For the last several years I have heard a great deal about the French, all business class airlines, La Compagnie which offers daily flights from New York to Paris. On my recent trip to St Petersburg, Russia I decided to book one of my flight legs with this acclaimed boutique airlines. What La Compagnie is known for is giving, " the comfort of Business Class at an affordable price," something we at Astrid Solo Travel Advisor are always searching for. Luxury for less is what we strive to achieve whether it's hotel selection, flight experience, fine dining choice, etc.
When selecting my outbound flights, I quickly searched other air carriers flying from New York to Paris or London for scheduling and pricing. St Petersburg is difficult to fly into affordably due to a lack of regular flights there from the US and even Europe. Paris, London or Moscow are your best connecting cities. I love Air France, which does fly into St Petersburg, so I knew Paris would be my connecting city. Because I always fly business class from the US to Europe, I realized I would have to do some serious price comparisons to make my flight decisions affordable. The price differential on the major carriers ranged from $2,300 to $5,000 plus for a round trip ticket, OUCH!!
Happily, when I searched La Compagnie's website it was offering a round trip fare from New York to Paris for $1,500. I couldn't believe what I had read!! Was this this too good to be true? Business class at slightly over the price of an economy ticket on Air France was a "deal maker."
Before I booked the ticket, I went completely through the company's website to make sure I knew what I was getting for this unbelievably low fare. Daily, the airlines offered fights from New York(Newark) to Paris on a Boeing 757 plane that was elegantly retrofitted with 19 rows of 74 business class seats organized in a 2x2 configuration. The description and the photos of the seats looked impressive. A beautiful French blue and corporate grey color detail adorned the almost completely lie flat seat that included multiple settings, a massage feature and an individual reading lamp, enticing so far.
Baggage allowance for the flight was super with two pieces of checked in luggage not weighing more than 70 pounds total and two carry ons plus a briefcase, a handbag or a laptop bag not weighing totally more than 39 pounds were allowed to be brought into the cabin. That's the best free luggage policy of any business class flight I know of to date.
A portable IPad was another attractive, innovative flight feature. A wide variety of movies, TV shows, digital media and magazines are easily accessible on the touch tech pad that could be cradled in your lap rather than resting stationary on the back of the seat in front of you. Headphones with multiple music venues were also provided for your listening pleasure and relaxation with the music "beats" designed by a well-known DJ, COOL!
The menu selections served were designed by the French chef, Christophe Langree, who prides himself in sourcing in season ingredients for his food presentations. An apperitif, French champagne and wines were also featured on the flight. If you needed a special type of cuisine such as gluten-free, kosher, vegan, etc., this could be arranged but must be pre-ordered 51 hours before your flight.
Two private VIP lounges, one in Paris and the other in New York, are open several hours before the flight where you can enjoy light snacks, alcoholic beverages, work with free wifi access or just read and relax until your flight is called. Fast track security clearance to the aircraft was another perk offered with this low cost ticket.
Without hesitation I booked the ticket but the proof of "flight quality for the low price" was still unknown. Here's my review. Because of the tight connection with my flight from Chicago, I was not able to visit the VIP lounge, so I can't comment on this feature. When boarding the aircraft, I was greeted by a friendly smile and a "Bon Jour." The cabin was clean and tastefully appointed as promised. A pillow, a thick blanket and a flight accessory case was placed on my seat. I got comfortable and we "up, up and away" on schedule.
The aperitif, a signature cocktail that I have no idea what it was made of, was served shortly before take off. A light meal with wine was offered within an hour and a half after take off, tasty but not one to rave about. The remainder of the flight was quite comfortable. Even though the ample seats didn't lie completely flat, they provided a nice sleeping experience. So pleasant, I slept through breakfast!
While the flight quality was not as stellar as Air France's superior ride, La Compagnie did offer a luxury flight experience. One fellow passenger shared that many people working in the fashion industry fly La Compagnie regularly. Bottomline: I enjoyed my flight enough to be a repeat customer. For the money, you can't beat it!
One last bit of information that I would like to share about La Compagnie's ticket pricing are it's frequent fare sales. When I booked my ticket the standard solo, round trip ticket price of $1,800 had been reduced to $1,500 because of a promotional fare sale at the time. Currently, if you are traveling with a companion, you will pay the reduced $1,500 fare per person. Sale is still on! Also, at the moment the airline is offering a great reduced fares for families, $1,300 for adults and $1,000 for children. Now that's a deal!
For anyone wanting to fly business class from New York to Paris affordably, La Compagnie should be your choice. Enjoy this short video highlighting the La Compagnie's flight experience and as usual, if you have any questions or comments, please share them with me below.