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Video flight review: Flying Middle East Airlines in business and economy on the Airbus A330

June 24, 2020
5 min read
Video flight review: Flying Middle East Airlines in business and economy on the Airbus A330
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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. 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, TPG UK head of video Jean Arnas and I flew from Paris to Beirut on board Middle East Airlines (MEA). Lebanon's flag carrier does not serve the United States, but it is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, meaning you can earn and spend Delta Air Lines miles on it. The airline flies to London and Paris among several other European cities, and has an extensive network in the Middle East.

MEA serves the Paris route with its long-haul Airbus A330-200, the flagship of the fleet, allowing us to put its economy and business-class products head to head.

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Check out our experience on board in the video review below:

Business class: Jean Arnas

TPG paid: 42,500 Delta SkyMiles + £140 tax ($174).

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Jean was rather disappointed by the ground experience in Paris, but was more impressed when he stepped onto the aircraft. He found lots of space in the cabin, with endless legroom. 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 had in spaciousness, it lacked in privacy. And although the crew were efficient, they were rather cold and unfriendly.

Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy

Economy class: Nicky Kelvin

TPG paid: £251 ($312)

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 and, unlike the biz-class flight attendants, 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 program of Air France and KLM. But the 496 miles earned, worth $5.95 at TPG’s current valuation, aren’t going to get me too far!

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023