Paradise Bound

Service
The Seat
Dining
Overall

Fiji remains one of the South Pacific’s most sought-after destinations and the South Seas experience begins well before you arrive thanks to Fiji Airways’ bold new look.

Background

As Air Pacific, Fiji’s national carrier delivered generations of travelers to its idyllic isles. After an extensive revamp, Fiji Airways now continues that tradition, albeit with a more contemporary offering between the international airport at Nadi and destinations across the Pacific, including Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, and San Francisco.

The Lounge

After a quick check-in process at a dedicated business class counter for our Nadi to Hong Kong flight, we made our way to the newly-opened Premier Lounge, a serene space with both café and lounge seating, a TV suite, a games suite, its own spa, a stylish cocktail bar, and an extensive hot and cold buffet. As flights to Hong Kong leave quite early in the morning, this is a great spot for breakfast.

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Boarding

Despite a quick boarding process onto the airline’s Airbus A330, we departed 30 minutes late. However, this gave the crew time to serve hot towels, signature cocktails, simple but fun amenity kits, and menus. After takeoff, we switched gear, with cheeky glasses of Prince Laurent Champagne before breakfast was served.

Fiji remains one of the South Pacific’s favourite destinations and the South Seas experience begins the moment you board Fiji Airways.

The Seat

While the business class product on Fiji Airways isn’t cutting edge, it’s perfectly adequate for a daytime, nine-hour flight to Hong Kong. Each of the 24 seats, set in a 2-2-2 configuration, features a large 15.4-inch personal entertainment monitor in the seatback in front, two small compartments beneath, room for headphones in between, and additional space for bottles of Fiji Water (naturally) beneath the armrest. Dressed in white leather, each seat has a pitch of 60-inches and lies at an 8-degree incline, which makes it ideal for daytime trips but a little dated for a red-eye.

Dining

Breakfast service started soon after takeoff and consisted of fresh fruit and double berry yogurt, followed by a granola parfait, fresh croissants, and a choice of a cheese and parsley omelets with chicken sausage and roasted potato; chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream and caramelized pineapple; and an ‘eggless’ masala dosa crepe with pumpkin, tomato, and chickpea curry. The pancakes were brilliant if not a little decadent, especially when matched with a round of signature Paradise rum cocktails.

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A few hours outside Hong Kong we enjoyed a lunch of garlic prawns with tamarind chutney; as well as a choice of braised beef and mushroom stew; stir-fried chicken with egg noodles; and grilled vegetable lasagna with a rich tomato basil sauce. The prawns were cooked perfectly, and the stir-fried chicken was succulent and perfectly seasoned.

Fiji remains one of the South Pacific’s favourite destinations and the South Seas experience begins the moment you board Fiji Airways.

What We Loved

Throughout the flight, the service was world-class, with the ever-smiling crew making every request look a breeze. You forget what really great service is these days, and it was a very welcomed reminder.

What We Didn’t

The window shades were lowered very early in the flight and were kept down throughout, which I thought odd for a flight that starts at 9 am and arrives at 3 pm. The entertainment selection could do with a spring clean.

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About Author

Nick Walton

Nick Walton

Nick Walton is a leading travel and lifestyle journalist, magazine editor, publisher, photographer, travel commentator, and media trainer, based in Hong Kong. He is also managing editor of Artemis Communications, the titles of which include Ultimate Encounters, Alpha Men Asia, and The Art of Business Travel.

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