Gadling flies Open Skies

I feel small in these seats, a feeling that I am unaccustomed to when flying overseas. Christopher stops by to see if I’m okay because I’m shifting around awkwardly. I send him off with a cheerful wave and adjust my duvet for the tenth time.

How did I get here?

Open Skies is a new airline spawned from British Airways and the open skies agreement. Their service, kicked off on June 19th between New York’s JFK and Orly in Paris, is the most recent in a line of airlines catering to a new demographic – one who appreciates an enhanced business-class environment, treatment and experience overseas. For the extra one or two hundred dollars over the competition to fly in Economy, passengers can enjoy a smaller cabin, comfortable seats and superior In Flight Entertainment, food and service

Their only 757 aircraft features less than 100 seats, with three classes of service, Economy, Prem + and Biz. I’m told that in the future (and with their acquisition of L’avion), new cabins may only have Prem + and Biz.

With only about sixteen pilots and four times as many flight attendants, the community is small and tightly knit. On my outbound flight, I got to know a few of the flight attendants who filled me in on some of the details about the airline and gave me some tips for my stay in Paris. Each employee, hailing from a colorful past, brings a broad spectrum of experience to the table, the result of which is a multi-faceted group of individuals ready for any situation. As Antony Crucilla, the captain of the return flight told me, the airline has strict requirements in bringing experienced staff on board — and it shows in their service.

Today, I’m on one of the first flights between New York City and Paris, test driving the service and reporting on the experience. Follow along and indulge in the newest airline on the planet: Open Skies.

Continue onward to Planning, booking and the concierge service, or skip ahead to

Online check in
Arrival and check in
In flight: Economy
In flight: Prem +
In flight: Biz
Transfer in from Orly
Return trip logistics
The final word