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La Compagnie: Hot Airline, Tepid Loyalty Scheme

SmarterTravel

France-based La Compagnie launched service less than a year ago between Paris and Newark, adding flights between London and Newark in April of this year. The airline’s pitch:

La Compagnie is for those who prefer a boutique-style flying experience. La Compagnie is for those who want to enjoy an exclusive business-class cabin at a smart price. La Compagnie is for those who are eager to discover an innovative experience in a fully connected plane. La Compagnie is for those who want more freedom in business class at a lower fare. La Compagnie is for people who want to be part of a business-class revolution. And we know you know what we’re talking about. La Compagnie welcomes you aboard.

So: All business-class service, at an affordable price. That sounds like a pretty compelling value proposition. There are trade-offs, however. The seats, while fairly roomy with 62 inches of legroom, are a cut below the premium-class seating on most other carriers’ Transatlantic flights. And London’s Luton airport is less convenient to the city than either Heathrow or Gatwick.

Still, for many, La Compagnie’s pricing—slightly less than other airlines’ premium economy, and way less than their business class—more than compensates for any shortcomings.

This week, the airline did what any self-respecting travel company would be expected to do: It unveiled its own loyalty program, MyCompagnie.

Program members earn points according to the fare type, either one-way or roundtrip, as follows:

  • Five points for Full Flex fares
  • Three points for Semi Flex fares
  • Two points for Best Buy fares
  • One point for Promo fares

Points expire after three years.

On the award side, free tickets may be booked for 20 points each way, 40 points roundtrip.

In an unusual but sensible move, the airline will award points for all trips completed since July 2014, when La Compagnie started service.

And to promote the program’s launch, everyone who enrolls by June 30 will earn 10 bonus points, half of what’s needed for a free one-way award flight.

Deal or No Deal

A this point, MyCompagnie is a single-company program: You earn points for La Compagnie flights, and you redeem those points for more flights on La Compagnie.

Combine that limited ability to earn points with the three-year points-expiration rule and you’re left with a loyalty program that’s a non-factor for all but the most frequent flyers—most likely business travelers with commercial interests on both sides of the Atlantic. Infrequent flyers will find MyCompagnie more frustrating than rewarding.

There are good reasons to fly La Compagnie. Unless you positively commute between the U.S. and England or France, its new loyalty program isn’t one of them.

Reader Reality Check

Is MyCompagnie a difference-maker for you?

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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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