L'Avion - opinion on safe financial risk

Aug 31st, 2008, 01:43 PM
  #1  
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L'Avion - opinion on safe financial risk

Want to plan a spring trip from USA to Europe & back, but just can't do coach any more. L'Avion is last of the all business class, isn't it?

Would like opinions - do you think they will still be in business next spring?

How does their business class compare to other airlines? Are there nice lounges, comfy seats, good food, good service?

Prices are grrrrrrrreat!

Thanks
JulieAgain is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Hi Julie,

I would be wary of L'Avion this far out - have you checked Open Skies, the new BA subsidiary that flies from JFK to Paris as well as Amsterdam (from October 15th)? Their Prem+ class seems roughly comparable to L'Avion and might be your best bet.

www.flyopenskies.com

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Aug 31st, 2008, 02:39 PM
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L'Avion has already been bought up by BA, and will be integrated with BA's Openskies. So, next spring, you'll be flying an Openskies plane, not L'Avion. But your ticket is safe.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for your replies.

How about L'Avion's amenities? Lounges, seats, service onboard, etc.? Compare to Delta/United?

L'Avion is about $1700 RT; Openskies is about $3200 RT. Delta, United, & Lufthansa are about $3200 RT, but from & to our home city of IND & to our final Europe destination of Germany.

However for almost 1/2 savings pp & we are buying 2 tickets, visiting Paris on this trip would be a good thing - never been there!

Do you folks know of any other discount business class carriers? Don't much care where they fly to/from in Europe - we love touring anywhere in Europe (can take hopper or train to/from Germany). I tried BMI (we love London & always willing to fly in/out there), but they are same or more - which surprised me.

We are retired so our dates are open. Thinking middle of April to middle of May between 3-4 weeks (need to check out when Easter is so can avoid that travel mess).

Strange, but we can take a 14 day transatlantic cruise with 4 ports of call in a balcony cabin for $1400-1500 (inside cabin for $900-1000). Then return on the Queen Mary. Total RT is about the same as RT on the major air carriers!

Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Like I said, by the time you fly, there will likely be no more L'Avion. You will be flying a OpenSkies plane, so you should do your research on OpenSkies, not L'Avion.

All the other all premium-class TransAtlantic carriers - Maxjet, Eos, Silverjet - has gone under and closed their doors. Stranding customers in most cases.

L'Avion basically just sold itself cheaper to BA. At least they are still around and won't strand their customers like the other airlines.

What you see is a good deal, so grab it while it lasts.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Agree with rkkwan. There is no risk, since they are owned by BA. There is only the potential upside that, by the time you fly, you will be on an Openskies plane, which will be better than L'Avion.

As for L'Avion, they are fine. Akin to something like Delta, but not up to the standards of BA or Virgin Atlantic. $1700 is an absolute steal.
travelgourmet is online now  
Aug 31st, 2008, 11:59 PM
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Do you folks know of any other discount business class carriers?

There aren't any others that I am aware of. You might take a look at the AirBerlin empire, which includes some trans-Atlantic carriers with business class sections. I'm not sure about the pricing or quality, though. Air India also sometimes comes in pretty low, but you do see a lot of complaints about them.

Otherwise, I think you are left looking for deals on the major carriers. During the summer and holiday season, you can sometimes stumble upon sub-$2000 sales, but that isn't very common. Generally, something in the $2500-range would be the lower norm.
travelgourmet is online now  
Sep 1st, 2008, 12:27 AM
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CO had been running ~$2,000 business class roundtrip for summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas for a few years. But definitely not in the spring.

Airlines need to make money from the business flyers, afterall.

Selling $2,000 business fares across the Atlantic year round is not a viable business model, as recent history has shown.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 18th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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How does their business class compare to other airlines? Are there nice lounges, comfy seats, good food, good service?

We flew l'Avion last month. Newark is hard to get to comfortably from where we live (Scottsdale), but Orly is much preferable to CDG, so I guess it evens out.

Since they only run one or two flights a day, check-in doesn't begin until an hour before departure, giving passengers an average of about 20 minutes in the lounge, which is well-stocked with snacks (I had some delightful shrimp salad sandwiches) and beverages of every description.

On board: the seat pitch is sufficient that my six-foot frame unfolds comfortably on the leg rest without impinging on the passenger in front, and reclining fully doesn't bother the passenger behind. The seats have four controls, for leg rest angle and extension, a lumbar support, and recline. Needless to say, 2 + 2 configuration in a 757 makes for very wide and comfortable seats (but see note on AC, below).

The food is exotic, and very tasty - as is the wine selection. Outbound, I had a delicious multi-fish casserole with an above-average white burgundy, and returning I chose the foie gras with accompaniments and a Cabernet d'Anjou. If you aren't used to strong, bitter coffee, order a different drink. I had to teach the young lady serving our section how to make a gin & tonic. The concept was totally foreign to her.

The inflight entertainment is a little quirky. The FAs distribute self-contained multimedia "slates" that have a half-dozen programming choices (movies, music, TV...) with numerous selections in each category. You can set it up on your tray table or hold it in your lap. The publicity pictures showing it standing up on the center armrest are a lie. A "wall-wart" transformer powers the device - and the AC outlets are right about where your hip bone is, so using the media box isn't 100% comfortable. The earbuds are atrocious, so make sure you take along a trusty pair of your own. In my opinion, l'Avion should re-think this whole area.

In-flight pampering is minimal. Each seat is equipped with a unit standard bottle of water, but once the meal service is concluded, you have to ask for drink refills. I guess Singapore spoiled me, because I expect to see a FA with a juice pitcher any time I look up.

The lead FA looked like she could have just stepped off the runway at Givinchy. World-class beauty by any standard.

Overall, I'd give the experience a solid B - but you can't beat the price (we paid less than $1600).
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