Delta One Suite A330-900neo Review (Honolulu to Seattle) [2023]

Delta made a lot of noise whenever it introduced an all-suite business class more than half a decade ago.

Since then, more business class products have introduced fully enclosed suites but I hadn’t had the opportunity to see what the Delta One experience was like until a recent trip from Honolulu to Seattle.

Below, I’ll walk you through the entire experience and give you a detailed review of what you can expect if you end up flying Delta One Suites on the A330-900neo.

Delta A330-900neo overview

The Delta One Suite was announced back in 2016 and it was the “world’s first all-suite business class.” They released the initial version on the A350 and it consisted of a customized version of the Vantage XL seat (which is a seat used by other airlines like SAS, LATAM, etc.)

Then, in 2019 Delta rolled out with the A330-900, which came with 29 fully enclosed suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. The new aircraft came equipped with memory foam cushions and a new wireless in-flight entertainment system among other upgrades.

It’s been used on long-haul flights like Seattle to Shanghai but you can also sometimes catch it on routes from Hawaii which is what we did in this case.

By the way, if you want to watch the video review you can do that here:


After finding a bargain saver award on Hawaiian Airlines first class from Phoenix to Honolulu for only 40,000 miles one way, we had to find a way to get back to the mainland.

We found a Delta One flight from HNL to SEA (with a first class connection to PHX) for under $800 which turned out to be a really good deal considering that lots of standard recliner options were going for much more than that.

So we hopped on this booking and earned 3,980 miles in the process along with 5X Membership Rewards on the flight.

Admittedly, it’s a pretty short flight to experience a lie flat product since flying from Honolulu to Seattle only has a flight time of under six hours.

On these medium-haul flights I pretty much go right into a movie, experience the dining, take a short nap, and then the flight is pretty much over.

But it’s still fun and a long enough flight to get a feel for the product so I was happy to make this booking which can be difficult to find since most routes are standard recliners in first class.

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

Honolulu aerial view

The lounge experience

After flying in from Kona, we arrived to HNL’s Delta check-in area about four hours prior to our flight but were thankfully able to check our bags after a very friendly agent at the check-in counter allowed us to.

We then made our way over to the Delta Sky Club which we would have access to because of our Platinum Cards but they told us we would not be able to get in until three hours prior to departure.

A little disappointed we headed to the food court and hung out for a little bit. Pretty random but we just happened to grab a table next to Flavor Flav which I thought was pretty funny.

Eventually, we did make our way back to the lounge which I really enjoyed. Although it is pretty compact and dated, the food was on point and the service was excellent. You can read more about the lounge here.

Honolulu Delta sky club


We were the first in line to board in the priority line and I thought it was interesting that boarding took place right next to the men’s bathroom.

Pretty convenient for those who need to go before boarding although I saw one stunned passenger trying to exit the bathroom when the pre-boarding herd began.

Delta boarding area

The cabin & seat

As soon as we entered the A330 Delta One cabin, I was really impressed by the look and feel of the cabin. It’s a relatively simplistic design but the white suites contrasted with patterned accents and navy seats just looks really nice to me.

The aisles did look a bit narrow and I especially noticed this when I was trying to get photos during boarding.

Usually I can just sort of subtly lean into a suite for people to get by but I felt like I had to step farther into the suite to create enough space for them to pass. Probably won’t be an issue for most people but something to note.

Delta One A330-900neo cabin

I made my way to the bulkhead seat, 1A, which I’d been looking forward to for a while. My immediate impression: “this looks really nice.”

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

I’ve always been a fan of Delta’s branded seat design. Something about the patterns and colors they use just makes their seats pop in a way I’ve come to appreciate. And that was also the case with the Delta One Suite.

When we arrived, the bedding and pillow was packed in a cloth casing which always feels good. There’s something about tearing open plastic bedding packaging that just doesn’t feel nearly as appealing.

Worth noting, they did not provide a mattress pad but they did give us a pair of slippers.

They also did not issue a Someone Somewhere amenity kit which seems to be standard on flights between Hawaii and the western US. (We have not received an amenity kit on Hawaiian Airlines or American Airlines when flying on these routes.)

I know it’s a short flight from Hawaii but six hours is within range for amenity kits for some other airlines, so I kind of wish airlines would issue something, especially for a red eye flight.

But enough about that, let’s talk about the seat.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

You’ll have two separate areas where you’ll find your seat controls.

The first is a touch panel with a few different settings you can change with a click of a button. I like that they had a separate setting for “relax” and “lounge” along with the standard controls you often find for the upright and lie flat positions.

You can also activate the do not disturb sign, turn off your feature light, control suite brightness, and play around with moving specific parts of your seat. I found the buttons to be very responsive on my seat so making quick, fine tune adjustments was never an issue.

Next to the control panel, you’ll find two USB ports and a 110-volt outlet along with a two-prong headphone jack. It’s always nice when you don’t have to go hunting for these things or dislocate a shoulder trying to use them.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo Seat controls

Speaking of headphones, the Delta Studio premium headset was found hanging in the shoulder area of the seat.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo headphones

I’d describe the headphones as medium grade. They are clearly a good step above the cheap headphones you get with certain airlines like Hawaiian or LATAM. But they’re not premium grade, which to be honest was a little bit disappointing.

I think they are good enough to get by with without having to bring your own but for those who really value premium sound or noise cancellation, you may want to bring your own headphones with an appropriate adapter.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo headphones

I will give Delta credit though for a couple of things regarding the headphones.

First, the headphones were not worn down like on my recent American Airlines 777 business class fight. That’s a very low bar but apparently something you still have to look out for.

Second, the crew did not come and pick them up before landing which allowed us to enjoy the in-flight entertainment all the way until we needed to get out of our seat.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo headphones

The in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen spanned 18.5 inches and the screen’s definition looked nice and crisp.

The touchscreen was very responsive and it was nice having a quality screen with an intuitive interface.

The little hanger feature next to the screen is odd to me though because it just does not seem like a good place to hang something up. Maybe I don’t wear enough coats?

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tv screen

One thing I do love about the Thomson XL seats is that they have amazing counter space.

I love being able to set up a small workstation or just have ample room to place bulky items like my DSLR camera and these seats never disappoint in that regard.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the seat it’s a pretty narrow armrest that isn’t afraid to disappoint.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo seat

In terms of seat storage, you have some decent options.

For starters, there is a large space below the counter where you could put your bedding, which you can kind of make out in the photo below.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

There is a compact storage compartment directly underneath the counter which was surprisingly spacious. I was able to fit my entire Canon 6D DSLR inside there which was very convenient and that’s always sort of my test for how spacious a compartment is.

In this area, you’ll also find a small touch panel strip of seat control buttons.

These allow you to easily adjust your seat, lighting, or do not disturb sign while in the lie-flat position which is very convenient.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo seat controls

And finally, this is also where you can pull out the tray table, which is large and sturdy.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tray table

On the counter you can find a pop-up mirror and the remote control.

The controller will allow you to easily navigate the on screen options for in-flight entertainment but you can also use it to turn on a light or call the flight attendant over if you need something.

As far as the mirror goes, it felt kind of oddly positioned but I guess you could use this “rearview mirror” to check out how stunning you look in the Delta One Suite.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

Behind your shoulder there’s a small storage area that holds a little water bottle and can fit other items if you’re an outlaw and okay with disregarding the signage.

I consider these compartments to be the danger zone because it’s so easy to forget items stored behind you so I tend to avoid putting things in there that I can’t afford to lose.

This is also where you have a special feature light, which provides a bit of ambience to the seat.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo storage
Delta One Suite A330-900neo water bottle storage

Perhaps the biggest reason why I loved this seat was the extra space in the footwell.

This is one of those business class products that offer bulkhead passengers more space for their feet which is something I always value a lot.

I found it much easier to get comfortable in the seat than I did with my prior Thomson XL experiences and I’m pretty sure it had to do with the additional leg room, which looks almost double the size of the standard amount.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo bulkhead legroom


I found it interesting that the crew did not issue any menus for drinks or dining, as it’s always a pleasure to go through a nice looking menu and contemplate a few different options or even discover new types of cuisine.

When Brad asked about getting a drink, they just asked him “well, what do you want?” which is not really on par with what you expect when flying a premium lie-flat business class product.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tray

I ended up choosing the beef sliders that came smothered in cheddar cheese. I thought the purple taro buns were a unique touch and liked the flavor from the teriyaki glaze.

I also liked that the texture of the buns and patties did not even feel like airplane food, which is something I’m always a little bit wary of when it comes to a dish like this.

I’m guessing a bit of Hawaiian influence came into the MIA menu with the spicy pineapple and cheese side dish and the coconut cake. Two more solid additions to this meal in the sky.

Overall, it was a very pleasing dining experience. Can’t really complain.

You can find the Delta One menu from Honolulu here.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo dining food
Delta One Suite A330-900neo sparkling water

After dinner, I requested a glass of chamomile tea which wasn’t quite dressed up like Hawaiian Airlines did it. But I had my own mini jar of honey from the Outrigger Hotel which helped me sweeten it up a bit.

In-flight entertainment

After a few flights on LATAM business class and the recent JetBlue mint flight, all of which had subpar screens, I definitely was not taking the quality of this screen for granted!

The flight tracker had some cool in-flight features and was definitely one of the more interesting flight trackers to play around with.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo flight tracker
Delta One Suite A330-900neo flight tracker
Delta One Suite A330-900neo flight tracker

I found the movie and show selection to be pretty extensive and ended up going with the Nolan Ryan documentary, Facing Nolan, which I really loved.

As someone who grew up next-door to his hometown of Alvin, Texas, he was always a big-time figure and it was really cool going down memory lane with this film.

You can check out the current media selection here.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tv

At some point, the flight attendants did come by and close the suite door for me.

I’m a bit mixed on that because on the one hand, some people may just forget about the door or not know how to use it and so having a flight attendant close it is helpful for them.

But some people like to keep the doors open for various reasons (bathroom visits, less claustrophobic, etc.) so I think it would be better for the flight attendants to ask before closing the door.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tv

When the doors are closed, you have a high level of privacy as you would expect. However, it’s not like some of the first class suites that have higher doors and walls that give you true privacy from a nosy onlooker walking by. Still, it makes a big difference.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo tv

I liked the look of the cabin aisle when all of the doors were shut although I did notice how scuffed up some of the doors and walls were. Seriously, it looked like the side of a well-used company truck.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo cabin

Here’s a look at the suite from the outside with the door closed (below).

Some people might feel cramped in the suite and I could see how since the seat does appear to be a bit confining. But the seat does have 22.5 inches of width, 45 inches of pitch, and a bed length of ~80 inches. 

I think if you go into the experience NOT expecting it to feel like Singapore Suites because “ZOMG, a door!” you may not feel so cramped.

Once again though, I have to remember that I had the bulkhead seat which probably helped a lot. Also, keep in mind that the suites on the A350 are more spacious than the A330-900, so if you’re coming from that you’ll likely notice the difference.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

The sleeping experience

The bedding is 100% recycled polyester (rPET) bedding, which is what they replaced their old Westin Heavenly bedding with. I never got to experience that Westin bedding which is a shame because that’s my number one hotel brand and it would’ve been nice to see how well Delta executed with it.

Without a mattress pad, I found the seat to be pretty firm so I sort of wrapped the blanket underneath me for moderate comfort. The pillow was pretty thick and lightyears above the pillow issued by Hawaiian Airlines, which helped out a lot with comfort.

Ultimately the bedding set up worked fine for this medium-haul flight but I’m not sure how comfortable I would be in this for a true long-haul flight.

I do think that from a design perspective, certain things could probably be improved to help the sleeping experience such as being able to push the armrest up.

You might also find the bed to feel low to the ground although I was already experienced with that, so it wasn’t a big deal to me.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo bed

I will say once again that having the extra bulkhead legroom made a huge difference for me. It allowed me to sleep on my side with my legs bent pretty far which really helped me get into a comfortable position.

Brad wasn’t very thrilled with the legroom he had in his footwell (in the seat behind me). I think that was also a large reason why he found the seat to be far less comfortable as a whole.

So if you really value your legroom, you may want to consider the bulkhead.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo bed

Typically, I would choose a seat where the counter is on the aisle side for more privacy. But with the suite doors and the ability to get extra legroom, it was a no-brainer for me to go with seat 1A.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

But here’s a look at one of the seats closer to the window which would typically be what I’d go for.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo

If you’re sitting in the middle, you can take advantage of a privacy divider in the event you don’t want to have a view of the passenger next to you.

Delta One Suite A330-900neo


Service on this flight was largely on point. I wouldn’t say that it stood out like our JetBlue Mint flight but I felt like the crew was friendly and pretty attentive.

The crew on the Hawaiian Airlines flight out to HNL engaged more with us so I would put them a peg ahead of this crew.


The first class bathroom was nothing really special but here’s a quick look at it.


After getting a little bit of rest we came into Seattle. I was hoping to get some magnificent sunrise views but we were just a little bit too early.

After landing, we had a layover of about three hours which we spent at the SEA Delta Sky Club. I really liked that lounge and will have a full review to come.

Final word

Overall, I really enjoyed my first flight with Delta One Suites. The key for me was sitting in the bulkhead and getting the extra legroom as I think that made all the difference with the level of comfort.

I was a little underwhelmed with some of the experience like not getting a dining or drink menu, no amenity kit, headphones, etc. but for all of the things that really matter like the dining and the service I feel like Delta mostly delivered at a pretty high level.

JetBlue Mint Guide: Routes, Prices, and What To Expect [2023]

JetBlue Mint might be one of the most underrated premium products in the US.

It’s offered by an airline with a reputation for being a budget carrier but the Mint experience can be far from what you would expect based on that reputation.

In this article, I’ll give you an overview of JetBlue Mint. I’ll explain exactly what the product is, and go in to different things like the routes and prices as well as showing you what to expect when you’re actually flying it!

JetBlue Mint overview

JetBlue Mint is the premium business class/first class product offered by JetBlue. It’s considered by many — including myself — to be one of the top ways to fly lie flat across the country (and now internationally).

So don’t let JetBlue’s reputation as a budget carrier deter you from trying out this product because your expectations might just be exceeded in a major way.

JetBlue Mint is a little bit confusing though because it comes in a few different forms. So to clear up some of the confusion, I’ll talk briefly about each of these below.

JetBlue Mint

The older Mint product

The first Mint product is the older product that was announced back in 2013 and started flying in 2014.

You’ll mostly find this product on the A321 flying transcontinental and medium-haul flights across the US or to nearby international destinations, such as the Caribbean.

There are two versions of this product although you will find both versions on the same aircraft.

How is that?

Basically, the Mint cabin has two different types of seats.

One type is a fully enclosed suite, complete with a door and lots of extra space. Seriously, this seat feels like a throne when you’re sitting in it.

The other seat is a lie-flat seat that is side-by-side with another seat. It’s not a bad seat but it has very limited (practically nonexistent) storage and counter space compared to the suite.

On an A321, you’ll find four fully enclosed suites and 12 seats located side-by-side. So the rows alternate with a 2-2 configuration and a 1-1.

It’s really nice that the 2-2 seats have fully lie-flat seats. However, I would always go for the individual suites because it’s just a more comfortable and private flying experience. Also, you can select those seats for no additional cost (which was something that surprised me).

JetBlue Mint

The newer Mint product

The newer Mint product was released in 2021 and it’s used for premium transcontinental routes, transatlantic routes, and on some routes to Latin America. You’ll find it on both the A321neo and A321LR (Long Range).

This newer Mint product also has a special type of seat called the “Mint Studio.” It’s located at the bulkhead row and has a lot of extra space, large 22″ TV, etc. You can even have a guest come and sit with you on your side seat. But the Mint Studio will cost you a little bit extra ($299).

The A321neo features 16 lie-flat seats, which includes 14 Mint Suites and 2 Mint Studios. You’ll have a lie-flat bed that extends all the way to 6’8” and a 17.1” TV screen. The A321LR is going to offer you an identical seat but the cabin will feature 22 Mint Suites and 2 Mint Studios.

JetBlue Mint video review

JetBlue Mint Pricing

Old JetBlue Mint

We analyzed many routes and found that the average one-way price for JetBlue Mint was $1,548.

If you search around long enough, you can find some for under $800 when flying across the country such as between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX).

For example, on a recent flight from Miami to Los Angeles that we took, we flew Mint for about $730, which I consider to be great value given the level of the product.

It is possible that you could find even better deals. For example, there have been deals where the prices are almost comparable to economy prices.

So if you’re flexible with your travels you can always just sit back and wait until you hear news of a JetBlue Mint sale.

New JetBlue Mint

The new JetBlue Mint is obviously going to be a more expensive option because of the locations that it flies between.

The average Mint price from New York (JFK) to London (LGW) was $3,564 and from New York (JFK) to London (LHR) it was $3,640.

If you wanted to fly the new JetBlue Mint on a transcontinental route, the prices are a good deal cheaper.

The average transcontinental route from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) came in at $1,703 and it’s even possible to find these for under $1,000 if you’re lucky.

Just like with the old Mint product, you can find flash deals for the new one. I’ve seen deals for the new JetBlue Mint product going for under $2,000 round-trip between New York and London! So keep your eyes open.

JetBlue Mint Routes

Below is a breakdown of the JetBlue Mint routes as of spring 2023. (We will regularly update these routes but if you ever see spot a need to make a change just let us know!)

You’ll notice that the major hubs are Boston and New York as JetBlue has a strong East Coast presence. With that said, they do serve the West Coast at major airports like LAX and SFO.

In addition, it’s possible to get to places in the Caribbean like St. Lucia (UVF) and St. Maarten (SXM) with Mint.

In terms of the transatlantic routes, JetBlue is starting off with routes to London and Paris and I imagine that they will be expanding to other routes overtime. The routes below include both the old and the new product.

Departing AirportArriving Airport
Boston (BOS)
Aruba (AUA)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
San Diego (SAN)
San Francisco (SFO)
Seattle (SEA)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Liberia (LIR)
St. Lucia (UVF)
St. Maarten (SXM)
St. Thomas (STT)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Los Angeles (LAX)
San Francisco (SFO)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Liberia (LIR)
Boston (BOS)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Miami (MIA)
New York (JFK)
Newark (EWR)
West Palm Beach (PBI)
Miami (MIA)
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)
Aruba (AUA)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Palm Springs (PSP)
San Diego (SAN)
San Francisco (SFO)
Seattle (SEA)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Liberia (LIR)
Paris (CDG)
Grenada (GND)
St. Lucia (UVF)
St. Maarten (SXM)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Newark (EWR)
Aruba (AUA)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Palm Springs (PSP)
New York (JFK)
San Diego (SAN)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
San Francisco (SFO)
Boston (BOS)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
New York (JFK)
Seattle (SEA)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
West Palm Beach (PBI)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Aruba (AUA)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Newark (EWR)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Liberia (LIR)
Boston (BOS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)
Grenada (GND)
New York (JFK)
St. Lucia (UVF)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
St. Maarten (SXM)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
St. Thomas (STT)
Boston (BOS)
Paris (CDG)
New York (JFK)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)

JetBlue Mint experience

Below, I’ll give you an idea of what the JetBlue Mint experience is like.

I’ll focus on the older Mint product since I have not personally experienced the new one yet. But as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to update this section!

Check-in and baggage allowance

Whenever you arrive at the airport, you will have your own dedicated check-in desk. This should help you avoid longer lines if you need to check a bag or work out some other type of issue.

This line is also available for Mosaic members, which are the JetBlue elite members.

It’s one of the easier premium check-in experiences because unlike some airlines that have multiple lines for different elite members, there’s just one place to go for all elites/premium flyers.

Anyway, if you’re checking bags you’ll be allowed two checked bags of up to 70 pounds each, which is the standard for premium seats in the US. Of course, you also get to bring your carry-on and one personal item with you.

JetBlue Mint check-in

Priority security

With Mint, you can also sometimes take advantage of priority security which could help you get to the security checkpoint quicker. However, when flying first or business class in the US, I just rely on CLEAR and TSA Pre-Check.

Lounge access for Mint?

Unfortunately, JetBlue does not have a lounge network like the legacy carriers do.

Personally, I feel like at some point JetBlue is going to enter the lounge game, especially now that they are serving transatlantic flights. And that’s just not me speculating — there is some evidence that they have plans in the works.

I think JetBlue will be able to deliver a lounge product or airport dining experience at a really high level, although balancing their low costs with the expenses of a high quality lounge may not be so easy. We’ll see how it plays out.s


During boarding for your JetBlue flight, you will be the first to board right after pre-boarding. There should be a priority line for Mint and Mosaic members and that is where you will line up.

Just be aware that sometimes JetBlue may be using a boarding area of a different airline, such as British Airways, so your boarding signs may look a little different. You’ll still get priority though.

JetBlue Mint

Your seat or suite

Depending on the type of seat you were able to choose, you will either be in a 2-2 or 1-1 configuration.

If you are in a 2-2 seat you will have less extra space but will still have a fully lie flat seat. If you are in the window seat, then you will have to hop over the person next to you to get aisle access.

As you can tell from the photos below, there is limited space between you and the other passenger so it could get a little bit awkward but the middle divider does provide some level of privacy.

JetBlue Mint

However, if you have selected one of the amazing suites then you will have tons of extra space including extra compartments for storage and counter space. It’s actually a great workstation with three power outlets in addition to USB ports.

JetBlue Mint seat

With one quick push of a button, you can close the suite door and have a much more private flying experience.

If you want to get extra comfortable, you can play around with the inflatable seat cushions which can provide you with enhanced lumbar support. They also have a massage function which works pretty well. All of these can be controlled from a small panel located on your armrest which I found to be pretty responsive and easy to use.

JetBlue Mint seat

While the 15″ screens on JetBlue Mint were in need of updating (mostly for just lacking high definition and responsiveness on the touchscreen), the Master & Dynamic headphones issued were high-quality and did a solid job of canceling out the background noise. Just make sure that you request them if you need them because they won’t be waiting for you at your seat like some other airlines.

Another area where JetBlue does not skimp is the bedding. I think the Tuft & Needle pillow they issued me was one of the best I’ve ever been given in business class!

JetBlue Mint bed


One thing that surprised me on my recent JetBlue Mint flight was the service.

I have not flown a lot of Mint flights so I don’t know if the service is always that great, but on my flight from MIA to LAX, I experienced some of the best service I’ve ever had on a flight.

And that’s coming from someone who has flown on most of the top of international first class products, including Singapore, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad, etc.

The main crewmember had anticipatory service down to perfection and was extremely professional and personable. I honestly could not have asked for a better flight attendant and that was something that really surprised me!

Dining and drinks

Another thing that was a pleasant surprise was the dining.

Pre-departure beverages will come out promptly during boarding and we even received multiple refills while waiting for the cabin to complete boarding.

If you’re a drinker you can go for one of the complementary alcoholic beverages known as the “Mint Condition” which consists of Bombay Sapphire gin or Tito’s handmade vodka, ginger, lime, cucumber, mint. (They also have a non-alcoholic version of this special beverage.)

You can check out their drink menu here.

As for the dining, back in 2020 JetBlue partnered with Delicious Hospitality Group to deliver their catering. So you’re going to receive quality dining from the same people who have brought you highly rated NYC restaurants like Legacy Records, Charlie Bird, and Pasquale Jones. 

In the morning flight out of Miami, I enjoyed a pretty amazing Charlie Bird breakfast with avocado toast, crêpes, and delicious maple bacon. Compared to the breakfasts that I have had flying first class on American, Delta, and United, this was easily the best.

I’ve heard mostly good things about the dining on other JetBlue Mint flights so I think that you can count on a quality meal when you fly JetBlue Mint.

JetBlue likes to keep things fresh so they are constantly changing up the menu every couple of months. If you want to check out the menus you can do so here.

JetBlue Mint food

Amenity kits

Another way that JetBlue surprised us is that they issued us two separate amenity kits.

The first amenity kit had items like an eye mask, earplugs, toothpaste tablets, and toothbrush, while the second Wanderfuel amenity kit had various items like pain cream, moisturizing eye gels socks, lozenges, and lip balm.

I appreciated all the unique freebies and also liked how they utilized sustainable packaging as sometimes amenity kits feel very wasteful to me.

JetBlue Mint amenity kit


You’ll be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi on your flight.

I found the Wi-Fi to be easy to connect to and relatively fast which allowed me to get work done and be pretty productive. The fact that the Wi-Fi is free and reliable is a major plus for Mint in my book.


I know a lot of people don’t pay too much mind to the lavatory but if you’ve ever had to go quite often on the plane, it helps to know what to expect. There is a lavatory at the front of the cabin and one just behind.

But what’s great is that there are two lights at the front of the cabin that will tell you which ones are open so you can easily get up and go when you need to and not play a guessing game.

Priority luggage

It’s not uncommon when flying first class to be offered priority luggage.

This means that your bag will be among the first to hop off the plane and it will cut down on your waiting time (and potentially stress and worry about the location of your bag).

The problem with this is that a lot of times the priority luggage tag basically means nothing. I understand that sometimes things happen and you can’t always count on it to work the way it is supposed to. But with some airlines, it’s like that tag is essentially meaningless 90% of the time.

However, on my first experience with JetBlue our bag was the second one to come out which was very impressive. Obviously, there was a little bit of luck that went into it but it was great to see the priority luggage perk actually mean something.

Final word

Overall, I can’t say enough great things about JetBlue Mint. It’s an amazing feeling whenever your expectations are exceeded in a major way and that was the case when I flew JetBlue Mint.

I can’t recommend the experience enough so if you have been on the fence about booking your first flight with JetBlue Mint, I’d highly recommend that you give them a shot!

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.

Arizona Biltmore Waldorf Astoria Resort Review

The Arizona Biltmore is a Hilton Waldorf Astoria Resort property located in Phoenix, Arizona that delivers on many levels.

The hotel has a lot to offer in terms of its history, dining, and amenities, and it can be a perfect getaway for both couples and families.

Below, I’ll take a thorough look at this property and I’ll share with you everything you need to know before you arrive.

Arizona Biltmore Overview

Coming off a mega $70 million renovation in 2021, the Arizona Biltmore is chock-full of history and home to quality dining and luxurious and fun amenities.

Its architectural roots stem from the 1920s when it was designed by Albert Chase McArthur who received guidance from his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably the most famous American architect of all time.

Since then, it’s been a magnet for notable guests.

Every US president has stayed at the Arizona Biltmore since Hoover such as LBJ and JFK and it’s also where Ronald Reagen and Nancy Reagan honeymooned after their wedding. (Their favorite cottage was “Cottage I.”)

Related: Hotel Paso Del Norte, Autograph Collection Review

Arizona Biltmore picture collage of presidents

Hollywood celebrities like Marilyn Monroe have relaxed by the pool and actors like Clark Gable navigated secret passageways from hidden speakeasies during Prohibition.

It was at one of the bars at the hotel where the Tequila Sunrise was born and still to this day you can enjoy quality upscale drinks and dining in a setting that takes you back to Hollywood’s golden age.

Here, thrill seekers can get their fix on a 65 foot drop water slide and pool lovers can hang out by the water 24 hours a day. With unique spa features and top-notch fitness facilities, it’s truly an all-around notable resort.

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

Arizona Biltmore front grounds


The resort is located in the Biltmore Area which is an upscale area in north Phoenix, roughly between Glendale and Scottsdale. It’s about 15 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).

While the resort offers some good dining options, nearby you can find upscale restaurants like Wrigley Mansion & Geordie’s. Just down the road on E. Camelback Rd. you can also check out Zinburger, Hillstone Restaurant, and Keegan’s Grill.

If you’re looking for outdoor activities there’s plenty to do in the nearby vicinity.

The Arizona Canal Path runs directly in front of the property so if you are a runner you have an awesome trail near the front door of the property.

Arizona Biltmore Canal path
Arizona Biltmore path along canal
The trail that runs along the canal.

The hotel is also just minutes away from Piestewa Peak, which is a short but strenuous hike that’s popular with Phoenix hikers. The exact specs are 2.1 miles out and back with elevation gain of 1,148 feet. At night, you might be able to see hiker headlamps making their way up and down the mountain.

Arizona Biltmore grounds with mountain
Piestewa Peak looming in the distance.


We booked our first night through the Amex FHR program which was a great choice because there was a special promotional deal offering an additional $250 in property credits.

Utilizing the $200 FHR credit on the Platinum Card, this meant the out-of-pocket was only around $130 for night #1 and we were able to take advantage of the following dining credits:

  • $60 FHR breakfast credit
  • $50 Diamond food and beverage credit
  • $100 FHR Property food and beverage credit
  • $250 FHR Promotional Property credit
  • Two Diamond free drink coupons up to $25 in value each

All of that was just for the first night so we had approximately $500 to spend in food and beverage credits in 24 hours.

For the second night, we used one of our free night certificate issued from the Hilton Aspire. Our upgraded room total ended up coming out to around $488 with all taxes and fees so that was pretty good value for the free night certificate.

If you have the $250 resort credit with the Amex Hilton Aspire, you can use that to cover any overages including the resort fee.

Arizona Biltmore check-in FHR papers

Parking and Check-in

Arriving at the hotel via car is a little bit confusing because of the one-way traffic that runs through the entryway of the property.

Depending on how you arrive, you may have to cross the canal and then cross back over to pull up in front of the property. They have signs posted to help you out but it can confuse you/your GPS.

You can choose to use valet parking or utilize the self parking garage which is a little bit cheaper. We decided to use the self parking since we had plans to be out and about during the day.

Also, I believe the valet cars are left parked outside which I didn’t really care for considering how hot it was.

Related: Are Phoenix Resorts in Summer Worth it? (Here’s How to Survive)

Arizona Biltmore lobby

The drawback to the self parking option is that the garage is located on the far side of the property.

It’s not that bad of a walk but during the peak of summer the walk gets a little old.

To cut down on the temperature exposure, we would walk through the conference center and ballroom areas which allowed us to take advantage of AC a little bit longer (more on those buildings later on).

Arizona Biltmore breezeway

The check-in process was a little bit rocky.

I’ve found that combining a paid reservation with a free night is sometimes problematic and that turned out to be the case here.

Initially, our room was ready when we arrived but when we needed to combine reservations that meant we did not have a room immediately available for us for both nights. (We had previously called and linked the reservations hoping to avoid this outcome.)

We were okay to wait but that wait ended up lasting until around 5 PM which is one hour after check-in.

Arizona Biltmore front desk

Eventually, I spoke with someone who was able to switch us to a different room but it’s been extremely rare to be delayed one-hour past check-in time in my hotel experiences, especially in off-peak season.

On the bright side, the lobby area is interesting to check out and you can easily get to any of the bars or restaurants if you need to wait.

I also really liked the hotel’s luxury scent with notes of bergamot, jasmine, and vanilla which you can buy if you really are into it.

I’ll also point out that the service was top-notch throughout this stay so this hiccup was not the norm.

The front desk staff was exceptional, the waiting staff at the bars and restaurants were usually very good, and we were always greeted with a smile by other staff members.

Arizona Biltmore lobby

After check-in, I was excited that they upgraded both nights of our stay although the upgrade was not that special if I’m being real.

We were upgraded to a Valley Wing room with a fire pit but the fire pit is not exactly the most attractive amenity when the temperature is already above 113°.

I honestly would’ve preferred to stay in a normal balcony and perhaps have a little bit of a view.

Anyway, when you are ready to go to your room, you can head through the ramp with the guest room sign pictured below so that you can wheel your bags into the courtyard.

Arizona Biltmore lobby


Because we were traveling with my brother-in-law, we decided to book a room with two queens. Overall, it was a pretty standard room but I did not have any real complaints other than it being a little bit warm for my liking.

Arizona Biltmore guest room

As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the counter with the coffee maker, mugs, and glasses. They provide you with two short water bottles which is not nearly enough if visiting in the summer.

In fact, if you’re visiting during the peak of summer when temperatures get extreme, I would advise you to purchase a 24 pack of water bottles and load up your mini-fridge as soon as you get there. Then, be sure to crank the cool setting up somewhere around five or six to ensure that you have cold water to cool you down.

Arizona Biltmore guest room coffee bar
Arizona Biltmore guest room coffee bar
Arizona Biltmore guest room ice bucket and water
Arizona Biltmore guest room refrigerator

As for the room furniture, there’s a seat in the corner with a small side table.

Arizona Biltmore guest room chair

I loved the look of the large TV set into the wall. Very modern and clean.

Arizona Biltmore guest room TV

The beds were comfortable with bedding that was of luxury hotel quality.

Arizona Biltmore guest room queen beds

The branded Waldorf Astoria duvet covers were a nice touch, although we were sleeping with sheets due to the warm temperature of the room.

Arizona Biltmore guest room queen bed

The nightstand between the beds had two outlets and one USB port within easy reach (for one side of the bed).

Arizona Biltmore guest room power outlet and USB

There’s a large lamp on the nightstand with a small switch at the bottom that can be easily missed so look out for that. Then on either side of the lamp you’ll have the phone and the alarm clock.

Arizona Biltmore guest room telephone and TV remote
Arizona Biltmore guest room alarm clock

The room features a beautiful workstation that can also function as your in-room dining table. I loved the look and feel of the table along with the desk lamp. It also has two power outlets and a USB port for easy charging.

The only thing I didn’t care for is that it was really easy to knock my shin into the desk when trying to get comfortable. This led to a couple of random outbursts during Zoom calls for me that I could’ve done without.

Arizona Biltmore guest room desk work area

You’ll also find a phone and a small stationary notepad with a pen.

Arizona Biltmore guest room desk work area

In the closet, you’ll find a hotel safe and two robes along with additional bedding.

Arizona Biltmore guest room closet with safe
Arizona Biltmore guest room bath robes

You’ll also have an iron and iron board.

Arizona Biltmore guest room ironing board

The bathroom is somewhat basic but pretty spacious and modern enough.

Arizona Biltmore guest room bathroom

I really liked having the double sinks and plenty of counter space.

Arizona Biltmore guest room bathroom

The shower, which reflected an obvious influence from the hotel’s cubism theme, was very spacious and came with quality body wash and conditioner from Salvatore Ferragamo. Meanwhile, the shampoo came from Gilchrist & Soames.

Arizona Biltmore guest room shower
Arizona Biltmore guest room toiletries

On the bathroom counter, you could find both body moisturizer and hand sanitizer. Q-tips and cotton balls along with a shower cap can be found in the small canister.

Arizona Biltmore guest room toiletries
Arizona Biltmore guest room toiletries
Arizona Biltmore guest room soap

The outdoor patio is semi-private with two chairs, a small table, and the main feature of the fire pit.

I think I would have enjoyed turning on the fire pit on one of those cool desert evenings but with the heat radiating from all of the concrete throughout the night, there was little to no appeal of firing up that fire pit.

Arizona Biltmore guest room balcony with fire pit

The views from the ground level are pretty limited.

Arizona Biltmore guest room balcony with view of courtyard
Arizona Biltmore guest room view of courtyard

Here’s what the patio looked like looking back towards the room. You’ll notice that one of the seats was missing an ottoman and I wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not.

Arizona Biltmore guest room balcony with fire pit

So overall the room was nice but did not really stand out in any major way. I was hoping that with a combination of being Hilton Diamond and booking through FHR, I could’ve secured a better upgrade but oh well….

With that said, the other elements of the hotel stay stood out enough to still make this a special stay so I don’t think coming here is all about the room — it’s more about the overall property experience.


I’d recommend you check out my detailed review of all of the dining options (with recommendations) but I’ll give you a brief overview of our dining experience below.

I was a huge fan of the breakfast at McArthur’s and especially the lemon cream cheese pancakes. They also served up a tasty chicken sandwich that had a nice kick and fish tacos that were bursting with flavor.

Breakfast at Arizona Biltmore McArthurs restaurant and bar

At Renata’s, the Chilean sea bass and New York steak were very good. Pretty much cooked to perfection. Just make sure you make reservations to these restaurants if visiting during busy times.

Housemade Salsa Flight at Arizona Biltmore Renatas Hearth
Roasted Chilean Seabass at Arizona Biltmore Renatas Hearth
Prime New York Strip at Arizona Biltmore Renatas Hearth

If you’re in the mood for drink presentation that has a bit of flair consider ordering the Los Muertos.

Los Muertos cocktail at Arizona Biltmore Renatas Hearth
Click to be amazed.

For the bar experience you’ll be hitting up either The Wright Bar or The Spire Bar.

The Wright Bar is a small yet beautiful bar that will take you back to Hollywood’s golden age.

You might want to give the Tequila Sunrise a shot since it was invented at that bar in the late 1930s by bartender Gene Sulit and is considered the hotel’s signature cocktail.

Arizona Biltmore The Wright Bar

If seating is cramped by the bar just find a nice place to relax in the lounge area adjacent to the bar.

Drinks and menu at Arizona Biltmore The Wright Bar
The original Tequila Sunrise.

The Spire Bar is a cool outdoor area with mood lighting, cozy fire pits, and large TVs, perfect for watching a game. It sort of feels like the nucleus of the resort and is definitely worth a night visit even if you don’t drink alcohol.

Arizona Biltmore Spire Bar at night
Arizona Biltmore Spire Bar mood lighting
Margarita pizza at Arizona Biltmore Spire Bar

You also have the option of booking a room with access to the Citrus Club or simply upgrading to get access.

Because we were on a two night stay I knew we would not have enough time to take advantage of that club while also eating at all the various restaurants so we did not bother with it.

It does look like an interesting way to enhance your stay though.


The Arizona Biltmore is home to a total of six pools which include:

  • The Paradise Pool (with The Twist slide)
  • Saguaro Pool (Adult’s only)
  • Catalina Pool
  • Ocatilla Pool
  • Bougainvillea Pool
  • Terrace Court Pool

I’d recommend checking out my detailed review of the pools but I’ll give you a brief overview below.

The Paradise Pool is what I would consider to be the main pool of the resort. It’s the biggest and most family friendly pool and it’s home to air conditioned cabanas for rent, a swim-up bar, restaurant, and The Twist slide which is a lot of fun.

The Twist slide is basically a tower with three different slides.

Arizona Biltmore Paradise Pool with The Twist slide

Two of the slides are meant to be racing corkscrew slides where two people can perfectly time their entry into the slide for a twisting race to the bottom.

Arizona Biltmore The Twist slide

The third slide is the 65 foot drop slide which was a bit more intense than I imagined it would be but a fun little thrill to enjoy. If you and your family like water parks and slides you’ll really like this pool.

Arizona Biltmore drop slide

Then there is the adults only Saguaro Pool which has more of a luxury vibe.

Like the Paradise Pool, it is open 24 hours and it’s a place where you can buy food and drinks when lounging around the pool. Cabanas are also available for rent.

Arizona Biltmore Saguaro pool

The hotel also has four additional pools which all are located among the different villas. These pools are on the smaller side and can offer a quieter experience if you are dealing with crowds.

Out of all of the secondary pools for you to check out, I’d recommend the Catalina Pool. It’s where Marilyn Monroe was often seen sunbathing and is supposedly where Irving Berlin wrote the famous “White Christmas” song.

Pretty cool to have so much history attached to one of the smaller, less visited pools.

Arizona Biltmore Catalina pool

The resort premises

Some resorts are just made for wandering around and exploring and this is definitely one of them.

As you stroll through the property you’ll come across well-kept gardens like those found in the garden wing.

You’ll no doubt notice the Frank Lloyd Wright “Sprite” figurines which were made in 1914 and originally placed in the Midway Gardens in Chicago.

After World War II, the statues were all but abandoned and eventually they were restored and were introduced to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel gardens in 1985. Some of the originals were given to the property but I think others are reproductions.

Arizona Biltmore Garden
Arizona Biltmore cactus garden
Arizona Biltmore grounds with chairs

You can also find beautiful courtyards located among the villas along with stylish cottages, and as mentioned above, secluded pool areas.

Arizona Biltmore cottage court
Arizona Biltmore cottage

I really liked exploring the almost Hogwarts-esque corridors of the conference center (where you can find a FedEx station). Some of the ballrooms look really good too.

Arizona Biltmore conference center
Arizona Biltmore ballroom
Arizona Biltmore conference center lobby

At many places in the resort you’ll notice the “Biltmore blocks” which are the blocks with the interesting geometric patterns that resemble Optimus Prime’s face. These were made on-site from sand found in the desert which makes them all the more intriguing.

Arizona Biltmore entryway water feature

Be sure to pop a quick visit to the Aztec Room which was the original ballroom of the Biltmore. Its 18-karat gold-leaf ceiling and 1929 copper beams were the product of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Gold Room, home to the second largest gold gilded ceiling in the world, is also a sight to see.

(Obviously, you want to make sure these rooms are not being occupied when you pop in for a view.)

Arizona Biltmore Aztec room

And take a moment to admire Wright’s stained glass window entitled “Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers” that was designed for a magazine cover for Liberty Magazine in 1926. The piece was later fabricated by Taliesin students and then added to the hotel in 1973.

Arizona Biltmore stained glass window

If you’re in the mood for tracking down some interesting history consider looking for the History Room on the third floor.

It’s in this room above the fireplace where you can find a key that was dropped on the hotel’s roof at the time of opening on February 23, 1929.

Arizona Biltmore key
Photo via Wiki.

If that’s not enough for you, check out the Mystery room.

Located on the second floor it was in this room where, during the days of Prohibition, a speakeasy could be found behind a revolving bookcase. Only the guests that knew the secret password were allowed in.

They even placed a spotlight on top of the hotel to alert the guests if police were coming in. If that happened, the guest could utilize secret passageways to get out of the room undiscovered.

It’s said that actors Clark Gable and Carole Lombard would stay in room 1201 (the Clark Gable room) which was right next door to the Mystery Room and connected by a secret passageway.

Arizona Biltmore Mystery room

The entire resort premises is a pretty large campus and if you are trying to make sense of the different wings and villas you can break them down to the following.

The different wings where you will find guestrooms include:

  • The main building
  • Garden wing
  • Paradise wing
  • Valley wing
  • Ocatilla wing
  • Terrace Court

The different villas include:

  • Fountain Court villas
  • Catalina villas
  • Saguaro villas
  • Bougainvillea Villas
  • Golf view villas

And finally, there are the cottages located on the northwest side of the property. There are in total 11 cottages and they are named by letters A through L.

Fitness facilities

The hotel has a fantastic fitness center with lots of equipment and room.

Arizona Biltmore fitness center weight machines

There’s a very wide range of dumbbells and a few benches for you to get different workouts done. They also have a good rack of curling bars with both straight and curved bars.

Arizona Biltmore fitness center free weights

They have an entire row of treadmills and also a stairmaster, climber, recumbent bikes, and ellipticals. You’ll also find a lot of the basic machines you would find at your local gym.

Arizona Biltmore fitness center treadmills
Arizona Biltmore fitness center

I was pretty impressed with their large station that was equipped with punching bag, monkey bars, and other types of workout stations.

Arizona Biltmore fitness center equipment

They also had a few Peloton bikes and various other forms of equipment.

Arizona Biltmore fitness center Peloton bike

If you are into tennis or pickleball they have courts located on the east side of the property.

Arizona Biltmore tennis or pickleball court
Arizona Biltmore tennis or pickleball court

Tierra Luna Spa

The Tierra Luna Spa experience is “inspired by the connection between the desert and the cosmos.” At the spa you can find an outdoor hot tub, plunge pool, steam room, and both outdoor and indoor treatments.

This is also where you can find the new outdoor Sol Garden where “the earth and sun connect” allowing you to experience tranquility and transcendence.

You can check out the spa menu here but be prepared to cough up some cash for these treatments.

Arizona Biltmore Tierra Luna Spa


There is a gift shop located on the west side of the Spire Bar area.

They have all sorts of different types of items and souvenirs including many that are themed with the hotel, such as Sprite statues, Biltmore block keychains, and even chessboards.

Arizona Biltmore gift shop
Arizona Biltmore gift shop

At the gift shop you can also pick up snacks if you happen to have a craving for anything.

Arizona Biltmore gift shop

On the other side is the Biltmore Shops. Here you can buy some higher-end, designer clothing and any apparel you would need on a warm day by the pool.

Arizona Biltmore shops

Final word

The Arizona Biltmore Waldorf Astoria is an impressive resort.

Even though I was not blown away by my room or my upgrade, I thought that the property had a lot to offer in terms of the history, dining, pools, and overall mystique of the hotel.

It can cater to both romantic getaways and also family resort trips making it a good fit for travelers of all walks of life. Visiting here during peak summer temperatures did have its challenges but it’s still doable.

If you can utilize benefits from your American Express cards, you can really make out like a bandit with value.

United Economy Plus Review: Worth It in a Game of Inches?

Sitting in economy is truly a matter of inches.

With every precious inch adding up to help you achieve a minimum level of comfort, you’ll probably consider bumping up to United Economy Plus if you ever fly United.

But is it actually worth it to pay extra for just a few more inches to stretch out your legs?

In this article, we will break down all of the benefits offered with a United Economy Plus ticket.

Plus, we surveyed over 300 data points to break down the costs and provide you with some insight such as what type of Economy Plus seats are the cheapest.

What is United Economy Plus?

United Economy Plus is the slightly upgraded version of Economy that provides passengers with about 3 to 4 extra inches of extra legroom.

United does things a little bit differently than other airlines when it comes to their upgraded Economy seats and not necessarily in a good way.

So you definitely want to read up on some of the details below so that you’ll know what to expect.

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

United Economy Plus seats

How do you book United Economy Plus?

It’s extremely easy to book United Economy Plus.

Simply select Economy as your fare and then progress through the booking process until you can select a seat.

You will then see the seat map and if there are any Economy Plus seats available you can select them while also viewing the price.

If you decide after booking that you want to upgrade to Economy Plus then you can manage your booking and change your seat. You can also do this at the time of check-in.

Note: customers traveling on a Basic Economy ticket are able to purchase an Economy Plus seat only at check-in.

Some airlines allow you to upgrade once you are in the cabin but it’s not clear to me that United allows this.

United Economy Plus seat map

United also offers annual subscriptions to Economy Plus. They start at $599 and you can purchase them for yourself or for you plus up to eight companions.

The price will depend on if you want to choose a subscription for just the continental US, North and Central America, or a global one.

It’s an interesting concept that could make sense depending on your travel plans but if you plan on quickly reaching Premier Silver then it probably won’t be worth it.

United Economy Plus upgrades

One of the most common ways that frequent United flyers get seats in United Economy Plus is by getting upgraded via status.

Each level of MileagePlus elite status will grant you a way to get free upgrades to United Economy Plus. Here are the different policies:

Premier levelEconomy Plus Policy
Premier SilverAt check-in for you + 1 companion
Premier GoldAt booking for you + 1 companion
Premier PlatinumAt booking for you + 8 companions
Premier 1KAt booking for you + 8 companions

If you are trying to upgrade somebody who is not on your itinerary it is possible but be prepared for a little bit of pushback.

That’s because apparently the official policy for this is a little bit vague.

The best way to do this is to call United whenever you are ready to check in and tell the agent you would like to upgrade yourself and someone else flying on your flight to Economy Plus.

If the agent does not seem like they will be willing to do it, simply hang up and call back to speak with someone else.

You can also do this whenever you arrive at the airport but in my experience it can be more difficult.

United plane

Economy Plus experience: Worth it?

Let’s walk through some of the key aspects of the Economy Plus experience that you are probably curious about.

Seats at the front of the cabin

The first benefit of flying in Economy Plus is that your seat will be in the front half of the economy cabin.

Typically, it’s the first few rows behind First Class in addition to the emergency exit rows. You can usually tell if you’re looking at an Economy Plus seat because the headrest is a different color.

Some of them are also branded with subtle Economy Plus insignia.

United Economy Plus seats

On a domestic aircraft like a Boeing 737-700, you’ll find a mini Economy Plus section made up of the first three rows behind business class in addition to the emergency exit rows.

But on some of the larger aircraft such as the wide bodies the Economy Plus section can be much bigger. For example, the Boeing 767-400ER has ten rows of Economy Plus!

On newer aircraft equipped with Polaris Business Class seats, the Economy Plus section is only about six rows and you’ll find it behind Premium Economy.

And on smaller regional aircraft, you may only have 3 to 4 rows or they may not offer Economy Plus at all.

Economy Plus cabin

Extra legroom

The biggest perk of flying Economy Plus is that you will get extra legroom, usually around 3 to 4 inches although some seats will provide even more extra space.

The normal pitch for United Economy seats is about 30 to 31 inches but you can take a look at the chart below and see that Economy Plus seats offer at least 34 inches of pitch.

An extra 3 to 4 inches doesn’t sound like much but if you are over 6 feet tall, you know that those extra inches can add a good amount of comfort, especially if the passenger in front of you decides to recline the chair.

Personally, I like to sit in the bulkhead row directly behind business class when there is no hard partition because you get a lot of extra legroom.

AircraftE+ PitchWidth
Airbus A31935″17.7″
Airbus A32035″17″
Boeing 737-700 V134″ – 38″17.1″
Boeing 737-800 V134″16.3″ – 17.3″
Boeing 737-900 V333″ – 38″17″
Boeing 757-200 V236″ – 40″17.8″
Boeing 757-30034″ – 38″17.3″
Boeing 767-300ER V134″ – 43″18.5″
Boeing 767-400ER35″18.5″
Boeing 777-200 V134″17.05″
Boeing 777-300ER34″17.05″
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner34″17.3″
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner V134″17.3″
Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner34″17.3″
United Economy Plus legroom
Legroom in a standard Economy Plus seat.


Unlike other airlines like Alaska or Delta that provide you with priority boarding whenever you upgrade to an equivalent Economy Plus seat, United does not currently provide that.

Instead, you will not board until Group 3/4 is called. So you’re not at the end but still not priority.

If you want priority boarding you will have to add that on.

That’s a big deal because priority boarding virtually guarantees that you will have overhead storage bin space.

The good news is that they at least have bin spaces reserved for United Economy Plus.

Whether or not other passengers actually pay them any mind is another matter…. But if you board with Group Three you shouldn’t struggle to find open space.

United Economy Plus overhead storage bin
Overhead storage space reserved for united economy plus.

Priority boarding will still be available to you if you are willing to shell out a little extra dough.

You can purchase certain add-on bundles during your booking that might have priority boarding although a lot of the bundles I’ve seen in past only allow you to add things like United Club access, extra miles, Wi-Fi, or a checked bag.

So if you want priority boarding you may have to purchase Premier Access which starts at $15 per segment.

That will put you in Group 2 boarding, which is for the lower-elite members and also for certain customers who have co-branded cards.

United Airlines boarding sign

Drinks and meals

Economy Plus passengers will have the same drinking and food experience as those flying regular economy.

You’ll get complimentary drinks like soda and some light snacks but you will need to pay for anything else. On flights traveling less than 300 miles, drinks are available upon request

Flights over 500 miles will also have products like snack boxes and flights 1,500 miles and over have Bistro on Board items available for purchase. Read more on economy dining.

Seatback TVs

Flying Economy Plus will have no effect on if you have a seatback TV.

Instead, it’s just a matter of whether or not you get lucky enough to fly on a United plane with a seatback TV.

The good news is that United is trending towards adding more screens to their seats so it should become more common in the future.

Related: What Airlines Have Seatback TV Screens?

Economy Plus seatback

Because you may not have a seatback TV, you might need to rely on your own personal device to connect to the in-flight entertainment and stream movies and TV shows during your flight.

But that also means also relying on power outlets to keep them juiced up.

A lot of times you can find shared power outlets in both Economy Plus and Economy. But on some aircraft, the outlets may be limited to Economy Plus.

USB ports can be difficult to find on domestic planes with United but they are on lots of the wide bodies.

Related: Which Airlines Have Power Outlets & USB Ports?

Economy Plus power outlet

Lavatory situation

One of the drawbacks of Economy Plus is that you may be located in the front of the Economy cabin but the lavatories are located in the very back.

Sometimes the crew will allow you to use the First Class lavatory but technically that should only be reserved for limited cases, such as when the beverage cart is blocking your way to the back.

Some aircraft do have lavatories in the front of the economy cabin which can work out great so it does depend on the aircraft.

How much does United Economy Plus cost?

The big question for a lot of people is: how much will it cost to upgrade to Economy Plus?

The prices range based on the length of your route and also where inside the cabin you choose to sit.

We’ve broken down a lot of data points below to show you a bunch of insightful price data.

First, we found that the average Economy Plus upgrade price was $111 for a domestic flight. That was on average 72% more expensive than a standard economy ticket.

But that was the average factoring in both short, medium, and long-haul domestic routes.

It’s more helpful if you break down the pricing based on routes and distance:

DistanceExample RouteUpgrade Price
224 miHouston (IAH) to Dallas (DFW)$26 to $35
606 miChicago (ORD) to Atlanta (ATL)$59 to $79
1,597 miHouston (IAH) to Boston (BOS)$99 to $129
2,704 miSan Francisco (SFO) to Boston (BOS)$154 to $199

We also found that the window and aisle seats were more expensive than the middle seats (shocker, I know). Typically, the window and aisle seats cost the same amount to upgrade to while the dreaded middle seats were about $5 cheaper.

The prices for Economy Plus in the emergency exit rows were extremely similar to those upfront although in a few cases they were just slightly cheaper.

When you are traveling abroad, the price to upgrade can be much higher.

In case you’re curious about international prices for Economy Plus, here are some data points:

DistanceExample RouteUpgrade Price
2,200 miNew York (EWR) to Panama City (PTY)$134 – $179
3,465 miNew York (EWR) to London (LHR)$169 – $197
5,451 miLos Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT)$205 – $262
7,921 miLos Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL)$205 – $262
3,133 miHouston (IAH) to Lima (LIM)$154 – $199
1,280 miHouston (IAH) to Toronto (YYZ)$89 – $99

If you want to take a look at some of the sample pricing that we found, check out the data points below.

New York – Newark (EWR) to Seattle (SEA)

  • Economy: $169
  • Economy Plus Window: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$162 – $189
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$162 – $199
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$154 – $192
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$162 – $199

New York – Newark (EWR) to Tampa (TPA)

  • Economy: $163
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$75 – $84
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$84 – $99

New York – Newark (EWR) to Phoenix (PHX)

  • Economy: $222
  • Economy Plus Window: +$134 – $169
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$127 – $164
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$134 – $169
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$142 – $174
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$134 – $167
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$142 – $174

New York – Newark (EWR) to Dallas (DFW)

  • Economy: $99
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $106
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$75 – $99
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $106
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$99

New York – Newark (EWR) to Las Vegas (LAS)

  • Economy: $168
  • Economy Plus Window: +$169 – $189
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$154 – $189
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$169 – $189
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$189
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$189
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$189

San Francisco (SFO) to San Diego (SAN)

  • Economy: $93
  • Economy Plus Window: +$45 – $52
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$43 – $49
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$45 – $52
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$43 – $53
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$39 – $49
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$43 – $53

San Francisco (SFO) to New Orleans (MSY)

  • Economy: $264
  • Economy Plus Window: +$122 – $139
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$116 – $134
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$122 – $139
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$116 – $143
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$109 – $137
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$116 – $143

San Francisco (SFO) to Orlando (MCO)

  • Economy: $199
  • Economy Plus Window: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$162 – $189
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$162 – $199
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$154 – $192
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$162 – $199

San Francisco (SFO) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $199
  • Economy Plus Window: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$162 – $189
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$162 – $199
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$154 – $192
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$162 – $199

San Francisco (SFO) to Atlanta (ATL)

  • Economy: $149
  • Economy Plus Window: +$149 – $179
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$142 – $169
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$149 – $179
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$142 – $174
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$134 – $167
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$142 – $174

Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $265
  • Economy Plus Window: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$162 – $189
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$169 – $197
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$162 – $199
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$154 – $192
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$162 – $199

Los Angeles (LAX) to Tampa (TPA)

  • Economy: $180
  • Economy Plus Window: +$149 – $169
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$142 – $164
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$149 – $169
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$142 – $174
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$134 – $167
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$142 – $174

Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO)

  • Economy: $74
  • Economy Plus Window: +$45 – $52
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$43 – $49
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$45 – $52
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$43 – $53
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$39 – $49
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$43 – $53

Los Angeles (LAX) to Denver (DEN)

  • Economy: $99
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$76 – $89
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$76 – $94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$72 – $89
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$76 – $94

Los Angeles (LAX) to Seattle (SEA)

  • Economy: $149
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $92
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$76 – $89
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $92
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$76 – $94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$72 – $89
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$76 – $94

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

  • Economy: $269
  • Economy Plus Window: +$89 – $99
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$84 – $97
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$89 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$84 – $99

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $93
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$76 – $89
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$76 – $94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$72 – $89
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$76 – $94

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD) to Dallas (DFW)

  • Economy: $99
  • Economy Plus Window: +$66 – $76
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$63 – $73
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$66 – $76
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$63 – $77
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$59 – $74
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$63 – $77

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD) to Atlanta (ATL)

  • Economy: $99
  • Economy Plus Window: +$66 – $79
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$63 – $76
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$66 – $79
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$63 – $77
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$59 – $74
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$63 – $77

Chicago – O’Hare (ORD) to Phoenix (PHX)

  • Economy: $174
  • Economy Plus Window: +$109 – $125
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$104 – $119
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$109 – $125
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$104 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$99 – $122
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$104 – $129

Houston (IAH) to Dallas (DFW)

  • Economy: $150
  • Economy Plus Window: +$27 – $35
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$26 – $33
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$27 – $35
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$29 – $35
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$27 – $34
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$29 – $35

Houston (IAH) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $164
  • Economy Plus Window: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$104 – $123
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$104 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$99 – $122
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$104 – $129

Houston (IAH) to Las Vegas (LAS)

  • Economy: $129
  • Economy Plus Window: +$89 – $106
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$84 – $97
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$89 – $106
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$84 – $99

Houston (IAH) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

  • Economy: $109
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$76 – $92
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $96
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$76 – $94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$72 – $89
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$76 – $94

Houston (IAH) to Seattle (SEA)

  • Economy: $169
  • Economy Plus Window: +$122 – $139
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$116 – $134
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$122 – $139
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$116 – $143
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$109 – $137
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$116 – $143

Denver (DEN) to New Orleans (MSY)

  • Economy: $169
  • Economy Plus Window: +$89 – $106
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$89 – $106
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$84 – $99

Denver (DEN) to San Francisco (SFO)

  • Economy: $99
  • Economy Plus Window: +$79 – $94
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$72 – $89
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$79 – $94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$94
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: N/A
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$89

Denver (DEN) to Seattle (SEA)

  • Economy: $94
  • Economy Plus Window: +$89 – $99
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$84 – $97
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$89 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$84 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$79 – $99
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$84 – $99

Denver (DEN) to Orlando (MCO)

  • Economy: $175
  • Economy Plus Window: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$104 – $125
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$104 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$99 – $122
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$104 – $129

Denver (DEN) to Boston (BOS)

  • Economy: $114
  • Economy Plus Window: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Middle: +$104 – $125
  • Economy Plus Aisle: +$109 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Window: +$104 – $129
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Middle: +$99 – $122
  • Economy Plus Emergency Row Isle: +$104 – $129

Final word

United Economy Plus does not offer the full range of benefits that you will find from similar products with other major airlines. There is no free alcohol and no priority boarding. Instead, the focus is just on the legroom.

So when it comes to purchasing Economy Plus, your focus should be on how much value that extra bit of legroom affords.

Alaska Airlines 737-900ER First Class Review (SEA-PHX)

Alaska Airlines can be a very efficient way to get around the West Coast and Alaska.

But what can you expect if you fly first class with them? Is there anything that stands out or is it just yet another domestic first class experience?

Below, I’ll break down my recent first class flight with Alaska Airlines on the 737-9 MAX, flying between Seattle (SEA) and Phoenix (PHX).

Update: Apparently the flight details displayed in the Alaska Airlines app showed the wrong information and this aircraft is actually a 737-900ER.

Trip overview

This flight marked the end of a 10 day trip to Alaska where we explored Glacier Bay National Park and Juneau.

Despite less than ideal weather (cloudy and rainy), it was still an exciting trip where we encountered all kinds of wildlife like brown bears and got to experience what it was like to be in Alaska during the peak salmon run.

Some of the trip highlights were:


We booked this Alaska Airlines 737-9 MAX First Class flight with cash for around $500. You can find this first class flight for around $340 so it can be a pretty cheap first class ticket.

This booking earned me a total of 1,659 Alaska miles since as a non-elite member I earn 1 mile per mile flown and got the first class bonus on top of it.

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


With this being a 6AM flight, we decided to stay at one of the nearby Sea-Tac airport hotels.

On our way getting to Alaska we stayed at the Hilton Doubletree but on the way out we decided to spend the night at the Seattle Airport Marriott Hotel, which I preferred much better especially with the access to the executive lounge.

We took the 24-hour shuttle over to the airport around 4AM and arrived at about 4:06AM. From the shuttle stop, you simply head up a level and then cross a skywalk to get over to the ticketing area.

Being so early in the morning, Sea-Tac was much quieter this go round compared to the madhouse we encountered when departing to Alaska.

Initially, we thought about utilizing our Priority Pass to grab a quick breakfast since Trail Head BBQ Bar opened up at 5AM but that would only give us about 20 minutes to get back over to the boarding area and so we decided against it.

There was pretty much nobody in line for first class check-in and only a few people in line to check in for economy when we arrived.

Related: Alaska Airlines First Class Guide: What to Expect on the Ground and in the Sky

Alaska airlines first class check-in area SEA


Boarding began at about 5:25AM and after a busy rush of passengers checking their carry-ons we were the first in first class to board.

It was nice to actually enjoy the first class boarding group because whenever we departed on our last Alaska first class flight from Gustavus they did not have a typical boarding process and it was pretty much first come, first serve.

That was totally understandable given the tiny airport terminal but nevertheless I was looking forward to trying out the first class boarding group.

Alaska airlines first class boarding area SEA

We made our way to our seat which was in the rear of the first class cabin.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

I actually really liked the cabin art in Alaska first class. I noticed that the designs in the rear of the first class cabin were fabric but in other first class cabins they are plastic which I thought was interesting.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

I’m a big fan of airlines offering some type of departure from the bland, sterile cabins that you often see in domestic first class (although I know some Alaska first class cabins don’t offer this design).

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin
Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

They had a mesh partition they pulled out to divide first class and economy.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

Anyway, we made it to our seat which is a standard domestic first class seat with 36 inches of pitch and 24 inches of width.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

The seats offered the standard level of comfort you would expect from a domestic first class product but looked a little bit worn and definitely not as fresh as some of the other flights we had been on that had been retrofitted.

The fuselage was a bit marked up and the windows were pretty dirty as well.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

The adjustable headrest would not stay for Brad and mine was not exactly robust either.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

Behind the seat, they had the standard storage space.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

Unlike other Alaska first class cabins I’ve seen, the 737-900 MAX did not have the little foot rests which I had mixed feelings about because I like the added support but don’t like that they interfere with the space below the seat for your personal item/carry-on.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin

The seats had two universal power outlets in the middle along with USB ports with easy access.

Related: Which Airlines Have Power Outlets & USB Ports?

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX cabin power outlets

If you want to recline you can do so with the push of a button.

To get the seat to go back I had to really push hard so I’m not sure if I just had an issue with my seat or if that’s how the seats tend to be.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX seat controls

There were no seatback TVs in the back of the first class seats as Alaska Airlines is one of the US airlines that do NOT provide seatback TVs in any aircraft.

Related: What Airlines Have Seatback TV Screens?

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX seat

Alaska provided the standard Boxed Water cartons at our seat which I honestly don’t care for. Something about the taste of the water out of those cartons just doesn’t feel right.

Alaska airlines first class 737-900 MAX boxed water

We ended up departing at around 6:25 AM after sitting stationary for quite some time.

I’m not sure exactly what the delay was but it seemed like there was just issue after issue with passengers coming out to the front and having to work stuff out. It even sounded like one person thought they were on the wrong flight or something.

Alaska airlines planes
Alaska airlines planes

This was my first time departing south from Seattle and I was absolutely in love with the PNW mountain views. We caught a nice view of what I believe was Mount Saint Helens along with a stunning morning view of Mount Adams. Definitely worth grabbing a window seat in this area of the country.

Mt St Helens


Something cool about the Seattle to Phoenix route is that it is 1,106 miles. This means it is just a few miles over the 1,100 mile threshold to get a true dining experience.

When it came time for dining the tray table easily came out of the armrest.

Alaska airlines first class tray table

If you only want to utilize the tray table for a drink it does have the fold over option which offers a little holder for your drink.

Alaska airlines first class tray table
Alaska airlines first class tray table

As usual, to help with the review, Brad and I mixed up our meals so that we can try something different.

Brad went with the Signature Fruit & Cheese Plate while I went with the strata, potatoes, and ham.

Alaska airlines first class meal cheese platter

The savory strata was pretty tasty although I did not care for some of the crusty cheesy exterior on it. I really enjoyed the juicy ham and it was by far the favorite piece of the dish. And the potatoes? They were okay but a slightly mushy for me (as you might expect with airline food).

Alaska airlines first class meal

One thing I did notice about the trays that they use is that they are tackified so that your plates are not gonna go slipping away.

At first, I honestly thought it was just sticky due to being dirty. Then I felt Brad’s tray and it felt the same and we realized that that is just how the trays come out (I’m assuming for anti-slip purposes).

As far as drinks go, Brad was able to put together his own Bloody Mary and screwdriver with a little bit of help from our friend Tito.

Alaska airlines first class bloody Mary drink
Alaska airlines first class screwdriver drink

I went with my usual sparkling water (seltzer) which fittingly was the Polar brand. I really liked the little lime packs that they served with the seltzer for a nice kick of lime and I may have to pick up some of those myself!

Alaska airlines first class sparkling water drink

The seats have a small drink tray that you can pull out from the middle of the seats if you need a little bit of extra real estate for your glasses.

Alaska airlines first class sparkling water drink tray

As we started to approach Phoenix, we had quite the spectacular view of the Grand Canyon from above. It’s one of my favorite aspects of living in Arizona.

View of Grand Canyon from plane
View of Grand Canyon from plane
View of Grand Canyon from plane

And then, before I knew it we were approaching Phoenix and our great Alaskan adventure had come to an end.

Final word

Alaska Airlines first class on the 737 delivered the standard domestic first class experience that I was expecting.

I would say that it was about one notch above the baseline experience because the food was pretty solid, the service was on point, and I liked that they did something a little different with the cabin accents.

The only drawback was that the seats/cabin felt a bit worn and the seats did not function optimally, so that brought it down a little bit.

Delta First Class Review (PHX-MSP) A321-200

Flying domestic first class is convenient but not terribly exciting, especially after you have flown domestic first class quite a few times.

With that said, trying a new airline is always exciting on some level and in this case we got to try Delta First Class for the first time.

In this review, I’ll walk you through the experience flying Delta First Class (PHX-MSP) on the A321-200 and also on the 737-900. I’ll touch on some of the lounges that we visited like the Sky Club at PHX and give you a sense of what the cabins are like on the two aircraft.

Trip overview

This flight kicked off a super busy trip to the Northeast where over about 10 days we hit up basically every state and got a good taste of what the region had to offer.

Here are some of the trip highlights:



We’ve done a lot of first class domestic trips on United and American but had never flown first class on Delta until this trip.

After looking for some different flight options from Phoenix to Baltimore, I found that Delta was consistently offering the cheapest first class routes and so it made sense to go with them.

In fact, I’ve often seen Delta First Class as the cheapest option for a lot of routes and it has me wondering if they consistently offer cheaper first class options.

Could be a coincidence but I might need to look into that for a future article….

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

Lounge at PHX

We decided to give a visit to the Delta Sky Club at Phoenix at Terminal 3.

Because we were both Platinum cardholders and flying Delta we were able to get in for free, which was really nice. Just remember that if only one person has the Platinum Card the guest does not get in for free to Delta Sky Clubs.

Overall, this was a very solid lounge experience.

I thought that the lounge was beautiful, clean, and not overcrowded. The breakfast was hearty and had some nice additional options like fresh berries. The Wi-Fi was fast and there were no issues with anything really. Just a great lounge visit.

Related: Delta Sky Club Guide: (Access & List of Locations)


As a Delta First Class passenger, you get priority boarding so we were among the very first to board. The entire boarding process went very smoothly with no issues whatsoever.

The cabin

I was really surprised whenever we entered the cabin at how nice the first class cabin looked. The A321 has five rows in a 2–2 configuration for a total of 20 seats in first class.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200
Delta First Class cabin A321-200

Both United and American have pretty boring looking domestic first class cabins in my opinion with very ordinary black or charcoal gray seats.

But the seats in Delta First had a little bit of color and personality to them with red branded accents which I really liked.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200

We took our seat and then I was pleasantly surprised once again to see that we had a seatback TV considering that on the last few first class flights on both American and United we did not have seatback TVs. (Delta is one of the best airlines for seatback entertainment.)

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the necessity of seatback TVs but I’m in the crowd that believes airlines should be trending towards adding them rather than taking them away.

Related: What Airlines Have Seatback TV Screens?

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 seatback TV

They also issued mini water bottles with Delta branding on them.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 seatback TV

The seat back TV had a headphone jack and USB port and there were two power outlets and two USB ports in the back of the two seats in front of us.

Related: Can You Use Bluetooth on A Plane? (Headphones & Accessories)

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 seatback TV
Delta First Class cabin A321-200 power outlets

Just like any other first class domestic product, the seat offered plenty of legroom.

In fact, you’ll have 36 inches of legroom along with 21 inches of width. You can get a good amount of recline if you would like although I typically don’t recline on short flights (unless the person in front of me forces me to).

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 leg room

I enjoyed the in-flight entertainment selection, which gave a good selection of movies and series. The screens were responsive and quality which is all you can really ask for.

You can always get a heads up on what will be playing by checking out the entertainment page for Delta.

During takeoff, we had some amazing views of the desert landscape around Phoenix. I can never get enough of these takeoffs at sunrise!

Phoenix airport view

The tray table comes out from the armrest and it’s pretty easy to pull out. You can fold it over to only utilize half of it to hold a drink if you’d like.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 tray table

Or you can just pull out the whole thing to get some work done or for a meal.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 tray table

Since this was during the pandemic, we still had to wear a mask and the food was provided via a snack box.

To get things started, Brad ordered a bloody Mary but I don’t think it was one of the better ones he has had in first class.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 drink

It was essentially a charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses including smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, and alpine style. We also had some olives, fig spread, and almonds. Overall, I thought it was a pretty solid “snack meal” but will be interested in trying out a hot meal from Delta in the future.

Delta First Class cabin A321-200 snacks

During the meal, we were treated to some amazing views of the southern Rockies. I really struggled to take my eyes off the window view.

Related: Window Seat Etiquette: (Who Controls the Window Shade?)

View of Rocky Mountains
View of Rocky Mountains

We also got a nice glimpse of a full rainbow.

I connected to the Wi-Fi during this flight and was pretty happy with the connection speed which was 34 Mbps for downloads.

I actually had a good enough connection to participate in a Google Meet conference call although I did not talk during the call because that is annoying/rude and technically against the flying rules.

Related: Can You Make A Phone Call From A Plane?

wifi icon

Eventually, we would touch down at MSP.

It was here that we got to visit the MSP Escape Lounge, which was yet another perk of the Amex Platinum. The service was pretty solid in there and they had some decent offerings which made it a worthwhile visit on the layover.

Related: Escape Lounges Guide: (Cost and Locations)

 MSP Escape Lounge

After the layover, it was time for our final leg to Baltimore which was also in first class but on a 737-900.

I really liked the mood lighting in the cabin.

737-900 first class cabin
737-900 first class cabin
737-900 first class cabin

Once again, I just thought Delta First Class was one of the sleeker domestic first class cabins, especially when compared to American and United.

737-900 first class cabin
737-900 first class cabin

I also liked being able to start the flight off with a new brand of sparkling water/club soda: Fever-Tree. Even though these are made for mixed drinks they mostly satisfy my sparkling water fix on flights.

If you don’t have headphones, you can get some issued to you.

Finally, we took off and made our way to Baltimore to kick off this crazy trip!

Final word

Domestic first class flights only get so exciting after you’ve done them a lot of times.

With that said, this was our first time flying Delta First Class so it was interesting to see how it would go.

I walked away pretty impressed by the cabin/experience and would probably say this is one of the best standard domestic first class products.

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.

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

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.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

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.   

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 HNL-PHX Review [2022]

Flying between Phoenix, Arizona and Hawaii is in that medium-haul flight range. It’s not quite the convenient flight that it is from the West Coast and it’s not a long-haul flight like it would be to the East Coast of the US.

You’re talking about 5.5 to 6 hours.

So while you could get by with a standard recliner seat, we really wanted to try out Hawaiian Airlines First Class on the A330 from HNL to PHX.

In this review article, I’ll give you the complete review including how we booked it without paying a single dollar and what the experience was like when it came to things like in-flight entertainment and dining.

Hawaii Trip Overview

This trip came at the end of a 10 night trip to Hawaii where we spent five nights in Oahu and five nights in Kauai.

The goal of the trip was to capture a lot of content related to Jurassic Park and Jurassic World filming sites and to also do a detailed write up on Pearl Harbor (coming soon).

It was a super fast paced 10 days in which we got very little rest but thoroughly enjoyed the experiences with some hiking, off-roading, hotel-hopping, and all-around exploring.

We were very fortunate that the weather cooperated with us and allowed us to capture a lot of additional content including what you can find in the links below:

Here are some of the Hawaii hotel reviews from the trip:


We used American Express Membership Rewards to book these Hawaiian Airlines tickets.

With the Amex Business Gold Card, I spent 80,751 points per ticket after factoring in the 25% points rebate on business class tickets.

I figured this would make more sense than transferring 80,000 points to Hawaiian Airlines because I’d also earn 4,375 Hawaiian Miles on the flight and would not have to pay the small $5.60 fee.

It also meant I would not be limited to award seats which would make the booking easier for the two of us.

So while I was not in love with cents per point I got (1.25), I still felt pretty good about the booking.

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


Check in at HNL was pretty smooth as there was no line when we arrived.

The first class check in area for flights back to the mainland is in a slightly odd location since it’s not by the main check-in desks.

It’s also in a completely different part of the terminal from inter-island first class flights.

Related: Hawaiian Airlines First Class Inter-Island (HNL-LIH) Boeing 717-200 Review

Hawaiian Airlines First Class HNL check-in

We were checked in by a slightly less than pleasant Hawaiian Airlines agent.

Every staff member that we dealt with during our flight was awesome so this was the only service shortcoming we experienced when on Hawaiian Airlines.

After weighing our bags, we were told to bring our checked bags to TSA.

But right after that a staff member came by to load up our bags onto a cart and to take care of it for us.

The check-in agent also did not mention anything about lounges that we had access to which is usually customary when checking in for business class or first class.

Luckily, I knew we would be headed to the Plumeria Lounge by utilizing Priority Pass.

However, if we were not aware of what lounges we could access it may not have even occurred to us to go to a lounge so check-in agents need to do better letting passengers know what they are entitled to.

Related: Which Lounge at HNL: Premier Club or Plumeria Lounge for Hawaiian Airlines?


We were among the very first to board on the A330 and the boarding process went smoothly and on time.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class boarding

The A330 First Class cabin

As we entered the forward cabin, it was nice to be greeted by such nice and friendly crew members.

The first class cabin on the A330 is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. There are three rows for a total of 18 passengers.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class cabin A330

This means that some passengers will not have direct aisle access when they choose a window seat.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class cabin A330

With Hawaii being such a big leisure travel destination this is not that big of a deal for lots of passengers and in our case we were flying as a couple so it worked perfectly. It truly does feel like a honeymoon cabin.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class cabin A330

If you are flying solo I don’t think a middle seat would be bad because you have direct aisle access and (as you’ll see below) the privacy partition you can raise is pretty big.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class cabin A330

Thankfully, the seats are angled from each other which provide you with a decent amount of elbow room between seats — something that some business class seats really lack with similar configurations.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat
Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat

As far as the seat goes, it has some pretty simple functionality.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat

You’ll find a power outlet and two USB outlets on the side of your seat for easy charging.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat power outlet usb

The seat control is limited to one wheel control and you simply push it one way to recline and the other way to go back up. Some people will love the simplicity and others will prefer something that gives them a more customized feel.

There was one point where I felt like the control was broken since my seat was not going back up.

Eventually, it did work but it took several attempts so sometimes the seats might be a little tricky, despite the apparent simplicity. Also, I might just be an idiot sometimes.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat control usb

Directly under the seat control, you have another USB port and the controls for your overhead light and service needs.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat usb

You’ll have a little ottoman along with a storage net by your feet.

Usually, an ottoman like this is covered so that your feet don’t slip off the edge so having one uncovered was a little bit different. Those people with longer legs or Jolly Green Giant feet might prefer this type of set up since your feet don’t feel so constricted.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat ottoman

For me, it felt like a perfect fit.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat leg room

You have a decent amount of storage underneath the seat in front of you and as mentioned you also have some storage space in the netting on the side.

There’s not that much space under the seat in front of you. There was no way my backpack was going to fit in that space and you can take a look at the image below to get a sense of how limited the storage space is.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat storage

If you have any kind of normal sized backpack/carry-on bag you’ll most likely have to store it above.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat overhead storage

In-flight entertainment

One of the knocks of Hawaiian Airlines First Class is that they don’t offer TV screens.

At first, this was an extremely odd concept to me to have a lie-flat first class product with no TV monitors. To be frank, it was a bit of a turn off.

However, it’s actually not as bad as you might think.

Instead of TV monitors, they will bring you out large tablets that you can use to pull up movies, TV shows, etc. These tablets rest on a little stand that pops out.

You basically push down on a little circular button between the seats and a rod extends out that allows you to display your tablet or other device.

You can swivel it but it does not stay which is kind of a drawback, especially whenever you are lying down.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tablet holder

Brad decided to just use his phone for his entertainment needs.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tablet holder phone

However, I wanted to give the tablet a try so I went with that.

They’ll give you your tablet and also a pair of somewhat decent headphones if you opt-in.

It took about 15 minutes for them to bring out the tablets so you do lose a bit of in-flight entertainment time in the beginning although it’s not that bad.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tablet headphones

They had a pretty decent selection of movies and I felt almost obligated to watch Disney’s Jungle Cruise since we were just at the Luau Kalamaku which was used as the train station in the movie.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat movies

Here’s a look that gives a good contrast of how the tablet compares to using an iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tablet phone

They also had a decent selection of TV shows and other things you could try like Hawaiian music and games.

The only real drawback of the tablet experience is that they don’t bring them out until after you are up in the air and they take them back before you descend so it cuts down on your overall in-flight entertainment time.


When it comes time for dining it’s pretty easy to pop out your tray, which is thankfully much more sturdy than the tray used in inter-island first class.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tray table

As they came around with the tray table cloth, they also passed out the tablets.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 seat tray table

They first brought out some crunchy macadamia nuts and I went with a sparkling club soda to kick things off.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining nuts

Brad decided to try out one of the signature drinks: the mai tai. It’s worth noting that they did not do pre-departure drinks on this flight but that might change after the pandemic maybe?

I really enjoyed the dining experience on this first class flight.

We decided to try each of the main course options which included a fine herb ravioli with roasted pepper and balsamic sauce and also wine braised chicken with olive tapenade and Negi Panisse.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining menu

I liked the ravioli but some of the pieces were a little bit undercooked.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining main course

Brad really enjoyed the chicken dish, although it had way too many mushrooms for me.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining main course

The rolls and desert were both on point.

They had a few snacks you could grab at any time during the flight and I tried out the Maui Style potato chips and this little pineapple shaped cookie which was very good.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining snack
Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining snack
Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 dining snack


I really can’t say enough nice things about the crew. They offered exceptional and friendly service throughout the entire flight and I was highly impressed by them.

They issued each of us a blanket and a pillow for the flight.

If you’re taking a longer flight you may be issued more extensive bedding amenities like a bedding pad and perhaps thicker blankets. But you also might have to ask for that.

Being limited to a pillow and a blanket on a flight of this duration seems pretty standard because I’ve flown short international first class flights and received similar “bare-bones” treatment.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 lie flat

Without any additional bedding, it’s not the most comfortable experience in the fully reclined position but given the duration of the flight it’s enough to get you by and a hell of a lot better than being in economy so….


As for the privacy shade, I feel like it would do a pretty good job if you needed your own privacy from a stranger.

Here’s a look at the privacy you would have.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 privacy shade

If you’re wondering what it looks like without direct aisle access here’s a picture of my perspective with Brad having his feet propped up.

If the person next to you pulls their legs up a little bit you should be able to get by relatively easy but again if you’re flying solo, a middle seat might just be better.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 aisle access

I took a second to check out the lavatory which was a pretty standard one although it seemed a little bit more spacious and had a few Hawaiian accents to it.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class A330 aisle lavatory

Final word

I really had no idea what to expect with Hawaiian Airlines First Class on the A330. All things considered, I’d say I was pleasantly surprised. The level of service was better than I expected and probably the biggest thing that stuck out to me.

Dealing with the tablet for in-flight entertainment was not a major issue at all and the only thing that bothered me was that you lose out on some time when taking off and landing so you have to time up your movies.

Dining was good but not great and I enjoyed having the lie-flat seat although I’m not sure it was the most comfortable when lying down. Maybe that was due to minimal bedding or maybe it was due to the seat I’m not sure.

But overall, I was definitely pleased with the flight and would happily fly again.

1 2 3 4