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

Jun 24, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

During the COVID-19 crisis, our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips. However, we have resumed the publication of new flighthotel 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.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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

Business class: Jean Arnas

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

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

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.