Business Class

Day 21: Flying from Budapest to Miami

On June 2nd, I flew home from Budapest. Since my Mom had her flight at 6am on KLM and I had mine on Air France at 6:30am, we went to the airport together.

This was a really early morning, so we decided against taking a taxi. Before arriving in Budapest we had contacted the InterContinental about a transfer to the airport. This was easily set up through the concierge at the hotel. A pick-up was set up for 3:45am and only cost HUF 8500, which was the equivalent of $30.50. The transportation was through a company called Elit and the driver was at the hotel well before 3:45. So we were able to leave early and I swear we were at the airport in less than 25 minutes.

When we got to the airport none of the counters were open yet, and I believe they didn’t open until around 4:15am. Since we were flying business, we could use the sky priority line and were able to skip the long line for all other passengers. We then headed to security and this was very simple. We just had to take out iPads and computers, plus our liquid Ziploc bags.

Once through security there is a huge duty-free store at the Budapest airport. Since it was so early in the morning only the duty-free store was open. We then just waited for our flights at our gates, which were luckily right next to each other. My Mom’s flight then started lining up early, so she joined the Sky Priority line to wait for boarding. Once she was on her flight, I then lined up for mine. People line up early for boarding and neither KLM or Air France seemed to board by zones or aisles.

The Air France flight from Budapest to Paris was uneventful. The seats though for business class are actually coach seats, but the middle seat is left empty. This was fine since the business class section was virtually empty for the flight. Air France did serve a meal for the short flight, which included hot croissants, a meat and cheese plate, and a fruit bowl.

My flight then landed on time and I had my long layover in Paris. I then went through passport control and headed to the Air France lounge. This is when I noticed a slight issue and was rather confused, my flight was listed in both terminal 2E and 2F. Well luckily I was in 2E since this was where my flight left from, but no one in the airport was helpful trying to figure out where my flight actually was going to leave from, even the lounge staff were useless on this issue. I probably wouldn’t have found the Charles de Gaulle airport to be so confusing, if the gate and terminal information had been correct. This made for a confusing morning and made me a bit nervous I was in the wrong terminal. Finally it was time to board my flight and at least I was in the correct terminal.

Normally I hear really negative thoughts about Air France, but I was really impressed with the airline and service in business class. I was greeted with French champagne and the service was friendly throughout the flight. Luckily no one sat in the seat next to me on the flight too. During the flight I watched three movies: Gone Girl; The Imitation Game; and Pride. One thing I found really impressive, before people started using the screens the flight attendants stopped by each seat and showed each passenger how to use the system. No other airline have I been on has done this before.

I was served two meals on the flight. The main meal was amazingly good and had good wine as well, which is shocking to say anymore even in business! Air France does serve foie gras as an appetizer, which was a bit impressive, even though it wasn’t my favorite food item. The 2nd meal was served about 2 hours out from Miami during extremely rough turbulence.

I was really impressed with Air France and I would definitely fly with them again. The service was a step above any airline I have flown in the past, both domestic and international.

After disembarking the flight I headed to customs, which was a breeze with Global Entry even with my passport not scanning. I was through customs in less than 5 minutes and it only took about 10 minutes for the suitcases to start coming out. I probably wouldn’t hesitate to fly through Miami again either.

Overall the trip was really good, even with some of the slowpoke tours. I definitely would take a river cruise again, though it would really depend on the itinerary.

Thank you to everyone who followed along for this trip report and for all the positive feedback!

Day 1: Flying from Miami to Amsterdam

In the morning I was picked up about 8:15 am by a local shuttle service and then headed to the Miami airport. After a bit of traffic on I-95, I arrived at the Miami Airport around 9:15 am. Amazingly there was no one in line for check-in and security took less than 2 minutes. Having the Global Entry card that provides TSA Pre-Check makes going through security much easier and faster now. Once through security I found the Delta Terminal at the Miami Airport to be really nice and easy to navigate, plus the Delta lounge was one of the nicer ones I have been in. My flight left right on time, even after an issue with a passenger’s oxygen tank. The flight then arrived in Detroit early and I had a couple hours to spare before my flight to Amsterdam.

I decided to fly through Detroit since the Detroit to Amsterdam leg was on a 747. Since I had business class tickets this was one of my major reasons for choosing this flight because of the upper-deck part of business class. The upper deck only has 15 seats, which makes for a much quieter flying experience. The seats are also the ones that recline fully flat, which did help somewhat but still not the best to sleep on. I probably got a good 2 hours of sleep on a 7-hour flight. The flight from Detroit left a few minutes late but arrived in Amsterdam the next morning about 25 minutes early.

Upper-deck for the front part of business class

Upper-deck for the front part of business class

Upper-deck for the back part of business class

Upper-deck for the back part of business class

The newer international business class seats for Delta. The beds fully recline and you are in your own pod.

The newer international business class seats for Delta. The beds fully recline and you are in your own pod.