Fiji Airways recently took delivery of its first A350 featuring an all-new business class cabin based on the popular Sirius reverse herringbone design you can find onboard Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific and the likes.
My friend Andy from We Can Fly reached out and asked if I would join him for a flight from Sydney to Fiji. Five minutes later I was booked (it doesn’t take much to convince me) and I also managed to persuade fellow avgeeks Greg Stone and Lucas to join.
In this post:
Fiji Airways Ground Service
When I arrived at the airport, the check-in area was rather busy, and it took me a good 15 minutes to get checked in via the “premium” queue. Desk staff on the day seemed to be extremely slow in processing passengers, which resulted in longer than usual wait times.
Once I made it through security, I made my way to the new American Express lounge (since they have espresso martinis there) where I met up with the rest of the squad.
We could have also made use of the Qantas Business Class lounge, but I find that the new Amex lounge is a far better option (and it was right next to our gate).
Boarding Fiji Airways A350
Due to the intense smoke in Sydney, our aircraft was diverted to Brisbane, which added a 3h delay to our departure time.
A few espresso martinis and some work later, we went back upstairs when boarding was finally called.
Fiji Airways A350 Business Class Cabin & Seat
Stepping through the aircraft doors, we were greeted with a friendly “Bulla!” before turning left into the business class cabin.
The cabin interior and seat colour pallet are beautiful and bright with an ivory white colour throughout. While that looks nice right now; I do wonder if this cabin will age well when time as passengers add their scuff marks to those clean white seat shells.
The seats have a beautiful leather upholstery (also in white), functional controls and plenty of legroom. I did notice, however, that some seats seemed to be faulty.
Greg’s seat, for example, reclined on a sloping angle towards the foot end and had a considerable gap between the partitions of the seat padding – something that should get looked into and fixed.
While the seat is spacious and comfortable, it has one of those built-in headrests which are very uncomfortable when in bed mode since they protrude from the otherwise flat seat.
Best Seats On Fiji Airways A350
For extra legroom, you will want to select the bulkhead seats in row 11 since they have extra width towards the foot end, making it the most desirable seat on the plane. 11A would be more preferable since it’s further away from the bathroom compared to 11k.
Fiji Airways IFE
The inflight entertainment system was extremely fast and snappy (no lag on the input). The movie selection was somewhat limited, and TV series only had 2 or 3 episodes available to watch, but I did enjoy the different cameras which can you can watch on the A350.
Fiji Airways Service
On both my flights, I found the service to be friendly and genuine. The crew weren’t scripted but polite and attentive nonetheless and made sure our champagnes were topped up throughout the flight.
Fiji Airways Business Class Food
This area is a big let-down for Fiji airways. The food was far from acceptable when it comes to business class fare and lacked any form of imagination.
For starters, there was a green salad which consisted of green leaves and exactly (yes I counted them) 4 pieces of cucumber.
For the mains, there was a chicken, fish or vegetarian option. I opted for the chicken, which was dry and cardboard-like.
Desert was hardly worth a mention; it was a serving of whipped cream inside a pastry with a few chocolate shavings on top; hardly impressive.
Things didn’t exactly improve on the way back where I had a toastie. Although you might think it’s hard to mess up a good toasted sandwich; Fiji Airways couldn’t even deliver here either.
Fiji Airways has done a very nice job with their first A350, which is a considerable step up from their previous business class cabin.
Considering you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer Points and Alaska MileagePlan miles to book flights between Australia, Fiji and the US; this is an excellent option to get to Los Angeles from Australia on points (and sneaky in a stop in Fiji on the way). The food was a big letdown, but this can easily be improved, and I hope Fiji Airways does invest in its catering to offer a more competitive business class product.