Hello from Dubai, fresh off my first Etihad Airways Diamond First flight…

Good evening from Dubai. Just a few hours ago I landed in Abu Dhabi from New York on Etihad Airways after my first flight in Diamond First. My initial thoughts? Part of the experience was “best in class,” while other parts made me long for the DMV (yes, that’s the Department of Motor Vehicles).

I’ll have more details tomorrow when I’m wide awake, though in the meantime I’ll leave y’all with a few pictures.

Filed Under: Awards, Etihad
  1. That’s an interesting flight path. Storms and/or favorable winds playing a role last night? Hmm.

  2. Curious about the path as well, is there some sort of restriction on flying over northern Africa? Looking forward to the details.

  3. Oh, how you must have suffered. I can tell from the photos. šŸ˜‰

    Seriously, I’m looking forward to the details on the great and the not-so-great.

  4. Looks like someone jumped on board for the new AA miles redemption opportunity on Etihad right when it came out!

  5. @ Gene — I’m in Dubai though flying into/out of Abu Dhabi. The limo service IS included on award tickets. It was about a 60 minute drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and some of the best roads and traffic I’ve seen anywhere.

  6. @ ATC — I actually redeemed ANA miles back in January. Little did I know there would be a relationship with American around the time of my travels.

  7. Lucky — Sweet. If this had been booked with AA miles, would the limo ride still be included? Word on FT is that it would not be included, but I’m crossing my fingers that it is!

  8. @ Gene — I booked this with ANA miles, so I can’t imagine it makes a difference through which airline you used miles.

  9. I think your hints are quite easy give away. Best in class was in the air and DMV was the ground service and staff. Many of the Middle east airlines are known to operate like a fish market on the ground

  10. Does ANA ever have buy miles sales (like US and their 100% bonus) or do you have some of your flights credited to their program?

  11. @ caveman — Close. They operated like a fish market on more than just the ground.

    @ Mike — I actually transferred the points from Membership Rewards.

  12. Lucky,

    I want your review ASAP! I have 300k AA miles… they can go for an EY, CX, or 9W F award, or a 25k 1W award in J.

    I need help deciding.

  13. @ Lantean — The redemption cost 140,000 miles and about $50 in taxes. Etihad doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on their tickets, so ANA doesn’t charge them as a result.

    @ Dan — I suspect my flight was a fluke, so I’d by all means still go for Etihad given that they fly out of New York and Chicago. If you want a true idea of their service you’ll have to wait till their return so I can at least compare.

  14. I’m not surprised that there are no fuel surcharges on EY. It is in the UAE after all! I remember being shocked the first time I was in Saudi Arabia and fuel was less than 40 cents per gallon :O

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