December 23, 2015

Review: Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi

Flying Etihad A380 First Apartment to Dubai and Qatar Airways A380 First Class to Paris

Finnair Business Class, Stockholm-Helsinki
Hilton Helsinki
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-London
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge (LHR)
Etihad First & Business Class Lounge, Heathrow (LHR)
Etihad A380 First Apartment, London-Abu Dhabi
Etihad Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi T3, (AUH)
2 Days in Dubai
Dubai International First Class Lounge (DXB)
Qatar Airways First Class, Dubai-Doha
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge (DOH)
Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Doha-Paris
Hilton Paris La Defense
American Airlines Admirals Club, Paris (CDG)
Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, Paris (CDG)
Finnair Business Class, Paris-Helsinki
Finnair Premium Lounge, Helsinki (HEL)
Finnair Business Class, Helsinki-Stockholm



Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment bed

Flight: EY 20
Departure time in London (LHR): 14:05 (actual 14:10)
Arrival time in Abu Dhabi (AUH): 1:20 +1 day (actual 1:16)
Equipment: Airbus A380
Seat/Apartment: Apartment 2H
Duration: 7h 6m
Date of flight: December 2, 2015
*This is an award travel, First Class flight #32

Lounge


Etihad Airways has its own lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4 and before my flight to Abu Dhabi, I was able to enjoy the complimentary massage, excellent food and great service: enough reasons why this lounge is one of my favorite lounges in Heathrow.

Aircraft


Etihad Airways Airbus A380 flying us to Abu Dhabi that afternoon

Boarding


Boarding started at 13:25 at gate 10A.


As usual, priority boarding was offered to first and business class passengers. Upon boarding, I was greeted by Ream, a nice lady from Morocco who escorted me to my apartment.

Cabin

Etihad's first class cabin consists of nine apartments in a 1-1 configuration making it the most spacious first class in the industry. No other airline in the world has a single aisle in its first class cabin and with this, Etihad has truly reimagined the art of flying. This was actually my second time flying on Etihad Apartment although the excitement never diminished. Of the 9 apartments, 7 were occupied that day.

Apartment

Welcome to my Apartment 2H!!!

The leather seat by the Italian company Poltrona Frau (which also furnishes the Ferrrari cars) was very comfortable. Moments later, Ream came to my seat to offer me a hot towel, some dates and a glass of water which I had asked from her earlier. It also came with a welcome note which is something one can only associate with a five star hotel experience. Trully impressive!

Etihad welcome note, a glass of water, hot towel and some dates.

The welcome note was signed by Marianne, the Cabin Manager who actually was from the Philippines as well. She also came to my seat to welcome me onboard and assured me that they would do everything to make the flight an enjoyable one.

In front of me was a 24 inch personal TV screen, and an ottoman which converts into a fully flat bed. This means I have a separate seat and a bed! Who could ask for more?

The blanket they had during my previous flight was somewhat yellow orange in color. This time, they had a brownish one although it was just as comfortable to use.

Located inside the armrest is the seat controls.

An extra leather mattress pad.

My minibar had 2 Coke, 2 Sprite and bottles of still and sparkling water.

Inflight magazine, safety instruction card, and E-BOX entertainment magazine

On the screen, the name of the Captain, First Officer, Cabin Manager and Inflight Chef was displayed.

Entertainment controls located on the right side of my seat.

Etihad noise-cancelling headphones

Opening the vanity mirror, you will find the amenity kit containing a limited edition bag designed by Sougha featuring an Arabic pattern and included products from New York brand Le Labo as well as an eyeshade, toothbrush and toothpaste among others.

And even if it was a day flight, I was offered a very nice set of pajamas and slippers. As far as I know, Emirates and Qatar Airways are not very consistent in offering pajamas on their day flights so kudos to Etihad for this.

The last time I flew on Etihad, I got the male amenity kit so I thought I'd ask for the female one for my collection.

The Etihad Airways A380 cabin ceiling with its famous geometric design looked gorgeous.

Stairs leading to the economy cabin.

Chef Bead, the inflight Chef from Nepal also came to my seat to welcome me and offered me some Arabic coffee which I gladly took. I was also offered some newspapers by Ana Maria, the other flight attendant from Romania but I declined.

Lavatory and Shower

Etihad Airways A380 lavatory #1

On Etihad Airways A380, there are two lavatories, both of which are located on the right side of the cabin. The first one has a shower spa where 9 of the first class passengers can book for their "shower in the sky".

Etihad Airways A380 lavatory #1

Etihad Airways A380 onboard shower spa

Etihad Airways A380 onboard shower spa

Etihad gives you about 5 minutes of water (just like on Emirates) and when you see the red light, it means you don't have much water left. This was actually my third time to "shower in the sky" and I've never had any problem with the "limited water".

Etihad's shower amenities consisted of Le Labo products which I took home with me 😍

Etihad Airways A380 lavatory #2

Etihad Airways A380 lavatory #2

Dining

Etihad Airways first class menu card and wine list

The two champagnes on board were Champagne Bollinger La Grande Annle 2005 and Champagne Duval Leroy Rosé while the white wines included the Chardonnay Louis Latour Pernand-Vergelesses from France, Nautilus Estate Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and O'Rosal Bodegas Terra Gauda Alberino from Spain.

As for the red wines, there were two Italian, one French, one from Australia and one from the USA.

From the Grill

Grass-fed beef tenderloin
US rib-eye steak
Lamb shank
Chicken supreme
Catch of the day

Sides

Steamed green beans
Oven-roasted mixed vegetables
Creamy mashed potatoes
Turned Chatau potatoes
Oven-baked french fries
Steamed rice

All Day Dine

Garden salad
Sandwiches
The Etihad steak sandwich
Fresh eggs cooked to order
Afternoon tea
Cheese
Fresh fruit platter
A selection of ice creams
Freshly baked cookies and madeleines

Cheese

Dessert: Aumoniere, Bitter Chocolate and orange ball, Dessert taster

Minutes after the seat belt sign was turned off, Ana Maria served me some snacks which included some nuts, vegetable chips, olives and a glass of mocktail! I have told Ana Maria earlier that I would love to shower first before having my dinner so after enjoying my snacks and mocktail, I then took my "third shower in the sky" which was definitely one of the highlights of this flight. Taking a shower at 37,000 feet is not something one can do everyday so I made sure I'd shower on this flight even if I had just taken one in the lounge. This is simply luxurious!

Then, it was time for my dinner.

Etihad Airways first class table setting featuring the Silk Platinum Fine Bone China Nikko

A glass of Rosé wine, Duval Leroy

Etihad First Class amuse bouche

Etihad First Class marinated prawn from the Ala Carte

Etihad First Class palate cleanser

Etihad First Class Lamb from the Ala Carte

Etihad First Class dessert: Bitter chocolate and orange ball

Green tea and some pralines

The food tasted phenomenal and I have to commend the onboard chef for doing such a great job and for Etihad Airways for offering such a luxurious meal that one could only expect from a five star hotel.

Since we still had about 3 hours before landing, I thought I'd ask Ream to do the turndown service. This is another thing I love about Etihad. I just love the way they were able to offer a fully flat bed that is so spacious where you can enjoy watching a film, and keep your seat available at the same time. As far as I know, all airlines (with the exception of Lufthansa on their Boeing 747) have to convert the same seat into a fully flat bed. This is such a luxury!

Etihad Airways First Apartment bed

Lobby

The Lobby which is located between the first and business class cabins is simply beautiful.

The Lobby bar

The Lobby chilled wines

The Residence

I was on my way to the lavatory during the dinner service when all of a sudden, I noticed that the doors of the Residence were open so I immediately took a picture of it. I know I would never be able to afford its price but I was glad to see how it looked like in reality.

Preparation for Arrival

About half an hour before landing in Abu Dhabi, I was given a fast track card, immigration card and a pen.

Overall, the flight went smoothly and we landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 1:05am. I've heard that Etihad had their Arrivals Lounge in Abu Dhabi so I was really looking forward to visit it.

Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge, Abu Dhabi

The Arrivals Lounge of Etihad is actually the first arrivals lounge in the UAE so once again, kudos to Etihad for that!

Chauffeur Service

Etihad Chauffeur desk

After spending some time in the arrivals lounge, I then headed to the departures area and was greeted by Said, a nice guy from Pakistan who would be driving me all the way to a hotel in Dubai where our Singelresor group was staying. Etihad offers complimentary chauffeur service to its premium passengers from Abu Dhabi Airport to anywhere in the UAE. Cool! I learned from Said that Etihad only uses Audi for their customers, unlike Emirates who I believe uses both Volvo and Mercedes Benz among others. After an hour drive, I have reached our hotel where I would be staying for 3 nights while exploring the city of Dubai.

CONCLUSION

This flight is no doubt one of the best flights I've ever had since I started flying in premium class. The competition between the world's best airlines never ceases and with what Etihad has come up to, the First Apartment is definitely "the most luxurious first class in the sky". No other airline can give you that much space in first class: a separate seat and bed in your own apartment. The service from the flight attendants to the inflight chef was just impeccable and the food was outstanding. And being able to shower at 37,000 feet was insanely exciting! It was my second time to fly on Etihad First Apartment and there will surely be the third time. After all, I don't have much choice because it's the best first class in the sky! To all the crew on this flight, Shukran for making this flight truly an unforgettable one!


Related Posts

Cathay Pacific First Class, Hongkong-Frankfurt

Singapore Airlines Suites Class, Tokyo-Singapore