The airline’s tagline is “Fiji time” but, thankfully, everything was running right on time for my afternoon flight from Sydney to Nadi.
Fiji Airways operates three daily flights from Sydney to Fiji on flight numbers FJ911, FJ915 and FJ917 into the booming holiday hotspot of Nadi.
This was my first experience flying with the airline and I was excited to experience the Fiji spirit in the air.
Check-In & Beyond
Checking in online meant that I was able to skip the long queue and speed through Bag Drop, where there was no wait.
I thought I had scored a mysterious single seat according to the seat map online but, the lady at check-in informed me that it was an error in the illustration online and what I had actually booked was a regular aisle seat in a middle row. I thought it was too good to be true!
Seat & Entertainment
The Economy section of the aircraft is broken up into a configuration of 2-4-2 for the most part, with five rows at the back of the plane offering 2-3-2 configuration.
I was seated in 39D, which wasn’t the best choice due to the metal pole positioned underneath the seat in front of me, meaning I had no choice but to place my feet on either side of this for the duration of the flight. On a short flight such as this, it didn’t cause me too much grief, but on a long haul flight, it wouldn’t have been ideal.
The seat itself was generally comfortable, however, always a hit and miss in economy. Economy seating offers a pitch of 31-32 inches and a 7.5-inch recline.
Ample entertainment-on-demand is on offer with a variety of recent release movies and old favourites shown on 10.6-inch monitors. I was tempted to watch Titanic for the umpteenth time but resisted!
In addition to movies, there is also an array of TV shows, albums, themed radio stations and games on offer. Carole King provided the soundtrack to my flight… perfection.
Fiji Airways has clearly put some thought into travelling families with an entire section of the entertainment offering dedicated especially to the young flyers. Kid’s Clubfeatures a selection of movies, TV shows, music and games.
In-seat USB power is also on offer.
Service & Food
Economy airline food can tend to have negative connotations, but I really enjoyed my lunch aboard Fiji Airways. It was a smaller serve than on some other carriers I have flown with, but that was fine by me in this instance.
The South Pacific fare on offer included an option between a teriyaki-style chicken dish or a pumpkin curry, along with a slice of New Zealand cheese, some crackers and a coffee-infused light and fluffy mousse.
The crew were friendly and helpful and donned a uniform in pure Fijian-styling. I was inspired to find out more about the meaning behind their uniforms which were designed by Fijian designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp in 2012.
The motifs featured include the Qualioka which symbolises the unity of people to complete a task, Tama symbolising friendly service and Droe, which means clear blue skies and a cool breeze on beaches. The aqua represents the clear blue skies (which I am hoping for on this visit) and oceans and the brown represents respect.
Class: Economy, Seat 39D
Aircraft: Airbus 330-200
Timing: 3.25 hours
Words: Natalie Kessell