by Tristan Rayner in Cool Travel on Tuesday 10 June 2014

We had a chance to fly long-haul with Fiji Airways in the hallowed section that they call business class, but should probably be called bliss-while-floating-on-a-cloud. Seriously. Flying from Australia to most places in the world is long haul. And pretty much everyone dreads it. It’s exciting to get there, but the travelling time is the killer.

We all have secrets and tips for getting through the cramped economy existence that we suffer on a plane for some 57 hours straight as we attempt to get to Europe or America or anywhere else without emerging a broken, dishevelled mess.

And then there’s business class. I’d never flown business class before this. And the question that I always asked others, and that others will undoubtedly ask me, is always the same: Is it actually worth it? Well, I’m pleased to say that yes, yes it is. If you can afford it, do it – especially on a long haul flight like we did from Sydney to Los Angeles, with a stopover at Nadi in Fiji.

Business class is a new hope for flying – something that you actually can look forward to; a place on a plane that spoils you.

And with Fiji Airways being a brand this cool, with service as nice as it is, and planes as new as they are, it’s a different world.

Everyone gets along together up the front, with subtle nods as you smile at your kind cabin crew, who offer your three courses of fine dining with plenty of choice and plenty of higher-end alcohol.

It’s all about comfort, legroom, enjoyable food, a drink or two, and creating a relaxed world that can soothe your flight and make you actually hope to have a few more hours before touchdown.

Fiji Airways isn’t pretending to be the only airline flying to the USA from Australia. The trip to Los Angeles has plenty of options. Most people will have an experience to tell you to affirm that the various American airlines are definitely to be avoided. Qantas asks a lot of your wallet to fly with them. So when Fiji Airways popped up as an option, I had to ask myself: had I heard of these guys? And they’re flying all the way to LAX? Why did no one tell me?

And imagine my further surprise when they turn out to be a beautiful boutique airline, part of the Oneworld Alliance with Qantas, with brand new A330-200 jets which even my frequent flyer mates were impressed by. My personal favourite service were the AC power outlets; perfect if you’re on the go, or just want to keep marathoning through a season of Game of Thrones while you’re up in the air.

A key part of the Fiji Airways ethos is ‘Fiji Time’, a genuinely relaxing notion of letting things unfold, just as they are, and enjoying it. Business class has this in spades.

It was easy to enjoy every part of what was on offer – the fully-flat bed, the food, the wine, the Fiji Water, and the little travel kit full of goodies.

The recent redesign and branding of Fiji Airways is award winning, and with good reason. It’s a strong, traditional Fijian motif and the plane livery is true to this. It’s so good that we’ll follow it up with another post and look at the story behind it.

None of this was lost on fellow passenger Jennifer Hawkins, who we just happened to share the cabin with on her way to Fiji to shoot her latest range:

And it’s not just in the air where you get benefits with Fiji Airways and their partners.

You unlock the door to various Business Class lounges, which includes Qantas (and their new lounge opens in June at LAX) and Oneworld. You get off the plane first and speed through immigration. (There’s a separate line and everything).

You’re special, or at least that’s how people treat you. It’s nice. It might not feel right, or that they’ve mistaken you for someone else, but it’s just nice.

The writers of this article paid for their flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, with an upgrade to Business Class courtesy of Fiji Airways