Air France no-frills category means no bags allowed ... Jaunt.Ca Deal of the Day
Here's an interesting bit that might be a little scary. Or maybe it's just brilliant.
Instead of slapping passengers with high fees for bags, the folks at Air France have developed a low-cost, no frills fare structure called MiNi.
Aside from a horrible name (the French loved Jerry Lewis and embrace mimes, so there you go), there's something to this. I mean, as my son just pointed out to me over his breakfast, anyone who tries to take a checked bag on RyanAir in Europe is crazy given the fees, so why not develop a category where you can't even contemplate checked baggage?
I'd be terrible at it as I'm a professional over-packer, but it makes a ton of sense. The new fare offer is for sale now and is available on 58 short and medium haul destinations for travel from Feb. 6, according to travelmole.com.
Air France says some 40 per cent of short and medium range passengers don't take checked bags as it is, a number a found initially surprising but that probably makes sense.
The new MiNi product does not earn the passenger Flying Blue miles and is aimed as customers travelling without checked baggage - with fare starting at 49 euros including tax. That's about $65, folks, and how good a deal is that when it'll cost you something like $370 to fly to Boston from Toronto these days, even "On Sale." It's also about $25 less than the lowest fares now available in economy class on Air France, according to Reuters.
AIR SAFETY: 2012 WAS A GREAT YEAR
Nervous flyers take note: the world's airlines reported only 23 accidents last year, including passenger and cargo flights. Yes, 475 people were killed. But that compares with a 10-year average of 34 accidents and 773 deaths a year, The Los Angeles Times reported, citing a study by the Dutch-based Aviation Safety Network.
The study found that 22 per cent of fatal accidents last year took place in Africa, although the continet generates only about three per cent of the world's airline departures.
BUSES ON THE RISE
Still scared to fly? Consider this. A study by DePaul University in Chicagofinds that bus transportatio was the fastest growing form of U.S. intercity travel last year. Scheduled departures were up over 7.5 per cent, said a Bloomberg report.
Dale Moser, president of Megabus, said there are a lot of advantages a bus can offer.
"You save money, you don't have the same headaches or stress," he said.
"This is not your grandfather's bus, and it's not your grandfather's bus industry," said Peter Pantuso, president and chief executive officer of the American Bus Association in Washington D.C.
Increasingly, buses are much more nicely appointed and also offer benefits such as Wi-Fi. I can't remember the last long-distance bus I took but suffice to say I don't think the Internet even existed.
The Bloomberg report said passenger rail service in the U.S. grew 3 per cent last year and that air and car travel grew about 1 per cent.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY
Jaunt.Ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal on offer for staycations in Toronto at the renovated Strathcona Hotel on York St. It's close to everything, including the Entertainment District, so it's great for staying downtown for a play or a hockey game, and, yes, those are coming back soon to the Air Canada Centre.
- Accommodations in an Executive Room for two people
- For $139 stay 1 night
- For $219 stay 2 nights
- One $30 Tim Hortons gift certificate
- Free WiFi access in-room
- Welcome bag at arrival, including chips & bottle of water
- Late checkout at 3 PM (based on availability)
- 10% discount in The Pub
- Valid for travel from January 8 - April 30, 2013
- Blackout dates: January 30-31, February 1, 24-26, March 2-6, 22-23 and April 5-6, 2013
- Offer based on hotel availability
- No cash back. No cash value. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions
- Taxes and gratuities not included and payable directly to hote