Fare Finder: February 2018

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST VALUE AIRFARES FOR THE MONTH AHEAD!

We all know that finding and booking flights to your favourite destinations without breaking the bank isn’t easy, so here is a guide that gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the best value air fares. February 14th as we all know is Valentine’s Day, so this months Fare Finder is dedicated to flights for short romantic getaways. (Excellent for those of you out there who haven’t found the perfect gift for your partner yet!)

PARIS, FRANCE:

We couldn’t start off a Valentine’s themed Fare Finder without including Paris at the top of our list, could we? With the picture perfect Eiffel Tower setting the back drop for the French Capital, what could be more romantic than a stroll down the Champs-Élysées whilst watching the sun set?

This one is for our Irish readers, with direct flights from Dublin provided by Dutch owned low cost airline, Transavia. Understandably Paris is very popular at this time of year, and the flight prices reflect this. Nevertheless for just £113 per person return, you could be enjoying a 3 night break in this wonderful city. The link to Transavia’s website can be found here.

Paris’ most recognisable land mark, the Eiffel Tower dominates the city’s skyline!
Edinburgh, SCOTLAND:

Perhaps a surprising inclusion on this list, but Edinburgh has a lot to offer that may not always be obvious at first glance. With everything from candle lit dinners to stargazing at the cities observatory, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained during your time here. Lovers of the great outdoors will feel right at home here, with Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat offering superb views of the city for those who reach the top.

Flying from Bristol, easyJet are willing to whisk you away on a 2 night stay in Scotland for just £65 per person return.  Readers living in the South East of the country who prefer a London airport as their departure point, the easyJet stronghold of Luton is offering a return ticket for £66 per person. As usual, easyJet can be reached at their website www.easyjet.com.

Edinburgh as seen from the top of Calton Hill
london, england:

Most will think that the River Thames would be a no go in February, but they’d be wrong to think that. A Thames Dinner Cruise would be a fantastic way to end your 2 night stay in the city, taking in world famous landmarks such as Big Ben and The London Eye whilst enjoying a live band playing in the background. If the thought of sailing doesn’t float your boat, then evenings can be spent enjoying a West End show following a day of Oxford Street shopping!

Yet again easyJet are offering cheap flights into London. This time anyone fancying a last minute trip to London from Edinburgh can reach the capital for just £71 per person return. These flights are based on flying into Luton, so who knows, you may even see some of your fellow Fare Finder readers heading up to Scotland when your flight arrives. For easyJet’s website click here.

 

Reykjavik, iceland:

Our last offering is most definitely a wildcard. Perhaps not necessarily a destination that most would assume is a romantic destination, but instead one that is filled with activity and exploration. Much like Edinburgh, couples who feel at home whilst experiencing what Mother Nature has to offer, will certainly not be disappointed with Iceland‘s offerings. With lava tunnels of extinct volcanoes waiting to be experienced and tours of the Game of Thrones filming locations allowing you to see where the action happened, travelers heading north and braving the cold will not leave feel unsatisfied.

Another reason to feel satisfied is the price of the flights. Departing with TUI from London Gatwick, you will almost certainly have a smile on your face after having paid just £49 per person return for your flights. What’s even better is that this fare is based on a 7 night stay in the land of Ice and Fire, giving you ample opportunity to discover one of the worlds most scenic countries! Flights are bookable through the TUI website.

The Northern Lights draws thousands of tourists to Iceland each year
in next months fare finder:

We will be  looking to find you affordable flights to jet you off during the Easter school holidays.

 

Please note that all pricing and availability is correct at the time of publish and is subject to change. This is an independent article and is no way endorsed by any airline or tourist board.

 

 

 

Joon: Air France’s Path to Success?

For a while, we’ve known about Joon – Air France’s future-proofing airline, allowing them to appeal to millennials and the leisure market. It’s basically IAG’s Level, or Lufthansa’s Eurowings. On 25th September, however, we learnt a lot more about the fledgling airline and how Air France plans to run it.

joon’s identity

Joon is aiming to attract ‘young, working clientele’. Air France also market it as a ‘lifestyle’ whereas in reality it’s just a low cost airline! However, the name ‘Joon’ does ooze modernity and is easily recognisable around the world. The electric blue is supposed to represent the dynamism of the airlines and the uniform ‘basic and chic’. Here’s a video showcasing the airline’s branding:

Take from that video what you will, but Joon certainly is an ‘out there’ brand.

what routes will joon offer?

Something I am impressed by is the routes Joon will be offering. Air France has quite a conservative route development strategy, however they’ve really excelled with Joon. Whilst their short-haul offering is predictable, the inaugural long-haul routes are exciting.

Short Haul (begins December 2017):

  • Paris Charles de Gaulle to Porto, Lisbon, Berlin & Barcelona, presumably with A320/A321 aircraft on a range of frequencies.

To me, it seems that Joon will be taking over all of AF’s flights on this route and I think that that’s a mistake. Markets such as Berlin and Barcelona are extremely important and ceding them to a ‘low cost’ alternative is counter productive in my opinion.

Long Haul (begins May 2018):

  • Paris Charles de Gaulle to Mahe, Seychelles (3 weekly, A340-300)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle to Fortaleza, Brazil (2 weekly, A340-300)

The prices look good too (this fits in with Air France’s promise to appeal to working clientele). Fares to Fortaleza start at £219, for example.

Air France Joon introductory fares.
what aircraft will joon fly?

At its launch, Joon will have A320 and A321 aircraft for short haul operations and A340-300 aircraft for its long-haul services. By 2020 they hope to have 18 A320/A321 aircraft, and 10 long haul aircraft (including A350s) so Air France is certainly confident that Joon will succeed.

JOON’s Fleet. Photo from Air France.
onboard experience

Joon is offering the same cabin as Air France on short haul. The seating will be exactly the same, but with a blue headrest cover. It certainly reminds of me of the comedy Come Fly With Me. They will offer USB ports at every seat and reclinable comfort. In addition, Joon will offer complimentary beverages and a streaming service of entertainment on your own device.

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On their long-haul services, Joon will offer a refurbished A340-300 Air France cabin. There’s not much detail on that at present, however Joon say they are working on a meal menu for intercontinental services.

Here is a sneak peek of the Joon Business Class long-haul cabin, which looks like the current Air France A330/A340 seat, reupholstered:

Joon’s Long Haul Business Class offering.
conclusion

Overall, Joon is an interesting concept. Although I find it slightly demeaning to millennials, I understand what Air France are trying to do here. I do think it could be carried out better though – for example I would operate Joon out of Orly, rather than Charles de Gaulle so it doesn’t interfere with Air France’s full service operations.

Good luck to Joon!