avios redemptions. Since the introduction of RFS rates for Club World and World Traveller Plus long haul travel, it can be hard to work out what the basic redemption rate is. You can now access the calculator at to find out Avios pricing and add in any vouchers you may be using. 

How to use it

Select the number of travellers, then enter your routing segment by segment, selecting cabin and peak/off-peak rate:

Then select how you’re paying for the ticket and whether you are using a Gold Upgrade Voucher and/or BA Amex Companion Voucher.

Once you have completed the details click `Calculate` to get a quote:

Click `Refine` if you want to modify your quote, or `New quote` if you want to start again. 

Please note:

  • It only calculates BA redemptions on British Airways flights, not partner airlines
  • The calculator does not check if BA flies a particular route
  • There’s no Avios pricing for premium economy / first on flights within band 1/2/3

Obviously, RFS pricing is only one option, but it will show the cheapest cash option for a flight, and it’s handy to be able to add various vouchers as well. 


British Airways move terminals at Dublin airport

Last week, BA moved from Terminal 1 at Dublin to Terminal 2. BA Cityflyer, Iberia Express, Vueling have also moved to T2.

In terms of experience, other than connecting onto long haul flights such as Aer Lingus and the US pre-clearance, it hasn’t really done much to improve the experience. In fact I would say that food and drink wise the Aer Lingus lounge is worse than the Terminal 1 lounge. My main hope is that BA would now a) not insist on using steps instead of an airbridge every time to save money and b) not use the gates furthest away. I find Dublin to be a very low-cost experience with BA.

Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin

From 9am onwards, BA passengers will use the Aer Lingus lounge. In terms of facilities and the way it looks, it is better than the previous third-party lounge at T1. However, the food and drinks are pretty basic. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, the only choices were soup, plastic posts of pasta salad, and pre-packed sandwiches. They do have a more relaxed seating area on the mezzanine however, and showers upstairs. 

Aer Lingus Lounge Dublin work seats

Pre-9am it is even worse as the Oneworld lounge page states “Customers departing on the following British Airways flights are invited to use the Dublin Airport Authority Lounge in Terminal 2: BA831, BA923, BA4461 and BA4463. The DAA one is far worse than BA’s old T1 DAA lounge. There is very little food you’d want to eat and the drinks selection is not much better. 

Given that Aer Lingus uses one of their A321 long-range aircraft in the mornings to Heathrow with the full flatbed business class seats, I’d be tempted to fly them to avoid that lounge!

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