Best New Airline to Paris … OpenSkies, “Oui”!

December 22nd, 2011

Find great flights to Paris on OpenSkies

By Michelle Morañha Winner and Maralyn D. Hill

Since 2008, business travelers have been utilizing British Airways’, OpenSkies, a small-fleet option for quick jaunts across the Atlantic…

The thought of going to Paris in shoulder season kept playing a tape through our minds. Would it be chilly along the Champs Elysees?  Would long lines into the museums truly be gone? Would the magic of Paris still be there?

Our group of 2 couples, comprised of 4 journalists, soon found that Paris wears many faces and would be fantastic anytime of the year.  But first we had to get there. The positive responses to our queries began with the all-business class airline “OpenSkies,” a subsidiary of British Airways. Never heard of them?  You are not alone, but Parisians and U.S. East Coast-based business folks have been using this direct to Paris airline since its debut in 2008. Decide on one of the daily flights from Newark, New Jersey, to the less frantic than Paris’ Charles de Gaulle, Orly Sud, and a jaunt to Paris is easy. In the complementary OpenSkies pre-flight lounge in Newark, you’ll see in-the-know wine brokers, Asian and American businessmen, and many Parisians of all ages hunkered over laptops or enjoying a glass of champagne, croissant sandwich, or a steaming cup of cappuccino. Flights are discounted for certain routes during shoulder season, which makes a good value now an outright bargain. Check the website frequently.

In the air, flying roomy albeit older Boeing 757s, two classes of service provide different experiences. The fully reclining Biz Bed (to 180 degrees) with duvet cover is available for a higher fare that includes, individually plated meals, nicer amenity kit, and noise cancelling headphones.  But our seats in Biz Seat section were large and comfortably reclined to 140 degrees with only two seats on each side of the aisle. We had all of the complementary wine, meals, and amenities, including iPads with movies and games that  rival  most U.S. airline domestic business class, but without the hefty ocean-crossing  price tag of  international business class.

Our cabin attendants to Orly were two great looking aloof young men, but on the way home, we were welcomed and looked after by two lovely women wearing sharp suits and big smiles. This was an ideal way to go to Paris for value conscious travelers, interested in a comfortable overnight flight.

While transferring to baggage claim, we asked a few of the other passengers about their experience. They were happy with the price, comfort, and service. That was the best testimony of all.