Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pittsburgh to Paris

Trib recently had a fun comprehensive look at the ties that bind us to France. Funny no mention of the erstwhile mayoral candidacy of Josh Wander whose main claim to fame was his past campaign to send the Statue of Liberty back to Mr. Bartholdi's descendants. Imagine the story line that might have played out in the media if he had been on the ballot when Mr. Sarkozy arrived here. Nonetheless today is Bastille Day.

Anyway. Was just in France. I've been posting about the market for the new Pittsburgh to Paris flight. So here is some primary (albeit anecdotal) research: Pittsburgh to Paris flight was overbooked. Return flight about 90% filled. Good for peak summer season this time of year. Going over I could identify one group that looked like it might be one of those groups going out of their way to buy tickets on the flight to help prop up sales. The issue may come down to how demand holds up during the shoulder and off-seasons. A decent showing for now, but the prices were remarkably cheap for peak travel season.

As for Paris. Louve, Orsay, Rodan..... Bah. For some of us there is the Paris Sewer Tour. I have to say that I am not quite sure I would feel safe on a similar tour sponsored by the PWSA. Who knows what is underground here? For those who saw Saving Private Ryan. This is really what Dog Green looks like today. Hard to believe. and at the D-Day museum what do I find myself staring within 5 minutes of looking around? A display case with a bottle of Fort Pitt Beer.

No sign of Jerry Lewis in the French popular culture, but French TV had an inordinate amount of dubbed Starsky and Hutch reruns. Not as bad as all the Arnold films which are big hits around the world, but you have to wonder what people think of US culture given what we normally 'export'.


Anonymous MH said...

This may be out of date, but I found that the best way to get along in France is to speak a small bit of French and do it very poorly (i.e. know what the words mean, but don't get the pronunciation right).

If you don't try, they'll figure you are arrogant. If you do too well on the first few words, they'll assume you can speak French and get annoyed when you don't understand them. But, if you try and do poorly, they will be mollified because you tried (thus negating their stereotype of Americans as self-centered) but screwed-up (thus re-enforcing their smug sense of superiority).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 9:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I would put too much stock into ticket prices being an indication of the strength of this route right now... airfares are way down across the board these days due to the global economic malaise.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

C'est vrai.

It's also true that fares are down across the board because demand is down... but that does not mitigate the issue at the end of the day. Also I previously compared the Pgh-Paris cost to what I could get say NYC to Paris and it was even in a relative sense cheaper which I thought telling given the greater competition for that route if nothing else. Just something to watch.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Zapinski said...

Merci du Delta de vol.

-- Monsieur Ken

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:02:00 AM  

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