EgyptAir A320neo Business Class: Great Seats & Service, But…

EgyptAir A320neo Business Class: Great Seats & Service, But…

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Hello from Cairo, as I’m currently in the middle of a review trip! After crossing the Atlantic in Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900 Allegris business class, I then took the 3hr20min flight from Munich (MUC) to Cairo (CAI) in EgyptAir’s Airbus A320neo business class. While I’ll have a full trip report soon, in this post I wanted to share some initial impressions of the experience.

There was a lot I really liked about this flight, including the comfortable seats, the genuine and friendly service, and the decent food. However, there were also some areas for improvement, like the Wi-Fi being broken (as usual), the pitiful entertainment selection, and the lack of cabin maintenance.

EgyptAir’s A320neo business class seats are spacious

For a narrow body, EgyptAir’s A320neo cabins are awesome. The jets feature a total of 16 business class seats, spread across four rows, in a 2-2 configuration (the carrier’s A321neos have an identical business class cabin). EgyptAir installed the Collins Aerospace MiQ seats in business class, which are the same seats you’ll find on carriers like American.

EgyptAir A320neo business class cabin

What you won’t find on American (or virtually any other airline) is this amount of pitch. EgyptAir has an unheard of 48″ of pitch with these seats, which is 10″+ more than you’ll find in first class on most US airlines.

EgyptAir A320neo business class seat

Each seat also has a 13″ seat back monitor and AC and USB-A charging outlets.

EgyptAir A320neo business class seat
EgyptAir A320neo business class seat power outlets

This product is hard to beat on regional flights, plain and simple, and it’s also a huge improvement compared to EgyptAir’s previous generation Boeing 737s. The advantage is even clearer when you consider EgyptAir goes head-to-head against Lufthansa in this market, and Lufthansa has its standard intra-Europe business class.

EgyptAir’s business class food is plentiful and decent

EgyptAir’s catering is nothing to get excited about, though on this flight I thought the multi-course meal was quite good, especially given the length. It’s also worth keeping in mind that EgyptAir is a dry airline, so no alcohol is served onboard.

The flight started on a great note, with pre-departure drinks, which you wouldn’t get on Lufthansa on this route. I do have a soft spot for EgyptAir’s strawberry juice.

EgyptAir business class pre-departure drink

After takeoff, drinks of choice were served, along with spiced almonds and macadamias. I just had a Diet Pepsi to drink, and otherwise stuck to water.

EgyptAir business class drink service

Then there was a meal tray with an appetizer (smoked salmon and shrimp), a salad (with parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomato), and a cheese plate.

EgyptAir business class meal service

For the main course, there was the option of chicken, fish, or beef. Since OMAAT readers have basically banned me from ordering fish dishes (see, I’m listening!), I ordered the chicken with rice… which made me immediately wish I had ordered the fish. 😉

In all honesty, the chicken was okay — it was somewhat bland and chewy, but that’s kind of what I expect on an airplane.

EgyptAir business class meal service

Then there was a dessert selection, including fruit and eclairs (the sweets were of course yum).

EgyptAir business class meal service

The EgyptAir crew on this flight was lovely

Egyptians are generally very hospitable people, as it’s a big part of the culture. However, that’s not always reflected on EgyptAir — after all, hospitality and service aren’t necessarily the same thing. While I’ve had some friendly crews on EgyptAir, I’ve mostly found the crews to be quite indifferent.

That brings me to what impressed me most about this flight — Dalia and the rest of the crew. Dalia was the primary flight attendant working business class, and she provided genuine hospitality, and couldn’t have been lovelier. She had a radiant smile, and she took time to interact with each passenger and provided proactive service. If only EgyptAir consistently had service as great as what Dalia provided.

Why can’t EgyptAir try just a little harder?

I find EgyptAir’s selective investments in the passenger experience to be a bit backwards. The most expensive “asset” on a plane is real estate, and EgyptAir gives business class passengers plenty of space. The airline could easily reduce seat pitch in business class and add an extra row of economy, and get away with it. But I assume the airline wants to offer a good experience, or something.

But then the airline seemingly cuts costs in other ways that just don’t make sense — these are largely things that would be a lot less expensive to provide, but which would leave more of an impression.

It’s great to have a beautiful high definition monitor at every seat, though unfortunately the entertainment selection is abysmal. The only western sitcom in the entire catalogue was “Night Court,” and there was a single episode of that. As far as movies go, there were roughly 25 movies in English, and they weren’t exactly cutting edge hits.

EgyptAir A320neo business class entertainment

Ostensibly, EgyptAir has Wi-Fi on its Airbus A320neos. However, as I learned the hard way, it was broken on this flight (therefore the live TV feature was also broken).

Okay, that can happen sometimes, because stuff doesn’t always work. But guess what? My last EgyptAir flight was on a Boeing 787-9 that was also supposed to have Wi-Fi, but it was broken as well. Maybe I’m just the world’s unluckiest person, but having broken Wi-Fi on two of my flights with the airline in a row suggests there might be a bigger problem.

The other thing is that EgyptAir doesn’t seem to invest much in keeping up the appearance of its cabins. This A320neo was only a few years old, but parts of it looked like what you’d expect from a jet that’s a couple of decades old.

EgyptAir A320neo business class lavatory

It’s so weird to me. EgyptAir makes huge investments in new aircraft and in spacious cabins, while then cutting corners on entertainment, functioning Wi-Fi, and cabin appearance. Those just don’t seem like the right priorities.

Bottom line

I had a mostly pleasant flight on EgyptAir’s A320neo, with very spacious seats, friendly service, and pretty good food. In terms of personal space, EgyptAir’s experience is on a different level than what’s offered by many European airlines on routes to and from Cairo.

However, there’s also room for improvement. EgyptAir’s entertainment selection is quite bad, and I’ve now had two EgyptAir flights in a row where Wi-Fi was broken. Still, on balance, this was probably my best EgyptAir flight I’ve had.

What’s your take on EgyptAir’s A320neo business class?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Abdou Guest

    Had more than 10 Egyptair flights , internet wasn't working in all of them

  2. Azamaraal Diamond

    Don't kill the fish. It's been decades since I voluntarily ate a non-fish entre.

    Had a fantastic Sea Bass lunch on SQ from DPS to SIN in March that was a regular offering. Almost as good as QR Doha lounge offering. BUT THEN - pre-ordered Sea Bass on the SQ SIN-SFO flight and it was awful. Sad - high expectations quashed.

  3. Joe Guest

    First, it is great and competitive to see a spacious seat for short and middle haul flights like to Europe. But will not choose for 5 to 7 hours flights to DEL or BOM or CMN. As long as MS has competive fares, it serves its purpose. Transiting and lounge situation in CAI are still a nightmare, always feel passing through hell.
    But honestly this type of HEL has far more a better experience.

  4. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Egypt Air is not a wholly DRY airline. While the airline does NOT cater alcohol, they will serve business-class passengers wine if they bring their own bottle of wine.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      Are you certain about that?

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Yes, there are plenty of reports on the internet about bringing your own aboard Egypt Air. Same for Royal Brunei Airlines.

  5. Euro Gold

    There's something about the culture of certain companies where the thing to do is just not care about the state of company assets and just let them deteriorate until new company assets are ordered, then the whole process starts all over again. Exhibit 1: comparing and contrasting how Delta and Air India treat their planes.

    As for food, order what you think sounds the best and what the airline will be able to execute properly...

    There's something about the culture of certain companies where the thing to do is just not care about the state of company assets and just let them deteriorate until new company assets are ordered, then the whole process starts all over again. Exhibit 1: comparing and contrasting how Delta and Air India treat their planes.

    As for food, order what you think sounds the best and what the airline will be able to execute properly depending on what it is, how it is cooked, and where the plane is catered.

  6. Kevin Guest

    How was the wine selection?

  7. Never In Doubt Guest

    Don’t let the chuckleheads bully you!

    If you want fish, get fish!

  8. Downeast Guest

    PSA that in 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 departed from JFK and crashed off Nantucket, killing 217 people. NTSB investigation found it was due to pilot suicide, however the company and the Egyptian government has never admitted guilt. Would be wise not to trust this airline.

    1. Julia Guest

      Yeah I mean...why is this still relevant? Do you post the same for all the other airlines Lucky has flown on as well?

    2. Downeast Guest

      Even after 25 years they still won’t take responsibility. I think that speaks volumes to their integrity and trustworthiness.

  9. Patrick Guest

    Apparently I am one of the few OMAAT readers who enjoy fish dishes on airplanes. I hope Ben hasn't given up fish main-courses entirely for his reviews!

  10. Richmond_Surrey Guest

    Do we need picture of open toilet? It doesn't go well with food pictures.

    1. Ethan Guest

      My No.1 pet peeve reading airline review and vlogs, especially… Noel Phillips

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ethan -- Hah, it's something I almost never do, but the reason I did it here is to show the damage to the toilet and the lack of maintenance.

    3. Kelley P Diamond

      I found that the crews on Egyptair did ZERO cleanup on flights. Not even passing through the cabin to pickup empty water bottles. So I'm not surprised that they don't do a good job on maintenance either.

    4. Crosscourt Guest

      Bingo. A toilet is a toilet. Why do you keep posting those pictures? We DO NOT 9need to see them. And dumb comment about it would have been an idea to reduce business class pitch to fit an extra row of economy. Give me a break.

    5. glenn t Diamond

      The toilet photo was to illustrate the aforesaid poor maintenance on these aircraft.
      I think that is pretty obvious if you had read the whole post.

  11. R B Guest

    Flew FRA-CAI last year in LH J, and it was a mediocre flight.
    Might have to try Egypt Air if I fly again to Egypt.

  12. Jacques Portgieter Guest

    Holy moly!!! Nice work ordering the chicken!!!

    I do wonder by the looks of it... do you think the flight was catered in Egypt before the outbound leg and what they served had been waiting around in the galley for a while?

    Great looking trip, and thank you for ordering something a little different :)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jacques Portgieter -- Yep, I'm pretty sure this flight is roundtrip catered, as it's a pretty quick turn as well. So it had definitely been sitting there for some time. Then again, that's hardly rare among airlines.

  13. wpr8e Guest

    The entertainment is terrible because they need to appease the more socially conservative and politically sensitive topics. You take anything that insinuates sex, drugs, free will, political opinions, etc. it's all thrown out. Therefore there's not much left.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ wpr8e -- Even Saudia has a much bigger selection...

    2. W Diamond

      Egypt on average isn't anywhere near as religious as Saudi Arabia or the Gulf Countries. I went to Egypt recently and I found Egypt to be one of the more liberal Muslim majority countries.

      And as Ben said, Saudia has a much bigger selection.

  14. JoeMart Guest

    All the entertainment needed is any soap operas featuring Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ.

  15. NS Member

    JAL international 737s and ANA's all narrow-bodies have around 50 inches of seat pitch on business class. Korean Air 737s (except -900 non ER) are quite similar too.

    Few years ago, some reviewer said that EgyptAir is simply trying to make its product good by throwing a lot of money into it, and the EgyptAir experiences I've heard so far support that claim. Speaking of service, inconsistency seem to be a common problem among medium- to small-sized Arab carriers.

  16. A220HubandSpoke Member

    ads here still suck.

  17. Blake Pickering Guest

    Please do not abstain from fish dishes.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Never In Doubt Guest

Don’t let the chuckleheads bully you! If you want fish, get fish!

2
Patrick Guest

Apparently I am one of the few OMAAT readers who enjoy fish dishes on airplanes. I hope Ben hasn't given up fish main-courses entirely for his reviews!

2
Blake Pickering Guest

Please do not abstain from fish dishes.

2
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