UPDATE: You could fly to Paris on this low-cost carrier’s new route for just $299 (eventually)
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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.
7/15/20 UPDATE: French Bee tells The Points Guy the launch of their new service is delayed despite the website allowing flight bookings. In an email on July 15, spokeswoman Catherine Louis said, "Our Orly/Newark/Orly flight is in fact postponed for the moment due the pandemic situation and the closure of borders between our countries." She says they will update us when the flights are due to begin.
Low-cost carrier French Bee is apparently launching long-planned service between Newark (EWR) and Paris's Orly Airport (ORY) as early as August despite coronavirus restrictions keeping most Americans out of Europe.
We've reached out to French Bee (formerly French Blue) to confirm the dates, but hadn't heard back by publication time. The flights are now bookable for dates from August 1, 2020.
We first reported the new flight back in 2019 when the announcement meant 10 carriers had plans to fly the New York-area to Paris routing. That's obviously not the case currently, but it's a competitive route and French Bee's presence will make it even more affordable for travelers.
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The low cost carrier also flies from Paris Orly to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and then on to Tahiti (PPT) using Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Those flights are expected to resume on July 15 since French Polynesia is again open to Americans.
The company is using an Airbus A350-900 for the flights. In fact, the airline is a 100% Airbus A350 airline.
I searched for flights in August on Frenchbee.com and found itineraries as low as $299 round trip in their version of basic economy.
For a less restrictive fare, you can fly for as little as $459.17 round trip in coach.
French Bee’s A350s offer two classes of service. You can either fly premium economy, with 35 seats, or in coach, which has 376.
Related: Review of French Bee in economy
The same flight in premium economy would be $949 roundtrip.
While most Americans still can't travel to Europe, it might be worth doing some research on flights for later in the year or for early 2021, when — hopefully — restrictions will have eased.
Related: Comparing Paris airports
Maximize your purchase
Unfortunately French Bee doesn’t have a frequent flyer program or any other relevant partnerships.
But if you pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can earn 5x points on the purchase (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel; starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). You could also use a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to "erase" the charges.
Related: The best Capital One credit cards
Other cards that give additional points on airfare purchases include the Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly with the airline or American Express Travel), or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Additional reporting by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.