Etihad EY455 SYD-AUH Business Class
Carrier: Etihad Airways
Flight Number: EY455 dep SYD @ 20:55 Duration: 14h20m
Class: Business Class Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Efficient, friendly service at Etihad’s Business Class check-in counter had this first contact set the tone for the entire trip. The Express Path card came in handy as the waits at Immigration and Security would have been considerably longer without it.
The plane pushed back from the gate on schedule and arrived in Abu Dhabi at 05:30, 10 minutes early.
Etihad’s A380 Business Class has 70 seats, occupying most of the aircraft’s upper deck. The seat is comfortable, with sufficient personal space and storage space for travel necessities, including flat surfaces other than the fold-down table for items such as eyeglasses and magazines (amazing how rare this is on planes). The control panel for selecting seat positions and lighting is also placed in a convenient location. With a 1-2-1 configuration, every seat in Etihad’s Business Class has direct access to the aisle. Some seats face the rear of the plane, but on this particular flight which began and ended in darkness, the direction of travel is almost imperceptible.
Food And Beverage:
Numerous options allow for sampling a variety of cuisines on board. An Arab meze entree can lead to a barramundi main course, followed by a delicious tarte au citron. Etihad also has an Anytime menu with a selection of hot food that can be served whenever the passenger feels hungry. The extensive wine list includes top-level labels; if wanting to stretch one’s legs a bit, drinks can be enjoyed in a spacious, circular lounge area at the front of the Business Class cabin.
Most impressive is the technology. Headphones connect to the system via magnetic pads; the handheld control allows for viewing right on its small screen if that is preferred to the seat’s large main screen; the two screens can show/play different programs if, for example, the passenger wants to follow the flight path while watching a film. Notably, unlike on board a few other airlines, the entertainment system never stops and passengers can watch/listen/read until it is time to exit the aircraft at the destination.
The flight arrived on time at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Terminal 3. Etihad’s Premier Business Class Lounge is an oasis of calm in this busy airport where the world is in transit. Excellent food options, again with a variety of cuisines, are available. The very large lounge has different areas
suitable to different activities. A large dining area provides tables proper tables and chairs to eat in comfort, while the relaxation area has large armchairs and sofas for extra comfort. The coffee bar seemed very popular.
Etihad continues to fine-tune its products and services in the ever-changing environment of global aviation. As it has from its formation in 2003, Etihad offers a solid product with extras that make travel at the front of an Etihad plane a special experience. Attentive service on the ground complements the attentive service in the air proffered by genuinely friendly flight attendants who see to it that their passengers are completely happy.