A typical round-trip business-class ticket from New York to Paris is hardly a small expense. A biz-class seat on Air France between JFK and Charles de Gaulle, for example, can run $10,000 or more. But one small airline just upended the status quo—for a little while, at least. Boutique carrier La Compagnie today announced its “Blue Friday” fare sale, which will put you in La Ville-Lumière, and bring you home again, for a cool thousand bucks.
La Compagnie, which operates two flights per day between Newark International Airport and Charles de Gaulle, offers only business-class accommodations: Its two aircraft feature 74 sleeper seats in a 2-2 configuration. Each passenger gets a tablet to play with, an amenity kit from French skincare company Caudalie, and, of course, real food from a rotating cast of New York and Paris based chefs. This is the same ambitious airline that rolled out the catchy “L’Unlimited” program in September—all the New York-to-Paris trips you can take in a year for $40,000.
Now, in truth, there is a bit of “you get what you pay for” when it comes to this deal — and to La Compagnie. AFAR co-founder Joe Diaz was less than ecstatic after flying with the airline in 2015. “The equipment is noticeably old and tired,” he wrote. “Overhead bins were designed in the 1970s and the modern and sizeable Samsung tablets are tethered to seat backs with cords, suggesting that I might try to steal a device that doesn’t function outside of the airplane.”
And when his Paris departure was delayed, Diaz added, “I’m all for supporting Davids in a world of Goliaths, but the nice thing about flying with a bigger carrier is that if there is a mechanical issue, you have a better chance of getting out of a jam. When you encounter an issue on a smaller carrier, you’re in for an adventure.”
Diaz stopped short of a full-on pan of the upstart carrier (“The seats definitely beat out economy comfort and the staff is friendly”), but he shrugged off the notion that the La Compagnie experience was a legitimate alternative to business class on a global carrier. “The product and the marketing had too big of a gap,” he wrote.
Fliers with realistic expectations (and l’esprit d’aventure) can grab the nonrefundable Blue Friday deal—which includes two checked bags—until Tuesday, November 21, 2017, for seats on flights throughout 2018 (subject to availability, of course). Call 800-218-8187 or visit lacompagnie.com.