Review: Joon: Paris Charles de Gaulle – Barcelona in Business Class

After I dug into Joon I wrote quite a sarcastic article trying to figure why on earth someone would want to launch an airline focussed on millennials. Since I was flying Joon, the name of the airline, I figured I could also do a little review of my flight with them.

Introduction:

I had booked a business class return, flying Amsterdam – Paris – Barcelona with the flights from Paris to Barcelona operated by Joon. The price was about €400, quite heavy considering the fare does not allow free changes and is not very flexible. Luckily I paid using some vouchers that I got earlier and paid only €85 for the flight.

Ground experience:

After arriving from Amsterdam and a visit to the not so interesting Air France Lounge in CDG terminal 2F I walked up to gate 55 from which my flight to Barcelona would depart. The Airbus A320 was already waiting for me when I arrived at the gate.
The ground experience was nothing spectacular; gate agents were regular Air France staff members and there was little Joon branding. Right in time, boarding started with “Sky Priority”. No mention of families or people with disabilities.
Upon entering the gate I was notified by the gate agent in French. I excused and he changed over to English “Welcome sir, you have to keep uhh, uhh, quiet, lookout in the plane”. I asked for a bit of clarification and got a similar response. Clearly, he did not speak English very well.
It turned out to be a lady in a wheelchair that was taken care of by the crew. Intentions were good, English language quality was not; definitely an attention point for the ground experience (of any airline).
Joon A320 cabin

First impression:

My first impression of the Airbus A320 cabin was a fresh one. It looked like a recently refurbished cabin with slimline, dark blue leather seats with headrest covers in colors of Joon.
There is an attractive dark blue line added to the bottom of the overhead lockers. This gives the cabin a modern feeling. Actually; most of the colors on board are blue, also because the main color of the brand is dark blue and white.
Joon A320 cabin interrior
The Americans that boarded together with me were unpleasantly surprised and asked themselves if there was an actual business class since seats looked the same. Welcome to Europe, ladies! The pitch of my seat, 5C was abysmal.
I quickly checked with the crew if I could move to 1C. The very nice flight attendant, who by the way also spoke Dutch, quickly figured out this was fine.
Seat 1C is much more enjoyable as it benefits from the doorway to the forward galley. A downside is a continuous activity that’s taking place here that might disturb some.
Joon A320 Business Class seats & pitch
Seat Pitch Seat 1C Joon Business Class

Amenities

After settling into my seat I started to explore the amenities offered. As a millennial-focused airline, Joon offers free USB outlets in every seat which is a bit disappointing considering many airlines offer complete power plugs, even in economy class.
Furthermore; the seat pocket contents consisted of a safety card with very weird pictures. Anyone who’s able to explain to me what this means? If I drop my tablet I should ask the crew to pick it up for me? (LOL). Next to this was the regular Air France magazine, an Air France branded sickbay and two booklets.
Joon A320 Safetycard

The Menu:

One of them was the buy on board menu. Yes, game over for free drinks and meals in economy if you book Air France but get a Joon operated flight. Coffee, tea, water and nectar are always offered for free but anything else has to be paid for. That’s a pity considering one is usually able to snag a Gin & Tonic or two for free when flying AF in Europe (in economy).
The selection of food offered is at least 20% organic (by the claim of Joon). A quick look revealed that the majority of the offers consist of some snacks, tapas offerings (cheese and meat plates) and a quinoa salad. Price wise they are on the pricey side with a beer for €4 a bit above what other airlines ask.

Joon Menu

Inflight entertainment

The other leaflet focussed on the offering of the in-flight wifi entertainment. There is no actual internet on board available but Joon does offer a wireless streaming service, and I am sure this is absolutely something that will appeal to millennials (and others). I tried the service but was a bit disappointed by the offerings; 6 series. In addition to this Joon has made a few deals with some lifestyle brands to offer their video’s. A nice function is the airshow, my favourite “channel” on board!

Meal service

Quickly after take-off, the, very friendly and courteous flight attendant, came around with the meal service that consisted of some cold snacks. Since I don’t like fish I had to skip on some of the contents. The offering was a fine selection but a little bit small for a full late breakfast or early lunch (my flight departed at 09:40).
The menu attached did not contain any allergy info which is weird since 60% of the millennials these days take gluten or lactose-free meals (and I doubt all of them have a real allergy).
For the business class, food and drink offerings were pretty good and consisted of most of the common choices. I opted for a glass of Tattinger which is, in my opinion, a fine middle of the road champagne. Throughout the flight, I received refills without any problems.
Joon Business Class lunch

Crew

I had a little chat with the flight attendant who told me the Airbus A340’s that fly on the longer flights have been completely stripped from the inside. New cabins include huge screens and other technical and modern tricks and treats.
The crew on this flight was generally very friendly and relatively pro-active but very young and seemingly quite inexperienced. However, curtains in both galleys were constantly closed and I did not have the feeling most of the FA’s were really into serving or providing service to the economy cabin. And yes, some of them were wearing white sneakers. According to the FA “its a choice”. I’m old fashioned but I did like the new uniform although it doesn’t look like a uniform.
After an uneventful flight, we arrived at the shiny and beautiful Barcelona terminal 1.
Barcelona Airport stays on of my personal favorites

Bottom line:

As expected Joon does not fulfil the wildest dreams of millennials but offers a solid but basic product on intra-Europe services. Since meals and amenities have to be paid for I doubt this is an improvement. On the other hand; I like the streaming offerings; more than you expect on most network airlines. The crew was friendly and attentive but went into hiding mode quite fast after take-off. I don’t want to know how this is in economy class…
2 Responses
  1. Carlos Araya

    Nice review! There was a quite appealing campaign in Spain about 1-2 years ago. I would have expected much more than a mild rebranding…

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About Ingmar Bruinsma

Ingmar Bruinsma is an entrepreneur in the travel industry. He also provides consultancy services in the field of marketing, business development to clients in travel & aviation. He blogs about topics in tourism, travel, aviation, digital marketing.


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