FIRST Fiji Airways A350-900 Business Class Trip Report – Nadi to Sydney (+ economy + flight deck)

FIRST Fiji Airways A350-900 Business Class Trip Report – Nadi to Sydney (+ economy + flight deck)


hello my name is Paul Stewart and I’m in
Nadi, which is the main International Airport in Fiji, and later this morning
I’m flying back to Sydney with Fiji Airlines in business class in their
brand-new Airbus A350 which is pretty exciting.
in fact everyone’s quite excited about it! So far I’ve had about three taxi
drivers asked me if I’m on the new aircraft so let’s go inside and see what
it’s like. Here we are inside the departure terminal which is all pretty
new and quite spacious. It seems that any airline uses any
check-in counter so my plan of looking for the Fiji Airlines sign failed but I
eventually found the premium check-in area if you keep walking right towards
the departure gates. Then once we got through customs, we head up some stairs
before catching a lift or escalators back down to the lounge. The Fiji Airways
premier lounge is pretty new and quite impressive. Unfortunately there are
no views of the airport apron but otherwise it has a fantastic ambience.
This living wall, and yes all of the plants are real, looks great and there’s
plenty of seating. It was around 7:30am and there were two alacarte
options: an omelet or an eggs benedict with salmon, and I went with the latter. There’s also a buffet of both hot and
cold options as well as a few different cereals and bakery items. There’s also a
bar with a barista who delivers your drinks to your table. I sat down for breakfast with my regular
long black coffee and after that I went and found one of the comfy chairs. I
should point out as well that there are plenty of power plugs around the lounge
as well as free Wi-Fi. As I mentioned in the intro, everyone is very excited about
the new A350 and there was this video playing in the lounge
providing some great views which partially made up for no view of the
real planes. And finally just before I head to the departure gate, here’s the
shower which is inside the male bathroom and there’s only one. I didn’t check, but
I assume there’s also one in the female toilet as well. This would be pretty
invaluable during a layover before a long flight to North America although
there doesn’t appear to be any queuing system so I guess you just have to
loiter around the bathroom. On the left we had the old flagship, the A330 and
this beauty on the right is the new A350 only delivered to Fiji Airways late
last month. This is the first A350 operating in the Oceania region and
they plan to fly them on the Sydney and Los Angeles routes from Nadi. The gate
opened and we got on board. the business class cabin is on the left
and the seats are all in a 1-2-1 layout so every seat has direct aisle
access. Here is my seat which I’ll show you shortly but quickly let’s go and check
out the rest of the aircraft. Here’s the economy section in a 3-3-3 layout
although the first few rows are what they call ‘Bula Space’ which is
essentially the standard seat but with more legroom. This is a great option if
you need the extra room but can’t stomach the jump to the business class prices.
All of the economy seats come with this adjustable touchscreen which has a USB
port underneath it as well as a power plug down near your knees. For comparison’s sake here’s a legroom
in this standard economy seat and most excitingly, unlike in a lot of newer
airliners, Fiji have ordered theirs with individual overhead air
vents. Here’s a different perspective of the fantastic-looking winglets and as I
continue my walk I was fortunate enough to be allowed into the crew rest area
which I knew existed but I didn’t realize it was so large. It actually has
eight separate flatbeds which was impressive and my tour ends with a
different view of the fantastic Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine and it also
managed to get into the flight deck when we landed in Sydney but I’ll put that at
the end of the video. Now that we’re back in the business cabin, let me show you
through my seat 19 K in more detail. In front of you is the touch TV screen
which I’ll mention later, and below that is a fold-out table.
Considering the fact that it only has one attachment to the seat itself, it
actually felt pretty sturdy. On the right side is a large ledge which
opens up to reveal a storage spot which also includes the power plug and two USB
ports. There’s also the in-flight entertainment remote controller in here
if you don’t want to use a touchscreen. Next to that is another enclosed
cubby hole, there’s another great view outside and here’s the magazine holder
and a reading light. And then if we swap over to the other
side there’s another storage spot with noise cancelling headphones and a bottle
of water inside. This whole thing raises up forming part of the armrest and then back in front, there’s plenty
of legroom as well as another storage spot and individual overhead air-vents
which is awesome as so many airlines are getting rid of them in newer aircraft.
One thing I did forget to record was the seat adjustment which appears on this
screen and if you are traveling as a couple the middle seats are an option
and they have this adjustable privacy barrier. There’s also Wi-Fi although
unfortunately this costs extra irrespective of travel class. Water, mocktails and
champagne were offered as was a wet towel and just before we depart I’ll
have a quick look at the in-flight entertainment. As I mentioned before, it’s
a touchscreen and responded perfectly quickly. The amount of content is
probably lacking and as you can see here they only include two episodes from a
specific TV series. Many others would have a full season available. They do have these two cool camera views,
though, which is great if you’re stuck without a window seat and there’s also
the in-flight movie map which I really enjoy using to get my bearings and
identify locations I can see out the window. And finally a quick preview of Star Wars
to show you the screen quality which was fine.That’s this aircraft covered in pretty good detail so let’s back out and head
for the runway. It’s really cool seeing how proud of this aircraft everyone has
been and you can see staff all lining up to watch as we backed out. I love this
view of the winglet with the maintenance center and the mountains in the
background as well. The view taking off was pretty epic as was the roar from the
engines but in his video I’ll edit through the takeoff and upload the full
takeoff and landing in a separate video and I’ll link to that in the video
description below. After we levelled out a little, a round of
drinks was offered and I attempted to be artistic with his local rum.
Unfortunately there weren’t any nuts as I got in my a A330 flight in the
opposite direction two days prior. A brunch was served and I went for this
fantastic tasting crepe which was filled with caramelized apple pieces and served
with crème anglaise and chocolate crumble topping. There was also a bread
roll, some fruit salad and a coffee. By the way, I’ll include photos of the four
menus at the end of the video. Following that, I thought it was time to relax so I put the seat into fully flat mode. Unfortunately the lack of an amenity kit with
high shades would have made sleeping a little difficult if anyone left the
window shade up so instead I watched the movie. Next up, for those who wondered what an A350 toilet looks like, well wonder no more
this is one of two of them that they have up front in the galley the views
outside were fantastic and if you look closely you can see the Isle of Pines
at the southern end of New Caledonia. Since I’m in the middle of the flight, I
thought it might as well plug my youtube channel. I have many similar videos and
if you’re a fan of Fiji Airways I’ve got a few upcoming videos inside
the A330 and a stunning fly day inside of ATR-72 and a twin otter.
The views from those last two fights in particular were pretty fantastic
I’m also on Instagram and Facebook as well. It looks like we’re making up too
much time as an air traffic control got us to fly a few loops which again
provided some great views out of the window. So in conclusion what is Fuji
Airways is brand-new A350 like? I’ll start with the positives the aircraft
itself is really good as it’s quiet and the humidity levels are much nicer than
the older generation of aircraft which is something that you’ll really
appreciate on longer flights like the one to Los Angeles. The seat is also great
and I particularly like the multiple enclosed storage spots as I tend to
carry a lot of bits and bobs. So what wasn’t good? Well I must preface
this with a bit of an explanation. I could have flown on the inaugural flight
the day beforehand but I intentionally didn’t because of two reasons. Firstly I
wanted to visit Fiji for more than one night and secondly I want to show you
what it’s really like flying with a certain airline. Inaugural flights are
stage-managed and don’t reflect what an actual
standard flight is going to be like. I pay for all my flights and
I’m not chasing favors from airlines and because of this I can be honest. The
service on the ground of was great with fantastic lounge stuff but on board it
was a totally different story and it really let the whole experience down. I
always make an effort to remember my primary flight attendants name but they
never introduced themselves, in fact no one ever really engaged in any
conversation at all. This was in stark contrast with the incredible
friendliness I’d experienced over the last 48 hours on three other Fiji
Airlines flights as well as in my hotel and restaurants. I only use the call bell
once and after 10 minutes of multiple crew walking past seemingly ignoring me
I cancelled it and pressed it again. When someone eventually came that acted as if
I’d accidentally pressed it rather than asking what my request was. I had to
chase them down and actually ask a question which was about the Wi-Fi. t no
stage did anyone use passengers names during the flight and they really didn’t
have the same level of excitement about the new aircraft as everyone else at the
airport, or even me. Obviously a bigger seat is a big part of business class but
for me it’s the interactions with the crew that I really enjoy and the vast
majority of my flights have been great but sadly in this instance a good
aircraft was let down. I spent quite a while thinking about how honest I would
be in my comments about the crew as I really don’t want to get anyone in
trouble and it’s never nice to be mean, But it’s the reality. I really wanted to
enjoy this flight as I loved my first time in Fiji and a few little slip-ups are
fine and a friendly crew member can easily make up for some service failings
but when it’s consistently bad, well I kind of have to be honest.
So I guess that’s a bit of a disappointing end to the video on board this great new
aircraft. With improved service, this flight would have been really good and
it’s a great trans-pacific option. As I said before, they’ll be adding the A350
from flights between Sydney and Los Angeles via Nadi from later this month
Snd I know this airline can do it as a crew flying in the opposite direction
were great. Another good thing about them is that they are sort of partners of
the oneworld alliance so passengers with Qantas status also get perks and you
earn points and Status credits. I hope you enjoyed this video and if so please
give the thumbs up. Like I said I’ve got more Fiji Airlines videos coming up
and all of them are far more positive so make sure you keep an eye out for those.
Thanks for watching and coming up as a brief look in the flight deck followed
by the menus. I was really surprised by how spaceous the flight deck was and apologies I didn’t
spend more time in here as the crew were obviously busy and I didn’t want to
disrupt them any further. Thanks to the captain and the copilot for letting me
visit

Author:

100 thoughts on “FIRST Fiji Airways A350-900 Business Class Trip Report – Nadi to Sydney (+ economy + flight deck)”

  • Peter Blackmore says:

    I love the new livery and the way that it follows through into the cabin and crockery. Totally agree that part of the business experience is that crew have more time for interaction, and sorry to see that this did not happen. Once again, an enjoyable video from my fave vlogger!

  • Great video Paul, thanks for sharing. It was disappointing to hear of the poor crew service on that flight. I have flown with Fiji a few times (last in Sept) and the crews have been great and the lounge is a huge improvement now to what it used to be 12 months ago. Perhaps you just got a poor crew which happens to me regularly when flying Qantas – that really is a lottery as their crew make or kill a flight. Maybe the A359 Fiji crew were still learning how to provide service on the new aircraft? Anyway, look forward to your next vids. cheers

  • With the plugs in economy, is that two plugs between three seats? Can’t help but think this can only end badly if three strangers abreast????

  • Fantastic aircraft. Thanks for this honest report Paul – gotta tell it as you find it. Everyone's reputation is based on honesty and trust. It's your experience, observation and opinion afterall that build your channel. Fly safe Sir : – )

  • Yannis Moutafis says:

    what a stunning brand new plane and a stunning report Paul.Beautiful shots from the plane.Too bad that the service was not that nice .Cheers

  • David Cartwright says:

    As usual a very well produced video . Thanks for giving an honest appraisal of the service , I applaud your genuine views . Cheers .

  • Nice review as always. I can't help think the seat is so very much like the VA business class seat on their B777s which I find to be about the best for comfort, privacy and storage.

  • Aw man…. been waiting for this.. thank you for sharing your video… I loved it.. subscribed ?

    Bula from the Fiji ??Islands ☀️????

  • Thanks for this report ! Overall the new Fiji Airways A350 is a nice option for a transpacific flight as you said. Seats look comfortable in every class ! I look forward to watch your next reports on Fiji Airways ! Have you planed to fly on the new Aircalin's A330neo as well ?

  • Thanks for providing us with our first look at this beautiful new aircraft in service Paul. I`m so sorry that the cabin crew were so disinterested and sub-standard, and ponder why they too weren`t in the spirit of the occasion. Even the very best flight in every other way is ruined by such a crew. Glad at least to learn that this isn`t typical of your experience with FJ and look forward to viewing your other videos with them.

  • Looking forward to my flight on Fiji’s A350 in late February from Nadi to Los Angeles. Thanks for the preview! Hopefully, service gets improved!

  • Next time I go to Australia, hopefully flights through Fiji will be cheap so I can experience this myself! I really enjoyed both versions of the A330 when I flew with them last year!

  • another fantastic video Paul. i'm never disappointed with them. love the A350. flying to Perth again from Edinburgh in March,with Qatar again.(first leg on the A350) altho,not as excited this time as flying economy as opposed to business last year. keep those great videos coming. regards Davy

  • Saw this beautiful Aircraft at the Dubai International Airshow 2019 at November 17th 2019 and it's nice to see it flying on international Routes ???

  • Would be fun to see some of your Fiji visit also. And oh, a week in Fiji would be useful at the moment. December in Sweden is quite rough

  • Hope they install a few more showers if they're planning on competing in the SYD-LAX route. Otherwise a lot of biz travellers won't be keen on transiting in Nadi 🙁

  • Flew Fiji airways LAX to Nadi over the summer, business class one way and economy the other. The economy product was terrible, even with extra legroom. My bottom hurt one hour in as well as my back and it was an 10.5 hour flight. I ended up sleeping through both meal services. The difference between business class and economy was night and day and I would never fly Fiji airways economy ever again.

  • wow that new aircraft is so cool lots run in there also still got good sets in the sec class or in back too t ffor showubg this 🙂

  • Thanks for your review Paul on Fiji airways. Though i find it a struggle to see the importance of the crew remembering your name during service or conversation. There seems to be more than 10 seats in business class on this airline with the crew doing various other service jobs during the flight and where possibly on a flight soon before, so the crew not remembering my name would not concern me. I would be happy to be left alone most of the time.

     Your doing fine work otherwise and i look forward to other reviews from you 🙂

  • Diane Schroeder says:

    That is so unfortunate that the crew were so unfriendly because that can make or break a flight. The airplane itself was beautiful and I really enjoyed your review Paul!❤️?✈️

  • Wow. I just found your channel and I am in love with your editing style. Definitely subscribing and liking the video. Keep up the great work, Paul!

  • Good to be honest. Fiji is a rubbish airline I think, this 350 isn’t going to change much. Who wants to stop in a small airport from syd-lax…. no one

  • Well done, great transisition from Air Pacific to Fiji Airways. All the best Captain CT from the USA, now can I please get my logbpok back. Best Wishes.

  • I have been lucky enough to have flown FJ a number of times this year, primarily on the LAX-NAN route, but with a few NAN-SFO flights thrown in, all on the older 332's. I have to say (and I am not disputing what you said about the crew, but) I am shocked that the crew was not friendly and proactive, if there is one thing I can honestly say about FJ and EVERYONE I have encounter on Fiji is how amazingly friendly the people are, on my first flight it actually took me a little while to get away from the thought that it was an act (in the same way that SQ crews can seem robotic if you get my meaning) and this was just the way the crews (and every Fijian) I came across are. I guess the old adage that you can have a bad crew on any flight is true, but I have yet to encounter it. To the rest of the report, food looks the same, some good, some not so good, the real weak point for me is the IFE, flying the LAX-NAN route more than once on an IFE cycle meant that I ended up using movies/tv shows on a tablet more than the IFE (though still used the map of course) due to the lack of choices, the seat is a big improvement over the old seat of course, however, I will say, I slept like a baby on all my flights which surprised me as I don't sleep well on flights. Thanks for the report.

  • YMML SpottingTeam says:

    Great video Paul! Absolutely loved the detail. Looking forward to trying the FJ 350 at some stage in the not too distant future. Also looking forward to your FJ Link Twin Otter clip.

  • Man Paul I'm so sorry that the service was appealing and the cabin crew didn't even seem to care that much. What a nice aircraft tour you gave us and the A350 looks very cool inside and the livery looks dope. Hope to see this in Auckland later on. Thanks for the Flight deck video and showing us around Quickly. Look forward to your Fiji ATR video

  • Shame there were no nuts…but hope yours were ok ? (Sorry mate…no more nut jokes!) I would suggest the crew with a "new" aircraft are a little bit over whelmed with the new style of plane etc. It is unusual for any Fijian cabin crew to be like that ? Well done as always Paul and I look forward as always to your next adventure !!

  • Great review as always Paul. Flew years ago economy melb to Nadi on the 737 don’t remember the crew being overly friendly. Flew on the queen of the skies their 747 business on the way back and save thing not great service. Maybe they were nervous.. I don’t know the Fijian people are all very friendly and polite so it’s disappointing to hear about your experience especially with this brand new aircraft. I think another important fact to add is we found no great deals business class Sydney to Los Angeles with Fiji airlines march-June 2020 I wonder if their planes are full all the time. Hope they get their act together

  • Hey Paul, very nice review! You definetley deserve more subscribers… In my opinion Fiji's new A350 has one of the best interior designs on the market.

  • I appreciate your honesty! Hopefully the crew will receive coaching on how to offer proper service in a business class product. Thanks for the great video!

  • Beautiful plane. Too bad about the cabin crew. My only trip to your part of the world was on an NZ 777 (IAH-AUK). We were in premium economy, our lead FA was amazing. He had about 30 people on his side. He came down and greeted us all before take off. He had memorized everyone's name. Great service and food.

  • I understand it is business class but sometimes it can happen I travelled in Qatar airways for the first flight the service was not good as the business class was full but when I came back I felt the service was outstanding

  • Agree with cabin crew. Got my boarding pass almost cancelled even when was willing to pay extra. But my total weight was less than 30(23-7).

  • Friendliness, attentiveness, positive attitude & smiles are all easy gestures from any service oriented business. Even if the flight attendants recognize Paul as an airline flight critic, who may have badly critiqued someone, professionalism at all times is mandatory, as employees represent the airline. Good airline reviews is important for business & the bottom line.
    Keep up the positives Fiji Airways.

  • Timely video, Paul. I think Fiji Airways has made a mistake with Bula Space by not offering a 2-4-2/2-3-2/ seating option with an upgrade in the meal service. They're missing out on more potential revenue, in my opinion, since many legacy carriers have wisely incorporated Premium Economy. Frankly, I'd rather fly on the A330.

  • I totally enjoyed your review u took that time to showcase an economy seat though u were really travelling in business. I also agree the A350 is an amazing aircraft and think all airlines should have one in their fleet ( never going to happen?). I think your comments on the crew wasn’t harsh but fair and honest and they failed to represent the magnificent aircraft they working in or maybe they didn’t want to work that day ?. Again great review and keep flying safely.

  • The hard product looks great, pity about the service. And have you done a survey yet of airvent equipped aircarft by airline and type? 😛
    On a tech aspect, are youusing the GoPro for this report as well. Shots seem far less shaky these days, and I think the BlueGamer who threatening to TR his next trip wouldlike one for versatility.

  • Follower of Julian says:

    Great presentation!

    Just out of curiosity, why do you feel it is necessary to play the incessant, dull and annoying background music? It spoils your excellent commentary .

  • Thanks for the awesome video Paul. Loved it!…..I had a pretty bad experience on Fiji Airways (flying Business Class from Sydney to Nadi). It was a Boeing 737-800 though. One of the flight attendants serving the Business Class section did not even look towards me in the entire flight. No Hi, No Goodbye. Nothing. I was not too surprised because I have experienced that before on Fiji Airways. Last year (flying Auckland – Nadi), a flight attendant bumped into me and did not even turn around to apologise. I thought it was quite rude. But anyways, great video quality and very entertaining content. Keep them coming (subscribed).

  • Distant Light Productions says:

    Great effort Paul. Can I ask on your views of using the GoPro? Care to share settings? Protune? Gopro Color or Flat etc. Cheers, looking forward to more flights.

  • TheAviationChannel says:

    Dear aviation enthusiasts, check out my new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN5nBBe2dyI&t=20s Videos would be updated regularly, please like and subscribe to my channel. Thank you, everyone.

  • 7:04 – okay I saw an Elton John program on the screen (huge fan), so it's pretty cool an airline like Fiji has something in the IFE on him!! Would love to try this product, thank you for the review!

  • All this huff and puff about their new A350 s pity they didn’t replace the 737 service from melb-Nadi service with a decent aircraft with actually has Personal entertainment options. It was so strange with the overhead movie I thought this was only still happening on some Chinese carriers

  • Cool flight deck! Very spacious looking. I also really liked the Pasifika-themed lounge with that great looking living wall. A shame about the lack of service onboard, though. It seems like you were very fair in your review. I've just come off a long-haul experience on AirNZ and the service was excellent (friendly, proactive and they used my name the whole time), so I know what a huge difference that can make to your feelings about an airline. Cheers for another great review. Looking forward to your reviews of the wee planes, too!

  • It's a smart looking cabin. Whichever company developed that seat model is making bank! Seems like it's being installed with slight modifications on more than half of new business class cabins.

  • DennisBunnik Travels says:

    Another great video mate, that is one stunning looking aircraft. Pity about the onboard service….the crew really make the difference between a good and great flight. Unfortunately crew consistency lets down so many airlines.

  • Great video, but what is with "power plug" when you're referring to a power point / power socket?? A plug has a cable attached to it! Even that's not as irritating at the introduction of the airline as "Fiji Airlines"…

  • Just an update for everyone. Fiji Airways have contacted me for specific feedback and it’s a real credit to them that they’re keen to take note of criticism and work to improve the customer experience. I’ve responded with a detailed email outlining the areas that they did well in (and it’s a damn awesome plane and seat) as well as the areas for improvement. Hopefully they’ll keep working at things and I’ll have a much better experience when I fly with them again (as I loved visiting Fiji and will be sure to visit again in the future.)
    And apologies I called them Fiji Airlines instead of their correct name 'Fiji Airways'.

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