Founded in 2016, French bee is touted as the first French smart-cost, long-haul airline.
At this time, the airline services five destinations, including San Francisco, Tahiti, and Reunion Island, along with non-stop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and Paris Orly Airport. In April 2022, the airline launched non-stop service from Los Angeles to Paris. Additionally, in June 2022, the airline announced direct flights to Paris from Miami starting December 15, 2022.
French bee has cornered a part of the market that feels much-needed to the industry: a lower-cost non-stop flight that can feel a bit luxe. We flew with the airline on Premium Economy from Newark to Orly Paris, and Basic class on the return flight to get the full experience. Here’s our review of French bee airline.
What Type of Fares Are Available on French bee?
There are three types of fares that are available on French bee Airlines: Basic, Smart, and Premium. A Basic ticket from NYC to Paris starts at just $189 each way. This is the lowest-priced option and allows one 26-lb carry-on bag. There’s the Smart fare, which includes the Basic offering plus one 50-lb checked bag and an in-flight meal (with a range of options including vegetarian and fish). Finally, there’s the Premium fare, which features all of the aforementioned amenities — plus an additional 50lb checked bag, two premium meals, complimentary beverage service, premium cabin seat choice, line-jump privileges, priority boarding, and priority luggage delivery. All seats include adjustable headrests, USB and electrical ports, headphone plugs, and unlimited in-flight entertainment. Wifi is also available at an additional charge.
What are the Seats Like on Premium?
All French bee flights are operated by five Airbus A350s, with 411 seats servicing two classes: 35 in Premium and 376 in Eco Blue. In Eco Blue, you’ll find leather seats with 10-seat rows, 32 inches of pitch, 16-inch seat width, and 12-inch reclining seats. The seats offer an adjustable headrest and knee and lumbar adjustments. There’s a 10” HD touchscreen with free in-flight entertainment. In Premium class, you’ll get significantly more space with 7-seat rows, 36 inches of pitch, 18-inch seat width, and 16-inch reclining seats with a leg and foot rest. There’s a larger touchscreen with the same free entertainment.
What is the Food Like on French bee?
All meals are included in the Premium and Smart fares. The Basic fare does not include meals or snacks (though water is available throughout the flight). A la carte meals can also be purchased (prices vary). The French bee “bistro chic” meal ($55) was developed by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Michel Lorain, who sought inspiration from regional specialties around the country. Additionally, there’s a basic meal ($25), a fish-based meal ($35), a vegetarian meal ($35), a teen meal ($35), a halal meal ($35), and a kosher meal ($35). Meanwhile, the Instant Duo ($40) includes two bottles of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne plus warm canapés (think: spring rolls, beggar’s purses, and vegetable samosas).
What is Premium like on French bee?
The Premium fare is especially worthwhile when traveling with two or three people. Our party of two had plenty of space in the 2-3-2 seat configuration. The flight starts with a welcome drink, like Champagne in a real glass. There are snack crackers and complimentary alcohol, too. The evening flight from Newark to Paris departed around 11 p.m, and a light snack was served shortly after takeoff (a baked potato and fruit). Prior to landing, a full breakfast and coffee are offered (French toast or an omelet with croissants and fruit). The flight from Paris to Newark, instead, starts with dinner service. The amenity kit includes an eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, headphones, and socks. A blanket and pillow are also provided.
How Much Does It Cost to Fly French bee?
Here’s a quick price breakdown:
- Starting at $197 one-way New York to Paris
- Starting at $574 one-way from New York to Reunion Island
- Starting at $308 one-way San Francisco to Paris
- Starting at $321 one-way from Los Angeles to Paris
- Starting at $329 one-way from San Francisco to Tahiti
- Starting at $281 one-way from Miami to Paris
Is Premium Worth It On French bee?
The Premium class on French bee is worth the money. We found the seats to be quite roomy, the service to be phenomenal, and the food, beverages, and amenities to be worth the price. In a nutshell, French bee offers a more affordable premium product, making them a unique player in the marketplace.
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