16 Airlines I Want To Review In 2016

My new year’s resolution for the blog is to review a lot of new airline products this year. I know 2015 was full of a lot of reviews of Emirates and Etihad, though 2016 will be the year with reviews of more business class products, as well as more unique airlines.

Over the past several days I’ve already planned some unique trips for 2016, so I figured it would be fun to share 16 airline products I’m hoping to review in 2016. Some are new airlines for me altogether, while others are new products on airlines I’ve already flown in other cabins. In no particular order, here they are:

Hainan Airlines business class

Hainan Airlines intrigues me because they’re ranked as a Skytrax 5-star airline, and also because they’re now an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan partner. Thanks to some great business class fares between Los Angeles and Changsha, China, I’ll be flying them in February.

Based on how their product looks and everything I’ve heard, something tells me I’ll be scratching my head as to their supposed 5-star rating.

Hainan-1

Oman Air business class

While I’ve flown Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar more often than I can count, I’m intrigued by some of the other Gulf carriers. Among them is Oman Air, which has one of the more impressive business class products out there. It looks like first class on some other airlines, even. They’re in the process of installing a new business class product on some planes, so I’d like to fly them before the “old” product disappears altogether.

Unfortunately there’s no great way I know of to redeem miles for Oman Air business class, so I may be looking for a cheap business class fare.

Oman-Air-Business-Class

Air Tahiti Nui business class

Air Tahiti Nui is no doubt behind the times when it comes to their hard product. In 2013 they introduced an angled business class product on their longhaul aircraft.

In addition to flying to Tahiti, the airline also flies between Los Angeles and Paris. Since I have no immediate plans to go to Tahiti, I figured I’d try them between Los Angeles and Paris using American AAdvantage miles. I might as well book that pre-devaluation.

Aeromexico business class

There are very few reviews out there of Aeromexico business class, though they’re quite good about releasing business class award availability on their flights to South America, Europe, etc.

The cool thing is that Air France’s FlyingBlue program lets you redeem miles for travel between Los Angeles and London or Paris via Mexico City for the standard business class cost of 62,500 miles one-way. They don’t even impose fuel surcharges on those flights. Aeromexico even flies the 787 from Los Angeles to Mexico City, so it’s the chance to fly a 787 the entire way.

AeroMexico 787 Dreamliner business class (courtesy AeroMexico)

Avianca business class

For a while Avianca has been flying 787s featuring a fantastic reverse herringbone product, and also is retrofitting their A330s with this product. It looks like an interesting product which I haven’t read much about.

Avianca-Business-Class

Air India first class

I’ve long been intrigued by Air India, and in particular their first class product. I’ve heard so much about them, and for that matter I don’t think there’s an airline which is portrayed more negatively in the media. Well, I finally pulled the trigger and booked a ticket on Air India from London to Delhi to San Francisco. I’m excited to fly with them.

Air-India-First-Class

Finnair business class

Finnair is a oneworld member and part of the oneworld transatlantic joint venture. So I’m amazed I still haven’t flown them. Well, in January there’s an opportunity I can’t turn down — Finnair is flying an A350 to the US for a bit over a week, which they don’t otherwise have plans to do anytime soon. Therefore I figured I might as well jump on it and experience their new business class product.

Finnair-A350-Business-Class-1

Iberia business class

I also want to fly Iberia’s new business class product, given that I’ve never flown them longhaul. They seem to have a decent looking staggered business class product. While I doubt I’ll be blown away, I definitely think they’re worth at least trying.

Japan Airlines new business class

I’ve been really impressed by Japan Airlines’ first class product, though haven’t flown their new longhaul business class product yet. Based on everything I’ve heard it’s spectacular, so I can’t wait to try it for myself.

JAL-Business-Class-3

China Airlines business class

While China Airlines doesn’t historically have the best reputation, they’ve really been improving. Last year they unveiled a new reverse herringbone business class product, which they now fly to several airports in the US.

China-Airlines-777-Business-Class

Kuwait Airways business class

Here’s another airline which has fascinated me for a while, as they seem to be truly terrible. They have great premium cabin fares, though also seem to have a really bad product. Unfortunately they don’t fly from London to New York anymore, so the best way to try them is from Kuwait City to New York.

KU-New-J

Saudia business class

Need I say more?

Saudia-Business-Class-1

Air France new business class

This seems to be a really solid business class product, which blows away the competition at British Airways and Lufthansa. I’d love to experience it for myself.

Air-France-New-Business-Class

SAS new business class

SAS has a new business class product as of a couple of years ago, which looks quite nice. The catch is that SAS is pretty stingy with award availability, which is one of the reasons I haven’t reviewed them up until now. I see a decent amount of award availability on them over the coming months, so maybe it’s time I finally fly with them.

SAS-Business-Class

EgyptAir business class

I’ve just always been curious… that’s all. They release a lot of award availability between New York and Cairo, so why not?

Air Canada’s new business class

I flew Air Canada’s longhaul business class many years ago, and really enjoyed it. Especially for a North American airline. So I’d love to try their 787 product, which consists of reverse herringbone seats and looks very nice.

Air-Canada-787-Business-Class

Bottom line

I’m very excited about what this year will bring in terms of new products. As nice as my favorite first class products are, my real passion is having as good of a knowledge of as many premium cabin products as possible, and above are some of the products which interest me most.

Thanks for sticking with me and for making this all possible!

What reviews do you most want to read in 2016?

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Comments

  1. I’m eager to see what Kuwait airways is all about. The premium fares out of nyc are really good and it can’t be that bad right? There’s a trip report floating around somewhere that I read that made the soft product look decent enough.

    Really looking forward to these. Happy new year, all.

  2. I am also flying business class the coming months on Oman Air (A330), Air Tahiti Nui (A340), Air Japan (B787 & B777), and Air Canada (B787). In addition, I’ve also booked a business class trip in KLM’s B787 and Virgin Atlantic’s B787. You will love the Finnair A350 experience (I published a business class trip report a couple of months ago: http://wp.me/p4d1XU-j20). Happy New Year & safe travels!

  3. Amazing. Looks to me that you are only missing Gulf Air among the gulf carriers then? will you review that? I have been at BAH before but flying Etihad so can’t really help. The airport is not impressing at all but the carrier might be given that it was Hogan’s last venture before joining Etihad.

    What planes feature the new Air France business class? as a loyal Flyingblue customer I might as well be interested 🙂

    Thanks Lucky !

  4. Seeing you go AF 777-200 business one way and first the other way would be fun. While everyone’s having you fly economy, I’m reviewing a couple of economy products this year so it would steal. 😛

    I’m curious to see how the smaller, cheaper airlines weigh up against the competition. I mean, was pretty blown away on China Eastern with the hard product with a sub-year old aircraft in May.

  5. You should Virgin Australia business class from LAX-BNE/SYD to that list. Quite easy and reasonable with delta skypesos.

  6. Worth noting that the 787 J product on AC should be retrofitted in all the 777s by mid-summer. Still 1-2-1, meaning an even more spacious seat given the extra fuselage width.

  7. Why not combine them all into a mega-trip? 😛

    As for the list, very nice, but I’m dissapointed Conviasa, EasyJet, Air Koryo are not on the list. Any chance in 2017? 😉
    I mean, the official ‘travelled on worlds best (worst) airline by our glourious supreme leader’ badge must be very nice 😉

  8. This is FANTASTIC news! While I enjoy your wealth of knowledge, the world doesn’t need anymore Emirates, Cathay Pacific, SIngapore, and Etihad first class reviews at this point. There are so many other airlines that it is difficult to find reliable information on. Thank You!

  9. Just make sure you’re prepared with extremely low expectations for Air Tahiti Nui business. I had the misfortune of taking it from AKL-PPT-LAX: angle flat seats, upholstery that’s falling apart, pull-out TV screens that play pre-selected movies (ie. no choice), bad food, etc. I couldn’t wait to get off that plane for my LAX-JFK flight with AA.

  10. I am more curious how many of these will you actually follow through on. You’ve said you would try to try a lot of products in the past. You seem to only follow through on maybe 20-30% of them.

    If you’re going to try China Airlines you should also try China Easterns long haul 777-300ER.

  11. What about Turkish Airlines? It’s supposed to be good and would be an interesting read for me… As I may use them more

  12. I flew Air Canada on a “787” (though they changed planes on us of course) from CDG to YYZ. When it was time for meal service the flight attendant came around and tossed the dinner napkin on my video screen, interrupting my show. I guess it was her way of saying, “Eat when you want to eat, Asshole.” I thought the flight attendant would be a perfect fit for United.

    As for Air Nui, why not take Ford on a trip to Bora Bora?

    For Egypt Air, I’m flying on a United award ticket: BKK –> CAI –> London (Egypt Air) –> YYZ—-> SFO (Canada Air) all for 80,000 miles.

  13. SAS startet upgrading their long haul cabins last year, not a couple of years ago…

    AFAIK, not all A343s have been in Zürich for the upgrade.

  14. I really would like you to review Garuda Indonesia First Class on longhoul trip. I’d like to hear your comment comparing the service with others Asian airliners.

  15. I would love to see a review on China Airlines. I’ve flown it in the pass and was not impressed with it. So if there are changes like it stated, then j would love to see the remarks. Though I will still stick to EVA Air. Happy reviewing Ben.

  16. Great list! I’m very curious to read your trip reports. I’ve considered flying business class on some of these airlines before but never followed through and always end up booking on the more “safe bet” airlines.

  17. I just became an AAdvantage memeber so I can book my first stretch goal rewards redemtion from Abu Dhabi to JFK first class on Etihad.But am not allowed to purchase miles to make this trip as I don’t have enough right now, until 30 days after initial sign up with AAdvantage. I have my routes reserved but that only lasts a few days. Is there any way around this rule? Please help anyone, I don’t want to miss out on my dream.

  18. LUCKY: I took my parents to Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile from JFK/MEX in AeroMexico 787 biz class using DL SkyMiles in Oct and wrote trip reports. There hasn’t been a report on their aircraft/Premier Clase on your blog or any blogs on BoardingArea before. Would you be interested in reading mine and possibly publishing on your blog? As a DL PM, I was able to book and rebook to the dates we wanted to travel with 125K SM + $88 tax open jaw–pretty good use of SM I’d say. I took lots photos too. And I got food poisoning on the in-bound.

  19. Iberia Business Class pretty good in terms of food and service. Also, I would like to see a less biased review of British Airways.

  20. Ben,

    I certainly hope you do all, but realistically how many?? You have said this for several years and it didn’t happen. Should you do all, I think you will get even more behind on trip reports 🙂
    Think we all realise you can’t bear to be without net connectivity even for a few hours, so you will probably not do the list……

  21. I had read some time ago that Air Tahiti Nui would be replacing their current A340’s with 787’s sometime this year, so, if that’s correct, you may want to wait until they make the switch. (I’ve flown Paris to LAX on Air Tahihi Nui in Business Class and while I love the convenience and time saving of a nonstop flight, it’s nothing special.

  22. We flew LAX-PPT on TN on AA J award in October. On return TN surprised us(both AA EXP’s) with UG to their F which was a substantial improvement from the J seats.Would you decline such an UG in order to review the J experience??

  23. Dear Ben,

    Happy 2016! Thank you for the joy and adventure you bring to your readers. Yes, admittedly, I live vicariously through your trip reports, and you have given me a job inspiration.

    In terms of airline reviews, and I write this as a Canadian, but please do not give any business to Air Canada. They treat passengers with disdain. In fact, travelling on an award ticket from YYZ-ORD-GRU, I was advised that a weather delay in ORD had bumped me. As an award passenger, and I quote, “I was the airline’s lowest priority.” ??!!!?!??! I completed the trip, but was upset with the experience.

    Returning home, I noticed I had a couple of thousand miles,and wanting to leave things on a good note, I tried to donate them to Right to Play; however, I was advised it was not enough to make a charitable donation of points through Aeroplan. Great. Thanks Air Canada!

    Right then and there, I decided to divest all Aeroplan points and focus all of my business trips and personal travel on One World and, to a lesser extent, Westjet.

    Instead, although it won’t match the luxury you are used to, try to fly Westjet’s Disney themed planes. It’s like Hello Kitty meets Mickey!

    Best wishes,
    Meredith

  24. @pssteve

    If by TN you mean Air Tahiti Nui I was under the impression that their A340’s only have Y and J cabins? Was your flight operated by some other kind of metal?

  25. @Lucky

    Any chance you can review the Finnair A330 also since they will probably be operating that across the Atlantic for a while?

    Great as a A350, it does not help on the TATL flights.

  26. You can use Etihad guest miles to redeem on omanair but I think discounted J from India is the better deal.
    ANA just ordered A380s…. I hope you get to fly it too though not sure when they’ll be delivered.

  27. Not even 12 hours into the New Year and you already have people negative and bitter with bitchy comments…. Oy vey. SAS, Air France and Air India are going to be Fascinating! If you fly Air India to BOM, try staying at the JW Marriott Juhu Beach. Phenominal experience!

  28. Interesting list

    I believe Oman Air is a partner of Etihad and it should be possible to book Oman Air flights using Etihad Guest miles. (Never checked availability though)

  29. I don’t know, Lucky… not even a plan to review GA F? Do you need to borrow some of my TY points?

    MU F double-bed? I understand the need for more business reviews, but I’d sooner want to see GA and MU F before AI F.

    /.02

  30. Flew the Int’l Business Class product on AC070 from YYZ-DEL earlier this year. Solid hard product although I always find that reverse herringbone configurations can be just a tad confined. I was surprised to find that the cabin was not as clean as I would have desired since I am fastidious about cleanliness. Otherwise, the product is great, the AVOD superb. The amenity kit leaves a lot to be desired and just a note that sandals were not offered on this flight although advertised on their website. Since I had a 6 hour layover in YYZ, I made use of AC’s complimentary hotel layover to hit the gym, shower and make some conference calls. The meal on board was good (their signature dish was nicely prepared but a little bland). I enjoyed wine tasting at 43000 ft and even became interested in some Canadian whites. The service was excellent, but probably since I hit it off right away with the flight attendant who was an immigrant from Israel – a country where I spent five years of my teenage years. Best of all, they had Lavazza espresso and cappuccino on board which I made use of multiple times during the flight as I worked. All in all – great hard product and service on this particular leg and I am looking forward to flying with them later this month again. I also enjoyed the flight since I am a huge fan of the 787 and prefer to fly on long-haul routes on this aircraft (partly since I helped design it). I arrived after a 13 hour journey feeling fresh, rested and energetic – all of which I attribute to the environment within the 787. Other amenities included the usual spread on premium classes such as noise-cancelling headphones (no idea about their quality since I prefer to use my Sony MDRs), champagne (decent), hot towels (weirdly only before landing), duvet and pillows (I asked for two). Definitely the best premium product from North American airlines.

  31. @Lucky

    SK fleet upgrade page.
    https://scandinaviantraveler.com/en/newcabin/3

    Sadly they are running about 2 months behind schedule, good news is that they have extended the lease on the rest of their A340 fleet so all except the ex-Lan bird will be upgraded.

    A340 upgrade should be over by end of June, the ex-Lan bird is supposed to get a real Y+ section sometime this spring and will continue as SK’s backup bird plus some flights to ORD.

  32. I’d loke to see you do an Air Force One trip report! That would be something!

    My father was a cabinet member for a foreign government many years ago and he flew with the PM many times.

    I remember his stories about traveling on the jet and noticing how his bags would be marked with VVIP tags and about the middle eastern palaces he stayed in, as well as Gaddafi’s desert tent.

  33. Awesome! I’m excited to try China Airlines this spring since it looks like a great product and they have tons of award availability.

    Does anyone know how to check which SAS planes/routes have the new business class?

  34. If you end up going to Tahiti, I recommend Moorea as it is much more authentic and is much less touristy/stererotypical.

  35. I’ll be curious to see which ones you manage to book and review! I have the following of your intended flights booked in 2016:

    (1) Avianca Business LAX-BOG in Feb
    (2) Air Tahiti Nui Business LAX-PT in Apr, possibly with a refurbished A330 with their new flatbed seats vs the more common angle flat seats
    (3) Air France Business LAX-CDG in Sept

    I also have the following booked in 2016:

    (4) Avianca Business SAL-LAX in Jan
    (5) American Flagship First LAX-MIA on 77W in Jan and Feb
    (6) American Business MIA-LAX in Feb
    (7) Lufthansa Business LAX-FRA in Oct, hoping to move to First when available
    (8) American Flagship First LHR-LAX in Oct
    (9) American Flagship First LAX-SYD in Nov

    This might be the first year we don’t have flights on UA GF or BF at all planned or booked yet. But our Dec 2014 LAX-LHR in UA GF was spectacularly good and with better service even than EK F CPT-DXB on their 777…though not as good as the EK F DXB-LAX on their A380, which has been the best F flight experience for us of all time.

  36. @ Susanna:

    We flew Aeroflot Business LAX-SVO in Oct 2013…and surprisingly were pleased. Seats were angle flat, but we still were able to sleep pretty well. Service was decent, as was the food–nothing special, but more than sufficient. IFE was actually surprisingly decent, too. I wouldn’t choose Aeroflot Business over a flatbed business class option if all things otherwise were equal, but I would choose Aeroflot again if I had to fly to Moscow and preferred nonstop service (which we always do)…or if the flight was so much cheaper on price or for award points, as our flight was.

  37. I echo the requests for Aeroflot, Garuda, and China Eastern. Also surprised that you’re only thinking of Saudia business class. Is first class unobtainable through Korean Air Skypass, is it more relevant to review business class instead or just not worth the premium in your eyes?

  38. I am devastated–devastated!–that poor old Aeroflot is not on your list. SU routinely has extraordinarily great business class fares to Europe and Asia; yet, there are hardly any reviews of its long-haul premium product.

    I have had considerable experience with Saudia. No vodka (!) and lots of crying babies. Consistently chaotic boarding process. Hard product and food is usually not too bad. Service is wildly hit or miss; it can be delightfully charming or comically pissed-off.

    Oh! More devastation. Just realized Vietnam Airlines is not on the list! That’s another airline which has reasonable business class fares. And their new 787s (which feature VN’s new premium product) sure do look pretty.

  39. Lucky, if you’re flying Saudia, does that mean you’ll be transiting Riyadh or Jeddah? That could be more interesting than the flight …

  40. I’m flying SAS business in September, and I can’t wait! I had always read that SAS doesn’t release award seats, but it ended up being one of the only routes from Europe to the US that I could find that far in advance (at least in business class). Plus, I booked it right before the Aeroplan devaluation, so it was a great deal. My route actually starts in the Faroe Islands, so I’ll get to fly Atlantic Airways too. No business class, but they give everyone free meals, even low fare passengers… Not bad for a 2 hour flight!

  41. @NoName, I believe 2 of Air Tahiti Nui’s A340s stil have the old business class seats, where the first row is the old first class area (more legroom and more space.) when I flew to PPT last year, one way was on the a340 that wasn’t refitted with the new J setup. No one sat in the front row (old first class area) so two couples moved themselves in the front after asking the FA. On the return, we got he new refitted J seats which were much nicer.

    Lucky, it seems to me a lot of your readers want you to review more skyteam J products like Aeroflot, Saudia, and China & China Eastern! Nick might be a busy guy this year! 😉 if you do want to fly Saudia F, there are some awesome discounted fares not much higher than J. Have an awesome year with Ford and looking forward to your reviews.

  42. I miss the KLM 787-9 business class in that list. It is the same hard product as Air France’s, combined with the dreamliner should be great to try out, right?

  43. Keep in mind that Air Canada is retrofitting their 777s and A330s with the reverse herringbone configuration, supposed to be finished by mid 2016. All 767s are being retired to their low cost carrier Air Canada Rouge.

  44. Be careful about posting negative comments on kuwait and saudi that could present problems ben and be careful what you pack and how you mince. Im flying el al (vomit) , ariana afghan , air algeria and mongoloid airlines amongst others..

  45. Why not a trip to Tahiti? I think the Maldives have been over done by everyone (including myself). Tahiti is one of the few aspirational destinations that doesn’t get a lot of coverage.

  46. Can I please request you to not try Saudia, mainly due to the treatment that the airline officials do to passengers (LGBT, women, other religious sects, etc). I have personally seen a Saudi ‘prince’ at Washington Etihad Lounge treat one of the workers in the most demeaning manner. Even onboard I have read horrific stories the way the women FA are treated, and in general what that country stands for in terms of human rights. The penalty is beheading even if you steal a loaf of bread. Women are not able to drive as it would affect pregnancy(?!).

    Just my thinking, but I truly believe there is absolutely no need to contribute to an economy that has one of the most horrifying rules and regulations in today’s modern world. I would rather like to see a trip report on Qatar A380 First Class or Malaysia business/A380 first (they have some good food onboard!) But, the decision is of course yours to take, and I am no body to make any judgments! 🙂

    – Coming from a huge fan of your blog.

  47. Flying SAS does give you an opportunity to see my beautiful country of Norway even though I wish SAS would fly to Oslo from the west coast you do have Stockholm-LAX route. You could fly finnair on the way back though or Aeromexicos inaugural route from Amsterdam as KLM does fly to many Norwegian cities

  48. @Nemme all A330s are refurbished Half the A340s are refurbished and the rest will be retired

    Routes to keep an eye on equipment originate from CPH on following routes
    CPH-SFO
    CPH-ORD
    CPH-NRT
    CPH-PVG
    CPH-PEK

  49. I’m excited to read your new reviews for ALL of these listed airlines but I’m going to chime in with what others have already suggested: Garuda Indonesia F as it looks amazing! Aren’t there good fares right now between Tokyo and Denpasar?

  50. @Nemme

    Posted the link about half an hour before you asked, but it’s still awaiting moderating.

    Try googling “scandinaviantraveler newcabin” should be the first link that comes up.

  51. I would like you to make a review on both Azul business Class (MCO/FLL – Brazil) and TAM (JFK/MIA/MCO/Europe – Brazil).

  52. Yeah how about El Al?

    Also I thought Kuwait airways revoked from flying from the states for discriminating against passengers with an Israeli passport.

  53. Looking forward to your Oman, Air France, China Airlines, Air Canada, and AeroMexico reviews. Iberia has been reviewed elsewhere and, well, meh. Air Inida: good luck, ensure you have medical/travel insurance beforehand. China Airlines has a long troubled history like Korea Air did – both of which should have been banned from U.S. routes for awhile. Air Canada’s new business seats looks smart, have flow their older seats several times and service was always decent, but not outstanding. SAS: Got J award out of PEK to CPH, seats were OK, not the new ones, and service/food was decent, but not outstanding. Flew Finnair J longhaul 2015 A 330 HEL-NRT. Seat was good, but a bit hard, food/service OK, but not outstanding, still a solid choice for flight safety as is Qantas. Happy 2016 travels.

  54. @abe

    Kuwait airways only got stopped from flying from London to Los Angeles as they refused to carry an Israeli passenger. As an Israeli couldn’t physically be in Kuwait city the policy didn’t affect the direct flight.

  55. @Ben, I’m a bit perplexed. Yesterday you wrote a lengthy post (with which I mostly agreed) on where you draw the line between visiting and spending money in countries where certain repulsive human right practices may be illegal but are in fact somewhat tolerated and those the enforcement policies of which would make you avoid them. And today you are saying that you are seriously considering a trip on Saudia (Saudi Arabia Airlines).

    Saudi Arabia: Executions Rise
    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSJAN. 1, 2016

    “Saudi Arabia carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, with beheadings reaching their highest level in the kingdom in two decades, according to several advocacy groups that monitor the death penalty worldwide. Coinciding with the rise in executions is the number of people executed for nonlethal offenses that judges have wide discretion to rule on, particularly for drug-related crimes. The human rights group Amnesty International said in November that at least 63 people had been executed since the start of 2015 for drug-related offenses. That figure accounted for at least 40 percent of the executions in 2015, compared with less than four percent for drug-related executions in 2010. Amnesty said Saudi Arabia had exceeded its highest level of executions since 1995, when 192 were recorded.”

    As you might imagine, this makes me wonder if you have had a change of hear since yesterday’s post, as I surely don’t believe you have been unaware of Saudi Arabia’s intolerant practices, not only as regards the lgbt community but everyone that does not practice Wahhabism and its strict code of practice.

    Can you please explain?

    Thank you.

  56. You should try Oman Air First Class on their A330’s and also Garuda Indonesia 77W First Class – spectacular!

  57. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with Iberia. If travelling solo make sure you get a seat that’s against the window, as window seats alternate between window and aisle for the bed. If travelling together, get the middle honeymoon suite.

  58. Most curious to see a review of GA First Class from you, Lucky. I wonder why it wasn’t on your list. Experience their F service from Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, or Jeddah 😉 to Jakarta or Bali would make a perfect itinerary.

  59. I would be very cautious with both Saudia and Kuwait. As an out and relatively well known gay man, travel on these carriers and to these countries could be problematic. Neither are as, relatively, progressive and accepting as the UAE and Qatar and visiting them could put you in danger.

  60. EGYPT AIR is pretty legit. I worked closely with some of their staff on the ground when I worked at JFK. The run a good operation, female flight attendants are very good looking (not that it matters for you, but still), and they seem like a pretty professional airline. Mostly all Egyptians flying back and forth to New York, so I think it will be an exotic flight and a good review. Safe traveling in 2016!

  61. Hi Ben, firstly happy new year and safe travels in 2016!

    I would be really interested to see a review on Vietnam Airlines, they launched a new Business cabin in 2015 and their J fares are quite competitive so I am curious to know how good they are and then decide if I should fly them long haul in J.

  62. Lucky – try coming to Israel, perhaps on LY First! I think you’d love the country, and it would be interesting to hear your perspective on Israeli “customer service.” They don’t stamp passports at all anymore, so no need to worry if you’re concerned about having an Israeli stamp.

  63. As a Canadian I really want to see the new Air Canada business class review! hope to fly it one of these days.

  64. 2016 is awesome already! AI, Saudia, Oman Air, Kuwait, EgyptAir business class are all products I’ve wanted to try out for a long time but usually stick to the tried and tested ME3, DL, AA & UA. Your reviews may lead me to try these airlines out – especially since some of them offer cheap business class fares.

  65. Lucky, a couple of questions/comments:

    1. No Garuda first class? Let’s exclude the AMS-LGW leg, since that’s too short. GA has F on NRT-CGK and LGW-CGK routes.
    2. How about Air Koryo? Are you not at least a bit intrigued by it?

  66. You should combine the SAS award ticket with a trip to Longyearbyen. The A330 (which all are upgraded) is almost all the time EWR-OSL, and from Oslo you can go either direct or via Tromsø (my hometown) to Longyearbyen. SAS also flies to Tromsø from Stockholm, so finding connections should not be too difficult. It’s a wonderful time of year right now.

  67. @Luda
    Kuwait Airways discriminated against an Israeli passenger, and refused to allow Israelis on their planes, and were forced to cancel their flights from the US. They no longer fly out of the US, because the DOT demanded they allow Israelis on board, which they refused. Lucky said he wanted to try their JFK-Kuwait City service which obviously will not be possible anymore: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kuwait-airways-israel-us-london-heathrow_56742fcde4b06fa6887d0e3f

    That being said, I agree with another poster above. I think you should visit Israel, and a report on LY would be much appreciated. Tel-Aviv was just ranked world’s best gay city.

  68. I actually just flew Oman Air on their new buisness class. It was a bit of a disappointment since their old buisness class was much better. The old planes have the 1-2-1 seat configuration, while the new one has the 2-2-2. That being said, it is still an amazing product. I’d fly their buisness class over Air Canada’s or Lufthansa’s any day.

    I’m still in awe why an airlines would create a ”worse” product then their previous ones. Is it to save money, or space?

  69. I know this isn’t long haul but I still would love for you to review Vistara!!!! It’s the partnership between Singapore airlines and Tata in India. Their product is great and they knock food completely out of the park! No sure how many people have reviewed them yet they only started last year.

  70. What about the new business class on Sri Lankan’s new A330-300 from Colombo to London. 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration ……

  71. Lucky,
    It’s time to fly Vietnam Airlines. Perhaps between CDG and HAN
    Like flying on a Lotus blossom.
    VN has both A350 and 787.

  72. China Airlines New Business (must try their new NextGen Lounge)
    Vietnam Airlines Business
    Qantas Business
    Air New Zealand Business (Try their Koru lounge)
    SWISS First

  73. Ben, try a freaking plan that includes North Korea! and Air Koryo.

    That would be a genuine rare airline in your collection.

  74. While I know you rave about Air France First….their Business Class product really blows British Airways out of the water….really comparable to BA First Class…which is kind of sad……I like Lufthansa Business too…..think it’s far better than BA…BA needs to hit refresh!

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