REVIEW – Etihad Airways : Business Class (Regional) – Malé to Abu Dhabi (A320)October 28, 2017
REVIEW – Hyatt Regency London The ChurchillOctober 30, 2017
Etihad Airways (EY)
- Flight: EY278
- Class: Business Class
- Seat: 10A
- From: Abu Dhabi (AUH)
- To: London (LHR)
- Duration: 8h00
- Aircraft: Airbus A380
- Status during flight: Etihad Guest Gold
- Booking type: AA Miles Award
- 30k Miles one way for MLE-AUH-LHR in business class
- Date: May 2016
FOR INFORMATION ON HOW I BOOKED THIS FLIGHT CHECK OUT THE INTRODUCTION TO THIS TRIP REPORT HERE:
After an absolutely spectacular outbound flight in the First Class Apartments I was really curious to see how the business class product would pan out. Given that I would be heading straight to the office from this flight, my priorities were a little different than on the outbound. Basically I just wanted to get to sleep in comfort and enjoy some privacy and quiet. I wasn’t looking for tons of attention and I was already stuffed from the food at the lounge and on the flight from MLE.
We boarded on time for our 2:35am departure. A horribly late time of day, especially when you have work the next morning but given the geographic location of the UAE, this is pretty much rush hour.
Centre seats consist of either closely paired ‘honeymoon seats’ or twin aisle seats, with tables in the middle. The window seats are arranged in alternating fashion whereby half the seats are located directly next to the window, with the table on the outside and the other half are nearer the aisle with the table right by the window.
No matter which seat you pick, there is either a high wall or a table between you and the aisle. Sat by the window, when you’re sat in your seat, hell even if you’re standing up, you’ll struggle to catch sight of another person at all. The eyelines are designed in a way that absolutely maximises privacy for every passenger whilst leaving you open for unencumbered service from the cabin crew.
(In case you were wondering, I took a full set of pics at night but retook a lot of them in the morning, as the evening lighting washed a lot of the shots out.)
I was surprised to see the Poltrona Frau logo stamped on the leather headrest. This is an Italian furniture maker whose products feature in the First Class apartments and rightfully so – their leather goods are eye wateringly expensive. The build quality here is irrefutable, not just the seat either, the lighting is on another level.
As you can see, my feet were not at all restricted by the foot cubby – a common complaint with this style of staggered seating design. The black table on the right is the top of another person’s foot cubby and is not low down at all.
Menus and amenity kits were distributed pre-take off. The FA distributing the menus took note of the fact that I didn’t want any dinner but would like to have some breakfast. I’m not sure if this was related to my Etihad Gold status but she asked me what I would like to eat in the morning and said that she would have it held aside for me. She also assured me that if I was unable to get to sleep she would be happy to serve me food whenever I wanted.
Etihad Long Haul Business Class Menu
Although the plane was fully boarded on time, our departure was rather delayed. The nature of the delays was never made clear to us and it kept rolling.
I was becoming rather worried about the time I’d make it to the office the following morning but figured there was nothing I could do about it. So naturally I did what what any reasonable person would, faced with a similar set of circumstances…
The on-board Lounge
After getting changed back into my clothes, I used the IFE chat system to get hold of Kamara who was safely ensconced in a First Class Apartment. I then asked an FA if I could get my breakfast in 15 minutes, with my first coffee of the day delivered to the lounge: “No problem”, was his response.
Ordinarily that bagel would have sufficed as a breakfast in its own right but I figured this was the last meal of my holiday and I might as well go out with a bang(er).
The omelette was wonderfully soft and ever so slightly runny in the middle, perfect. The sausages were gently spiced and pretty great too. The tomato was a bit mushy and flavourless. The hash brown was soggy and oily.
Much like the First Class Apartments have revolutionised the First Class travel landscape, Etihad’s A380 has significantly raised the bar for business class travel. The seat finishes are up there with the fine leather of Singapore’s A380 Business Class, the IFE controls and screen are just as sharp as those found on Qatar’s Dreamliner, the privacy is almost as all encompassing as the apex suites used by JAL (with privacy assured in almost every seat – not just windows) and the food and drink is not only of a high standard but also available on demand.
The only slight drawbacks that come to mind are that Etihad is now in cost-cutting mode and doesn’t offer PJs or limo service to business class passengers. Overall though, this is now the business class product to beat.
- Part 1:
- Etihad : First and Business Class Lounge – London Heathrow T4
- Part 2:
- Etihad : Apartments (First Class) – A380 – London to Abu Dhabi
- Part 3:
- Etihad : Business Class Lounge – Abu Dhabi
- Part 4:
- Etihad : Business Class (Regional) – A320 – Abu Dhabi to Malé
- Part 5:
- Conrad Maldives Seaplane Lounge – Malé [morning]
- Part 6:
- Seaplane Transfer and Arrival Experience at Conrad Maldives
- Part 7:
- Conrad Maldives : Beach Villa (pre-renovation)
- Part 8:
- Conrad Maldives : Retreat Water Villa
- Part 9:
- A comparison of The Main Island and the Quiet Island at the Conrad Maldives
- Part 10:
- Eating and Drinking at the Conrad Maldives
- Part 11:
- Diving and Snorkelling at the Conrad Maldives
- Part 12:
- Conrad Maldives Lounge – Malé [evening]
- Part 12:
- Etihad : Business Class (Regional) – A320 – Malé to Abu Dhabi
- Part 12:
- Etihad : Business Class – A380 – Abu Dhabi to London