Oh Air France, you really do know how to impress a girl. I'm seated in the back of economy class, but that's okay - on Air France they refer to it as voyageur class which makes it all sound very James Bond, exotic, luxurious and thrilling at the same time. I'm onboard my second long-haul flight in 24 hours and so, so, so thankful for the complimentary glass of champagne that just hit my tray table. I'm not on my preferred airline; I have no status here, but today I feel like Air France's sordid mistress, or maîtresse en titre if I want to get all voyageur-classy about it.
Future suitors take note: a little champagne can go a long way, and do feel free to throw in some "Happy Mix" while you're at it. Who doesn't love a bag of (joyfully) salted snack foods with their free booze? Future suitors aside, to all other airlines out there: champagne+snacks=happy. How hard is this to comprehend? Between the fries, the manicure and the kiss, the French have most definitely mastered the joie di vivre.
Menus are handed out just as I'm "French kissing" the last drops of Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Léonie from the bottom of my clear plastic cup. It's wild, how this tiny paper menu makes such a difference - it makes me feel like I have a choice, actual control over my inflight dining experience. In reality, it's still "chicken or pasta" but I'm giddily captivated by opening the red and white slip of folded paper. Words like "quiche" and "Provençale" leap out at me and I can't help but be seduced by all the, uh...French...that's going around.
Speaking of quiche, Air France's "French toast quiche with Mediterranean-style vegetables" is the best looking side dish I've ever seen on an airplane tray table. The "crust" is simply sand-colored paper, so I'm not sure where the omelette ends and the pain perdu begins, but this is a tasty take on a classic French plate.
For the main course, I chose the pasta: Provençale-style orzo. It's like the French version of mac 'n cheese with some herbs and spices thrown in for good measure. Definitely cheesy, definitely edible. Also on my tray is a blueberry muffin (my fave), a white chocolate tartlet with raspberries and a sizable triangle of camembert cheese (another fave!).
The flight attendants pass by, offering warm mini-baguettes from a heaping bread tray. Airplane-sized bottles of Vin de pays d'Oc 2010 (both red and white) keep flowing freely. There's no pay-to-play on this flight. On Air France, wine is a right, not a privilege.
I smear the delicious, slightly pungent Camembert all over my baguette and take another gulp of the house red. Even though I'm merely a voyageur, tonight Air France has made me feel like a queen. This brings me to answer perhaps the most famous French question ever phrased: voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Oui. I will sleep with you tonight, Air France, all the way to Mali. After all, you did wine and dine me like the lascivious libertine that you are.