La Compagnie Business Class Paris To Newark Review

Whew, that was a handful. For those of you not caught up on the “saga,” here are my previous posts about this airline and my fascination with them:

I’ll have a full trip report soon, but figured I’d share my initial thoughts.

As I explained yesterday, I flew from Paris to Newark on La Compagnie, the new French all business class airline operating exclusively in that market.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-01
La Compagnie 757 at Paris Charles de Gaulle

I don’t even know where to start.

The first challenge was finding their check-in. I took the TGV train from Brussels, and upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle tried to figure out which terminal La Compagnie departs from. I went to the information desk:

“Excuse me, from which terminal does La Compagnie fly?”
“Sir, which compagnie?”
La Compagnie, they are the new airline flying to Newark.”
“Which compagnie are you flying to New York?”
La Compagnie, that’s the name of the airline. La Compagnie. They’re brand new. They only fly Paris to Newark.”
“Yes, but which compagnie do you fly with?”

F*&$!

Eventually I figured out La Compagnie flies out of Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1, though once there couldn’t find out in which part of the terminal the La Compagnie check-in desks were, since they hadn’t yet set up for the day’s flight (which made me wonder whether they were actually operating or not).

After about 15 minutes the La Compagnie monitors lit up and a queue formed. I was second in line, and waited and waited and waited. The person in front of me took at least 30 minutes. There was a guy in a suit – actually several people in suits – working for the airline standing around. So I figured I’d ask him what’s going on:

“Excuse me, what’s taking so long? I don’t have any checked bags, is there another way I can get my boarding pass?”
“Oh, check-in just opened two minutes ago.”
“Really? There are so many of us waiting in line and the check-in agents have been there all along, but you couldn’t tell us that check-in isn’t even open yet?”
“Well I thought you would know check-in opens 2hr20min before departure.”
“How would I know that?”
“Is it not on our website?”
“No, actually you have very little information on your website.”
“Well the reason we open check in so late is since we have business travelers and they can check in up until 20 minutes before departure.”
“So you’re saying I can show up at Charles de Gaulle 20 minutes before departure and make the flight? Maybe it’s time to reconsider that so your passengers don’t show up more than 2hr20min before departure, since there are already a lot of people here waiting.”

I wasn’t trying to be a d*&$, but rather was kind of amazed at how unapologetic he was at my frustration for the lack of communication. Would it have killed him to go around to people, smile, thank them for flying La Compagnie, and explain when check-in would open?

What I really wanted to point out to him was that I was just about the only person in line not wearing Juicy Couture, so he should probably rethink the whole “business travelers want _____” approach.

Anyway, I’ll cover the other pre-flight fun with the actual trip report, including the 75 minute delay which wasn’t communicated or explained, but lets talk about the flight briefly:

La Compagnie Business Class Seat 757

La Compagnie’s 757 is in a single cabin configuration with 74 business class seats. They’re in a 2-2 configuration, and interestingly there are no bulkheads between cabins, so there’s one long cabin. It looks kind of cool.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-02
La Compagnie business class cabin

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-03
La Compagnie business class cabin

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-04
La Compagnie business class seat

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-05
La Compagnie business class seat

The seats themselves look “fresh” and have nice colors, though are angled. And let me clarify what I mean when I say angled – they’re not angled flat, but rather are angled in three directions, meaning the footrest, area your butt is on, and back support, all angle in different directions.

When I posted a picture on Instagram of the seat last night, someone responded (among other things) “well it’s not that bad if you sleep in the fetus position.” Which I think kind of sums it up…

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-07
La Compagnie business class angled seat

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-08
La Compagnie business class angled seat

How a brand new all business class airline could think it makes sense to not install fully flat, or even angled flat seats, is beyond me.

But that’s not even the worst part.

The worst part is that there’s no privacy partition between seats. So if you happen to be sitting next to a stranger, expect to have absolutely zero privacy when sleeping.

La Compagnie Business Class Food

To be honest the food was marginally better than economy class food.

There were no menus.

The first service – dinner – was described over the PA as “high dinner.” At first I was confused, but then it made sense – the only way you could enjoy it is if high (I kid, I kid)…

The starter consisted of a small salmon dish, though cheese and the dessert were served with it as well.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-14
La Compagnie business class food

Then the main course was served separately, which was a choice between shrimp and beef. The shrimp dish was described as “Creole and spicy.”

It was more bland than a palate cleansing sorbet.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-15
La Compagnie business class food

Pre-arrival there was a plate with some soggy cold cuts and dessert.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-18

Don’t get me wrong, it was edible, but certainly not competitive business class food, in my opinion.

La Compagnie Business Class Service

The thing that was initially more ridiculous about La Compagnie than anything else (and trust me, there’s a lot of competition for that title!) is that they at first advertised that they’d have three flight attendants. There’s no way you can serve 74 business class passengers with just three flight attendants.

It seems they rethought that, and instead had six flight attendants. Coincidentally, I think the entire airline has a total of six flight attendants, which might explain the once weekly service we’ve seen so far (they also worked the inaugural last week).

The four women were pretty and smiled, but that’s about all I can say.

A couple of amusing (at least to me) anecdotes:

After takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, so I got up to retrieve something from the overhead bin.

“Sir, you must be seated for your safety.”
“But the seatbelt sign is off.”
“The seatbelt sign is for us.”
“Okay… so how am I supposed to know when I can get up?”
“We will tell you.”

Go figure she returned a minute later apologizing and inviting me to get up.

Shortly thereafter I asked the purser if my coat could please be hung (it wasn’t offered before departure, which I found odd). He really didn’t speak much English at all, and looked at me confused.

“Is there anywhere I can hang my coat?”
“I don’t understand, you want a coat?”
“No, I have a coat and want to hang it, please, so it doesn’t get wrinkles.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I have a jacket and would like it to be hung in a closet, please.”
“We don’t have that.”
“You don’t have a closet where I can hang a coat?”
“Of course not.”

Of course not? Hell, I get my jacket hung on domestic US flights, and you’d think that’s an absolute given in business class, no?

Something else that was interesting is that while glassware was used during the meal service, between meals all drinks were served in plastic cups. Seriously?!

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-16

La Compagnie Business Class Amenities

I mean, you get a portable Samsung Galaxy Tablet since the plane doesn’t have built in entertainment.

It has all of one TV show on it (Person Of Interest), a handful of movies, and not any music anyone would actually want to listen to (ie Justin Bieber before he started getting all thug on us, One Direction, Taylor Swift, etc.).

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-13
La Compagnie business class entertainment

While it doesn’t look pretty, it is fairly well designed. The tablet “slides” into the back of the seat in front of you, and then there are cords for keeping it powered up.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-17
La Compagnie business class entertainment

There were also amenity kits, which I’m pretty sure were made out of the same material as trash bags.

No, really.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-757-10
La Compagnie business class amenity kit

LA COMPAGNIE IS AN AMAZING VALUE

I’m putting this in all caps for a reason — because I guarantee I’ll get a bunch of angry comments saying “Lucky, you paid 500EUR how dare you complain!”

And that would be absolutely right. What an incredible bargain – it’s possibly the best value I’ve ever gotten on a paid, non-mistake fare ticket. If you think of it as paying economy prices for a sub-par business class product, you’ll be thrilled.

Right now they’re selling two business class roundtrip tickets out of the US for $2,012.

The “real” taxes and fees for a roundtrip ticket between Newark and Paris are $189, so that’s literally a cost of $817 per person roundtrip, or $408.50 one-way.

Assuming every seat is sold on that plane, that’s ~$30,000 of revenue. You could charter a Gulfstream for two hours for that amount… maybe.

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-Prices

And that’s why I’m trying to be objective and review this as a business class product, rather than economy with a “free” upgrade to business class.

The only way La Compagnie can make the airline work is if they can actually sell tickets at competitive business class prices.

And the thought of them ever charging business class prices for this product is borderline laughable. For example, I’d say it’s closer to being on par with OpenSkies’ PremPlus than it is with their Biz Bed product. And that’s already hands down one of the best values for transatlantic travel.

La Compagnie Business Class Bottom Line

Anyway, happy to have flown them, because who knows when they’ll fly next? With their delayed inaugural and “we’ll fly when we want” mentality (this was only their second ever flight), I’m kind of surprised they’re not a Qatar Airways subsidiary.

I just hope the people that came to work for them didn’t quit their day jobs…

The most surprising part was that the flight was two thirds full. And I guess not surprising is that I was the only person traveling alone — everyone else seemed to be a couple, which somewhat makes sense given the deals they have for two passengers traveling together.

I still have no clue how people could even book the flight, given that they publish their schedule roughly six hours before departure. Or maybe they were mostly employees, and this was simply a company outing…

So if you’re looking to travel transatlantic from New York, I’d absolutely recommend booking La Compagnie at the current prices… but not too far in advance, since I have my doubts of them being around beyond the end of the year.

La Compagnie is an amazing value at current prices, though there’s no way in hell they’ll ever get away with charging “real” business class prices.

Fair enough?

Update: Check out my full review of the La Compagnie Business Class 757 Paris To Newark service, along with my interview with Peter Luethi, La Compagnie’s Co-Founder and Deputy CEO.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. I enjoy reading your reviews 🙂

    1. I would have already been irritated by what you experienced at check in, he would have gotten a nice ‘one’ from me right there and then… by ‘one’ I mean I would have made him feel like a schoolboy..

    2…if i was told ‘of course not’ I would respond by asking him if he previously worked on a crap bus or easyjet… because if he didn’t know, real airlines do have places to hang jackets… and now you may excuse yourself.

  2. I honestly started laughing out loud with the conversations that you had with them. This sounds to me like the best “economy comfort” product in the world. But its certainly not a competitive business class.

  3. Honestly, think I’d rather pay for coach and fly w/ a reputable airline, thereby earning miles. This airline looks like a joke….

  4. I have to say, this is one of my favourite posts. I only hope the full trip report is as amusing. Some notes:

    1. Apparently all Juicy Couture stores in the US are closing, so there is a God.

    2. “It was more bland than a palate cleansing sorbet.” I actually LOL’d IRL at this one. Such a catty bitch! I love it.

    3. I love the plastic covers left on the food. Classy.

    4. Your taste in music is horrible. You realize Justin Bieber is an experimental biological warfare agent that escaped from a top-secret lab in Stratford, Ontario? That’s why we won’t let him back into Canada.

  5. Mind boggling. I second that, I’d rather fly coach as well and earn the miles. Sounds like a complete headache trying to decipher all of that.

    Entertaining review nonetheless!

  6. The conversations you had are freaking hilarious. It sounds like you were in a Monty Python sketch about a French airline. I can hear John Cleese saying everything you report, all in a fake French accent.

  7. Hilarious. La Compagnie should reflect on what Ravel said about his most famous orchestral work (“Bolero”). He said, “It is the best thing I have ever written. Alas, it is not music.”

    Alas, it is not business class.

  8. So how was the seat to actually sleep in? I sleep on my coach in couch in very similar position regularly.

  9. I have some friends that want to go to Europe in November that this might actually be a good fit for them. They are just getting started on the FF miles and need a flight in which they can not be in coach as she will be 7 months pregnant then. And, flying out of Newark is close to their family, so that works too.

    However, what makes me the most curious is Ben stalked this airline like a 16 year old chasing her crush and still barely found out about the flight in time. How in the hell was the flight 2/3rds full? Was everyone else French and the airline advertised it locally only?

  10. It sounds like a very good option at the current price. For someone who would otherwise be flying coach, this is a way more comfortable seat, with everything else just about the same as coach. So yeah, I’d pay a premium for this over coach, but certainly not a typical business class price… although my finances are such that I’d never be able to afford a typical paid business class ticket anyway, so it’s a moot point.

    Honestly, we coach passengers are used to poor customer service, long lines, wrinkly jackets, plastic cups, and crappy IFE or occasionally no IFE at all. When everyone’s a premium class passenger, no one gets treated like one, and this isn’t surprising.

    Assuming you’re right that they eventually bring their fares in line with normal business class fares, yeah, the value proposition will plummet. But for now, it’s intriguing.

  11. As you mentioned it really depends on who/what they are competing against. True business class or coach. With all of the issues you mentioned, I think many people would choose to fly them vs. flying in coach at a traditional airline, even if the price was slightly higher than coach.

    The real question is what do they have to charge to make the run profitable? I know you wouldn’t know the specifics Ben, but what would your guess be here?

  12. @ Ken — That’s a great question. Maybe someone with some insight in airline operations could give a ballpark estimate? Totally pulling this out of my rear with no explanation, but I’d guess they’d need to make AT LEAST $80K per night to break even. And that’s on the WAY low side.

    Can anyone chime in?

  13. @ Mike — Ouch. So we’re talking $110,000 just for the variable costs per hour, and that’s only one component of their costs. So divided by 74 seats, that’s $1,500 per seat per direction, assuming a 100% load factor and not including taxes, and not accounting for any of their variable costs.

  14. The 757 consumes about 3 gallons per nautrical mile. At 3000 miles for CDG-NYC that comes down to $25000 for fuel (at todays price of $2,80 per gallon).

    Which means that at full load $330 per pax, or about half of the ticket price, was spent on fuel.

    I’m not sure about crew costs, airport fees and so on. But i’d say that if they use the Ryanair model (25% of the tickets at lowest fare, 50% at double the lowest fare, and 25% and 3 times the lowest fare) they could well operate without operational loss..

  15. I flew L’Avion many times, so I’m not surprised by this report.

    I start from the proposition that I am 6’3″, over 50, and do not travel for business but only for lesiure.
    I therefore get no staus with any airline. Points come from credit card spend mostly.

    Premium leisure travel is an important market, and based on this review, that is really where this airline is headed.

    I would also not be surprised if the owners are starting this company up with an eye towards selling it in the future, as the did with L’Avion. Anyone care to guess how much they made on the sale?

    I view this as paying up for a better than coach seat with coach level service everywhere else.

    M

  16. lucky,

    I did notice that you could have saved yourself some time in finding check-in at the airport…

    You wrote “The first challenge was finding their check-in. I took the TGV train from Brussels, and upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle tried to figure out which terminal La Compagnie departs from.”

    However, their website does state “Follow signs for “Terminal 1” as soon as you arrive at the airport.”

    The rest of your post was very entertaining, informative and done very tongue-in-cheek. Liked it a lot, but would never fly them…I need more dependability in an airline carrier.

  17. better than united on the same route? Would be great if you could compare them, head to head.

  18. Maybe business is the wrong term, they should label themselves a premium economy airline. a lot of companies, like mine, no longer pay for business class tickets.

    I think that they’ve got a great chance of stealing business from the major airlines.

    I wish them luck

  19. I am a frequent Business Class traveler. This “THING” cannot be called Business Class, there is nothing else to say. It won’t last long !!!

  20. You should fear for your life thinking about the FAs quality of training. No price is worth that sacrifice of safety.

  21. I laughed from the start to the end of reading your post. My wife came to ask WTH are you reading? Maybe the best way to “enjoy” this flight is to board, take a sleeping pill which effect that starts as soon as you take and ends when the wheels touch the ground in EWR.

  22. im flying them in 2 weeks. am totally not surprised of your amuzing report (ive flown EOS, MAXjet, SILVERjet on the same route in the past…and so far EOS were the most Biz/First compatable…however the most expensive too with fares starting at $1000 each way at the biginning, and within 6 months equaling BA,VS,AF and the likes at $3500 each way…so people…at this price it really is a steal…that’s less than Premium economy, and totally equalling economy class pricewise…never mind the service….the flat bed seat will do the trick to shut me up of any potential complaints) really.

  23. @Gary Leff: OMG YES! I’m so tired of seeing Lufthansa and Cathay First. Let’s challenge him to find the WORST product across the Atlantic!

  24. Lucky, thanks for the review.
    Whats their IATA Airline code, and is their ticket stock/plate number?

  25. I’d be interested to hear a review of Condor’s “new” business class, not much info out there.

  26. @ John DELTA — Right, in this case was literally running to train station the second I booked my ticket, so don’t at all blame them for that part of it. Just figured I’d share the funny anecdote regarding trying to find their terminal.

  27. Thanks for a fun and informative post. One of the most telling photos was the one of the passenger with bent knees and his foot up against the seat in front of him. It just doesn’t look roomy or comfortable. I might do it, but only as a last-minute purchase, although I do worry about the FA safety training if this is how they operate.

  28. Haha … Just shows you can still catch folks out with an April fools in July 🙂

    It’s Maxjet… Isn’t it? Non….?

  29. lucky,

    One thing that you did not really cover (although you mentioned that they increased to six flight attendants) is how was the personal service? Did you feel that their service flow was adequate, deficient or above average? I mean, did you feel that you were waiting for an attendant or any food/beverage needs, or were they going at a good clip?

    I abhor pressing the “Call Attendant” when I need something, and rather enjoy when they are truly “on top” of their service and check in (or are available) frequently.

    Just wondering

  30. @ John DELTA — Service was sub par. Meal service took several hours, and didn’t feel like there was enough refills. Between meals I had to push the call button if I wanted anything.

  31. @lucky, found their info.
    Its B0-002 DREAMJET SAS

    @ Chff — Was 022 ticket stock, I believe. Not even sure about their IATA code.

  32. Great write up, I’m looking forward to the full trip report.

    Would it be easy to run your own smuggling operation if you had your own airline? One suitcase of drugs should pay for a the flight. Any passengers are just gravy.

  33. Second @bubba about comparing to United and all the rest across the Atlantic! seems like it’s been ages since you’ve reviewed a flight with UA.

    Have you reviewed BF in the 787 on UA yet? Should I fly UA BF in the 787 or BA CW on the 747 from LON-IAH this September? Miles and status agnostic for the trip but needs to be nonstop.

  34. Maybe Etihad will invest in them, given their penchant for investing in failing European carriers…

  35. I love that they serve you food with the plastic cover AND the expiry date sticker. You don’t get much classier than that!

    Very entertaining post!

  36. How un Lucky! I always wonder why people in first/biz class get so excited about amenity bags. I can buy my own upscale crap any time I want. Why would a rich person (one actually paying, not a blogger or points flyer) even want their token?

  37. Have you read “A Year in Provence” Or “A Year in the Merde” You should and you will be surprised at how typical your experience is!!!! We just returned from Paris (yes the Vendome) and experienced this at it’s best… From the Eiffel Tower at 11pm (with two tired kids) we asked the attendants where the nearest metro was. We walked for what seemed to be 15 minutes to find that the station was closed (no signs or announcements telling us this before we descend to the train) and ask the ticket booth attendant where the next station is. He sent us 2 blocks away… To a station on te same line that was also CLOSED!!!! And there were about 5 consecutive stops on that line that were closed but nobody could tell us that? We took a taxi.

  38. I really am enjoyed reading this review – funny and straight forward.

    I wish LC offers flight from SF to Paris.

  39. Those amenity kit bag made from the same materials they used to make rice sack, in my home country, big rice sack cost 50 Cents, with that size, it would only cost them 5 cents to make, pathetic….

  40. I could be wrong but sense that you (and many people commenting) have not spent much time in France before as the complaints are often cross-cultural expressions of failed expectations (i.e. trying to drag tired kids to the Metro around midnight which closes early compared to other transit systems) . Nor I suspect have many worked or functioned in a start-up business of any kind as then one knows there will always be kinks to work out and that takes time.
    Although your seemingly zero French skills, good sense of humor and knack for exaggeration are very amusing in a “who’s on first?” sort of way: any review that says “To be honest the food was marginally better than economy class food” when there is what looks like fresh salmon and brie in the photo, makes me take it with a huge grain of salt. After decades of flying transatlantic in all classes on US/UK airlines (all the way back to PanAm and Laker Airways/Skytrain), that comparison is utterly absurd as one is lucky to get a single edible meal, never mind a healthy appetizer and a cheese course in economy on any other airline (AF, LH and TK being exceptions).
    I was a big fan of L’Avion (and still fly OpenSkies monthly) even tho they too went through their growing pains. I shall be trying out the La Compagnie product this weekend to see if they have corrected any of the issues you experienced, and will try to report back here with an unbiased view of that flight.

  41. Thank you very much for your report.

    I am very interested in flying with this airline simply because of the price/space ratio. This is the angle your report missed entirely. Instead of criticizing the present state of “cattle class” on all other airlines, you saw fit to directly compare this product with other airlines charging 4x-5x more. Why? These people seem to simply want to get people from point A to point B with a modicum of decency. Passengers are fighting about leaning your seat back etc. in cattle class on United.

    Hopefully they will “polish up” some of the other aspects mentioned in this report. Regardless, I think they are offering a great alternative for those of us who aren’t millionaires but still would like to be treated like people instead of cattle.

  42. Although amusing, this review is excessive. If this was one of the first flights, it is fair to understand that service issues have to be resolved. Also, I know that major airlines are currently spending a fortune on the business class setting, but let’s not forget the dozens of other carriers still using some older style seats on flights less than 6 hours, yet charging full business class fares.

    This is Internet, it is important to consider potential damages to the airline prior to publishing. And no, i have nothing to do with this airline if you are wondering.

  43. i hope we like this airline! we booked it before we read this but in all honesty, we’re gettng a ton for our money and unless you fly private, what more can one ask for? we literally saved thousands and at the very least have tons more leg room than coach. so we’re good.

  44. You never elaborated on the cause of the 75 minute delay. This is one of my biggest concerns with small independent operators. Clout is everything at airports like JFK and CDG. I’ve experienced large delays with Sun Country out of JFK. Once they couldn’t even get a gate and we had to bus out to the tarmac in subfreezing weather. I expect La Compagnie is probably at the bottom on the list for taxi clearance favors as well. You probably watched 15 United flights pass you on a taxi intersection.

    Safety Issues: You are flying on a 14 year-old ex-Iberia 757, passed along to Atlasjet, Saudi Arabian, Icelandair, and Titan Airways before reaching you. That’s fairly young for a 757, but everything depends on how diligently it has been maintained. La Compagnie was originally named Dream Air. AFAIK they have only one aircraft (with possibly another on order). This also gives me pause because if a mechanical issue arises, I doubt they can just bring in another all-business class replacement on loan. When a mechanical issue arises (and they frequently do on any carrier) there are two possibilities: MEL or NO-GO. MEL is a Mechanical Equipment List option whereby the plane can still be flown overseas with the mechanical issue listed for later maintenance if the FAA allows that it is not critical to the safety of the flight. Beyond that it is up to the operator. On an overseas flight some may be more cautious than others. My concern is that an operator with one aircraft is going to go to the limits of the MEL allowances. Some MEL allowances can reduce redundancies and restrict flight procedures and use of autoflight in certain phases. Even if this doesn’t compromise safety, it might make for inconveniences if it involves things that effect passenger comfort (like an out-of-service restroom). Pilot training is the most important concern for safety however. Large operators like Delta have a strong safety culture (although AirFrance had a very weak one until recently) but small operators may be inconsistent, relying on contract pilots, perhaps from less reputable carriers and training programs. I highly doubt La Compagnie has their own pilot recurrent training programs but one hopes they are screening their pilots carefully, performing check-rides and requiring them to keep current on training from a reputable source such as Lufthansa. (I’m still uneasy about the culture at Air France). The problem is there are a lot of substandard private training programs out there producing under-trained pilots. When you fly with major carriers, you don’t have to worry about that.

    Flight Time: The 757/767’s cruise a bit slower than the 747/777/A330’s. It might add 30 minutes to the flight time. But time is relative and a 7.5 hour flight in business class can certainly feel shorter than a 7 hour flight in coach…

    One last thing: What is it about travelers and privacy these days? I actually hate these divided plastic booth monstrosities that have replaced the old comfortable seats in business class. I think a flight is a social experience that you share with others, and I’ve met a number of interesting people on flights. I wish we could go back to the days of those spacious, stylish 1970s cabins. The interior of the La Compagnie jet looks like a hospital ward to me. At least they didn’t go with the dividers. Yet.

  45. I flew SAS old Business Class from Copenhagen to Tokyo and back over Christmas and New Year’s. SAS have the same seats as La Compagnie, and yes they are 170-degrees angled. In all fair honesty I found the seats very comfortable for lounging, and I managed a 3 hour nap on the outbound flight.

    My motto has always been that a Business Class seat is a million times more comfortable than coach, which was also the case with SAS. I am more than happy to sit in an old angled seat than in a cramped coach seat, and surely for the prices La Compagnie are charging I really don’t think it’s justified to complain considering what you get for your money.

    Do I prefer a fully-flat seat? Of course, but an angled seat works as fine for me.

  46. Your article is extremely snobbish. I think its safe to say they charge a low fare to entice the “economy” market into trying something new. By no means are they “competing” to win over other airlines business class ticket holders. If I can afford a $3,000 ticket on American, there is no reason why I would even think to switch to a new, boutique airline with few reviews, to save $1,500 — especially when a majority of those who fly business/first on major international carriers have flyer mile programs and would not even consider switching, regardless of price. You wrote this article as if this airline is supposed to WOW you as if you’re on an Emirates A380. Get real. This is to lean individuals who purchase economy tickets into an airline that offers more comfort and “luxury” than that of an international carrier with an 18inch seat width and over 250 people onboard. I don’t know about you, but I will take a “crooked” lie-flat seat over a 4inch recline any day.

    Stop being a snob when you write — total turn off to those who view this as an awesome opportunity to try something new that was at one time unaffordable for most. Write your articles from the consumer stance, not bias’d opinions on your snobbish travel experiences.

  47. I flew last week on the New York – London (or Newark – Luton, if you must). I thought it was wonderful. For less than $2000, it was far better than Premium Economy on Virgin, BA, Delta or others. No, it is not Virgin Upper Class, but it’s 1/3 the price.

    All of the early growing pains you mentioned are in the past. Check in at Luton and Newark couldn’t have been easier and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. The lounges, admittedly, need work.

    On board you get a decent meal with an almost flat bed on a plane that has plenty of room to move and walk around. Unlike flying a major, you don’t have to wait around forever while a million people make their way to the back of the plane. Same at luggage claim; it’s not a mass of humanity.

    I thought it was wonderful. I definitely plan to fly them again. I think it’s far better cost performance than other carriers.

  48. Norwegian Airlines did better but they have jacked up their business class fares. As someone who lived in Paris and speaks French, I can tell you one has to look down one’s nose at them before they do it to you. Establishing the relationship immediately is critical. I suggest as an opener, “Mais vous etes des imbeciles”. That will definitely get their attention.

    As an aside, we travel from the west coast so any airline that gets me to Europe with leg room makes my day. New Yorkers get it easy if you can avoid JFK. To heck with the food. I can bring my own. I took Lufthansa and my knees were compressed by the seat in front of me, then as soon as the wheels were up, the unspeakable Sigfried in front of me put his chair back down for 11 hours. I was looking for a masseur on arrival. I will never go near that airline again. You can keep Air New Zealand as well. You feel like a Kiwi after 12 hours in economy. Both United and Air Canada treat their economy passengers better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *