Exclusive: First Look at Paris Orly OpenSkies Lounge

Pets are welcome in the new lounge at ORL
Pets are welcome in the new OpenSkies/British Airways lounge at Paris Orly

On our way home from Paris, we stopped in the spanking new British Airways/OpenSkies lounge at Orly Airport (ORL).

The new lounge, known as 212 Orly West, opened on July 4, 2015.

It is located airside in Hall 3 in the Orly West terminal.

After clearing security, the lounge is on the lower level.

The lounge is open from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with catering adapted to flight times.

The following passengers are eligible to visit the lounge:

  • OpenSkies Biz Bed customers traveling to New York
  • British Airways Club Europe customers traveling to London Heathrow
  • British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver Members
  • oneworld Emerald and Sapphire card holders

Lounge Rats Will Enjoy the British Airways/OpenSkies Lounge at Orly West

The menu of food and drink offerings at the OpenSkies/British Airways Lounge at Orly Airport in Paris
The menu of food and drink offerings at the OpenSkies/British Airways Lounge at Orly Airport in Paris

I am not much of a lounge afficiaonado so I don’t have much basis for comparison.

But I can share some pictures of the food and beverage offerings and the accommodations.

There were a variety of snack items available including raw veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, and potato chips, as well as a number of uniquely French foods.

There were freshly baked rolls, and three types of croissants to choose from, and small sandwiches.

Beverage choices included French wine and champagne, the usual juices and sodas, and espresso.

All in all, one could make a nice lunch from the spread at the lounge, but the food was nothing to write home about.

Fresh rolls and Viennoiserie
Fresh rolls and Viennoiserie

There was a nice selection of pastries available for dessert.

French pastries at the new OpenSkies lounge at Orly airport
French pastries at the new OpenSkies lounge at Orly airport

I would bet that the lounge caterer also provides the in-flight meals on OpenSkies, as several of the food offerings were the same.

Fruit tartare at 212 British Airways Lounge
Fruit tartare at 212 Orly West lounge

The pasta salad with salmon was delicious!

212 Orly West British Airways Lounge
French wine, cheese and salmon pasta salad

You can pour yourself a drink or a glass of champagne at the self-service bar.

You can pour yourself a drink at the self-service bar
The liquor selection at the new lounge at ORY

212 Orly West Lounge Has Modern Furnishings

The seating at the 212 Orly West lounge is comfortable.

Casual seating at 212 Orly West
Casual seating at 212 Orly West

There are electric outlets at each seat to charge your phone and laptop.

The windows are reminiscent of airplane windows
The windows are reminiscent of airplane windows

212 Orly West is a quiet lounge, so there are no announcements of flight boardings.

A Crested Chinese Powder Puff enjoying the amenities
A Crested Chinese Powder Puff enjoying the lounge amenities

As you would expect, there are free newspapers and magazines.

Modern furniture at the new lounge at Orly West
Modern furniture at the new lounge at Orly West

There’s a television in the reception area.

212 Orly West OpenSkies Lounge
Is that a money belt she’s wearing, or . . .

After relaxing for a while, it is time to board the plane.

We could see our airplane from the lounge
View of our airplane from the lounge

$1167 RT Newark to Paris — Biz Bed on OpenSkies

New York to Parks on Open Skies $1167 in Business Class
New York to Paris on Open Skies:  $1167 RT in Business Class

I took the bait!  Yesterday I saw a flash sale advertised on Dan’s Deals for a $1167 round trip flight from Newark (EWR) to Paris Orly (ORY) in lie-flat seats.

I booked the deal on Open Skies — a “luxury, boutique” offshoot of British Air.

$1167 is the price of a discounted economy fare ticket to Europe during high season!

Having missed the previous day’s hot deal of just $981 RT, I knew I had to act quickly to get in on possibly the second best bargain of the summer.

If this deal interests you jump on it quickly!

Hack this fare down to $1167
Hack this fare down to $1167


How to Hack Your Way to Paris in Lie Flat Seats for $1167 Roundtrip

Open Skies is running a promotion on their nonstop flights to Paris from New York’s JFK or Newark airports.  They are advertising a sale price of $1698 round trip for business class, which they call Biz Bed service.

To discount the fare further, you need to join AARP (membership is $16,) which offers a $400 discount per passenger on Business Class flights on British Air.

To lower the price by an additional ten percent, apply the promo code CARDOFFERU, which is available to holders of the Chase British Airways credit card, and possibly others.

This brings the roundtrip fare for lie flat seats in business class down to $1167, just about the same as the OpenSkies price for economy seats.

Book Now, Ask Questions Later 

Please, don’t!  These are nonrefundable tickets so you need to know what you’re doing.

I had never heard of OpenSkies airline before.

But the time was right for me, so I booked the tickets first, and asked questions later.

What is a Luxury Boutique Airline?

OpenSkies has some slick marketing copy on their website — contrasting New York City to Paris, and touting their Biz Bed product.

With tickets in hand, I did some research, and found decidedly mixed reviews.

There are numerous reports on the web about delayed and cancelled flights, tired seats, and subpar service.  I may need to temper my expectations to avoid possible disappointment.

Our flight leaves from the Newark airport, which is pretty convenient for us because we can take the train up from Washington, DC.  

OpenSkies flies nonstop to Paris Orly, which I understand is a bit closer to the city than CDG.

We will take our chances.

What is OpenSkies’ Biz Bed Service?

OpenSkies touts their Biz Bed class as a “uniquely premium” direct service between New York and Paris.

They claim:

  • spacious seat that converts to a fully flat bed
  • access to comfortable private lounges
  • dedicated check-in, fast track security, and priority boarding
  • if you’re travelling from New York, a gourmet meal in the lounge before your departure
  • an intimate and exclusive cabin with only 20 seats
  • soft under-mattresses, luxurious Egyptian cotton duvet, full-size pillow, and pajamas
  • exclusive and attentive service
  • the finest French cuisine with a 4-course menu cooked by master chefs
  • the finest wines French vineyards have to offer
  • the famous Ladurée macarons
  • a personal iPad, loaded with movies, music, games and entertainment
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • space for a handbag and small suitcase onboard, and three pieces of checked luggage included in the fare
Open Skies promises French champagne and macarons
OpenSkies promises French champagne and macarons

It all sounds a bit over the top.  Personally, it’s the Ladurée macarons that caught my attention!

Having never travelled in Business Class, I am sure I will be grateful just to stretch out.

I am not under any illusions about the “luxury” of air travel.

Suggestions for Paris, please!

I’ve been to Paris several times, but not in the last 25 years!

If you have any suggestions of the best places to stay (e.g. neighborhoods) and things to do, please share in the comments.

We hope to take some day trips by train so I welcome any ideas on destinations within striking distance of Paris.