Aviation

Flight review: Etihad Airways business class

Anastazia Uglow

Everyone loves travelling to Europe, but everyone hates the long, arduous flight – unless, of course, you’re travelling at the pointy end. Travel Weekly reviews Etihad’s current business-class offering.

Flight: EK455 Sydney to Abu Dhabi

When: November 11, 2019

Aircraft: A380

Class: Business

Configuration: 2-4-2

Seat: 12A (window seat)

Duration: 14 hours and 50 minutes

Verdict: 9/10

Baggage: 30kg

Checking in

A great start to my journey, I was greeted at the business check-in by a smiling attendant who checked me in quickly and told me how to get to the business lounge.

Business lounge

It’s not massive, but plenty big enough for you to find a private spot to relax, unwind and enjoy some of the complimentary cuisine. I was reminded at the reception that boarding times are announced by a staff member, so guests need to watch the board to avoid any red faces or embarrassing sprints to the gate.

Seat

Unequivocally, the most important aspect to a long-haul, business-class flight is the quality of the seat. The staggered configuration means that window seats do not require clambering over your neighbour, so privacy and comfort make the window seats our preferred choice.

There is plenty of storage and the seat transition into flatbeds with easy to operate with the buttons. There are also good lighting and privacy options.

Service

A polished introduction and personal welcome from the flight attendants who introduced themselves by name set the tone of nothing being too much trouble. Every request was attended to with attention to detail and haste.

Meals

Aeroplane food has come a long way since the bad old days of removing a plastic lid from a plastic box, only to discover inedible fare that made consuming the packaging more appealing than the contents. Thankfully, those days are long gone.

Etihad Airways offers a fine-dining restaurant experience with a comprehensive menu based on fresh, seasonal produce. Guests will be spoilt for choice.

Verdict

Whether for business or pleasure, Etihad Airways’ A380 product inhabits a place at the higher echelons of premium flying experiences. Passengers are rarely, if ever, disappointed.

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