Review: Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport

Introduction: A Very Short Trip To Fiji
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Review: Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport
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My flight from Nadi back to Los Angeles was scheduled to depart at 9:40PM, and I made it to the airport at around 7PM. Even though Nadi Airport has a fair number of longhaul flights, the airport is quite small, and feels more like a regional airport.

I quickly found Fiji Airways’ check-in area, and the business class check-in counter was at the very right, next to the bag drop counter.

The friendly associate had me checked in very quickly, and within moments I was presented with my boarding passes all the way to New York.

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Nadi Airport check-in hall

She explained the location of the Fiji Airways lounge to me, and directed me towards the security checkpoint.

Nadi Airport is undergoing a huge renovation, so right now most of the airport looks like a construction zone, including the walkway to security.

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Nadi Airport security hall

I was shocked when I showed up at the security checkpoint, only to find no other passengers there. Like, not a single person.

The security officers were friendly and the whole process easy, with one exception. They told me I needed to put my liquids into a bag, and when I said I didn’t have one, they told me I needed to leave the security area and buy one at a shop at check-in.

While I know technically liquids have to be in bags, I don’t remember the last time I’ve actually had one. For those countries that require bags, they almost always have them at the security checkpoint. Fortunately I found a ziploc bag somewhere in my carry-on, so I was able to avoid that hassle.

Security basically lets out at the duty free shops, so after security I walked through that area.

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Nadi Airport duty free shopping

The main airside part of the terminal is already quite nice, so I assume it has already been renovated. I love how many flowers it has, along with the wood panels on the roof, which creates a tropical feel.

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Nadi Airport terminal

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Nadi Airport terminal

Once through the duty free shops I turned right, and then on the right were the stairs and elevator to the Fiji Airways lounge.

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Nadi Airport lounge signage

I took the elevator down one level.

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Elevator to lounges at Nadi Airport

I almost laughed when the elevator door opened, as it was even more of a construction zone than the rest of the airport (which is saying a lot).

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Nadi Airport is an active construction zone

I turned right, and then turned left to follow the signage towards the Fiji Airways lounge.

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Walking to Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport

That led me down another hallway…

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Walking to Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport

Then I found myself in a room with a bizarre furniture setup. I’m not sure if the benches were intentionally placed there, or if the room was just being used as a storage facility of sorts while they renovated the airport.

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Walking to Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport

At the end of the hallway was the entrance to the Fiji Airways lounge, with a prominent sign indicating that they’d be opening a new lounge soon. Well, at least they were doing a good job of managing expectations before entering the lounge. 😉

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport exterior

Once inside the lounge I was greeted by the friendly Fiji Airways representative, who informed that boarding for the flight would be announced in the lounge. She also gave me a small slip with the wifi password for the lounge.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport reception desk

The lounge was a decent size, at least when you consider that the airport is fairly small. The lounge consisted of one main room, with a fairly unoriginal seating design.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport seating

I think the pictures more or less speak for themselves in terms of the seating.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport seating

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport seating

At the far end of the lounge on the left was the main buffet area.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport seating

Back near the entrance was a single chair with a phone and phone book, so I suppose that would probably be classified as the business center.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi business center(ish)

The lounge had two sets of bathrooms. The bathroom at one end of the lounge was fairly straightforward, with two sinks, a urinal, and a stall.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport bathroom

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport bathroom

The bathroom at the other end of the lounge had a shower room inside of it, which looked decent enough.

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Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport bathroom

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Fiji Airways Lounge shower Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge shower Nadi Airport

In terms of the lounge’s food & drink selection, there was an area near reception with self serve drinks.

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Fiji Airways Lounge seating Nadi Airport

There was a selection of liquor, and they had fairly good brands, I thought, like Bombay Sapphire gin.

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Fiji Airways Lounge liquor selection Nadi Airport

There was also self serve beer, wine, soft drinks, juice, and water.

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Fiji Airways Lounge drink selection Nadi Airport

Then there were Cheez-Its which I went to town on, since I was quite hungry at this point.

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Fiji Airways Lounge wine selection Nadi Airport

The other buffet was located at the far end of the lounge. When I first arrived in the lounge, the selection was fairly limited. I later figured out why. Air New Zealand also uses this lounge, and at first most passengers in the lounge were on the Auckland flight. However, as soon as boarding for the Auckland flight was called, they quickly brought out better food.

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

Initially the lounge only had a fairly tired looking fruit plate, pasta salad, soup, finger sandwiches, and mini-wraps.

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

Once the Air New Zealand passengers left, the spread began to look much better, including empanadas, noodles, chicken skewers, etc.

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

There were also rolls, a much better looking fruit plate, as well as a potato and pasta salad.

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

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Fiji Airways Lounge buffet Nadi Airport

I had a couple of cups of coffee while in the lounge, as I was trying to get some work done but struggling to stay awake.

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Fiji Airways Lounge coffee machine Nadi Airport

Boarding was scheduled for 8:55PM, about 45 minutes before departure. The flight to Los Angeles was departing from gate seven, just a short walk from the lounge. I walked up there about 15 minutes early, as I wanted to be sure I was among the first aboard in order to grab cabin pictures.

While I was standing there I got to talking to one of the Fiji Airways employees, who was extremely nice. He told me about the renovations going on at the airport, and how they were doing them because Emirates wanted to eventually start flying to Nadi. Something tells me that’s not quite true.

But he was so nice, and at the end gave me his email address and told me I should let him know the next time I’m in Fiji, because I could stay with his family (I don’t even think he meant it in a creepy way).

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Fiji Airways departure gate to Los Angeles

The crew showed up at 8:45PM, including the Australian captain and two Fijian first officers.

Finally at 9PM boarding was announced, starting with business class and those who needed extra time. On the jet bridge there was another security check where they focused on liquids, and a couple of minutes later I was on the plane.

Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport bottom line

Nadi Airport is right in the middle of a huge construction project. I can’t even call the airport a dump, but rather it feels like an active construction zone. There are parts of the airport that are starting to look nice, like the airside seating. However, it’ll be at least another year before the renovations are complete.

The Fiji Airways lounge was very basic and bland. I know they’ll be opening a new lounge soon, and I hope they’ll add some flair to it. I almost felt like the airside seating was nicer than the Fiji Airways lounge.

Once the airport renovations are complete, I think this’ll be one of the nicer small island airports out there.

If you’ve passed through Nadi Airport, what was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. Even if they wanted to is it even possible to fly Dubai to Nadi? Certainly further than their flight to Auckland no?

  2. Your experience of getting to the lounge was much different than mine was in October. I didn’t even go through the Duty Free section. The lounge itself was also much more crowded when I was there. But it looks like some of the construction has been completed since then and other projects started. Would be nice to revisit once it’s all complete.

  3. @ Alex

    DXB-NAN is about 100 miles shorter than DXB-AKL, however, if EK were ever to serve Nadi, maybe they’d serve it through AKL. AKL-NAN is only 3 hours, and the 777 that operates DXB-AKL sits in AKL for 10 hours every day, so maybe that would be a possibility? This is what Emirates does on DXB-BKK-SYD-CHC-SYD-BKK-DXB.

  4. @Alex: The distance for DXB-NAN is 8,709 mi according to GCMap, compared to 8824 for DXB-AKL. So a Nadi flight is long but possible. Of course, EK don’t necessarily have to fly to NAN non stop. Based on the Greater Circle path, BKK might be a reasonable place to break up the flight at. A 5th freedom from east coast Australia is also an option.

  5. The benches you thought may be in storage have been there for many years. It is an overflow area for when upstairs gets too full.

  6. Air New Zealand operate their own lounge at the airport which is currently being refurbished as well. It’s supposed to reopen by the end of the year.

  7. On an unrelated note, security lines in Lisbon T1 are about an hour to an hour and a half long with NO FAST TRACK. Only three lanes are operating for all passengers due to strike.

  8. The Fiji airport renovations are moving along quite well. I’ve been going there over the last 12+ years, and this isn’t the first renovation in that time, but this one’s looking pretty good with the bit that’s finished.

    I’d note that the Fiji Airways lounge is also a Priority Pass lounge, which gives Fiji the same number of PP lounges as all of Australia!

    I do love the small band as you get off the plane – and Fijians will sing at any time. I caught an airport security guy singing to himself on one trip. This type of thing was completely missing on my trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora, and I missed it – Tahiti provided enough French techno-pop to last a lifetime.

    I used the Westin for a 1 night stopover on my last trip – didn’t really like it. Next time I’ll try the Sheraton, it looks a bit better.

  9. I would also add, if you are NOT flying business with Fiji Airways, show up to the airport early, very early. Being able to use the lounge with Priority Pass will ease the pain of arriving early.

    I know people who have been at the airport 2 hours early and they’ve not made their flight due to the flight being oversold.

    Having to fly back to the USA via Sydney after your honeymoon is a bit of a downer.

  10. I’m in NZ right now and flying through Fiji in 7 days. Going to have a 4-hour layover in Nadi (family of 5). My Priority Pass is in the States. (Long story). Is it worth the US$63 it will cost to have expedited to me? Note we’d be able to use on way back to NZ as well.

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