JetBlue Mint A321 Review (MIA-LAX) [2023]

For quite a while, I heard so many good things about JetBlue Mint that I was highly curious about the product. I envisioned it being a relatively solid experience but the flying experience turned out to far exceed even my best expectations.

In this article, I will review my recent flight from MIA to LAX on the JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint and explain just how this flight blew me away!

JetBlue Mint A321 Video Review

If you are a video person, be sure to check out the entire video review I did for this flight here:


Like some other premium products, prices can fluctuate by a lot for JetBlue Mint.

If you’re flexible with redeye flights or early morning flights, you may be able to find the good deals easier.

In this case, the price for the 7 AM nonstop flight was about half the price of the other nonstop time and so we only had to pay around $730 per seat which I thought was great value, especially while earning 5X with the Platinum Card!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!


We arrived to a pretty empty MIA around 4:30 AM for check-in and made our way to the exclusive JetBlue check in desk for Mint and Mosaic members.

JetBlue check-in

The agent working at the desk was clearly not in the best mood.

I sympathize with her because it was so freaking early but at the same time when you are the first point of contact with Mint/elite customers you have to do a little better than early morning stank eye.

JetBlue Mosaic Mint check-in

After checking a bag, we made our way to security where we breezed through thanks to CLEAR and Pre-Check.

The CLEAR staff was very friendly and professional which unfortunately I’ve found to be decreasingly common over the past few years.


After screening, it was time to take a very short tram ride over to our gate which only took a couple of minutes.

We did have the option to spend a little bit of time at a Priority Pass lounge (Turkish) but, it just did not really seem worth it. Plus, I was trying to save my appetite for the flight.


After we made our way over to the gate, I realized that we would not be boarding in a typical JetBlue boarding area.

JetBlue boarding area

Instead, we had to go downstairs and board at a British Airways gate. It took me back to the days of living in the UK but was a little bit odd.

For the most part, boarding went pretty smooth. A couple of potential line cutters were turned away, including one who tried to swoop under the stanchion belt.

I don’t know what it is about boarding a plane that makes some people act a fool but it’s one of the weirdest things.

british airways boarding area

JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint cabin

The cabin has a total of 16 Mint seats but they are not all the same, as the cabin has a unique configuration.

The rows alternate with odd rows having two side-by-side seats and even rows featuring a fully enclosed single suite.

JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint cabin

The side-by-side seats are more of your typical domestic first class product although they still have the lie-flat feature.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint double seats

From the bookings that I have done, there was no additional cost to select the fully enclosed single suite, so it was just a matter of booking early and selecting that seat. I highly recommend going with that suite since you have the optimal level of privacy and extra room.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint double seats

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

As soon as I finally saw the Mint suite, 2A, with my own eyes, I could tell that I was going to really like the seat.

One of the first things I look for in a business class seat is what type of counter space and storage it offers. This suite clearly had a lot of counter space and it also had ample storage space

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

The main counter area featured two power outlets (with two USB ports) so it’s a great laptop station.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite outlets

The other side of the seat had a reading lamp, additional storage pouches, and one more outlet.

There’s also a really deep compartment that opens up that could fit things like amenity kits, headphone cases, and more.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite storage

Then you also have a couple of storage pouches in the front including one directly below the TV monitor and one further down. So you’re definitely covered with the storage space!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite storage

Overall, I found the seat to be very comfortable and just a great way to fly transcontinental.

With its central design, it very much has a “throne” type of feel to it, which is only amplified by the fact that only four seats are comparable within the Mint cabin. In other words, it gives you more of a first class feel while surrounded by business class.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

And obviously with a seat like this legroom is not an issue. It’s also nice that they have a floor ramp that gives your legs a place to rest in the upright position.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

As for privacy, it’s great even whenever the suite door is open.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

To close the door on your seat, there is a little latch button you pull and that slides out the door. Sometimes the door will slide all the way closed but other times I had to give it a little bit of a push. With the door closed, it’s obviously a lot more private although you don’t have the tallest suite walls.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

The headphones were from Master and Dynamic and very high-quality.

Unlike the headphones that I had just received on my American Airlines business class flight, that were extremely worn and even a bit of tattered, these felt very fresh.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite headphones

I really loved the design and high quality feel of the headphones and the sound was great.

One thing that was a nice touch is that when JetBlue requested for us to return the headphones about 15 to 20 minutes before landing, they offered to supply us with ear buds so we could finish anything we were watching.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite headphones

The flight would offer us two amenity kits: one pre-flight and one that we would receive just before landing.

The pre-flight Tuft and Needle amenity kit came in recyclable packaging and included toothpaste tablets, a toothbrush, earplugs, and an eye mask.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite Tuft and Needle amenity kit
Tuft and Needle amenity kit

Now, let’s talk about the only true complaint I had. And that would be the in-flight entertainment.

I thought the screen was just dated. It was reasonably sized but with lower picture quality and the responsiveness of the touchscreen was severely lacking.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite TV

An IFE remote comes out from the side so you can use that to navigate but overall the IFE just has an “old school” feel to it.

But now let’s get back to the good stuff.

One thing I really liked was getting pre-departure beverages. Not just that, but I received multiple refills while we were boarding without even having to ask.

That was the first sign that service was going to be on point, but it was going to be a lot better than I ever anticipated!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Eventually, it was time for an on-time departure and we took off around sunrise, offering amazing views of Miami.

Dining (breakfast)

With such an early flight and no real time for enjoying lounge access, I was holding my appetite for the flight and I’m glad that I did because breakfast was exceptional.

Basically, for breakfast you can choose 3 of 5 options which included: strawberries, chia pudding, avocado toast, crepes, and frittata. You could also add on some bacon. Here’s a look at the menu:

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu

It started with a large, flaky croissant.

Lots of airlines give you croissants that are mediocre or feel sort of like an afterthought but this one was clearly a prized croissant. Delicious!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

After the croissant came out some heavy turbulence started. We would have some pretty noticeable turbulence throughout the flight, which made the service that much more impressive.

Anyway, after the turbulence break, I was able to pop out my tray table which can easily be done by pulling a small tab.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Then the full breakfast was served.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

Initially, the bacon seemed like a bit much as this maple bacon was pretty heavy and thick and not the typical bacon I go with. But I decided to give it a shot and indulge and it was worth it.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

When the avocado toast first came out, I didn’t even recognize it, as it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

But it turned out to be one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve probably ever had. The tomatillo sauce added a twang on the avocado that really set off the flavor.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

The crepes, loaded with hazelnuts, ricotta, and praline sauce were on point and made even better with juicy strawberries.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

In the drink department, Brad was served up the signature “Mint Condition,” which was mixed and poured at his seat. He had high remarks for the cocktail along with other drinks he tried like the Bloody Mary.

Here’s a link at the drink menu:

By the way, this breakfast absolutely blew the American Airlines breakfast I just had out of the water. It was a night and day difference.

About midway through the flight, I was offered a cheese plate which I definitely did not need but still accepted, mostly out of curiosity. Nothing but good things to say about that.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite cheese plate

I found the seat controls to be pretty straightforward. It’s very easy to go from the upright position, to recline, to fully lie-flat with just one button. I enjoyed using the massage feature and thought the floor light was a pretty cool addition.

The lumbar support function took a little while to get going but seemed to work fine for me after some trial and error. Brad on the other hand had some issues which led to us both receiving a $200 flight credit (without even asking for anything)!

That was just another reason why the service was tremendous on the flight.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite seat controls

Now for the sleeping experience.

I didn’t really have any intention of getting shut eye on this flight so I only made the bed to briefly test it out.

I forgot to deflate the lumbar support which made it a bit uncomfortable but I think had I deflated that it would’ve been a lot better.

I really did love the pillow which was one of the most comfortable pillows I’ve been given by an airline.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite bed

One thing about this bed is that it’s great for tall people as the foot well is extremely deep. I felt like I just kept sliding sliding underneath the seat in front of me!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite bed

I found the in-flight wifi very easy to use. I loved that it was free and it gave me a reliable connection throughout the flight.

Another feature that I really loved about the cabin is the lavatory lighting system upfront. You can instantly see which lavatories are occupied so that there is no confusion when getting up to go.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint cabin
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint lavatory
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint cabin

I was surprised to be issued a second amenity kit towards the end of the flight.

This one had pretty much everything I needed including honey lozenges, pain cream, and lip balm, along with socks. It also came with rejuvenating eye gels.

As an aside, I really appreciated the recyclable amenity bags. Especially on trips where we do a lot of long-haul flights back to back, I start to really notice the waste that goes into amenity kits.

While premium bags are cool, I wouldn’t mind if more airlines made the switch to more sustainable packaging.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint amenity kit
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint amenity kit

As we approached LAX, the cabin lit up with natural light and I was able to get a better well lit view of the suite. The more I looked at it, the more I really appreciated the design.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Record amounts of snowfall had been hitting California and it was impressive to see so much of the landscape covered in snow.

It was also just a beautiful day in Los Angeles.

When we landed our bag was the second bag to come out. So many times priority luggage bag tags don’t mean anything so it was a nice surprise to see our bag come out so quickly. Pretty much the cherry on top of what was an amazing flight.

Service levels

While I loved the breakfast and seat, the biggest thing that stood out on the flight was the level of service. The main flight attendant provided a level of attentiveness that is really hard to achieve.

He anticipated all of our needs throughout the entire flight, yet it never felt like he was over doing it which can happen with some overeager flight attendants.

He was world-class professional, committed to getting things right the first time, and patient with every passenger, including the passengers in front of us who tried to sneak in an economy passenger!

I’ve flown on most of the top first class products out there and the service level on this flight was right on par with some of the best. It was impressive to witness and it really changed the way that I view JetBlue.

Final word

This flight could not have come at a better time.

After a very mediocre AA flight, I was seriously questioning my passion for long-haul flying. It had been so long since my last long-haul flight and I was surprised how meh the entire experience felt. It seriously made me wonder if I just didn’t have the love for flying anymore.

But then this flight came along and woke me up. It reminded me that flying is still something that I love and it also reminded me how much of a difference great service can make on a flight. I was officially out of my little flying slump!

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class Review (SCL-MIA)

Since 2014, we’ve done a lot of international flying including lots of the first class and business class products out there. But while we were focused on international airlines for so long, we had very little experience with what the long-haul product was like on US carriers.

Luckily, that would finally change when we booked a flight from Santiago, Chile to Miami on American Airlines’ 777-200. Here’s how it went and how it failed to meet my expectations.

Booking American Airlines 777-200 business class

This flight was initially a connecting flight on LATAM from SCL->BOG->MIA.

But after searching for award availability I saw American Airlines open up and we wanted desperately to mix up the airlines on this trip since we would have been flying LATAM’s (dated) business class product 5X!

So I called Qantas and I was able to change the flight and I was surprised to find the American Airlines flight was actually cheaper at 68,400 miles compared to 75,000 miles. Fees were only $62. The downside was they charged me a change fee in miles of 5,000 miles.

Still, we avoided the connection late in the trip and finally I would be able to try out AA’s long-haul, lie-flat product!

Getting to SCL

This flight was the returning leg of a 17-day trip down to Latin America where we spent most of our time exploring Easter Island, which had been a bucket-list destination for me for over a decade.

At this point of the trip, we were running on fumes and so we just stayed at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel before we departed.

We actually booked two nights so that the night of the trip we would be able to stay in the room as long as we wanted, which was a great call.

About three hours and 15 minutes prior to departure we made our way from the hotel over to the international terminal which was a pretty short walk. As the sun sets very late here in the summer, it was a beautiful and breezy walk over to T2.


We made our way over to the priority check in for American Airlines and there was basically no one around.

However, the people in front of us had some type of issue and were occupying the priority desk so it would have been much faster for us just to join the main line. We were not in a rush though so there was no big deal.

American airlines boarding

After getting through check in we made our way through a long immigration line and then through security pretty quickly before trying to find an airport lounge.

We walked past a LATAM lounge and I thought maybe there was a snowball’s chance in hell there was still some way to get in with an international business class AA boarding pass but my dreams were quickly dashed. No chance.

So we then made our way over to our gate area where we would pass by a Pacific Club VIP lounge open to Priority Pass members (and apparently everyone else at the airport).

The line was backed way out out of the door and not moving at all.

lounge line

Worse, it didn’t look like there was much space inside and we decided that we would just hang out in the terminal since the lounge options were lacking.

I enjoyed some of the sites in the terminal, especially the Easter Island themed artwork. But after exploring some of the terminal, we soon found ourselves chowing down at McDonalds, as it was one of the few places with seating open so late.


Boarding was a little bit interesting and I think I finally convinced myself to just ditch the whole trying to board first strategy.

The reason I try to board first is to get photos and video of an empty cabin.

The photos look a lot better because they are cleaner and allow you to see the cabin in detail. Plus I don’t have to worry about any privacy issues or getting in the way of other passengers.

I usually line up at boarding around 30 minutes prior to it beginning and find a spot (that is not in the way) to line up at.

But I think after doing this for so many years, I’m finally kind of over it.

For one, about 25% of the time there are people who are very determined to board first for some unknown reason.

These people will try to cut you (outright or slyly) and sometimes just give you some kind of negative reaction or looks because you lined up before them. It’s truly the weirdest sense of competitiveness.

Other times, you may just get cut by a clueless passenger who pays absolutely no mind to anyone lining up. Usually you can call them out or a gate agent will but sometimes they quickly get through and you are stuck behind them.

Also, preboarding often boards just seconds before you and so they are often in the cabin shot anyway, so the efforts to line up early end up not mattering.

In this case, I talked with a boarding agent about where I could stand so that I would not be in the way and as soon as I stood there I initiated a long line up of business class passengers who came out of the wood works.

So now, well before boarding was beginning there was now a long line of passengers extending out into the terminal.

When boarding finally began, we had to go through an additional screening on the jet bridge for liquids. The agent going through my bags did not have speed as an asset so I ended up losing my top boarding position up front anyway.

When we finally got on the plane, there was an elderly-ish couple blocking the aisle in our cabin and access to our seats. They were obviously having some kind of issue and getting a crew member involved but it wasn’t clear to me what was going on.

The cabin already feels a little bit claustrophobic to me and the added congestion didn’t help.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin
American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin.

But finally, we were able to make it to our seat.

The 777 comes with B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. I believe the last time I flew these seats was in 2018 when flying on Virgin Australia business class on the 777-300ER. I generally had a good impression of the seats but remember a few challenges they posed.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin seat
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats.

First, let’s talk about counter and storage space: two of my favorite things in business class.

I love that the seats have a good amount of counter space with the compartments closed. You can easily prop up a laptop if needed, place random things on the counter, etc. It just makes life easier.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat

Then you can utilize the two storage compartments on the side for smaller personal items. One of the storage compartments is only about a couple of inches deep while the other one is about 4 inches deep. So while storage opportunities are there, they aren’t the greatest.

It’s also worth pointing out that Virgin Australia’s 777 has an additional (but arguably useless) storage compartment that the seat did not have which was located right behind the 777 pamphlet you see in the photos.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class seat

In the deeper compartment, you’ll find to USB ports, the headphone jack, and the power outlet. This is also where you will pull out the in-flight entertainment controller.

I like the simplicity of the outlets being right there so you don’t have to contort your body or go on a mad scavenger hunt to find them. When I flew this seat in Virgin Australia’s 777 this compartment only had one USB port so it was interesting to see another one.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage

The next thing that stood out was the 18.5-inch TV monitor. After flying on LATAM’s business class, this TV monitor represented an instantly recognizable upgrade. I was excited to use it and enjoyed the quality.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat

I found the entertainment options to be plentiful with good movies. You can also use the touchscreen to navigate which I found to be very responsive. No complaints here.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat screen

It was then time to check out the Bang & Olufsen headphones. Once again, I was excited for these because LATAM does not provide you with very high-quality headphones so I was relieved to get back to premium audio gear!

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones

Unfortunately, when I opened the headphone case, I instantly noticed how worn down these were. I don’t expect these headphones to be brand new but they felt and looked extremely worn, and some of the wiring was even exposed and frayed.

They still worked okay from what I could tell but I expected better.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones
American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones

Then it was time to try out the Shinola Detroit amenity kit. They provided us with a pretty compact and plain amenity kit but I liked the zipper design and overall feel of the bag, which felt like a quality amenity kit.

AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.
AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.

On the inside we had socks, a short writing pen, toothbrush with toothpaste, earplugs, an eye mask, and lip moisturizer and lotion by D.S. & Durga. There didn’t seem to be a lot of creativity that went into the kit but the products were seemingly quality.

I guess I had been left a little bit impressed by LATAM’s long-haul kit that came with some uniqueness like a bamboo toothbrush with sugar cane cap and vibrant design but this plain Jane kit wasn’t a big deal by any stretch.

AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.
AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.

I like the seat controls on the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat. They are very simple and right there for easy access. I also found them to be pretty responsive. The lighting controls for my seat did not work, however.

Also, I should probably mention that the Wi-Fi did not work on the plane (despite charging us), which was another let down because I really wanted to test it out.

These seats have an interesting little armrest that can be raised and also they have a small storage compartment underneath them.

15 minutes after loading the plane, pre-departure beverages were served with champagne, water, and orange juice coming out on a tray. I recorded myself grabbing a cup of orange juice to which the flight attendant responded, “Really, you going to do this now?”

Apparently, despite showing no signs of straining, she was struggling to serve a few partially filled plastic cups and me recording myself grabbing a cup (which maybe added half a second) was causing too much strain for her.

Whether she meant her comment to be joking or not, I’m not sure, but because this was my first (and only) interaction with her she definitely came off as rude.

I’ve been getting pre-departure drink photos or videos for years and never had a flight attendant get chirpy like that.

The interaction pretty much set the tone for the service for the entire flight which I found to be at best forgettable. Interactions were brief, uninspired, and all business.

It was one of those flights where the majority of the crew feels like they are just doing what they have to do to get the job over with.

I may not have realized just how mediocre things were if it were not for the JetBlue Mint flight I would take in the next 24 hours which reminded me what quality premium service is all about! More on that amazing flight later.


I had pretty high expectations for the dining as I fully expected American Airlines to blow away LATAM’s product. But of course that would not happen.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class menu
The menu

The tray table is simple enough to utilize as you simply pull the lever on the bottom and then it comes out to you.

A tablecloth was then brought out as dinner approached.

Nuts along with my beverage of choice, sparkling water, were then brought out.

Then the entire meal, including bread, was brought out at once.

The seasonal salad with quinoa was pretty fresh as was the smoked trout. The main parmesan breaded chicken breast looked very appetizing and I was excited to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, it had this uncanny moistness to it that caused the breading to get very soggy and it just didn’t sit right. It was edible but didn’t deliver like I thought it would.

I took one bite of the grilled polenta and immediately ruled that out. So the dinner on the hole was mostly a swing and a miss in terms of rising above mediocrity.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class dinner
Dinner on American Airlines 777-200 Business Class.

I will say that the chocolates given out were absolutely amazing and the one true highlight of dinner.

And now, let’s fast forward to breakfast.

Surely breakfast would deliver at a higher level?

Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was given one of the slimiest pieces of ham I’d ever seen along with basically inedible potato frittata. The fresh fruit got me through breakfast but I was once again very disappointed with the dining on American Airlines.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class breakfast
Eating on a flight shouldn’t feel punitive.


I eventually put the seat in lie-flat mode to get some decent rest.

Unfortunately, at this time I was just checked out so I did not get any good bed photos. It’s a pretty long bed at around 78 inches and for the most part you have a good amount of width so as to be comfortable. I did have a slight gap between the cushions in my seat which made lying flat a bit uncomfortable, though.

The other thing I don’t like about the seat is that when reclined it’s difficult to get in and out of especially when you are trying to put your shoes back on to get to the bathroom. (AA did not provide any slippers.)

Speaking of the bathroom, I really did like the bathroom on the 777-200. It was spacious, modern looking, and well-kept.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class lavatory

I ended up maybe dozing off for a short amount of time but not nearly as long as I thought it would on this flight considering that we departed at midnight.

Before I knew it, we were on the approach to Miami and finally arriving back in the US.

I hate to say it but this was probably one of the most disappointing long-haul flights I’ve done.

Part of it was this was my first time flying with American Airlines on the long-haul and I had worked up these expectations that were probably too high. I imagined them at the very least blowing LATAM out of the water which definitely did not happen.

In fact, I would say that based on this trip the soft product of LATAM was clearly better than American Airlines. The service was certainly more memorable and I even enjoyed the food better. That’s something that I did not expect before going on this trip and to be honest it was kind of a bummer.

Again, I’m very thankful for the JetBlue Mint flight we would go on just a day after this flight because I felt like I was losing some of my love for long-haul flying.

I had done so little long-haul flying since the pandemic and I was starting to wonder if things were just that much different in a post covid world.

Turns out, no, flying can still be an awesome experience but the soft product really does matter. A lot.

As we arrived back at MIA, Global Entry was a breeze and we didn’t have any issues getting back into the country. Felt good to be back.

Final word

Overall, this flight fell well short of my expectations.

For the most part, I’m a fan of the 777-200 hard product having basically flown it before and found it pretty comfortable and private. So from a comfort standpoint, it was a pretty worthwhile experience.

But the soft product on this flight was severely lacking. I didn’t care for 80% of the food and the service was bottom-tier, minimal effort, etc.

I really wanted to enjoy this flight and have good things to say but it seemed like American Airlines just didn’t put forth any effort into making the flight memorable. So unfortunately for me, my first long-haul flight with American Airlines was overall a big dud.

Is Business Class Worth It? (What to Look for)

Are you thinking about ditching economy and flying business class but not sure if it will be worth the extra cost?

Below, I will take a detailed look at whether it’s worth it to fly business class on both domestic and international long-haul flights.

I’ll highlight the major differences between economy and business class and give you some insight based on my years of flying business class in order to better help you figure out if flying business class will be worth it.

Is business class worth it?

Generally speaking, business class is worth it if you want a more comfortable flying experience than what economy can offer.

But the difference in comfort can vary dramatically based on whether you are flying domestically (short-haul) or internationally (long-haul) and the price differences between economy and business class are not always consistent.

Therefore, it’s very helpful to: 1) do research on the individual business class product you plan on flying and 2) take a moment to evaluate the different perks and features that you’ll be able to enjoy.

Keep reading below for a full breakdown of these different features to look into!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Singapore Airlines business class
Singapore Airlines business class.

Business class perks

When you fly domestic or international business class some of the perks that you get include:

  • Increased baggage allowance
  • Priority check-in
  • Priority security
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage retrieval

Let’s take a look at these perks individually to see if they actually do create more value.

Increased baggage allowance

The standard for the increased baggage allowance is to grant you 2 to 3 free bags for your checked baggage and to increase the weight limit from 50 pounds to something like 75 pounds.

Not every airline will increase your weight amount, though. I recently flew first class on Hawaiian Airlines and was surprised that they kept the weight requirement at 50 pounds for first class passengers (on what is basically a business class product).

When you’re dealing with domestic business class the difference in price between economy and business class can be smaller than you might think.

If you’re someone who is going to check in multiple bags the baggage savings offered from the business class fare along with other perks can easily make choosing business class the best option for your value.

Related: Checked Baggage Ultimate Guide

Priority check in

As a business class passenger you’ll have your own dedicated check-in area.

The line in this area can sometimes be a fraction of what you’ll find in economy, so your waiting time is often nonexistent.

The downside is that sometimes because there are fewer workers at the business class check-in area, the line can move much slower and actually get a little bit backed up.

A line of five business class passengers might move as quickly as a line of 10 economy passengers and things can quickly get frustrating.

The airlines usually try to prevent this by opening up additional lines or calling you over to different stations but sometimes you actually could be better off just jumping in the standard check-in area for economy.

Of course, if you don’t have bags to check you can just check in online and bypass the check-in area.

So while I really enjoy having the priority check-in area it’s not always a sure-fire benefit.

Related: Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Check in Online for Flights

Hawaiian airlines check in area

Priority security

I have flown on dozens and dozens of business class flights and I’ve really only utilized the priority security line when departing from airlines abroad.

The reason is that in the US I find it much more efficient to go with TSA Pre-Check and CLEAR.

So unless I am departing from another country I usually don’t put too much value in the priority security benefit.

TSA Pre-Check line

Priority boarding

When you fly business class you will be among the first passengers to board.

Each airline handles boarding a little bit differently but first/business class passengers are often lumped into the same boarding group with some of the top elite levels and lower elite levels may get assigned a boarding group just after first class passengers.

If you are flying in a three cabin plane with a separate first class and business class, first class will usually get to board before business class.

Being among the first to board is cool but not really as valuable as you might think.

Unless you just enjoy getting on board before everyone else or are receiving pre-departure beverages there is questionable value in priority boarding for some.

One of the main reasons people like to board before others is so that they can secure overhead storage bin space for their carry-on.

I’ve almost never had an issue with overhead storage bin space in business class so that is rarely a top priority (although in smaller aircraft I could see that becoming an issue).

So in some instances you’re just spending extra time in line for boarding/sitting on a plane that perhaps you could’ve spent in a lounge, which is why some business class passengers don’t board until later boarding groups are called.

If you do that, the airlines should allow you to join that later boarding group without a problem; or, if they still have a dedicated lane for business class open you can actually bypass the current boarding group and just walk right through that lane.

It’s worth noting that you can get benefits like priority boarding by paying for them or even by holding a co-branded credit card. So even if you are flying economy, sometimes these business class benefits will be available to you.

Priority boarding sign for business class

Priority baggage retrieval

As a business class passenger you often get a priority tag placed on your bag which means that your bag should be among the first to come out when the plane arrives.

Sometimes this tag will ensure that your bag comes out quickly but other times it does not so this is a very hit or miss benefit.

Preferential treatment

Something that a lot of people probably don’t think about is that as a business class passenger you can get preferential treatment outside the airport. The best example I have from personal experience is whenever an airline lost my luggage.

Initially, they told me that we would have to head to the airport (~45 min) to pick up our bags but then they mentioned that I was flying as a premium customer in business class and so they delivered my bags to the hotel.

The VIP factor

When you fly business class, you get to access special lines, receive VIP treatment, and just feel a bit special.

This can really make certain trips extra special like honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Some people really dig this element of business class travel while others don’t pay much mind to it.

(The VIP treatment sticks out much more on long-haul international flights than domestic.)

Garuda 777 business class seats D and G

Domestic business class

Domestic business class is often referred to as first class or first/business. But for purposes of this article, I’ll just refer to it as domestic business class.

The typical domestic business class will have standard recliner seats that have more width and more pitch (legroom) than standard economy seats. On a standard size aircraft they are arranged in a 2-2 configuration rather than 3-3, so if you’re flying with a partner it’s a very nice layout.

You should be offered free drinks including free alcoholic beverages. And if your flight is long enough you’ll be given a free meal which could be a hot meal or cold meal depending on the airline.

Sometimes the quality of the meal on a domestic business class flight surprises me but there have been a few times where the meal was anything but appetizing so it’s kind of hit or miss in my experience.

Not all domestic business class seats have seat back TVs so your in-flight entertainment may not be much of an upgrade from economy. Service in domestic business class can be better than economy but the difference is not always that noticeable.

You don’t typically get lounge access when you fly domestic business class unless you’re flying on a premium route. (A premium route would be a transcontinental route such as flying from New York to San Francisco.)

Some of these premium routes may fly a more premium business class product which means that you will have lie flat seats which I will talk about below.

Also, sometimes even standard routes will have a lie flat product although it can be more unpredictable as to whether or not you have a standard recliner seat or lie flat. But if you do enough research you can sometimes hunt them down.

What’s really cool about those routes is sometimes they are not more expensive than the standard recliner seats and in those cases it’s definitely worth it to fly business class.

United life flat business class

International business class

Let’s take a quick second to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to the use of the term “business class.”

Unlike domestic first class, when business class is used to describe a cabin on an international, long-haul flight it is usually NOT used interchangeably with first class.

First class refers to the top cabin in a three cabin aircraft. Meanwhile, business class refers to the top cabin in a two cabin aircraft or the second best cabin in a three cabin aircraft.

When flying internationally on long-haul flights in business class, you can expect an experience substantially upgraded from economy or even premium economy.

The main reason is that you’ll probably have access to lie flat seats which means you can lie down completely flat and potentially get much better rest.

In my opinion, lie-flat seats are the determining factor on whether or not long-haul business class is worth it.

If you can place a cash value on being able to lie down for several hours, that will help you decide if business class will be worth it.

Many times, a business class ticket will cost a couple of thousand dollars more than economy so it comes down to are you willing to spend that much money for the ability to lie down?

If you’re paying with miles or points, the award price difference between economy and business class can sometimes work out to be the difference of visiting one or multiple destinations.

So you have to think about are those few hours of getting good rest worth missing out on another trip?

Also, business class award seats are harder to find than economy seats so committing yourself to using points for business class can mean limiting your travel options.

This is why I think it is extra important to do research on the type of J seat you will have. Not every business class lie flat seat is as amazing as you might think it is.

Sometimes they force you to rest in weird angles or have some other type of less-than-ideal design that interferes with your comfort level.

Meanwhile, other business class seats are more spacious and even have enclosed suites with doors for added privacy.

So make sure you know what you are getting yourself into and be aware that the business class product could differ based on your aircraft. Pay close attention to the seat maps!

Now that we’ve covered lie-flat seats, let’s take a look at a few more long-haul business class benefits that will hopefully help you make that value calculation.

SAS business class.

In modern aircraft, most of the business class cabins are moving to 1-2-1 configurations which means that every passenger has direct aisle access, making those trips to the lavatory easier and offering you more privacy.

If you find yourself having to constantly go to the bathroom during a long flight, sitting in business class can make that much easier while also giving you the ability to sit at a window seat with extra privacy.

The other added plus is you won’t have passengers climbing over you throughout the flight.

And even if you are sharing a seat in the middle of the business class cabin, privacy dividers allow you to enjoy much more privacy than you would in economy. This is especially true with business class seats offering suites.

Just keep in mind that not every airline utilizes a 1-2-1 configuration in J. Some business class cabins still do not offer direct aisle access to every passenger so once again just do your research!

Related: First Class vs Business Class: 15 Differences You Might Expect

You usually have a much larger TV monitor and better quality headphones to enjoy so the in-flight entertainment experience is much better than in economy.

However, if you have quality noise canceling headphones and movies or shows on your laptop or tablet, you can often get an enjoyable in-flight entertainment experience in economy, so that’s not always a huge draw to business class.

The food quality on long haul business class flight tends to go up dramatically compared to economy, with many airlines offering multi-course meals. Some business class products like EVA really stand out with dining options such as lobster!

Business class dining on EVA

Another area where business class really stands out compared to economy is when it comes to the service. Service on a long-haul business class flight can be a huge step up from economy or even domestic business class.

That’s because you get more individualized attention and it seems like the crew goes above and beyond to make sure that you are comfortable and get a true VIP experience.

This is especially true with airlines like Singapore, Emirates, etc.

Flying on a lie flat seat internationally usually means that you will have lounge access upon departure. Lounges for premium international flights can be very nice.

Sometimes the lounge will be combined for both first class and business class passengers but other times you’ll have access to a dedicated lounge like the Polaris lounge for United.

United Polaris Lounge
United Polaris Lounge.

Final word

Deciding if business class is worth it will require you to put a valuation on several different factors.

For domestic business class, the comfort is increased but not dramatically. Free alcohol is nice for a lot of people but the dining can be hit or miss.

Cheaper prices can make business class worth it when flying with multiple bags but your in-flight experience is not going to be an exponential upgrade from economy.

Things are much different when flying long-haul business class where the in-flight experience is boosted by a significant margin.

The best starting point when looking at long-haul flights is how much value would you put on a lie flat seat, more privacy, direct aisle access, and an upgraded dining experience?

Flying business class might mean forfeiting the opportunity for an additional trip or two and for some people that will just never be worth it.

For others, it will be worth it but everyone should make sure they do the research on the specific product they will be flying because the quality of both hard products and soft products can vary in business class by a good degree.

EVA 777 Business Class (Royal Laurel Class) Review [2022]

EVA business class (Royal Laurel Class) is considered by many avgeeks to be one of the best business class experiences available. The product has got a little bit of everything that a good business class should have: comfort, privacy, good dining and drinks, quality service and more. But is the experience a little bit overrated or does it live up to the hype? 

In this detailed review, I’ll cover a trip on the EVA 777-300 in business class from IAH to TPE.

The trip routing

This particular segment to Taipei was part of a mini round the world trip which included the following routes: IAH->TPE->BKK (layover)->FRA->IAH.

  • IAH->TPE: EVA 777-300 J
  • TPE->BKK: Thai 777-200 J
  • BKK->FRA: Thai A350-900 J
  • FRA->IAH: Lufthansa A380-800 F
  • ORD->IAH: United 737-900 F (changed)
Round the world trip routing. Round the world trip routing. Image via

I booked this entire round the world trip about 48 hours before I departed, which was the polar opposite of what I’m used to doing since we usually book big trips eight to 12 months out. The last-minute nature of the booking added a level of excitement to the trip. One moment I was psyched about taking off around the globe on such short notice and the next, I was wondering if I had lost my mind.

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Flight details 

Here are the details for the flight: 

  • Route: Houston (IAH) -> Taipei (TPE)
  • Flight No: BR 51 
  • Aircraft: 777-300ER
  • Date: June 10, 2019
  • Departure Time: 12:58am
  • Arrival Time: 5:46 am
  • Flight Time: 15 hours,  48 minutes 

Booking EVA business class with points 

EVA is known for having great availability a week or two before departure. And for this flight, I’d been monitoring the award inventory for quite some time. I found consistent awards open up about seven days prior to departure and decided that I’d jump on one of these when it suddenly occurred to me ready I was ready for this trip. 

I booked EVA business class with Air Canada Aeroplan miles that I transferred from my American Express Memberships Rewards account.

From IAH to TPE, the booking required 75,000 miles which was 5,000 fewer miles than United required. Not only that but I only paid $7.50 CAD or about $5.60 in fees since I was able to avoid the United close-in fees. I found these flights for $3,292 in cash, so that’s about 4.4 cents per point for my Aeroplan miles/Membership Rewards which is nice. 

As I’m able to travel full time more now for essentially unlimited durations (working remotely), the idea of paying cash for reasonably priced business class tickets to take me somewhere makes more sense and so this 4.4 cent valuation isn’t so “aspirational” as it used to be. 

Heading to the airport 

On our way to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), a stunning pink sunset stretched along the horizon. It lasted the entire drive and I took it as a sign that this was going to be a great trip. It definitely gave me some good vibes. 

Good vibes on the way to the airport.


Check-in for EVA opened up at 9pm (four hours prior to departure) and I was already in line at about 8:40pm, so I was the very first one to check-in.

An empty check-in area.

At the time of booking online, the seat map showed no open window seats, but at check-in I promptly asked if they had any available bulkheads on the window and the agent told me “yes, we do!” I was pumped about getting a window bulkhead since those are pretty much my favorite business class seats and was stoked I could avoid a middle seat. Once again, I felt even better about the trip. 

The seat switch to 1K.

The lounge experience 

Since this was a late flight departing at 1am, I didn’t have the best selection for lounges. I would’ve loved to have gotten to the airport early enough to spend meaningful time at the United Polaris lounge but that wasn’t practical. This flight is the only EVA flight out of IAH and check-in didn’t open until four hours on the dot before departure.

So I checked my one bag at 9pm, got through TSA Pre-Check (lite), and then promptly made my way to Terminal E to check out the Polaris Lounge with about 40 minutes to check it out. 

Entrance to the United Polaris Lounge.

I knew the United Polaris Lounge would be nice but I was even more impressed by it than I thought I would be. It’s just a beautiful place and seems to be on par with some of the high quality business class international lounges I’ve visited. It’s lightyears above a United Club, and I’d prefer it over the Centurion Lounge at IAH. 

Houston (IAH) United Polaris Lounge.
Houston (IAH) United Polaris Lounge.

I didn’t have time to indulge in the dining room, so I was limited to trying out the buffet. Many items were missing or not fresh (understandably given it was so late) but there were some decent items I got to try like the sandwiches and wraps.

There was also a pretty solid line-up of desserts that utterly derailed my plan to eat completely healthy on this trip (I eventually recovered somewhat).

Even though I was disappointed I didn’t get the full dining experience, just checking out the lounge and seeing what it was all about was great. I also took a peak at some of the other amenities like the quiet rooms which looked very comfortable and would be heaven on a long layover. 

But before I knew it, I was kicked out since they were closing and so I went next door to the United Club, which pretty much felt like a hospital waiting room compared to the Polaris Lounge. 

I sat there until about 11:30pm when they closed and then made my way to the Executive Club, which was the lounge I was given a pass for by EVA. This lounge was located near my gate (D4) and I would’ve gone over there sooner but a United rep told me that lounge had already closed….

Anyway, this little lounge was pretty packed with EVA and Air China passengers. It did offer some okay hot food items (chicken, beef, dips), potato chips, and a bar area, though. It definitely had more to offer than the United Club lounge in terms of food and snacks. 

The Executive Club Lounge.

Finally, about 20 minutes prior to boarding, I made my way over to the boarding area where I was the first one awaiting the jet bridge to open. Boarding first is helpful for doing reviews but it also just feels good to be among the first to get on the aircraft. However, just after I showed up, a gentleman came and stood right next to my side as if to challenge my boarding position — he did not prevail

Boarding area for EVA.


Boarding was slightly delayed but we ended up departing around the expected departure time (a little early in fact). 

I made my way into the business class cabin and then turned left, heading all the way to the front to seat 1K. The cabin filled up very quickly so I wasn’t able to get clean cabin shots but I did get a couple of them. 

EVA business class cabin on the 777.
EVA business class cabin on the 777.

The business class (Royal Laurel Class) cabin on the EVA 777 is made up of two cabins in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration. SeatGuru generated the seat map below when I input my flight info but there was actually a fourth lavatory on the other side of the bulkhead in front of 1K on my flight. 

The EVA Royal Laurel Class cabin seat map.

I loved the hunter green accents in the cabin and the nice photograph of Taipei 101 in the front. 

EVA business class cabin on the 777.

The EVA business class seat 

I had heard good things about the EVA business class seat but I still had reservations. I’ve still flown mostly first class versus business class on long-hauls and the biggest thing I love about first class seats is that they usually have much more legroom versus the tight footwells often found in business class (check out: first vs business class).

EVA business class legroom.

But in this case, I noticed how deep and wide the footwell was and was pretty impressed. I had plenty of room.

In my opinion, the EVA business class seat is just well designed all the way around.

EVA 777 business class seat.
EVA 777 business class seat.

You’ve got plenty of counter space to put items, including large electronics. At one point, I had my laptop and large DSLR camera on the counter along with a book and my phone and there wasn’t an issue. 

EVA 777 business class seat.

I also like how you have two armrests. 

EVA 777 business class seat.
EVA 777 business class seat.

There’s also pretty good-sized storage areas you can put things like bottled water in or other items. Below on the side of the seat there’s more storage as well, perhaps best suited for things like shoes and clothes. 

EVA 777 business class seat storage.

The crew was very strict about not having items in the storage areas or loose items on the counter during take-off. I don’t think I ever saw a crew do such a tight sweep for those things before (but it’s not necessarily a bad thing). 

EVA 777 business class seat storage.

If you need to hang any garments they have hooks on the side in front of you that you can use. 

I really loved how accessible the ports were, too. You can easily plug into the two USB ports, power outlet (10V power sockets), or headphone jack unlike some of those abominations out there that have you reaching behind your back or under your legs. There’s also a reading light you can turn on as well. 

EVA business class power ports.

If you’d like you can control your IFE with the handheld controller and even watch media on it. It’s a touch screen but I only used it to turn on the overhead lights or to call a flight attendant over.

The seat controls look a little crazy at first glance. They have quick controls for getting into the main positions like take-off/landing and sleeping but you can also control parts of your seat individually. I go for the simple approach with these type of controls and just stick to the main three types of positions. 

Seat comfort

All in all, I was instantly pretty comfortable in the seat when reclining. I could tell that this was going to be a comfy flight. As I mentioned, I liked the arm rests on both sides of the seat and it’s nice you can push one side down to open things up a bit.  

The only drawback with the design is how difficult it is to get out of the seat, especially if you are reclined a little bit. Unless you are a pygmy, you’ll need to squeeze through which can get a bit annoying. 


One of my favorite features of EVA business class on the 777 is the privacy. You can tell from the photo below that I had a lot of privacy in seat 1K. It felt extra private because nobody was in the middle seat next to me (remember, sometimes you have to specifically request bulkhead seats and if the cabin is not full, those can be the most likely seats to be empty).

There was also minimal foot traffic through my aisle which kind of surprised me, so overall I felt like I had a ton of privacy in seat 1K. It definitely felt like I made a good decision on where to sit. 


Waiting for me on the seat was a thick pillow, amenity kit, (small) slippers, and headphones.

The staff also came around asking about pajamas and I promptly told them that I would happily be taking pajamas for the flight. They handed me over a sack with “Large” PJs and then dropped me a stick of chocolate, which was promptly devoured. Dark chocolate is a health food, am I right?   

The pajamas are made by Jason Wu, the designer of Michelle Obama’s inauguration dresses or something like that.  

The amenity kit isn’t the design I really like (which is reserved for flights departing Taipei) but it’s still very nice and comes with a bag within a bag. 

The amenity kit came with hand lotion, body lotion, and lip balm from Salvatore Ferragamo. In addition, it had a comb, dental kit, ear plugs, eye mask, sleeping socks, and a glass screen cloth. For a business class flight, this was a high quality amenity kit, as were the pajamas that don’t always get offered on a flight in J.  

The headphones were “Thunder” and I thought they were at least decent quality.

The TVs were a perfect size for the distance and came with very responsive touch screens. They are hard to watch (comfortably) when stowed so that can make things tricky when trying to finish up your movies close to landing. the benefit is that the space really opens up when the monitors are stowed.  

I found the movie selection to be solid and overall the in-flight entertainment package was very good.   

Take off (cabin mood lighting) 

For take-off they dimmed the cabin and turned on the ceiling star lighting.

I know a lot of airlines have these star lights now but they never get old to me.

EVA business class wifi

I purchased the most expensive wifi plan at around $30 expecting to get some work done and to stay connected with the hubby. But the connection was weak and I was barely able to get anything done. I tried to test the wifi speed but it didn’t even register. I was pretty bummed about the wifi and that was the one major negative to the flight. 

No good connection in the sky.

EVA business class drink menu

EVA is known for serving up premier champagne like Krug in its business class. I don’t currently drink and it’s been over one year since my last sip of alcohol, so I can’t comment on the quality. (I stopped drinking due to health reasons and just sort of adopted the lifestyle over time.) I was never a huge drinker, and I might make exceptions for champagne in the future but to be honest, it’s been a welcomed change. 

Anyway, in case you were wondering the Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006 goes for about $150 per bottle.   

EVA business class drink menu.
EVA business class drink menu.

EVA business class dining 

I pre-ordered a special meal when I booked these tickets and went with the lobster, as I’m sure many people often do but I’ll start with the appetizers. These consisted of smoked salmon with potato and almond and cheese with tomato on a skewer. The almond cheese ball thing was a small ball of heavenly goodness. 

EVA business class prelude.

After the prelude they came out and set the tray table, which was pretty large. 

Next were the hor d’oeuvres. These were marinated herb scallops and shrimp with some sort of sauce on the side. I didn’t care for the bland shrimp but the scallops were a very nice touch. 

EVA business class hor d’oeuvres.
EVA business class hor d’oeuvres.

They then came around offering bread and I obliged to only one of the smaller pieces of bread trying to act in good faith with respect to the diet, which I was mostly successful-ish in doing. 

EVA business class bread.

Next, it was time for the main dish. The lobster was a little smaller than I had imagined but what it lacked in size it, well you know the saying… This thing was so soft and buttery, I didn’t even need a utensil. I did my best to savor the bites but it was gone all.too.soon. I chose to forgo the potatoes though I did chomp down the deliciously seasoned asparagus. In terms of business class meals (or even first class meals), this was just a fantastic dish.  

EVA business class lobster.

I decided to pass on dessert because once again I decided that on this trip I was going to be semi-disciplined when it comes to the diet. Basically, I’m no longer using the “it’s for the blog/readers” to justify my 4,000 calorie meals. (It probably helped dessert was some sort of pistachio mousse cake. I had zero interest in.)

After dinner, it was time to relax and catch up on movies I hadn’t seen. I started with Aquaman and though I’m not a huge super hero type of guy, I loved it. 

Eventually, I went to sleep for what had to have been around four to six hours, which is very rare for me and probably only happened because the flight was at 1am. But still, it was great. (More on the sleeping experience below.) 

After a few hours of sleep, I requested a snack, which was the stir-fried udon noodles with pork and assorted vegetables. This really hit the spot and I loved how fresh the peppers tasted and how soft the noodles were. 

Stir-fried udon noodles with pork and assorted vegetables.

Breakfast was pretty impressive, too. They first brought out a fruit platter and also offered cereal and breads along with orange juice. 

EVA business class breakfast.
EVA business class breakfast.

It felt like they’d offered me so much to eat already that I honestly thought they had forgotten about the meal I had chosen.

But then a minute later they brought out the caramelized onion and brie cheese omelet. The brie cheese was delicious as were the caramelized onions. The omelet was a bit too spongy for me but I guess they don’t have that much to work with in the sky. The sausage was flavorful but after a couple of bites, I wasn’t into the rubbery texture and left them alone.  

EVA business class breakfast.

Overall, the entire dining experience was impressive. It’s one of the best business class dining experiences I’ve had and I’d say it even competes with some first class flights. Getting lobster in business class is just special and I think EVA really knows what it’s doing when it comes to dining.

EVA business class service 

The service from EVA was top-notch. I’d still peg Singapore above EVA but I’d put EVA pretty high. Most of the staff seemed to speak decent English unlike some past flights like Korean Air but not quite as good as Singapore. They were attentive, extremely efficient, and also very warm and nice. I felt at ease with them and they definitely added value to the experience.

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EVA business class lavatory 

I only used one lavatory the entire flight, located in the very front of the plane (even though there was one right next door to my seat). The lavatory I used was never occupied when I went, which was nice. It was also in an open area where I could stretch out easily and I enjoyed having all that space on this nearly 16 hour journey. 

It’s nothing too special in the EVA lavatory but they did have some amenities I used like the facial mist (I highly recommend to freshen up) and I also used the mouthwash that came in a package. 

There was also a nice floral touch to the walls in there. 

As you can see, nothing too special in there. 

EVA business class lavatory.

EVA business class pajamas & bedding 

The EVA pajamas were nice and comfy. My favorite pajamas are still the old Givenchy PJs issued with the old Singapore Suites but these were still quality enough that they were worth keeping (which I did). They’ve got a weird neck button design which you can see in my fantastic bedhead photo below. 

EVA business class pajamas.

The fact that I actually slept should tell you a lot about the EVA bed. At first, I was very suspect because they simply supplied a very thin mattress cover on the seat that provided virtually no padding.

EVA business class
EVA business class bedding.

But then I unpacked the comforter which was pretty fluffy and that’s how I really got comfortable.

EVA business class bedding.

The flattened armrest area helps to open things up a bit and give you a little bit more room to work with when trying to get comfortable which is really nice. 

EVA business class bedding.

After wrapping myself up like a taquito, I was able to get comfy on my side easily (the EVA pillow helped a lot, too). I even slept on my stomach for a little while but that got tricky since I’m 6’1″. Overall, I don’t think you should have trouble getting comfortable.  

I loved that the cabin temperature was so cool. I can’t stand when cabins are kept warm since it makes sleeping so uncomfortable (lookin’ at you Singapore) but they kept this cabin at the perfect temperature. 

Catching an epic sunrise over Alaska.

Landing in Taipei 

After finishing breakfast, I got cleaned up, freshened up, and then prepared myself to land in Taipei. Here are a couple of shots I got coming in to Taipei on a rainy morning. 

Our flight touched down around 5:30am and we deplaned from the front of the plane, so I was among the first to exit. Customs and immigration was a little long but I probably got through in about 20 to 30 minutes, so it wasn’t the worst wait. 

After making my way through the airport, I was greeted by a W Taipei member who showed me the way to their BMW and just like that, I was on my way to the hotel and ready to explore some of Taipei. 

Final word

The EVA business class experience on the 777 definitely lived up to the hype. I had high standards for it and it delivered. I’d say the strengths were dining, comfort, and service. I love both the hard and soft product and I think EVA blurs the line between first class and business class with its soft product. I’d have to rank EVA as one of the top business class experiences I’ve ever had, especially considering the amazing value I got for my points that came with only about $5.60 in fees.   

Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Review (FCO to SIN) [2021]

Singapore Airlines is known for the best cabin crew in the world and I will not disagree. Yet, people are still somewhat polarized when it comes to Singapore business class. Can the rest of the Singapore business class experience live up to the prestige that Singapore Airlines has?

In this review, I will go into details about my experience flying Singapore Airlines business class on the A350, covering things like the seat, food, bed, and the service. Then I will go over why I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly Singapore Airlines business class.

Trip briefing

Flight routes

This particular segment of my journey back to South East Asia was one of the reasons why I went to Europe. The other reason was to fly Garuda Indonesia Jakarta (CGK) London (LHR) route.

  • Jakarta (CGK) -> London (LHR): Garuda Indonesia 777-300 Business Class
  • London (LHR) -> Athens (ATH): Aegean Airlines A321 Euro Business Class
  • Athens (ATH) -> Rome (FCO): Aegean Airlines A320 Economy Class
  • Rome (FCO) -> Singapore (SIN): Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class
  • Singapore (SIN) -> Jakarta (CGK): Garuda Indonesia 737-800 Exit Row Economy Class

This FCO-SIN flight was a fun daytime flight, but not a great flight if you care about food or reclined seat. Not saying it was bad, as I enjoyed the flight and I was in bed-mode the whole time, but I will describe more about the food and seat below.

Hotel stays

  • Andronis Athens (3 nights on cash)
  • Le Méridien Visconti Rome (3 nights on cash)

As I went to Europe during the winter, the cash rates were very reasonable.

Le Méridien Visconti Rome one bedroom suite

Flight details

Here are the details for the flight:

  • Route: Rome (FCO) -> Singapore (SIN)
  • Flight No.: SQ 365
  • Aircraft: A350-900
  • Registration: 9V-SMH
  • Class: Business Class (J)
  • Seat: 21K
  • Date: March 5, 2019
  • Scheduled Departure Time: 10:55 am | Actual Departure Time: 11:08 am (+13 minutes)
  • Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:45 am | Actual Arrival Time: 5:55 am (+10 minute)
  • Actual flight Time: 11 hours,  47 minutes 
Image via flightradar24

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Booking Singapore Airlines Business Class (SQ J)

I booked this flight using Singapore Krisflyer miles, which is actually the only way to book premium cabin seats with Singapore Airlines.

As this flight was booked during KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes it was only 38,000 miles and 41.70 Euros ($46.30 USD).

The normal mileage cost would have been 92,000 miles. That means, during this redemption sale I got 41% of the regular business saver redemption price. For an 11-hour business class flight, I was happy with this redemption, especially as it costed the same as an economy saver flight using KrisFlyer miles.

Fun fact: Singapore doesn’t charge close-in booking fees. You can book however close you want to the departure date as long as there is availability. I had no problem booking 13 days in advance.

I transferred American Express Membership Rewards Points to Krisflyer, which took about 24 hours to transfer, and once they were in my account I went ahead with redeeming my miles. You can also transfer other currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points.

Warning: When transferring points (Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and ThankYou Points) to KrisFlyer, it can take up to 48 working hours to complete the transfer. Weekends aren’t working hours, so you need to take into account the weekend delay.

As I mentioned above, one of the reasons I went to Europe was because of this flight. I wasn’t planning on visiting Italy so shortly after my last visit, but seeing how I never have flown Singapore business class before (I have only flown Singapore A380 suites and 777 first class) I thought it could be a good chance to try out a new product and get some Italian food.

One amazing course out of the many courses I had at Aqualunae Bistrot for my chef course meal.


Check-in at FCO is usually crowded as there is limited space throughout the whole departure hall at terminal 3. Once I found Singapore’s check-in counters, I was greeted with a pretty empty queue area. There was no one in the business class line making it a breeze through the check-in procedures. 

To be honest, I forgot to take photos of the check-in counters as I was surprised how empty it was compared to my last visit to FCO.

FCO terminal and lounge experience

This was not the first time I found myself at FCO. FCO is a decent airport; it even has a Star Alliance business class lounge for Schengen departures, but as I am not flying intra-Schengen I was stuck with a lounge provided by Singapore Airlines called Passenger Lounge.

Passenger Lounge offered no views as it was in the basement, offered hot food items that were cold, and the lounge also was freezing. Let’s just say I ended up leaving the lounge after getting some water and a bagel to roam around the terminal as I was stuck in E-Gates.

What are E-Gates? FCO satellite E-Gates are a satellite terminal accessible by train, Singapore Airlines uses E-Gates at FCO airport. Once you’re at the satellite terminal you cannot go back to the normal terminal. If you wanted to go back to the main terminal, you will have to go through security again. 

So, my suggestion is to wait to go to E-Gates and go stay at the main terminal until a few minutes before boarding. The main terminal at least has a decent Plaza Premium Lounge.

Singapore business class cabin

Singapore Airlines A350-900 business class cabin has 42 seats configured in 1-2-1 configuration. There are 3 lavatories, one in the forward cabin and then two more in the middle of the two business class cabins. Business class seats are spread across two cabins, the most forward cabin is the larger cabin with more seats making it feel more crowded. Then there is another cabin filled with business class seats forward of premium economy, which feels more intimate.

Singapore Airlines business class seat map via SeatGuru

I was seated in the mini business class cabin in front of premium economy, which was great as there were only 4 seats occupied in this cabin, all of which were occupied bulkhead seats.

Singapore bulkhead seats are actually much better than non-bulkhead seats. So, if you can grab a bulkhead seat on a Singapore business class flight, you will have a better and wider seat with much more legroom plus no restrictive footwell.

What is unique about Singapore business class is that each seat is exactly the same besides bulkhead seats. So, each window seat is a window seat, while the middle aisle seats are always the same length from each other.

Overall, the cabin is pretty standard with no fancy lounges or bars on-board like Virgin Atlantic 787. In the middle galley, you can find some snacks, but nothing to write home about.

Singapore A350 business class seat

I knew all the bulkhead seats were taken on this A350 flight, that’s what I get for booking last minute. However, in the lie-flat position, this seat isn’t too bad if you’re sleeping on your side.

Design, comfort, and privacy

These seats are wide and it’s amazing. When you’re in the upright position, the width is great and feels like you can easily seat 1 and a half people in this seat.

However, legroom is sad.

I am someone that never reclines the seat as I prefer it upright or in the lie-flat position, but this amount of legroom is annoying for me in the upright position. Plus, if you recline your seat, your legroom goes away as your seat moves forward reducing your legroom.

It feels like you are almost on top of the IFE and yes you can use the ottoman and footwell in the corner of the seat for more legroom.

Plus, on top of all of this, the footwell is to the side off in the corner making you sit at this kinda weird angle. (This is where bulkhead seats on Singapore Airlines shine. If I booked a bulkhead seat, it would have been a huge footwell, but with only 8 business class bulkhead seats on this plane none were available.)

Singapore Airlines footwell

The rest of the seat was pleasantly thought out. From the armrests to the width of the main seat making it feel very roomy for my upper body. Plus, counter space for the seat isn’t bad. 

The privacy is alright. It helped as I was seated behind the occupied bulkhead seats which were the only occupied seats in my cabin. These are the most private seats in the world and still no comparison to seats with a door or Apex Suites true window seat.

I especially enjoyed the little features throughout the seat.

Seat features (controls, storage, extras)

Singapore does think about what the passenger might want and need, plus a little extra. Storage for this seat might seem minimal until you realize the cubbies and compartments are situated in a convenient way with enough room.

First off we have the storage underneath the ottoman and footwell. I could store my briefcase underneath.

The cubby next to the IFE screen which offers more than enough room for even a DSLR with a small lens. I wasted the space with my iPhone SE, wallet, passport, and headphones. (Note, the mirror has a cover that slides down.)

Located near the armest there are a few other storage options, one of which has the universal outlet and two USB ports.

Next to the aisle are your seat controls and 3 different reading lights.

There is even a coat hook.

Here is a video I shot during the flight showing all the seat features along with the legroom problem I wrote about above.


Singapore business class not-so-amenity kit

Singapore Airlines doesn’t provide an amenity kit in business class. They instead give you the bare minimum at your seat like socks, eyeshades, and slippers, a huge departure from other airlines like EVA

You can find toothbrush and toothpaste along with a few other goodies stocked in the lavatories.

Singapore business class headphones and IFE

The IFE that Singapore provides on the aircraft is one of my favorites after Emirates ICE.

Singapore has a wonderful leave and resume feature, where you can continue the show or movie you were watching on your next flight if you didn’t finish it. I also like their in-flight map, one of my favorite channels on any airline.

You control the IFE by using the remote using the buttons or touchscreen as the IFE screen isn’t a touchscreen.

Movie and TV selection are really good, but I only cared about the in-flight map and content that I already had downloaded on my phone.

The provided headphones I didn’t use.

Singapore business class wifi

Wifi offered onboard my Singapore Airlines flight was priced without any data limits.

The wifi package I selected could last up to 24 hours and it only costed me $21.95. Speeds were alright, I could stream YouTube videos most of the time without a problem, but during certain times of the flight it would cut out, which is normal for long-haul flights.

Singapore business class boarding and take-off experience

When I boarded and got to my seat, I was offered a pre-departure drink. I ended up having champagne and guava juice. Plus a hot towel. 

With about a 10 minute delay, we were off to the skies for our 11-hour journey.

Southern mountains of Italy with snow caps

Singapore business class dining

Oh Singapore…

I love to eat when I travel, both on the ground and in the air I might indulge myself a little too much. Yes, I admit I have a problem and have cut back, but food is life.

To my disappointment, I had one of the worst meals offered by any airline on this flight. The taste was just terrible, even the dessert was terrible. No, I didn’t get sick or anything like that, just the taste and quality of the food served was bad.

What is the worst meal I had on a flight? Back in 2015, I flew Delta from Detroit (DTW) to Shanghai (PVG) on their 747 in economy comfort (now called Comfort+). I had non-meat pasta for the meal after take-off and I got sick. Yes, it’s economy, yes I got sick, and yes Singapore comes in second place to the worst meal I had on a plane (yet it’s a maybe distant second).

Yes, this is the first time flying Singapore business class, as I have only flown their suites and first class on routes with book the cook. Those meals offered in first class were alright, nothing special, but not JAL or ANA first class catering quality and taste. I expected this flight to offer just alright food as there was no book the cook service. Sadly, I was wrong…

Anyways, without further ado, here is my review of Singapore business class dining experience.

After take-off

Within minutes of reaching 10,000 feet in the sky, I was greeted by one of the attentive flight attendants asking for my drink order. I asked for champagne (Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve) and with my champagne was napkin and wet wipe.

Then another flight attendant came by asking if I wanted satay. I, of course, said yes as I love satay!

I was presented with lamb and chicken satay with cucumber and onions. The satay was cold, very chewy, and so hard to bite into both lamb and chicken that I thought I had a problem with eating. At least the peanut sauce was good.

After my attempt to finishing the hard as a rock yet chewy satay, the table was set. Business class catering without a tray is always amazing as it allows customizability with your meal that feels like a first class dining experience.

Yet, next up was definitely the worst dish out of all that was served on this flight.

Balik smoked salmon with balsamic vinegar pearls was by far the worst dish. The salmon was super chewy, a rubber-like texture. The potato cake was a cold ball of no taste that was chewy. And on top of all of that, the balsamic was nonexistent. Even without the salmon, which tasted terrible and was disgusting, how can rocket salad be so bad?

I enjoy eating salmon and have had it on many airlines, but this wasn’t salmon and after two bites of eating the salad I couldn’t keep on going.

After the appetizer, I was presented with a selection of bread and of course, I selected garlic bread. It was garlic bread and definitely the highlight of the meal. 🙂

At this point, I was worried about my main dish, which was the Thai style prawns with choo-chee curry sauce.

It tasted like uncooked curry powder that was left out with rice for a few days. The vegetables and the prawns were actually surprisingly not chewy. However, I couldn’t get rid of the boxed curry powder taste. (Yes, it felt like they mistakenly poured too much curry powder into the dish and didn’t bother to fix it.)

After all that food, which I didn’t actually finish, a cart came around with a selection of dessert and cheeses.

I selected the sbrisolona, an Italian almond cake, and a cheese plate.

The sbrisolona was cold and rock hard. It seems like a theme with most of their food to be hard to eat. The cheese, on the other hand, was cheese and I enjoyed eating it — I just wish I had more garlic bread to get rid of the powdered curry taste stuck in my mouth. (Yes, I drank a few glasses of water, but there was still pure powder in my mouth.)

Before touch down

Starting off the meal before landing was a selection of fruit. The fruit was sour.

After the fruit, I skipped the appetizer and went for the main course. I also got a selection of bread that came with the main course. I ended up grabbing two pieces of bread filled with fruit, which tasted great and not sour like the selection of cut fruit.

For the main, I got the fried rice vermicelli with chicken in XO sauce. This dish, without any surprise, wasn’t good. The noodles were very hard. It had a good flavor, but as the texture goes, it’s hard to eat. At least the mushrooms were fine.

I finished the meal with a good cup of cappuccino.

The before landing meal was fine. I would say it’s better than the meal after take-off but surprised how this meal also was plagued by weird flavors that were too sour and chewy hard food.

I didn’t enjoy any of these dishes on the flight. While the dishes were edible, I still cannot get over the fact that the salmon salad was so bad, chewy, and rubbery. Plus, the curry dish was so overpowering (I honestly wonder if a mistake happened during the cooking process and they accidentally poured the whole box of curry powder into this batch. Yes, I am repeating this because it baffles me how they could mess up curry like this).

Either way, most of the food errors presented on this flight were not at the fault of the crew, but at the catering company. Whoever caters their flights from FCO really needs to try again with these dishes.

And yes, I did comment about the quality and taste of the dishes to the crew when they asked how was my meal. They were very apologetic and I made sure they knew it wasn’t their fault, but this doesn’t give them and me much faith in their catering after this dining experience.


The food menu for my flight reads as followed:

Singapore does a good job with their selection of beverages. I like their choice of champagne and wine.

The beverage menu reads as followed:

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Singapore business class service

Singapore Airlines has some of the best cabin crew members in the world. In 2019 they won the best cabin crew in the world by Skytrax awards and I do agree that they have some of the best flight attendants in the world. Service is typically very warm, mostly attentive, and friendly while being professional. 

The cabin crew on my flight was wonderful, we ended up having an amazing conversation during the flight and they gave me a birthday present, even though my birthday was later that week. Along with the gifts, they gave me a personalized card. During the flight, they also made sure I always had a full glass and had enough to eat. They were always enthusiastic.

I would fly again with that cabin crew in a heartbeat. 🙂

Singapore business class lavatory

The lavatory was clean and remained clean the whole flight. 

You can find amenities like toothbrush and toothpaste along with other goodies like perfumes the whole flight.

Singapore business class bedding

Singapore Airlines business class beds are quite interesting. First of all, the beds have to be flipped manually by a flight attendant as the seat doesn’t reline into the lie-flat bed mode position. 

While you are in bed mode, you have to then ask the flight attendant to flip up the seat if you don’t want it in bed mode. For me, I don’t mind it as I always keep my seat in the lie-flat position, but to others that want to transition frequently you might find yourself somewhat annoyed by it.

Anyways, I found the bed alright. It was firm, which I like, but the footwell being off to the side made me have to lie at an angle. Plus, it’s not a long bed, even for me as I am 5’10”. I found it better to lie on my side for the bed.

The bedding itself was good and they gave me two pillows which make a huge difference.

Landing at SIN

We landed at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) about 10 minutes late. I said my farewells to the crew and thanked them so much for the small gifts.

Once I disembarked, I made my way to the transfer counter to check-in for my Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta (CGK). Once it came time for boarding I got this beautiful picture of a Singapore A350 from the ground before I boarded the elite ground bus to my Garuda aircraft.

Final word

Did I have a good flight? Yes.

Did I leave the flight hungry and unhappy about my meals? Yes.

Would I fly Singapore Airlines again and skip the meals or hope for book the cook? Yes

I wouldn’t fly Singapore Airlines for the food, but I would for the crew. (I’d eat in the lounge before). If you can get past the awkward seat as I did and fly during the day time where sleep isn’t needed, you will enjoy the flight along with the crew. If you can score a bulkhead seat, that is even better!

However, I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly Singapore Airlines business class again for the food and the seat. I would much prefer flying another business class product between South East Asia and Europe.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

Garuda Indonesia 777 Business Class Review (CGK to LHR) [2021]

Garuda Indonesia has had fun with their London route by changing the schedule almost every year or canceling the route entirely for a month to then reintroducing it. Luckily, I was able to fly Garuda Indonesia business class between Jakarta (CGK) and London (LHR) when the route was still operating.

Could a finally unstable airline like Garuda still live up to its questionable name on a long-haul route between South East Asia and London that is so competitive? Find out in my full review of Garuda Indonesia 777 business class from Jakarta (CGK) to London (LHR).

The trip routing

This flight was the first flight of my trip to position myself to Europe from Indonesia for a quick visit as I booked Singapore Spontaneous Escape from Rome and to Singapore for 38,000 KrisFlyer miles in business class. 

As I booked the Singapore Spontaneous Escape redemption from Rome to Singapore, I jumped on the opportunity to try out Garuda’s London route before it could randomly get canceled. While I could have also flown their Amsterdam route, that one is more stable, I wanted to fly the London route just because it won’t be existing forever.

After arriving in London, I wanted to actually leave London and found there is a late flight to Athens, a great opportunity to visit Athens as I have never been. After Greece, I had to make my way to Rome but decided to arrive 3 days before my flight so I can enjoy some Italian food.

  • CGK->LHR: Garuda Indonesia 777-300 J
  • LHR->ATH: Aegean Airlines A321 J
  • ATH->FCO: Aegean Airlines A320 Y
  • FCO->SIN: Singapore Airlines A350 J
  • SIN->CGK: Garuda Indonesia 737-800 Y
My spontaneous trip to Europe. Image via

Similar to Daniel’s recent trip, I booked my trip pretty close to the departure date, about 4 days before departure. Unlike Daniel though, I am typically booking flights the same day as the departure or the day before, so I am somewhat used to these spontaneous flights to somewhere I might have no idea about.

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Flight details

Here are the details for the flight: 

  • Route: Jakarta (CGK) -> London (LHR)
  • Flight No: GA 86 
  • Aircraft: 777-300ER
  • Registration: PK-GIE
  • Date: February 26, 2019
  • Departure Time: 12:05 pm (actual: 12:29 pm)
  • Arrival Time: 8:00 pm (actual: 8:26 pm)
  • Flight Time: 14 hours 57 minutes
Image via

Booking Garuda business class with points

Garuda Indonesia had good availability between Europe and Indonesia, but since the London flight is cut and Amsterdam flight is reduced, which are their two EU destinations, they have very little availability now. Still, you can find availability on their Amsterdam route, but not much last minute availability.

Back in February, I only searched once and I found availability along with the surrounding days that had availability. So, I booked it right away a few days before the departure. I booked it through Delta as I usually have too many Delta miles from credit card welcome offers and flying Delta enough to be a Gold Medallion.

From CGK to LHR, this one-way booking in business class required 80,000 Delta SkyMiles for $16.40 USD. In comparison, AA would want 75,000 miles one-way. In my eyes, this would be a great way to use your SkyMiles if you’re ever in Europe or Asia and want to visit the other region.

Edit: Sadly, it’s not 80,000 SkyMiles anymore for Garuda nonstop routes to Europe. It now requires 95,000 SkyMiles. Fees are about the same, but the mileage price increase just shows why you should always use your SkyMiles when you see a good redemption.

CGK to AMS redemption price using SkyMiles. (Note that nonstop redemptions are more expensive than multiple stop redemptions.)
My redemption back in February only required 80,000 SkyMiles.

Heading to the airport

I was staying at the Keraton at the Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Jakarta (one of my favorite city hotels in the world) and it took me about 45 minutes from the hotel to CGK as it was noon with less traffic than usual.

However, it can take up to an hour and a half during peak travel times of certain days. So make sure you check Waze (usually more accurate than Google Maps for ETAs in Indonesia) before you leave.


Garuda Indonesia has a nice empty premium check-in area where SkyTeam Elite Plus, business, and first class passengers can visit counters or have service at the seating area.

I was the only passenger in the check-in area making it feel very exclusive. Within minutes I checked in and made my way to the SkyPriority security and customs right across from the check-in counters.

Garuda Indonesia premium check-in area
Garuda Indonesia premium check-in area

The lounge experience

Garuda Indonesia business class lounge is alright. It’s worthy enough for a visit if you have time, but not worthy for arriving to the airport extra early for the lounge experience.

Garuda business lounge entrance at CGK

It has everything you would need with extra stuff you might want like a buffet with hot and cold foods, massage chairs, tables, regular lounge chairs that are just okay, prayer room, showers, kids room with PS4, nap room, and a mini theater with specific times for screenings. None of it is impressive by any means, but there are enough amenities to keep you occupied.

Sadly, the lounge is somewhat hot in some areas. It seems like the AC doesn’t work, so there are standalone AC units scattered around the lounge.

If I had to compare it to any other business class lounges, it offers more amenities than Singapore KrisFlyer Silver lounge but doesn’t feel as premium as it should be. It will sometimes get crowded during the day, but during this visit, there were a handful of people.


Boarding proceeded from gate 10 in terminal 3 of CGK with a slight delay without notification. There is plenty of seats, benches, and lounge chairs. However, in no time ground staff came around handing out waters and then proceeded with boarding. 

CGK terminal 3 gate 10
Waiting for boarding at gate 10

Flight attendants were welcoming passengers during the boarding process and escorted some people while helping with bags. Even though I declined the help with my carry-on bag from the boarding door, I find it great to see the crew asking if you need help with your bags in business class.

My first pre-departure drink watermelon juice, something that more airlines need to offer. The watermelon juice was accompanied with a warm towel. 

Pre-departure warm towel and watermelon juice

Then the crew asked if I wanted more to drink and I decided champagne. Whenever my glasses became empty during boarding, the flight attendants came over to refill the glass with more watermelon juice or champagne.

Pre-departure 2005 Castelnau Cuvee Brut Millesimee and watermelon juice

Plus, I got a cute mini cheese tart to accompany my pre-departure drinks during the boarding process.

Pre-departure tart, 2005 Castelnau Cuvee Brut Millesimee, and watermelon juice

Garuda business class seat

Garuda Indonesian 777 forward facing fully lie-flat business class seats are configured in a 1-2-1. They are staggered, which means A and K seats are true window seats closer to the window with more privacy. While C and H seats are closer to the aisle even though it’s a window seat.

Image via

I chose seat 11k, which is all the way in the back of the cabin and I found that this seat has more counter space than other seats.

Garuda 777 business class seat

Notice the left thin armrest when facing the seat. It’s small and I wasn’t that comfortable when using it. Even when it’s padded, I still felt like it was there just to check off a box on a seat spec list. Luckily that armrest goes down when you go into lie-flat bed mode.

When it comes to storage in the seat, the seat has very little as the only true storage pocket is the compartment under the right armrest. If you want to store your laptop anywhere, the only places would be on the counter or inside your bag under the footwell.

Garuda 777 business class seat

The tray table is stored up against the wall, which allows you to move the tray table out of the way when eating as you can push it back towards the IFE.

Garuda 777 business class seat
Garuda 777 business class seat
Garuda 777 business class seat

As you get closer to the seat, you might notice some of the places on the seat, like the armrest, are getting worn down. However, most places, like the controls, counter, and the seat itself are still in good condition.

Garuda 777 business class seat controls
Garuda 777 business class seat controls

Seat comfort

I prefer forward facing seats as the seat feels wider than reverse herringbone seats, especially when you’re reclined and not having to go into a “V” shaped footwell when seated in a reverse herringbone seat.

The padding on this particular seat is kinda lacking in seat mode, but when you’re in lie-flat bed mode the padding was just right for me. The width of the seat felt constricted when sitting upright or relaxing, but width for the footwell (shoe size is US 11 size) and waist is better than other forward facing seats. Once in lie-flat bed mode, the width wasn’t an issue.

Garuda 777 business class seat

Yes, these aren’t the best seats, I prefer other business class seats like Delta One Suites or Apex Suites. I have no complaints relaxing or sleeping in the seat. I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly this hard product, but the soft product is a different story. 

In lie-flat bed mode, the seat isn’t the longest when compared to other seats. It felt shorter in length compared to other business class products that measure longer in length. So, I am guessing anyone taller than me, 5’10” (179cm), will be less comfortable than I. When I compare this to my flight back to Asia from Europe flying Singapore business class, the Garuda seat felt longer in bed mode.


As it’s a staggered forward facing seat, this makes every other seat different in terms of privacy. A and K seats will have the most privacy.

I was seated in 11K making me extra lucky for one of the coveted seats. Why?

C or H seats you will be exposed in the aisle. E and F seats will be honeymoon seats as they are right next to each other, great for people wanting to be right next to someone. Then there is D and G seats, which are the worse seats in business class as there is no window and exposed to the aisle. Therefore, A and K seats, if you’re traveling alone, are the best-lettered seats in Garuda business class. Here are some pics for reference.

Garuda 777 business class seats E and F
Garuda 777 business class seats D and G

For my seat, I had no issues about privacy in the upright or in bed mode positions. I also got extra lucky as no one was across from me in the middle seats. In bed mode, it’s more private as you lay down below the counter making it hard to see anyone else.

Garuda 777 business class seat 11k
Garuda 777 business class seat 11k

In terms of privacy though, these aren’t as private like Delta One Suites, Q Suites, or Apex Suites.


Sitting at the seat you will find a pillow, a nice soft blanket, slippers, headphone, bottle of water, and an amenity kit.

Garuda 777 business class amenity kit, slippers, and blanket
Garuda 777 business class headphones and water

Garuda doesn’t go all out with their amenity kit. It is a proper kit, yet kinda ugly casing. It’s filled with Clarins products with all the basics like toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, eyeshade, earplugs, lotion, creme, and lip balm. I liked the lip balm, but wish it was bigger. I do wish the kit offered me when it comes to tissues as they always come in handy.

Garuda 777 business class amenity kit.
Garuda 777 business class amenity kit.

The slippers aren’t anything special but aren’t bad either. They are big enough for my feet (size US 11) while not feeling like paper slippers as they had enough padding and were soft.

Garuda 777 business class slippers.

I found the blanket just big enough while keeping me warm. Not too thick, but not too thin.

The pillow, on the other hand, could be slightly thicker, but the size wasn’t too bad as it was wide enough. So, I ended up borrowing a pillow from another seat.

Garuda IFE screen isn’t that good, as the seat is a couple of generations behind when it comes to tech. However, you can easily find a movie you want to watch with a good selection in many genres from a good amount of countries. You can easily find Hollywood movies and TV shows.

While I barely use the IFE for anything else than the inflight map, I found it okay when it comes to quality. The IFE is controlled by the touchscreen or the remote.

At the seat, you will also found an international power outlet with 2 USB ports and headphone jack located by the IFE controls. 


After drinking a few glasses of watermelon juice and champagne, it was ready to take-off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Absolutely beautiful view. Never gets old.


Garuda business class wifi

Garuda Indonesia uses T-Mobile Hotspot for their wifi, which is also used by other airlines like JAL and China Airlines.

I find T-Mobile Hotspot lovely as it has no data caps and the price isn’t too bad. I ended up paying for the full flight without data caps for $21.95 USD. It allowed me to stay connected and even watch YouTube easily. I could also use a VPN without issues as the connection was stable for most of the time.

Garuda business class drink menu

Garuda Indonesia offers a unique drink menu that I love because of the extensive selection of juices, coffee (Indo coffee, espresso, and French press), tea, and alcohol. 

If you have never tried Indonesian coffee, it’s yummy and worth a try as the bean varies between regions of Indonesia.

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Garuda business class dining

Unlike Garuda Indonesia’s domestic routes where the food is somehwat questionable, like HokBen served in business class, luckily on their long-haul flights you get more legit catering.

There are a few airlines that offer great long-haul business class catering and Garuda Indonesia offers some of the best catering. However, you will have to like Indonesian food as those dishes will be their best options.

Their menu reads as followed:

This flight was one of my favorite dining experiences in business class. From the beautiful presentation that reminded me of first class with the quality and taste served. I loved it as I was always full because of the tasty food. 

Dinner service (after take-off)

After take-off, the crew walked around asking if we wanted to eat dinner. I was hungry, so I was happy when the lovely flight attendant was taking my order. I was able to choose everything I wanted from the exact starter, main course, and dessert. Plus, if I wanted to eat more, they offered me to order more. 

They first started to set my tray with a white table cloth, bread basket, salt, pepper, and individually places the cutlery down on the tray. Seeing them carefully place all the items down verse coming out on a tray makes it somewhat a first class dining experience.

They then brought me some more watermelon juice and champagne. I love how the napkins were always placed with the logo facing me.

For my starter, I ordered Soto Sulung. Soto is always yummy and I was happy to see it on the menu.

It had lots of flavors while still being light. On the side they include sambal. If you can handle spicy, you must add the sambal into the Soto adding more flavor and spice. However, I found their sambal not that spicy, but maybe I have a high spice tolerance.

For the main course, I ordered Nasi Kuning. (Fun fact, nasi means rice.)

The Nasi Kuning was my favorite dish out of everything I got on the flight. It was super filling but also left me wanting more food as it tasted so good. The rice wasn’t dry or too wet, just right. The prawns were cooked correctly and weren’t chewy. I would say, this dish put to shame some first class catering I got in the past.

For dessert, I ordered the Chef’s Cheese Board.

It had brie, blue cheese, with dried fruit, and crackers. When it comes to a cheese board, it was standard, but blue cheese as one of the options was surprising. Luckily I like blue cheese.

Overall, the dinner service was fabulously done and felt like I was eating food made and served to me on the ground.

During the whole meal, the crew made sure my glasses were always filled with water, watermelon juice, or champagne. They promptly removed all plates as I finished them and served me the next course when I desired. After the whole meal, I put my seat into the lie-flat bed mode and began to relax. When I was lying down, the crew still made sure I had enough champagne in my glass without me asking.

Mid-flight snack

During the middle of the flight, I started to get hungry and wanted to try their sate jepang dan kecap and bakso sapi.

I started off with the sate jepang dan kecap, or in other words, Japanese soy sauce satay. Again, everything was carefully set down without using a tray.

This was the one dish I didn’t care for. I am not a big fan of fatty meat, and I should have known, but this was fatty meat. It tasted fine to me, but I didn’t finish it.

Next up was the bakso sapi.

The bakso was super good. Again, lots of flavors and I really enjoyed this dish. Bakso is meatball soup with noodles. The noodles had a nice firmness. Bakso is usually served with something crunchy, like crackers, but I wasn’t given any crackers. Either way, the dish was very good, even though I had bakso the day before my flight. 

For a mid-flight meal that can be served on demand at any time, this was good. I just would skip the sate and just get lovely bakso.

Refreshment (pre-landing meal)

I wasn’t too hungry before landing, but whenever there is food ready to be served I will automatically get hungry.

Again, they set up the tray table just like they did during dinner service with a bread basket and no tray. They also gave me more champagne.

For the starter, there was only one choice and it was smoked duck with mango salsa.

For a starter, it was fine. I like duck, but only having one non-soup choice is somewhat disappointing. Luckily if you wanted soup instead of duck, you can get soup. The duck was very light with greens and mango on the side.

For the main course, I had yang chow rice with diced chicken and sliced beef blackpepper sauce.

Again, this dish had lots of flavor with tender beef and fried rice that was in good condition. I enjoyed this dish, like many other dishes on the flight, this was a good ending to the flight.

For dessert, they had a talam ubi with pineapple compote, which is an Indonesian dessert.

Not too sweet, this Indonesian dessert was a good farewell to Indonesia while I visited Europe for the week.

The pre-landing meal was a delight, along with all the other meals I had on the flight. I would fly Garuda long-haul again to enjoy the dining experience as the crew makes it so personal with quality tasty food.

Garuda business class service

Garuda Indonesia won the best crew in the world award from Skytrax for four years straight. However, this is their first year not winning that award.

This flight, the crew was super attentive and really wanted to be there. They made sure I was always full and asked if I ever needed any food. They let me dine at my own pace and whenever I desired making it somewhat a dine-on-demand service. The crew always made sure I wasn’t thirsty and answered to the call button within seconds. I truly loved this flight and it was sad leaving the flight and the crew.

What was also great about the crew was the fact that they were very personable. The crew wanted to talk and made an effort to talk about anything. We even talked about my plans for moving outside of the USA and wanting to be a blogger. It was also great as the flight attendants talked as well, making it a two way street in conversation resulting in a personal feel.

Garuda business class lavatory

Garuda Indonesia has cute signs for the lavatory. While I haven’t seen it on any of their other planes or other Indonesian airlines, these signs are truly special showing how one should use the lavatory. 

During the whole flight, the lavatory was clean with no issues and the crew made sure it was regularly stocked and wiped down. 

They offered perfume, lotion, and face mist in the bathroom as well.

Garuda business class bedding

As I mentioned above under amenities, the blanket is nice and soft. Kinda like velvet. When you’re in lie-flat mode there is no mattress pad offered, but the blanket being comfortable I made myself comfy in bed. The pillow, on the other hand, is alright, it could be thicker, but luckily I could use a pillow from an empty seat for a nice rest.

If they added a mattress pad, it could make it stand out. However, I slept a good 7 hours on this daytime flight.

The stars make the champagne shine.

Landing in London

Landing in London slight delayed made me have to rush between terminals. Being the only person transferring internationally, I made my way from the plane an empty van that took only me to terminal one to catch my flight to Athens, Greece. 

Final word

I would fly Garuda Indonesia long haul business class again for two reasons. Reason one, food is spectacular for business class. I loved eating on this flight. The second reason is that the service is being so attentive. I never had an empty glass on the flight. While their domestic flights aren’t the best when it comes to either food or service, their long-haul flight to Europe offers their best flight attendants and catering.

I personally wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Garuda business class as it offers a great soft product. However, I wouldn’t go out of my way for the seat, but at least it’s better than Singapore business class.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

Thai Airways Business Class (Royal Silk) 777-200 Review (TPE to BKK) [2021]

This flight was like going to a party that you know you’re not going to really be into, but you just decide to stick around and see how it goes. The Thai 777-200 Royal Silk is a dated product and definitely not the best business class product but I was still interested in seeing how it would be and if it would really be that bad.  Keep reading to see how my flight went on the Thai 777 from TPE to BKK.

The trip routing

This particular segment to Bangkok was part of a mini round the world trip which included the following routes: IAH->TPE->BKK (layover)->FRA->IAH.

Round the world trip routing. Image via

After securing flights to Taipei and from Frankfurt to the US, I still needed to find a way to get across those 5,823 miles from Frankfurt to Taipei. Ultimately, I decided to fly Thai Airways from TPE to Frankfurt with a connection in BKK based on how good the A350 hard product and soft product appeared and not to mention the low fees. So this leg from TPE to BKK was essentially a positioning flight so that I could fly a much more respected product.

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Flight details

Here are the details for the flight: 

  • Route: Taipei (TPE) -> Bangkok (BKK) 
  • Flight No.: TG 637
  • Aircraft: 777-200
  • Class: Business Class (I)
  • Seat: 12A
  • Date: June 14, 2019
  • Departure Time: 7:51 am
  • Arrival Time: 10:26 am
  • Flight Time: 3 hours,  35 minutes 
Image via

Booking Thai business class with points 

I booked Thai business class with 75,000 United miles — a pretty competitive rate from Asia to Europe. Fees were only $17.50 but I had to pay $50 in United close-in fees which don’t show below. This flight went for $2,294 USD so that’s about 3 cents per mile which isn’t bad, though that’s a pretty reasonably priced business class ticket in my opinion. 

Getting to TPE 

After finishing up a very enjoyable (but rainy) stay at the W Taipei, I was off to the airport at around 4:30am via taxi, amid a pretty powerful thunderstorm. I’m glad I left so early because the taxi ended up taking 52 minutes to get to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), thanks in large part to a traffic jam near the airport (I think there was some construction going on).  

Traffic jam on the way to the airport.

The taxi driver then dropped me off at the entrance of Thai Airways (TG).

Entrance for Thai Airways.

The airport was relatively empty at the time and I quickly made my way to the Thai Airways check-in desk.

Thai Airways check-in area.

I knew I was flying in a 2-2-2 configuration and so I asked to be moved to a window seat with no other passenger next to me if possible and the agent happily made sure that would happen. He also said he’d keep other passengers from choosing a seat next to me, which was a nice gesture and immediately gave me a great first impression of service on Thai Airways. 

In the past, Brad and I always have traveled as a couple, so 2-2-2 arrangements were never an issue but as a solo traveler, they do present potential issues since you’ll sometimes be closer to someone than you’d prefer and potentially lose direct aisle access. It might not be a big deal to some people but it’s one major reason why: traveling as a couple > traveling solo.  

After you check your bag at TPE, they require you to wait for your bag to pass through the x-ray before you proceed. I’d never seen that before but it only took about a minute or two for my bag to get through. 

After checking a bag, I was on my way to security and to find the lounge. Following the boarding and “VIP lounge” signs, I easily found my way through TPE. It would only take me about 13 minutes to get through security and arrive at the lounge. 

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE

As a business class passenger on Thai, they provided me with lounge access to the Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE. Plaza Premium Lounges are often a part of the Priority Pass network and you can also get access to them if you have the American Express Platinum Card. 

Like at many other airports, at TPE, several lounges are clustered together, including Cathay Pacific and China Airlines.

Stairs to the lounge area.

I first came across a Plaza Premium Lounge that was not open and I had to keep walking through the main lounge hallway until I came upon another Plaza Premium Lounge. (When I later left, that first lounge would be open so maybe they just open later? Not sure.)

The entrance to the lounge.

I was welcomed in and then found a seat. The Plaza Premium Lounge wasn’t very big but it was cozy and equipped with plenty of seating (crowds weren’t an an issue at all).

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE.

I liked that the seats came equipped with power outlets and were actually very comfortable, although it was a bit chilly inside the lounge. 

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE.

I also liked the little cubbies found in the lounge, which while very compact were still nice for a little bit of privacy. These were like a miniature version of the Korean Air First Class Lounge. 

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE cubbies.
Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE cubbies.

I then wandered over to the dining area, which had two long tables for eight individuals and then a few tables on the perimeter.  

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE dining area.

I took a look at the food options and ended up requesting a beef soup with rice. It was pretty good though I’m not used to eating beef soup for breakfast. There were some other Western options like scrambled eggs but nothing really struck me as particularly appetizing. Still, it wasn’t a bad line up to choose from. 

Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE breakfast.
Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE breakfast.
Plaza Premium Lounge at TPE breakfast.

They had a small selection of wines, beer, coffee, teas (hot water machine), and a soda machine. As for snacks, they had a jar with cookies, nuts, cereal, and also a basket of apples and small selection of bread that you could toast. 

Overall, the Plaza Premium Lounge was a decent little lounge that had enough in it to get you by. I thought it felt pretty cozy in there and was very pleased that crowds were a non-factor. But it’s definitely not a spectacular airport lounge or particularly notable for an international business class lounge.

Heading to the gate 

After spending about an hour and 10 minutes in the lounge, I was off to find my gate: B4. On the way to the gates, the corridors were pretty interesting. It’s not exactly Incheon International Airport but at least there’s something to look at along the way. 

TPE Airport corridors.
TPE Airport corridors.


I finally arrived at the gate and noticed that this was one of those gate areas where I’d need to head down some stairs. I took the stairs down to the boarding area and promptly lined up for business class so that I’d be the first one to board. 

TPE Gate B4.
TPE Gate B4 boarding area.

The gate area was decorated with a saxophone theme, which was interesting.

TPE Gate B4 boarding area.
TPE Gate B4 boarding area.

It was still raining outside but I got a little view of the 777-200. 

Thai Airways 777-200.

Overall, the boarding process seemed to be very orderly and it was nice having a separate designated line and doorway for business/first class which isn’t always a thing. 

Thai Airways 777-200 business class cabin 

The Thai Airways 777-200 has 30 angle-flat seats in business class (Royal Silk Business) arranged in a 2-2-2 layout. 

I knew I was getting ready to fly on a dated product so my expectations were pretty low but the cabin felt super roomy when I entered. The 777-200 is a true wide body aircraft with no shortage of room in the aisles. 

Thai Airways 777-200 business class cabin.
Thai Airways 777-200 business class cabin.
Thai Airways 777-200 business class cabin (notice the horizontal cup holders).
Thai Airways 777-200 business class cabin.

There’s also plenty of legroom between the seats. 

Thai Airways 777-200 business class seat

Design, comfort, and privacy

The Thai Airways 777-200 business class seat comes with 60″ of pitch and 20″ of width. That’s not very wide for a business class seat but it didn’t feel cramped when I was on it. The seat design is definitely dated and the seat cloth worn (I’ll show you a closer look in a minute) so nothing about the seat felt “fresh,” though I like the Thai color scheme.   

Thai Airways 777-200 business class seat

There’s plenty of legroom as mentioned. 

Thai Airways 777-200 business class seat legroom.

The catch is that these are angle-flat seats, so you’re not able to get fully flat when trying to sleep. Here’s what it looks like when it is fully reclined. 

Honestly, I was completely comfortable on the four hour flight to BKK but if I were trying to get real sleep, that would have been a major issue. 

In this case, the footrest that folded out of the seat was pretty tattered. 

There is not much privacy at all on these since there’s no suite or privacy shield to block the views of your neighbors. However, since I didn’t have a passenger next to me, the seat felt very private and I didn’t have any complaints in that department. 

A look at the level of privacy.

Seat features (controls, storage)

The seat controls are on the armrest and were pretty responsive. When I fly on these dated products, I pretty much go in half expecting the seat controls to not work properly but everything was in order, as shown by the photos above. 

777-200 seat controls.

There also is no storage with these seats. You’ve got some counter space but you have to share that and there’s no compartment to place other belongings (aside from literature slots). I had things spread out on the seat next to me so it’s not an ideal work station. 

Not a lot of storage space for two passengers.

The tray table comes out of the side of the seat, under the middle armrest. 

Thai Airways business class amenity kit & headphones

The seats came with a blanket and pillow but no amenity kit which is understandable for it being such a short flight of under four hours. However, they did issue headphones.

These were lower quality headphones. I’m usually not that observant when it comes to audio quality but I immediately noticed quality drop. These were not on par with the AKG headphones issued in the Thai A350.

777 business class headphones.

Thai 777-200 business class IFE

In-flight entertainment was a major miss on this flight. There’s no touch screens so you’ll control the IFE with a controller that is stowed in the side of your seat. This controller was not very responsive and there was an 8 to 12 second delay for any button I hit. 

The screens on the aircraft were 10.4-inch AVOD screen and were seriously outdated.

Thai 777-200 business class screen.
Thai 777-200 business class IFE.

The movie selection wasn’t bad, though. I had decided to get into the Creed movies on my EVA flight and really enjoyed the first Creed. So I needed to know what happened to Adonis and I decided to watch Creed II on this flight, which I later regretted. Not because the movie was bad but because I could barely make out what was happening on the screen due to the horrible glare and bad picture quality. I thought about switching seats but I’d already made it through half the movie and just said screw it. The A350 screens were lightyears ahead of this. 

Just look at that glare!

Thai 777 business class take-off experience

The crew was pretty good about coming around and offering drinks to begin the flight. I ended up going with some orange juice and then some sparkling water (which was on the warm side). 

As we took off from rainy Taipei, I got a couple of shots on the way up but the rain was relentless. 

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Thai 777 business class dining 

I really didn’t expect much on this flight in terms of dining but I definitely wanted to try it out for the sake of reporting.

The first dish consisted of a small fruit arrangement, a couple of rolls and a croissant, and bircher muesli (also known as Swiss Oatmeal). The fruit was fresh, bread pretty good, and the bircher muesli was interesting. I wasn’t in the mood for such a heavy dish like that but had I been, I could’ve seen myself enjoying it. 

Thai 777 business class breakfast.

For the main, I went with the spinach omelette which wasn’t that bad but I didn’t care for much else on the plate such as the chicken sausage, hash brown, or asparagus. It wasn’t the worst meal I’ve had on a plane but nothing that I would be interested in trying again. 

Thai 777 business class breakfast.

Thai 777 business class food menu 

Thai 777 business class drink menu

Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.
Thai 777 business class drink menu.

Thai 777 business class service 

I thought service was where it should be on a flight like this. I didn’t notice any shortcomings and I thought that the crew did a good job at being attentive and warm. I guess you could say they did a good job of working with what they had given the old 777 were in. On my next flight, service would also be pretty good (for the most part) so I feel like Thai does a pretty good job overall.  

Thai Airways 777-200 lavatory 

The lavatory is pretty basic but I did like the nice touch of the orchids. 

Thai Airways 777-200 lavatory.
Thai Airways 777-200 lavatory.

Arriving at BKK

After so much rain in Taipei it was refreshing to see the sky open up again as we approached Taipei! 

After landing, it was time to make my way through connections and then get ready for the Thai A350, which was wayyyy more of an impressive product, which you can read about.

Final word 

Overall, the Thai 777-200 was very dated. I would not want to be on this plane for a long-haul flight because the angle-flat seat would get old as I tried to sleep and the IFE experience would be frustrating due to poor screen quality. For the four flight to BKK, this wasn’t that bad though, and I didn’t have any major complaints (given what I was flying on). 

Thai Airways A350 Business Class (Royal Silk) Review (BKK to FRA) [2021]

Thai Airways A350 business class (aka Royal Silk) is a solid business class product. It shines in certain areas like dining but it also has a few shortcomings (though some of those can be avoided with the right planning). Keep reading this article to find out everything you need to know about the Thai Airways A350 business class based on my flight from BKK to FRA.

The trip routing

This particular segment to Frankfurt was part of a mini round the world trip which included the following routes: IAH->TPE->BKK (layover)->FRA->IAH.

  • IAH->TPE: EVA 777-300 J
  • TPE->BKK: Thai 777-200 J
  • BKK->FRA: Thai A350-900 J
  • FRA->IAH: Lufthansa A380-800 F
  • ORD->IAH: United 737-900 F (changed)
Round the world trip routing. Image via

After securing flights to Taipei and from Frankfurt to the US, I still needed to find a way to get across those 5,823 miles from Frankfurt to Taipei. Since I had a nice stash of United miles I turned to the Star Alliance. I thought about flying business with Swiss but I read iffy things about the comfort of the seat. I also considered flying first class on Air China since the suite looks comfortable but that would mean flying Air China. 

Partners like EVA and Singapore were out since I already flew them, and I didn’t want to fly Lufthansa business class due to its layout (2-2-2).  

Ultimately, I decided to fly Thai Airways from TPE to Frankfurt with a connection in BKK based on how good the A350 hard product and soft product appeared and not to mention the low fees. I’d also just been fascinated by Thai Airways since the last time I visited Bangkok and saw their ads everywhere. I would’ve loved to book Thai first class but I didn’t see any openings so just decided to stick with business. 

I didn’t follow Thai award availability for a long time but based on my searches it seemed pretty good.

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Flight details 

Here are the details for the flight: 

  • Route: Bangkok (BKK) -> Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Flight No.: TG 922
  • Aircraft: A350-900
  • Class: Business Class (I)
  • Seat: 15G
  • Date: June 14, 2019
  • Departure Time: 12:28 pm
  • Arrival Time: 7:11 pm
  • Flight Time: 11 hours,  43 minutes 
Image via

Booking Thai business class with points 

I booked Thai business class with 75,000 United miles — a pretty competitive rate from Asia to Europe. Fees were only $17.50 but I had to pay $50 in United close-in fees which don’t show below. This flight went for $2,294 USD so that’s about 3 cents per mile which isn’t bad, though that’s a pretty reasonably priced business class ticket in my opinion. 

Connecting at BKK

After flying in on a pretty underwhelming 777-200 (review to come later), I had to connect through BKK. I deplaned into a shuttle bus (yay, crowded bus) and then had to make my way through BKK to the international transfer counter.  

Deplaning the 777-200.

I wasn’t 100% sure where I was headed once in the airport since the signs weren’t super clear to me and didn’t say anything about international transfers until I got very close to where I needed to be (which was the “East Transfer Counter.”)

After making my way through a few long walkways and going through transfer security, I made it to the Royal Silk Lounge. The entire transfer process at BKK took about 25 minutes.

Thai Royal Silk Lounge

I first arrived at the Thai Royal Orchid Spa — which me being me — had mistaken for the lounge. They told me I could get in in ten minutes and I wondered what kind of second-rate business class lounge would make me wait ten minutes to get in until it clicked…..

Once i realized what they were talking about I didn’t think ten minutes was a bad wait time but I had just gotten a pretty good massage the night before at the W Taipei. I didn’t want to over do it (if that’s even possible with massages) and I was a bit pressed for time, so I opted to go without the massage.

Thai Royal Orchid Spa.

Right across the corridor was the entrance to the lounge. 

Thai Royal Silk Lounge entrance.

The Thai Royal Silk Lounge is big and long with glass windows that open up to the terminal. It’s very understated and a little boring by today’s standards but it is spacious, calm, and quiet.  

Thai Royal Silk Lounge.

The lounge was not packed at all and so seating was easy to find. 

Thai Royal Silk Lounge.
Thai Royal Silk Lounge Lounge.

I wandered around a little bit before settling down. I first came across the computer cubbies which were pretty scuffed up and looked a little depressing. 

Thai Royal Silk Lounge computer area.

I also saw a kids play room. 

Thai Royal Silk Lounge play room.

And at the back of the lounge was the bar with only one lone patron. 

Thai Royal Silk Lounge bar.

In the middle of the lounge is the main food area where you can find different types of hot food items. Here I found several different types of sandwiches along with a table dedicated to hot food items, such as: fish in red curry sauce, stir-fried Chinese noodles, sautéed vegetables, jasmine steamed rice, and even a margarita pizza.  

I was trying to save my appetite for the flight (and to just not be a fat arse) so I only went for a couple of sandwiches to hold me over. They weren’t bad at all. 

Overall, it’s a decent-looking lounge that seemed to offer a pretty nice line-up of hot food items along with plenty of snack foods like the sandwiches I had and some sweets as well. But I recall visiting the Cathay Pacific business class lounge last time at BKK and feeling like it had more to offer in terms of dining (can you say noodle bar?) and coziness (though it was much smaller as a satellite lounge). 

Cathay Pacific Noddle Bar (mmmm….)

After spending only a few minutes in the lounge, I started to make the trek over to the boarding gate: C5. That’s about when I stumbled upon another Royal Silk Lounge, which was much closer to my gate. So I learned my lesson to not simply jump on the first lounge I see but to do a little scouting, although that lounge appeared smaller from the outside. 

So I continued on towards my gate at C5, which was pretty scenic as you can tell. 

And then finally I came up to the entrance to the gate and there she was! (The A350 — not the girl in the photo below.)


The boarding took place in a contained area for C5 down from the main terminal corridor. There were no signs for economy, business, etc. — just an area sectioned off that allowed passengers with disabilities to continue through. Eventually, an agent simply unroped the area and they made the call for business class passengers in what was a fairly orderly boarding process. 

I was the first to board and followed the jet bridge through to the exclusive business class boarding entrance. 

Thai Airways A350 business class cabin

The Thai Airways A350 business class cabin is made up of 32 flat bed seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. The seat layouts alternate in each row. Some rows have true window seats directly adjacent to the windows while other rows have “window” seats closer to the aisles. The middle seats also have “honeymoon” seats which are the rows with seats close together while other rows have seats better for folks who want more privacy. 

Thai Airways A350 seat map. Image via

When I first entered the cabin, I was very impressed with the aesthetics. It’s a beautiful cabin, and I immediately fell in love with look of the purple accents and brown faux wood panels. It felt very peaceful and the orchids placed on the counters were an elegant touch.   

Thai Airways A350 business class cabin.

I really liked the floral wall art found at the back of the cabin as well. 

Thai Airways A350 business class cabin.

Although I loved the look and feel of the business class cabin, the aisles did feel narrow and the cabin slightly cramped (though it helped that the overhead bins sit so high in the middle to open things up). 

Thai Airways A350 business class seat 

Design, comfort, and privacy

I was assigned seat 15G but that’s not the seat I would have picked. I really wanted a “true” window seat which would have much more privacy but I was willing to “settle” for this seat which just required a little more work for the window views. 

I’ve learned that’s one of the drawbacks to last-minute booking: limited seat selection. 

Thai Airways A350 business class seat.

Notice how the seat below has much more privacy since it’s closer to the windows. I was truly envious of the people in these seats. 

Thai Airways A350 business class window seat.

The seat looked beautiful up close but I did immediately notice how narrow it looked. SeatGuru has it listed at 20″ wide compared to the 26″ wide seat I’d just flown with EVA — that’s a pretty dramatic difference. The armrests are also very thin as you can tell in the photo below. Still, despite those drawbacks, I didn’t find the seat uncomfortable. 

A fairly narrow seat.

The next thing I wanted to check out was the footwell. It looked pretty deep and not as narrow as some business class seats out there so I was holding out hope that I would be able to get comfortable during the flight. 

One thing that I did notice was the large hinge for the tray table that was pretty much just begging my knee to hit it. 

But I was pretty comfortable with my feet stretched out into the foot well. Once my feet (size 12) were in the footwell, it felt a little cramped but not in an extremely uncomfortable way.  

The problem came when the crew was pushing out the drink cart. The crew would be literally centimeters from my legs. 

Also, there’s only a very modest privacy shield on the seat so the seats don’t feel very private. 

I really believe that if I had a true window seat that the entire experience would have felt much different, so if you value privacy I highly recommend that you avoid the type fo seat I had — it just feels too exposed. 

Seat features (controls, storage)

The seat controls are easy to access and to use and will be right next to your armrest. I really liked how easy it was to turn on the reading lamp and then the additional lighting they had for the seat. I also thought that the lighting looked great when it was turned on. 

There’s not a lot of easily accessible storage compartments. You have some storage space under the ottoman but that’s not accessible when the seat is in lie-flat mode, so you’re really just left with the deep pocket seen below, which can hold things like your amenity kit, passport, and other things.  

The storage under the ottoman offers a decent amount of space but items tends to roll out of there due to the uneven surface. I’d recommend just throwing all of your bedding and other materials in the overhead bin.  

Once you take off, you should have enough space to pull out a bag or backpack and plop it down next to the window for easy access. 

I liked how easy and straightforward it was to bring down and store the tray table. 

However, the tray table did feel just a little small to me (compared to others like EVA). 

 On the outside of the tray table is a hook for hanging your garments.

The power outlet (110V, 60Hz) is found on the front of seat and the headphone jack is just above that. It’s not too difficult to access them and wires never really got in the way so I was okay with their position. 

There are two USB ports just under the TV screen. These are super easy to access but they could give you a little bit of trouble if you have a short USB cable.  

Thai Airways business class amenity kit & headphones

The Thai A350 business class amenity kit is very basic. 

Thai Airways business class amenity kit.

Although I liked the Mandarina Duck bag, there’s not anything special about the amenity kit. Inside, you’ll find the following

  • Lotion
  • Dental kit
  • Mouth wash
  • Lip Balm
  • Comb
Thai Airways business class amenity kit.
Thai Airways business class amenity kit

The toothbrush and toothpaste are very cheap and my toothpaste “malfunctioned” and wouldn’t open so I asked the crew if they had a different kit they could give me. They brought me out a much higher quality dental kit and I thought that was interesting. As far as the lotion, it was refreshing but not on par with luxury-brand lotions. 

No pajamas or slippers were issued so I simply jumped into the ones I had from EVA. It felt a little disrespectful, but they are all Star Alliance so whatever. 

The headphones were from AKG and were noise-cancelling. These were mediocre quality and required you to slip on the covers to the speakers, which of course came off every chance they got (even though I had secured them). So overall, the business class amenities from Thai were average.

Thai A350 business class IFE

The TV monitors on the A350 were large (16″ I believe), crisp, and responsive. You could control them via touch screen or with the remote control. 

I would rate the in-flight entertainment as solid based on the movie selection. I don’t watch TV,  play games on flights, etc., so I judge IFE based solely on the movie selection. I ask myself, “Is there enough flight time to watch all of the movies I really want to see.” If the answer is no, then that’s a solid IFE experience. In this case, they had several movies I wanted to see (Creed II, Game Night, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, and several others). 

One form of IFE I love is viewing the flight maps. On this flight though this wasn’t an option because the satellite was out. That was a major blow because I usually check that every 90 minutes or so and love getting the photos. Oh well. 

Thai A350 business class wifi

The Thai A350 offered wifi but I’ve been getting screwed when purchasing wifi on long-haul flights. The wifi speed has been unbearable (assuming I can even get it to connect). Since they were already having satellite issues, I didn’t feel like bothering with it. Plus, the couple of hours I allocated for work could be done offline anyway so it wasn’t a big deal. 

Thai A350 business class drink menu 

I’m still on my alcohol hiatus (still debating if a glass of champagne really falls under this) so I didn’t partake but here’s a look at what was offered on the menu. 

I went with my usual: sparkling water. 

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Thai A350 business class dining 

The Thai Royal Silk business class dining experience was a memorable one and probably the highlight of the flight for me. I really didn’t know what to expect so I went in very open minded. 

We started off with Iberico ham stuffed coriander cream cheese and mozzarella pearl along with a Thai spicy prawn salad with lemongrass and mint. They also brought out the bread and I took a piece. The appetizer was fresh with a nice little kick that was balanced by the cream cheese — not a bad way to get things started. 

The appetizer: Iberico ham stuffed coriander cream cheese and mozzarella pearl along with a Thai spicy prawn salad with lemongrass and mint.

Then the main dish came out, which had the following: 

  • Deep-fried snapper fish with Swet and Sour Chilli Sauce
  • Prawn and pork belly soup with mixed Thai herbs
  • Deep-fried marinated pork
  • Stir-fried cabbage with fish sauce
  • Steamed duo jasmine rice 
Main course on the Thai A350.

The snapper was phenomenal.  The flavors popped in my mouth and the fish had the perfect amount of kick to it. It also helped that they served up a good-sized portion. I have forgotten about a lot of business class dishes (and even first class meals) but this will not be one of those.   

Deep-fried snapper fish with Swet and Sour Chilli Sauce.

I was in love with the blue jasmine rice. Even though there was no discernible difference in taste and I only ate a small portion, there’s just something cool about eating blue food.  

Steamed duo jasmine rice.

The soup broth was very flavorful with a nice sharp twang that the shrimp soaked up. I didn’t try the pork belly, though. 

Prawn and pork belly soup with mixed Thai herbs.

I tried a small piece of the fried pork but just wasn’t feeling it. I think I’ve gotten to the point that if it’s not bacon or pepperoni, I’m really not that interested in pork.  

Deep-fried marinated pork.

Next came the “boutique” cheese platter which had a good variety of tasty cheeses. 

And then dessert rolled out: a lemon meringue tart. This little dessert packed a punch and I wasn’t able to finish it but it was good. Not too heavy and just tart enough. 

And then they wrapped things up with one final sweet snack.

After getting some sleep (more on that below) and then waking up, they brought out the second meal. The appetizers were marinated salmon with coffee, cream cheese and pistachio, crepe roll baba ganoush, and a fresh pineapple morsel topped with sauteed minced pawn, pork, and peanuts. These starters were much more of a shock to the taste buds and I’m not sure they were the best choice for right after waking. 

The second round of appetizers.

And then they brought out yet another winner — the baked salmon trout with horseradish yogurt sauce. I took off the skin and this salmon and sauce was great and tasted high quality. I avoided the potatoes but thoroughly enjoyed the buttered snow peas.  

The baked salmon trout with horseradish yogurt sauce.

And then another dessert in a cup was brought out — a dulcey chocolate panna cotta with apricot jelly, raspberry sauce. This one was very sweet and rich and a great way to cap off the memorable dining experience. 

Overall, this was a killer business class dining experience. To have two main courses I really enjoyed is not common and I appreciated the variety and depth of the flavors. I would have to rank Thai business class dining up there with some of the best J cabins based on this flight.  

Thai A350 business class menu.
Thai A350 business class menu.
Thai A350 business class menu.

Thai A350 business class service

Overall the service was great, but it could be more polished. The crew was very warm and spoke good English and though I don’t judge crews based on English speaking abilities (for non-US routes), it was helpful. My only issue was a slight lack of attentiveness.

The crew piled up things on my counter like glasses, water bottles, coasters, trays, towels, etc. and then would just forget about them. This is especially annoying for someone like me who is trying to constantly get clean photographs. I feel like most other airlines have done better at keeping the seats rubbish free. 

But overall I would say the staff was great — just need to work on being a little more attentive. 

Thai A350 business class lavatory 

The Thai A350 business class lavatory was clean but pretty basic.

Thai A350 business class lavatory.

The orchids were a nice touch. 

Thai A350 business class lavatory.

There were a couple of fragrance bottles in there but no facial misters or anything like that (I’m kind of addicted to those right now). They had cups in there but I don’t think I’d ever risk using water directly from the plane’s lavatory to rinse unless times were truly desperate. Also, don’t mind me looking like a hobo in the photo below. 

Thai A350 business class lavatory.

Overall, it was a pretty standard lavatory that did feel a little cramped when I changed in there. In fact, it was so cramped that when changing I dropped my phone on the floor next to the toilet, which was just tragic.

Thai A350 business class bedding 

After my meal, I decided to make my bed and pulled out the bedding. A couple of crew members walked past me as I made the bed and didn’t offer to help, which didn’t bother me (okay, maybe it did a little). But the lack of help was in contrast to the help I’ve experienced flying business on other Asian airlines like Singapore — they seem eager to go the extra mile.  

Thai A350 business class bedding.

The bedding pad was thicker than the one I recently had with EVA air which gave me hope that this would be a comfortable sleeping experience. 

Thai A350 business class bedding.

But when I pulled out the blanket, I realized that it was much thinner than the EVA blanket. I then got settled into the bed and immediately felt cramped by the narrow seat and the footwell that all of a sudden felt much tighter. The bed is 73.5 inches or about five inches shorter than EVA. Despite the short length, once I tired out a couple of different positions and I got on my side, I was able to find a comfy position. 

I ended up sleeping several hours on the plane, probably around five or so. I now think that I’m turning a corner sleeping on planes due to the fact that I can now comfortably fall asleep on my side. I was always a 1000% stomach sleeper but a neck issue forced me to learn how to sleep on my side and I think the silver lining to that is I can now get more comfortable on planes.

That combined with the fact I don’t drink on planes has allowed me to land feeling refreshed even after 15+ hour flights. The atmosphere on the A350 might have helped with the refreshed feeling, too.

So if you struggle to sleep on planes and you’re a stomach sleeper, I’d recommend trying to get used to sleeping on your side — it makes business class way more tolerable. 

Thai A350 business class bedding.

Landing at FRA

Before I knew it, we were approaching Frankfurt and getting ready for landing. It was nice getting a good view of the Frankfurt skyline from the plane. 

Once we touched down I made my way through immigration which was a very interesting experience as someone in the front of my line was having major issues not responding to questions and causing a big scene. I ended up having to switch lines after waiting several minutes and luckily got through there amid that fiasco. Once through, I was off to pick up my bags and headed outside. 

I looked at the prices for the limousine pick-up at the airport and saw that they were outrageous for the Hilton Frankfurt. So I looked at taxi prices which were about €45 and I priced out Uber which was only about €22. So I went with Uber.

If you choose to get picked by Uber at FRA, you’ll need to head up the departures level and that’s were you’ll get scooped up (you will be able to select a specific entrance like “entrance five” which will be clearly numbered so it’s a very easy Uber pick up process. 

Final word 

Overall, here’s what I felt about Thai Royal Silk business class on the A350 based on my flight: 


  • Fantastic dining
  • Solid IFE
  • Great service 


  • Exposed seat
  • Narrow and slightly short seat
  • Basic amenities

Qatar Airways A350 Business Class Review (DOH to MLE)

Qatar Airways has a great business class product on its A350. I recently flew on it from Doha to the Maldives and it was a great flight though a bit on the shorter side. Here’s a review of the Qatar Airways A350 business class.

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Finding availability

Our entire Qatar itinerary was CDG->DOH->MLE. Availability from CDG to DOH was actually pretty good in first class and so it wasn’t that difficult to find award seats to Doha. However, I could only find economy award seats from DOH to MLE so I originally just settled for those.

Tickets cancelled without notice

Booking these seats almost became a disaster on multiple occasions.

I used 62,500 AA miles per person to book the flight and paid $153 in fees for each person, which is one of the top uses for AA miles.

I had to call in to the Australian AA center to book but they did not process my payment in the local currency (Australian dollars). This led to my tickets being stuck in limbo and eventually cancelled. To make matters worse, I wasn’t even notified about the cancellation!

Luckily, I caught that it happened a few days later. And I actually got even luckier, business class seats had opened up so I was able to change my booking from economy to business class to the Maldives without having to pay any change fees.

But the drama wasn’t over there.

Trouble in the Maldives

Several Middle Eastern countries cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar in June 2017 and the Maldives joined in on that. These countries were banning flights from Qatar so I was really nervous that my booking would be cancelled.

I was very close to routing through Colombo, Sri Lanka but luckily flights continued between Qatar and the Maldives and I could breathe once again… or at least I could until the Maldives declared a state of emergency a couple of weeks before our trip (it actually wasn’t bad at all).

Aircraft swap

One last twist occurred before our trip as the aircraft between Doha and Male was swapped from an A330 to an A350. I much preferred the A350 1-2-1 layout in business class to the A330’s 2-2-2 so this was a welcomed change.

Circuitous routing due to airspace restrictions.

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The journey

This flight was part of our mega round the world trip and was toward the middle of trip.

We started this particular segment of our trip in Paris after staying two nights at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, which was an interesting experience for me. It’s not a horrible hotel but considering this is a flagship Hyatt property, my experience there left a bit to be desired in the service department….

The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme.

After that we made our way to the Qatar first/business lounge at CDG, which was very nice. It had some beautiful decor and some pretty solid dining options to choose from. I also thought the outdoor terrace was really cool (I didn’t get to experience it because of the weather).

Qatar business class lounge at CDG.

We then flew out first class on the Qatar A380 from Paris to Doha on what was a great first class flight. The first class cabin is very open but yet still felt very private and the dining and service was on point. I was also a really, really big fan of the on-board bar/lounge pictured below.

Qatar first class bar on the A380.

After touching down in Doha, we were luckily allowed to experience the amazing Al Safwa First Class Lounge after initially getting a little bit of resistance due to the timing of our flight. That lounge is one of the most stunning first class lounges that I’ve visited.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge.

It’s a huge lounge that resembles a museum in many respects and has some impressive water features.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge.

I really liked the mini hotel rooms that it has where you can get some sleep, shower, and even watch some TV just like you would at an ordinary hotel.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge.

The food and service were also great in the lounge in as well.

Al Safwa First Class Lounge.

After spending the night at the lounge we were refreshed and ready to make our way from Doha down to the warm Maldives.


We were among the first passengers to board and took our seats on 1A and 2A.

The Qatar A350 business class cabin

The cabin on the A350 looked very fresh and new.

Qatar A350 business class cabin.

The Qatar A350 business cabin is divided up with eight rows in one cabin and then a mini-cabin with three rows. There’s a small mini-bar area in-between the cabins but since this was a shorter flight they didn’t set up the bar area to my disappointment.

It was still a nice area to wander to during the flight and get some stretching done, and I noticed a few other passengers congregated there during the flight.

The mini bar/rest area.

The seats, which are B/E Aerospace Super Diamonds, are 22 inches wide according to SeatGuru, which is two inches wider than the business class seats on the Cathay Pacific A350. I thought the seats were very comfortable and I could definitely see myself riding in these on a long-haul flight.

Qatar A350 business class window seat.

The Qatar business class seats are very similar to the Cathay Pacific business class seats on the A350, although Cathay Pacific seats have a the privacy shield, which makes the flying experience feel much more private.

Cathay Pacific A350 business class.

The first thing I immediately noticed was that the bulkhead seat, 1A, has much more legroom than seat 2A. Since this was a shorter flight that didn’t matter that much, but it’s something that I would definitely want to consider if I were on a long-haul flight.

The bulkhead seat, 1A.
A normal seat, 2A.

There’s a fair amount of privacy for the middle seats as they are spaced pretty far apart.

Qatar A350 business class middle seats.

You can also raise a middle partition for additional privacy, which you can see below.

Qatar A350 business class middle seats.
Qatar A350 business class middle seats.

The business class seats come with a nice amount of counter space with two tiers to work with.

Qatar A350 business class seat counter space.

The top counter space is pretty wide and comes with a water bottle in a holder as well as a lamp.

Qatar A350 business class seat counter space.

The in-flight entertainment controller is built into the side of the counter and I found it to be very responsive.

Qatar A350 business class in-flight controller.

There’s also a panel for the seat controls with many different types of configurations to choose from. The arm rests can be raised or lowered to your liking.

Qatar A350 business class seat controls.

There’s a nice storage compartment on the side of the seat, next to where you can find the power outlet.

Qatar A350 business class storage compartment.

The amenity kits came in these bags with cool designs. Inside, they had an eye mask, lip balm, and socks, which wasn’t bad for a short-haul flight.

Qatar A350 business class amenity kit.
Qatar A350 business class amenity kit.

The headphones were not quite Bose but not bad at all.

Qatar A350 business class headphones.

Overall, it’s a pretty impressive business class seat. Yes, it could be a tad more private and perhaps even a little bit more leg room (more on that below) but these seats are reportedly wider than those on other products like the Cathay Pacific A350.

Qatar A350 business class seat.

After checking out the seat we were ready to take off down to the Maldives. We caught a fantastic view of the Doha skyline as we departed that made a lasting impression on me.

View of the Doha skyline.

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Qatar business class dining

I started off with the signature Qatar drink which is the lemon-mint beverage. This drink is a must on any Qatar flight in my opinion as I could drink on that stuff all day.

For an appetizer, I just kept it simple and went with fresh fruit which was very fresh and juicy.

Next came out some bread and croissants.

For the main dish, I went with the Arabian breakfast. I’d already had a pretty hearty American breakfast very early in the morning at the lounge so I wasn’t that hungry. However, I still managed to scarf some of this stuff down and it was all very refreshing.

After that I tried out a refreshing smoothie-type drink which was pretty good though I didn’t have the tatse buds to finish it off.

This was a shorter flight so I didn’t get the full Qatar business class dining which I’ve heard a lot of great things about. However, I can tell that Qatar knows what they are doing based on the quality of the food.

I’d also point out that the service on this flight was top-notch.

The level of attention on the flight felt pretty close to a first class experience to be honest. When the cabin manager found out we were going to be cutting it really close to connecting with our puddle jumper flight, they took extra time to explain to me how immigration should work and what I should do about answering some important questions on my immigration card.

The bedding

Due to the short length of the trip, I wasn’t able to try out the bed properly. However, I did put the seat all the way down and tested it out. I liked that the arm rest and the padding on top of the side storage compartment made the lying experience feel a little more spacious.

Qatar A350 lie-flat seat.
Qatar A350 lie-flat seat.

However, when compared to the business class seat on the Cathay Pacific A350, I think I prefer the Cathay Pacific A350 since it has a wider area for your legs that you can see in the photo below.

Maldives views

Flying into the Maldives is a lot of fun because the views are simply stunning. While we were flying as a couple and tempted to take the middle seats, we decided it’d be better to go for the window seats on this flight. And I’m 100% happy that we made that decision.

Watching these beautiful turquoise atolls, reefs, and islands pop up left and right as you approach Male is mesmerizing. I’d honestly never seen anything quite like it before.

View of the Maldives approaching Male.
View of the Maldives approaching Male.

You can spot several of the resorts from the sky but I wasn’t able to recognize any of them from up in the air. I will say that there were many more resorts than I had imagined before heading to the Maldives.

Random Maldives resort.
View of the Maldives approaching Male.
View of the Maldives approaching Male.

We caught a great view of the city of Male, too, which was one of the most densely populated cities I’ve seen.

The city of Male.

After landing we were able to get through immigrations and customs very quickly and we were escorted to the Hilton Conrad Lounge where we awaited to be taken to our retreat water villa at the Conrad (which was a fantastic stay).

Conrad Maldives retreat water villa.

Final word

Qatar has a very solid business class product on the A350. It’s comfortable, open, and a great way to spend time in the sky. It does have some cons compared to other similar products, but I would be very happy to fly this business class product in the future (though I’d be very interested in the Q-Suites).

Is Singapore Airlines Business Class Overrated?

Singapore Airlines is one of the most highly rated airlines but surprisingly some people are actually very underwhelmed by the business class experience for a number of reasons. I think that ultimately Singapore has one of the best business class products out of any airline but only for people with certain preferences. Here’s my take on whether or not Singapore business class is overrated.

Different products

There are a few different types of business class on Singapore Airlines. They’ve got an angled flat product that you’l often find on many regional flights (e.g., flights to Australia) and two other products that you’ll find on most long-haul flights on the A380s, A350s, and 777s.

The older product came out in 2006 and the revamped product came out in 2013. I’ll focus on these two products since that’s what I have experience with and it’s what you’ll find on the long-haul international flights.

2006 Singapore business class product.

2013 Singapore business class product.

Note: Singapore Airlines will be operating new business class products in late 2017/early 2018 on the A380/A350 (and another new product on its regional A350 and 787) and the new products should be revealed on November 2, 2017.

The first thing you’ll notice about the seats is that they are very wide, probably the widest business class seats in the world. With such wide room, you’d expect them to be one of the most comfortable seats but that’s not necessarily the case. Here are the major complaints about the business class seats.

Sleeping comfort

The biggest knock against Singapore business class is probably the sleep comfort and this complaint is the result of a few factors.

Diagonal sleeping

The seats in the A380s, A350s, and 777s are designed to force you to lie/sleep diagonally. This is due to the footwells that are built into the seats in front of you on the side. You can clearly see this pictured in the photo of the A380 below.

Singapore A380 business class.

This is less of a problem if you are shorter than around 5’10” and like to sleep curled up or in a diagonal position. If that’s the case then you probably won’t have many issues because the seats are very wide and make is easier to get into a comfortable curled position.

However, if you’re 6’0″+ and like to sleep with your legs stretched out straight, these seats will cause you problems because it’s simply not possible to sleep like that. This is why so many people have complaints about these seats. On an ultra-long haul, it’s very hard for these people to stay comfortable.

Limited footwell space

The second issue which is related to the first is that the footwells or “cubbies’ are not very spacious. On some aircrafts they are more spacious than others. For example, the 777 new style business class is slightly more spacious than the A350. The 777 also has slightly more room in the footwell than the A380 with the old style business class seats. But still, the space is limited and if you’ve got big feet, this can compound the issue of being forced to sleep diagonally.

Singapore A380 business class.

The solution is to choose the bulkhead seats. The bulkhead seats on Singapore Airlines will give you so much more room that it’s like flying an entirely different type of hard product.

11F (bulkhead) on the A350.

For example, I sat in 11F on the Singapore A350 (which many claim is the best seat on the entire plane) and I had a very comfortable (and quiet) experience with plenty of room. You can also choose the bulkhead seats on the windows but they’ve got slightly less space and the two interior bulkhead seats seats 19D/F are very close to the busy galley area and can get noisy.

Window bulkhead on the A350.

Sometimes these seats are blocked off when choosing a seat, so you might try calling in to reserve them. It’s possible that they will not allow you to reserve them as some have had issues with that and unfortunately I’m not aware of any sure-fire way to get around the seating blocks.

Flip-down bed

Another complaint is that the seat does not recline directly into a flat sleeping position. Instead, you must flip down the seat to form the bed. People that like to switch between lie-flat positions and reclining throughout a long-haul flight find this tedious and disrupting.

The flight attendants will generally help you fold down your seat into a bed and it’s honestly not hard to do (once you figure out how it’s done), so this isn’t a major issue for many. However, I do prefer to be able to slide my seat in and out of a lie-flat position at will since sleeping can be an issue for me on planes, so this option is not ideal for me.

Hard bed surface

Many people don’t find the bed surface comfortable because it’s just too hard.

Singapore A380 bed.

I agree that the bed surface is not soft but with the the thin “mattress pad,” pillows, and blanket offered I was still able to get comfortable. I was even able to lie on my stomach in this seat and get a little bit of sleep. My head/face was a bit crammed in that position, but it worked out at least for a couple of hours. 

Singapore A380 bed.

The hardness of the bed surface is something I don’t understand and hopefully will be something that will be fixed next go-round. Also, on some aircrafts, the seat may not align perfectly with the footrest when made into a bed, making for a slightly annoying experience.

Cramped cabin space

This complaint is mainly directed toward the A350 since others like the A380 have plenty of cabin space.

Spacious A380 upper deck business class cabin.

In the A350 people find the cabin, aisles, pitch (when seated) and even the lavatories to be confining since the A350 is little over a foot more narrow than the 777. Personally, I didn’t feel like this was a major issue on the A350 but it was noticeably less spacious (even the upper deck of the A380 is wider than the A350).

The positives

There’s a lot of positive to the Singapore Airlines business class experience, however.

The service on Singapore in business class is still exceptional. Every now and again, it might not live up to expectations but when the crew is “on,” it feels like you’re in first class. And that’s because they are super attentive and happy/courteous like you typically find in first class.

Singapore business class dining.

Also, I’ve really enjoyed the dining and drinking experience in Singapore business class. From Singapore Slingers to chicken dishes and seafood, I’ve been impressed by the presentation, quality, and options offered by Singapore.

Singapore business class dining.

Singapore business class dining.

Final word

I think Singapore Airlines is somewhat overrated for many people. If you’re over six feet tall, like to sleep straight, and can’t get a bulkhead, there’s a chance you’ll struggle to be as comfortable as you’d like. However, if you can get the bulkhead seats then Singapore can offer one of the most comfortable business class seats out of any airline. And if you’re flight crew is “on” that day, it will feel like first class — the furthest thing from being overrated.