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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: ITA New A321Neo Business Class Cairo-Rome

Intro


Tomorrow, I leave on my great African adventure (more on that in a post tomorrow), so I wanted to share this special trip report from my Asia tour back in January of this year. I had booked this trip for two reasons. The first was the fact at how cheap it was, and the second because I wanted to fly the new A321neo!


ITA is a beautiful airline with fantastic seats, amazing food, and great drinks, but if you are a Westerner, the service isn't the best.


Let's get into it!


Route-Cairo-Rome

Plane- Airbus A321neo

Seat- 1A

Flight Number- AZ897

Date- January 24th 2024

Flight Time: 3 Hours 39 Minutes

Price Paid- 1381$ (2 legs)


How I Booked


Cairo has some fantastic deals over to the US, and I decided to take advantage of exactly that. For 1381$, I was able to secure seat 1A onboard the A321neo to Rome and then the A330-200 over to New York the following day in Business Class.


What a great deal

All in all, this is a deal that I wish I could fly every week, especially for the product found on the A321neo.


Check-In/Boarding


The driver picked me up at the Fairmont at the Nile (I will get to those reviews after Africa), and we made our way out to the Cairo airport. Check-in was a breeze, and we went through to the lounge (once again, after the Africa trip, I will review it). However, one thing I did not realize was that there are separate lines at security for women and men😂. Oops.


Cairo Airport

BA Plane heading to London

At about 5:20, our inbound plane landed from Rome. Boarding was called about 25 minutes later at 5:45 pm local time.


1st in line

I seemed to be one of the first onboard, although I was still getting used to blogging and forgot to take pictures of the cabin😅.


Boarding at Cairo

Boarding ITA A321neo


The FA wished me good evening, and I settled into seat 1A. Oh my gosh, so much space!!


New ITA A321neo Business Class

Departure


A pre-departure beverage was offered in a beautiful glass. Although, since we were in Egypt, no alcohol was offered on the ground.


ITA pre-departure beverage

We ended up pushing back 7 minutes behind schedule at 6:02.


Cairo Airport Sunset

However, due to a runway closure in Rome, we didn't end up taking off until about 25 minutes after the hour.


I won't wear headphones for takeoff, it's a thing

Takeoff From Cairo

The Seat/Cabin


The new ITA A321neo is laid out in a 3-cabin configuration featuring 5 rows in Business Class in a 1-1 configuration, 3 rows of premium economy in a 2-2 configuration, and 141 economy seats in a 3-3 configuration.


I assigned myself seat 1A as they don't charge anything extra for the first row!


New ITA A321neo Business Class

The seats are gorgeous and comfortable. Each and every aspect is spacious and sleek. There is infinite room in the first row!


Seat 1A ITA A321neo

A tray table pops out with the push of a button.


Great design which I never bumped into

The seat controls were mounted to the side and easy to use. Also, that remote might be the most stylish I have seen on any aircraft, even better than the Singapore Airlines Suites.


Seat design A321 ITA

A small cabinet swivels out by pushing it inwards. Look at that material inside as well, big props to you ITA.


ITA A321neo Storage

And, of course... the bed. Even if this is a narrowbody aircraft, the bed was one of the most spacious surfaces I have slept on in a business-class product. Very comfortable as well!


ITA A321neo Bed

Amenities/IFE


Amenities were plentiful for a 3-hour flight. First, we had a "spa kit" featuring a multitude of items. I am not sure why we need these, but I am not complaining.


ITA amenity kit

This was a cool addition to my amenity kit collection at home (currently have way too many).


What is all of this for?

And if one amenity kit wasn't enough, there was another! This one contained the traditional basic such as socks, sleeping mask and a toothbrush.


Amenity kit ITA

Slippers? On a 3-hour flight? Once again, I'm not complaining, I just don't know how I'll ever go back to flying intra Europe & intra US.


ITA Slippers

Decent-quality headphones were provided as well, but I forgot to take a picture.


In regards to IFE, I found the screen to be of great quality and very responsive. The IFE has plenty of good options when it comes to movies, which entertained me for a couple of hours before heading off for a nap.


ITA IFE

Blue is my favorite color, so they might win me over here as well😉.


ITA IFE

Wifi was available at 10$ for the whole flight which I thought was reasonable, as well as free messaging.


ITA wifi price

ITA free messaging

Meal Service


Meal service began about 20 minutes into the flight with an aperitif and a choice of drink. Here is what the menu looked like for today.



I opted for an Aperol spritz because it is my favorite drink. When else can I have one on a plane?


Aperol spritz.. on a plane

I decided to skip the appetizer and head straight for the main. Good heavens this might have been some of the best food I have ever had on a plane.


ITA Business Class food

I paired the meal with a nice glass of red wine as I watched a movie.


Can we take a minute to appreciate how nice the plating is??


ITA A321neo

For dessert, I decided to switch up the drinks to a glass of Ferrari Champagne. I don't mind Ferrari actually, and think this is the perfect tribute to the F1 team.


A little champagne never hurt anyone

The chocolate dessert came out, and it was delicious. How I didn't put on weight this trip is past my knowledge.


ITA Dessert

The best part of the whole flight was the Limoncello. I am a sucker for Limoncello and this didn't dissapoint.


Uh yes!!

During the rest of the flight, I just finished up my movie and got a little hour of nap.


Nap Time on ITA

Arrival


At 8:10 pm local time, the captain announced our initial descent into Rome. This would be my first time in Italy (even though I grew up in the UK), so I was quite excited!


Preparing for landing

We touched down at 8:35 and had a 5-minute taxi to our gate.


Arrival in Rome!

Being in seat 1A, the FA bid me farewell and I made my way over to immigration.


Clear Skies from hear

Just in time to catch an Uber to the city to devour my first pizza from Italy!


Final Thoughts


The ITA A321neo might be the best way to fly in Business Class on a narrowbody in the world. The front seats offer almost unlimited space, unlike those cramped footwells you often find on other products. The food is stellar, especially for a flight of 3 hours; I could not have asked for better food. The drink offerings are up there, with longer-haul international products such as Aperol Spritz being offered, Limoncello, and Ferrari champagne.


The only small critique I have is the service. It wasn't bad in any way, but it felt like the customers who spoke Italian had longer conversations with the FAs compared to "What would you like to eat?".


All in all: Fantastic!


JETTOAJET SCALE


Onboard Catering

9/10

Seat (1A)

10/10

Amenities/IFE

9/10

Lounge

8/10

Service

7/10

Total

43/50


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