Flight Review: La Compagnie, the Affordable All Business Class Airline
Have you heard of La Compagnie? It’s billed as an “all-business-class boutique airline” that travels from Newark to Paris/Nice. Earlier this year, the airline offered a one-day Valentine’s sale from Newark to Nice that we jumped on. We’d planned a trip to the South of France and the roundtrip tickets were about the same price as flying coach—and it was nonstop, so basically a no brainer.
In short, it was a fantastic experience—if you know what to expect.
Boarding and Service: Our flight left Newark at 11:30 PM, and we had access to a lounge prior (though we had this same privilege with Priority Pass). Boarding was efficient (just get in line as everyone has the same class), and the flight left on time. The return flight was equally timely and smooth. The service on the return flight was excellent, from the check-in to the flight attendants.
Food and Drink: Upon arrival, passengers are offered a glass of Champagne, and—shortly after—a light meal. There were two choices, and Nate and I both had a lobster salad that was surprisingly good, as well as a nice cheese plate and chocolate mousse. The wine was better than average, and Nate had an after-airplane-meal Cognac. Prior to arrival in Nice, a breakfast of either eggs or French toast was served (hard pass). The return flight left Nice around 6:30 PM (also with lounge access) and offered a three-course dinner (chicken app risotto, dessert/cheese) and before-arrival snack, which was a veggie quiche. Overall, the food was good for an airline with some dishes we felt were great and others just meh. (Do plane eggs gross you out, too?)
Seats: The big perk of La Compagnie is that you can actually lie down and sleep on a transatlantic flight. We were in one of the older planes, which had not-quite-but-almost lie-flight seats in a 2X2 configuration. This is certainly less luxe than a totally lie-flat business seat, but 1K times better than a regular economy chair. I really appreciated the super-sized down comforter-style blanket and comfy pillow. The amenity kit came in a cute, branded two-sided bag with Claudalie products, a toothbrush/paste, socks, earplugs, shoe bag, and an eye mask. Each seat was equipped with a Samsung tablet loaded with mediocre entertainment options.
Overall, Le Compagnie is a fantastic option for a “budget” business airline. The food is decent and you have the benefit of a (mostly) lie-flat bed so that you can arrive to your destination rested and refreshed. (Or hungover, whatever.)