Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A350 (LAX-NAN)

Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A350 (LAX-NAN)

FROM: LAX
TO: NAN
CABIN: Business
DATE: September 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Fiji Airways' A350 business class is excellent, with comfortable seats, friendly service, extensive entertainment, reasonably priced Wi-Fi, and good amenities and food.
28

For the second portion of my two trips to the Southern Hemisphere, it was time to fly Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350 business class from Los Angeles to Nadi. I was excited about this flight, as the A350 is a new addition to Fiji Airways’ fleet.

This flight ended up being excellent, with great seats, service, food, amenities, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. As far as boutique airlines go, it really doesn’t get much better than Fiji Airways.

How I booked my Fiji Airways business class ticket

I redeemed Alaska Mileage Plan miles for my Fiji Airways business class ticket. Specifically, I booked the following for 55,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles $60.60 in taxes and fees:

9/18 FJ811 Los Angeles to Nadi departing 11:55PM arriving 5:45AM (+2 days)
9/20 FJ411 Nadi to Auckland departing 8:30AM arriving 11:40AM

I was excited about this, as my first flight would be operated by an A350, while my second flight would be operated by an A330, so I could review both of the carrier’s long haul aircraft types.

It’s worth noting that historically Fiji Airways has been pretty stingy with award availability, but in August there was a brief period where the airline opened the floodgates of award space, making it easy to snag business class awards.

Fiji Airways LAX lounge & boarding

While I had spent most of the day at LAX, I still headed back to Fiji Airways’ check-in counter around 9PM, just under three hours before departure. Fiji Airways’ check-in desk was at the far end of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) check-in hall.

The employee checking me in was really friendly. My bag was weighed even though I was traveling in business class, though that wasn’t an issue, as I was traveling really light.

Fiji Airways check-in desk LAX

For whatever reason, Fiji Airways doesn’t participate in TSA PreCheck, so be prepared for a frustrating security experience. At this time of the evening both CLEAR and premium security lines are closed, so you’re just stuck in the ordinary security line, which can take quite some time.

As far as lounges go, Fiji Airways passengers at LAX are spoiled with choice. Fiji Airways officially sends business class passengers to the Star Alliance Lounge, though it’s also possible to use the oneworld Lounge, and since I’m a oneworld Emerald member, I was able to use the Qantas First Lounge.

Fiji Airways flights generally depart from the Midfield Satellite Concourse of TBIT, which is a bit of a trek, so make sure you leave a bit of extra time. My particular flight was departing from gate 202. Boarding was scheduled for 10:55PM (one hour before departure), and sure enough that’s when boarding started.

Fiji Airways departure gate at LAX

Fiji Airways A350 business class cabin & seats

Before I get into the actual flight review, it’s worth noting that Fiji Airways’ two Airbus A350-900s had both been intended for Hong Kong Airlines. However, when the airline could no longer afford the jets, Fiji Airways took them over. While the “bones” of the cabin stayed the same, the finishes of course reflect some local touches.

I boarded through the second set of doors, where I was greeted by the friendly purser and another flight attendant. I quickly had a peek into economy, which looked pretty nice. Countering the trend nowadays, Fiji Airways doesn’t have premium economy, but rather there are just some extra legroom economy seats at the front of the cabin.

Fiji Airways economy class cabin Airbus A350

Fiji Airways’ A350s have 33 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration, spread across nine rows (there are nine rows in the center section, eight rows along the left side of the cabin, and seven rows along the right side of the cabin). Specifically, Fiji Airways has Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats, which are the popular reverse herringbone seats that you’ll find on many airlines.

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

I assigned myself seat 17K, the window seat on the right side in the middle of the cabin. I think Fiji Airways’ A350 is a great example of how much of a difference fun finishes can make. The cream-colored cabin might look bland on the surface, but when you add in the Fiji Airways branded headrest covers, the colorful pillows and blankets, the amenity kits, and mood lighting, the cabin actually looks pretty fun.

Fiji Airways business class seat Airbus A350

Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats are pretty standardized, so if you’ve flown one of them, you’ve basically flown all of them.

Fiji Airways business class seat Airbus A350
Fiji Airways business class seat Airbus A350

Along the side of the seat are two storage compartments, with one being pretty shallow, and the other being a bit deeper.

Fiji Airways business class seat console Airbus A350

The deeper storage compartment has power outlets (AC power and two USB plugs), the entertainment controller that can be extended, and the headphone jack.

Fiji Airways business class seat console Airbus A350

Underneath that area are the seat controls. This includes both three simple buttons with pre-set options, or a monitor where you can control specific functions.

Fiji Airways business class seat controls Airbus A350

Each seat has a 17″ seatback television. The tray table extends from underneath that — you extend it first, and then you can flip it over so that the surface size doubles.

Fiji Airways business class entertainment monitor Airbus A350
Fiji Airways business class seat tray table Airbus A350

Along the aisle side of the seat is an armrest that can be raised or lowered (it needs to be lowered for takeoff and landing). This also has a storage compartment, big enough for a bottle of water or headphones.

Fiji Airways business class seat storage Airbus A350

The overhead console on the A350 has both reading lights and individual air nozzles. Yay for air nozzles!

Fiji Airways business class overhead console Airbus A350

As far as lavatories go, Fiji Airways has three of these at the front of the A350 business class cabin. They’re modern and well maintained, though not particularly spacious.

Fiji Airways business class lavatory Airbus A350

The lavatories had Pure Fiji coconut lotion in them.

Fiji Airways business class lavatory amenities Airbus A350

All-in-all, I’d say Fiji Airways offers an excellent business class hard product, especially when compared to peers in the South Pacific, like Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui.

Fiji Airways business class amenities

Waiting at each business class seat upon boarding was a great pillow, as well as a light blanket.

Fiji Airways business class pillow & blanket

This is only part of the bedding, as Fiji Airways also has a lovely mattress pad, as well as a much thicker blanket, that you’re offered when it’s time to sleep. This is top notch bedding, if you ask me.

Fiji Airways business class bedding

Also waiting at each seat was an amenity kit. This contained eyeshades, socks, ear plugs, a pen, a dental kit, body lotion, and sanitizing gel.

Fiji Airways business class amenity kit

There were also a pair of noise canceling headphones, which weren’t great.

Fiji Airways business class headphones

Then there was a bottle of water at the seat — naturally it was FIJI water, one of the most popular exports from the country (which, it’s kind of sad we ship bottled water to the other side of the globe, but that’s a different story).

Fiji Airways business class Fiji water

Moments after passengers settled in, the friendly crew came through the cabin to introduce themselves, ask if people were familiar with the seats, and offer pre-departure drinks. The choices were champagne or orange juice, and I selected the former.

Fiji Airways business class pre-departure drink

Warm towels were offered a few minutes after that.

Fiji Airways business class warm towel

Menus were also passed out during boarding. This included both the dinner menu and drink list, plus a breakfast card you could fill out and hand back to the crew. Meal orders were also taken before the doors closed.

Fiji Airways business class menu & wine list

Fiji Airways A350 departure from Los Angeles

The boarding process took quite some time, and the flight was fairly full — every business class seat was taken, while economy was nearly full.

At around 11:40PM the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, introducing himself and his first and second officers, and informing us of our flight time of 10hr30min. He explained we were almost ready for departure, but were waiting on two more passengers, as well as for some bags to be loaded.

A few minutes after that the cabin doors were closed, at which point the purser made his welcome aboard announcement. Fiji Airways highlights how it’s a “five-star Skytrax safety rated airline,” as during the pandemic, Skytrax got into the “business” of giving COVID ratings. Interestingly Fiji Airways also has a flight attendant onboard who is a “customer wellness champion.”

At around 11:50PM the safety video was screened — Fiji Airways has an awesome local, eco-focused safety video.

Fiji Airways also has great boarding music, which was playing for the entire time we were on the ground. I haven’t been able to find it online, sadly, or else I’d add it to my list of the best airline boarding music.

We began our pushback at 12:05AM. We began our taxi five minutes after that, and then at 12:20AM were cleared for takeoff on runway 24L. The seatbelt sign was turned off just five minutes after takeoff.

Fiji Airways A350 entertainment & Wi-Fi

As we climbed out, I browsed Fiji Airways’ entertainment system, which is excellent. It had well over 100 movies, and even more TV shows than that. The system was easy to use, and could be controlled either with the monitor itself, or via a remote.

The same ads played before each program, and included an ad for opening a call center in Fiji, as well as an ad for Cloud 9 Fiji, some sort of a dock in the middle of the water that you can go to during the day to party — I’m undecided if this seems awesome or awful.

Fiji Airways entertainment system A350
Fiji Airways entertainment system A350
Fiji Airways entertainment system A350
Fiji Airways entertainment system A350
Fiji Airways entertainment system A350

I don’t usually have the attention span for a movie, especially on an overnight flight where I’m trying to sleep, so I instead watched sitcoms. I first watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and then later on watched Mr. Mayor, which I saw for the first time, and totally loved (anyone else a fan, at least as far as sitcoms go?).

Fiji Airways entertainment system A350
Fiji Airways entertainment system A350

Fiji Airways’ inflight entertainment system also has an awesome customizable map feature, as well as a high definition tail camera (the below picture is from landing, since it was dark for almost the entire flight).

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi
Tail camera approaching Nadi

Fiji Airways’ Airbus A350s also have Wi-Fi. Plans are based on data usage, and the pricing is as follows:

  • You can get 15 minutes of free messaging on a mobile device
  • You can buy a 20MB “text” plan for $7.95
  • You can buy a 200MB “standard web” plan for $11.95
  • You can buy a 500MB “web plus” plan for $24.95
Fiji Airways Wi-Fi pricing Airbus A350
Fiji Airways Wi-Fi pricing Airbus A350
Fiji Airways Wi-Fi pricing Airbus A350

I bought the 500MB plan, as I worked for much of the flight. The Wi-Fi speeds were quite good, and that plan lasted me the entire flight. So while I prefer plans without data caps, 500MB is a very high cap.

Fiji Airways Wi-Fi system Airbus A350

Fiji Airways business class dinner service

Service was quick to get started after takeoff, which I very much appreciate on a late night flight where people are looking to sleep. The cabin lights were kept dark, and there was just some purple mood lighting used during the service.

Fiji Airways business class cabin

Below you can find the dinner menu for the flight. Fiji Airways has a slightly unconventional dining concept, as you can choose either something from the light bites or the more substantial mains menu. That seems smart, since many people may only want a snack. I requested something from each menu, and that wasn’t an issue (and I saw many others do the same).

Fiji Airways business class menu
Fiji Airways business class dinner menu

Then below you can find the drink list for the flight.

Fiji Airways business class drink list
Fiji Airways business class drink list

Within 30 minutes of takeoff I was served my first drink. I ordered a glass of champagne — Fiji Airways serves Chanoine Grande Reserve Brut NV, which is perfectly nice, but not something you’ll remember. There was a small ramekin served with the drink, which had some sort of Chex Mix-style snack mix.

Fiji Airways business class dinner

I was served my first course around 50 minutes after takeoff. This included a delicious sweet potato and coconut soup, finished with fried onion shallot rings, chive batons, and coconut milk. This came with a jicama avocado salad with mesclun lettuce, and cherry tomatoes, as well as a couple of bread rolls. To drink I ordered a glass of the Matua sauvignon blanc, from New Zealand.

Fiji Airways business class dinner

For the main course I ordered the vegetable massamam curry with black rice, blanched gai lan, and roasted baby pepper, garnished with dehydrated sweet potato sticks. This dish was excellent, and legitimately spicy, which you don’t often find on a plane.

Fiji Airways business class dinner

Lastly, for dessert I had the coconut pudding with salted caramel syrup and toasted coconut flakes, garnished with a wafer and strawberry. This wasn’t nearly as sweet as it sounded, and was a great ending to the meal.

Fiji Airways business class dinner

My tray was cleared less than 75 minutes after takeoff, so I appreciated the pace at which the meal was served. At this point there were still over nine hours remaining in the flight.

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi

Fiji Airways A350 business class bed

I was pretty tired by the time the meal service finished, since it was after 4AM ET (that’s usually the time at which I get up, not the time at which I go to sleep). 😉 So I immediately reclined my seat and went to bed.

I find the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats to be comfortable for sleeping. They’re spacious and pretty private, and the footwell is a decent size.

Fiji Airways business class bed Airbus A350
Fiji Airways business class bed Airbus A350
Fiji Airways business class footwell Airbus A350

Fiji Airways’ bedding also helped with getting comfortable, as the mattress pad smoothed out the surface quite a bit, while the blanket and pillow were substantial.

I ended up getting roughly four hours of sleep, and woke up with just under five hours remaining to Fiji. At this point we were about to cross the International Dateline (for the first of five times on this flight!).

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi
Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi

All other passengers were still sound asleep, but I’m not a good airplane sleeper, and it was also Monday morning back home, so it was time to blog. 😉

The crew took good care of me, and served me more water, coffee, and some snacks.

Fiji Airways business class water, coffee, and snacks

There was a snack basket in the galley with two kinds of chips, plus bottled water.

Fiji Airways business class snack basket

Fiji Airways business class breakfast service

Around 2hr40min before landing, the crew slowly turned on the “sunrise” lighting setting, to start to wake passengers up. That seemed awfully early to do that. Of course I didn’t mind that one bit, since I was awake and prefer not to be in a totally dark cabin.

Fiji Airways business class mood lighting

A few minutes later, the crew passed out warm towels.

Fiji Airways business class warm towel

Breakfast was then served around two hours before landing.

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi

Below you can find the breakfast card, which I had filled out prior to takeoff.

Fiji Airways business class breakfast menu

For breakfast, I had selected the avocado baked egg, served with boiled half potato and grilled asparagus, garnished with lime cilantro cream and micro greens. That sounded delicious, and also creative for an airplane breakfast, which almost always seems to be either an omelet or fruit, yogurt, and/or granola.

Unfortunately I was informed that the avocado dish hadn’t actually been loaded, and a cheese and mushroom omelet was catered in its place. I was happy with that as well, since at least it was a vegetarian option.

Fiji Airways business class breakfast

As far as airplane omelets go (admittedly a very low bar), this was a pretty good one.

Fiji Airways business class breakfast

I was also served a fruit plate to go along with this, as well as a croissant.

Fiji Airways business class breakfast

Fiji Airways business class service

Fijians are in my experience among the friendliest people in the world, and that’s reflected on Fiji Airways. The national airline does a great job bringing the country’s culture to the world.

In particular, the purser was extremely friendly and professional — before takeoff, he personally greeted each passenger, and before landing he thanked each passenger for flying with Fiji Airways.

Fiji Airways A350 arrival in Nadi

About 30 minutes before landing the captain came on the PA to inform us we’d be descending shortly, and should be touching down shortly before 6AM.

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi

As we began our final descent the sun started to rise, and we were treated to some gorgeous views.

Fiji Airways moving map enroute to Nadi

I couldn’t decide if the view out the window or the view of the tail camera was better.

View approaching Nadi
Tail camera approaching Nadi
View approaching Nadi
View approaching Nadi
Tail camera approaching Nadi

We ended up touching down in Fiji at 5:55AM.

Tail camera approaching Nadi

From there we had a short five minute tax to our arrival gate, where we pulled in next to a Fiji Airways A330.

Fiji Airways A330 at Nadi Airport
Tail camera at Nadi Airport arrival gate

I love how some of the gates at Nadi Airport are open air, so when you exit the jet bridge, you’re outdoors and have a direct view of the plane.

Fiji Airways A350 Nadi Airport
Fiji Airways A350 Nadi Airport

From there I headed through an immigration check and security, and to the Fiji Airways Lounge, which I’ll be reviewing in the next installment.

Bottom line

Fiji Airways’ new Airbus A350 business class is excellent, and a massive improvement over the carrier’s previous A330 business class. Fiji Airways has comfortable reverse herringbone seats, extensive entertainment, fairly priced Wi-Fi, friendly service, and solid food and amenities.

I have nothing but good things to say about the Fiji Airways experience, and would fly the airline again in a heartbeat, regardless of whether my final destination were Fiji, or if I were connecting to other points in the South Pacific. What a well-run airline!

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

Conversations (28)
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  1. Michael Guest

    Looks like they are now flying an A330 on the LAX-NAN route every other day. I don't see an A350 on another route, so maybe one of the A350s is out of service?

  2. Joe Guest

    Any idea if Fiji Airways Business Class pax have access to the Qantas Business Class lounge? Only Oneworld Ruby...

  3. Ron Hussey Guest

    Comprehensive and very timely video. I always like to know where the check-in and boarding gates are as well as the premium lounge location(s). The Bradley terminal can be daunting and it's good to know in advance that there's no TSA Pre-check access. we'll definitely plan on getting there early.
    Also, we fly out of LAX to Fiji on 4/2/23 and my wife is sitting in 17K! I haven't seen the tail camera before,...

    Comprehensive and very timely video. I always like to know where the check-in and boarding gates are as well as the premium lounge location(s). The Bradley terminal can be daunting and it's good to know in advance that there's no TSA Pre-check access. we'll definitely plan on getting there early.
    Also, we fly out of LAX to Fiji on 4/2/23 and my wife is sitting in 17K! I haven't seen the tail camera before, but I'm looking forward to watching when we land. Thanks for a great review!

  4. iamhere Guest

    So what? I don't mean it the way it sounds, but many airlines have similar business class hard product and many airlines have similar food. You say how wonderful your experience was but it sounds like nothing special.

  5. Rico Gold

    Looks like a great flight and hard product. Sadly, I'm booked on the A330 through SFO. :(

    1. Nick Guest

      Hey Lucky - I recently flew Fiji and have One World Emerald, but was denied access. For OneWorld connect partners policy is different:

      “Eligible customers travelling on a oneworld connect journey involving Fiji Airways and a oneworld sponsor, either British Airways, Cathay Pacific or Qantas, will have access to a select number of global lounges. The general oneworld lounge access policy differs from the lounge access policy for oneworld connect. Visit the Fiji Airways member...

      Hey Lucky - I recently flew Fiji and have One World Emerald, but was denied access. For OneWorld connect partners policy is different:

      “Eligible customers travelling on a oneworld connect journey involving Fiji Airways and a oneworld sponsor, either British Airways, Cathay Pacific or Qantas, will have access to a select number of global lounges. The general oneworld lounge access policy differs from the lounge access policy for oneworld connect. Visit the Fiji Airways member page for details.“

  6. Michael Guest

    Ben, when you said they weighed your bag, I presume you meant your carry on? I see they have a 15 pound carry on limit and I was wondering if they were enforcing that as we have the same flight next month.

    Also, according to the CLEAR website, they're open at TBIT until 10:00 pm, but maybe it was after 10 pm by the time you finished checking in?

  7. echino Gold

    In your arrival to Nadi photos, you can see the smoky skies. Air quality is awful on the main island, due to their practice of burning sugar cane. Smoke everywhere.

    1. John Guest

      Thank you, Greta. And did you notice he posted a flight review?

    2. echino Gold

      Yes, great review. I am just sharing an observation about Fiji after just returning from there. Not many tourists know about the smoke and are surprised. His photo of the approach shows the smoke. My advise is go to the outer small islands, don't stay on the main island. Nothing to do with Greta or climate change. They burn sugar cane as part of processing to save money which results in horrible air quality anywhere...

      Yes, great review. I am just sharing an observation about Fiji after just returning from there. Not many tourists know about the smoke and are surprised. His photo of the approach shows the smoke. My advise is go to the outer small islands, don't stay on the main island. Nothing to do with Greta or climate change. They burn sugar cane as part of processing to save money which results in horrible air quality anywhere near the cane fields - which is everywhere on the main island.

  8. Abidjan Member

    Top-notch flight/report. I'd like to fly them one day soon.

    1. Joe Mettl Guest

      Excellent comprehensive review. My wife and I flew this route last month in Business Class using Alaska Airlines points. The food was fine. The flight was smooth and on-time. I had an easy time falling sleep. The flight attendants were pleasant and courteous. We will be returning to LAX from NAN shortly on Fiji Airways. I have flown to the South Pacific many times on a variety of airlines Business Class. Fiji airways offers an...

      Excellent comprehensive review. My wife and I flew this route last month in Business Class using Alaska Airlines points. The food was fine. The flight was smooth and on-time. I had an easy time falling sleep. The flight attendants were pleasant and courteous. We will be returning to LAX from NAN shortly on Fiji Airways. I have flown to the South Pacific many times on a variety of airlines Business Class. Fiji airways offers an outstanding product and I am looking forward to my next flight.

    2. Jeremy Guest

      I was wondering the same.

  9. Sel, D. Guest

    Have this booked for February. Sleep seems hard to come by. Should be lights out immediately and dining on demand. Also curious about the lights on time as well. Guess I’ll be taking the entire pharmacy.

  10. Mary Guest

    Those "economy seats" with extra leg room at the front of the plane just behind business class are considered "bula class" and cost at least $150-$175 extra per seat to reserve. This is true even if you are on an award ticket.

  11. Laurie S Guest

    Great review! My husband and I will be taking this same flight with 5 nights in Fiji and then on to Auckland. Can't wait for this experience.

  12. Beep Guest

    For future reviews, at the beginning ("How I booked"), when you list flight stats ["9/18 FJ811 Los Angeles to Nadi departing 11:55PM arriving 5:45AM (+2 days)"] it would be helpful if you included the scheduled flight duration. I know you normally mention it somewhere in the text, but it would be useful at the beginning to set expectations whether see the flight through the lens of short haul, long haul, ultra long haul, etc.

  13. Mantis Guest

    Crossing the international date line 5 times in one flight without even having to make a turn has to be some kind of a record.

    1. Trista Guest

      I didn’t understand that part. Could it be because it zig zags? I don’t think it’s an exact even line?

    2. Jeremy Guest

      It’s not due to Samoa and American Samoa being on opposite sides of where the straight date line would be so they moved it so both Samoas were in the same day.

    3. Kyle Guest

      There's literally a picture in the review showing the date line and the 5 crossings that occur.

  14. Grand Guest

    Just wondering how you were able to access an OW lounge?

    1. Brandon Guest

      Not sure but I'm going economy and have sapphire status through AA and hoping that this will work for me when I go in a few days.

    2. Brandon Guest

      Actually I'm emerald status now. Just reached that level.

    3. Nick Guest

      Eligible customers travelling on a oneworld connect journey involving Fiji Airways and a oneworld sponsor, either British Airways, Cathay Pacific or Qantas, will have access to a select number of global lounges. The general oneworld lounge access policy differs from the lounge access policy for oneworld connect. Visit the Fiji Airways member page for details.

    4. Sam Guest

      They're a OW connect partner & he was flying in biz. His OW Emerald got him into the Qantas First lounge, flying on a OW partner.

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.

Abidjan Member

Top-notch flight/report. I'd like to fly them one day soon.

3
Eli Guest

I really enjoy reading your reviews.

3
echino Gold

Yes, great review. I am just sharing an observation about Fiji after just returning from there. Not many tourists know about the smoke and are surprised. His photo of the approach shows the smoke. My advise is go to the outer small islands, don't stay on the main island. Nothing to do with Greta or climate change. They burn sugar cane as part of processing to save money which results in horrible air quality anywhere near the cane fields - which is everywhere on the main island.

2
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