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La Compagnie Adds Class to Business Class

The last time I saw Paris, I flew all business class with La Compagnie. The only problem is, I no longer want to fly with anyone else.

Photo courtesy of La Compagnie

Flying overseas for business or pleasure? If your airline is all business, your flight will be all pleasure. I’m talking about La Compagnie de Paris, an all-business-class airline serving Paris, Milan and Nice from its U.S. base at Newark Airport. La Compagnie is currently the only airline offering an all-business-class experience on its flights. The result is an extraordinary experience in the air that’s less crowded, more comfortable and as stress-free as flying can be.

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La Compagnie is the answer to the question, how can we make business travel as elegant and enjoyable as it was decades ago? The kind of experience La Compagnie offers is about as close to flying private over the Atlantic as you can find for less than the cost of business class on most other airlines.

Fewer passengers means that you’re statistically less likely to be traveling with someone who could be spreading germs of any kind, COVID-related or otherwise. There’s also enormous pleasure in having a quiet, personalized experience in the air, instead of the cattle calls that most travel feels like today.

Photo courtesy of La Compagnie

Even if you’re flying business class on a typical airline, you might be turning left when you board to find your seat, but there’s still several hundred other people turning right, headed for economy class. America is supposed to be an egalitarian society, but when it comes to flying for seven or eight hours, a little bit of exclusivity truly goes a long way.

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La Compagnie flies whisper-quiet A321neo aircraft with just 76 oversized seats that recline into an extremely comfortable flat position. The smaller number of seats provides an intimate travel experience as you make your way to Europe. British Airways had been flying all-business Airbus A318 jets between New York and London, but they are no longer offering that service, so La Compagnie is the only airline today offering all-business-class service to Western Europe and beyond.

The seats are extremely comfortable, and since they are only two abreast on either side of the aisle, there are no middle seats. You feel a degree of spaciousness and, dare I say, lightness that you might never have experienced on a commercial flight before. Fewer passengers also means a much quicker process when it comes to boarding and deplaning. You’re on and off in a matter of moments, instead of joining the parade of hundreds of people gathered around the counter or lined up to get off.

Photo courtesy of La Compagnie

The first-class experience begins at the airport, where La Compagnie’s check-in team is actually happy to see you. Any traveler who is used to the utter indifference of legacy airline staff at airports, who honestly couldn’t care less whether you fly or not, will be immediately struck by the warm welcome they receive. You head directly to a private lounge, enjoy front-of-the-line treatment through passport control and board promptly.

In addition to seats that lie flat and 15-inch touch screens that offer a crisper picture than the one on your laptop, along with Wi-Fi that actually works, the cuisine is marvelously French. Chef Christophe Langrée provides a seasonal French menu, featuring, of course, fresh croissants from Maison Kayser for breakfast and a four-course lunch. You can look forward to French classics like caramelized onion soup. The flight team will keep you well supplied with Piper-Heidsieck Champagne as well.

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You might expect to pay a Louis XVI-sized ransom to fly on La Compagnie, but the fares are typically 30 to 50 percent lower than those of business-class flights on other airlines. You can also find occasional two-for-one deals, like a recent Valentine’s Day promotion, which means that your spouse, partner or friend can experience the same high level of taste and elegance in the air as you.

If you’re technologically minded, you might be happy to know that the La Compagnie Airbus is equipped with CFM International LEAP-1 engines, which are both more fuel efficient and quieter than the engines you’ll find on traditional jets. This means that their aircraft use 20 percent less fuel than other aircraft in the sky today.

The only downside of flying La Compagnie is that it will spoil you for flying on anyone else’s planes anywhere else in the world. But for international travelers, that’s an awfully nice problem to have.

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