Those people that moved to France and commute are just about to hear a bombshell, our friends Ryanair who have been serving our local airports for years and years have just pulled out. Bang. No emails to those already booked, nothing, just pulled the plug. Ryanair stopped flying to La Rochelle, Nantes and Angouleme outside summer season.
So my parents who have booked in November and December, will “get a refund”, yet have not, at the time of writing even had en email confirming the route closure. Nor does it mention this anywhere on any other site as far as I can see.
I have confirmed with la Rochelle airport that Ryanair are no longer flying there between November and April nor are they flying to Nantes or Angouleme. The only airport they are going to fly to is Poitiers “out of season”. So those packed flights I have travelled on from La Rochelle to Stansted all year have clearly not been making any money. Yes, packed flights.
I have looked into it and I can get a train to Poitiers or even drive which is two hours each way or jump the train to Bordeaux..how about the rest of the regular commuters, what do you intend doing? What about the thousands of gites and small businesses in the region that rely on the English tourism?
I am shocked and wonder if this route cancellation will mean we will have to move back to Blighty or to the USA..
UPDATE: I have since found out that Ryanair are letting 850 people go from their operations and a travel insider has emailed me to tell me that Ryanair are in so much financial trouble they could be going bust. This is an unconfirmed rumour but would make a little sense as to why they are scrapping very busy flights.
Rarely am I left speechless, for those that know me, I talk at 100 miles per hour and get animated on things I am passionate about. This evening was different.
We (my Wife and kids) decided to go for a Pizza tonight, in part because we felt guilty at not having given the kids a great half term, work has once again taken away some fun for them.
So, as you probably know, I live in La Rochelle, France, a beautiful city by the Atlantic Ocean. We went to the L’Accademia Teatro Bettini pizza restaurant in La Rochelle for a meal. The choice was great and we settled for three pizzas and a pasta. The pizza’s were around €10 each and the pasta was similar. The children’s menu (as ever in France) was tiny, offering either a “mini-pizza” or a “mini-pasta”. The kids both opted for the mini portion of each, as normal.
So the pizza arrived, mine, full size 12″ oven baked and freshly cooked and my son possibly received a thrown together 5″ pizza, or 60% less in size. Both tasted great although so salty we had to consume 2 litres of water! The mini-Pasta too was 60% smaller than normal size, no problem, as the kids didn’t need anymore to eat.
Then we had the bill..they (Teatro Bettini Accademia en La Rochelle) charged €10 for my Pizza and €8 for the “mini-pizza”, they also charged €8.30 for the “mini-pasta”. We complained and they shrugged, they decided to reduce the pasta to the price on the menu (!!) (€6.30) and said sorry, but the mini-pizza was the price and “do we want to talk to the big Boss”. We said no, left no tip and walked. Leaving me writing this blog post as to why I would not recommend you to ever eat at L’Accademia Teatro Bettini in la Rochelle as it is a total rip off.
What do you think? Do restaurants take the “P” out of us parents, I swear it was not like that in the UK nor in the USA when we have visited..how much do you pay for kids meals?
Rant over etc.
L’Accademia Teatro Bettini
1, Rue de Thiers
Tel : 05 46 41 07 03
Friends of ours own some amazing gites in La Rochelle and have finally set up a blog and website to promote them a bit. They have some free slots available this summer so take a look by clicking here!
La Rochelle has hundreds and possibly thousands of holiday homes available to rent and this year with 11 direct flights from the UK and Ireland, La Rochelle is set to be busier then ever. If you wanted to have a relaxing week or two surrounded by sunflower fields, our pals gites are perfect (this year in any case, the crops can be rotated!).
What is a gite? It is basically a self-contained house or apartment (generally house with large grounds) with every utensil required to spend a few weeks living like a local or relaxing in peace. In the USA I guess these are called Villas or Condo’s to rent?
Why am I promoting their website and blog? They are friends, I want their website and business to succeed and more importantly, would love to meet more fuelmyblog people in La Rochelle this summer. Thomas Hamburger Jnr is popping in for a cafe, who else?!
So this got me thinking of hosting a blog meet up on the beach in La Rochelle, with free wine and wifi organised and we could even live blog it! Here is a link to the local airport, ryanair are a great source of cheap flights, I fly with them almost weekly and often pay £30 return including tax.. So now there is no excuse, free wine, oysters and wifi, with my friend’s gite and hopefully good company, this could be a Pimms moment!
Take a look at the gite if interested, drop them a line. If you fancy meeting up in La Rochelle, drop me one 😉