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Continental/Air Pacific To Fiji Business Class  
User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hello everyone, I've really enjoyed reading all your trip reports, so I figured I'd contribute something a little exotic that I haven't been able to find anywhere else: Air Pacific and Continental to Fiji on business class.

I'm a very active scuba diver and was looking around this spring for somewhere in the Pacific that would be a great deal for diving plus have an interesting flight. As the Fijian government devalued their currency last spring, Fiji seemed an obvious choice. World class diving, famous Fijian hospitality, plus the chance to ride Air Pacific's 747; what could be better?

Cleveland to Los Angeles
Continental CO67
First Class, Seat 1A
Depart: 5:00PM
Arrive: 6:59PM
On Time

Being that Cleveland is a hub for Continental it makes things quite convenient as they run a non-stop daily to LAX just in time to catch the evening flights to Asia/Pacific out of LAX. Since I was going to be flying for a while, I splurged and used some miles to upgrade to first.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009002.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009003.jpg

Not a whole lot new with domestic first on Continental. It is a consistantly comfortable product in my opinion. The service was quite good, not overbearing or subservient, just good old fashioned Midwestern hospitality.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009012.jpg

The food was also quite nice. Nothing fancy, but a tasty soup, salad, and Reuben sandwich, plus apple pie for dessert. Something I could get at a diner in town.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009005.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009006.jpg

The best part was Continental's DirecTV free in first class. You just can't beat starting a trip to paradise and being able to watch Thursday night college football on the way there!

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009010.jpg

Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji
Air Pacific FJ811
Tabua (business) Class, Seat 1B
Depart:11:30PM
Arrive: 5:10AM
On Time

This was the part of the trip I was looking forward to most. It isn't often I get to fly on a widebody and it has been close to 15 years since I was on a 747.

After collecting my luggage and schleping it over to TBIT, I was able to walk right up to the counter for the Tabua Class line. The agent there, however, was very short and seemed disinterested, although I suppose some would say she was extremely effecient. My checked bags were soon whisked away to security and I was off to the LAX independant lounge. Surprisingly, there was little wait at security and I was soon away from the mass of humanity that is TBIT.

Air Pacific uses the independant lounge which is run by EVA Air. I won't go into too much detail as others have reported on it before. It's quite comfortable and clean as far as lounges go, but has 2 big drawbacks: no showers, and poor food selection. Food was either some soggy prepackaged sandwiches or instant ramen. Anyway, it is still a vast improvement over waiting in TBIT.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009013.jpg

Soon enough it was time for boarding. I was able to walk directly from the lounge down, though the sea of people, into the business class boarding lane and directly onto the plane without stopping. I then had the pleasure of making my first left hand turn into a 747. Sitting down I was immediately offered my choice of champagne or OJ and inviting island music greeted my ears allowing me to relax and watch the rest of the boarding.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009016.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009017.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009018.jpg

Air Pacific operates two 747-400's, named Island of Viti Levu and Island of Vanua Levu. Tonight I was flying on Island of Vanua Levu. Both aircraft are old SQ birds and if you look close on the inside, you can still find SQ logos in the restroom and the hangers in the coat closet were SQ.

Air Pacific flies with 28 Tabua Class seats in the nose of their 747's which gives it a very open feel with pleanty of room to get up, streach out, or walk around. On this flight I wound up having 1A and B all to myself. I must say it was quite an experience having fully half of the front of a 747 all to myself, with no one else in my line of sight. The seats are old style business class seats with recline, foot rest and lumbar support. Despite being old, they were recently re-upholstered and were quite comfortable for relaxing and sleeping. In my opinion, they were much more comfortable and I slept better than I have on the fancier angled flat style seats.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009019.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009028.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009029.jpg

Service on Air Pacific is by no means an extremely polished business class affair. Things were accomplished haphazardly and things like drink refills were sometimes nonexistant. The "hot towel" service on the way out was quite disappointing as it consisted of what appeared to be cold baby wipes. That said, Air Pacific more than makes up for their lack of polish with the exhuberant positive attitude and famous Fijian hospitality of their crew. They really made you feel comfortable and seemed to really be enjoying what they were doing. Flying with them felt more like staying at a friends house rather than riding in a limo.

Food on the flight was what they called a light meal, followed by a full breakfast. The food was ok, but not outstanding. The curry was pretty bland and the bacon omlette was nothing special. These also appeared to be the best of the selections.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009021.jpg

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http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009025.jpg

Inflight entertainment was nothing special, with 6" PTV's in the armrest and 2 dozen channels on a looped track plus 4 interactive games. Adequate, but nothing special. (As an aside, why do they always seem to put all the seat and TV controlls on the inside of your seat armrests where you can bump them accidentally with your legs and can't get to them or see them easily? Makes no sense to me!)

The amenity kit was nice, but nothing special, just the usual stuff and no eye shade. The one nice thing was the Pure Fiji line of moisturizers, etc. I am normally not a guy who likes those sort of things, but even I enjoyed the Pure Fiji products.

After dinner, I watched Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and managed to get a full 6 hours of sleep before breakfast. Before I knew it, we were on our approach into Nadi.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009030.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009032.jpg

Nadi to Matei, Taveuni Island
Pacific Sun FJ 123
Economy Class
Departure: appx 7:00AM, but more or less whenever they felt like it
Arrival: 8:30AM
On Time?

On arrival into Nadi, I cleared customs and immigration quickly and was on my way to my flight to the island of Taveuni, about an hour and a half flight across Viti Levu and over Bligh Water and the Somosomo Straights. Despite being tagged for it at LAX, bags don't transfer through to Pacific Sun from Air Pacific despite Pacific Sun now being owned by Air Pacific. So I walked my bags around to the check in desk where they checked in my bags and I was told I would get a boarding pass later.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009033.jpg

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http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009035.jpg

Pacific Sun doesn't operate on anything close to a strict time table, so pretty much once everyone was ready to fly was when they boarded. I was handed a hand written boarding pass and off we went to my first experience with a DeHavilland Twin Otter. Since Air Pacific's flights are small aircraft and strictly weight controlled, almost none of our baggage flew with us as 12 out of 16 seats on the plane were filled. The flight was reasonably comfortable for such a small aircraft an quite uneventful into Matei on Taveuni. Of course, my bags weren't among the few that made it on the flight. Fortunately, I was prepared and simply checked in to the resort. My bags arrived on a later flight that day.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009044.jpg

Taveuni to Nadi
Pacific Sun FJ125
Economy Class
Depart: 4:00PM, more or less
Arrive: 5:30pm
On Time ?

Starting the flight home was bittersweet as I was finishing 2 fantastic weeks with the wonderful people of Taveuni, Fiji and the fantastic hospitality and diving of Garden Island Resort. However, I still had a lot more flying to look forward to. As I was getting ready at the resort, I was told that I needed to get going sooner as the plane was "running early". Certainly a phrase I had never heard used in conjuction with an airline before. Still being somewhat scheptical, I quickly packed up and was off to Matei. Arriving at Matei, I was astounded that they were indeed correct and at 3:00 the plane was already there and they were processing bags. Check in was extremely informal and consisted of weighing my bags and myself and waiting to board. No boarding pass here, I was simply told to take a specific seat. The flight back to Nadi was uneventful and we were quickly there.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009720.jpg

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http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009729.jpg

Nadi to Los Angeles
Air Pacific FJ810
Tabua (business) Class
Depart 10:00PM
Arrive 1:00PM
Early

Having an almost 5 hour layover, I decided I could do better than sitting in the airport (Nadi is not much for plane spotting). Jack's Handicraft will shuttle you into the resort area for dinner and shopping for free so I decided to take them up on it. After the bucholic tranquility of rustic Taveuni, the resort area of Nadi was a sore disappointment. For all I knew, I could have been in any ocean side town or city in the US. It was packed with loud, obnoxious Americans and resembled nothing like a foreign country. Dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe and then buying a few souvenirs at Jacks and then back to the airport where at least I could tell I was somewhere besides the US. Check in was a breeze and I once again walked straight up to the Tabua Class counter. The agent in Nadi was extremely friendly, inquiring about my stay and even reminding me about airline regulations which was a good thing as my amenity kit from the flight in was still in my carry on. Security and departure immigration and customs was a breeze as they have a special lane for Tabua Class customers.

I did my duty free shopping and then walked down to the Tabua Club Lounge. It has been recently refurbished and I must say was quite nice. It was quite and intimate, not very large, which was fine as there weren't more than 15-20 people using it. It is on gound level and has nice views of the tarmac and Air Pacific hangars. The food and drink selection is decent, although not oustanding and the furniture and decor are extremely comfortable. A big plus in my book, showers are available. The only thing lacking is that while they have free internet available, there are no computer terminals for people like me who don't have their own laptop.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009730.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009731.jpg

After a comfortable stay in the Tabua Club Lounge, it was time to head back to the states. Boarding in Nadi was shere chaos and I had to force my way to the dedicated lane for Tabua Class passengers. Once I got there, however, the relaxed atmosphere kicked in and I was able to take more pix of the aircraft from their open jetway. The aircraft fot my return flight was again the Island of Vanua Levu. I wasn't completely sure on boarding, but recognized it as on take off the right hand door of the very forward coat closet swings open.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009734.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009736.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009737.jpg

Anyway, the flight back was as comfortable as the flight there although almost an hour shorter, which I was actually disappointed about. This stuck me as remarkable as even flying business class with much fancier airlines across the Pacific, I can't remember a time when I wasn't glad the flight was over.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009738.jpg

Service was still hit or miss. The hot towels on the way back were actually both hot and real towels. However, I wasn't offered any drink before takeoff and the food was not as good. I ordered the corned beef and cheese sandwich, expecting a nice hot, melty sandwich similar to to the Reuben I got on Continetal. Unfortunatley, I got a cold soggy tasteless sandwich with something approximating meat and cheese. This was the kind of thing I could have gotten from a refrigerator case at a gas station. Yuck! At least the tropical fruit was very fresh on this flight. The fried rice looked and smelled much better and from what I saw, people enjoyed it much more than the snandwich. As a side note, I also had the best Bloody Mary I have ever had with the awful sandwich and although it may have just been that particular flight attendant, I would highly recommend trying one to anyone flying Air Pacific. Unfortuately, as before, refills on drinks were not forthcoming. I couldn't even get a glass of water to wash it down or OJ for breakfast. Despite this, like before, the genuine warmth and friendliness of the crew counteracted the lack of polish and contributed to a most relaxing and enjoyable flight.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009740.jpg

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009741.jpg

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http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009745.jpg

I managed to get another 5 hours of sleep on the way back and awoke to an early arrival into LAX. Luck was with me as we actually got to pull into a gate in TBIT and walk straight down into customs instead of taking the LAX bus ride.

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009746.jpg

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http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy201/osudvm/FijiOctober2009749.jpg

Los Angeles to Cleveland
Continental CO634
First Class
Depart: 11:15PM
Arrive: 6:00AM
Early

After spending a long layover at a day room a the Crown Plaza LAX it was finally time for my last leg home. Not much to report here since this was a red eye flight pretty much everyone spend the flight asleep. Not wanting to disturb anyone, I didn't take any pictures. Food was a cold plate of nuts, veggies, cheese, and cold cuts. I did manage to take in an old episode of Iron Chef on the DirecTV before an early arrival home at Cleveland.

I hope you all enjoy the trip report and welcome your feedback.

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline767er From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I thorougly enjoyed that TR and the photos were excellant. Well done

What a 'modest' wine selction.

I see Air Pacific 744 fly into SYD most Saturdays - great livery.



Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently offlineCOEWR2587 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 607 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

How was boarding on your flight back to LAX. When I flew that flight this summer, boarding was a mess. No announcements, no row or class order. Made boarding a 747, an hour long mess.


Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6939 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report about a rare carrier. I had always wanted to read something about Air Pacific here. Too bad the catering was a bit disappoiting.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The wine selection was certainly quite "modest" especially as I can get at least a couple of those wines at the grocery store. However, you don't choose Air Pacific for their wine list.

Boarding in Nadi was a free for all, I think they were calling rows, but no one listened. However they have recently added a priority lane for Tabua Class/Tabua Club passengers, so once you push your way through the crowd to the front, you could walk right through.

All in all despite their flaws, it was still a good value for the money. Especially since if you catch them on sale, Tabua Class tickets are anywhere from 30-50% less than a typical trans-Pacific business class fare.


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8589 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report, thanks, this is a pretty rare carrier here.

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
Surprisingly, there was little wait at security

- Amazing, it's always a zoo when I'm going through it!

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
I was told that I needed to get going sooner as the plane was "running early". Certainly a phrase I had never heard used in conjuction with an airline before

- Interesting one, not come across that before.

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
the food was not as good. I ordered the corned beef and cheese sandwich, expecting a nice hot, melty sandwich similar to to the Reuben I got on Continetal. Unfortunatley, I got a cold soggy tasteless sandwich with something approximating meat and cheese. This was the kind of thing I could have gotten from a refrigerator case at a gas station. Yuck

- Wow, I've seen that the F&B service looks weak, but this is really below par. I'm not expecting that much, but this falls below what I would have expected.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineHawaiian452 From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

A great read!
It is nice to finally read a TR about Air Pacific...

Although those Business Class seats have seen better days! I thought the cabin was due for a major refurbishment during heavy maintenance of the 744s earlier in the year. If refurbishment meant changing the seat covers......  scratchchin 


User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
You're right that Air Pacific's 744's underwent heavy maintainance earlier this year. However, in business clas this apparently ment changing seat covers and carpeting. The clothes hangers even remained SQ. Like I said, the way I recognized the aircraft was that the right forward closet door opens on takeoff. The seats were definitely old technology and the service subpar, but there was something decidedly charming about Air Pacific. Maybe it was that we were flying to Fiji, which is in and of it self a fabulous destination. Or maybe it was the crew of poorly polished, but very very sincere Fijians that made the trip so very comfortable. However, despite what it was lacking in current technology and service standards, it was one of the most genuinely relaxed and comfortable flights I have been on. In my opinion, you just can't replicate a group of people who are genuinely happy to see you and happy that you are traveling to their country. I could only imagine how good Air Pacific could be if they had their flight crew's genuine warmth with a hard product and catering like Singapore, Emirates, or other first class airlines.


User currently offlineJFKMan From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 598 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The food looks really nice! Especially on CO.

Some great views too. Looks like a great trip! Great TR!



US / AA - JFK / TPA
User currently offlineJetBlueGuy2006 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1665 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very good report...makes me want to fly to Fiji.


Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What an amazing report. Thanks a lot for sharing. It seems Air Pacific has quite a long way to go as a carrier - so how did the Fijian hospitality save the shoddy food, IFE, and seats?

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Good question. You know it's hard to point to any one thing in particular. I suppose it counts for something that I wasn't expecting a perfectly polished service and was very happy with the price. However, as far as specifics, the one thing that sticks out in my mind was their smiles. Any time I had any interaction with the flight crew, I got a smile. I mean a real smile and not a fake one necessary for doing their job, but a real smile that somehow said "I'm really glad you're here." I also suppose it was the island atmosphere, the native Fijian music, and the friendly "Bula's" or "Vinaka's" that you always got any time you interacted with the crew. I suppose it almost felt like they were saying, "I don't care what the plane looks or feels like, I really care that you are coming to my country." They also seemed genuinely interested in where you were going or where you stayed in Fiji. On the way home, I think every crew member asked how I liked my stay and really seemed to want to hear where I stayed, what I did, what my experience was, how I enjoyed it, and what I thought of Fiji. These weren't casual 30 second conversations, but ones lasting 5- 10 minutes and they happened with each crew member. I can't say I've ever felt something that genuine before. Secondly, although many would consider them inferior, I didn't find their seats a poor product. I will admit that they weren't visually appealing, and they were older, however I found them quite comfortable. I didn't hear anyone else complaining. I also got the best sleep I've ever had in an airplane 5-6 hours straight on each flight. I suppose it also helps to go to sleep relaxed. The flight length of 9-10 hours seemed to be perfect for their sevice as that meant 2 hours for take off and dinner, 5-6 hours of sleep plus 2 hours for breakfast and landing, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to think about the IFE, or other things you might have wanted if the flight was a little longer. That said, I do agree that they are not a world class airline, and to be a world class airline, Air Pacific has a ways to go, but I also got the feeling that they didn't care about their world status, which was in a way refreshing. It felt like they just wanted to be the best welcoming comittee for Fiji that they could be, and do it being genuinely Fijian. Their reasonable prices also helped a lot. I would love if they could put some world class spit and polish with thier comfortable nature, but I would definitely fly them again to Fiji.

User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
Despite being tagged for it at LAX, bags don't transfer through to Pacific Sun from Air Pacific despite Pacific Sun now being owned by Air Pacific



Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
Of course, my bags weren't among the few that made it on the flight. Fortunately, I was prepared and simply checked in to the resort. My bags arrived on a later flight that day.

 down  This is a no, no, never on any scheduled airline and I would complain with AirPacific. However, it is normal that the bag was not transferred through to Matei, as they might don't have any customs on this little island- so it had be done in Nadi.
BUT if the bag was tagged in LAX, there must have been a "sign" for TABUA passengers (like BusinessClass or Priority or something else). So, AirPacific should have been given priority to this bag as well on the domestic run (as all international airlines does)- even it's only one class. It is not tolerable, that a bag of a Top-Premium customer (with clear signs) is left behind and other baggage preferred...


User currently offlineTonyban From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice TR. I really enjoyed reading. I don't think I had ever heard of Air Pacific until now.
Shame on me  ashamed 


User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Debonair is right, but the operation on the gound in Nadi is much different than a normal operation. It appears that although Air Pacific and Pacific Sun are one airline, they aren't used to operating as one. My bags were marked with a priority tag, but it was pretty much ignored by Pacific Sun. I even had to argue with them for my connecting baggage weight allowance for Tabua class. They did eventually concede. That said, almost no baggage made the flight to Matei. My bags were heavy (60-65lbs) with all my scuba gear and it may be that they took less than that amount of baggage.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report, however I can see FJ hard product plus the haphazard service and meals has not improved much. Seats were basically the same on the old 742s 10 some years ago.
Shame really



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineWorkflyer From New Zealand, joined Dec 2006, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

It is great that you got to experience some of the hospitality that you get on Air Pacific. I have flown them a few times on holiday trips up to Fiji. Like you I have noted that what they lack in polish they more than make up for in honest hospitality. Fijians are amongst some of the friendliest people you can find. If you are ever thinking of somewhere to go and you have young kids to take with you, think Fiji.

Even on flights over to Fiji when I have been stuck down the back the onboard crews have been great with the kids, even when I had one son run off into the rear galley, when I got there to retrieve him he was already being cuddled by an FA who had stopped what she was doing to pick him up. On top of that before she handed him over she had offered me a couple of beers to take back to my seat. I have found in the past getting off an Air Pacific flight sober has been a challenge LOL.

The product may be a bit 80's or early 90's and the service a little haphazard but the genuine nature of it all makes up for it. I agree with you about those seats. The old Singapore Airlines business class seat is very comfortable.

Vinaka

Workflyer


User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4660 posts, RR: 23
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report, you hardly ever see Air Pacific on here, so well done  Smile


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Big version: Width: 600 Height: 450 File size: 29kb
Beautiful day for spotting.


Saw this beauty a few weeks ago in Sydney, thanks for a great report on an airline most of us will never fly!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineCrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 699 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report. Just out of curiosity, was your ticket on Air Pacific in paid business class? If so, how much was it (more or less)? I'm curious because from what you wrote, the seats and the amenities certainly don't seem very good.

User currently offlineOsudvm From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for all of your comments. Yes, my seat was paid for in business class. The LAX to NAN segment goes for about $2000 if you catch it on sale, and if you add the flight to TVU, it was $2200-2300 round trip from LAX to TVU. That was at least $1000 less than any other fare I could find to TVU. I think Workflyer said it well, Air Pacific isn't about the seats or the food or the service, it's about the people. I certainly wouldn't have understood before flying with them as I quite agree that their product looks quite poor, and wouldn't expect anyone who hasn't flown with them to understand either. It's a feeling of being welcome, that is just completely different than any other airline experience I've ever had.
I recently saw that Continental will begin flying to Fiji from Honolulu here in December and although I dearly love Continental as my home town airline, it would be a tough decision on CO vs FJ once I get the time to take a return trip.


User currently offlineSmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Workflyer (Reply 16):
Even on flights over to Fiji when I have been stuck down the back the onboard crews have been great with the kids, even when I had one son run off into the rear galley, when I got there to retrieve him he was already being cuddled by an FA who had stopped what she was doing to pick him up. On top of that before she handed him over she had offered me a couple of beers to take back to my seat. I have found in the past getting off an Air Pacific flight sober has been a challenge LOL.

I must tell a funny story that relates to FJ FAs and their love of children. As a child (5 or 6) I was flying back from NAN to SYD with my mum and sister. My sister was on the window seat, mum was in the middle and I was on the aisle. It was was mid way through breakfast ans my sister need to bathroom, thus the juggle began, me in the aisle balancing all three trays an my mum trying to assist my sister out from the window. There were some blankets and things on the ground, my mum grabbed them trying to clear them out of her's and my sisters way. The only problem was the blankets were wrapped about my ankle, thus thinking they were stuck on something she yanked them hard, pulling my feet and legs out from under me lol. Well the trays went up in the air landing on the family across the aisle, I hit my back on the adjacent arm rest and fell to the ground and naturally for a 5 year old started crying.
As my mum tells the story it was at this point that that the three biggest FJ hosties you could imagine appeared, lifting me up one of them took me to the galley, the other handed Mum some cloths and the other proclaimed, 'You clean this! We will look after the boy someone needs to'. I don't know how many of you have meet Fijian woman but I wouldn't be arguing with them, I had a great time they took care of me completely down the back I was the golden child lol. Very sweet and protective of the hosties, nice to see real warmth and compasion in the world.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40069 posts, RR: 74
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for this report Osudvm!
After seeing the beautiful Air Pacific 747 at LAX numerous times, I've always been curious about this airline.
I was doing a search for 'Air Pacific' in the trip reports and stumbled upon this thread. I've always been curious about this airline's premium seats (Tabua Class)
It looks like a real treat.

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
my choice of champagne or OJ and inviting island music greeted my ears allowing me to relax and watch the rest of the boarding.

That is awesome way to get a vacation started. Glad that Air Pacific realizes that your vacation starts as soon as you get on the plane.

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
Air Pacific more than makes up for their lack of polish with the exhuberant positive attitude and famous Fijian hospitality of their crew. They really made you feel comfortable and seemed to really be enjoying what they were doing. Flying with them felt more like staying at a friends house rather than riding in a limo.

This is what I value over any gimmicks or latest inflight gadgets! I know South Pacific hospitality very well from the people I know from Fuji. Truly wonderful people!

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
The seats are old style business class seats with recline, foot rest and lumbar support. Despite being old, they were recently re-upholstered and were quite comfortable for relaxing and sleeping. In my opinion, they were much more comfortable and I slept better than I have on the fancier angled flat style seats.

I am the kind of guy that likes a lot of cushion.  yes 
I know what you mean. I prefer the old-style business seats over the newer 180 degree flat seats.
The newer 180 degree flat seats has thinner cushions. It's great that you can lie completely flat but I rather recline in the older style business/1st. class seats.
A few years ago, I flew on Thai Airways last remaining 747-300s in Royal First Class.
They were the old style seats similar to your Air Pacific flight. I found it more comfortable than the new style business class seats on Cathay Pacific.

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
After the bucholic tranquility of rustic Taveuni, the resort area of Nadi was a sore disappointment. For all I knew, I could have been in any ocean side town or city in the US. It was packed with loud, obnoxious Americans and resembled nothing like a foreign country.

Sure those weren't Aussies?

Quoting Osudvm (Thread starter):
I also had the best Bloody Mary I have ever had

A good cocktail will make up for any lousy meal!  bigthumbsup 


Sounds like you had a great time. Your trip report proved what I had suspected about Air Pacific.
A genuinely nice airline with warm people doesn't rely on the latest & greatest gadgets to impress their passengers. I prefer that style of flying anyway. That's how flying used to be.
I'd love to fly on their 747s someday.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3086 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

How ironic I came across this! I am actually putting together a honeymoon for my fiancee and in late 2010 early 2011. I have decided on Fiji and too have noticed they offer the cheapest airfare. However, the flight times are kind of eh. Anyway, we are looking at some of the island resorts northwest of Nadi. Can't wait to fly FJ!


Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5940 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32518 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 22):
Sure those weren't Aussies?

That was my first thought as well! When I was in Fiji everybody was either Australian or Kiwi. That said since it's only a 4 hour flight from here that's what you would have expected, like there been lots of Americans in the Caribbean. And who says there's anything wrong with Aussies  
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 23):
we are looking at some of the island resorts northwest of Nadi

I hope you have an awesome trip, and all the best for your wedding! I'm certain you'll love Fiji. Just don't stay in Denarau: that's the area Osudvm was referring to where you could be anywhere. If you like to feel like you never left home when you travel I'm sure it's perfect, but personally I would like to at least feel like I'm in a different country!


I kind of wish I flew FJ when I went to Fiji since it would certainly have been a different experience. Instead I took the cheaper option of flying PacificBlue (BNE-NAN). The service was identical to when I fly Virgin Blue to SYD or CBR. Nothing in wrong with that, but it certainly wasn't so 'tropical'!

Thank you very much Osudvm, a really enjoyable report!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
25 Post contains images AirPacific747 : Gorgeous looking 747 I have flown with Air Pacific twice from Australia, and then back again. So many great memories from Fiji and AP, hence my userna
26 swedenflyer : Based on the service you got on the CLE-LAX flight, it looks like CO was trying to set a good example for other US carriers' domestic service. I enjoy
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