6 Totally Random Airlines I Totally Want To Fly In Business Class

Filed Under: Other Airlines, Travel

At the beginning of this year I shared the list of 16 airlines I want to review in 2016. The list is based on reader feedback of wanting to read more business class reviews, and I’ve been making good progress in getting through that list.

I’ve even booked tickets on some airlines not originally on the list, like Royal Air Maroc and China Eastern. Most of the airlines on the list are at least somewhat mainstream, in the sense that they belong to one of the major alliances, or at least have partnerships with major airlines.

However, as I fly slightly more random airlines (at least from a US-centric perspective), I’m even more tempted to try other airlines I hadn’t previously considered.

Below is a list of six airlines I’d really like to fly in business class (some of which I’ve mentioned before). They all offer service to the US and/or Canada. I’ve included ITA quotes on prices below, though I’ve seen lower fares in many instances as well, so they’re purely for demonstrative purposes.

Tunis Air Business Class Montreal to Tunis

Tunis Air took delivery of their first A330 last year, which represents a nice upgrade to their aged fleet. They fly between Montreal and Tunis, and business class fares are quite reasonable. As luck would have it the fare seems to be cheaper if you continue to Algiers, which is convenient, given the next airline on my list.


Here’s a video of Tunisair’s A330 delivery flight. Based on it, it looks like Tunisair has angled seats in business class, in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Air Algerie Business Class Montreal to Algiers

Air Algerie also flies to Montreal, out of their hub in Algiers. Much like with Tunisair, the business class fares are quite reasonable.


Air Algerie also recently took delivery of their first A330, and unlike Tunisair, it actually features a great business class hard product, consisting of fully flat seats:


Arik Air Business Class New York to Lagos

Okay, I can’t guarantee this will actually happen anytime soon, but I’ve long been intrigued by Arik Air, the Nigerian airline. They fly to New York on an A330, a plane which they took over from failed Indian airline Kingfisher. The plane even has an onboard bar.


I wonder if I can get a discount given that I’m the closest heir to the Nigerian throne, according to an email I recently received? 😉

AZAL Business Class New York to Baku

I’ve talked about this flight before. AZAL flies between New York and Baku using a 787, and largely has very reasonable fares. I’d love to actually visit Azerbaijan, but if nothing else it would be fun to try the airline.


Baku dec 2014

Ukraine Airlines Business Class New York to Kiev

Speaking of not-so-modern planes, Ukraine Airlines flies between New York and Kiev, and has very attractive business class fares. Unfortunately they use rather outdated 767s for the route, but that’s part of the fun sometimes, right?


Meridiana Business Class New York to Palermo

Okay, admittedly this is a flight which I know wouldn’t be the most enjoyable, but I’m still curious. Meridiana flies from Palermo to New York, and has decent business class fares. Qatar Airways is even considering buying Meridiana.


Which airline’s business class would you most like to read about? Any other random airlines flying to North America which you’d like to read about?

  1. I would really like to hear your review on El Al Business class, hope you will get to it one day…

  2. These are all great airlines to read about. How about doing one on some Asian or Southeast Asian airlines, they’re not talked about and don’t have any solid TRs.

    PIA, for example, flies MAN-JFK and would make a great TR, and isn’t an often talked about airlines.

  3. What about TAAG? They fly to Luanda from Rio and Sao Paolo on 777-300ERs, cool livery too. Had one parked right next to my GIG-MIA flight a couple weeks ago.

  4. What about Uzbekistan airlines Rix-Jfk or PIA Man-Jfk? Those are two that I am dying to take.

  5. Personally, I would love to read a review about SU on business or first. Its time to try russian airlines Lucky :)))

  6. Good luck with Air Algérie and Tunisair! I must admit I’ve never flown in business class with them, just in economy, several times. But they’re up there in Top 5 of the worst airlines I’ve flown with… out of 133!

  7. All the above, for sure!

    I’d also be excited to read your review of jetBlue Mint class

  8. Air Algerie…Sweet memories of my parents running along with other foreign passengers behind the aircraft since they forgot to announce the aircraft’s departure from Algiers to Rome in 1979. The solution? Run and catch the pilots’ and ATC’s attentions. Hilarious moments amongst many from my parents’ early diplomatic careers that would most definitely be unimaginable today…

  9. Another vote for Uzbekistan Airways’ flight from JFK to RIX. Riga is a fantastic city for a weekend getaway! Baku is also a highly enjoyable city and–according to a colleague who lives in Azerbaijan–Azal has some truly hot guys working as flight attendants.

    Lucky, I’m sort of surprised that Vietnam Airlines hasn’t been on your radar, given that they’re now flying both 787s & a350s and you could score some Skyteam miles.

    I’m off to Lagos this July for a business trip that both excites and terrifies me. I’m flying BA but would have loved to have read your impressions of Lagos’ airport. I’m so curious to see if it can possibly be any worse then Jeddah’s abomination of an airport.

  10. I understand the business class on these airlines isn’t going to match the main carriers but for the money and the length of those flights those prices are crazy cheap, I look forward to the reviews if you go for them!

  11. Lucky…the picture you took of Azerbaijan Airlines is actually First Class. Business Class is US domestic style First Class seats, similar to Premium Economy. Google Flights lists Business Class as lie flat but its wrong.

  12. You should try AZAL as soon as possible, I’ve taken this flight many times, hard product might not be your favorite, but soft product is really good. Flight attendants will not smile frequently though 🙂

  13. Oooh do the Meridiana flight to Palermo please! I’d love to read about that! Also Palermo is a beautiful city and Sicily as a whole well deserves a visit! You can also fly direct to Naples from JFK on the same airline, by the way. Maybe you can fly to Naples, then take a train down to Palermo (the train goes onto a ferry) and then fly back from PMO 🙂 How does that sound?

  14. @Lucky, you could also fly Meridiana between Naples (Italy) and Palermo – o/w J fares are consistently under $1000, and you would earn a bunch of Avios in the process 😉

  15. Wow. I think I left comments on Meridiana a few times, and I am glad you are considering it!
    Meridiana can be redeemed by BA.com so I am curious on the award availability, and of cos you can fly within Italy with Meridiana using BA avios as well.

    With China Eastern upcoming, how about the new China Airlines, Garuda, and like a few others before me, VN, which flies 787 and 350 among their newer planes?

    And Iran Air? Since your list is getting…exotic.

  16. How is that bloke on that Arik plane. Riding up front after grifting plenty of cabbage with the old need contact details for all this lost cash scam.

  17. You should definitely try AZAL first class, a.k.a VIP club. Hard product is not your favorite, but soft product is really good and price is tough to beat for transatlantic travel. I can provide a lot more info for this route if you need! Always ready for help 🙂

  18. As Ryan points out, Azerbaijan market a premium economy product as business. Definitely one to avoid.

  19. If you are considering strange airlines, what about Norwegian?

    TPG has already flown and reviewed it, and no it was not one of his interns that flew it. Possible an intern typed up the review of course.

  20. I have mentioned tunis air and air algeria before blah blah blah.
    Trust she wont fly.
    Ms lucky dont have da guts to fly these given it aint emirates.

  21. My wishlist would be…

    Air Philippines

    Saudia – J and F (777 F cabin seems to have 21 seats – even more dense than BA..)

    China Airlines

    Air Astana

    Ukraine International

    Turkmenistan Airlines

    Air Mauritius

    Royal Brunei

  22. Hi Lucky, do you have any plans to review Garuda Indonesia anytime soon? I’m really interested in your opinion about their product.

  23. Ok, so lets add to your list.

    1. Cubana airlines
    2. Ethiopian airlines
    3. Ariana afghan airlines
    4. Biman bangladeh airlines
    5. El al which i know you wont!
    6. P.I.A ( please inform allah)
    7. $audi airlines
    8. Kuwaiti airways which you keep going on and on about.
    9. Virgin australia pacific route
    10. Air korya ( north koreas premium airline)

    Now pack ya bag missy and grow some balls and entertain us.

  24. Try Philippine Airlines between JFK and YVR!

    Their seats will be upgraded soon to herringbone AFAIK and they seem to have better catering than CX!

  25. @Todd

    I believe Lucky will be flying our beloved Aeroflot within the next couple of months.

  26. I got to thinking about lucky and the omaat blog and the one realisation i had was that it aint “sam chui”.
    Now from what i know sam is one guy that really gets into this flying stuff. You see , he is incrediably adventurous and has a huge loyal following. His reviews are reviews that aren’t filled with nasty remarks or comments about the cheapness of the champagne served in first or the fact that the caviar was served with a metal spoon rather than mother of pearl. This is a guy that experiments in the art of flying unlike lucky. In luckys bio he confesses to the fact that he fly 400k plus per year but its on the same old airlines time and time again. Please not another AA review for at least ten years, you see I’m over hearing about those dam icecream sundaes you go on and on about.
    Lets make it interesting lucky and start flying on airlines that you haven’t flown before. For someone who is so well flown you really haven’t lived when it comes to the multitude of airlines that exist out there. So start reviewing airlines that are obscure to the majority of your followers. TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT AS YOUR FOLLOWERS ARE ENCOURAGING YOU TO DO!

  27. yemenia airlines, Tarom,MIAT Mongolia airlines,LOT, LAM Mozambique,iran air , CSA Czech and Eritrean airlines

  28. Just don’t try the 8-abreast seats in the back of Meridiana’s 767s…

    There’s also Uzbekistan Airways which stops in Riga on their way to Tashkent from New York.

  29. @Just to name a few

    yemenia airlines is not flying at the moment, something about Saudi F-15 flying around and dropping LGB’s at the their main operating base I think.

    And if you had bother to check before naming a few too many you would have found that Lucky has already flown LOT, Czech and Gulf Air.

    As for the rest of your list most are very small carriers or on the EU banned list or both.

    Iran Air might be interesting in future when they start to get new planes, right now it’s flying museum.

  30. Thanks ford sorry no name!
    Yes point taken but mr lucky has been long long time well and truly before these airlines became obsolete and still he fly AA BA CX EK blah blah.

    Im so over the ice cream sundae reviews.

  31. Bad news: I’m not sure when they informed you of your Nigerian prince connection, but I was just informed that I am, in fact, his closest heir. Already sent the executor my check (something about needing some money to administer the estate before I get my check for over 10M).

    BTW, one vote here for not straying TOO far from the one what brung ya. Viz., a lot of us really want to hear about luxury flights that go places we’d want to go and that we can buy with miles.

  32. I would like to see a review of Condor’s new AUS-FRA route as well as Azul’s route from FLL-Brazil.

  33. I would love to see you review of TK and try some of the european regional carriers, Adria Airways, Croatia, Air Dolomiti, CSA Czech Airlines….

  34. I stand by Kristina re Azul. They are the latest brazilian airline to fly overseas (or overcontinent), and they have new A330s that fly between FLL and VCP – near São Paulo. It should be fun… They have what is considered the best service in the country, and their owner is David Neeleman, the bloke who fonded Jet Blue

  35. Another vote for El-Al. You keep saying how you want to visit Israel, so why not just do it already? I’m sure you can find time. You can even book LY J with MR points, as I’m sure you know. Looking forward to the review!

  36. Don’t forget the new Air Serbia service BEG – JFK starting next month. New J class looks chic.

  37. Iran Air would be a phenomenal review. You won’t see that bloated whore, TPG reviewing it anytime soon.

  38. Tunis Air – good luck!! Lived in Tunisia for a couple of years before, during and after the Arab Spring. Only twice have I seriously (seriously!!) feared for my life on a flight. Afriqiyah airways and Tunis air. Not religious but actually started praying.

    That aside, the business class experience I remember (tried to suppress the memories) was quite average and forgettable.

    Hope the newer plane offers a more comfortable and enjoyable experience than I had in the past.

    Tunis air is right up there with with the very worst of them.

    But anyways, will add some excitement to your life and be an interesting trip report I am looking forward to.

  39. How about a Cubana Il 96? I’ve always been intrigued by that airplane, although I’m sure I’ll never get to fly one

  40. Question – in the Tunisair video you can see two planes during taxi – Qatar Airways and then the red/yellow livery. Which airline’s livery is that?

  41. How about Air Serbia? They have a brand new A330 flying New York – Belgrade 5x weekly from 23 June

  42. Hi there, you can try flying Biman Bangladesh Executive Class B777-300ER From London to Dhaka.

  43. @Lucky I do not know to what extent you enjoy watching [motor]sports, but if you were to do the trip to Azerbaijan, I would strongly recommend you to travel there somewhere between the 15th and 20th of June. It sounds quite rushed/soon, but you could try to bid for one of the VIP Tickets for the European F1 GP there in Baku with SPG Moments.

  44. Oh dear, i have been laughing at some of the suggestions regarding which airlines mr omaat should fly.
    I’m having a vision of lucky sitting in business on biman bangladesh airlines clutching her pearls and holding a lavender scented silk hanky to her nose while the buffet cart serves dinner. As the bangladeshi FA leans he grabs her arm and asks in a hysterical manner where are the showers.

  45. That list sounds like the majority of the airlines at JFK T1. Any of those airlines you listed would be an interesting read as I’m curious about how they are when I used to work at JFK T1.

  46. Ben- I would love to hear about Norwegian Airlines premium seats from LAX to Europe since many of their new fares are very low. I would love to hear your take on their product in comparison to AA or other legacy airlines.

  47. Here’s a carrier I had never heard of until today: Boliviana de Aviacion. They fly 767s from Bolivia to Miami and Madrid with an intimate business class cabin of only ten seats. It could be fun to try. And you could add Bolivia to your list of unusual (my word) countries visited.

  48. @J, we’ve seen enough of those airlines to last a lifetime. Rhe get boring after a while. I would love to see a review of meridiana, and there is another italian airline I’d like to see. It’s called neos and is a leisure airline. They have 767s and some have C class. They also have 787s on order. I dont think the product would be so hot, but a eeview would be really cool!

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