Video flight review: Flying Middle East Airlines in business and economy on the Airbus A330
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 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.
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.
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!
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees