I have to tell you that I really don’t enjoy long haul flights. I’ve flown often between the USA and Europe and the only experience that was good was when I was upgraded (I forget why) from cattle-class to business class at no extra charge.
It was wonderful. But the problem is that I, in common with many people, just can’t afford to travel anything other than economy. Flights across the Atlantic are expensive, even when you spend days online researching. Even then, unless you have a free upgrade then it’s not going to be the best experience you’ve ever had.
French airline, La Compagnie, offers you business class travel at economy class prices. When I tell you that their (two) planes have only 74 seats, you can imagine that glorious legroom. And the cramped legroom on regular flights is just one of the things I find remarkably uncomfortable on long haul flights. And I’m not a particularly tall person.
At the airport
Even before you check in, you’ll notice the difference – because La Compagnie allows each passenger two pieces of luggage (a total of 64 kg) to be checked plus two carry on bags (18kg) plus an additional item such as a handbag, briefcase, laptop bag or camera case.
All La Compagnie’s passengers get prioritised through security and because they operate from smaller airports (Newark in the US and Charles de Gaulle in Paris) there are no queues. In addition, all passengers have access to their comfortable, quiet and free lounges that feature food and drink, including booze.
On the aircraft
There are no more than 74 passengers so the cabin crew have much more time ensure that you’re comfortable and attend to your needs. The seats are considerably larger than those you are used to And, the best part, they convert into full lie-down beds for comfortable sleep.
In place of the standard fixed screen that regular flights have on the back of the seat in front, you’ll find your own personal tablet that’s loaded with films, TV shows and flight information. You can remove this if you prefer to watch with the device on your table or on you knees.
Hey, the airline is French so you know that the food is going to be great. The meals have been created by a top chef and if you’re on a special diet, no problem. You can pre-order from a total of twelve different dietary needs including Kosher, Hindu, gluten-free and special meals for children and babies.
Because the seats easily convert into a single bed, you’re bound to get a good sleep. Full size pillows are provided, plus blankets and the ‘hood’ of the seat forms a barrier between you and the neighbouring seat when you’re resting or sleeping.
Is La Compagnie right for you?
Using this service is likely to be cheaper than using regular economy class. This is especially the case when you remember how so many airlines now are making travellers pay for their luggage, their food and even their drinks. When you add these up, plus your drinks and snacks at the airport, La Compagnie becomes even better value.
The airline offers only one route (New York to Paris) but if you’re travelling to London for example, it can be cheaper (or a similar price) and certainly more pleasant and relaxing than regular economy travel and it’s easy to get a quick and cheap flight to hop over the English Channel.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.