Air France launches Night Service pre-flight dining at JFK lounge


Want to get a good night’s sleep (or as close as possible) on the redeye to Europe but don’t want to give up the “luxury dining” business class offers? That means dining on the ground pre-flight and going to bed once the wheels are up. Air France joined the small collection of airlines offering such service this week, announcing “Night Service” for its 9:45p and 11:25p departures from JFK to Paris. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer similar services while American Airlines has announced it will also offer similar for business class travelers at some point next year; it already offers food in its Flagship lounge for First Class travelers.

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Unlike those airlines Air France is offering “the same meal in the airport lounge as the one served on board” (with an exclusion of special meals); for Virgin Atlantic and British Airways it is more of a buffet dining experience. Prior booking is not required and passengers will enjoy dining at a private table in a dedicated section of the lounge.

I love the idea of dining on the ground pre-flight and then maximizing sleep time on board. I think it is a great way to approach the relatively short trans-Atlantic crossings. But I’m disappointed that it is only on the two late flights. For those flights (especially the 11:25p departure) there’s a pretty good chance I’ve already eaten dinner even before getting to the airport. Where the true value would be (to me) is in offering such on the earlier departures (this Summer Air France has three other flights with departures at 4:20p, 6:20p and 7:20p). Getting a proper meal in the lounge on those flights would be much more valuable to me than for the later departures.

Even though it is not an ideal arrangement for my personal travel preferences I definitely see value in the upgraded service and increased options.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

4 Comments

  1. I flown with them recently and they asked about this at check-in (they had banners for it as well). Didn’t get a special meal in the lounge (just regular buffet with a bunch of cold & hot options) and then only on board the crew double checked that I wanted to go to sleep and skip the meal. Left me wondering what was the intent for the idea…

  2. I’d imagine this is a net gain for all parties involved (and going further as you state would be even better), assuming AF doesn’t need to provision the aircraft with as much food (thus carrying less weight, etc.) It probably isn’t enough to be impactful, unless meals on the ground are less expensive than meals prepared for preparation and consumption in the air.

    1. It will be interesting to see what they do about catering on board. In theory they could cater less but they’d need to make that decision well before the passengers show up and choose whether to eat in the lounge or not.

  3. I don’t know about BA but VS Clubhouse offers a restaurant style dining experience. You can order as many dishes as you wish but I wouldn’t call it a buffet. I’ve been to AF lounge in JFK and normally they just serve a hot/cold buffet. I agree with you that the earlier departures should also have something similar.

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