Review: La Compagnie Business Class 757 Paris To Newark

Introduction
British Airways Concorde Room New York JFK
British Airways First Class 747 New York To London
British Airways Concorde Room London Heathrow
British Airways Club Europe A319 London to Brussels
Sheraton Brussels Airport
Brussels Airlines Business Class A330 Brussels To Frankfurt
Brussels Airlines Tomorrowland Flight Frankfurt Gate Party
Brussels Airlines Tomorrowland Flight Frankfurt To Brussels
TGV Train Brussels To Paris
ICARE Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle
La Compagnie Business Class 757 Paris To Newark
Andaz Wall Street New York


La Compagnie 100
Paris (CDG) – Newark (EWR)
Friday, July 25
Depart: 5:50PM
Arrive: 8:30PM
Duration: 8hr40min
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200
Seat: 12A (Business Class)

Boarding was through door 1L, and the first thing I noticed about the La Compagnie cabin was that there were no partitions or bulkheads between any of the seats. It was one, long cabin. On one hand that was kind of cool, since it made the cabin feel spacious. At the same time it makes you feel like you have less privacy.

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La Compagnie 757 cabin

The crew was positioned throughout the cabin to greet passengers, and I walked down the aisle to my seat, 12A, which was a bit more than halfway back in the cabin.

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La Compagnie 757 cabin

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La Compagnie business class cabin

The seats themselves were stylish — I liked the contrast between the light blue and gray. At the same time they didn’t look very comfortable, given that they’re angled.

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La Compagnie business class seats, 12A & 12C

The seatbacks look sort of ghetto. The La Compagnie plane doesn’t have built-in IFE but instead the crew distributes Samsung Galaxy Tablets after takeoff.

So it’s nice that they have a “cutout” in which you can place your tablet, but at the same time the fact that there are wires hanging out kind of made it look like a robbed car stereo.

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La Compagnie business class seats, 12A & 12C

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablet wires

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La Compagnie business class, seat 12C

There was also bottled water in the console between the seats in front of me.

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La Compagnie business class bottled water

Waiting at each seat was a pillow and blanket. The blanket felt cheap, and the pillow was fine. Fortunately the cabin wasn’t full, so I was able to build a pillow fortress of sorts.

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La Compagnie business class pillow and blanket

The seat controls were on the center console, and were intuitive enough. I can’t really sleep in angled seats, so I usually stay pretty close to the upright position in these types of seats.

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La Compagnie business class seat controls

I was pleased to see that La Compagnie had both 110V and USB power plugs. Since they were too cheap to install actual personal televisions, I was worried they cut corners when it comes to installing power ports as well — fortunately that wasn’t the case.

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La Compagnie business class seat power ports

One really awesome thing was that the plane had air vents. That’s something that’s far too rare.

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La Compagnie air vents!!!

I briefly walked around the cabin as other passengers were settling in to get a sense of the best seats. All of the seats seemed to be more or less equal, though there was an exit row at row six. I’d generally shy away from it, because:

  • You’re seated across from the flight attendant on the jumpseat, which is awkward
  • I’m not exactly sure where your Samsung Galaxy Tablet goes (I’m sure they have a solution, but I’m not sure what it is)
  • When you have an international business class seat where the person in front of you isn’t reclining into you, I don’t really see the benefit of having more legroom, as it just makes you feel “exposed”

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La Compagnie exit row seats

Row 10 also had overwing exits, and I got the sense that those seats had a bit more legroom.

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La Compagnie exit row seats

I was perfectly happy in row 12, which was towards the back of the wing. Next time I might sit a bit further back, since I do love having a view overlooking the wing from behind. That’s the biggest benefit of all business class planes, in my opinion — I don’t remember the last time I’ve sat behind the wing otherwise. 😀

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La Compagnie wing

During boarding I headed to the lavatory to change into something more comfortable. There were two lavatories located in the rear of the cabin, and they were pretty standard.

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La Compagnie rear lavatory

Within about 20 minutes boarding was finished. Amazingly enough, the cabin was two thirds full (I say “amazingly enough” because booking a seat on La Compagnie was more challenging than taking advantage of a Hyatt Daily Getaways promotion!).

I’m pretty sure I was the only person traveling alone — everyone else was traveling in couples, which I guess makes sense given the amazing sale they have. I was also just about the only passenger not wearing Juicy Couture, in case that tells you anything about their loyal customer base thus far…

I was a bit surprised that:

  • There were no pre-departure drinks
  • There was no offer to hang coats (more on that later)

They also had boarding music, which was a trashy version of “Set Fire To The Rain.” Lemme say, making Adele sound trashy is a feat, cause that girl has more class than a school.

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La Compagnie cabin view from my seat

As we began our pushback, sealed amenity kits were distributed.

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La Compagnie business class amenity kit

Now look, I’m not expecting some super awesome amenity kit, but this was quite possibly the trashiest amenity I’ve ever received. The actual material the kit was made out of felt kind of like a garbage bag. It “crumpled up” quite easily, as shown below.

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La Compagnie business class amenity kit

And then the contents were crap as well. It never ceases to amaze me when there isn’t a toothbrush and toothpaste in an amenity kit.

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La Compagnie business class amenity kit contents

As we pushed back the purser informed us that our flight time would be 7hr55min, and that our adjusted arrival time was 9:45PM.

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Charles de Gaulle tower

As we taxied out the manual safety demonstration began. There were six La Compagnie flight attendants on this sector, though I was a bit surprised that only two stood in the aisle to do the manual safety demonstration, while the others stood in the galley chatting.

We taxied to Runway 9R, which took us past quite a bit of interesting traffic, including a few Lufthansa aircraft, a TAM 777, an ANA 777, etc.

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TAM 777-300ER Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Lufthansa Charles de Gaulle Airport

When we approached the runway the captain came on the PA to announce that takeoff would be in two minutes.

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Taxiing to runway Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Sure enough, at 7:20PM we were cleared for takeoff on Runway 9R, and airborne after a fairly quick takeoff roll.

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Taxiing to runway Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Taking off Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Climbing out after departure

About 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, so I stood up to retrieve something out of the overhead bin. I was quickly approached by a flight attendant:

“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.”

A minute later she returned to apologize and say that she was confused.

As I continued to get situated the purser walked by, and I asked him if he could please hang my coat. I was surprised it wasn’t offered before takeoff, after all. 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?

I was impressed by how quickly the crew began the service. Within 20 minutes they began distributing the Samsung Galaxy Tablets. They were helpful with setting them up, and offered to explain how they work.

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablets

The entertainment selection on the tablet absolutely sucked. It had a handful of movies and one TV show on it. La Compagnie falsely advertises on their website that they have wifi, though they don’t plan on installing it until October. Once they have wifi they’ll apparently have more on the tablets, like some sort of flight information and menus (which they don’t otherwise have).

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablets

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablets

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablets

I ended up watching Blue Jasmine, which wasn’t entirely horrible.

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La Compagnie Samsung Galaxy tablets

They do give you headphones with the tablet, which are also crap. Fortunately I had my Bose headphones with me.

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La Compagnie headphones

About 30 minutes after takeoff another flight attendant came by with hot towels.

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La Compagnie hot towels

While I was impressed by the initial speed of the service, this is where it got interesting. It’s worth mentioning that my flight had six flight attendants, while long term they plan on only having three per flight.

While tablets and hot towels were distributed within 30 minutes of takeoff, it was another 30 minutes before the drink service began. With the way the carts are set up, they basically begin all service at three points in the cabin. Service starts at rows one, seven, and fourteen. Being in row twelve, I was towards the back of the service area for the center flight attendant.

To drink I had a glass of champagne, which was Piper Heidsieck — very nice! I also had a Diet Coke. Along with the drinks I was offered a rather unique “snacks of the world” mix.

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La Compagnie Piper Heidsieck Champagne

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La Compagnie drinks and snack mix

Then for another 30 minutes I didn’t see a flight attendant, at which point a flight attendant came around with a tray and said “can I take your glasses?”

Okay, this is what really puzzles me. I have two empty glasses sitting in front of me. Sure, you can take them if you really want to, but what I’d really like is another drink. After all, at this point I’ve been sitting on the plane for close to two hours, and there was nothing to drink on the ground. So it’s puzzling to me, not just in terms of the customer service aspect, but also in terms of minimizing the amount of glassware that has to be used.

A few minutes after that — about 1hr45min into the flight — the appetizer was served. There were no menus, though it seemed to be salmon with some blinis. On the same tray were the dessert and cheese, which still had plastic covers over them.

Not a very classy presentation in my opinion, both in terms of the plastic covers and in terms of serving dessert with the appetizer.

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La Compagnie business class appetizer, cheese, and dessert

Fortunately the salmon was pretty good, at least.

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La Compagnie business class appetizer

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La Compagnie business class cheese

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La Compagnie business class dessert

Then it was another 40 minutes before the cart with the main courses was rolled around. For the main course I had the choice between “shrimp and beef.” I asked for a description of the shrimp, and it was described to me as “Creole and spicy.” I love shrimp and I love spicy, so bring it on!

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La Compagnie business class main course

Unfortunately it was anything but spicy, and consisted 90% of rice and snap peas.

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La Compagnie business class main course

Yet another 40 minutes later the crew came around with coffee and liqueurs. La Compagnie’s website advertises how they have espresso. And technically they do. But when I asked for an espresso after dinner, I was told that they were only serving coffee at the time, and if I wanted espresso it would have to be after the service was done. Oy…

So I had coffee for the time being.

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La Compagnie business class coffee

And then 30 minutes later ordered an espresso.

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La Compagnie business class espresso

It sure felt like we were approaching Canada by the time the meal service was done.

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La Compagnie wing view midflight

After dinner I decided to recline the seat and see how comfortable it was.

It wasn’t.

The La Compagnie seat wasn’t angled flat, but rather angled in three different directions. Within a minute of reclining I put it back in the upright position.

The other puzzling part is that there was no privacy between seats at all. Not even one of those plastic partitions you could lower between seats. So it would be really awkward trying to sleep next to a stranger on this plane.

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La Compagnie business class seat reclined

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La Compagnie business class seat reclined

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La Compagnie cabin view

For the next couple of hours I tried to get some work done on my laptop. After a while I was thirsty, so went to the galley to ask for a Diet Coke. Interestingly it was served in a cup. There was also a snack basket with some chocolate bars and pretzels, so I took some pretzels.

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La Compagnie snack

I realize I haven’t talked a lot about the crew, so might as well at this point. Aside from the purser (who I found to be arrogant), the crew was generally friendly while they were serving me.

That being said, between meals I was a bit disappointed they weren’t more proactive. A flight attendant must have walked down the aisle every five minutes between the forward and rear galley, though they did it with such haste and purpose that it was as if they were trying to avoid anyone making a request. When I did push the call button they were prompt, though.

They also have really snazzy uniforms, for what it’s worth.

About two hours before arrival the service began. I was a bit surprised the crew turned on the lights to the highest possible setting before the service began. Maybe it’s just me, but on a longhaul flight I don’t ever like having the lights turned all the way up, regardless of whether there’s a meal being served or not. At least use the intermediate setting, in my opinion.

Service began once again with hot towels.

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La Compagnie hot towel

The pre-arrival meal service consisted of a cold plate and a dessert consisting of a few mini-pastries.

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La Compagnie pre-landing snack

The meat was soggy and just not very good.

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La Compagnie pre-landing snack

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La Compagnie pre-landing snack dessert

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Sunset over the Atlantic

At around 8:50PM ET we began our descent into Newark. We had amazing skyline views on the descent.

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Approach into Newark

We touched down on Runway 22L at 9:20PM, and had about a five minute taxi to our arrival gate.

I’ve shared my thoughts on La Compagnie in great detail, so let me just summarize by saying:

This flight was an AMAZING value

I paid 500EUR for my flight, which was cheaper than any economy ticket. So was this better than economy?

OF COURSE — in terms of what I paid it was a great value. But would I ever pay anywhere close to a business class fare for this product? No way!

Constructive feedback for La Compagnie service standards

I’ve poked enough fun at them, and at the end of the day I don’t see how their business model will work.

For example, I realize when they’re crunching numbers having 74 seats sounds good, but if you’re only expecting to have at most load factors of 75-80% (which is very optimistic), wouldn’t it make more sense to have fully flat beds so you can maximize your yields?

This is something they can’t easily change at this point. They’re committed to what they’ve done, and they’ll have to live with it. But in terms of minor things which won’t make or break the airline but would still make a difference in terms of service, here’s what I’d recommend:

  • Offer pre-departure beverages and offer to hang coats immediately. Neither Newark nor Charles de Gaulle are pleasant airports, and many people skip the lounges altogether. Having a drink upon boarding is nice after a stressful airport experience.
  • Flight attendants need to do a better job anticipating needs. After having been on a plane for two hours, I don’t want to be asked whether my glass can be taken, but rather would like to be asked if I would like another drink. It seems like common sense.
  • Never turn the cabin lights all the way up, except for during boarding and deplaning.
  • Between meals, have the flight attendants be more anticipatory. When they walk through the cabin, make eye contact with passengers to see if they might want anything.
  • Either dump the amenity kit or put something decent in it. An amenity kit without a toothbrush and toothpaste is just silly.
  • Don’t use plastic cups. It’s tacky.
  • The above are all easy fixed, so here’s one that’s maybe a bit tougher. Offering a decent business class service with three flight attendants simply won’t work. No way, no how. There’s no way it should take three hours to serve what essentially amounts to a two course meal, and on top of that be told you can’t have an espresso until after the service is done.

Bottom line

I’m rather curious which new route Icelandair will launch with the 757 they get back within six months. 😉

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

Comments

  1. Finally! the report we have all been waiting for! As always, did not disappoint. Looks like they still have a few thorny details to sort out.
    I am looking to travel to CDG in a few weeks and may give them a shot. For that price…. why not?

  2. It does look like a fantastic deal, but my recent AA flight from YYC-DFW in J seems to have had better service and more food. With a flight length of only about 4hrs.

  3. I do believe the Finnair long haul business class (HEL – BKK) amenity kits are worse than these – those are given out in a recycled brown paper bag and also do not contain toothbrushes, etc, – only socks, earplugs and an eye mask. It’s meant to be more “environmentally friendly”.

  4. Thanks Ben. Was really looking forward to this report. It will be interesting to see how long they survive.

  5. My god you certainly have gotten you money’s worth from this flight and airline. How many posts are you up to?

  6. “… cause that girl has more class than a school.” This. One of the funniest lines you’ve ever written.

    Did you notice in your photo of the row 10 over wing exit seats the seatback panels for placing the tablet were sealed up? So perhaps similar to row 6 the tablet is to be placed somewhere else (or simply held in hand).

    Also, with the headphones plugged into the tablet is it able to be seated flush in the panel? Your photo shows the headphone jack causing the tablet to be tilted slightly, was this accidental?

  7. I looked up a RT at Christmas, almost $2000. For that much, I might as well fly in a “real” business class, Delta or Air France. Thanks, for the review. I agree with your prognosis for La Compagnie. They would have to make many improvements. And, continue with introductory fares for quite awhile, just to get people to try them. I think their seat is the real killer to them. It needs to be a lie flat seat. People who fly business class, want the seat to lie flat, so they get some sleep. To me, this just looks like a premium economy product, and I think most people would agree me.

  8. Ben the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for” you didn’t pay much and you didn’t get much. Now, is La Compagnie really going after the true J passenger? I think not, there are leisure travels that would a little more for J. If La Compagnie wants to succeed they need to tweak their service both in soft product and staff. Interesting take on what they offer.

  9. Air vents? Clearly La Compagnie is superior to Lufthansa and their sauna cabins in this respect!

    That seat looks about the same (comfort wise) as LH’s old C too.

    For 500 Euro’s? Sure, I’ll take it.

  10. Lucky, just some constructive criticism, but maybe comparing this directly to other all-business transatlantic services you’ve flown would be an interesting comparison, and give readers options for others that might do this route better (and maybe more expensive as well).

  11. I dunno about you Lucky, I find CDG airport to be fascinating, especially with the architecture. Some people may find it ugly, I find it pretty futuristic especially with the agents scanning your ticket right before going on the tube like escalator., One can easily imagine leaving a spaceport off to your next destination.

  12. @ Al — It does cause it to tilt slightly, but not horrible, in my opinion. Still a bit impractical.

  13. I was able to get through about half of your review. Thoughts: 1) It’s too bad you can’t travel with a second person so they could take the pictures and 2) #firstworldproblems

  14. Great review! Congratulations!

    “in terms of serving dessert with the appetizer.” – It’s a very small and maybe picky detail but I totally agree with you. Air France does the same in J, as well as, they also so get very “poor” deserts on its long haul flights.

  15. So if you have to choose between this and CZ which one will you choose ?
    And between Duc de Paris and Piper Heidseick which one do you prefer ?

  16. @ Akallabeth — Well in terms of champagne, Piper is way better than Duc de Paris. And China Southern at least has a great hard product…

  17. Why don’t they just call it (and market it) as ‘the worlds best premium economy’ with fares to match? The seat is easily better than any full service Y+ seat (the best prob being QF or NZ). They could ditch things like lounge access and long drawn out meal services and run a much tighter operation targeting business passengers with restrictive travel policies that allow Y+ but not J. Surely there is a market for that? They’re never going to succeed pretending to be a good J option and those Y+ prices are not sustainable.

  18. So what is the next best option if you cant flying in a coach seat that long…? I was really, really hoping that there would be another option out there other than the main character, e.g. AA, United, Delta, etc.

    I have over million miles and CANT find a flight to Europe without 3 stops from LA, on ave. 20 hrs travel time, in Oct/Nov. (peak time?)! Then they want around an extra $2K for two tickets!

    🙁

  19. @ Gary — Well if you have that many miles, sounds like you may be best off booking a standard award, assuming a direct flight is your top priority.

  20. Hi Lucky,

    I tried that. Spent 12 + hours on and off the phone over the last 6 wks. They dont have any seats unless I want to make 3 changes, fly from LA to Orlando to London to Milan (24 hours travel time) and then back they only have one seat on upgrade. The wife was not excited about having to sit in coach on the way back… other airlines said to keep checking daily, but I didnt want to wait to close to date. Areoflot has some great prices…. yikes. Just hoping that there was another option. I am going to donate the miles and in future get rid of the airline cards. Just by the best business class ticket I can find (that is not on Areoflot). Thanks, Gary

  21. I just flew on La Compagnie from Newark to Paris, had mixed feelings based on the review above.
    However, this flight turned into a pleasant surprise. My fare was $1,700 round trip, more than what the reviewer paid, but well worth it. The seat was comfortable, because I could completely stretch out my 6’2″ body and actually sleep on the flight! The food was not bad and the flight attendants attentive and friendly. It may not be quite the business class of the big carriers, but since my company no longer pays for business class fare, this turned into a great alternative. I would definitely fly them again!

  22. I just love your reviews, Lucky. Both ludic and informative. Always have fun reading them.
    Gratuliere!
    🙂

  23. Hello Lucky,

    Have you tried a second trip now?

    I am curious to see if the issue you found have been resolved.

    Love your reviews!

  24. Hi Lucky you make it clear that your review is about comparing La Compagnie to other business class products however I find this post very misleading and going against the interest of your readers, travelers and La Compagnie employees. La Compagnie makes it clear that they are about value and I believe this is the angle that your review should have focused on. I understand that you rarely pay for business class so you might not realize that for people like me who travel the route NYC-Paris 5 times a year for personal reasons price is a HUGE component. To be able to have so much more than coach for less than double the price is a huge step forward for the consumers. I have flown L’Avion/Openskies for many years usually in Prem Plus and sometimes in Biz Bed and I just did a round-trip on La Compagnie and I was blown away by the fantastic value! For the same price than Prem Plus I got so much more especially lounge access and a fantastic seat where I was actually able to get a good night of sleep. Plus it is is never full so on both flights I had an entire row for myself. You also mention that you do not think they could sell tickets for $3K+ but you forget that the route on certain dates can cost over $5K in which case La Compagnie is a great bargain. I agree that if I can find regular business class for the same price than la Compagnie I would not fly them but it is not their business model so it’s not likely to happen too often. By giving a negative overall picture of the airline you affect the success of the airline and give a big disservice for travelers like me who pay their tickets with their own money and who are so thrilled to travel comfortably without breaking the bank.

  25. @ Doug — I haven’t. Might give them another shot if/when they launch service to London, but for now don’t have much reason to fly with them.

  26. Thanks for the review. I think it gives a good sense of what it is like, and, frankly, I think it would be good enough for me if the price remained below 2KUSD, as I have not been able to find a UA or AF flight to Paris for anywhere near that for some time (I do have a 2K USD flight with UA upgraded with miles in March, and bought an AF ticket last November for about 2.7K, but those are off-times). I usually fly out of IAD though (and took Openskies a few times before they retreated to NYC, but it was not really that much different in price), but since I have not been able to find even an upgradable ticket on any major airline for less than 4000USD in May, if that remains the case I may be tempted to take the train to Newark and try La Compagnie.

    Also, I certainly don’t mind spending time in the AF lounges at CDG.

  27. Been thinking about this for a while. Almost flew it for a trip to Europe. For me, the seat wouldn’t be an issue if, and only if, it was a daytime flight to Europe. If it’s leaving at 8, 9 or 10 p.m., I want to sleep. I don’t care about anything else, except a couple of glasses of wine to help me fall asleep. On the return, I want good service, a great meal and a comfortable experience. I’m not going to sleep and then be wide awake when I return to the U.S. in the late afternoon or evening.

  28. I am SO EXCITED about this super deal to London. I have been researching and following La Compagnie for several months. It’s our 25th anniversary this year and I have always wanted to go to London and Paris. We originally planned to go to Paris first and then London (due to ticket dates for Highclere Castle of Downton Abbey fame) but when I saw this deal to London I re-worked the whole trip. I had actually just purchased the Paris tickets but was advised by La Toya at La Compagnie that there was a 24 hours cancellation window where you could cancel and get a full refund. So after I made sure I could rebook all our hotels I have now split the trip up –we go to London for a few days and then take the Chunnel to Paris for a week and then back to London for 4 days and the Highclere Castle visit. I’m excited to be part of the inagural flight–fingers crossed that they don’t have to push the date back! Open to any travel advice as I have never been over the big pond before—just USA, Canada and Bahamas.

  29. Very good report.
    But you pay less than 50% of normal rate.
    So lets say: They are the low-cost in business-class.
    What I would not accept is the seat. No way what they are offering
    The “time-table” did not give you any time to rest. So why 180deg. seats. Stupid concept.
    The price seems unbeatable but …. as you said:

    A lot to do – even without investing money they can do better

  30. So let me get this straight: You are drinking champagne and diet coke, and then you’re expecting to be treated well by a Frenchman?

    I’m not even French, and seeing that combination made me want to smack you. Might as well visit West Point and burn the Flag there, that’s on roughly the same level of faux-passery.

  31. Lucky, I came on this site to get a review of the FLIGHT and whether the value for FLYING was agreeable. What I did not need to hear was how bad you thought the food was, or the champaign, or the amenities kit or any of the other negative words you had to say about your flight. I am only interested in the value of the flight. Even if you couldn’t sleep on a 26 inch wide reclining seat, it is 26 inches wide. Far wider than most seats on an airplane. You and your ilk, who must HAVE the latest gadgets and gizmos do a disservice to those of us who want a trip abroad to be reasonably priced and direct to a large metropolitan city abroad. If you want to see a good movie, buy Netflix!!! Or better yet, read a great book.
    Don’t disparage the only airline who seems to want to help the average traveler receive a great trip for a bargain!!!
    The only review that really helped me was Manfreds review ( thank you Manfred, as this is what I was looking for!)

  32. @ Donna — To clarify, food, set comfort, champagne, amenity kits, and movies don’t add towards the value of the flight? Or did you want to just see whether they’re safe, since that seems to be the only way you’re defining the value of “FLYING?”

  33. i am amused but heartily distressed by your review. i just booked passage on this airline, impressed by their value and the promise of a comfortable and well attended flight. despite this (very picky) view, i anticipate that this shall be much better than economy

  34. Hi Lucky,

    Thanks for your review. I disagree with the others who think your opinions of things like amenity kits are not necessary. The little things, the niceties, are important details for me. People can easily skip what they don’t feel is relevant. As for people arguing with you about your unfair comparison to other Business Class service, I think you were very fair, and you were quite clear that compared to economy or premium economy this is a great product, but comparing it to other business class sections, this is disappointing.

    However, things such as flight attendants walking quickly and purposely ignoring people, or flight attendants with such little English skills they don’t understand the expression “please hang up my coat” and then not having a closet in a Business Class plane are pretty inexcusable. And an amenity kit without a toothbrush is really gross. And taking hours to serve a two course meal to about 50-60 people is pretty pathetic.

    Personally, I think it’s a marketing mistake on their part to call it Business Class. They should call it Premium Economy. Two reasons: Reviews won’t compare it to other Business Class service – where it’s obviously never going to compare. And as you point out, compared to other Premium Economy products, it’s terrific. And two, some companies won’t allow their employees to book J class, no matter what the price.is. So if they called in Prem. Eco – they might get more business people riding.

    For me, the biggest drawback is their lack of affiliation with any other airline such as AA or UA. I want my miles!

    Thanks for your post. I really enjoyed reading it.

  35. There is only one point to mention to mention from my side:
    You should compare PRICE vs FLIGHT
    If you want to eat good: go to a restaurant
    If you want a nice am-kit: buy One by ebay
    If you want Movies/Music: buy an ITunes-Card
    Thats not what I want to do
    What you receive is a save flight, comfortable seats, good service
    If you are willing to pay 800 USD more for all the innecessary things like meal, music, make-up – go on flying BA, LH, AF, IB, DELTA, AA
    For the difference in price you can go to a Star-Restaurant, by a Tablet and buy the kit
    We all should Stop comparing offers which are not camparable

  36. Lucky – your compleatly missing the point here! This is not AF, BA or VS and the airline is very much not looking to be. The product is based on a value proposition and looking to find its neich in a monopolised market. This is not bone-China, Egyptian 1 million tread carrier review it based on what it is and not what you aspire it to be!!

  37. My experience with La Compagnie did not go beyond the reservation stage, which was unsatisfactory. My name was spelled wrong on the first reservation. Obviously there will be a problem with security if the name on ticket is different from passport. When I asked the airline to correct the spelling, they said it could not be done unless the first reservation was cancelled, and a new reservation made. This resulted in a double billing on my credit card, which was a hassle to rectify. Then La Compagnie cancled my flight because of “a program adjustment.” Although they offered to re-book there were other factors, like hotel reservations, transport to-and-from airport, that I had to adjust. It was not worth the aggravation. If you chose La Compagnie, buy travel insurance. I expect they will go bust if they continue with this bad management.

  38. Hi Lucky

    I love your trip report! Do you plan to fly with them from London when they start flights on April 24th?

  39. Booked a flight with them for May 3rd from London Luton to Newark. Less than three weeks prior to the flight they emailed to tell me they had decided not to fly that day, and had booked me for the following day instead. Since that meant missing a connecting flight from Newark, plus a while host of other issues, from a hotel in Newark, airport parking, car rental, etc etc. I hoped to get a flight a day earlier rather than later. Calling the customer service number for the UK results in being told to either speak french, or call back the next day.

    The next day I was able to converse in english, but found that there were not flights on the 1st, nor the 2nd, but only an offer to cancel my flight in entirety. Adding insult to injury I was told the refund would take 30 days to process, despite my cancelled flight being entirely their doing.

    Still waiting on the refund, lost hundreds of £ on non refundable connections and accommodations, and painfully aware i should have known better. Rebooked with VIrgin Atlantic and will never again book with any uinknown or bargain carrier, but in particular LC. Lesson learned, and now after reading your article, really glad I am not having to experience the actual flight.

    Virgin – promise to be loyal in future! 😉

  40. Thank you, what a great review not only informative but humorous. Our girl trip is coming up June 25, 2015 from Newark to Paris really thinking about this airline; going to suprise the girls (5 in our 50’s) and pay the difference in what economy fair would be on another airline. I really hope they have made some of the changes you have suggested.
    Thank you again for a great review.

  41. Just got back from NYC with LC – dreadful – the only possible redeeming feature is cost and that will be at risk with their habit of cancelling flights, changing planes etc
    Amazed they haven’t gone bust yet – last nights flight was on an (unmarked) airbus staffed by a crew from a Portuguese charter airline who could barely speak English – this was because the LC plane was “unavailable for operational reasons”
    The enormous economy cabin was completely empty increasing the rather spooky, marie celeste feeling of the whole experience with this non English speaking crew – the whole thing was very Aeroflot – very soviet approach to customer service – and dreadful food, warm champagne, corked red wine, so perhaps a blessing that as with your review the trolley did not appear over 2 hours into the flight

    I don’t know who is backing these people but to be so catastrophic nearly 12 months after launch beggars belief – and of course the important question – would I fly with them again – sadly not – even if it was free – I will return to pricier but trusted and professional carriers who get the job done whether in business or economy

    Utterly hopeless – a new low in “premium” travel

  42. @ michael enright — Amazing review, thanks for sharing! Did they offer any compensation? Did you get one of the business class or first class seats?

  43. Sorry to read that @ michael enright had such a bad experience – as I have mentioned in a reply to one of your other posts about LC, I can sympathise as I had a similar experience a year or two after Virgin Atlantic started. The VA fight I had booked was flown by a shabby old Martinair aircraft (DC-10) and crew because one of the only two nicely equipped Virgin 747’s then flying was in for maintenance.
    My point is that even a great operator like Virgin had a very shaky start but, but in the end, they forced all airlines to copy the new standard they set for J class travel.

  44. well maybe – except they launched 12 months ago and still have massive challenges in terms of customer service, communication (including basic English speaking ability) contingency management, food/drink/entertainment – not even free newspapers for gawds sake apart from todays copy of the guardian on their pesky tablet – not even a company/in flight mag after 12 months !!!!

    c’mon – clueless – investors must be nervous – wonder how much slush/cock up contingency is left from original funding plan

  45. this just sounds like a hater review. I googled this because I’d never heard of the airline and saw a biz class seat to paris for $1200….compare that to around $5 or 6k for major airline biz class, this is a great value. And to see the lie flat seats was very surprising. This actually looks like a pretty modern and cool boutique airline which i would chose over economy on any other airline any day

    perspective i guess….

  46. @ anthony — And if you actually read my review, you’ll see I came to exactly the same conclusion:
    “I paid 500EUR for my flight, which was cheaper than any economy ticket. So was this better than economy?

    OF COURSE — in terms of what I paid it was a great value. But would I ever pay anywhere close to a business class fare for this product? No way!”

    It seems we’re on the same page…

  47. yep……….. ryan air cheap with ryan air servce – just bigger seats – they should just delete the expression ” business class” from their branding and then expectations are properly set and probably exceeded

  48. My wife and I recently flew to London on La Compagine. It appears the company implemented many of your suggestions. We had toothbrushes and the meal have improved. We would definitely fly with them again.

  49. today we have received an email – Flight cancelled on 10th September from New York to London. I have been on the phone for the last 20 minutes with still no confirmation that we will be able to receive a refund for the fare paid and no hope of speaking with a supervisor/manager. Marion, the poor lady who answered my telephone call, has so far put me on hold 8 times to “check” with her colleagues as to how to proceed with the questions I am quite rightly asking. This was a trial booking and as a company we feel the extra fare spent with another company may very well be for the assurance that if there is a cancellation by the airline that and quite frankly the service they are providing is shoddy and unprofessional.

  50. STILL waiting – over 2 months since my flight cancellation for my refund

    beginning to lose hope – proving the old adage that if something sounds too good to be true – it generally is

  51. we’re flying tomorrow Newark to Luton. It is my 25th wedding anniversary and I’m praying nothing goes wrong. La Compagnie doesn’t know it, but I’m a writer, and I DO write about travel. I also have a fairly decent social media following, so if things are really bad, everyone is going to hear about it asap. But that said, I believe that this airline can fix issues and make a go of it. So we’ll see…..

  52. This sounds like a mini-Laker of old, cheap, cheerfull and uncomfortable. With just two aircraft it comes across as a business that will fail. Having travelled world since the 1950s, I have obviously seen the deterioration of services, even in first Class. True enough, this two horse wagon represents super value with under coach prices but at my age, I will give it miss. A very fair accurate review.

  53. I flew La Compagnie and it offers an amazing deal. This review is completely ridiculous. It compares apples and oranges. La Compagnie offers something unique. It allows people to fly across the Atlantic on a flat bed without having to break the bank and I am personally delighted to have this option available for me.

    This review sounds as if it was written from the perspective of a spoiled brat quite frankly.

  54. This review is incredibly unhelpful. Whining about cords? What I want in a review is useful/informative pros and cons. Did Lucky make a single comment without stating a negative? The photo of the seat did not make clear to me why the seat is uncomfortable for rest. Even that very basic bit of useful information seems beyond the ability of this reviewer to convey.

  55. Just returned from CDG to Newark aboard LC and can report that it was an excellent experience. Reviewers get caught up in finding all the negatives possible, and end up with the most niggling little complaints. No toothbrush, no coathook, slow service. Get the point, idiot! It’s incredibly cheap, safe and efficient. You can lie flat, sleep well and avoid starvation. Get over the cheap whining or pay at least twice the cost.
    Dr. Dave

  56. Have never flown LC before. Planning a Fri-Mon trip to London in May. For $1500 RT and a flat seat, I can live with the cords and slow service, and w/o a toothbrush and coat hook. These are acceptable (and fixable) negatives in return for the value. What does give me pause are the number of cancellation stories and the refund hassles. If LC cancels my Thur night flight at the last minute I doubt I find an alternative carrier out of Newark at that hour. So I lose a day, trip ruined, I likely just cancel the trip. And I never fly LC again. It’s the math: one airplane per route, one flight per night, one mechanical problem, flight cancelled, no alternatives. Not sure the price is worth the risk.

  57. yes indeed the relief offered was very soothing as one who is a nervous traveller
    not business but first class !
    and yes, I must agree with Mr Jarse the ladies charging was very reasonable

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