Discount tickets for American flights: 7 France travel updates

Discount tickets for American flights: 7 France travel updates

We also look at new easyJet and Transavia routes from France, a plan for lost luggage fines and the proposed Paris metro strike

Clockwise from top-left: More Air France flights to US, extra ferry on France-Ireland route, towards fines for abandoned bags and the looming Paris Metro strikes

This week in travel news we have covered the rise in vehicle thefts in France in 2023, the mass cancellation of TGVs due to a national rail strike and the busy weekend forecast on motorways as millions drive to the ski resorts for half-term.

Below we look at other changes related to travel and France.

Air travel updates:

Air France doubles its flights to US in 2024

Flights to the US will represent 41% of Air France’s long haul flights in 2024, with twice as many available than in 2023.

Many of the flights between France and the US are available at discounted prices on the Air France website, including return flights in economy class (prices correct as of 13:00 on February 16) from:

  • New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG) for €480 between February 20 and February 27
  • Paris (CDG) to New York (JFK) for €568 between March 6 and March 20
  • Phoenix (PHX) to Paris (CDG) for €1,523 between March 16 and March 31
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG) for €878 between March 2 and March 9
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Paris (CDG) for €1,032 between March 17 and April 1
  • Atlanta (ATL) to Paris (CDG) for €692 between March 4 and March 12
  • Seattle (SEA) to Paris (CDG) for €765 between March 8 and March 15
  • Chicago (CHI) to Paris (CDG) for €554 between February 22 and February 29
  • Paris (CDG) to Los Angeles for €1,333 between February 29 and March 5

The airline has also announced new first and business class menus prepared by Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn available on its routes from Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-Newark, San Francisco and Seattle.

EasyJet opens three new routes from Toulouse

The low-cost airline will operate three more routes from Toulouse with two flights weekly to each destination.

The new routes from Toulouse-Blagnac will fly to:

  • Zadar (Croatia) starting June 26 from €50
  • Berlin starting March 31 from €35
  • Milan starting April 1 from €30

EasyJet had previously announced flights between Toulouse and the Greek island of Rhodes, as well as Faro in Portugal.

The addition of Zadar, Berlin and Milan will bring the number of destinations available from Toulouse to 74, including flights to London, Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

New low-cost routes to North Africa from Nice and Montpellier

Air France’s low-cost subsidiary Transavia will open four new international routes this summer.

Transavia, which has replaced Air France on many domestic routes, will on international routes from:

  • Montpellier to Constantine, Algeria (July 2) and Rabat, Morocco (July 3) from €50 and €59.
  • Nice to Faro, Portugal, and Beirut, Lebanon (both starting July 17) from €42 and €157

These additions boost the low-cost airlines’ total service to 200 routes and 120 destinations in summer 2024.

New route between Normandy and Ireland

French regional airline Chalair Aviation has announced that it will operate on a new route between Normandy and the west of Ireland this summer.

Chalair Aviation will fly between Caen-Normandy and Kerry Airport (Killarney) every Saturday from June 29 to September 21. Tickets are available from €78.

The Caen-Normandy airport saw a significant increase in traffic in 2023, in large part due to Spanish low-cost operator Volotea, which flies to many regional French airports from Caen.

However, out of a need to upgrade its facilities, Caen-Normandy airport will close from March 11 to April 18.

Ferry travel updates:

Irish Ferries boosts its capacity for the Olympic Games

A second ferry has joined the W.B.Yeats on Irish Ferries’ route between Dublin and Cherbourg to boost passenger capacity for the Olympic games.

The new ferry was chartered by Irish Ferries from Estonian operator Tallink in 2023. Irish Ferries changed its name from Star to Oscar Wilde. It started operating on the Cherbourg to Dublin route on February 16.

The Oscar Wilde is now Irish Ferries biggest ferry. Prices for a seven day return trip for two including a car and a cabin start at €299.

The crossing from Dublin to Cherbourg takes 19 hours.

Rail travel updates:

Paris Metro strike looms over Olympic Games

A major workers’ union at the Paris Metro, or RATP, has given seven months strike notice due to what it says are insufficient pay conditions for 2024.

The seven month notice refers to the period between February 5 and September 9. Members of the CGT-RATP union can strike on short notice within this period.

This means that the Paris Metro could be hit by a strike during the Paris Olympics, which has the potential to cause massive disruption.

The CGT-RATP union was angered by a 2024 wage rise of 0.9%, which is below the year-on-year inflation of 4% and which, they argue, fails to account for the “planetary challenge of the Olympic Games”.

The union wants to index wage increases above inflation, renegotiate overtime pay and reduce the standard working week to 32 hours.

Negotiations between the CGT-RATP and the RATP are ongoing.

Read more: Farmers, taxis, metro, EDF, teachers – strike calls grow in France

New lost luggage fine planned for trains and metro

A fine of €300 could be introduced according to a new law proposed in the senate on February 6.

Lost and abandoned luggage caused 4,300 hours of delays to SNCF services in 2023, according to RMC. Similar disruptions are a common occurrence on the Paris metro where abandoned luggage resulted in 512 hours of delays.

Under the proposed Sûreté dans les transports bill, “abandoning or intentionally leaving materials or objects in the spaces or vehicles servicing public transport” will result in an initial €300 fine, which would be reduced to €250 or increased to €600 according to the circumstances.

The fine could also be increased to €3,750 if it is not paid within the specified time.

Read more: France’s tourism mediator can help with travel disputes (for free)

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