Fiji Airways’ Lovely A350 Business Class Experience

Fiji Airways’ Lovely A350 Business Class Experience

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As part of my review trip, I just had the chance to fly Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350 business class, and what a treat it was. While I’ll have a full review soon, I wanted to share my initial impressions, since I know many are booked on the Los Angeles to Nadi route due to the amount of award availability we’ve seen (I booked my ticket with 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles — what a deal!).

Fiji Airways’ impressive A350 business class

Fiji Airways now has two Airbus A350-900s, which the airline primarily uses for the flagship Los Angeles (LAX) to Nadi (NAN) route. Am I the only who likes Fiji Airways’ livery? It’s simple but fun.

Fiji Airways Airbus A350

Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350s were initially intended for Hong Kong Airlines, so the airline inherited most of those interiors. Fiji Airways has 33 reverse herringbone seats in business class on the A350, which are excellent. While the cabin as such feels generic, with white and cream color finishes, the headrests, pillows, and blankets, give the cabin a bit of personality.

Fiji Airways A350 business class cabin
Fiji Airways A350 business class cabin

I had flown Fiji Airways’ A330 business class before, which feature angled seats and don’t have direct aisle access. Suffice it to say that this is a massive improvement.

Beyond the seat, what stood out to me was just how well-rounded the experience was, all while offering some lovely local Fijian flair, that constantly reminds you that you’re headed to paradise.

Fiji Airways A350 business class amenity kits
Fiji Airways A350 business class bedding

What was service like on the 10hr30min flight? After takeoff there were drinks and some snack mix.

Fiji Airways business class meal service

For dinner there were a few options. I started with a sweet potato and coconut soup, served with a side salad that had cherry tomatoes and avocado.

Fiji Airways business class meal service

Then for the main course I had a delicious spicy vegetable curry with black rice.

Fiji Airways business class meal service

Then for dessert there was a tasty coconut pudding.

Fiji Airways business class meal service

Breakfast was served before landing.

Fiji Airways business class meal service

The Fiji Airways A350 has a solid entertainment selection, including a tail camera, which I always love watching (though it was dark for all but 15 minutes of the flight). On top of that, Fiji Airways offers Wi-Fi on the A350.

Fiji Airways A350 moving map
Fiji Airways A350 tail camera

Fiji Airways’ awesome LAX lounge setup

Fiji Airways has an interesting lounge situation at LAX. Fiji Airways is a oneworld connect member, so the airline is basically a partial oneworld airline member. Which lounge can Fiji Airways premium passengers use?

  • Fiji Airways directs business class passengers to the Star Alliance business class lounge
  • However, business class passengers can also choose to use the oneworld business class lounge if they’d like
  • Best of all, oneworld Emerald members can use the Qantas First Lounge

Is there another airline departing from LAX TBIT that gives you the option of choosing whether you want to use the Star Alliance or oneworld lounge? That’s pretty awesome!

Qantas First Lounge LAX

Does Fiji Airways have the South Pacific’s best business class?

Fiji Airways business class is not Qatar Airways Qsuites or All Nippon Airways “The Room” business class. However, the product impresses me on a couple of fronts:

  • For a primarily government owned airline of a small nation, Fiji Airways has to be one of the most well-run airlines out there; the airline is run with discipline, has a great on-time performance, offers a very good passenger experience, and was profitable pre-pandemic (the South Pacific was closed for much of the pandemic, so there’s not much Fiji Airways could do the past couple of years)
  • Honestly I think Fiji Airways might just have the all-around best business class experience in the entire South Pacific; the hard product is way better than on Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, and Hawaiian Airlines, and personally I’d even fly Fiji Airways business class over Qantas business class (Qantas doesn’t have Wi-Fi on its long haul jets)

Anyway, keep up the good work, Fiji Airways. With all the stories about poorly run government-owned airlines, like Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways, Uganda Airlines, etc., it’s refreshing to see a government-owned airline do well, and driving a huge amount of tourism to the country.

What a pleasure to fly with Fiji Airways!

Bottom line

It was so great to fly Fiji Airways’ new Airbus A350, which offers a much improved business class experience. This is an excellent product to one of the most beautiful places in the world (though sadly I didn’t get to visit this time). If you have the chance to fly with Fiji Airways, I’d highly recommend it.

If you’ve flown Fiji Airways’ A350 business class, what was your experience like?

Conversations (28)
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  1. jcil Guest

    We much prefer the Air Tahiti Nui business class arrangement where we can sit next to each other and still have a window seat. If I was still only flying for work solo, I would prefer the single pod setup I guess, but for heavily tourist destinations like Tahiti, (or Hawaii, or Fiji) I think the paired seats are preferable. We even wish United would "downgrade" the 787 Tahiti cabin away from Polaris and back...

    We much prefer the Air Tahiti Nui business class arrangement where we can sit next to each other and still have a window seat. If I was still only flying for work solo, I would prefer the single pod setup I guess, but for heavily tourist destinations like Tahiti, (or Hawaii, or Fiji) I think the paired seats are preferable. We even wish United would "downgrade" the 787 Tahiti cabin away from Polaris and back to the older style seats which we much preferred, having taken both arrangements to Tahiti.

  2. Treat Guest

    FJ looks great, but at least for OPM travel I think UA is sort of the obvious choice for US-Australia. Sure the food sucks but nonstops to SYD, MEL, and BNE with the option of a relaxed connection in SFO instead of a crazy one at LAX. Fast wifi and really quite good seats. The crews do run very senior but they've always been friendly and polite.

  3. Rob Guest

    If I’m not mistaken, the CEO of Fuji Airways is Andre Viljoen. He was formally in a senior position at South African Airways (before the rot set in) and ran it very well. Pity he’s not back at SAA!

  4. Adam Simmons Guest

    What really caught my eye in this review was the statement that QF did not have Wifi on its long haul fleet. I'm astonished!

  5. Alec Guest

    Making use of Alaskas stopover program en route to Australia? Adds a bit of time compared to direct flights but less than routing through Asia plus can spend some time on the beach. I did jfk to Tokyo to Sydney and that was a very long day

  6. Anthony Guest

    I was also refused access to the QF F lounge in MEL due to FJ being a Oneworld connect member.

    The FJ lounge in Nadi has one of the best F&B setups of any airline I’ve been to. Great airline.

  7. Carrie Member

    I judge airlines on the ability to provide an edible breakfast and it would appear that the FJ offering heralds a 'tick' in that department. Cannot wait for the full review as it may alter the way I fly across the Pacific if QF do not up their F game.

    1. Mary Guest

      The coach product is not nearly as good. Also, while you have lots of lounge options at KAX, an Emerald member of one world via Alaska CANNOT access the Fiji lounge in Nadi. (One can with a business class tix, but not with "only" Emerald status. And it is specific to Alaska because I asked and was told if it was thru BA, then I would qualify.

    2. Craig Guest

      On my recent flight, crepes were an option. Really delicious! Vastly better than the omelette.

  8. Joseph Guest

    Unrelated, but sounds like DL will be announcing new international routes out of LAX on 9/29 with the unveiling of the next phase of Delta Sky Way. Let the speculation begin.

  9. Steven E Guest

    Are you aware that Qantas owns 46% of FJ with the government actually holding approximately 52%

  10. SM Guest

    Thanks for sharing.
    The picture of the heavily-spiced and somewhat smashed vegetable curry with black rice may not be appealing to a foreigner. Instead, the Fiji Business class could offer one of Fiji's popular national cuisines like Kokoda, Taro, Nama, Okra or others.

  11. Sel, D. Guest

    @Lucky taking this one soon (thanks to you). Which would you recommend between the three - Star Alliance Lounge, Oneworld lounge, or AA Flagship?

    1. Alec-14 New Member

      I’d recommend flagship and now they’ve connect the terminals airside. I think it’s like a 5 min walk from TBIT

    2. Alec-14 New Member

      I’d recommend flagship and now they’ve connect the terminals airside. I think it’s like a 5 min walk from TBIT. Star alliance lounge has nice views of the terminal but food quality was kinda meh

    3. Daren Guest

      Bear in mind that Fiji normally departs from the west gates at TBIT so it’s the 5 min walk from terminal 4 plus another 10 to 15 minutes.

  12. John Guest

    I’ve only ever flown Fiji once in business, and a few times in economy, and I’m yet to take an on time flight. 5 years ago, I flew back on my birthday (so I could celebrate in 3 countries in one day), but FJ had other plans, cancelling my flight altogether. Have avoided them ever since, they’ve always been awful.

  13. Tanya Tikaram Guest

    Hi Ben,
    Thank you for the great review on FJ.
    Cheers,
    Tan

  14. John Guest

    If you were allowed into the Qantas First lounge at LAX, I think it was by mistake! Oneworld Connect airlines don’t have F lounge access. The one exception is if you’re flying FJ on a QF flight number and have Platinum status or higher with Qantas.

    1. Stanley C Gold

      Lucky is a OW Emerald member. He got access based on that account. I think this is why Lucky pointed out in the article about luck if you are a One World Emerald member.

    2. Mike C Gold

      I think John's point is that OW Emerald members (that's what QF Platinum is) aren't supposed to get access to QF First if they're flying on a OW Connect flight (like FJ) unless they're on a OW carrier ticket (such as a QF flight number). I don't know if they should be admitted (and it was a mistake by the staff not to admit the other posters who were denied access) or if Ben was admitted when he shouldn't have been.

    3. John Guest

      Exactly. Oneworld Emerald members do not get access to Oneworld First Class lounges when flying FJ. The one exception is that Qantas will allow its own Platinum/Platinum One members into their F lounge if they're booked on the QF flight number. If you're booked on the FJ flight number then no entry.

  15. Chad Guest

    Ben, do you know if lounge access on arrival is available to passengers with a connecting flight on AS? I booked this award in the opposite direction and will be flying home on AS on the same ticket. My connecting flights are in Y due to no domestic F availability if it matters. I also have OWE through AA Plat Pro status.

  16. Fredd Member

    Yes we did, flying to and from FT Oz Fest held in SYD in late May. We were similarly impressed.

  17. Mike O. Guest

    Would you be willing to try Aircalin? I don't really see that many trip reports if any on them.

  18. Ale Guest

    Do also AA Emerald (ExecPlat) have access to the Qantas lounge in LAX flying Fiji business class?

    1. Mary Guest

      The coach product is not nearly as good. Also, while you have lots of lounge options at KAX, an Emerald member of one world via Alaska CANNOT access the Fiji lounge in Nadi. (One can with a business class tix, but not with "only" Emerald status. And it is specific to Alaska because I asked and was told if it was thru BA, then I would qualify.

  19. CAROLYNNE LOREK Guest

    I flew Fiji Airlines from Brisbane to LAX on a 737 and a330 to LAX. They are the most hospitable and gracious as they come. Love them.

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Mike C Gold

I think John's point is that OW Emerald members (that's what QF Platinum is) aren't supposed to get access to QF First if they're flying on a OW Connect flight (like FJ) unless they're on a OW carrier ticket (such as a QF flight number). I don't know if they should be admitted (and it was a mistake by the staff not to admit the other posters who were denied access) or if Ben was admitted when he shouldn't have been.

1
Stanley C Gold

Lucky is a OW Emerald member. He got access based on that account. I think this is why Lucky pointed out in the article about luck if you are a One World Emerald member.

1
Daren Guest

Bear in mind that Fiji normally departs from the west gates at TBIT so it’s the 5 min walk from terminal 4 plus another 10 to 15 minutes.

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