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Air travel to other countries


grumpy

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My wife and I have at last sold our house in the UK and are happily contemplating a move to France BUT we are a little concerned at how easy it will be to continue to visit other countries such as Australia. We hear so many rumours that it is difficult to do so (in some cases we hear you must fly to Heathrow first!) and most of our French friends don't seem to leave the EU, preferring to travel within by car. Any info/experiences would be of great help!
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I recently flew from Gatwick to Dubai, somebody else going to the same event had flown via Paris to save money. But in that example it was a case of expensive versus very expensive - France doesn't have a Ryanair going all over the place for peanuts, though Easyjet is supposedly France's second airline (according to its advertising). One difference seems to be that, as Grumpy says, the French tend to take their holidays in another part of France, or in a bit of Europe that they can drive to, rather than jetting off like the British. Usually when I have flown anywhere from France (to Scandinavia, Germany, Italy etc) it has had to be from CDG airport and it has cost me rather more than others who have flown from Britain. Cheap flights over longer distances seem to depend on one or more stop-offs and can take over a day even to get to somewhere like Dubai, by the time you have taken the time difference into account. No problem if you have plenty of time, but pretty useless for business trips.
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My neighbour's daughter has been working in both Canada and Guyane until recently and all the times both she and the parents who visited in November to Guyane had to fly from Paris, no regional airports here in Brittany do really long haul flights. Most of the locals go to Martinique, Guadeloupe etc from Nantes where my daughter had to go to Marrakech from during the winter when Brest didn't do any distance flights. Other folks I know that live here,make the trip to the UK to then visit relatives etc in Australia and NZ as they found the costs and permutations to get cheap travel far easier and cheaper than here in France.
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The pricing of air flights is a mystical as it is incomprehensible.  Long haul flights from France are quite expensive compared to say UK.  The price comes down dramatically if you start your journey outside France. eg catch a flight in Brussels or Frankfurt and change in Paris.  The most bizzare example I came across was last year when I was looking at flights to Florida.  I could have gone Air France from CDG for a huge price.  For exactly half that fare I could go from Brussels, change at CDG and get the very same plane!!!  The real kicker? well, you to had to catch a COACH from Brussels toParis.  When i asked if I could make my own way to Paris to catch the flight it was a big NON!!  You must check in at Brussels to get this flight at this fare - crazy!!  Someone I work with saved bundles when going to Martinique by flying (at the airlines suggestion and expense) from Luxembourg to Frankfurt then to Paris rather than pick up the plane directly in Paris.  i don't understand [blink]
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Toulouse airport often has special offer flights, they've currently got return flights to Marrakesh for 95 euros (that's 60 euros plus charges).  None of the destinations are exactly long-haul, but when they're offering cheap flights to destinations that Ryanair would die for they're worth considering.
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Most of the flag carriers play this game.

We have flown from the UK to the US and Canada via Paris or Frankfurt more cheaply than direct from London (Air France and Lufthansa). Oh and more cheaply than from Paris or Frankfurt!

British Airways sometimes offer similar deals to the US , via London.

Its our old friend market segmentation; Filling the planes at the highest   average fare mix that you can get away with. The logic is that people will pay a premium to travel with their country's own airline rather than something foreign.

 

 

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Many years ago I was told that French children in school were taught  that there is no need to travel out of France to take holidays...That France can provide whatever kind of holiday a person needs .  so I suppose it follows that  if you have to go out of the country the National Airline is instilled into the population as the only one you should use . the loyalty thing .   Where would the French tourist industry be  today if we had been taught to stay at home ?

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Here is a link regarding Easy Jet's future plans in France. Will mentioned them being France's second airline, perhaps at some stage in the future they will be the first. [:)] Although, it looks as if the plans are all internal flights within France. However, with that sort of expansion,  I would imagine that providing external flights as well from some of the locations in France would be the case.

http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=102&story_id=36913

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