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La Compagnie - any recent experience with this airline?

La Compagnie - any recent experience with this airline?

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Old May 26, 15, 12:15 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: LGW.
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Friends of mine flew LTN-NYC yesterday on the La Compagnie aircraft, no complaints from them x
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Old May 27, 15, 8:17 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 31
great flight

Having worried about this for weeks I am pleased to say we just arrived in Newark on schedule in the proper plane!

Plane half empty, seats exactly what I experienced in business in more commercial airlines 4-5 years ago. Definitely miles ahead of premium economy.

Hope they get more passengers so the route becomes economically viable!
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Old May 31, 15, 5:45 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 152
I am finally starting to relax and look forward to my upcoming flight.

@Jenech, Which of their two planes were you on -- the original that we see in all the promotional photos or the one with dark navy blue seats?
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Old Jun 1, 15, 5:19 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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i spoke to soon. They had another bizarre last minute cancellation on Sunday night -- short a crew member. They ended up combining the London and Paris flights, telling the London passengers they would drop them off in London on the way to Paris. Yes, they are running the "local" again. Only problem: 15 minutes before they were supposed to land at Luton, they diverted straight to Paris for "operational reasons." Needless to say, a lot of very unhappy people.

I so wanted to love this airline but I am rapidly losing faith. I head into Thursday expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

What a miserable way to start a vacation.
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Old Jun 4, 15, 6:09 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: UA Gold
Posts: 26
Return flight (Luton-EWR) on May 31 was great. Right plane, left on time. Lounge is marginal - it is currently under renovation, but they serve Chang beer!

Service was good, food was excellent (lobster salad) to perfectly average (tea and sanwiches). I'd say it was a little over half full. Seats were comfortable, and had in seat power. Movie selection on tablet was top notch - many recent movies (American Sniper, etc.) and classics (maybe every James Bond movie).

I would book them again, but part of the money I save would go to travel insurance. There is a tradeoff when booking on an airline with only two planes.

Current promotion is $3k for 2 roundtrips. I would gladly book if I had the vacation time.
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Old Jun 5, 15, 8:32 am
  #66  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5
I was lucky enough to get both of my booked flights with just a 1 hour delay on the first leg of the trip from Luton to Newark. Sadly they didn't make for up the delay and we arrived about 1 hour late in EWR. I had the plane with light blue seats on the way there and the dark blue seat on the way back. The plane with dark blue seats looks nicer, and the seat feels marginally better, but none can be classed lie flat (oh it has power plugs but the light blue has usb charging as well). It wasn't too comfortable to sleep on the lie flat position, so I reclined it as much as possible to keep my knees on a higher position and sleep on my back.
The lounge in Luton is under renovation and really small, but still miles ahead if compared to the lounge in EWR.
Once you get inside the plane things get better. Actually, the check in team in Luton were excellent, the one in EWR were a bit aloof, but not too bad. The service from the cabin crew was excellent, sometimes they forgot about our drinks order but they made every effort to provide us with the meal of choice or any extras we wanted. I have to point out that the flight from LTN to EWR was cancelled the day before my flight so the plane was almost full and the senior cabin crew was running up and down fixing various problems but always had a smile and was very professional when dealing with us.
We went to EWR on 16A and C, they were good seats, but the people in front had to move as they said the seat wouldn't recline. I've heard quite a few people moving seats for that reason, and most of the tablets didn't work (they had spares, but honestly it's not that good, old movies and 2 week old newspapers loaded). On the way back we were on 1D and F, a bit of extra leg room, but faced the senior cabin crew during take off and landing. She was lovely with us.
I enjoyed the food, bearing in mind I've only tried business class on BA and TAM, it wasn't as good but not much worse either. We ordered vegetarian meals but got Vegan, there was no sign of egg, cheese or diary in our food making it a bit too bland, I then asked for the fish main meal and got it. After food you also get a choice of tea from a box. I think their service takes a bit too long and could be streamlined so we get more sleep time.
The flight back was on time, one of the cabin crew liked us and we had a long chat about the airline, she confirmed a crew member ill on Sunday night and couldn't fly, hence why they bundled everyone in one plane. She apologized and seemed to genuinely believe that the airline can make it and grow.
I think they read the reviews on blogs as they served drinks before taking off, they included a dental kit as these issues were mentioned in a blog review.
By far the best reason to fly with them is the extra space you get for the price. I used BA's World traveler plus a couple of times and La Compagnie is much better than that. The seat is slightly worse than the business seat on TAM, so obviously BA wins on the seat.
Last but not least, Luton is not a boutique airport, and I hope I never have to go there again. I hate the fact you need to get into a cramped bus from the train station to the terminal. I can't understand why they chose the only airport without a train station attached to it.
I would use La Compagnie again if I had to travel to NY and the price was right but it would need to be cheaper than BA's premium economy, even though La Compagnie is better, the hassle to get to Luton puts me off. It would be wonderful to have an airline like this flying to other destinations such as MIA or SFO.
Feel free to ask any questions about the experience and I'll reply while it still fresh in my mind.
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Old Jun 12, 15, 7:23 am
  #67  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: NYC
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Regarding transfer from Luton to London.

We took the train Luton to London - it is a short shuttle bus ride to the train station, the the train ride to St. Pancras was quick. Overall.. probably 45 minutes. Quicker than the train from Gatwick. You can buy the combo shuttle/ train tickets in the baggage pickup area of the international terminal.

On the return, we took the bus from London to Luton - misreable. The bus winds its way through London, making multple stops. The absolute low point of the trip. Pay extra for the train.
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Old Jun 13, 15, 9:10 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by shablamb View Post
Regarding transfer from Luton to London.

We took the train Luton to London - it is a short shuttle bus ride to the train station, the the train ride to St. Pancras was quick. Overall.. probably 45 minutes. Quicker than the train from Gatwick. You can buy the combo shuttle/ train tickets in the baggage pickup area of the international terminal.
Depends where you're ending up in central London - the train from Gatwick to Victoria takes just over half an hour.

The Thameslink train from Gatwick to Blackfriars and St Pancras etc takes longer at the moment as it has to take a longer, slower route through south London whilst London Bridge station is being rebuilt (meaning those trains don't call at London Bridge station either).

Like you say, best to buy the combined shuttle bus/ train ticket in Luton airport. (For anyone arriving on easyJet, they sell the tickets onboard and I think they're actually a little cheaper than buying on the ground!)
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Old Jun 15, 15, 7:53 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I just got back from my round trip EWR-LUT-EWR on La Compagnie. Despite having a flight cancelled (more on that later), I loved these guys and truly wish them well.

I left from Newark on June 4. Everything worked perfectly. In fact, I had some of the best service at check-in that I have ever had. I got to the airport early so there were still a few people checking in for the Paris flight. There were four people ahead of me and they apologized for the long line. The agent who checked me in, went out of his way to help. I mentioned that I had switched my seat to row 12 in the hope of having no one sitting next to me, he said we can do better than that and moved me to 2C bulkhead without my asking — no one sat next to me. I was then told that the airport manager wanted to meet me. He was delayed so someone walked me to the lounge (the old Virgin Atlantic landside lounge now redone). Sure enough, the manager shows up a few minutes later, shows me around and we had a nice chat. The food in the lounge beat anything I’d find at Delta or United. There was an assortment of pasta, vegetables, salads, bread cookies — more than enough for a basic pre-flight meal. They offered to escort me through security but that really was not necessary. When I got to the gate Peter Leuthi was there to see everyone off, he acknowedged me by name, we talked for a bit. Boarding was quick and smooth. I fell asleep almost immediately so didn’t get to sample the light supper. Breakfast offered just about anything you could want from fruit, to fresh breads, to French toast and omlet and bacon — more than is provided on most other business class flights. The flight over was on the newer plane. No the seats don’t compare to the true lie flat beds but a 5′ tall I found it quite comfortable and was able to sleep. Clearly they've taken note of customer comments -- they offered a pre-flight drink and took my coat to hang it up. We got in on time. The crew was lovely. I couldn’t have asked for more.

What can I say about Luton? I don’t hate it. Yes it is old and yes it takes a few minutes longer to get there but I was out of that airport in the time it would take me to walk to the gate at Heathrow. My only mistake was taking the train. For me it would have been easier to take the bus to Victoria and then a quick cab the rest of the way.

I guess if you worry about something enough, it is going to happen. I was supposed to fly home on Friday, June 12. Thursday afternoon I went online to print out my boarding pass only to get a message to try back with 24 hrs. I checked my watch. Hmmm… I looked more closely at my e-mails, and found the e-mail telling me my flight had been cancelled and that I had been rebooked for Saturday:

“We inform you that we have to cancel your B0 006 flight on June 12 between London-Luton to NY-Newark due to operational constraints.

In order to minimize the impact, we already rebooked you on B0 006 leaving on June 13. If you wish to travel on alternative dates or wish to cancel, you can change your reservation without penalty.

We apologize for this last minute change and remain at your disposal should you need any additional information.

In the meantime, if you choose to fly with us on June 13 or on another date, we will be pleased to offer you a free ticket at your convenience on top of reglementary compensations.”

I’m not sure of what I am entitled to when the say “relementary compensations.” I immediately called there corporate office and they agreed (in writing) to cover my hotel for another night. I’m not sure of what else to expect.

Frankly, this time it didn’t pose a hardship for me. It was sorted out very quickly by La Compagnie. I was fortunate that I was able to keep my room another night and had the funds to cover it. I had an extra day in London and will have a upcoming free flight. That said, I don’t want to minimize the hardship and inconvenience it caused others. It just happened that in this case it worked out fine for me.

The flight back was equally smooth. Car service to Luton. About a one hour delay and we were off. Check-in at Luton was also smooth, I was the only one in the Priority Security Line so that was very quick. The Aspire Lounge is still a work in progress but should be nice when done. I was nursing a very bad case of food poisoning so didn’t sample any of the food– for that matter I couldn’t even look at it.

The flight was quite full but given that I wasn’t feeling well they arranged for me to have two seats to myself. Row 15 and more than enough leg room. This was the older plane and, honestly, I liked it better. Since I wasn’t well, I slept most of the way and again missed the meal. I did sample the afternoon tea which was sandwiches and scones. Basic but just right.

Arrival at Newark was fast and easy — very quiet at that time of night.

Bottom line: I would definitely fly them again. They have a good product at a great value. I truly hope they make it. They are all working very hard to make that company a success and are dealing with some of the obstacles they’ve had to face as best they can. They really deserve a chance.
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Old Jun 17, 15, 2:31 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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I am flying out from luton on June 22nd and flying back from newark on June 28th. I am worried now about cancelled flights. We got £500 return tickets as part of their promotional deal when they started the luton leg so I was really excited to be flying to New York so cheaply.

I think this is a brilliant concept and I really hope it succeeds. I'm going to remain optimistic as I go on Monday!
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Old Jun 18, 15, 6:08 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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@Natasha, I know what you are going through. I just lived it. You are right. They have a great product but you have to go into it knowing that there is a better than usual chance that your flight will be cancelled. Of late there seems to be a pretty steady stream of cancellations on the London route. My flight was cancelled on the 12th. I gather yesterday's flight from Luton was canceled, resulting in the cancellation of the Newark to London flight too. All that said, I like them so much I am planning on flying them again later in the summer.
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Old Jun 18, 15, 7:46 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Nancy Colson View Post
[...] They have a great product but you have to go into it knowing that there is a better than usual chance that your flight will be cancelled. [...]
Or, indeed, a worse than usual chance!
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Old Jun 19, 15, 3:50 am
  #73  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Natasha quigley View Post
I am flying out from luton on June 22nd and flying back from newark on June 28th.
Natasha - guessing you know that the 28/6 from EWR to LTN is cancelled? I was on that flight and was moved to 29/6.
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Old Jun 19, 15, 5:45 am
  #74  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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@Nancy, by “relementary compensations.” I think they mean "regulatory compensation" and are referring to EC Regulation 261/2004 which in most cases (weather being the most common exception) sets compensation at 600 Euros for a flight over 3500km which is delayed for more that 4 hours.

I have read some comments elsewhere that suggest they are giving round trip tickets (even when one sector has been effected) in addition to the cash compensation they are required to give under the legislation. If that is true then it seems that they really are doing their best to keep passengers happy while they sort out the teething troubles.

Could I ask if you or any other forum users have had confirmed exactly what compensation is being provided?

I too wish the new airline well. I am old enough to have used Virgin Atlantic when they only had one, and later two, aircraft and personally experienced the problems they also had at that time.

Virgin went on to be the driving force behind a great improvement in business class travel across the world. I am doing my bit to support La Compagnie as they try to shake up the status quo in the industry by flying with them next month.

Lets hope that their great product at a sensible price is, like Virgin Atlantic proved to be, here to stay!
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Old Jun 20, 15, 4:32 am
  #75  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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@777ASeatPlease, I agree with you 100%. I too remember the early days of Virgin. Of course in those days there was no social media.

In my case, the minute I found out my flight was cancelled, I called the corporate office and gave them two options. Get me out of London in business class on another airline on the day I was scheduled to fly or pay my hotel bill for the extra night. I told them the amount and had them e-mail confirmation that the bill would be covered. In addition, they offered a free round trip within a year and a $600.00 voucher to use toward another flight.

My case is now in the hands of Customer Care. They tell me that my hotel bill will be refunded to my credit card within a month. I've tried to book a round trip to Paris in August via the US reservations line. They told me the reservation had to be approved by Customer Care.... I'm still waiting.

I think this work out in the end but it won't be easy. It will take a lot of follow-up and patience.

Last edited by Nancy Colson; Jun 20, 15 at 5:14 pm Reason: typo
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