OpenSkies – Best Business Class Value Across the Atlantic!

At $799* each way (plus tax) based on a roundtrip purchase, you cannot find a better business Class fare between New York (EWR) or Washington D.C. and Paris (ORY)!  That is what OpenSkies is all about…value!  Special limited time offers like this are made available on a regular basis.   According to CEO, Dale Moss, “the niche for us is all about providing a sensibly priced Business Class service…”

Launched in June 2008, this premium subsidiary of British Airways combines the know-how of one of the biggest airlines in the world with the quality and commitment of a small airline that maintains a close relationship with its passengers.  Frequent flyers can earn miles on British Airways or any of its OneWorld partners and with the financial muscle of BA behind it, OpenSkies seems to be here to stay.

On July 26, 2008, OpenSkies acquired L’AVION, the 100% business class French airline that was equally French and American with its concept of an attractively priced “private jet” experience.  The route system is limited to flights from Newark and Dulles to Paris, Orly.  We crossed the pond in style with OpenSkies and purchased a separate ticket in economy for our short intra-European flights after a restful night in Paris in both directions.  The extra time required and hotel expense was well worth the comfort and savings flying across the Atlantic in an OpenSkies Biz Seat.

The goal of OpenSkies is to offer an affordable business class experience that combines comfort with quality. The four Boeing 757s that make up the fleet have been completely redesigned to offer a luxurious environment filled with comfortable materials and soft, warm colors in hues of beige, mauve, and gray.

The boutique airline features two cabins: Biz Beds (180° recline) and Biz Seats (140° recline).  I travelled in a Biz Seat, the less expensive option.  It provided very comfortable two & two seating with more than enough leg room.  Cabin staff was friendly, attractive and quite attentive.  The meal service was good and the flight included all wines and spirits at no additional charge.  Meal service is more elaborate in the smaller Biz Bed section up front.  The seats face each other and provide a fully flat bed.  As comfortable as the Biz Beds appear, considering the relatively short flight time to Paris, the additional expense for a Biz Bed is not a necessity, but rather an appealing indulgence.

The OpenSkies lounges at both EWR and ORY when compared to more traditional Business Class Lounges are rather small, cramped and offer somewhat basic snacks.  The Lounge at EWR is located outside the security point, so you must leave the lounge for the gate much earlier to deal with the indignity and potential delay posed by TSA.

The overall OpenSkies experience is far better than economy and in many ways comparable to several US airlines Business Class products.  The key advantage is the value OpenSkies offers…especially with the low fare specials they regularly make available.  I wish they flew to more destinations!  Subscribe here for all their special fare offers: