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Best Flights: Fiji Airways Business Class Review, Nadi-Sydney

By: Guest writer, Helen Hayes
 
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The Airline: Fiji Airways

The Flight: FJ911 Nadi to Sydney

The Equipment: Airbus A330-200 

The Cabin: Business Class, seat 1D

Overview:

In late June 2013 Air Pacific relaunched as Fiji Airways with new A330’s flying with a very attractive new livery. The reborn airline is doing Fiji proud and has thoroughly reconnected with the islands and the people of Fiji. For people holidaying in Fiji, it’s a perfect fit, or choose as I did, to fly via Fiji to Los Angeles. The short layover in Nadi provides a break from that very long trans-Pacific flight, and also allows for some duty-free shopping if desired. 

Check In:

The check-in process was quick with no problems and those beaming Fijian smiles and friendly “Bula” welcomes lift the spirits. The baggage allowance for Business Class flights to Fiji is 30kgs, and if you are flying to or from the USA or Canada, you can carry three bags. The Business Class ticket also allowed me to fill in the time between the flights in the Tabua Lounge, which is situated downstairs in a quiet corner of the airport. Comfortable chairs, free Wi-Fi, alcoholic beverages, snacks and a meal are provided. I certainly enjoyed a glass or two of a lovely Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc while reading the papers.

The Service:

From the lively trio singing a welcome as we entered the terminal from the LAX-Nadi flight to the flight attendants and check-in staff, everyone was friendly, relaxed and smiling. The captain spoke sparingly, providing the usual details about the weather conditions in flight and at the destination. The Business Class cabin was three quarters full, with some lucky children very well looked after. The flight time of four and half hours is just about right for kids, most of whom are tired from a week of snorkelling, swimming and playing in resort pools. On the flight from LAX to Nadi, one Business Class passenger was having a panic attack, and the flight attendant dealing with her was exceptional. She calmly accommodated the passenger’s wish to move away from the window, got her a hot tea, extra pillows and generally calmed her down while not embarrassing the lady and drawing too much attention. Very impressive.

The Food:

As it was a short leg into Sydney, we were served breakfast with my choice being a delicious blueberry pancake served with caramelised banana, maple syrup and whipped cream. I could have chosen a cheese and basil omelette but they, I have a sweet tooth. The meal I had on the longer LAX-Nadi leg was also very enjoyable, with garlic and herbed beef tenderloin with potato au gratin, carrot, bean and sautéed red onion, accompanied by a lovely Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc. The business class menus and wine list have been overhauled, and I give them the big thumbs up.

The Seat & Entertainment:

The A330-200s have 24 seats in Business Class and 249 in Economy. The Business Class is set up in a 2-2-2 configuration with the seats finished in a lovely cream leather. The seats have a 152 cm pitch with the seats reclining to an angled lie-flat bed. I had plenty of leg room and my own arm rests – nothing worse than having to fight with your neighbour for the right to use the armrest! The entertainment system with a 39.1cm monitor is easily pulled out from the armrest – the tray comes out of the other armrest – and it’s easy to navigate to the on-demand movies or television options.  I watched Gangster Squad with the IFE noise cancelling headset  provided,  and was thoroughly engrossed. The seat had in-seat power should I have wanted to charge my phone or work on my laptop, but why ruin a good experience with work.  I had a storage pocket for a book, phone or passport as well. For families flying business or economy on the new A330s the Fiji Airways Kids Club offers complimentary entertainment for kids with moves, e-books and games.

The Verdict:

Fiji Airways ticks the right boxes on many levels. The aircraft has comfortable interiors, state-of-the art technology and service that is friendly without that plastered-on falseness that you can get on some airlines. Everything ties in with Fiji – from the earthy colours of the interior to the vibrant aqua colours in the uniforms and the plane livery. The crew clearly love their jobs and love their airline, and this is reflected in the quality of their service. While I didn’t get to enjoy a Fiji island holiday this trip, I felt as if I had brought a little bit of Fiji home with me.

 

 
 

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For more information on Fiji Airways, visit www.fijiairways.com.

 
 
 

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