Is This The Most French Way To Get From The US To Paris?

Just over a month ago I wrote about the trip that I have planned to the Seychelles — I’ll be flying Air Seychelles business class from Paris to the Seychelles, and then I’ll be flying back to the US on Turkish Airlines. Go figure my Air Seychelles review won’t actually be very useful long term, given that the airline is terminating longhaul flights just weeks after I’m flying with them.

I’ve been thinking of a fun way to get to Paris to start the trip, and I think I’ve come up with the most French way imaginable to get from Miami to Paris, without actually flying Air France across the Atlantic.

Specifically, I’ve been intrigued by Air Caraibes and their new A350s. These A350s are probably most well known for the fact that they have 10 seats per row in economy (they’re the first airline to make the cabin that tight), though they also have fully flat business class seats. These seats look similar to what Royal Air Maroc has on their 787s, as they’re at slightly different heights when reclined. They’re a bit awkward, but ultimately decent enough.


Royal Air Maroc’s 787 business class

Air Caraibes flies these A350s from Pointe-A-Pitre to Paris, and their business class fares aren’t that bad, so I was looking at something like this:

Then I thought to myself that getting to Pointe-A Pitre probably wouldn’t be especially easy or interesting, but then I remembered something. Air France operates a fleet of A320s based out of the Caribbean. Their US destinations include Atlanta and Miami, and they operate direct flights to both Port Au Prince and Pointe-A-Pitre.

These flights aren’t at all glamorous, since the planes have the typical intra-Europe configuration, where business class is simply economy with a blocked middle seat. However, I’d sure be interested to see what the onboard experience is like on one of these flights, since an Air France A320 sure looks out of place in Atlanta or Miami.

So I could book something like this:

In the end the routing would look as follows:

What do you think, is this a fun way to get from the US to Paris? Has anyone transited Pointe-A-Pitre Airport before?

(Featured image courtesy of Pedro Aragão)

Comments

  1. Why not? I would love a boarding pass that says Air Caraibes. Just back from ten days in the Seychelles. It is beautiful, and whatever you do, do not miss La Digue.

  2. Not that it would be fun or interesting, but Norwegian does operate between JFK and PTP direct on a 737. Those Air France a320s have always intrigued me just for the sheer novelty.

  3. yeah, but you would get like 3500 Alaska Airlines miles with that ticket which I value at 2.4 c/mile, so the out of pocket cost is less than $400

    #luckylogic

  4. Don’t let these naysayers deter you. I have also long found it weirdly thrilling that you can fly Air France A320s out of America. Go for it

  5. @Savannah:
    “$476 for a one way 3hr 45 A320 business class flight?

    You have more money than sense.”

    Lucky makes a living by reporting his experience on various different business class products. So it makes perfect sense for him. But, granted, maybe not for the rest of us – unless, as is sometimes the case during period of peak demand, economy class fares approach or even exceed business class fares. Then it starts to make sense to almost anyone.

  6. Grand-Terre is a beautiful island. Given the French heritage, it has a smaller East Indian population. The airport is typical of those you will encounter if you have traveled to T&T, the Virgin Islands and the likes. An airport with small terminals for a limited number of aircraft. When I landed there last year, we walked along the pavement adjacent to the aircraft (passed by a number of twin-engined jets just 10 metres away) before entering the terminal. Then had to clear immigration before checking in and passing security and immigration, again. The process, although a little hectic, was somewhat endearing since there was fun and flare among the people.

  7. @Jared That is sort of like what you have to do when flying back to the US from Aruba. When you get to the airport, you check in and give the agent your check in bag. Then go back outside to get to the terminal where you clear passport control, then clear immigration, clear security with passengers traveling elsewhere to get airside for those other destinations, keep walking through that area to US departures, pick up your check in bag, clear US customs, give back the check in bags, then clear yet another round of security before you’re able to get US departure airside. Just a wild process and to my recollection, completely different and much more difficult than the Bahamas US pre clearance

  8. i would be personally 1000x more intrigued to read the future Air Caraibes trip review if you’ve decided to be seated in the world’s-only 3-4-3 for an A350. Up front it’s just another run-of-the-mill flat bed.

  9. @snic

    Nobody is reading Eurobiz A320 business class reviews. They’re all identical and boring. Especially when it’s just Air France anyway. Agree it seems like a waste of $500 but w/e, not my money.

  10. It would be fascinating to descend into PAP and stop to refuel! No better way to do it than on those dapper AF A320s. I wonder if J class serves the amuse bouche on that route?

  11. Meanwhile in Australia we would consider a $400 odd ticket in business for that long a bargain. Syd to Melb on 737 for over an hour flight will set you back about $500 minimum a four hour flight is about $1500.

  12. Why don’t you fly Suriname Airways MIA-GEO-PBM-CAY (don’t worry, it’s a one plane milk-run), then Air Caribes CAY-ORY.

  13. One of the coolest parts of their frequent flyer program is allowing economy-class passengers to get a business-class meal for 5,000 miles. I have no idea what 5,000 miles are worth with this airline but it strikes me as a great idea. Too bad Delta didn’t offer better meals for a price in economy-class.

  14. Fly to SJU (plenty of options from the US), and then on to PTP on Air Antilles. Or same operation via SXM (Caraïbes flies there too).

  15. Thank you Lucky! I’ve seen that plane more than once and have often wondered how the heck it ended up in Miami!

  16. If you think an Air France A-320 looks “out of place” at Miami Airport, it will at least be surrounded by other aircraft of the same type. I remember back in the 70’s when Air France operated a beautiful Caravelle on the daily flight from Miami down to the French Caribbean. Now that was a plane that really stood-out on the tarmac!

  17. On the MIA=>PTP segment, you won’t have to leave the plane, so it’s fine (on the other way, you must exit to go again through PAP security…).

    It will be boring, food is so-so but at least the planes have been retrofited. Keep in mind that delays are common, so I hope you will have enought time betwen flights.

    If your flight is in April, Norwegian is not an option anymore, so you’re stuck with either AA (not flyng on that day, but direct) and AF.

    I lived 15 years in Guadeloupe, if you’ve questions 😉

  18. Great example of thinking out of the box when booking biz class tickets.

    Have found this of much value when trying to get from MIA-LON at short notice in J. Often NAS-LON is half the price of MIA-LON with a routing back through MIA on the same flights that the airlines are asking twice as much for the direct MIA-LON flight. You have to purchase an economy one-way to Nassau but that is pretty cheap compared with the savings on the transatlantic segment.

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