Want to fly business class to the US on the cheap? Startup airline La Compagnie is offering super-low fares and with partially flat seats and a luxury service that’s just about good enough to get my interest.
Previously operated by Icelandair, the Boeing 757-200 aircraft La Compagnie uses is known for reliability, comfort, and fuel efficiency. Comparatively light and small, it makes for pleasant transatlantic journeys. La Compagnie entrust the maintenance of its fleet to Icelandair Technical, a subsidiary of Icelandair and Europe’s main operator of Boeing 757s.
La Compagnie offers a 100% business-class cabin with 19 rows and 74 seats. Integrated in fixed shells, the seats offer passengers privacy and comfort. Seats recline to a 180-degree angle with a built-in massage feature for added comfort during your journey. Arranged in 2×2 rows, these comfortable seats are spaced by a pitch of 62 inches. Extra amenities include anti-allergenic pillows, large, soft blankets, and a Caudalie travel care kit, all free of charge.
Compared to Air France’s new business class seats, La Compagnie’s offering doesnt quite match up. The seats don’t go fully flat and don’t offer as much privacy plus the flight frequency is less than major airlines. However, Peter Luethi, La Compagnie’s deputy chief executive officer says “We feel there is a space for a ‘not the best’ business class but the best at the price point”.
Will La Compagnie will succeed where Eos, Maxjet, Silverjet failed offering a similar all-business-class model? Post-recession, the marketplace is different. United, Delta, and British Airways have flatbed seats offerings; American and Air France have been rushing to join them. So the La Compagnie Business class is in fact less luxurious but also far less pricy than the main airlines which makes it very tempting and should make it a viable and successful business model.
If passengers want an experience similar to La Compagnie on a standard airline, they can try British Airways OpenSkies, which operates 757s between New York and Paris with both a luxurious business class (with fully flat seats) and a premium economy section with two-by-two seating similar to La Compagnie’s or British Airways’ all-flat-bed operation flying between JFK and London City Airport. THE major advantage to these flights BEING that customers can earn American or British Airways miles.
La Compagnie’s main clientele will be business travellers, but families and shoppers will be tempted by the price and the fact that you can take two 32kg bags as your luggage allowance. La Compagnie services from London Luton to Newark InternationaL begin on April 24. Initially flights will depart from London at 5.45pm on Monday, Wednesday, Fri and Sunday, with Thursday and Saturday services being offered at a later date. They will land at 9pm. Flights will depart Newark at 10.30pm on the same days, arriving in London at 10.30am the following morning.
La Compagnie is currently offering an unbeatable rate for travellers who book now through September 15th and are traveling from London Luton Airport to New York Newark between May 1st and September 30th for £1,100 R/T* for one. including all taxes and carrier-imposed fees.