Review: Air Pacific and Nadi airport

I flew with Air Pacific in 2011 when I went home to New Zealand for Christmas, and then back to the USA before New Years. Flights were very expensive and Air Pacific was by far the cheapest option so I flew LA-Nadi and Nadi-Auckland return.

I had read some unfavorable reviews so I wasn’t exactly excited to fly with these guys, and to make it worse I came down with severe tonsillitis on the day I had to fly.

Air Pacific Review

The Flight

The seats are the most uncomfortable I’ve ever flown long haul, the interior is very worn out, and the entertainment system is very old-school- with a few channels playing movies over a year old. The movies are played on a loop as well, so if you miss the beginning or need a bathroom break, tough cookies. Because I wasn’t well, I knocked myself out and slept for most of the flights but if I hadn’t been sick I probably would have been bored out of my mind.

The food was bad. So bad I was actually glad I could barely swallow. On the flight from LA to Nadi we were given a hot dog bun with melted cheese and some very chewy chicken inside. Same on the way back from Fiji to LA.

The one redeeming quality on these flights were the flight attendants, who were friendly and kind of fun. When I asked for an orange juice, the attendant held up a bottle of vodka and asked if I’d like a splash in it. They still had smiles on their faces eleven hours later, kept bringing water around the plane and seemed like they all knew what they were doing.

Nadi Airport

Air Pacific is Fiji’s national airline, and if you fly with them from the US to Australia or New Zealand you can expect to have a stopover in Nadi, Fiji. I had a five hour stopover on the way there and a seven hour one on the way back. When you step off the plane, you have to walk along an outdoor corridor for a few minutes to get into the terminal. Take as many clothes off as you can when you land because the heat and humidity in summer will leave you covered in sweat.

Nadi airport is pretty small, but they have showers in most of the bathrooms, so I took an old towel with me and felt like a new woman afterwards.

The food here stinks and is even more expensive than most airports (even though it’s in Fijian dollars), so take some snacks if you can. There are a couple of duty free shops and once you get past customs a few touristy stores sell Fijian goods, but I loaded a bunch of movies onto my laptop and was glad I did. They often have Fijian musicians in the terminals which can provide some entertainment, although this can get old after four hours. The Fijian people are really lovely though, and I’m charmed by their manners and smiley faces every time I go to Fiji

The Verdict

I’d prefer not to fly Air Pacific again. Even though all my flights left on time and the attendents were nice, I think it’s ridiculous that they don’t have a modern entertainment system on such a long flight. The food was the worst airline food I’ve ever eaten and that’s saying something. If I’m flying home at a time where flights are really expensive I may relent, but I’d much prefer to fly Air New Zealand and fly direct from LA to Auckland, or Quantas and have a stopover in Australia.

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