France · Travel Tips

The Lesser-Known Airline: La Compagnie

Have you every drempt about flying transatlantic in business class but just can’t swing the some $5000+ it’ll cost you to fly round-trip per person? Well, if you are looking to fly to London or Paris, there is now a solution to your problem.

LaCompagnie

When reading this month’s Departures Magazine, I ran across a rather small article that caught my attention called “Flights of Fancy,” (pg. 62 if you get the magazine). In this article,  it mentioned the ridiculous amounts (prices starting at $3,600) we pay for business-class seats on British Airways New York J.F.K. to London City Airport route. Well, there is now a budget-friendly boutique airline rivaling British Airway’s business-class fares, and they start around $1,000 round-trip.

Say hello to La Compagnie.

Photo taken from Luxury Travel Magazine
Photo taken from Luxury Travel Magazine

Details from Luxury Travel Magazine:

The Fleet

La Compagnie will start operations with a redesigned Boeing 757-200 dressed in the airline’s signature baby blue hue. The plane will offer four to five weekly flights throughout the summer, with scheduled departures out of Paris at 17:50 arriving in Newark at 20:30, and out of Newark at 21:45 arriving in Paris at 11:15.

The B 757-200 is the best plane adapted for La Compagnie’s cross-Atlantic route: it has a range of 3,900 nautical miles and modern winglets to cut fuel consumption. The interior design offers 74 “lie-flat” seats creating a 2×2 configuration throughout a single aisle cabin with no dividing class curtain. Overhead luggage bins are amply sized. The interior cabin is sleek and stylized with leather headrests and armrests in La Compagnie’s signature baby blue. Additional interior tones are muted: from the wood grain of wallboards to the blue-speckled grey carpeting.

La Compagnie’s next Boeing 757-200 aircraft will be delivered in December 2014.

The Crew

Each La Compagnie flight will be crewed by two pilots and three flight attendants fluent in international languages. The experienced cockpit crews have profiles approved by the French Civil Aviation Authority.

The cabin crew will be outfitted in stylish signature uniforms designed by the French fashion house Vicomte A, whose colorful ready-to-wear line combines an aristocratic tradition and elegance as well as French know-how and “art-de-vivre.”

In-Flight Amenities

Passengers will be comforted by in-flight amenity kits including Caudalie cosmetic products, as well as in-flight meal service with menus created by Christophe Langree, the Michelin-starred chef of Hôtel Matignon in Paris, which serves as the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. La Compagnie’s fleet will also be equipped with complimentary WiFi Internet service, and all seats will have personal Samsung tablets uploaded with an assortment of books, magazines, music and movies.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it? Now, take a look at this.

Out of my own curiosity, I decided to see what the price difference would be for 1 person flying business-class on a domestic airline versus La Compagnie. Let’s just say I was thoroughly shocked.

Domestic Airline:

OKC to London Heathrow Business Class: $4937.10 per person round-trip

La Compagnie:

OKC to Newark Business Class (Domestic Airline): $887.20 round-trip

Newark to London Luten Airport (La Compagnie) :$2065.90 round-trip

Total Trip Cost: $2953.10

So…as you can see, I would save nearly $2000 by flying La Compagnie.

The downfall to this is that I live in Oklahoma, so I would have to go out of my way and add an extra layover to get to Newark. Also, should I choose to change my flight on La Compagnie, there is a $300 change fee. A cancellation will run me $500, and if I am a no show, I get no refund. This is with the Best Buy Fare that I selected. Should I choose to spend more on my fare, then these fees go down or away completely. Another drawback that I can see is that their website gives you absolutely no information at all, so get ready to search for some blogs on people who have flown the airline before.

While it is really not a good option for me, should you live in the New York/New Jersey area, it is definitely a viable option in my opinion, especially if you don’t want to be crammed in economy with 200 other people.

I will be interested to see how this airline plays out over the next few years.

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