Flying from Australia to the USA can be an exhilarating journey, especially when choosing an airline like Fiji Airways. In this guide, we’ll delve into our experience of flying with Fiji Airways, covering everything from booking your tickets to the in-flight experience and layovers.

Travelling from Brisbane, Queensland to Los Angeles, California with a layover in Fiji, our journey with Fiji Airways promised an adventure filled with surprises and unique experiences.

Booking Your Flight

When searching for flights, we were pleasantly surprised by Fiji Airways’ competitive prices. With most airlines quoting prices ranging from $6,000 to $7,000 for our family of three, Fiji Airways offered a saving of approximately $2,000 on return tickets. Despite the layover in Fiji, we saw it as an opportunity to break up the journey, especially with our one-year-old son in tow.

Pre-Flight Preparations

Ahead of our flight, we encountered a few challenges, including the bassinet seat arrangement and carrying medical equipment onboard. While initially facing confusion regarding additional costs for a bassinet seat, we later learned that it was complimentary for my wife and son, albeit resulting in seat separation. If I wanted to sit with them, I had to pay a fee as the bassinet seats are not located not located in economy. Additionally, clarifying the policy on carrying medical equipment like C Pap machines proved to be a bit of a hassle. I had to call and email back and forth several times with mixed messages. But we eventually received confirmation at the airport that the C Pap was allowed as carry on free of charge.

Onboard Fiji Airways flight to LA

Airport Experience

Arriving at Brisbane’s International Terminal, we were greeted with mixed messages regarding check-in times with the website saying 3 hours prior to departure but the app showing check in as open. Opting to arrive early, we discovered that Fiji Airways counters open three hours before the flight. Despite the confusion, the gate manager’s assistance and priority boarding for families made the check-in process smoother.

In-Flight Experience

Boarding the first plane, we found the seats to be standard, albeit a bit cramped. The cabin crew, dressed impeccably with flowers in their hair. They greeted us warmly with “Bula” and “Vinaka,” adding a touch of Fijian hospitality to the journey.

Gideon was travelling as an infant. We only had to pay a 10% fee for his ticket but he didn’t have his own seat. Although we didn’t receive a harness for our son during takeoff and landing, the in-flight entertainment kept him occupied until he eventually drifted off to sleep. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t serve an infant meal. That said, the stewards were very accommodating and gave us extra food for Gideon when we asked.

Layover in Fiji

If you are stopping in Fiji for more than three hours while transmitting to your next destination, then you will be required to pick up your luggage and exit through customs. Our 16 hour layover in Fiji offered a glimpse of the tropical paradise, albeit with some logistical challenges. The sun was just coming up as we disembarked, and we were greeted by the humidity of the Fijian Summer.

Though we gate checked our stroller, we had to wait until the luggage area to get it back. Carrying our son through the humid airport without his stroller proved to be strenuous. The unexpected loss of my luggage also added a moment of anxiety to the journey. However, the airline staff were able to eased our concerns, and we were relieved to reunite with our belongings by the end of the day before continuing our trip. I’ll touch more on how we spent our layover in Fiji in a future post.

Second Leg of the Journey – Nadi to Los Angeles

Boarding the Nadi to LA flight, we were impressed by the spaciousness and modern amenities of the Airbus A350 aircraft. Securing a spare seat for our son allowed for a more comfortable journey. The meal options on this flight were better than the night before. Despite minor delays, attributed to “island time,” our overall experience with Fiji Airways was satisfactory, especially considering the cost savings and unique layover experience.

Onboard the the Fiji Airways flight

Travelling from Australia to the USA with Fiji Airways proved to be an enriching experience. Offering a blend of affordability, culture, and Fijian hospitality, I’d recommend Fiji Airways if you are looking to break up your trip in Fiji. Despite some minor challenges, the journey was memorable. It may not be your first choice if you have the money and are looking for the fastest way to get to or from the USA. But, we would recommend Fiji Airways to fellow travellers seeking a unique and affordable flying experience.

What has been your experience travelling with Fiji Airways? Let us know in the comments below.