While planning my summer escape to Europe, I discovered that Air France is not conceding the domestic field to budget airlines and instead is now using some of its regional bases including Toulouse to offer travelers new direct flights both within France and to and from other European countries as well as across the Mediterranean for fares as low as 50 euros one way.
I was made aware of the 'Evadez Vous' (Escape) flights after I booked my flight from New York area to Berlin (RT for $650 for late August departure and return on September 4) and learned that Air France had just launched, on April 1st, direct flights from Berlin to Toulouse.
The 'Evadez Vous' campaign was started in Marseille in fall 2011 and Nice and Toulouse came on board in April 2012.
Fares depending on destination start at 50 Euros, then 80 Euros with higher fare at 110 Euros .
In my case, on date I am looking at for travel from Berlin to Toulouse, August 22, fare is currently 80 Euros ($114).
I will not return to Berlin from Toulouse as I will stop in Paris on way back so I did not look at round trip ticket option.
Passengers can selecti multi city option when booking. In my case I could book Berlin to Toulouse as first leg and Toulouse to Paris as second segment.
People traveling to/from Nice could pick Amsterdam-Nice then Nice-Athens as second leg.
With Marseille as hub, you could fly from Copenhagen to Marseille and then Marseille to Marrakech for example.
Frequency of flights to each destination varies so being somehow flexible with your travel schedule will help fetch a good fare.
For Berlin to Toulouse on August 22, there is one flight at that fare leaving at 12:55 PM and arriving at 3:15 Pm.
Besides the attractive fares, Air France is committed to offering the level of service you expect from them.
You will not be charged for peanuts.
On flights under 1H and 40 minutes, passengers get a hot drink and baked goods in the morning and soft drinks and snacks the rest of the day.
On those between 1 hour and 40 minutes and 2 hours and 30 minutes, baked goods are served in the morning, a sandwich for lunch or dinner and a selection of snacks the rest of the day.
For flights that last between 2 hous 30 and 3 hours (Athens for example), breakfast is served in the morning, a cold meal for lunch and dinner and a sandwich the rest of the day.
For those over 3 hours (Moscow and Beyrouth to name two), breakfast is served in the morning and a cold meal including cookies is ogffered the rest of the day.
A selection of French and International newspapers is available for free before boarding.
Each passenger can register a luggage of up to 23 kilos plus take onboard a garment bag, a messenger or laptop bag and a 12 kilos carry on bag, all that at no additional cost.
New 'Evadez Vous' destinations added on April first include:
To/ From Toulouse:
Hamburg, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Venice, Naples, Istanbul, Athens, Malta, Tunis, Sevilla, Malaga, Casablancam Marrakech
To/ From Marseille:
Hamburg, Berlin, Venice, Barcelona, Marrakech
To/ From Nice:
Venice, Naples, Athens, Tel Aviv
Thanks to Cecile and Marina of Air France Media Team for taking the time to speak with me and share details on these new Escapes that make flying fun and affordable again.
Time to pack your traveling bags.
P.S: If you want to see the full map of flights offered from/ to each hub, let me know and I will forward it to you.
(* illustration from Air France prmotional campaign for 'Evadez Vous')