La Compagnie is the all business class transatlantic airline that started flying in mid-2014. Their first route was between Paris and Newark, and I was able to review that flight within days of when they launched operations. For a while the airline also flew between Newark and London, though they ended up canceling that route. Late last year it was even announced that La Compagnie and XL Airways will be merging, though not much has changed operationally for the airline.
There’s no denying that La Compagnie offers exceptional value, as their business class is in many cases priced only marginally more than what other airlines charge for economy. I figured that was just a promotional offer for when they launched, but they’ve stayed consistent, which I commend them for.
At the same time the airline’s business class product is definitely sub-par. Seats are angled, while the industry standard nowadays is for business class seats to be fully flat. But for the price, you really can’t complain.
Last year the airline sold unlimited business class flying for a year, and it looks like they’re back with a similar promotion again this year.
La Compagnie is selling unlimited business class flying
La Compagnie is selling a one year pass for unlimited flying on the airline’s Newark to Paris route, called L’Unlimited.
Here are the basic details:
- The pass will go on sale between September 19 and 22, 2017, by calling 800-218-6820
- Only a total of 10 passes will be sold
- The pass is good for a year from the date of your first flight, though will expire no later than December 15, 2018
- There are no capacity controls (as long as a seat is available, a pass member can catch a ride)
- You can only reserve up to four tickets at a time
- If you don’t cancel within three hours of a trip and no show, you’ll be charged 2,000EUR
- You can find the full terms & conditions here
How expensive is unlimited business class flying?
$40,000 or 35,000EUR, depending on whether you reside in the US or France. Rather bizarrely, this is $5,000 and 5,000EUR more expensive than last year, and this is in spite of the fact that they still operated the Newark to London route last year when they started selling this. So it’s more expensive, and you get access to one route rather than two.
Furthermore, to add a sense of exclusivity, La Compagnie is selling just 10 of these passes. I suspect they’d gladly sell an unlimited number, but they realize demand will be fairly limited, so they’re trying to make it sounds more exclusive in hopes of getting people interested.
Is unlimited business class flying for $40,000 a good deal?
La Compagnie is known for their cheap business class fares. For example, at the moment they have promotional fares of $1,300-1,800 roundtrip between New York and Paris, depending on whether you’re traveling alone or as a family.
It’s worth noting that these aren’t walk-up fares, though. If you’re planning more last minute, the fares may be $4,000+ roundtrip (in those instances I probably wouldn’t choose to fly La Compagnie, though).
To break it down, you’re basically paying $770 per week for such a flight pass. If you fly transatlantic every single week (shockingly there are some people who do that), it’s an incredible deal.
If you fly every other week, you’re still paying only ~$1,540 for roundtrip business class, which includes if you’re planning last minute.
If you fly every three weeks, we’re getting closer to the breakeven point of this deal, as you’d be spending ~$2,310 for each roundtrip. That’s probably a bit more than you would otherwise pay if planning well, though this pass has the advantage of allowing you to book very last minute, in which case you’d otherwise end up probably paying significantly more.
There’s no doubt this is a creative promotion, even if we’ve seen it before. However, it’s especially interesting that the price has gone up by $5,000 compared to last year, even though they cut one of their two routes. I imagine there are a few people out there who find this valuable, because it is pretty unbeatable if you fly every week or two between New York and Paris. If you’re a less frequent flyer the savings aren’t as big if you would otherwise plan in advance, though the benefit is that you can book last minute, when airfare is usually most expensive.
Do you think La Compagnie will find 10 people to buy their annual pass?