A few months ago, I came across some tips on Flyertalk about a cheap business class fare from Vilnius to Toronto on Turkish Airlines and since I wanted to earn Elite status in the airlines' Miles & Smiles program by the end of this year, I did not hesitate and booked the flight. Unfortunately, a schedule change forced me to cancel the flight and look for another option. I had some miles left on my American Airlines Advantage account so I thought I could redeem them flying from Guangzhou to Mumbai in first class. Flying from Mumbai to Bangkok was easy since Air India flies direct between these two cities. After thoroughly planning the trip, I ended up buying an open jaw ticket in Turkish Airlines business class, from Stockholm to Guangzhou and back from Bangkok to Stockholm. It actually turned out perfectly well as I was able to fly Qatar Airways A380 first class from Guangzhou to Doha and then to Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, I was able to visit the newly opened Etihad First Class Lounge & Spa and from Abu Dhabi, I flew on Etihad's A380 to Mumbai. It was 8 flights in 6 days which was really tiring but who cares when you're flying in first and business class 😉
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Review: Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class, Istanbul to Guangzhou
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24 hours in Guangzhou, China
Review: Premium Lounge, Guangzhou Airport (CAN)
Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Guangzhou to Doha
Review: Qatar Airways First Class, Doha to Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Review: Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment, Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
Review: Loyalty Lounge, Mumbai Airport (BOM)
Review: Thai Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C West, Bangkok (BKK)
Review: Thai Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C East, Bangkok (BKK)
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Bangkok to Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Stockholm
Flight: EY 204
Departure time in Abu Dhabi (AUH): 14:20 (actual, 14:18)
Arrival time in Mumbai (BOM): 19:20 (actual, 19:21)
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Duration: 3h 33min
Date of flight: November 4, 2016
*Award Ticket, First Class flight #41
Checking-in using the mobile App
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa which is no doubt one of the nicest first class lounges I've been to, I decided to head to the departure gate around 1:15pm.
Boarding, gate 61
Aircraft, Airbus A380-800
First Class Cabin, upper deck
First Apartment, 4K
I loved the way she welcomed me to my seat as she actually said "Welcome to your apartment". Of course, she was just telling the truth as there is no other first class seat in the airline industry as HUGE as the Etihad First Apartment 😉
I have previously reviewed the apartment features when I flew from Abu Dhabi to London in May 2015, London to Abu Dhabi in December 2015 and most recently from London to Abu Dhabi in May this year so I would be concentrating more on the service this time.
Dolly also offered to hang my jacket inside the mini wardrobe and which I gladly accepted.
Moments later, Oscar, the F&B Manager from Mexico came to welcome me on board. Etihad has recently introduced a new first class amenity kit featuring new pouch bags from renowned fashion designer Christian Lacroix and skincare products from Hungarian brand Omorovicza. Already inside the personal wardrobe was the male amenity kit but since I liked the female version more, I asked Oscar if it was possible to have them instead. Moments later, he was back with the female version. Eventually, I also got the male version. Muchas gracias, Oscar 😉
Moments later, Chef Steven who is originally from the Seychelles came to take my meal order. He suggested I take the Chef's special which was cod and then the Pommeade, one of their mocktails for my drinks. Simona, the Cabin Manager also came to welcome me onboard. As I chatted with Dolly, I learned that she was actually celebrating her 9th year of working for Etihad. Cheers to that, Dolly 🙌
Around 2:07pm, the captain (Rodrigo Passos) came on the PA to welcome us onboard and inform us of our flight time of 2 hours and 35 minutes.
I thought I would "shower again in the sky" so I asked Dolly to book it for me. A few minutes after the seatbelt sign was turned off, Dolly came to my seat to inform me that the shower was ready.
To be able to test a new product in the shower and lavatory was nice although I still prefer the Le Labo products.
Bollinger La Grande Annee
Duval Leroy Rosé
À la carte
Dal Badami Shorba
Authentic Gulf Lamb Biryani
Fresh Fruit Platter
A Selection of Ice Creams
Arabic Mixed Grill
Freshly Baked Cookies
Oscar, who also works as a butler for the Residence guests, came later to offer me some bread and I chose the pretzel. He also asked if I loved the mocktail, which I did.
Plum Jelly, shallots, brioche 😋
Saffron potato, courgette, asparagus samphire, thyme butter sauce
The foie gras was very good and I was glad I ordered it. I later learned that the guy seated in 1H and in 2H also ordered it although there were only two foie gras on board. The guy in 1H was busy on the phone talking when the inflight chef took the orders so when his turn finally came, me and the guy in 2H (who was a Platinum member) had already ordered it. 😉 The black cod was definitely one of the best meals I've had in first class. Thanks so much Chef Steven 🙇
Around 6:06pm, the captain came on the PA to give us updated flight info and that we would be landing in 45 minutes.
Arrival in Mumbai Airport
There was little traffic in Mumbai Airport and we had to wait for about 15 minutes. We landed around 7:06pm although it took us sometime to reach the gate.
All my previous flights in Etihad First Apartment were between London and Abu Dhabi so I was really excited to take this much shorter flight. The lounge experience in Abu Dhabi was definitely one of the best an airline could offer and should be an inspiration to other airlines. I loved the fact that Etihad started offering a new amenity kit although I personally like the Le Labo products more. To be given pyjamas on this short flight was impressive since I have never received any pyjamas on my two flights in Qatar Airways first class between Doha and Paris, which is a flight of almost 6 hours. The meal service was topnotch, I was continuously offered refill of drinks and more bread, and the foie gras and black cod by Chef Steven were just phenomenal. Of course, Dolly really did a great job and took care of me throughout the whole flight. Lastly, the onboard shower was a big plus since only two airlines in the world offer them. Overall, I enjoyed every single moment on this flight and would definitely fly with them again in the future. To Dolly, Chef Steven, Oscar and Simona, "Shukran" 😊
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