Whether you're a seasoned traveler or heading out on your first trip, saving on travel costs can make a huge difference. One way to make your travels more cost-effective is to fly with a budget-friendly airline! These low-cost flights offer very basic amenities, but you'll get to where you want to go for less.
If you're looking to travel in France, a newer budget airline has just landed on the scene to help get you there!
French bee offers flights from the US to mainland France at costs that'll delight you. Plus, give you more Euros to spend in the land of baguettes and cheese!
Being budget-friendly doesn't mean an airline is always worth it, though. How does French bee stand up to the competition with so many low-cost options like Vueling Airlines, Eurowings, or Norse Atlantic Airways? Learn more about French bee and whether you should consider taking your next flight with them in this in-depth review!
What is French bee?
Founded in 2016, French bee is a low-cost, long-haul airline that's based out of Paris' bustling Orly Airport. Its entire fleet of airplanes consists of comfy and modern Airbus A350s.
Where does French bee fly?
French bee flies to and from the following popular destinations:
- USA: Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Vegas, Orange County, Orlando, Palm Springs, Portland, San Diego, Washington, Seattle, New York, Miami, and San Francisco.
- French Polynesia: Bora Bora, Hiva Oa, Huahine, Nuku Hiva, Papeete, Raiatea, Rangiroa, and Tikehau.
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
- Saint-Denis, Reunion Island.
Note that destinations vary depending on your departure airport, especially if you embark from an airport outside of France.
In addition to buying air tickets, you can also add on a train ticket within France via its Train + Air Service. Besides a free transfer between Massy TGV train station and Paris-Orly airport, your train ticket also costs less when bundled in.
You can start or end your journey at the following train stations in France:
- Angers St Laud
- Avignon St-Laud
- Bordeaux St-Jean
- Champagne-Ardenne TGV
- Le Mans
- Lorraine TGV
- Lyon Part Dieu
- Marseille St-Charles
If you're headed to French bee's Parisian hub, also be sure to check out some of the top things to do in Paris while you're there!
What amenities does French bee offer?
If you're flying a budget airline, you want to be sure you're actually getting good value for your money.
French bee offers four different fares: Basic, Basic Plus, Smart, and Premium. Both Basic and Smart fares are economy-type fares. In contrast, Premium is similar to a business class fare. These Premium fares offer a comfy, fully-reclinable seat in the premium class cabin section but also typically cost 2-4 times more.
Naturally, the lower the fare, the less is included in your flight. But that's a good thing for those who can or only wish to pay for the basics. Most notably, Basic and Basic Plus fares only come with 12 kg hand luggage and inflight entertainment. Bumping up to a Smart fare adds on a checked bag, in-flight meals, and flexible tickets.
One step up, Premium class includes two checked bags and extras like champagne, wine, and refundable tickets. The good news is that no matter the category you fly, there's a long list of amenities available for purchase separately. All of which you can book online before you fly.
Depending on your fare, you may be able to buy any of the added extras:
- Seat selection
- Extra legroom
- Priority boarding
- Airport lounge access
- Extra baggage
- Travel kits
- Line jump services
- And more…
French bee check-in
Checking in for your French bee flight is a painless process. You can do so online, and all you'll need is your reservation number. Input those details onto French bee's website, and you'll be walked through the check-in process.
You can also print your boarding pass while checking in before you leave for the airport. Check-in is available starting 48 hours before your flight. Or from 24 hours before flights headed to Tahiti or the US.
If you prefer to check in at the airport, French bee opens its check-in counters four hours before departure.
French bee baggage allowance
If you're flying with French bee, regardless of the fare, you're allowed to bring a personal item and a piece of hand luggage in the cabin. Your personal item must weigh no more than 4 kg, and it can be no bigger than 16" x12" x6". Very generously, your additional piece of hand luggage can weigh up to 12 kg, with total dimensions of up to 45".
Included in Smart fares is also one piece of checked baggage or two for Premium fares. Checked-in bags can weigh up to 23 kg each, with a total dimension of 62" or under. Basic and Basic Plus fares don't include checked luggage. However, for all fares, you can buy checked bags up to three bags in total.
Each additional checked-in bag starts at around US$82 when added 48 hours before departure. Or US$131 when purchased at the airport. Note that these quoted costs are subject to change and are only one-way.
If you need tips on packing light for your French bee flight, get tips and tricks from this minimalist packing list.
Is French bee worth it?
French bee offers cheap flight options to and from France to some famous and niche international destinations. Compared to other airlines on the market, their prices are very affordable.
Suppose the cost of your air travel is a critical budgetary component for you. In that case, French bee is definitely an airline to consider if you're flying to one of their destinations!
While their fares are cost-friendly, it's important to consider that the included amenities are sparse to compensate for the budget prices. Purchasing their Basic fare doesn't even come with a meal. For long-haul flights, that means packing a lot of your own snacks or skipping a meal.
Though the carrier's baggage allowance is also fairly restrictive, its hand luggage is actually quite generous. You get 4 kg plus a further 12 kg of hand luggage. Much more than other airlines, who only offer up to 7 kg of hand luggage, plus a small handbag. Plus, an extra 23 kg for Smart and Premium fares, with the option to add additional checked bags for a fee.
Notably, only Premium seats allow seat selection. So if you want a window or aisle seat, you'll have to pay to guarantee it. As convenient as they are, as we know, all of those little bonuses add up quickly! If your budget allows you to splurge a little, opting for a Smart fare seems like the savviest way to travel with French bee.
It's still very much a "no frills" airline, so if extra luggage is important to you, it might be better to consider a bigger-name airline. It might be more affordable at US$82-US$131 per additional 23 kg bag one-way. That being said, if you want a budget-friendly long-haul flight to or from Europe, I think that French bee should definitely "bee" on your radar!
Our rating: 3.2/5
- Budget-friendly fares
- Air + train options
- Generous hand luggage allowance
- Add-ons available
- Niche destinations
- Checked baggage allowance is minimal
- Few amenities are included
- Additional amenities come at a cost
- Limited destinations list
It's time to fly!
Whether you fly French bee on your next trip or opt for another airline, it's essential to keep track of your travel plans. Stay organized and keep those trip details all in one place with a planner!