This All-business-class Airline Flies to Europe With Lie-flat Seats — Often for the Price of an Economy Ticket

Everything you need to know about boutique airline La Compagnie.

La Compagnie aircraft
La Compagnie aircraft. Photo:

La Compagnie

La Compagnie is a boutique French airline that offers all-business-class flights to Europe. Though it has a somewhat limited schedule compared to the larger airlines, it does offer lie-flat seats at a fraction of the larger airlines' cost — sometimes for as little as 25 percent of the price. So, is there a catch? Read on to find out everything you need to know about flying La Compagnie.

Where does La Compagnie fly?

La Compagnie's two hubs are Paris-Orly Airport (ORY) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey. It offers daily service between the two in each direction, with additional flights seasonally. La Compagnie also has several flights per week to Milan and seasonal flights to Nice.

What are the business-class seats like?

La Compagnie has a fleet of two Airbus A321neo aircraft, each with 76 lie-flat seats in a 2-2 configuration. All seats recline to a fully flat position, and they offer some storage throughout for things like a water bottle, a tablet, and shoes. The in-flight entertainment system is touch-screen, though there's also a remote for when you're reclined and can't reach the 15.6-inch screen. It's on par with other business-class products on narrowbody planes, but it's not as private as suite-style seats found on widebody aircraft, where each seat has direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 layout.

Exterior of La Compagnie plane

Courtesy of La Compagnie

What amenities does La Compagnie offer?

La Compagnie provides passengers with pre-flight lounge access at third-party lounges (it doesn't operate its own as the major airlines do), a pre-departure glass of Champagne, French fare served in one main meal and one lighter one, wine, an amenity kit with Caudalie toiletries, and free, fast Wi-Fi via Viasat. It's also worth noting that La Compagnie's baggage allowance is two checked bags up to 70 pounds each per passenger, plus a carry-on and a personal item that can weigh a combined 39 pounds.

A flight attendant serving champagne to passengers

Courtesy of La Compagnie

How much does it cost to fly La Compagnie?

Fares between Newark and Paris start at $2,400 round-trip; between Newark and Nice at $2,550; and between Newark and Milan at $2,200. For reference, it's not uncommon to see business-class fares between the same cities reach $8,000 or more on other carriers. La Compagnie does, on occasion, offer promotional fares that are as low as $1,000 round trip, so keep an eye out for those. When you're booking, you can choose from three fare classes: Promo, Smart, and Flex. They differ in their cancellation policies: promo is nonrefundable, smart is refundable less a $600 fee, and flex is completely refundable. Fares also fluctuate based on demand and time of year.

Does La Compagnie have a loyalty program?

Yes, La Compagnie has its own loyalty program in which you earn points for each flight, based on your fare class. Those points can be redeemed for free flights. Frequent flyers who chase elite status should note that La Compagnie does not belong to any of the three major alliances, nor does it partner with individual airlines for reciprocal elite status benefits.

What else do I need to know about La Compagnie?

Because La Compagnie only has two planes in its fleet, the airline's schedule is susceptible to cancellations and delays. If one flight is delayed, that can affect subsequent flights, and there are no spare aircraft to alleviate the problem. And if one plane has a maintenance issue, that could completely wreak havoc on the schedule. For what it's worth, La Compagnie's on-time percentage typically hovers around 67 percent, per OAG data. By comparison, the big three airlines in the United States usually have an on-time percentage of 75 percent or higher.

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