La Compagnie Social Media #FAIL

La Compagnie has had a rather amusing social media strategy as they ramped up operations, especially on their Facebook page.

My favorite was possibly when they told someone they couldn’t legally communicate in English… in English!

La-Compagnie-English

But I think they’ve one upped themselves. Yesterday they posted a picture on their Facebook of their seats, with the caption “Our seats recline to a 180-degree angle with built-in massage feature for added comfort during your journey !”

La-Compagnie-Facebook-1

And then this happened:

La-Compagnie-Facebook-2

Oy! I know they have a US PR company, though I kind of feel like they’re not behind the airline’s Facebook page. The space between the last word and exclamation point suggests to me it’s run from Europe.

I’m not sure what’s worse, their snark, or the fact that the seats simply aren’t 180 degree flat. I don’t know if they’re just really bad at geometry, but as a refresher, here’s what a 180 degree angle looks like:

Angles

Does this look like a 180 degree angle to anyone? Bueller?

La-Compagnie-Business-Class-51

And even yet, their Facebook page is still one of the better run aspects of their operation…

Comments

  1. Can you explain what you mean by “The space between the last word and exclamation post suggests to me it’s run from Europe”? As far as I know, the rules for spaces (or rather: no spaces) between last words and exclamation marks are the same in Europe as they are in the US.

    BTW: The use of the word “exclamation post” suggests to me that your blog is run from the US. 😉

  2. You seem to be enjoying your own snark, Lucky. No free passes are required, but give these guys a break. I would rather fly La Compagnie than be squashed in the back of a crappy American Airlines cabin, with rude flight attendants, and non-existent service. And for the same price, no less. But I guess you don’t fly coach, so you wouldn’t know how bad the major airlines really are.

    Perhaps spending a little bit of time bashing the big boys would be appropriate – they have a far longer, crappier record than La Compagnie.

    And given the general tenor of the original Facebook comment, I think their reply was utterly spot on. If that is their wit in a second language, I can’t wait to hear it in French.

  3. @David: in French, you use a space before an exclamation or quotation mark. The space being there does suggest the post was written by a French speaker.

  4. I think all Lucky is trying to point out is that they are falsely advertising a seat. La Compagnie can reply and say those seats are not premium economy just like I can say their claim they are a boutique airline is correct if you think Marshalls is a boutique.

  5. Lucky is doing them a favor. Some very basic training mistakes and dubious marketing makes it imperative they ramp the learning curve fast or their very low probability of survival drops to nil. I don’t think I’d mind those seats – but to call them lie flat is an outright lie.

  6. @John: The point of this blog is to review business and first class products (and hotels… and push credit cards… but I digress). If a company claims to offer a business class product but doesn’t, they should be called out. And once they start falsely advertising their product, they should definitely be called out.

  7. @ David — Sorry, thought what I said was clear. In French there’s a space between a word and an exclamation point. That’s not the case in English.

    And thanks for the heads up on the typo — fixed!

  8. @Steven L – first, “business class” means different things on different airlines and different routes. Saga class in Icelandair is not the same as Club World on BA, or first class on a Delta regional jet. This industry is rarely a battle between apples to apples. La Compagnie looks to me more like Business Class than Lufthansa’s 737s do. If we are comparing transatlantic carriers, and aircraft, it still looks more like business class than some others. The reality is the price is completely in line with the product; it’s just that a consumers expectations may not be.

    Second, my issue was with Lucky’s comment about the Facebook comment, not his criticism of the false advertising of 180 degree seats. On that, I agree. I just think that when someone makes a childish comment about the seats being premium economy seats – on the company’s website – especially if they’re are wrong, the company should wisely say something. And they did it wittily. There is no premium economy product that looks as good as La Compagnie’s product, and several whose business classes are comparable.

  9. I agree, really should give these guys a break… we really need a TATL carrier that offers a somewhat decent business class product at a good price. TATL award availability is miserable, upgrades are impossible to get. Especially for work travel – I would rather just a pay a price like this than play the legacy carrier games. You can make fun of the seats, but they are better than anything from 10 years ago.

  10. Hey Lucky, I read your blog regularly and think you do a great job. I tend to agree with a few other posters and think you’re starting to show a lack of good judgement in continuing to slam La Compagnie. We all are very well informed over the substandard business class offering of La Compagnie. I agree with all of your observations. I don’t think I would ever use it, but am sure others, as well as myself, believe it serves a niche in the discount business fare market.

    Your reporting becomes nasty when you continuously degrade everything about them. I think we all agree, their strategy is extremely risky. Your reviews are, however, becoming quite negative. It is starting to appear as you would like this business to fail, so that you can then tell everyone “I told you so”.

    Continue reporting, but tone it down a bit and stop with the superiority tone. It gets tiring in this context.

    This is by no means a shot it you Lucky. I really enjoy your blog and opinions. I just feel you’ve wandered off the line of good taste. Just my 2 cents.

  11. Oh, come on. It’s an antiquated business class product. I’m glad Lucky is calling them out and am perplexed why anyone is willing to coddle La Compagnie as if it were some spoiled brat.

  12. @Ben- Keep up the good work. You have to call it like you see it. It seems pretty clear that this airline is attempting to play in the big leagues but they just are not ready (in the air or on the ground with this PR mistake compounded by their snarky FB response).

    I know it’s hard to watch because many of us would love for this type of concept to succeed. However, these failures need to be documented and publicized so that the airline will hopefully get better. You are in a niche field and I can think of nobody better to do what you are doing.

    After all that you have experienced with this airline, if I were in your shoes I think I would have posted as well when I saw that PR failure. It’s a necessary addition to the overall review.

  13. Well, you learn something new every day. I grew up in Canada, was taught French in school, and saw a lot of bilingual written communication, and had never seen the punctuation rules that you mentioned here. Evidently, québécois French is a very different animal to French French.

  14. Geometrically speaking, it appears that the La Compagnie seat is actually 3 180-degree angle surfaces. Not quite what they were suggesting, of course.

    To the criticisms of Ben being pretty harsh with them, I can sympathize with these criticisms. I am someone who has never in my life bought a business or 1st class ticket to anywhere, and even wouldn’t use miles on a business class or 1st class ticket to Europe. I find that to be a waste of miles when I won’t be sleeping anyway due to the time flights leave from the US.

    The issue with this review does seem to be perspective and expectations. Ben has flown seemingly every business and first class seat there is. This one was never going to, and isn’t intended to, measure up to anything else in the market. I have flown a premium economy product, or whatever it’s called, several years ago on Air France. This seat looks infinitely superior to what I sat in on Air France, which was much nicer than economy.

    I like that Ben acknowledged, in bold, that this is a phenomenal value. And I hope that his reviews have identified soft spots in their service that they’re working diligently to fix. But this piece does come across a bit like the criticisms Spriit Airlines gets. Yeah, they’re uncomfortable compared to the other domestic airlines. But there’s a place in the marketplace for Spirit, despite their having more seats and less legroom than anyone else and a ton of fees. I want there to be a place in the marketplace for something like La Compagnie. And, Ben, they were right. This is not anywhere close to premium economy. Even though it’s not a 180 degree lie flat.

  15. Marc says: “Your reporting becomes nasty when you continuously degrade everything about them. I think we all agree, their strategy is extremely risky. Your reviews are, however, becoming quite negative. It is starting to appear as you would like this business to fail, so that you can then tell everyone ‘I told you so’.”

    ^ This.

    Some airlines and hotels you seem to give a pass for almost anything while others are rarely if ever given the benefit of the doubt. A more balanced and objective approach would be much appreciated.

  16. I completely disagree with the opinions or even accusations that Ben’s post about the airline was negative, nasty, degradaing or un-objective. Ben – if the airline is misrepresenting its products, it deserves to be called out for. It doesn’t matter if the airline is one of the majors or a recent start up like La Compagnie. Also accusations that you want the airline to fail is totally untrue and undeserving. Keep up your good work, and your honest opinions (both good AND bad). The post you wrote was perfect.

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