Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Trip planning headache

I come from the greatest region in France. I assure you, Brittany has beautiful landscapes, a very rich history, a strong sense of culture and identity, food to die for (remember the crepes and the langoustines?), great weather (Nah, just kidding on that one!)...

The only teeny tiny issue is that it's quite remote from the rest of France. If you want a comparison, I'd say Brittany is the "Kerry" of France. To make things even more complicated, I'm from the "End of the Earth". I'm serious, this is how the area I grew up in is called. "Penn-Ar-Bed" in Breton or "Finistere" in French is the furthest you can go. After that there's only the ocean. 

The little red part? Yep, that's where I'm from!         Source: Wikipedia

So you can imagine how complicated it can be to fly home from Dublin. Sometimes I wish I was from Paris (OK, not really, but let's just pretend). All major airlines fly there, everyday, several times a day, and it's cheap.

If you want to go to my place, get ready for a headache in terms of planning your trip. 12 years ago, I had to go through London and land in Dinard, about 5 hours drive from my home. There was no other way (unless I wanted to pay an arm and leg going through Paris with Air France). The journey door-to-door was taking 12 hours, the same amount of time of a Paris-Mauritius flight!

A couple of years after I moved here, Ryanair upped their game big time. They started a direct flight to Nantes (only 3 hours drive from my house). And after that came the best, a direct flight to Brest (only 1 hour drive from my house). Sadly the latter didn't last long, and Ryanair pulled out from that airport, apparently following some disagreement with the airport authorities.

So now, I usually fly to Nantes. It's fine, if my parents can't pick me up, I have friends over there, and if I'm really stuck I can take the train. But the big problem at the moment is the stupid schedule airlines have implemented.

Can you believe I can't go home for a week-end? I used to envy my French friends who could fly on Friday night and come back to Dublin on Sunday. None of that for me. Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Flybe and basically all airlines that fly to Brittany are against me.

I'm trying to get to my best friend's hen party next May. Unfortunately none of the airlines fly on Friday or Sunday. Flybe has flights to Nantes but it only starts in July. They also have flight to Brest, but they stop in March. Aer Lingus doesn't have flights on Friday or Sunday either. The only solution would be to go with Air France, if I'm willing to pay a mere 750 euros for the round trip!

In the end, I'll probably take Ryanair, fly on the Thursday and come back on the Monday, but why does it have to be so complicated to just go home for a week-end? 

I tell you, it's much easier to book a flight to Mauritius, and it's the same price as an Air France flight to Nantes. Crazy don't you think?