Today saw the opening of the fully redesigned Air France lounge at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. In association with the Plaza Premium Group, the airline now offers its Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus customers a large, elegant and welcoming space, in an iteration of the new ground product design for Air France. Gone are the Red White and Blue sterile spaces, instead opting for a more residential and rich design palette.

Located in the international section of the terminal, this 490 sq. m. lounge has a seating capacity of 149. The lounge also benefits from swathes of light, thanks to a large bay window offering a view of the runways, aircraft and one of the slopes of Mount Royal overlooking the city of Montreal.

Air France worked together with Canadian companies to create most of the furniture and lighting. Air France has opted for a dominant deep blue to marry elements of the lounge together, with greys, whites and natural finishes creating a less corporate environment. There are touches of red but the eyes are drawn to the furniture, lighting and wooden slat surfaces.

Against the blue, the Air France brand symbol, and the winged seahorse, the company’s historical symbol, look simply stunning. There are also Champagne lacquered metal screens provide structure to the lounge.

Like Virgin Atlantic’s decision to outsource the lounge management to a third-party, this lounge is also operated by Plaza Premium, At the entrance, customers are welcomed by Plaza Premium Group agents. Automatic eligibility kiosks are also available for greater fluidity and reduce the queues. 

Within the main lounge area, there is plenty of seating including large sofas and banquet seats available for everyone to relax, eat or work in comfort. A shared work area is also available. Free Wi-Fi and USB sockets are also available to all customers. 

Acting like a lounge within a lounge, Flying Blue Ultimate customers have access to a more private space, with large sofas and seats to feel at home. It wouldn’t be a lounge without an area allows customers to shower or freshen up before their flight. A large bar also offers a wide selection of French wines and champagnes. Finally, for those looking for travel inspiration, an ‘Air France Travel Guide’ screen gives customers ideas for their upcoming trips.

This Autumn, the lounge will introduce a new dedicated ‘Night Service’ catering option as it has done in other lounges. This offer anticipates the desire to maximise rest of Business customers travelling from Montreal to Paris on the last evening flight. They can choose to enjoy in the lounge a real French-style gourmet meal, identical to that served on board, with in-seat restaurant-style service. Starters, hot dishes, cheese, desserts and a wine and champagne list will be offered to these eligible clients. During the flight, they can then enjoy their night on board to the full. If they make the request, their meal tray will not be loaded on the flight to limit food waste. Customers who wish to do so will still be able to enjoy another meal on board.

In an eco-responsible approach, Air France favours local and seasonal products for its catering offer. In addition, to limit the consumption of single-use plastic bottles, the airline provides its customers with water fountains, as well as plastic-free cutlery. It also pays particular attention to limiting food waste, selective waste sorting and recycling of catering utensils. In the showers, the facilities are also eco-responsible.

It’s also great to see the airline has decided to opt for a greener approach to the overhaul of the lounge. The transformation also meant that the old furniture had to be disposed of. Some items were donated to a charity while others were offered at auction to Air France-KLM staff in Montreal. All proceeds went to the Montreal-based Le Chaînon Foundation, which helps women in need.

The Air France lounge in Montreal is open daily from 2pm to 10pm for Air France and KLM customers. Access is free for Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus customers, and customers travelling in Economy or Premium Economy can also purchase lounge access subject to availability. 

The Big Picture

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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