Watch as TPG UK reviews Middle East Airlines (MEA) in business and economy at the same time
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During the COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips. However, we have resumed the publication of new flight, hotel and lounge reviews, from trips taken before the lockdown. To help keep you entertained — and maybe inspire you — we are also republishing a selection of our most popular reviews from 2019 and 2020. We hope this will help you choose once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.
As part of our final trip of 2020 before the coronavirus lockdowns became our reality, Jean and I flew from Paris to Beirut on board Middle East Airlines (MEA). The airline flies one of its long-haul A330-200 aircraft on the route, allowing us to put its economy and business-class products head to head.
As with all flight reviews, we pay for our own travel. Check out our experience on board in the video review below:
Business class: Jean Arnas
TPG paid: 42,500 Delta SkyMiles + £140 tax.
Jean was rather disappointed by the ground experience in Paris, but was more impressed when he stepped onto the aircraft. He found there to be lots of space in the cabin, with a spacious seat and endless legroom in his exit row seat. He also liked the big pillow, blanket, large screen and delicious meal, which were all surprising on a relatively short flight. He found the crew to be efficient, too.
On the downside, he thought that what the seat gained in spaciousness, it lacked in privacy. And although the crew were efficient, they were rather cold and unfriendly.
Economy class: Nicky Kelvin
TPG paid: £251
I thought the cabin and seat felt relatively fresh and comfortable, and I had no complaints in that regard for this length of flight. There were some amenities, including a blanket, pillow and headphones, which were nice to have on a short day flight, but were not the greatest quality.
The food was plentiful and very tasty, and the crew were efficient, friendly and fun. They even gave me loads of tips on what to do when I landed in Beirut and seemed genuinely excited that I was going to explore some of their country.
One downside is the layout of the MEA A330 cabin. Bizarrely, MEA does not split its economy cabin on the A330 into two like most airlines, which creates one giant mega cabin. And when you’re in the middle, you’re not close to crew service or toilets.
Finally, because MEA is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, I credited the flight to Flying Blue, which is the loyalty programme of Air France and KLM. But the 496 miles earned, worth £4.96 at TPG U.K.’s current valuation, aren’t going to get me too far!
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy
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