I can’t believe it’s already Summer — it literally took me half a year to write a review. But I guess that’s better than nothing, right? 😉 2020 has been rough, to say the least. But at least in some parts of the world, things started to get better. Without further due, let’s talk about my experience flying from Nadi to Singapore with Fiji Airways.
In this series:
- Introduction: New Year 2020 In The South Pacific
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Manila
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Manila to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur
- Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Satellite Terminal – Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL)
- Jewel Changi Airport
- Qantas International First Lounge – Singapore Changi (SIN)
- Qantas First Class A380 Singapore to Melbourne
- Qantas International First Lounge – Melbourne (MEL)
- Qantas Business Class 737-800 Melbourne to Christchurch
- Doubletree Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, New Zealand
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Tour Around the City
- Getting Lost in the Countryside: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
- Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge – Christchurch (CHC)
- Air New Zealand (Premium) Economy 787-9 Christchurch to Auckland
- My First Impression of Auckland, New Zealand
- Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart, New Zealand
- The North Island Must Do: Hobbiton and Rotorua
- Fiji Airways Business Class A350-900XWB Auckland to Nadi
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa – Nadi, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Premier Lounge – Nadi (NAN)
- Fiji Airways Business Class A330-200 Nadi to Singapore
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
- Malindo Air Business Class 737-900 Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu
- Shopping Spree in Thamel – Kathmandu, Nepal
- Cathay Dragon Business Class A330-300 Kathmandu to Hong Kong
- 16-Hour Delay on my American Airlines, with a Happy Ending
- Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Los Angeles
- Fin: Final Flights and My Closure with American Airlines – It was Good While It Lasted
Before my flight, I dropped by the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge and sampled some of their food. While nothing over the top, I find the food and drinks offered were pretty solid. It was definitely above average and exceeded my expectation. I also love the tropical plants along the hallway. I wondered if those plants were fake, but Fiji Airways later confirmed they were indeed real plants.
After spending 15 minutes at the lounge, I walked to the boarding gate, which commenced a few minutes later.
Flight Number: FJ361
Route: Nadi (NAN) – Singapore (SIN)
Schedule: 13:05 – 18:15
Duration: 2h 50m
Aircraft Type: Airbus A330-200
Cabin: Business Class
Date: January 4, 2020
I knew Fiji Airways had two different configurations on their A330 fleet. One version was relatively new, used for their long haul routes, while the other was pretty dated. Unfortunately, my flight featured the older version.
There was only one business class cabin, to the left of the boarding door 2L. While the seats were super dated, at least the legroom was plenty.
Waiting on my seat were amenity kid, blanket, pillow, and Fiji water. Headphones and slippers were also provided on this flight.
After preparing for departure, we pushed back at 1:12 pm. Within minutes, we reached the runway and began rolling — we were up in the air seconds later.
Fijians are very friendly. The flight attendants working on this flight were no exception. While not polished, they seemed genuinely friendly.
Lunch service began not long after we reached the cruising altitude, started with a glass of wine and “Chex mix,” or what we call snack towers of sadness, generally found at airport lounges.
Next, the appetizer — served about an hour after take-off. There was only one option: Tandoori scented local fish terrine served with turmeric aioli and tamarind chutney.
It was decent. I could taste the mustard and cumin.
Ten minutes later, the main course came out. I had braised beef and pumpkin stew, cooked with sweet soy and red wine, served with steamed rice and bok choy (though it was actually broccoli).
Again, it was decent and nothing spectacular, and the presentation was pretty basic. The dish came with some garlic bread, but it was hard and cold.
To finish, I had a chocolate mint cake — it hit the spot.
Once my tray table was cleared, I decided to recline and nap. Unfortunately, the baby across the aisle was crying the entire time. While the mom at least tried to calm the baby down, the dad just sat there with his noise-canceling headphones on and did nothing.
Hours passed. The next thing you know, the baby cried for almost 10 hours straight — the entire time! It was by far one of the worst flights I’ve ever been. It was not because the airline or the crews (the crews were great), but because I happened to be on the same flight with clueless parents — especially 👏🏼the 👏🏼 dad 👏🏼— he didn’t even try!
Enough for the rant.
So since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to walk around the cabin, had a chat here and there with the crews, off duty pilot, and other passengers. I also checked out the lavatory, which was dated, but reasonably clean.
Once I made back to my seat, I browsed through the entertainment system, which was a tablet that the crews handed out after takeoff, and watched a couple of movies. As usual, the flight attendant walked through the cabin, offering some drinks and snacks — I had Baileys on the rocks.
There is one thing to note that if you haven’t flown this type of configuration, be careful when reclining your seat with the tray table open because it tilts as you recline your seat. As a result, the glass slid, and an entire glass of Baileys spilled on my lap and the side console!
About two hours before landing, the pre-arrival meal service started. I had soup and grilled fish. The fish was flavorful but overcooked. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pictures. I remember taking them, but I must have deleted them by accident.
The remainder of the flight was pretty uneventful, except the poor baby who kept crying. We landed in Singapore slightly ahead of schedule and parked next time Qantas planes.
Like my previous flight, the crews were friendly. They seemed genuinely lovely, though not polished. However, the plane was old. The seats were uncomfortable, and the crying baby made my flight experience unpleasant. I don’t blame the baby — babies cry, and that’s totally understandable. It was the inconsiderate parents. To give credit, at least the mom tried, while the dad just sat there wearing his noise-canceling headphones. I would be very unhappy if it were a red-eye flight.
All things considered, I would fly Fiji Airways again, but would avoid the aging Airbus A330 fleet.