Review: Etihad First Class A380 New York To Abu Dhabi

Filed Under: Etihad

Etihad’s A380s arguably feature the world’s most stunning and revolutionary first class product, with their First Class Apartments. I was lucky enough to be on Etihad’s first A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to London, and subsequently on their first ever A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to New York.

I was excited to experience the A380 flying in the other direction, from New York to Abu Dhabi. In this installment I’ll focus a bit less on the seat (since I’ve covered it in great detail before), and a bit more on the flight itself.

Etihad 102
New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Saturday, December 26
Depart: 2:30PM
Arrive: 12:15PM (+1 day)
Duration: 12hr45min
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 3A (First Class Apartment)

We boarded through the upper deck door, which is located between the first and business class cabins. We were escorted to the left, into the stunning first class cabin. Even though this is a widebody, there’s a single aisle in the first class cabin, which makes the cabin feel that much more special.

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartments

In this case I was booked in seat 3A, Ford was booked in seat 2H, and Matt was booked in seat 5H. I’ve written a post in the past about what I consider to be the best Etihad A380 First Class Apartments, so see that post for more. If you’re traveling with someone you’ll ideally want 3A & 4A, 3K & 4K, or 1H & 2H, due to them being connected. But we booked last minute, so we took what we could get.


Words can’t really do justice to how gorgeous the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment is, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, 3A

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, 3A

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, 3A

Since I was in seat 3A, I was in a rear facing window seat. The seats in the cabin alternate between being forward facing and rear facing, and also between being closer to the aisle and closer to the window.

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Etihad First Class Apartment seat

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View from my Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

Two rows in front of me was The Residence, Etihad’s famous three room suite with butler service. It was empty on this flight, as I find to be the norm.

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Etihad’s A380 The Residence

Funny enough, seated in front of me was American Airlines guru JonNYC. This wasn’t planned at all, but rather we just connected the dots once we were both seated. Small world!

Once settled in, we were individually welcomed aboard by the onboard chef (from South Africa), food & beverage manager (from Portugal), and flight attendant (from India) who would be taking care of us.

Hugo, the food & beverage manager, quickly came by to offer us pre-departure beverages. Since the First Class Apartments are so big, all three of us sat in one “apartment” while we had drinks. We had champagne, which was served with hot towels, dates, and a welcome aboard note from the cabin manager.

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Etihad first class pre-departure champagne


Shortly thereafter we were offered slippers and pajamas for the flight.

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Etihad first class pajamas & slippers

While Etihad’s pajamas are fairly plain, they’re also quite comfortable.

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Etihad first class pajamas & slippers

About 15 minutes after we settled in, Chef Gareth came by to present us with the menus for the flight. He returned about 15 minutes later to take orders. Unfortunately they had already run out of biryani by the time they took our orders. Fortunately there’s a ton of stuff on Etihad’s menu, so there’s no shortage of options.

At around 12:50PM (20 minutes after scheduled departure) the captain came on the PA to welcome everyone aboard and wish us a merry Christmas. He informed us there was a slight delay due to flow control, and that the delay could last another half an hour or so. He informed us of our flight time of 12hr5min, and promised to do everything he could to get us an arrival as close to on-time as possible.

Fortunately the crew did a great job keeping our champagne glasses nice and full throughout the delay, so we were happy to be spending more time on Etihad’s gorgeous A380.

Finally at around 3:20PM we began our pushback, 50 minutes behind schedule. All nine First Class Apartments were occupied.

We pushed next to an EL AL 747, Virgin Atlantic A340, and Emirates A380 (at last Virgin was in the middle in this case — I always chuckle when I see EL AL and Emirates parked immediately next to one another).

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Terminal 4 JFK traffic

As we taxied the safety video began to play, starting with the typical travel prayer.

It was about 30 minutes from when we pushed back until we took off.

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Taxiing JFK Airport

It took about five minutes for us to start up our engines, the taxi out to runway 4L took about 15 minutes, and from there we had about a 10 minute wait before we were cleared for takeoff.

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Queuing for takeoff JFK Airport

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Number three for takeoff JFK Airport

Eventually we were cleared onto the runway, and immediately began our takeoff roll.

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Taking off JFK Airport

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Taking off JFK Airport

It was a fairly long takeoff roll, as you might expect, and a very smooth climb out of JFK.

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Taking off JFK Airport

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View after takeoff from JFK

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View after takeoff from JFK

While it wasn’t the nicest day below the clouds, it was gorgeous above, as is the norm.

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View on our climb out

15 minutes after takeoff the meal service began. The menu read as follows:

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The beverage list read as follows:

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I just want to note how brilliant Etihad’s menu is overall. I love the fact that they have such a customizable menu, where you can select your protein, sides, sauces, etc. Assuming they don’t run out of options, it’s fantastic to have this sort of flexibility.

Hugo told us to let him know when we were ready to eat. After our time in the lounge and extended ground delay we were feeling rather, ahem, refreshed, so decided to have the meal right away so we could nap.

We asked Hugo if we could all dine in one “apartment,” which he agreed to. “I’ve served two people in one before, but three will be a new challenge. I’m up for it.”

We were first brought three trays with our champagne glasses, along with mixed nuts, olives, and veggie crisps.

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Etihad first class drink service

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Etihad first class snacks

I appreciate that in first class Etihad brings out the glasses, and then brings out the bottle, at which point they serve you.

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Champagne… champagne for everyone!

At that point it came time for our tables to be set, which was a fun challenge for Hugo.

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Efficient table setting in the Etihad First Class Apartment

We were offered a selection from the breadbasket — I selected pretzel and garlic bread.

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Etihad first class bread — garlic & pretzel bread

We were offered a delicious amuse bouche, consisting of salmon.

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Etihad first class dinner service — amuse bouche

As a starter I ordered the Arabic mezze, which tasted great, though I really think Etihad could work on the presentation a bit. It’s not that the chef did a bad job or anything, but that’s just the standard way they serve it nowadays.

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Etihad first class dinner starter — Arabic mezze

Ford had the red lentil soup.

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Etihad first class dinner starter — red lentil soup

Meanwhile Matt had the smoked duck breast.

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Etihad first class dinner starter — smoked duck breast

After the appetizers we were offered a yuzu sorbet as a palate cleanser, which was refreshing.

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Etihad first class palate cleanser — yuzu sorbet

For the main course I ordered the grilled halibut with green beans and mixed vegetables, which was accompanied by garlic and herb butter.

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Etihad first class dinner main course — halibut

Ford ordered chicken breast with green beans and mixed vegetables, served with tomato sauce.

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Etihad first class dinner main course — chicken breast

Matt had the beef tenderloin with green beans and mixed vegetables, served with bearnaise sauce.

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Etihad first class dinner main course — beef tenderloin

All three mains were fantastic. You’ve gotta love how customizable Etihad makes their meals. I can’t think of any other airline where you can just about custom order any main course.

We were quite full at this point, so just ordered a dessert taster to share, which included warm lemon pudding, berry jelly, and white chocolate yogurt cake. All three were delicious.

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Etihad first class dinner — dessert sampler

The meal was done about two hours into the flight, and service throughout was fantastic. Despite some turbulence and confined space on the one tray we were sharing, the crew did a great job taking care of us.

After that it was bed time, as we were hoping to be somewhat well rested for Abu Dhabi the following day.

The crew did a fabulous job with the turndown service. Does this look like an inviting place to sleep on a plane, or what?

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartment turndown service

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Etihad A380 First Class Apartment turndown service

I got a solid four hours of sleep, and woke up over Spain.

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View enroute to Abu Dhabi

We were just reaching the halfway point of our flight.

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Progress to Abu Dhabi

Okay, I may have had one or two too many glasses of champagne between the lounge and flight, so I woke up feeling thirsty. Very, very, very thirsty. Five bottles of water later, I was feeling much better.

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The thirst is real…

Ford woke up around the same time, though Matt slept almost the whole way to Abu Dhabi. To deal with our mild hangover, we decided to have a snack.

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Snack time in Etihad first class

I ordered the leek and mushroom quiche, which was great.

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Etihad snack — leek and mushroom quiche

Ford ordered the watercress soup to start, and then grilled chicken once again as his main.

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Etihad snack — watercress soup

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Etihad snack — grilled chicken breast

At this point we were feeling much better, so we headed back to The Lobby, located between first & business class. It’s a cool space, though as a first class passenger doesn’t serve all that much of a purpose, given how big each suite is. Nonetheless we sat there for a while chatting.

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The Lobby on the Etihad A380

I ordered a cappuccino while in The Lobby, along with an apricot and almond tart.

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Etihad snack — cappuccino accompanied by apricot and almond tart

After that I decided to nap a bit longer. When I returned to my seat I was impressed to find that the crew had refreshed my suite without me asking.

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Turndown service once again!

I managed to nap for about an hour, and then decided to shower. Showering on a plane never gets old, so as usual I giggled throughout most of the five minute shower in pure amazement at being able to shower on a plane. I still think that Etihad’s shower isn’t quite as nice as the one offered by Emirates on the A380. Though that’s perhaps the ultimate first world comparison.

Etihad A380 first class shower

While I didn’t watch any TV shows or movies on this flight, I did enjoy watching the tail camera, because at this point we were flying straight towards the sun.

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Tail camera enroute to Abu Dhabi

I ordered a coffee to try and wake up a bit more, and it was served with some baklava.

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Etihad first class coffee and baklava

Soon enough we were about 90 minutes out of Abu Dhabi, so the crew came around to see if we wanted anything to eat.

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Tail camera enroute to Abu Dhabi

I wasn’t in a breakfast mood, really, but did order an afternoon tea selection with English breakfast tea.

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Etihad first class afternoon tea

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Etihad first class afternoon tea

This consisted of a couple of small sandwiches, along with two scones, served with cream and fresh strawberries.

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Etihad first class afternoon tea — sandwiches

The only thing which could have been better is if they served actual clotted cream, rather than just cream.

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Etihad first class afternoon tea — scones

Matt woke up around this time and took a picture of his breakfast, which included fresh fruit and scrambled eggs.

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Etihad first class fresh fruit

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Etihad first class scrambled eggs

Soon enough we were in the final stretch of our journey, slowly approaching Bahrain.

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Airshow enroute to Abu Dhabi

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Airshow enroute to Abu Dhabi

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Airshow enroute to Abu Dhabi

Around this time, the captain came on the PA to provide us with updated arrival information. He anticipated we would land at around 12:55PM, which was 40 minutes after our scheduled arrival time.

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Airshow enroute to Abu Dhabi

The crew handed out fast track arrival cards, and slowly began preparing the cabin for landing.

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Fast track landing card for Abu Dhabi

The seatbelt sign was turned on at around 12:40PM, as we could start to see the coast of the UAE.

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View on approach into Abu Dhabi

As usual, the coastal areas are actually quite beautiful, while further inland the landscape is a bit less inspiring.

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View on approach into Abu Dhabi

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View on approach into Abu Dhabi

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View on approach into Abu Dhabi

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View on final approach into Abu Dhabi

Finally at 12:55PM we had a smooth touchdown in Abu Dhabi, and a 15 minute taxi to the gate.

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Taxiing Abu Dhabi

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Taxiing Abu Dhabi

One of the benefits of flying the A380 is that you’ll almost always get a gate, while most other Etihad planes park at remote stands. We pulled up to the terminal at 1:10PM.

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Taxiing Abu Dhabi

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Pulling into gate at Abu Dhabi Airport

I was impressed by the number of cleaners standing on the apron waiting for us to deplane so they could clean the plane.

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Cleaners waiting for our arrival

Etihad First Class Apartment bottom line

This was another fantastic flight on Etihad. It’s especially fun when you have three of the nine seats for your party. Etihad’s A380 first class hard product is unlike any other in the world.

As far as Etihad’s soft product goes, I love the variety of dishes they have, so you can truly customize your meal however you’d like. This crew was fantastic as well, and was attentive and friendly.

This was probably one of my top 10 most fun flights ever!

  1. @ Sam — As I explained in the introduction of the trip report, it’s because I’ve had so many trips in the meantime about products I haven’t reviewed before.

  2. @charles, didn’t Lucky state they had run out of biryani when they ordered?
    @lucky, do you know how Etihad prioritizes the ordering of food? I understand all 9 apartments were occupied, but did Etihad start from the row 1 and then to row 5 or did they start from the back to front? I was surprised they ran out of biryani by the time you ordered! (ok actually I wasn’t surprised given this was Etihad.) 😉
    I had sat on 3A apartment in the past and my only complaint about it was that it was hard to sleep when your head is by the door of your suite. When I flew on the EY A380, I recall being woken up from time to time from the footsteps of the flight attendant or other guests walking through that aisle. Perhaps I should have worn ear plugs.
    One last question — is it the norm nowadays to see 3 Guest Saver award seats on the same flight JFK-AUH? Actually, did jonnyc also use miles? Then that means there were at least 4 guest saver award seats on that flight!?! Not bad! Pretty cool to see roughly half the cabin were award passengers! 🙂
    Awesome trip report. Glad you enjoyed the experience!

  3. Wonderful trip report. Appreciated the detail. One small edit…the Champagnes list is in there 2 times in a row (hey, at least you know we read every word!). And secondly, the pic of the naked feet on the couch…

  4. Looks amazing choice of food and you made the most of it! I always find it a real treat to be able to fly in a group after loads off solo flying. Strange question, but as a watch geek as well as an avgeek, what does Ford wear? He seems to have some really smart timepieces on show in these trip reports!

  5. I do find it a bit mind-boggling that there would be issues running out of food selections in F. Award ticket or not, that strikes me as unacceptable, though also not atypical on EY from what I’ve heard.

  6. @Joey. True I guess I meant with regards to his other experiences on Ethiad where they had like no food at all left for the second meal.

  7. @Charles, very true! I know what you mean. Whenever I fly Etihad, I make sure to definitely eat in the lounge as I’m never sure whether I’ll get my first choice dish up in the air.

  8. “[T]hough Matt slept almost the whole way to Abu Dhabi.” I had breakfast and a shower! And lots of water. Let’s be fair!

  9. Great Report ..Maybe it wasn’t the Booze I never drink on planes U lose 16oz of water every hour .So drink water before while and after helps the Jet Lag ..

  10. Great review as always. Just a small note, the 380 always parks on stand in Abu Dhabi, and always in terminal 3 as we only have 3 stands available for the 380s. (They often remote park the 380s between flights, but always tow them back to the terminal before boarding again).

  11. U know I saw that @ JFK on 5/28 had 3 there different airlines.I wondered what they were doing !!!!

  12. How dare you support a country that oppresses and even punished gay people?

    Oh wait, that’s an Etihad post so none of that here :p

  13. Haha. You people who are squeamish about bare feet are funny. Do you guys wear socks all the time in your own house and bed? Do you really think a first class passenger should sacrifice comfort for the sake of the next passenger? The way the couch/bed is positioned, you basically have to put your feet up there if you are lounging. I assume these beds are wiped down between flights too.

  14. 1. Half the seats don’t even have windows. Even in Y I can usually get a window.

    2. They were already running out of food before the plane left the gate and F pax didn’t get their choice of meal. There were still fourteen hungry hours to go.

    3. The bed flies sideways and doesn’t even leave enough room for passengers to access the seat or the aisle without squeezing by, just like in Y.

    4. The cabin was so crowded you couldn’t even get a seat next to your honey and you ended up on opposite sides of the plane. At least American has intercom in the IFE when they do that to pax. Etihad didn’t even seem to care.

    5. F is considered a second class cabin on this jet and there wasn’t even anyone in the Residence so the crew didn’t need to even try to do their best service for anyone.

    6. Half the pax had to fly facing backwards, like a bad 1960s subway car at rush hour jam packed with smelly commuters on the way back to Queens.

    7. Connecting flights are likely to be on 130+º tarmac noisy remote stands but at least this flight usually isn’t quite as bad as those because 380s often get a gate!

    8. Couldn’t get a good seat on the ground floor; had to settle for a second floor seat with garbage windows that tilt back with lousy view instead of 380 main floor with better windows, vertical walls, more space, better view.

    9. Shower isn’t as nice as EK and lacks implicit invitation to share with a friend.

    10. Climate made you feel extra dehydrated.

    11. Lobby was useless.

    12. Table was crowded and you had to jam into a small space between three people dining.

    13. Presentation on the Arabic Mezze needs work.

    14. Seat doesn’t fully recline.

    15. High tea didn’t have proper clotted cream.

    16. Travel prayer isn’t available in English. (Do you even get credit for it that way?)

    Sounds like you’d have a better flight on Spirit next time. Stay off EY at least.

  15. Yes I’ll take the Concorde (9/5/03) 2 hour Booze breakfast before then corvette seats then 3:15 hr flt. Ur there .But I’ll be on that 380 sooner or later LOOKs Perfect.

  16. @Lucky, very interested in you doing a review on the EY 789 F & J. I have done SYD-AUH and AUH-JFK in the apartments and have 2 minor complaints, being the seat has limited maneuverability for getting that just right spot for watching movies and the bed is a little on the hard side. On the other hand, the amount of space you have is obscene and who doesn’t love a shower on a plane. In comparison, I found the bed/seat on the 789 wonderful (we were the only ones in F). The menu etc were almost identical to the apartments. I also thought the J was fantastic on the 789. The A380 SYD-AUH is almost always full but BNE-AUH on the 789 is regularly open for awards.

  17. They ran out of non veg food prone on Etihad economy when I flew. They asked me for feedback and I have them.

    Looks like Etihad inventory management sucks. Maybe they would do something about it if enough people complained.

  18. I laugh so hard I cry when I see Victoria bitter beer being served in F. Love EY F but seriously? Must have a few bogans on F&B management…

  19. Excellent report as always Lucky, very informative but as an Australian I had to laugh at the beer list. Victoria Bitter in first class????? VB as its more affectionately known down under is the equivalent to Bud or Coors. Best drank with a trucker hat and chewing tobacco.

  20. Great trip report.
    But shock horror ……bare feet on the furniture in the photo of the three champagne flutes.
    Be careful or you will be roasted on “PASSENGERSHAMING.COM”
    Keep up the good work


  21. Glad to see you had good flights, not our experience with Etihad! The objective of flying is to get from point A to point B, but flying in F should be an experience. We flew in late April 2016:

    EY407 BKK-AUH in Business
    EY171 AUH-LAX in First

    Etihad has pick up and drop off transportation service for First class passengers. That was not communicated with us by email or otherwise until we were on the actual flight. You have to book your transportation service 24 hours prior to departure. Their affiliated lounge at BKK (Louis Tavern CIP Lounge) was terrible with horrid food. Their lounge at AUH was decent, but lounge benefits and services (such as spa) were NOT outlined at arrival and we found out about the range of services when it was time to board. Failure to communicate. The AUH F lounge was not open yet when we flew Etihad. Further, Arriving at AUH at ~6 AM was a total disaster. The lounge was nice but to get there you have to go through the airport and its facilities were filthy. I am talking about feces on the men’s room floor – it’s a shame that they spent $$$ billions on this beautiful airport but no follow up on maintenance and upkeep in the early morning hours. Sure, not Etihad’s fault, right? But there was no fast track for premium passengers or any other assistance for that matter to get us to our departure/lounge areas. Traveling with kids and first time at AUH, to go through long lines transit security at 6 AM was an ordeal until we protested and security personnel opened the priority/premium line, not Etihad employees. So there was no fast track for premium passengers or any other escort or assistance to get us to our departure/lounge areas. US Border control and customs were at hand and all passengers were cleared in AUH was very convenient. But again, arriving at LAX was another disaster where we were led around the airport to the outside of international arrival to retrieve our luggage. Very confusing and disorganized!

    The hard product on the plane was beautiful but the space was not adequate in my experience. As I mentioned before, the seat was not 100% 180 degree flat and for a 6’2″ guy like me it was very uncomfortable – I slept maybe ~2 hours total and arrived totally exhausted at LAX. When traveled on JL in F, I was presented with my PJ amenity after dinner and asked to go change in their huge F bathroom. And when I returned to my seat, I was pleasantly surprised that my 100% flat bed was ready with sheets and all. I slept so good on that JL flight all the way to LAX that I did not regret missing my breakfast. Had similar great experience with TG in F – but, unfortunately, not the case with Etihad. The much touted Etihad’s First Class Apartment, was not on our plane neither were any showers, or at lease we weren’t told about them!

    I am sorry to say that I’m left with the opinion that the crew was lazy and disinterested. I don’t like overbearing service or too much attention and like to be left alone. But this was a 16-hour flight and when you don’t get any service for over 10 hours, you start to wonder. During the flights final hours, I was starving!!! I had to go to the front looking for food (really) 2 hours before landing. They were sitting around chit-chatting and told me to go back to my seat that they will come and take my order. That took another 40 minutes!!! We were served at the convenience of the crew. Huge failure on this factor!

    Lentil soup is good and nutritious especially in the cold winter months – but in First class??? give me a break!!! The food in F should be an experience with 5-star restaurant presentation and not only edible or acceptable. On the EY407 in Biz we were served potato soup and chicken sandwich. I have had better food on US domestic coach flights when they served food! On the EY-171 in F: What ever happened to the widely advertised 8-course tasting menu? The scallop appetizer was served cold and it was smelly (not fresh). The Salmon dish was good but of an appetizer portion. For desserts, they piled bunch of cakes on a plate, that was the presentation! On the F leg, I ordered sparkling water and it was served promptly. I also ordered glass of port and it was good and served generously. The menu did contain a variety of Champagnes, wines, and other premium alcoholic beverages.

    So to be generous, I’d give Etihad First Class experience 4 on a 10 points scale. Contacted Etihad and reported the deficiencies and was offered 15K Etihad points. This was like adding an insult to injury. These 15K miles will be orphaned in the account (worthless) and we do travel as a family of 4 meaning that we have to move all our points (from TYP, UR, and MR) to Etihad to maybe get enough for another one way trip. But is it worth the trouble? Burned once, should we take our chance once again? Please understand that I’m writing all this to give you all a heads up as what to expect with this airline and its widely advertised premium service (recent ads with a well known Hollyweird superstar) and the continuos plugs by bloggers!

    Check out the flights’ photos in my signature link!

  22. Fast track into auh for EY F?
    Hows the fast track? Is it a special one for EY F pr just the regular premium line?

  23. @Eric @Kalboz There is fast track but the both times we took the normal line and we were through in minutes. After you get your luggage there is a premium pax arrival lounge with fantastic showers. At check-in there is a lounge area for F pax and premium security clearance area. The chaffeur will pick you up and drop you off anywhere in UAE (we were staying in Dubai).

    btw. A380 & 789 are vastly different to 777 which Kalboz is complaining about.

  24. I’ve read a fair number of your trip reports, can you please post your top 10 funnest trips and reason for selection? Perhaps hyperlink back to report if available also?

  25. Excellent report, thanks
    Flew AUH-MEL on 13 June and we were the only 2 in First.
    Flight was not busy but cabin crew had never had only 2 in First. Hugo was the Food and Beverages Manager. I think he is Spanish…Endless food!!

  26. Great report, thanks. Wish we got all these credit card sign up offers. I have been upgraded to business class in the past on EY although for short distance flights their A320s are not much to rave about and certainly not comparable to the longer flights’ seats.

  27. Have to agree with many that this is not such a great product.I am really surprised @Lucky that you are so blown away by it .Yes it looks amazing , and yes the “apartment “space is over and above what anyone would expect .However the bed really is as hard as a rock, the seat only reclines minimally and while the food looks great ,it does not compare to that offered on JL or CX.The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc they served retails for about $18 here in Sydney.The service on all four sectors I recently flew (SYD-AUH-LHR return), was to say the least, unenthusiastic.AUH airport really can be a nightmare – third worldish,overcrowded and disorganised.
    I guess at least I didn’t have to put up with a demented Nicole Kidman throwing herself around the cabin ranting incomprehensibly about the “reimagined ” flight experience.

  28. On United F class (free) they broke a W glass on my head funny @ the time . The GREAT bottle of wine on RT they give me was $20 @ local store. Looks good but rubbish .

  29. It’s really strange how come you find 3 Guest Saver First Award . I checked EY A380 Guest Saver First every month , random day and week until Dec and is all SOLD OUT .. The only availability is on EY 77W flight out of JFK .. Wierd

  30. @ Gino — We booked them all individually, one seat at a time, within a couple of days of departure.

  31. Gino
    Not funny hard work check every few days or DAY when they come up their GONE. Booked united 6 days before to Hi.. perfect flts and seats .

  32. @Moindardt @Eric there was nothing offered – no premium line or fast track and the lines were incredibly long when we landed at AUH. I fault the EY407 and the Etihad AUH ground crew for this. The point I’m making here is that passengers who paid for premium product should get premium service. In addition to the inconvenience, we wasted so much time in the long lines that we did not fully enjoy the AUH lounge amenities.

  33. @Lucky – I’m travelling on Etihad First apartment shortly with my Wife who’s absolutely loving this and it happens to be our 5th wedding Anniversary. I’d just like to take a moment and THANK YOU for making readers like us plan trips using miles and enjoy moments like this. Cheers!!!

  34. @Lucky you talk about this being one of your most fun top 10 flights though you haven’t actually written a post about it and I think it would be very cool to do and I am sure lots of people would read it .

  35. Hello all… Just for some cred i have been lucky enough to fly F on at least 5 A380’s and numerous Asian carriers 777s…i’m not a newbie !! Anyway…..

    Just arrived DEL via AUH on EY102 in F…SADLY here is my report:

    Totally jazzed that i was able to snag F with 110K Aadvantage miles by calling AA in Brussels.

    Good: Excellent crew !!


    Simply said, I think they made a huge mistake space-wise. It really is large and pretty much largely useless !!

    I wasn’t offered an amenity kit and forgot to ask…not sure if they didn’t have them ?

    The seat is totally useless for relaxing as the recline is about the same as AA Main Cabin Extra….i find it odd that no one has reported this on Lucky’s blog !! It was reported by Brian (points guy) himself ! Anyway IMHO it is completely useless for watching tv or reading (which is mostly what i do)

    As Lucky did, i also ordered the halibut as my main course and it was dreadful (possibly caught in the East River ?). It is precooked and the chef said he would steam it, as i like my fish al dente. It made no difference. It was completely dry and the sauce didn’t help so i ordered the buryani, which, of course, even my 10 year old son could make. At least it was spiced properly and tasty…i was also surprised no caviar service ?

    I found the bedding to be VERY sub par of any Asian carrier NH, CX, OZ, etc. The very thin mat they put on top of the leather mat on top of the leather bench was so thin i felt like i was sleeping on a board..I should have asked for an extra one ? The blanket and pillows seemed like they were purchased from BB+B not Duxiana.

    Summary: I am totally bummed that the seats don’t recline. I have over 1 MIL AA miles that are pretty much useless at any saver award in F or C .. I live in LA so next time I’ll throw in the towel and fly the EY 773 and recline the seat WAY BACK.

    Happily I am returning to LAX in F on EK…looking forward to the BLING !!

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