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masaccio
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sat May 30, 2020 8:52 pm

In the summer of 1980 I flew them JFK-ORY. The meals were carry-on and there was no movie. Basically a 747 full of rowdy backpackers. Just curious if anyone out there had that experience.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8786
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:47 am

I know up until the 90s they had a few old 747-128 bangers in very high density config, like almost all Y, which did ORY EWR, and beaches (Guadeloupe, Martinique). Not sure it said Vacances on the side (did yours?). What’s a carry on meal btw? 500 brown paper bags in the gate containing a sarnie a banana and a drink?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4259
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:57 am

Wikipedia has absolutely nothing on them, not even if I search the French and German versions. Late 70s and early 80s makes it sound like it was an attempt to thwart Laker Airways' Skytrain service.
 
HBJZA
Posts: 337
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:23 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 8:04 am

I found this related to AF vacances
https://images.app.goo.gl/LHbERL5QgrmnAasB6
 
PaulYUL
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:36 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 4:34 pm

I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4259
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:24 pm

PaulYUL wrote:
I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.


Punishing passengers is a common tactic for many low cost airlines. It strengthens the perception that they are cheap.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 7794
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Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:37 pm

PaulYUL wrote:
I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.


Have you been around long enough to remember Bistro Bags on AA?

The critical review of roll-out: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

A picture with the gate cart: https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... r-4-hours/

It's different and 'fun' - as well as cheap. It's not intended as punishment -- that's UA's shtick (like no carry-on with Basic Economy fares). :)
 
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Aesma
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Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 7:46 pm

Small mention on AF website : https://corporate.airfrance.com/en/board-service

To recover a tourist clientele that was starting to move towards charter companies, Air France launched the "Holiday" class, a highly pared-down service with fares barely above those of charter companies. It inaugurated its first "Air France Vacances" flight on a Paris - Fort de France - Pointe à Pitre route in 1979, followed by a route to New York. These flights were operated by Boeing 747s.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
VSMUT
Posts: 4259
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Sun May 31, 2020 8:07 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
PaulYUL wrote:
I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.


Have you been around long enough to remember Bistro Bags on AA?

The critical review of roll-out: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

A picture with the gate cart: https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... r-4-hours/

It's different and 'fun' - as well as cheap. It's not intended as punishment -- that's UA's shtick (like no carry-on with Basic Economy fares). :)


SAS still does that on domestic flights in Denmark. Early morning flights there are bags with a croissant and yoghurt available, rest of the day they have those sealed water cups in a rack next to the gate.
 
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eta unknown
Posts: 2805
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:05 am

I didn't know AF operated these flights to JFK. I knew about FDF, PTP and RUN and also heard the configuration was hell- as can be seen here:
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZIwKw-Yb2dg/ ... 7+A310.jpg
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1909
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:50 am

Did the concept live on in the higher density 77W's that AF positioned at ORY for leisure and DOM/TOM flights?
 
Breathe
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:06 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:01 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
PaulYUL wrote:
I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.


Have you been around long enough to remember Bistro Bags on AA?

The critical review of roll-out: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

A picture with the gate cart: https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... r-4-hours/

It's different and 'fun' - as well as cheap. It's not intended as punishment -- that's UA's shtick (like no carry-on with Basic Economy fares). :)

LOL at handing out AOL installation CDs, those things were a menace in the 90s! :lol:
 
masaccio
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:27 pm

The carry-on meal was in what was essentially a clear plastic brief case containing a full, albeit cold, dinner. I recall it was actually good, sort of French picnic fare. You picked them up right where the two jetways split as you were boarding. As it was the old International Terminal at JFK (T-4) one of the jetways may have gone over the wing; I don't remember but I know I sat in the last cabin. The flight attendants came through with drinks at the beginning but after that the carts were left stocked for self-service while the crew hung out in the galleys. And yes, "Vacances" appeared on the side of the plane after "Air France." I remember being slightly disappointed we weren't going into CDG as I was fascinated by Aerogare 1 with its futuristic look. But I did love being bussed into the gate at ORY. I felt like we parked very far out on the field. Thanks for your great responses. Fun to revisit that trip.
 
Antarius
Posts: 2172
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Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:52 pm

PaulYUL wrote:
I remember it and always wondered how they came with that (rather stupid) idea which was creating chaos at the boarding area (not to speak of the logistic of bring the meals there). What was the point of distributing the meal before boarding when they had a full complement of cabin crew (who were still doing a beverage service if I remember it well)? The only reason I could come with was to “punish” the passengers for choosing a cheap fare. In any case, it was (thankfully!) a short lived experiment.


The same genii likely came up with the equally successful idea of Joon
2020: SFO DFW IAH HOU CLT MEX BIS MIA GUA ORD DTW LGA BOS LHR DUB BFS BHD STN OAK PHL ISP JFK SJC DEN SJU LAS TXL GDL
 
workhorse
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:45 pm

eta unknown wrote:
I didn't know AF operated these flights to JFK. I knew about FDF, PTP and RUN and also heard the configuration was hell- as can be seen here:
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZIwKw-Yb2dg/ ... 7+A310.jpg


It wasn't as hellish as you think. Look, for example, at the aft cabin: it has 17 rows. The "Classic" AF 744 (the one with Premium Economy on the upper deck) had 16 rows in that cabin, but it didn't have this block of two seats near doors L4 and R4. Now look at the next cabin: it has 11 rows, just as the classic 744. So the config you posted has the same 31-32 pitch as the classic one, the only difference is that it has no J.
 
mchei
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:32 pm

VSMUT wrote:
SAS still does that on domestic flights in Denmark. Early morning flights there are bags with a croissant and yoghurt available, rest of the day they have those sealed water cups in a rack next to the gate.


Would that be Århus to CPH or Billund to CPH?

Those must be some very short flights :)
F70-F100-E145-E170-E190-319-320-321-735–736-737-738-752-763–742-744-333-343-ATR72-Metroliner-Saab2000-Lockheed Electra-C172-C182-C182RG-MD11
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8786
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:10 pm

477 seats! That said it could be worse, JAL were over 500 on their all-economy 747-200SRs, same on Corsair’s 747-200Bs.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
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TWA302
Posts: 712
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:17 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:44 pm

Found an print advertisement from 1980

Image
 
workhorse
Posts: 778
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:35 pm

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:54 pm

cedarjet wrote:
477 seats! That said it could be worse, JAL were over 500 on their all-economy 747-200SRs, same on Corsair’s 747-200Bs.


Corsair's 747-200s were SUDs, so that's where your difference comes from.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 13041
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Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:56 pm

cedarjet wrote:
477 seats! That said it could be worse, JAL were over 500 on their all-economy 747-200SRs, same on Corsair’s 747-200Bs.


I've only experienced the 747 on a Corsair charter flight, however it had the SUD so 743 or 744. Cramped yes but I'm not sure current economy seats in most aircraft (except the A380) are better.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8786
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Whatever happened to Air France Vacances?

Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:53 pm

Aesma wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
477 seats! That said it could be worse, JAL were over 500 on their all-economy 747-200SRs, same on Corsair’s 747-200Bs.


I've only experienced the 747 on a Corsair charter flight, however it had the SUD so 743 or 744. Cramped yes but I'm not sure current economy seats in most aircraft (except the A380) are better.

Yes I have flown Corsair on two round trips to Guadaloupe, even in high density configuration, the 747 is spacious. It's a product of it's time. Because you can't squeeze 11 abreast, the width is always pretty nice, no matter how miserly the airline. And the high ceilings, vertical walls, big galleys, big doors etc. MD-11 was the same. When the MD-11 and 777-200 overlapped at KLM, and you flew them almost back to back, you really felt the difference, and it was those factors -- galley areas etc, just felt more open and not as "maxed out" (and hence, a bit less hectic and claustrophobic).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

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