I sat in Air France’s First Class yesterday. Well, just for a few minutes and then it was someone else’s turn. Such is life at the Air France Expo, a two-floor temporary ode to the glamour of air travel at Center 548 in Chelsea; it’s open to the public from June 26-28.
Poised to spend $1 billion upgrading its fleet and passenger experience, Air France is eager to show off the much-improved seats and amenities that debuted on a June 24th flight from Paris to NYC. You can try out the new Economy, Premium Economy, Business Class and First Class as you walk through a maze of exhibits that include vintage uniforms and interactive art.
The mix of high-tech and nostalgia work together perfectly because the idea that flying should be pleasurable isn’t new — it’s old. Flying on a plane used to be a special occasion for which people dressed up; now it’s turned into something that has to be endured. Well, pass me my cone of little chocolate and nougats (available starting in Premium Economy) while I recline a little further back than usual, and I just might change my tune about flying. And give me one of those full-flat seats (starting in Business Class), I won’t complain a bit. No need for paparazzi waiting on the runway like in the Concorde days, though. We can all just do selfies.
Travel buffs shouldn’t miss the Air France Expo, which is just off The Highline at 548 W. 22 Street. Set among the galleries, the artsy crowd will like the exhibit. Free ice cream all afternoon on Saturday —can’t go wrong with that! If you miss it in NYC, the Expo will be in Paris in September. Is that when they’ll make the big announcement that the Concorde is returning?!