We’ve been fortunate in our travels to fly with many airlines and even on a short flight the condition of the aircraft and attitude of the crew can make the world of difference to the experience as a passenger. Recently when booking a last minute trip to Fiji I had the opportunity to travel with Fiji Airways. I was keen to see if the famous Bula hospitality we’ve experienced on the islands would extend to the skies. After my positive experience I thought I’d write a Fiji Airways economy class review.
Fiji Airways – economy class review
When booking a trip a week and a half before departure, there’s not a whole lot of choice about airlines. My trip was a quick visit to Fiji so maximising my time on the ground was the aim of the game so booking a Qantas flight departing Australia at 0835am and returning on a 6pm flight ex Fiji was the best option for me. The Qantas flight to Nadi was underwhelming. A combination of a delayed departure due to the airline waiting for passengers from a connecting flight (unavoidable obviously), poor service, food options running out, air conditioning not working and a child that screamed from boarding to disembarkation, made me keen for an improved return trip with Fiji Airways.Thankfully the airline did not disappoint.
It was cheaper for me to book my entire trip as one booking through Qantas due to my outbound flight being a Qantas operated aircraft. The return journey was a codeshare flight between Qantas and Fiji Airways with a Fiji Airways 737 aircraft. Booking through Qantas limited my ability to control my preferences with my Fiji Airways flight so I wasn’t able to choose a seat, I was only able to select either window or aisle. I also didn’t have the option to book extra legroom seats either when doing it through the Qantas system. Earlier this year I experienced a similar situation when I booked a trip to the US. It was cheaper to book to the US via American Airlines but it was a Qantas operated flight so I was unable to select seats or upgrade to extra legroom seating. It’s something worth considering if this is important to you but the price difference (cheaper) in both cases was the determining factor for me. As you can see from the photo above, the extra legroom seats on Fiji Airways are generous.
The Fiji Airways economy class 737 aircraft offers a seating configuration of three seats on either side of a single aisle.The economy seats are about as comfortable as any standard airline economy class seat can be.
The seats were in good condition, the aircraft was clean and everything was in working order.
I loved the nod to the airline’s homeland with the pillows and blankets styled with Fijian design. I’ve never been tempted to take an airline blanket before but the Fiji Airways blanket was so lovely, soft to touch, and so cosy it was difficult to leave behind. But I did! I can only assume I am not the only person to have thought this way as there was an announcement about not removing the pillows and blankets from the aircraft at the end of the flight.
The inflight entertainment is quite extensive and certainly offered enough options for the nearly five hour return flight from Nadi to Sydney.
I will admit my vegetarian meal above does not photograph well but the food was tasty and there was sufficient on offer for the short flight. The non vegetarian option was chicken and pasta. As a general rule I don’t eat chicken on flights as I’ve always been told it is a higher risk for food poisoning but those eating it beside me seemed to gobble it up with gusto. Each meal was accompanied by a roll, salad, dessert and a choice of wines, juices or water.
Service on Fiji Airways economy class
Having a busy family life I’m a big fan of efficiency. I’m always multi-tasking and finding ways to do things more efficiently when it comes to day-to-day jobs. That means I tend to get frustrated if I experience slow service when it could be streamlined. On Fiji Airways the flight crew had efficiency down to an art form. As usual the flight crew took the food trolley to the front of the aircraft but despite being in the second half of the plane I didn’t wait long for my food because other crew members carried trays of food from the back of the aircraft to waiting passengers. This sped up the food service considerably making for happy passengers. I was so impressed.
Tips on flying with Fiji Airways
If you fancy your Bula holiday experience starting as soon as you take-off or not ending the minute you depart from Fiji then Fiji Airways is the way to fly.
The queue for the only two bathrooms (standard airline cubicle size) at the rear of the aircraft extended quite a way up the aisle when meal service finished, so my number one tip is ‘go’ before the food arrives to avoid the queue. Number two tip is to book seats as far forward in the aircraft as possible to avoid having people standing in the toilet queue breathing all over you, bumping your seat and elbows.
If you want to be able to secure certain seats on the aircraft you’ll need to book directly with Fiji Airways not through Qantas.
Overall I felt that Fiji Airways offered good value, service and a pleasant flight from Nadi to Sydney. I would definitely fly with Fiji Airways again and if anyone can tell me how to get a hold of one of the airline’s cosy nanna blankets please let me know. I wouldn’t mind being draped in one while sitting on my couch at home dreaming of my next Fiji getaway.
You can read more about Fiji Airways services, including their accessibility services, on their website.
Curious about other airlines? You can read my reviews below for
and my fantasy tour of a private jet.