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Feb 01
2020
Sat

Etihad First Class Apartment Review. An Incredible Experience

The Etihad First class apartment on the A380 is an incredible experience. The apartment is truly unique - along with Emirates and Singapore, it’s a cut above the rest.

This trip has been on my bucket for the longest time (nearly as long as the Intercontinental Danang), and it didn’t disappoint! Etihad First Class on the A380 truly is an apartment, rather than a seat. The food, drinks and service were also top drawer during my trip. It comes highly recommended!

What I liked

  • The apartment was large and spacious
  • The seat was comfortable
  • Friendly crew
  • Lots of storage
  • Well prepared food
  • On board shower
  • Stylish design

What could be improved

  • The alcohol selection wasn’t super premium

Booking

I used 40,000 Asiana Air miles to book the flight from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow. No you didn't read that wrong! This is truly one of the best redemptions in the sky.

There are a number of ways to earn Asiana miles. Asiana is part of Star Alliance, so you can credit all Star Alliance flights to Asiana. They are a Marriott transfer partner and also have a US credit card. Their miles have 10Y expiry, which is obviously terrific.

I really looked forward to writing this article, as I’ve wanted to fly in the Etihad Apartment for a long time. If you want to be a travel blogger, then I suggest you read my guide on how to set up a travel blog in 4 weeks. It’s free and it’s really good!

The apartment

The 1st thing you notice as you walk in, is that it’s genuinely an apartment and not a seat. You have your own space and you can walk around. This is different to other first classes. Even if the seat is large, it is still a seat. Etihad was the 1st airline to have single aisle seating on a widebody aircraft. The apartment has the following features:

  • Separate seat and bed
  • Under bed storage
  • Cupboard for 1 item
  • Mirror


The seat

The seat is large, spacious and hard. It reminds me of a seat at a posh movie theatre! I liked it a lot

The bed

I liked the bed. I would’ve preferred it if the bed was wider, but that’s the trade off for having a separate bed and seat. I was able to get 4 hours of sleep, which is pretty good for a flight. I didn’t have any issues with the temperature of the cabin either.

The Cabin

The cabin had a really stylish design. The fact that there is only 1 aisle, just makes it feel ultra-exclusive. 

In Flight entertainment

The TV is large and high quality – it’s located directly across from the seat. Etihad also has an excellent choice of content. I enjoyed the tail camera and the route map. Check out the slideshow for photos.

Amenity kit

The amenity kit was supplied by Acqua Di Parma, and it was fantastic! It contains:

  • Ear plugs
  • Cologne
  • Lip balm
  • Body lotion
  • Blindfold
  • Toothbrush
  • Comb


The cologne was simply awesome. The bag was also very stylish – my wife loved it!

The food

In Etihad’s First Class, the menu is more of a suggested ingredients list - you can mix and match to create your meal. I’ve uploaded the menu in the above slideshow. At the beginning of the flight, the chef came to me, and we had a discussion about what to eat. He was able to create a bespoke meal, which was really cool as I was vegetarian on that day.

I went for the Arabic mezze for starter and halloumi cakes for the main. They were both very good. I am a huge fan of Arabic mezze, so I may be a little biased here!

The Halloumi cakes with green veggies and fries were good as well. It reminds me of the vegetarian option at a steak house!

The drinks

The drinks offering is of the premium variety - I had a rose champagne to start with. I am not a champagne expert, but it reminded me of the champagne you get in business class. I didn't much enjoy it.

Overall the alcohol selection was decent. Grey Goose is a premium vodka. But it does lag behind what many other airlines offer in First class. It would be a high quality business class selection.

This is probably the main disappointment with the flight. It doesn't bother me, as I don't drink much alcohol - but it’s important to many people. The full drinks menu is in the above slideshow

The service

The service was good. 3 people introduced themselves to me before the flight. Roshan was the in-flight chef. 2 members of the cabin crew also came to me. I found them all to be friendly, helpful and attentive. They all addressed me by name.

The shower

An on-board shower is a novelty that never gets old! While not as bling as the Emirates shower, it’s a shower on a plane. Amazing really!

Overall

In an era where airlines are getting rid of First class, the Etihad A380 Apartment is a truly luxury First Class experience in the sky.

The apartment is spacious, the food was fantastic and the service was excellent. I had a terrific trip.

Have you flown Etihad First Class on the A380? How was your experience? Am I talking garbage?! Let me know in the comments below!

James

Hi. Thanks for the review. I personally would rate Emirates over Etihad. I think that Etihad skimp a bit of the alcohol selection. Emirates sometimes have bottles of alcohol worth $3,000 on board. But I do agree that Etihad 1st is very nice

February 2, 2020

Vin.G

This is the debate right?! I don't think there's a definitive answer. What is true is that Etihad offers more space than any other airline in 1st (except Singapore). The downside of having a separate seat and bed is that the bed is very narrow. Emirates have a great First class, but the alcohol doesn't move the needle for me. A couple of glasses of an insanely expensive drink that I would never choose to drink is not hugely important to me. I also think that Lufthansa and Air France have terrific First Classes. The seats aren't the biggest in the sky, but the quality of food, drink and service is fantastic.

February 2, 2020

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