Reserved: Delta A350, Air France A330, Tunisair A330 Business Class!
When you see a “white unicorn” award space, like on the Delta A350-900 in business class, you have to take it. Thus begins a last-minute trip that includes Detroit, Amsterdam, Paris and Tunis on Delta, Air France, and even the exotic Tunisair.
Trip to Tunisia booked: Business Class on Delta A350, Air France A318 + A330, TunisAir A330
Without notice, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club devalued its Delta redemption price during the pandemic. Flights to Asia, Africa and India that once cost 60,000 in business class have suddenly more than doubled in price. My plans to fly from Los Angeles to Shanghai or Tokyo on Delta weren’t just dashed by the pandemic, but by Virgin Atlantic’s prohibitive prices.
But Europe, for some reason, was spared (not initially, but it was a concession made by Virgin Atlantic after much uproar). One-way nonstop trips to Europe on Delta remain at 50,000 miles each in business class and if you’re departing from the US there’s no surcharge, just $5.60 in taxes.
Occasionally I see A330 award space to Amsterdam or Paris available with Virgin Miles, but it’s been years since I’ve seen A350 space…until now. When space appeared on the A350-900 with Delta One suites from Detroit to Amsterdam, I decided to plan a trip around it.
Where to go ? Although I would love to return to Amsterdam, the United States is considered a “high risk” country and I understand that 5-7 self-isolation is mandatory. No thanks.
I immediately thought of Tunisia or Algeria. Both are on my bucket list and both would allow me to take an exotic product (either a Tunisair or Air Algérie A330 on the way back to Montreal). The prices for Algiers were exorbitant (I don’t know why), so I booked a ticket for Tunis rather.
My friends, a brief pause to say that you should take advantage of most status match opportunities, even if you cannot see at the time how or even if you will use the product. For example, I would have bought an Air France economy class ticket to Tunis via Paris if I had taken advantage of the ITA Airways status match in December. It was fast, free and easy. That would have given me access to salons in Amsterdam and Paris.
But no, I didn’t take the five minutes to do it and ended up burning miles flying business class. The advantage is of course the ability to fly business class, including a stretched A330 from Paris to Tunis with a business class seat that I have never experienced before. Also, my first flight on an A318.
My stay is limited to Paris and Tunis for one night each because I no longer want to be away from my family. It’s always the bitter part of the journey these days: trying to balance my quest to see the world and provide new blog content with my duties as a father and husband to not just provide, but to be present. . I would like to be in two places at the same time!
I’m so behind on trip reports that I can jump right into the report rather than providing insights, but we’ll see. I can’t wait to taste several new products! Hopefully my experience on Tunisair will be better than that of Josh Cahill!
image: Olivier Cabaret / Wikimeida Commons