London, United Kingdom (LHR) – Abu Dhabi, AE (AUH)
Flight number: EY20
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Departure: 2:05 pm (local time)
Arrival: 1:05 am (local time)
Duration: 7h 00min
Seats: (First Class)
“Real apartment on board”
First of all, let’s say that this was our first experience flying with double bed and shower. Not the first with A380 First Class, but a premiere one with such company that provides more conveniences.
To be honest, we liked everything from the beginning till the end, despite enough previous First Class experience. We haven’t try ground service, as we started the journey in London, where Etihad does not provide airport transfer, but we really liked the onboard service and dining, suites comfort and the flight in general.
The company is Arabic, but it is not like Emirates, which provides too much amenities and a bit fanciful design. Etihad gives you 100% quality and comfort in great friendly atmosphere without any molestation.
1. Airport time
1.1. “The House” lounge
We started from lounge “The House” in Heathrow Airport in London that is no longer Etihad lounge. Previously it was owned by the company and served as a First Class lounge for its passengers, but not it works for several companies, both for Business and First Class passengers.
The lounge is not big, providing simple sitting areas, one of which has a bar and the other one is more quiet, providing some reading materials. It is not very new, but well-conditioned and great designed, providing children zone and prayer rooms.
There is also a la carte restaurant, which has both menu and small buffet, where we spent some time for coffee and snacks. It was good, not overcrowded, but nothing special, to be honest.
We spent about an hour and went for boarding, which was actually far away from the lounge, but fast, as there was a separate corridor for First Class passengers and we were the only two on that flight.
2. Flight time
Entering the aircraft we were kindly directed to our suites and welcomed with champagne, dates, nuts and refreshment towels. We also got Wi-fi access codes and were informed about all the suites conveniences, as we have not experienced it before.
All the staff was very helpful and friendly, giving us enough personal time and space, but assisting all the time. We got menu and took off soon. During the “seat belt fasten” sign we looked at the wine list and menu and made our choices for lunch. Advantage of Etihad suite is not only sleeping together, but also dining together, what we of course experienced during that flight.
2.1. As we had some time, enjoying champagne with small appetisers – peas, nuts and olives, while the crew was preparing us lunch, we decided to make a cabin tour. As we have already mentioned, we were the only passengers in that First Class suites cabin, we had a lot of freedom. We had two suites one after another from the right side, as you enter the cabin.
All the suites are similar, the only difference is the color of furniture leather – right side suites are darker than left side ones. We took to suites from the same side, as we travelled together and wanted also to experience sleeping on “double” bed.
2.1. Suite tour
From window side of the seat you have a pocket with safety instruction, airsickness bag and some magazines. All the windows can be controlled by buttons on them, as well as all the lightening system. Both of them may be also controlled by a sensor panel from the other side of your seat, where you can also adjust yo seat, TV and suite privacy.
From the same side you have a remote control for TV and small storage for personal belongings. Actually, there are a lot of different storages, both small and bigger ones, one of which is located aside from the seat together with a small personal mini bar and drinks holder.
What really impressed us, was the personal dressing table right inside the suite. It provides many mirrors with lightening and many shelves for personal stuff. We put our amenity kits there, which did not impressed us, to be honest, as they were simple. It provided hand lotion, small perfume, dental kit and eye mask.
Also from that side, on the suite entrance you have a wardrobe for clothes, where we found our pyjamas and slippers before we used them. By the way, both pyjamas and slippers were pretty simple, but good quality and material.
As we decided to eat together, our lunch was served in one of the suites. The table was not the smallest one, so it was pretty comfortable even for two of us.
As an appetiser both of us took caviar and it was really good. It was not only served in original can, it was also served with a special spoon, which we met the first time, eating caviar on board of the aircraft. The caviar itself was good and it was served in a traditional way with blini, lemon, chopped onion, sour cream and egg.
As the starter we tried lentil soup and Arabic mezze, which were really delicious, as the rest of food we took. Before the hot meals we got raspberry – lemon sorbet to refresh the taste and later for the main courses we chose cheese ravioli and black cod with gnocchi and three different desserts for the meal finish. Chocolate millefeuille was probably the best millefeuille we have ever tried and the only thing we did not like was the lemon sponge. It was not bad, just a bit dry and simple for dessert, so we took also an ice cream.
After the great lunch we asked for beds and went to bar for a drink, while the crew prepare our suites for sleep. The bar was not big, but we were the only visitors of it. We chose dessert wine and Irish cream liquor as digestives and asked to prepare also a shower to refresh a bit before sleep.
2.3. Shower and bed
This was the first time we travelled with a shower on board and we really liked this convenience! It was a perfect end of the flight. The crew add shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, and towels to all the provided lotions, cremes in the shower room and informed us about its usage.
The thing is the water works only when the shower door is closed properly and there is a panel that shows how much water left for the session. After taking a shower we moved to our “double” bed and perfectly fell asleep together, watching a movie.
3. Overall impression
It was not only the first time we travelled with Etihad First Class, it was the first time we travelled with Etihad in general. We liked it and want to repeat. We are impressed by its quality and comfort and curious about its Business and Economy Classes. This flight made us think that the company maintain its high quality in general, not depending on the class of cabin.