savvy_British Airways_so11


Fall fashion always puts Savvy in the mood for a buying trip to Paris. What doesn’t put Savvy in the mood to hop the pond? Flying coach for eight hours or paying a five-figure price tag for first-class (Sav’s looking at you, United). Imagine her delight when she discovered Open Skies. Think of it as the Southwest Airlines of first-class travel to Paris. Here’s what’s good: You roll into Dulles, check two bags (no waiting and no fees, thankyouverymuch) then whiz through the first-class security line. Savvy suggests heading over to Vino Volo for a couple of glasses of French wine and some cheese to put you in the mood, or you can duck into the British Airways lounge to send a few final je suis-outta-here e-mails. (Open Skies is owned by BA, which is more than a little comforting when it comes to issues like safety.) About 20 minutes before taking off, you meander over to the gate and, instead of battling an endless line, stroll right onto a spacious reconfigured 727-500 (nothing like flying with just 72 or so not-so-nearest friends). Then settle in to your 180-degree flat business bed and tuck in because here’s the downside: The in-flight experience. Cocktails? Hard to screw those up. Dinner? Enh. In-flight entertainment? Bring your iPad unless “Friends” reruns are your thing. Service? Somewhere between passingly efficient and utterly unengaged (memo to Open Skies: Take some lessons from that impressive crew at Vino Volo). Once you land, the fun begins again. You aren’t at de Gaulle (an airport only slightly less hellish than Heathrow) but Orly, much smaller and much closer to Paris. And here’s the other fun part. You can tell the driver to take you immediately to the Plaza Athénée. Because with airfares as low as $2,000 round trip, the next bed you sleep in doesn’t need to cost peanuts.

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