Tunisair A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Montreal! After flying from London to Tunis on Tunisair on Tuesday, yesterday afternoon I flew from Tunis to Montreal, which is a route that has fascinated me for a while.

So, how did the roughly nine hour flight compare to my previous shorter flight on Tunisair?

Let’s start with the plane. Tunisair’s A330 features a total of 24 business class seats, spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

The seats are angled, which is a real shame, given that the plane is only a couple of years old. It’s not a mildly angled seat either, like you might find on EgyptAir or Korean Air, but rather the type of seat that makes you feel like you’re trying to sleep in a dentist’s chair. So for what I’d consider to be a brand new plane, products don’t get much worse than this. While not important, I also find Tunisair’s color choices to be odd. The airline uses white and red in all their branding, while the seats have turquoise finishes. Odd.

Unfortunately Tunisair didn’t delight with their amenities either. The pillows and blankets were terrible, and about what I’d expect in economy. The pillow was only a bit bigger than my hand, while the blanket was similar to what you’d expect on a regional flight. It’s almost as if Tunisair designed their new business class around minimizing rest.

There was a fairly basic amenity kit, though.

I had read that Tunisair had wifi on their A330s, though that didn’t seem to actually be the case. When I asked the crew about it they said “we hope to have it one day, Inshallah!” On the plus side, the entertainment selection wasn’t that bad. There were about two dozen Hollywood movies, which was more than I was expecting, though only two sitcoms, which was less than I was expecting.

The food itself was really good, though the presentation wasn’t. Everything was served on trays, with the foil still on the dishes. I can appreciate airlines wanting to show that they’re serving properly “sealed” food, but at a minimum they should take the foil off for passengers at their seats.

There were nuts and some light canapés to start. That was followed by two appetizer choices — I selected the Tunisian option.

For the main course there were three choices, and I chose the Tunisian grouper with saffron potatoes, which was very good, even if it didn’t look it.

Then there was a cheese course.

Lastly, that was followed by a choice of two desserts (I chose the pistachio cake), as well as fruit.

Talk about a big and tasty meal, despite the lackluster presentation.

Interestingly Tunisair wasn’t serving alcohol because of Ramadan, which the flight attendant couldn’t really make sense of.

As far as the crew goes, I’d say they were well intentioned and friendly. The gentlemen working the cabin genuinely seemed to mean well and were friendly. They were smiling, at times were even proactive, and were providing what I’d call fine Tunisian hospitality.

However, there were more shenanigans, along the lines of what I had on my previous flight. But I’ll save that for the full trip report.

Unfortunately I can’t really recommend Tunisair in good conscience. Before flying them I was hoping they’d pleasantly surprise me, though they didn’t. While the food was good and the service well intentioned and even friendly, the seats, terrible pillow & blanket, and lack of attention to detail in the product makes this a below average business class product.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid them (like if I were flying specifically between Montreal and Tunis), but otherwise I’d look at other options.

Comments

  1. Sorry it was grim – thought at least the food was good.

    Thanks for taking one for the team!

  2. Excited for the full trip report and to hear about the “shenanigans” on this flight
    I know you mentioned in the other post that you don’t go out of your way to call out bad service and let things “happen naturally” given that you are there to review a product, which makes sense, but is there a line where if service is SO bad you say something to the cabin service manager? And I’ve also been wondering if you follow up with the airline after the flight? For instance on your horrible experience with Saudia in the past? And this past trip with Tunisair? I certainly would, and think you’d be helping the airline by providing such feedback, even if you don’t say anything during the flight.

  3. At first i tought you might be exaggerating tunisair, but 5sec at tripadvisor paint a grim picture of tunisair.

  4. “The pillow was only a bit bigger than my hand, while the blanket was similar to what you’d expect on a regional flight. It’s almost as if Tunisair designed their new business class around minimizing rest.”

    “…I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid them (like if I were flying specifically between Montreal and Tunis)…”

    Oh, Ben, thank you so much for making me laugh out loud. This is one of your better “warning” reviews.

    I’m so glad you flew this airline, so I know to avoid them at all costs.

  5. @Lauren and @Lucky:

    Had the same question and wanted to add that we read a lot of “It was not a pleasant flight but I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid them.” But it seems no matter how poor the service, you always say that which is to say it doesn’t mean anything if there are no airlines you would avoid. So, aside from maybe your flight on China Eastern (with the smoking crew), where do you draw your line for airlines that you would *actively* avoid because the hard and soft product are so abysmal? I may have missed it in previous reports but I’m curious to know if you have a quantitative/qualitative line that must be crossed.

  6. Ben, organize a meet-up in Montreal tonight! I would love to meet you!! And it’s a gorgeous day today!

  7. The wifi situation update made me laugh for some reason. (Not in a negative or sarcastic way) The hopefullness portrayed in that seem to tickle me. While it a nice habit, saying god willing to the installation of wifi was amusing to hear

  8. The reply about not serving alcohol during Ramadan left me perplexed. So the airline will start Eid al Fitr celebrations by serving alcohol again? Somehow the math is not adding up in the logic of that rationale.

  9. I didn’t realize that bagels were Tunisian

    (Maybe it was Tunisair’s nod to the famous bagels in Montreal )

  10. Hi Lucky,

    Me also in Montreal, it will be a great fun just to shake hand with the others in montreal….But have a good stay in montreal !

  11. I actually find that color scheme pleasing, even if it is a bit off brand. Nice and cooling in the cabin, which I always appreciate.

    Glad the food was good, as fish, even in premium cabins, can be hit or miss. Too bad about the booze policy – seems they could do what the ME3 do and just serve from the galley to avoid offending sensibilities. It isn’t like Tunisia is a hyper religious country.

    TU does seem like a miss though.

  12. FYI, this product is nearly identical to MEA’s A330s. I’ve seen that product on your list of Business class products to try before. You are not missing much.

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