What Is It Like to Fly Fiji Airways Business Class from Los Angeles?
The business-class cabin on this LAX-Nadi flight is said to be a "bed and breakfast" experience. But does it live up to the hype?
December 6, 2023
As a Los Angeles-based travel writer, I was invited to Fiji to tour the new developments at the Vomo Island resort, a 45-minute boat ride from the international airport in Nadi.
This trip was to span just two nights at the destination — that is to say, as many days in transit as on location. So, I required the flight to be comfortable; if I couldn’t sleep on the overnight flights, the experience would be unpleasant and unproductive.
I’d heard the 11-hour flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Nadi in Fiji Airways’ A350 business class cabin described as a “bed and breakfast,” a cozy place to get a full night’s sleep flanked by a pair of good meals.
Here’s how my experience compared to my expectations.
Boarding and Cabin
I started my journey at the Oneworld lounge at LAX, a nicely outfitted, dimly lit space. After a glass of champagne and miso soup, I went to the gate for a seamless boarding process.
The business class cabin begins at row 11 (there is no first class) and spans ten rows in a one-two-one configuration with direct aisle access from each seat. The whole look of the cabin was appealing, with seats topped with black-and-white pillows decked in a traditional Fijian pattern.
The flight attendants were very friendly and attentive from the beginning. They offered welcome drinks, either champagne (Cattier Brut icône) or orange juice. I decided to mix them and make my own mimosa. They also provided warm, floral-scented towels to freshen up and get comfortable.
We took to the skies right on time at 10:45 pm local time. I was pleased to see that Wi-Fi for the duration of the flight was offered under $10; just as I was preparing to enter my credit card information to set it up, flight attendants circulated with cards containing complimentary Wi-Fi codes for every passenger in business class, a terrific perk (especially compared to many U.S.-based carriers).
After dinner, it was certainly my bedtime. So, when I went to the lavatory, I asked a flight attendant to make up my seat with bedding. When I returned, it was done — set cozily with a substantial mattress pad (that tucked into the top of the seat so as not to slide out of place) and a plush duvet in the same Fijian pattern.
Just as I’d hoped, I slept comfortably for nearly seven hours before freshening up and breakfast a few hours before landing.
Flight attendants came through the business class cabin offering warm towels three times during the flight, a hospitable detail that made a difference to my comfort and helped me prepare for a full work day ahead upon landing.
Overall, the food presentation and flavor exceeded my expectations throughout the flight. For dinner, I started with a fresh garden salad as well as a sweet potato and watercress soup.
The starter soup was attractively presented, topped with fresh chives. The vegan pumpkin curry was flavorful and colorfully arrayed with Calrose, wild rice, stir-fried kale, haricot beans, and sweet basil. I opted for the passionfruit and chocolate mousse for dessert.
Given the nature of the overnight flight, flight attendants presented guests with fill-out-your-own breakfast menus upon boarding so they wouldn’t have to disturb anyone sleeping in preparation for the second meal service.
I’d pre-selected the apricot and apple crepes, which, unfortunately, were unavailable when it was time to serve my row.
The other vegetarian option was a savory stir fry tofu bowl (tofu, miso mushroom stir fry, edamame beans, and kale on Japanese rice), which initially seemed a bit too dinner-y for me. But it turned out to be delicious, and I finished the whole thing.
I was also pleased oat milk was an option for the coffee — it created a coffee house-like experience in place of what, more typically in the air, feels like a disappointing, watered-down, and less-than-indulgent cup of joe.
My luxe leather seat was exceedingly comfortable, with a pitch over 60 inches, direct aisle access, a 17-inch personal entertainment screen, a generously sized multi-way tray table, multiple USB ports, in-seat power, and generous storage space throughout.
Lie-flat seats recline the full 180 degrees, and I did sleep well with an extra assist from the nicely made sleep mask in the toiletry amenity kit.
The 17-inch monitor had a highly responsive touchscreen, but the remote control was difficult to use. The entertainment selection was decent but not outstanding and included recent releases like the latest Indiana Jones movie. However, I opted to watch Blackberry instead, as I am fond of Y2K nostalgia and a great appreciation for cautionary tales about overconfident CEOs.
The entertainment unit also featured views outside the plane from two cameras: one on top of the aircraft and the other on the bottom. It was fun to watch the landing gear come down, and the wheels touch down on the runway; that cool perspective was a first for me.
My flight in Fiji Airways A350 business class was extremely comfortable, restful — and even restorative. The flavorful food was standout, as was the turndown and towel service and the friendly hospitality.
This long-haul flight delivered that “bed and breakfast” experience I’d hoped for.