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My review of La Compagnie’s all-business-flight from London to New York (Part 2)

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This is part 2 of my review of the La Compagnie ‘all business class’ London Luton to New York Newark service.  Part 1 which is here looked at the seat and the background to the service.  Here I want to look at the amenities, IFE, food and pricing.

Amenities

The washbag was made of 100% recycled cotton:

la compagnie flight washbag

…. and contained socks, a sleeping mask, ear plugs, a toothbrush with toothpaste, an eye cream, a face cream by Caudalie, a pen and a mirror. I would love to see more mirrors in washbags.

la compagnie washbag products

The food

The food was very impressive by business class standards.  La Compagnie has genuinely made an effort here and it shows.

There wasn’t a menu to choose from, but there were two options for the main course.  The starter was lobster salad:

la compagnie flight food starter

As my main I chose the salmon with gnocchi and spinach. The other dish was chicken.

la compagnie flight food main salmon dish

The drinks were in large bottles and poured into glasses.  I’m not too sure how many bar lessons the flight attendants had but when your G&T is 3/4 gin an 1/4 tonic, something must have got mixed up. My seat neighbour and I had to keep ordering more tonic to not get completely wasted within minutes.

la compagnie flight drinks

After dinner I tried to sleep, but it was still relatively early UK time and the seat wasn’t comfortable enough for me to drop off.

I ended up watching a movie on the tablet. Unfortunately I never got to finish the film as the battery died and by the time I got a new one the wi-fi had been turned off.  I will never find out what happens at the end of X-Men: First Class (yes I know this film is a bit old and I should’ve seen it already …..).

An hour before landing we got some sandwiches, scones and sweet pastries, which were a bit too sticky but delicious:

la compagnie flight plane food sandwich

Newark Airport

Rob told me that going through customs and passport control at Newark airport would be quick and easy but the queues were definitely longer than I expected.  On top of that I got a red A on my landing card and had to let my suitcase go through an x-ray.  On the upside, Newark is a quick fixed fare taxi ride into Manhattan.

la compagnie plane

The La Compagnie loyalty program

As La Compagnie is an independent company, they have their own loyalty program which reminds me a lot of a coffee card, although you don’t have to hand in over mid-flight to be stamped.

For every flight you take you get points depending on the category you book.  Once you’ve got enough points, you get a free flight.  Easy.

Interestingly, you can earn bonus points if your flight is delayed by more than six hours or cancelled!

la compagnie my compagnie loyalty scheme

For those travelling to and from New York a lot, La Compagnie recently released a number of ‘unlimited’ passes for £25,000 each.  These allow to take as many trips as you like over a 12 month period.

Conclusion – is La Compagnie worth it?

Calling La Compagnie a ‘business class only’ flight is a bit misleading for people who are used to the current standards of the big airlines and their business class products.  The major European airlines have pretty much eliminated sloping seating (even Lufthansa has finally got rid of it) and most give you the option of not being seated directly next to a stranger.

It certainly isn’t Premium Economy either though – the food and the space available on La Compagnie is well ahead of any Premium Economy seat I know.  You also get lounge access which would not be available with BA’s World Traveller Plus or Virgin’s Premium Economy.

The price is rather Premium Economy. Currently you can book a return flight to Newark on La Compagnie for £1000 (if choosing ‘Promo’ which is non-refundable).  In comparison a BA or Virgin premium economy seat to New York is around £900 to £1100 return outside of a sale.  British Airways has been selling Club World for as little as £1200 in recent sales although you can never predict when they will come around.

It was a bit unfortunate that I didn’t get to fly and review what I understood was the newer La Compagnie plane.  However, it is probably better to expect the old plane and to be surprised with the newer one than the other way round.

The food was great and so was the service (besides the lack of drink mixing skills).  It wasn’t the cabin crew’s fault that seats were broken and that tablets were not working. They did their best in providing a great service throughout the flight.

Your flight may be a little chaotic, but if you are happy to sacrifice earning Avios and tier point and fly old-style business class for premium economy prices, I do recommend La Compagnie.  What the plane lacked in finish was made up for by the crew, food and, compared to premium economy, the spacious seat.

Comments (33)

  • Hingeless says:

    1/4 tonic to 3/4 gin- that’s how I make them

      • harry says:

        the perfect gin martini – the merest splash of tonic would be fine

        2 ounces dry gin
        1 ounce dry vermouth
        Ice
        Olives or a twist of lemon, for garnish

        Place a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill.
        Combine the gin and vermouth in a shaker, fill it halfway with ice, and stir vigorously until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into the chilled glass. Garnish with olives or a twist of lemon. (If using a twist, be sure to run the slice over the glass’s rim.)

      • James Alexander says:

        Brilliant. I’m with you and 007.
        But, don’t go lifting real knives .. You know what’ll happen !

        • Hingeless says:

          Don’t put the olives in the Gin, they are a garnish

          Also I pink Gin is rather nice

          • harry says:

            I was well into pink gin when I worked in Calcutta, we sort of made it ‘our’ drink!

            ISTR we claimed some sort of medical benefit…

          • harry says:

            quinine!

          • harry says:

            Common side effects include headache, ringing in the ears, trouble seeing, and sweating

            yep, ISTR I got that after about 20 pink gins! 🙂

  • Boris says:

    Red A?

    What have you done? What do you have to have done? Or is it just TSA being TSA?

    • Mike says:

      It’s not TSA. It’s CBP.
      I got red Xd for texting in the queue and pissing the agent off. Or maybe it was just a coincidence……..

    • E14 says:

      Agricultural- you get asked when you were last near a farm or if you have any food in your luggage; weed farm bro and chocolate for the munchies are apparently the wrong answers

  • Rob says:

    From what I hear, flights are regularly cancelled at last minute. I don’t think the few hundred pounds saving is worth being delayed 12 hours and flying out on American in economy (as has happened more than once to friends of mine).

    • Alan says:

      Indeed that would be my main concern with them, what seems to be total unreliability.

      Excellent review though, Anika – thanks!

      • Anika says:

        Oh wow sounds awful!

      • Alan says:

        Wow that definitely didn’t sound like fun!! On the upside I’m now listening to their album ‘Glorious’ (I hadn’t heard of them before) and it’s pretty good 😀

        Hope they claimed EU261 compensation!

  • Genghis says:

    The food looks delicious with proper sized portions 🙂

  • John says:

    If I lived near Luton and travelled to the US, I would probably take them all the time, but I don’t so I won’t.

  • PeacefulWaters says:

    Useful to use for a one way flight when redeeming Avios in the other direction.

  • James A says:

    The new normal for NYC out of MAN is £1350 on either VS/DL or AA. That’s the price point they have to compete with and its not so easy tbh.

  • Fadi says:

    The one time I flew WTP the ticket was booked into J so I got lounge access at LHR.

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