Air France super business lounge welcomes our bloggers – #blogbus

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On our way to San Francisco, all our French bloggers had a pit stop at the Air France super lounge at the end of terminal E in Charles de Gaulle Airport, as a matter of fact, Air France’s biggest in the whole world. And when I say big, I mean what I say!

The lounge was opened at the very end of June 2012 and we were part of the happy few who are allowed to relax, read, eat and even take a nap on location. When I write happy few, this isn’t quite right though, because the new Air France lounge at the end of the so-called ‘K.L.M’ satellite of terminal E is in fact massive (with its 3,483 square metres and close to 700 seats!). The brand new extension of the Air France hub was opened recently in order to accommodate all internal long-haul flights passengers of the airline. The ‘K.L.M’ moniker is intended as a pun and “a way to celebrate the Franco-Dutch alliance” the Air France lounge manager told me.

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Photo 1: the lofty Air France lounge with plenty of leg-room and beautifully crafted designer spaces

I was shown around by the personnel who gave us a very warm welcome and I had a chance to take these pictures which are now available on our online live.orange.com gallery thanks to the Orange Wifi service conveniently placed at the users’ disposal.

From airfrance

Photo album: a visit of the exclusive super Air France lounge at CDG airport (all photos by Yann Gourvennec for the Live Orange Blog)

CDG’ – as the airport is known to be called by airline professionals – is in constant reconfiguration since it is one of the only European airports in Europe with space available around it. Terminals A, B, C have been left by the French company and D will be closed by October 2012. All of Air France is now moving to terminals E and F, from which all their international flights now depart. Terminal E is now dedicated to both the US and Africa. “€ 560m went into the new development and more than 7.5 million passengers will be transiting via the airport each year!” the lounge staff told me. This is the reason why Air France decided to build that second-to-none business lounge for its ‘elite’ customers. The lounge, so far, is only opened from 5.00 am till 2.00 pm CET but opening hours will be extended later, the staff told me.

The lounge is not only beautifully designed (by Noé Duchauffour Lawrance), it can also boast wide-ranging kinds of foods (Asian visitors will feast on Chinese noodles for instance), a broad selection of newspapers and various amenities such as free showers (something like 14 booths are made available to clients!), Desktop and Tablet computers, relaxing couches, a customer service desk, and even complimentary massages and other beauty services by Air France partner Clarins.

No wonder that early visitors to the lounge have covered the guest book in praises about the service, comparing it to that of Emirates’s. A well deserved compliment in my mind and that of the blogger bus tour bloggers who were with me today.

my views on the Silicon Valley Blogger Bus tour – #blogbus (2/2)

For those who don’t know yet, I (as Director, Web & Social Media at Orange), I will be part of the Silicon Valley Blogger Bus Tour 2012, which will take place in September (17-22) as a blogger … and the organiser of that tour. Here is my take on why I am participating and what I am expecting to do/see there:

I’m a Jack of all trades. I’m not just a blogger, I’m also the organizer of the Tour. On this Tour we’re dealing with blogger PR in a different way than it usually is done in big companies like this.

What we do here is we partner with the bloggers : we work together as a team, and the fact that I’m also a blogger makes it possible. It’s a matter of us going over there together, reporting and sharing our enthusiasm and content.

To me this is very important : it’s how good content is produced and engrossing stories started. And I’m not even talking about the friendships that are being initiated between members. Undoubtedly those who are taking part in these tours are invited to other tours, depending on their skills and focus.

my views on the Silicon Valley Blogger Bus tour 20    12 as an organiser

We also want to look at the way we organise the tour. A member of my team is going to have a subjective look at what other bloggers are seeing, through their blogs and contents. So we’ll be able to tell a story about the story as well.

And finally, how are we going to tackle the main subject, which is innovation in the Valley? I really wanted to give a different angle about this SoLoMo (social,local,mobile) approach in the Valley, so we’re going to see many innovators to understand whether or not innovation is still thriving in the Valley although I don’t have much doubt about that, knowing how it is over there.

It’s my 7th time there and I’m sure we’re going to have an exciting time. So stay tuned to the live.orange.com and don’t miss a thing about the Orange Blogger Bus tour 2012.