- Flight details
- Beond Airline: Unveiling the New Business Class Experience
- Munich Lounge and FlyBeyond Gate Experience
- Airbus A319 Cabin and Seats: What to Expect Onboard FlyBeond
- Crew Interaction: How is the Service on FlyBeyond?
- The FlyBeond Dining Experience
- What Gadgets and Amenities Does FlyBeond Offer?
- Technical Issues
- First-leg Summary and Feedback: How was my Initial Experience on FlyBeond?
- Continuing the Journey on FlyBeond to the Maldives
- Breakfast and Amenities
- Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the FlyBeond Experience
- FOLLOW MY JOURNEY
- About the Author
- Class: Business
- Route: Munich (MUC) to Male (MLE) via Dubai (DWC)
- Aircraft model: Airbus A319-100
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Beond Airline: Unveiling the New Business Class Experience
Today we are flying the brand new all business class airline “Beond” trying to find out whether it’s money well spent or not, and while it looked all stunning and luxurious, I felt it leaves a lot to be desired when I completed my journey in the Maldives. So let me show you the ups and downs of the latest International Airline on our way to Paradise.
Munich Lounge and FlyBeyond Gate Experience
Our trip started in Munich, one of three destinations the airline serves within Europe. I had a highly motivated station manager at the check-in counter and I was told that there are only four passengers booked on today’s flight. My one-way ticket to the Maldives cost me $2,222. Lounge access is included in your fare, and I treated myself to some good German sausage and a pretzel.
I wanted to give you a first glimpse of the all-black Beyond Airbus A319 at the gate, but unfortunately, we had a remote gate which was a last-minute change. However, what I like in situations like this, is to communicate these matters, and the station manager literally went to each individual guest and informed them about the gate change and about the possible delay because the plane is coming in late. That’s what we like.
Airbus A319 Cabin and Seats: What to Expect Onboard FlyBeond
And here we are, welcome on board the plane everybody is talking about in the aviation industry; the all business class Airbus A319. 44 seats in a 2-2 configuration, all business class.
My first impression was it looks pretty stunning when you walk into a cabin, and you only see lie-flat beds. That’s something very unique and gives you that luxury feeling, especially if you consider that this plane used to fly for EasyJet for 20 years, doing the budget life. And now, they have converted it into a luxury bird.
Crew Interaction: How is the Service on FlyBeyond?
Once we reached cruising altitude, it was a good time to share my feelings about what it was like to get on board, and what the crew was like. Of course, it’s a beautiful hard product, but it’s not worth much in my opinion, if the soft product doesn’t match it.
We have to keep in mind, this is a new airline. They’re still learning. They’re still getting used to this concept. So, we are very forgiving today. However, when I walked in here, it felt very corporate. It felt very distant, very robotic. No “how are you” or “how has your day been.” For an airline that says, “We offer a Beond experience,” it didn’t match that slogan.
Also, the amenity kit that was given to me was open. So, it’s about the little details that let them down here.
There is a card in front of you that explains how to connect all the gadgets. Because if, for example, I think of my mom, she knows nothing about tech, and she would be absolutely overwhelmed and would not know how to operate that stuff.
So, the right way for the crew would be to leave the stuff here and offer some assistance. “Do I have to explain how it works?” or “Do I have to talk you through this?” This just enhances the experience, and that would probably be the right thing to do.
Also, given that we had a very light load, just four passengers, which means one crew member for each passenger, I feel that the service could be a lot more personalized. Also, given that the price tag of 3,000 to 4,000 EUR for this flight is quite high, the expectations are high as well.
The FlyBeond Dining Experience
Before I talk you through all the gadgets and all that kind of stuff, let me talk you through the dining experience. I was given a menu, and well, you’d think on Beond it’s all about the details, but it says Munich to Riyadh, which was a little bit confusing.
The crew came and took my order. What I noticed was, let’s say I fly on Emirates or Cathay or similar, in business class generally and even the station manager usually approach you with your name. So they want to make it a more personal experience like, “Mr. Cahill” or “How can I address you?” None of that happened on this flight.
At the end of the day, it’s a flight review; we’re going to go into the details. We are going to take the product apart. That’s not nitpicking or anything like that, but this is what flight reviews are all about, right? We go deep into the details, just to give you a comprehensive review of what it’s like.
The attendant took my order in which I asked that I would like to have a coffee for dessert. The coffee was served right with my starter, which was a little bit confusing. But the presentation, the tableware, looked all really spot on.
Tastewise, the starter was pretty decent. The mains were lamb cutlets with potatoes. In terms of presentation, it looked all very beautiful and I was hoping it would taste the way it looks, but overall, the food was decent, but at the same time, nothing really extraordinary and rather on the dry side.
What Gadgets and Amenities Does FlyBeond Offer?
So, I promised you we would talk about all the gadgets that you get; Instead of a built-in entertainment here on Beond, they hand out an iPad with some pre-installed movies. And what I find pretty cool as well, you get Beats headphones. I had a pair of these once and the sound quality is pretty amazing and it’s also noise canceling.
So one thing you can tell about Beond is that a lot of very smart and passionate people came together to really create an amazing product. It’s all about the details, and this is what I loved about the thought and effort that went behind the gadgets.
Unfortunately, there was a lot of trouble pairing my headphones with the iPad, and it wouldn’t connect. Even the new set I received didn’t work, so I decided to go to sleep instead.
However, another problem I noticed was that the lights at the seat panels can’t be switched off, and it gets very bothersome if you are sensitive to lights. Also, the green lights on the seats were super bright at night, and it created some sort of Christmassy atmosphere.
I spoke to one of the crew members about it, and they said that many guests have raised this issue, and they are currently working on that matter.
Check out my Beond Video Review
If you prefer visual reviews, you can just lean back and enjoy my video report which gives you a detailed inside of what it’s like to travel on the all new business class airline, Beond.
Enjoy and if you liked it please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel for more airline reviews.
After a few hours of solid sleep, I was unfortunately not able to freshen up since the water tap was broken on the plane, and also no hot towels were given out—something you would expect on an all business class airline.
In any case, we then started our approach into Dubai World Central for a technical stop and to change the crew before we continued to the Maldives.
First-leg Summary and Feedback: How was my Initial Experience on FlyBeond?
We landed at Dubai World Central, and reached our parking position. I don’t want to be overly critical since it’s a new airline, it’s a startup. They’re still trying to figure things out. But from my perspective, it was a little bit unfortunate that the iPad and none of the headphones were working for me.
As well as the fact there was no running water, which is a little bit annoying since you want to freshen up after a bit of sleep. I’ve got to be honest, in over 600 flights I’ve had that only once, and I was in Tunisair, and you don’t really aspire to be like them.
There are little problems here and there, and I hope they can fix them, but I’ve also paid a full fare, you know, so for some, this might be really annoying. At this point, I wasn’t sure whether they were going to fix the running water but I think it was a bit irresponsible to operate a plane like that.
Continuing the Journey on FlyBeond to the Maldives
I was looking forward to what the second part of the journey would look like. We had a new set of crew which would accompany me to the Maldives.
We started off with exactly what you need if you don’t have running water, a hot towel. I think that’s something I would have appreciated before we started our descent. I think there should be a hot towel before takeoff, a hot towel before landing, it’s just very refreshing.
The new crew did what the previous crew didn’t do. There was a member of the cabin crew called Richie who came, introduced himself, and took a few minutes to get to know me and the other passengers. So we were off to a good start crew-wise for the second flight.
And in all fairness, before we continued to Male, the cabin manager from the first flight was very apologetic about my experience. We were joking around that it seemed that everything I touched broke down, whether it was the iPad or the water tap. But she did acknowledge the fact that things weren’t going the way they were supposed to.
However, the cabin manager then said, “We do have your special meal loaded,” and I was thinking, “Huh? Never in my life have I requested a special meal.” So apparently, there was some hiccup on their system or something that said apparently I ordered one. But I said, “I’d rather have the omelet,” so that’s what I had for breakfast.
Breakfast and Amenities
Next on the agenda is the Beond amenity kit. When I was handed the amenity kit, it was wide open, and I thought I knew why… because there was no toothbrush in there, which I find generally the most important item in an amenity kit, but probably somebody helped themselves and I was just handed a used amenity kit.
When I went to the loo, there were no amenities there like toothbrushes etc either, so I suspect that is what happened.
But when I asked the crew about it, they said they were apparently out of toothbrushes for whatever reason, something I find very odd to be honest, but it is what it is.
It was then time for a good breakfast, and we started off with a salmon starter, which was okay, followed by an omelet. While I think that the food is solid, it doesn’t necessarily blow my mind.
So far, the whole flying experience, while comfortable and very pleasant, didn’t give me any wow factor and doesn’t really put any regular business class product to shame.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts on the FlyBeond Experience
I think I said everything that needed to be said. There’s a lot of room for improvement, and I mean, if they already are struggling with four passengers, it might be a very different ball game when they have full flights.
But it’s their first month of operation, so I’m happy to provide feedback. I can see the concept working, and it to be a success because you can see from all the little details how much energy and time they invested in this.
I’m very hopeful that the right people are in the right jobs, but they just need some time. They need to get feedback, they need to listen to their customers and to refine the experience a little more.
But as I said, I gave all my thoughts earlier in the review, and this should be it for now.
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Let me know in the comment section below what you think of Beond. Are they going, are they here to stay, or will they fail with their whole concept?
This is it. Wherever you’re off to, have a safe trip.
FOLLOW MY JOURNEY
About the Author
Josh Cahill is an award-winning Aviation YouTuber who is reportedly one of the most-watched flight reviewers on the internet. He organised Afghanistan’s first all-female flight together with Kam Air in February 2021 on a flight from Herat to Kabul for which he received the Aviation Achievement Award. His favourite hobby? Flying exotic airlines nobody has ever heard of.