I Can’t Believe It: This Flight Is Sold Out For The Entire Season!!

Wow, I really wasn’t expecting this.

Earlier I wrote about the unique once weekly transatlantic flight that we’ll see this summer between Paris and Saint Pierre, which is located just off Newfoundland. The weekly flight will be operated by a Boeing 737-700, and will operate westbound on Mondays and eastbound on Tuesdays.

On one hand this route is logical enough in the sense that it’s connecting a territory of France with Metropolitan France. At the same time, we’re talking about a once weekly transatlantic flight to a territory with just 6,000 residents. In fairness, otherwise getting between the two places is really expensive, but still, I questioned the logic of this route, as did many.

To make things even more challenging, the route will apparently be weight restricted due to the short runway in Saint Pierre, meaning they won’t even be able to carry a full load of passengers. Furthermore, apparently the route is government backed, so there are some subsidies for the airline operating the flight if things don’t work out.

Shortly after writing my post earlier I sent off a reservation inquiry through Air Saint-Pierre’s website. While ASL Airlines will be operating the flight, Air Saint-Pierre is marketing the flight. They don’t have instant ticketing for any of their flights, but rather you have to submit an email request (which is shocking as well, even for a small airline). So I sent off a request, and figured I’d be hear back in a few days.

Nope, I heard back 30 minutes after I submitted my request.

Hello,
All the flights from Paris are complete for the summer.

I figured that maybe they had decided to cancel this flight, or that something was lost in translation. There’s simply no way that this flight could have already been booked out. Craziest of all, I inquired about the inaugural flight from Paris to Saint Pierre, as I figured that would be the emptiest of all, since my assumption is that most people taking this flight are originating in Saint Pierre, and not in Paris (so they wouldn’t be taking the first flight from Paris to Saint Pierre). I had visions of basically flying a private jet across the Atlantic (well, with 30″ of pitch, but…)

So I responded:

Thank you for the quick response. To clarify, all flights in both directions (from Saint Pierre to Paris and Paris to Saint Pierre) are sold out for the summer? If so, are the flights completely full, or were they canceled? I’d really like to take this flight.

They responded four minutes later:

Hello,
If you tell me what dates you are interested in, I might find a flight that goes from Saint-Pierre to Paris, but they are very limited and mostly all booked.

Okay, at this point it seemed to me that it might be more efficient for them to just let me know which flights were available, given that we are talking about a total of eight flights. I responded:

Thank you. Do you have August 7, 14, or 21, available from Saint-Pierre to Paris?

10 minutes later they responded as follows:

Hello,
Sadly, all those dates are booked.

So I responded as follows:

Thank you. Then do you have a date in July with availability? I am willing to take the flight whenever it is available.

Three minutes later they responded as follows:

I have a flight from Saint-Pierre to Paris on the 10th of July. Only one place available. Send me your name, date of birth and phone number, and I’ll go ahead and make the reservation for you.

So they literally have a single seat available on this route the entire season? Wow.

I’m in disbelief here on so many levels. I’m not sure whether to be more surprised that this airline doesn’t allow bookings on their website yet responds to emails in a couple of minutes, or to be more surprised by the fact that every single seat is sold out in both directions on this flight for the entire season.

If they have in fact sold every available seat, good for them. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would have predicted the route would to that well. This just seems so implausible that in the back of my mind I figure there must be more to this story.

Emirates, this is your next big market! Let’s get going on some double daily A380 service between Dubai and Saint Pierre!

(Featured image courtesy of Doc Searls)

Comments

  1. Something about this screams illegitimate. One seat available all summer? And how do you pay? Send credit card info on email? This might be a scam, Lucky. Be careful

  2. The very clever and uniquely French kind of scam where they refuse to take your money.

    Several months later they hit in the other, other scam in which they collected the fare but did not provide the transportation. This, for the Piranha brothers, was the turning point.

  3. This is so weird. Could it be that they will be transporting a lot of cargo, and due to those weight restrictions, they can take even less people than we think?

  4. Wow, your last sentence is magicaly, Lucky! 🙂
    And for the record; I would never fly such a trip on a B737.
    This looks like a copy of your AIR BELGIUM experience…

  5. I completely understand it. This is a once a week frequency and i assume there’re lots of people happy to travel non stop from Paris (and probably from other areas in France) to visit friends and relatives.
    With weight restrictions, it shouldn’t be that hard to ‘fill’ that plane/available capacity.

    Take the available flight Lucky!

  6. Well, given you said there’s only 100 pax per flight, and the flight only operates 1x per week for ~8 weeks, I can imagine that the once-in-a-long-time nonstop flight to France could generate a lot of interest (at least 800 people) wanting to travel from the population of these islands.

  7. @Steve @Mark. I actually like the pictures. They give me a good chuckle and show a bit of humor. It seems that y’all just wanna be negative Nancies.

  8. Ah monseior. We have no dates for cliche Americans who know nothing of and should not be allowed in Paris.

  9. I have to admit, I’m more curious to read your review of this flight than I have been for any other flight. It’s all this mystery and intrigue…

    And I like the pictures. Perhaps they don’t belong in every blog post, but here I think it conveyed your reaction in a way that 1,000 words could not do nearly as succinctly. Plus they’re just fun. 🙂

  10. Couldn’t be that I blogged last night that this flight was completely full (and commented as such on another post) that suddenly turned you on to it, could it? It would be polite to note your sources…

  11. I’m not super surprised by this. In previous summers they sold tickets on the ASL flight that goes Halifax-Dublin-Paris and all year round they fly people to Montreal to connect with Air France.

    Obviously they know exactly how many seats they sell each year from St. Pierre to Paris and so this year they just decided to charter something to go direct under their brand instead of simply giving feed and revenue to someone else. This isn’t something they’re just giving a shot.

  12. As I understand it the French government makes grants available to mainland residents who were born in overseas territories for them to fly and visit families. This is called territorial continuity. I assume a direct and potentially cheaper Paris-Saint Pierre flight is an opportunity for many to make the trip and add fewer euros from their own pocket on top of the grant. As the subsidy is for mainland residents only, you would expect the first outbound flight from Paris to St Pierre to be full.

  13. Adding to all that’s been said, it’s really not surprising given that it’s summer break in France, and overseas territories are quite popular as holiday destinations for French people. Opening up access to St Pierre et Miquelon without going through Canada is really an attractive proposition for French people if not just for relatives of people living in St Pierre. And on the other direction too, it’s summer holidays for families living there too, a direct access to the mainland must be a good proposition. Even without the subsidies I suspect it’s still more interesting than having to go through Halifax to get to France.

    If you do end up booking that trip I would e curious to see how you would choose to reach the island and your accommodation if needed, as you pointed out, options are limited there.

  14. And here I was hoping that you’d be flying Air Saint Pierre YHZ FSP CDG one way and WestJet direct CDG YHZ back. You could compare ASL’s sardine conditions to Westjet’s premium economy with the blocked middle seat.

    Also trying to imagine an A380 landing on a 5900 ft runway. Would they need to empty the entire upper deck because of weight restrictions? Would they have airstairs tall enough to reach an A380 in FSP?

  15. When I booked the ferry to St. Pierre from Newfoundland, I had to book 2 months in advance. And the ferry was full when it went. Also, I happened to take the ferry July 10th, so if I were originating in Paris instead of Newfoundland, I would have been able to book the ticket ;).

    I was immediately happy after I booked my ferry, because a week later, I received an email from the ferry service stating that the price would change from CAD $70 round trip from Fortune to EUR €70, which would have been a big increase had a reserved a week later!

  16. The runway shouldn’t be a major issue. London City gets by with a far shorter runway. Simply do a CDG-FSP, FSP-Gander or Goose Bay-CDG. The Gander or Goose Bay could be a technical stop, no passengers.

    @Lucky, there’s a problem with OMAAT recently. There is a “free email newsletter” pop up to the right. The “x” is obscured so that you cannot get rid of it. It covers up part of the blog text so I cannot read your posts easily.

  17. You really should look more closely at the Johannesburg flight to St. Helena. SA Airlink does the flight. And best of all, they do offer business class both ways.

  18. @Jason

    That’s some next level narcissism to believe Lucky reads your unknown blog (where all the entries get 0 recommends and 0 responses), and posted because of your (horribly cluttered) site. You need to get a reality check.

  19. Yes, I suppose it’s just TOTAL coincidence he hopped on this several month old post hours after I posted it was sold out….and ASP even emailed me asking me to stop telling people to contact them. Fanboys….sigh.

  20. Less time spent on making bitmojis (people still make them? In 2018?), more time spent making quick and assertive decisions. You snooze, you loose…maybe next summer Lucky?

  21. You seem to do this a lot in your route predictions – identify one market and then just blindly assume that it’s the sole driving force behind the flight.

    Why on Earth did you assume that people living in Mainland France would have little to no desire to visit!

  22. I am surprised that if there is this much demand, that Air Canada does not offer a Paris – St John’s – St Pierre connecting service. AC seems to fly to the UK from St Johns and Halifax on their narrow body aircraft if I am not mistaken

  23. lol @jason nobody has ever read your blog… maybe pull it out of the 90s? Yeaaah you sold out planes all by yourself. Big jokes.

  24. Lucky this is essentially a holiday charter service not a scheduled service, why are you surprised?

  25. @Jason & @Matt

    I’ve read your blog Jason, keep up the good work, haters are gonna hate.

  26. @David

    Unless you are with Lucky 24/7 or have secret access to his laptop…how would you know for sure whether Lucky visits the site or not?

    @Mattt

    I read Jason’s blog as well as Lucky’s. It might not be as in depth as Lucky’s, but it isn’t drowning in CC/PP referrals either…to each their own.

  27. Simple economics….price controls and a fixed supply leads to shortages.

    Basically a preview for a Bernie Sanders USA

  28. The French tend to be serious about their overseas territories: let’s face it, with a colonial record as abysmal at it is, any tiny island is succoured and massaged for all its’ worth, eg, Macron’s visit last month to Noumea to make the anti-succession case.

  29. I guess if the parlement representatives wanted to discuss this territorial continuity at the national assembly in paris, this meant there was a real requirement from the citizens.

    It seems effective from the sold-out flights.

  30. “Simple economics….price controls and a fixed supply leads to shortages.

    Basically a preview for a Bernie Sanders USA”

    The most ridiculous comment in the comments section so far today…

  31. LOL @ Julia – and there’s been a lot of them!

    …and for the haters, yes, my blog isn’t “professional” – it’s there just to share my travels mainly with family and friends, and whoever else finds them interesting.

    Lucky’s is a money-making business focused on credit cards, flights, and hotels. Two very different animals…mine’s just a hobby…and I’m very happy with that.

    …doesn’t mean that Lucky not acknowledging sources consistently is ok. Uncool.

  32. @ Jason — I always do everything in my power to acknowledge sources and tip the hat to them. Similarly, sometimes I do forget and I’ll gladly acknowledge it and apologize. We all make mistakes. I’m sorry, but in this case that’s simply not what happened. Over the weekend I booked some travel that has me in Europe on July 1, and I was trying to figure out how to get back to the US, and remembered this route launching July 2. That’s how I got interested in this again over the weekend. I see you’ve commented about it now that I search by your name, but I can promise that’s not what happened here. Sorry if you feel otherwise, as that’s certainly not my intent. Also, I’m not sure how you went from feeling that I didn’t acknowledge you as a source, to suggesting that I “consistently” don’t acknowledge sources. Uncool.

  33. @Lucky, oddly enough, and as I type, I am still showing some availability in Amadeus between FSP and CDG on both 17 and 24 July, although any other date appears to be sold-out…

    Maybe you could try and email Air Saint Pierre in case one of these days works for you ?

    You flying this route will certainly make a nice (and different…) kind of trip report !

    AN1A17JULFSPPAR -AC-
    ** AMADEUS AVAILABILITY – AN ** PAR PARIS.FR 49 TU 17JUL 0000
    1 PJ 638 Y4 FSP CDG 3 1230 2205 E0.737 5:35

    AN1A24JULFSPPAR -AC-
    ** AMADEUS AVAILABILITY – AN ** PAR PARIS.FR 56 TU 24JUL 0000
    1 PJ 638 Y4 FSP CDG 3 1230 2205 E0.737 5:35

  34. Fair enough – bygones bygones. I’ve heard grumblings from others about reused content so wanted you to know that opinion was out there. Apologies for my part in making this bigger than it needed to be.

    Anyways, combining forces is much more productive. I just had a nice 15 minute chat with the lady at ASP in YYT, and she assures me there is not a single seat in either direction all summer and yes, they’ve all been gone for quite some time. Many were indeed resold to package tour agencies in France in large blocks, so combined with the VFR traffic it all went quickly.

    That said, she did confirm one seat trickles back in here and there as people beg cancelations, but wouldn’t put me on a notification list, just “keep checking back.”

  35. I can see in this post and the comment sections something really american
    Guys why all flights can’t be full, did you check in France or in Saint-Pierre if their are any adds about this route or maybe you didn’t think that’s the unique opportunity for both French in France and in Saint-Pierre to travel between this two places without breaking the bank?
    And please France is a safe place,more than the US so the comment about: this can be a try to take your credit card information, come on that’s stupid

  36. CNN’s Anthony Bourdain just had St. Pierre on his “Parts Unknown” show. He did a segment from there. Looks like a really cool place. Hope you get there eventually.

  37. You literally said at the beginning of this article that the flights are weight restricted and can therefore only take 100 per flight. So why do you ask emirates to fly an A380 there? I understand that this may have been a joke but come on, it sounds ridiculous.

  38. @ James — It should be possible. They’d just weight restrict it to two passengers (I think otherwise they could probably get an A380 out there with 10 passengers, but it’s much more important to have water for the shower and to be able to cater the Dom Perignon).

  39. Kinda off topic, but since this flight is technically between 2 parts of France would it be considered Schengen ?

  40. @DaninMCI Totally Agree! Shouldn’t be allowed to leave good money on what that city is today, invaded with all that shady refugees peeing in the streets and doing all/bullying you into the variations of the three card monte/shell game scam that made ME, a tourist from VENEZUELA the most dangerous place in the world, feel unsafe an uncomfortable walking near one of the most iconic places for tourist (the Eiffel tower). Good for them they didn’t try enough or got any closer to pickpocket my gf. That would have been ended really nasty, probably for all of us involved. NEVER AGAIN PARIS.

    Americans should be allowed to spend their hard earned money where they can truly and safely enjoy, while France’s government opens the door wide open for those who suck all the resources.

  41. @BBK Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you still have internet in Venezuela, or are you a refugee too? 😉

  42. Several people have said that passengers arriving in St Pierre from Paris need to clear immigration. So are there immigration controls between St Pierre and Canada? Or is the immigration control in St Pierre run by Canadian immigration?

    @Jason
    Your web-site may not be professional but the reverse chronological order format makes navigation less easy than it could be. You should consider doing something about that.

  43. @Kurfürst overseas territories have their own immigration and visa requirements. For instance if you have a visa to live on or visit the French mainland it does not necessarily mean that you can travel freely to French Polynesia or St Pierre. I know a case of a foreigner living in France with a permanent visa being sent back to France at the Papeete airport for not having a specific visa.

  44. @Pierre

    I’m not disputing that St Pierre has different immigration/visa requirements from the rest of France. What I’m asking about is the immigration procedures when travelling between St Pierre and Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* I consent to the collection of my name, email address, and content so that One Mile at a Time may manage comments placed on this site.