I *Really* Want To Book This Tunisair Business Class Fare

In mid-May, I wrote a post entitled “6 Totally Random Airlines I Totally Want To Fly.” While I have my list of more well known airlines that I hope to review in 2016, I’ve also been fascinated by some more random airlines (at least by American standards), like Tunisair, Air Algerie, Arik Air, AZAL Azerbaijan, Ukraine International, and Meridiana.

Tunisair recently started flying brand new A330s, which they operate between Tunis and Montreal.

Tunisair-A330

Well, at the moment Tunisair has some fantastic business class fares between Tunis and Montreal, starting at under 1,200EUR roundtrip (~$1,390).

Tunisair-Business-Class

The fare is valid for travel more or less through the end of the year. The one limit is that the service is only twice per week, so I potentially have to spend 3-4 days in Montreal between flights (which I hardly mind, since I’ve heard it’s a great city but haven’t spend any substantial amount of time there.

If the same fare were available in the other direction I’d hop on this in a heartbeat, but unfortunately a roundtrip ticket from Montreal to Tunis is over 50% more expensive.

Tunisair-Business-Class-Fare

Would it be crazy to position to Tunisia in order to fly this roundtrip? I don’t know, I’m sort of tempted. There’s a Sheraton in Tunis where I could earn or redeem Starpoints, and I’ve never been to Tunisia. It also seems like US citizens don’t need a visa to visit Tunisia, so there’s that.

Sheraton-Tunisia

However, positioning roundtrip to Tunis is a bit of a challenge. While there are quite a few transatlantic airlines I still want to review, most of them don’t offer easy connectivity to Tunis.

Tempting, tempting, tempting… but maybe I should hope for a similar fare sale in the other direction at some point (originating in Montreal instead of Tunis)?

I’m more intrigued than ever before by seemingly random airlines, but also recognize that reviews of them might be of limited value.

What say you guys? Has anyone been to Tunis or flown Tunisair?

(Tip of the hat to Lloyd)

Comments

  1. I found Montreal to be boring. And although your reviews are always entertaining, if *you’re* not fully sold on the idea of the trip it’ll affect your review.

  2. Come to YUL, I’ll show you around! Nothing boring in Montreal, unless you are here in the dead of winter, there is no snow, and you hate cold weather!
    Not sure of the value of the review for this airline, especially since this low fare is not valid outbound from YUL, but I have very much appreciated your Finnair review! I’ll be flying Finnair to BKK and back from HKG, and was looking at it around the time you reviewed the product! You never know when a smaller airline can become relevant 😉
    PS. I am also enjoying your review of Bangkok Air/Koh Samui as I prepare our trip there! Keep up your reviews of small/obscure airlines!

  3. SkyPass considers Tunis part of Europe, right? And redeeming between North America and Europe is a fantastic deal, so (assuming you can find availability) you could position using such an award and also review KLM’s new reverse herringbone layout 787-9 that’ll be on the SFO route starting later this year.

  4. Montreal boring? really? I guess it depends what you like. But it’s a big city with lots to do, especially in the summer time. I’ve been there a few times and enjoyed it. It is pretty grungy though. And it has a large homeless population which is a sad reality.

    I think Tunisia’s tourism sector has been hit pretty hard by terrorist attacks on Western tourists. That might account for the low fares to an extent.

  5. Welcome to Tunisia 🙂
    Glad to share with you,if you need, some great travel tips. Tunisia is a very beautiful country …maybe it will be a bit of a challenge. But it must be done at least once.

    Regards From a Tunisian living in Lyon 🙂

  6. You will have plenty to do in Montreal for 4 days if you visit. Summer is the festival season there with the Jazz Festival and the Comedy Festival being the two major ones worth checking out. During the summer many roads are shut down and turned into pedestrian walk ways. Amazing food there. Poutine is a must try followed by a long cardio session the next day to burn off the 10,000 calories. Quebec City is close enough to do as a long day trip or a nice overnight getaway from Montreal. And there there is Stock Bar. Definitely go to Stock Bar 😉

  7. Agree. Montreal is a big corrupt sh@thole. I refuse to every go there.
    Plastic Paris and stupid people.

  8. Ben –
    I *strongly* disagree with your statement that reviews of lesser known airlines may be of lesser value.

    As you have made known, these more unique carriers can have some outstanding premium class fares. I’m sure many travelers have been tempted by such fares but have been reluctant to take advantage of them given how little is known of the carriers. I truly believe you are doing travelers a great service by highlighting the hard and soft products of airlines such as UIA and Tunisair. And I so hope that you will give EgyptAir a try sometime as I know there is still a significant interest in their product and services.

  9. I flew Tunisair in 2008. Found them efficient and passenger friendly. Also stayed at that Sheraton in 2008. Seemed nice enough. Fanciest place in town at that time. More European than Tunisian.

  10. I spent 4 days in Tunis in March. I flew TunisAir from TUN-CAI (Positioning to fly Etihad J out of CAI to home) and was surprised when I was given a full meal and amenity kit in economy for a 2.5 hour flight.
    I heard the Sheraton in Tunis was meh, but the Novotel was decent (I met with a bunch of Canadian and US based NGO employees while visiting a Tunisian friend). Don’t expect an abundance of English speakers, so be prepared for communication barriers. There is a bar called Villa 76 by the Libyan Embassy which is the expat hang out.
    Smoking rules in Tunisia are a bit lax. Despite the non-smoking signs, smoking was very common in the airport terminal and just about everywhere else.
    I would love to hop on that fare though, I enjoyed Tunis and would return.

  11. If someone finds Montreal boring, it’s a very good indication that they themselves are boring.

  12. I know someone who says Montreal is boring, he loves going to Branson Missouri and Las Vegas though, says they are both way more exciting than Montreal.

  13. We flew Egyptair back in the 90’s from DXB to CAI. In those days they did not have assigned seating and fist fights broke in the plane on the tarmac in DXB as staff were off-loading about 30 passengers so they could put luggage in the last 10 rows. Guess the holds were full. Scary. Delayed 2 hours.

    I am sure that things have changed somewhat and I still love Cairo (but flew Etihad the last time).

    Egyptair is a dry airline so I would never consider a J class flight with them (or any other class for that matter) of over 3 hours.

  14. People who think Montreal is boring most likely have never been their!
    It has one of the world’s highest number of festivals, a lot of historical and cultural sites and some of the best food their is anywhere in the world.

    If you find yourself there between now and May, don’t miss the Citè Memoire, an art installation in old Montreal with a dedicated app and audio commentary on the city’s history.

  15. I believe Meridiana flys New York-Rome/Napoli. Then go to Tunis with Alitalia, or other Airline which flys that route, and Then take that fare to Montreal.

  16. I will eb flying in the inaugural flight to YUL this thursday.. If you consider coming here to try, let me know 😉 I will be reporting this flight on aerotunisie.Com

  17. Montreal is absolutely fantastic during the summer! I visit every August to see old friends and sample the absolute best restaurants in Canada imo. It’s the most unique city in North American, blending americana with sexy French flair 😉 I’d highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton, as just underwent a 200M $ renovation (for only around 90 rooms!). MTL is considered the best “after hours” city in Canada; it’s really an amazing place!

  18. It looks like Tunisair is also flying their A330 ORY-TUN. Maybe combine with the OpenSkies flights you were thinking of booking a few days ago?

  19. Montreal is so much more fun than my native Vancouver. Went there on a transit (only a few hours), found it to be a great city.

  20. Whatever you do dont stay at the Dar el medina within the Unesco listed medina. Extremely overpriced and service is questionable at best.

    Make sure you take local train El jem and the local bus to Dougga.
    Carthage is a must and walking the main Boulevard of tunis is a must but be very very careful.

    The architecture is a sight to behold reminiscent of the grotesque seventies inspired kitschy design mixed with french/European influences showered in the call to pray five times a day.
    Its exciting however caution is a definite must!

  21. Montreal is great. So is Tunisia and Tunis.
    If you go there Sheraton is so so. Try Villa Didon, Dar el Marsa, or even better a guest house in Sidi bou Said…
    And if you want, go down south to Douz, Tozeur etc Sahara is beautiful too
    http://www.dar-hi.net/fr
    is beautiful

  22. Hi Ben

    Please suggest best way to claim emirates skyward miles that i can get the most generous value out of it.
    Should i claim directly with emirates or should i claim the skyward miles through one of the partners. If so which partner can i use to claim the miles to get the best redemption.

    Thanks
    Khalil

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