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La Compagnie - any recent experience with this airline?

La Compagnie - any recent experience with this airline?

Old Aug 13, 19, 11:33 am
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFyre View Post
Xandrios - Yes, these are actual pictures from the flight. The one on the left came from La Compagnie's website to show what they are selling people, and the ones on the right are from the actual plane. Those are my knees jammed into the seat ahead, and the poor guy in the aisle across from me. I'll post a couple more showing the difference between the cabin they market and the actual plane they put us on. (In these the top photos are from their website and the bottom photos are from my flight.)


B0 102 is operated with a B757 with older style business class seats.

Your BAIT pics show the new A321NEO interior, used for the morning flight B0 100.

Now if (IF) your pics are indeed from the plane you flew, that would be indeed a problem.

La Compagnie can switch from the A321 to the B757 (or vice versa, but this would be rarer as they have 2 B 757 and 1 A321 for the time being).

I have never heard of La Compagnie switching from their B757 to an all economy plane. They would rather cancel the flight.

Would you mind sharing other pics (of the crew, the service etc)?

You show 3x3 layout. B757 La Compagnie is 2X2. How many pax were there in the row of 3?
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Old Aug 13, 19, 11:59 am
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post
B0 102 is operated with a B757 with older style business class seats.

Your BAIT pics show the new A321NEO interior, used for the morning flight B0 100.

Now if (IF) your pics are indeed from the plane you flew, that would be indeed a problem.

La Compagnie can switch from the A321 to the B757 (or vice versa, but this would be rarer as they have 2 B 757 and 1 A321 for the time being).

I have never heard of La Compagnie switching from their B757 to an all economy plane. They would rather cancel the flight.

Would you mind sharing other pics (of the crew, the service etc)?

You show 3x3 layout. B757 La Compagnie is 2X2. How many pax were there in the row of 3?
Hi Carnarvon - thanks for joining the conversation. When I boarded the plane on the tarmac and looked around, I realized that this looked nothing like what was on La Compagnie's website. Here are the pictures that I snapped from the inside of the plane. I can assure you that they are real. I used an iPhone which tracks the date, time, GPS location, etc, and would be happy to email you the original files so you can verify their authenticity. Now you can say that you have heard about La Compagnie swapping out one of their planes for an all economy plane!






Also, I just saw a review on TripAdvisor (https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...nie-World.html) from a guy ("cheated_traveler") who was supposed to take the same plane from NY back to Paris. It looks like in his case they actually told him about the change, and then canceled the flight and put him on another airline.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 12:25 pm
  #138  
 
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Then I think you are indeed fully in your right to claim downgrade compensation. You booked a business class flight, but it was operated by an all-economy aircraft. I'd refrain from using the bait/switch stuff in your communication towards the airline, but just explain to them that you booked a business class flight and was downgraded to economy. Include the pictures and request compensation to be paid under EU 261/2004. I believe that you are due 75% of the fare paid.

It may be a struggle to get the compensation though. It looks like they converted the middle seats into tables (as is common in European business class). If they argue that you did receive business class seating due to that table being there, it would be very difficult to prove that you did not get what you booked. It would be comparable to Turkish downgrading their B777 on AMS-IST with lie-flat seats to an A320 with standard European business class. Both types are considered business class, though they are very different from each other. You could use the cabin pictures that LaCompanie advertises the flight with as proof of not having received what was paid for.
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Last edited by Xandrios; Aug 13, 19 at 12:31 pm
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:29 am
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFyre View Post
Hi Carnarvon - thanks for joining the conversation. When I boarded the plane on the tarmac and looked around, I realized that this looked nothing like what was on La Compagnie's website. Here are the pictures that I snapped from the inside of the plane. I can assure you that they are real. I used an iPhone which tracks the date, time, GPS location, etc, and would be happy to email you the original files so you can verify their authenticity. Now you can say that you have heard about La Compagnie swapping out one of their planes for an all economy plane!.
HI again.

I have made some enquiries and indeed their plane went tech on 30 June flight B0 103.

This being said, I think you are misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) what La Compagnie did. They did not bait you and then willingly put you in an all Y plane.

This airline has three planes. When one goes tech, what can they do?

Either put you on another flight (theirs or from another airline) or charter a plane. Obviously, there are no all business class planes available for charter, so it had to be what you got.

I understand you disappointment and I would have been disappointed as well.

But when you travel .... happens. Even major airlines will downgrade you because of a plane change or overbooking.

In my view, they did the most important thing : take you to your destination.

I agree it was not the comfort you were expecting, and I repeat that I would have been disappointed as well, but there was no malice on their part. Furthermore, I would very much rather fly in the plane you got than be put in an AF 777 eco seat!

And let' be frank with each other : how much did you pay?

If you wish to minimise this kind of risk, then just fly AF or any other major. You will pay 2, 3 or 4 times the price.

Unless this becomes a pattern, I am willing to trust that La Compagnie did their best to avoid stranding you in Paris.

Flying with a 3 plane airline comes with positive aspects such as the price, but with negative ones inherent to their small size.

Don't you agree?
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Last edited by carnarvon; Aug 14, 19 at 4:35 am
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:05 am
  #140  
 
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For that reason I don't travel on 3 aircraft airlines unless desperate.

I prefer operators who have a bit more substance and are not just playing at it.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:45 am
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
For that reason I don't travel on 3 aircraft airlines unless desperate.

I prefer operators who have a bit more substance and are not just playing at it.
Understood.

But that is because you can afford it.

My ticket on B0 was € 1,000. The best price on AF/KL was € 2,300. Times 2 because we are a party of 2, this is an extra € 2,600.

PAR/NYC is a short flight, so as long as I have a reasonable guarantee that I will get at destination in time (or shortly after), I am willing to take the risk of being put in Y on another flight (or like in this case, in an all Y plane with the middle seat blocked, which is WAY better than a Y seat on AF 777).

The reviews are overwhelmingly positive. It must mean that tech issues are quite rare. So when it happens, it happens. Life goes on...
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:41 am
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post
Understood.

But that is because you can afford it.

My ticket on B0 was 1,000. The best price on AF/KL was 2,300. Times 2 because we are a party of 2, this is an extra 2,600.

PAR/NYC is a short flight, so as long as I have a reasonable guarantee that I will get at destination in time (or shortly after), I am willing to take the risk of being put in Y on another flight (or like in this case, in an all Y plane with the middle seat blocked, which is WAY better than a Y seat on AF 777).

The reviews are overwhelmingly positive. It must mean that tech issues are quite rare. So when it happens, it happens. Life goes on...
Not really, just that I need to provide a reliable service to clients and get where I need to be. No guarantees in life, but chances are much higher on an airline with fleet contingency and/or alliance with other carriers than on a 3 fleet operator where the slightest issue can make things go pear shaped.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:07 am
  #143  
 
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Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
Not really, just that I need to provide a reliable service to clients and get where I need to be. No guarantees in life, but chances are much higher on an airline with fleet contingency and/or alliance with other carriers than on a 3 fleet operator where the slightest issue can make things go pear shaped.
I don't get it. I said I agreed with you that a larger airline would be more reliable but at much higher prices.

If the worst that can happen with B0 is that you end up on another airline in Y, even the next day, then in my case it looks fine to take the risk, as I cannot afford C on AF, which you obviously can.

Unless you cannot build 1 extra day in your schedule for safety (or jet lag adjustment), then the risk that you don't get there in time is quite low, isn't it?

But once again, if you can afford a major and need maximum reliability, then B0 is not for you.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 11:24 am
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post
I don't get it. I said I agreed with you that a larger airline would be more reliable but at much higher prices.

If the worst that can happen with B0 is that you end up on another airline in Y, even the next day, then in my case it looks fine to take the risk, as I cannot afford C on AF, which you obviously can.

Unless you cannot build 1 extra day in your schedule for safety (or jet lag adjustment), then the risk that you don't get there in time is quite low, isn't it?

But once again, if you can afford a major and need maximum reliability, then B0 is not for you.
My point is....it is not because I can afford it. It is because I can't afford not to.

Rather Y+ and arrive rather than some cheap J option that falls apart.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 1:03 am
  #145  
 
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This story gives s a bit more detail about the above complaint and plane swap. Seems that La Compagnie pro-actively offered downgrade compensation.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/carefu...third-parties/
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Old Aug 16, 19, 4:10 pm
  #146  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFyre View Post
Hi Mauld - beware. I just flew these guys in June. They swapped out the plane without telling anyone, would not let me off once I figured out, and have ignored my calls, emails, and requests to the gate agents. La Compagnie is a "Flying Fyre Festival"! If your flight is in Sept you still have time to explore alternatives. Good luck!
Understand your frustration, but I booked my EWR-NCE directly with the airline, and they do have my contact info. Given the r/t cost of under US$ 1100 AND they fly non stop from my home airport to Nice, I'm not looking to book an alternative (not that one would be available). My flight leaves EWR at 11:30 pm Sept 6, so I'll most likely just sleep the flight over ( and yes, I've comfortably slept in coach seats 2 or 3 across). Coming back on Sept 9 leaving at 6:15pm, so hope that plane is a bit more comfortable. The only reason I'm making this trip is the destination and the fact they fly non stop to/from Nice. (Believe me, I hate the fact that I'm not getting UA miles for this��



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Old Aug 17, 19, 12:38 pm
  #147  
 
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Then I think you are indeed fully in your right to claim downgrade compensation. You booked a business class flight, but it was operated by an all-economy aircraft. I'd refrain from using the bait/switch stuff in your communication towards the airline, but just explain to them that you booked a business class flight and was downgraded to economy. Include the pictures and request compensation to be paid under EU 261/2004. I believe that you are due 75% of the fare paid.

It may be a struggle to get the compensation though. It looks like they converted the middle seats into tables (as is common in European business class). If they argue that you did receive business class seating due to that table being there, it would be very difficult to prove that you did not get what you booked. It would be comparable to Turkish downgrading their B777 on AMS-IST with lie-flat seats to an A320 with standard European business class. Both types are considered business class, though they are very different from each other. You could use the cabin pictures that LaCompanie advertises the flight with as proof of not having received what was paid for.
Hi Xandrios - Thanks for your comments. I have an update for you. After receiving no response from La Compagnie for over a month, I filed a formal complaint with the Dept of Transportation and notified some travel journalists. Not long after the government and press started calling they finally contacted me and offered $945 against my $1515 ticket. In case anyone else has trouble contacting La Compagnie, here is the website that finally worked for me: https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escompla...nsumerform.cfm.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 1:09 pm
  #148  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon;31414376.

[....text removed for brevity

Don't you agree?
Hello Carnarvon,

I appreciate your comments, but we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I've got a couple million miles flying under my belt, and of course things go wrong all the time.

The issue here is not that they had to swap a plane, but rather that they did not tell me about the change so I could consider other options. There were eight separate opportunities to do so, including online check-in, the ticket desk, the gate, etc. Worse, after the flight they ignored my emails, phone calls, and my business card that I gave their gate agent in NY. They had my correct contact information from at least four different interactions, and used it correctly to check me in and send the boarding passes. They claimed they sent me an email offering compensation 5 days after the flight, but the address they used was bad and bounced immediately, so they knew that message did not work. Only after I filed a DOT complaint and a journalist contacted them did they finally get back to me.

Bottom line here is that their customer service is really, really bad. And, I am not the only one experiencing that. Another journalist from The Points Guy had equally difficult challenges trying to contact them (https://thepointsguy.co.uk/reviews/l...a321lr-review/). Trip Advisor is also full of similar stories of La Compagnie ignoring customers after changes.

I suspect that when everything works well it is a great experience. But when it doesn't, do you really want to have to file a DOT complaint to get them to return your calls? I don't. If anyone else is willing to take that risk, I genuinely hope that it works out better for you than it did for me.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 2:50 am
  #149  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingFyre View Post
(...) The issue here is not that they had to swap a plane, but rather that they did not tell me about the change so I could consider other options. (...).
Hello FlyingFyre,

I don't completely disagree with you about the lack of communication, however I am not sure about one thing.

I have read many reports about downgrading and it appears it goes as follows when flying a major:

- plane goes tech
- is replaced with a smaller (or different config) plane.
- the airline does NOT inform you in advance
- OLCI tells you nothing.
- upon check in for the luggage, you are told nothing (maybe you are, am not sure, but you are at the airport already)
- at the gate, your BP generates a beep and you are told that unfortunately, you are going to fly Y, in a 10 abreast 777 seat.

You may make a scene and refuse to board, but frankly speaking, what is the likelihood you do? You will most likely board, fuming about it all (I would) and live in misery for the next few hours.

Is this better or worse than flying small all-Y plane, with 3 seats for yourself?

Will you claim that AF, KL, DL or any other major airline baited you with pictures of lie flat seats and made you fly Y instead?
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Old Aug 19, 19, 9:42 pm
  #150  
 
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Originally Posted by carnarvon View Post
Hello FlyingFyre,

I don't completely disagree with you about the lack of communication, however I am not sure about one thing.

I have read many reports about downgrading and it appears it goes as follows when flying a major:

- plane goes tech
- is replaced with a smaller (or different config) plane.
- the airline does NOT inform you in advance
- OLCI tells you nothing.
- upon check in for the luggage, you are told nothing (maybe you are, am not sure, but you are at the airport already)
- at the gate, your BP generates a beep and you are told that unfortunately, you are going to fly Y, in a 10 abreast 777 seat.

You may make a scene and refuse to board, but frankly speaking, what is the likelihood you do? You will most likely board, fuming about it all (I would) and live in misery for the next few hours.

Is this better or worse than flying small all-Y plane, with 3 seats for yourself?

Will you claim that AF, KL, DL or any other major airline baited you with pictures of lie flat seats and made you fly Y instead?
Hello again!

You bring up an interesting scenario. Let's walk through it:

- plane goes tech
-> yes, that happened to me

- is replaced with a smaller (or different config) plane.
-> yes, also happened

- the airline does NOT inform you in advance
-> yes, also happened to me

- OLCI tells you nothing.
-> same again. Online check in showed the LC flight, business class, seat etc. All looked good at that point. I entered all my contact information again and they emailed me the boarding pass to my correct email. Here is:

[image with personal data removed by moderator]

- upon check in for the luggage, you are told nothing (maybe you are, am not sure, but you are at the airport already)
-> Yes, same. I checked in at the desk and showed my boarding pass and asked if I needed anything else. Since this was my first time flying LC I wanted to be sure. They looked at the boarding pass and said everything is fine, and advised me on how best to navigate security and immigration.

- at the gate, your BP generates a beep and you are told that unfortunately, you are going to fly Y, in a 10 abreast 777 seat.
-> Here is where things are different. The gate sign showed BO 102. When I presented the boarding pass it did beep and the lady exchanged my boarding pass for a different one. I asked her if everything was OK, and she said, "yes, everything is fine". So I then asked if anything had changed and she said, "No, it is all the same". I looked at the new boarding pass and it had the same flight (BO 102), same seat (23F), and Class C. It all looked the same, so I went through the gate fully expecting the plane and seat they sold me. Here is the second boarding pass:

[image with personal data removed by moderator]

The gate led to a bus, which took us to a plane on the tarmac. The plane did not look like the ones in the ads, but maybe it was due for a paint job. Once I boarded and found seat 23F, it clearly was not a business class seat.

I asked the flight attendant where the business class seats were and she said, "we did not have time to put them on."

I replied, "But aren't all the seats supposed to be business class on the La Compagnie planes?", and she replied, "oh, this isn't a La Compagnie plane. We are Titan Air".

I again asked if there were any business class seats on the airplane, and she said no.

At this point I realized that something was really wrong and asked to get off the plane. I only had carry on luggage so it would not delay the flight or inconvenience the other passengers. She politely replied that I could not since we were on the tarmac and the doors had already closed. Checkmate, they got me.

So to answer your specific question, if any airline made a switch and notified me of the change, even as late as the gate, and I would have had the option to change to another carrier; whatever I decided, that would be my choice and not be a "bait-and-switch". But in this case La Compagnie had eight separate opportunities to tell me about the switch including the gate agent and new boarding pass, but never did, so yes, I can fairly call this a "bait-and-switch". I would also make the same claim of any airline that did this to their customers.

So in summary:

1) Changing the plane without saying anything until the passengers are passed off to the replacement airline and cannot leave the plane: Bait and Switch

2) Not replying to phone calls, emails, or my business card that I gave the La Compagnie gate agent in NY: Horrible Customer Service

3) Only responding after pressured from government regulators and journalists: Where I come from we call that "CYA"

It happened to me, and it can happen to anyone. I hope it doesn't, but if it does, file away this website as it seems to be the only way to get La Compagnie answer you:
https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escompla...nsumerform.cfm

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Aug 20, 19 at 4:22 am Reason: Images with personal data removed
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