Review: Etihad A380 First Class Apartment
London to Abu Dhabi
A living space for the discerning traveler
Etihad revolutionizes First Class with the First Apartment. Much more than a seat, see it for yourself! This is a product everyone has been talking about since its release. Since 27 Dec 2014, Etihad’s A380 is flying between Abu Dhabi and London on a daily basis. Join me to sample the “Reimagined” First Class offering of Etihad onboard their A380.
A full video trip report can be enjoyed here:
I have originally ticketed using my Etihad Guest Miles on 16 January 2015 to fly Etihad A380 from London to Abu Dhabi after the Qatar A350 event which brought me to Europe. However Etihad changed A380 to B77W a few days prior to the flight. I called Etihad and explain them that the only reason I am going to London is to fly their new A380 to Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly the agent totally understood my concern and assured me they would find me a solution to accommodate me on the next day’s flight. Within 24 hours, they issued me a second ticket on “space available” basis as First Class was full. Later with a few last minute cancellation, Etihad was able to confirm me on 17 January flight which the A380 is operating. Kudo to Etihad’s proactive and responsive reservation team.
17 January 2015 EY012 London to Abu Dhabi
The departure time is 9:15am so I started the day early by taking courtesy limo transfer from Renaissance London Heathrow hotel to Terminal 4 at 6:30am. Check in was a breeze and fast track security check was avail to all premium class passengers. I proceed straight to Etihad Premium Lounge near Gate 10.
Complimentary Six Senses Spa for premium class customers.
The lounge is consistent with other Etihad own premium lounge. But it is not as good as Emirates and Qatar Airways lounge in terms of food offering. The free spa offering is very welcomed.
At 8:30 boarding was called. I was among the first to board the upper deck of the A380. A FA took me to my seat, 4A, and it is just WOW from there! Not only me, every passenger was WOWed and taking photos of their seat. The space was enormous and it has a unique layout in every apartment!
Never have an ottoman this long that can fit 5 people!
Welcome Mimosa with hot towels, welcome letter from cabin manager and Arabic date.
A warm offer of some Arabic Coffee which I couldn’t handle.
New chilled mini-fridge in each apartment.
A dressing mirror in each apartment.
Free wifi is offered to all First Class guest.
We departed ontime out of Rwy27L of Heathrow. A drink and some snack was offered immediately after takeoff but I grabbed my camera ready to explore more of the cabin.
Etihad’s A380 has 4 class configuration, Residence (A class above First Class), Apartments (First Class), Business Studio (Business Class) and Economy class. Seating capacity R2F9C70Y415 = total 496 passengers. Today we have 8/9 guest in First Class but the Residence is unoccupied. Some of the First Class Apartment is rearward facing, window apartment 3A, 3K, aisle apartment 1H, 5C, 5H
Seatmap of Etihad A380
Upper deck front staircase
Lounge between First and Business Class (for all premium guest to use)
Huge galley in front of the lounge, behind First Class.
An aisle seat of First Class Apartment.
The Residence! Located at the very front of First Class.
Private bedroom of Residence.
Private shower and bathroom for all First Class guest. Residence has their own identical shower/bathroom.
Onboard Fine Dining
Chef Thomas came around to take the food order. You can see the extensive menu offering from below. Guest can dine anytime anything they want during the flight and not necessary to have course by course meal.
I took a more traditional way of dining by having 5 course meals an hour after takeoff.
Set up was excellent, like a fine restaurant.
Amuse Bouche: Shrimp with Japanese seaweed.
First Course: Mozzarella with tomato. (This is still a weak point on the menu, hopefully the locally UAE Farmed Caviar will be introduced soon)
Second Course: Cream of Pea Soup
Sorbet between courses.
Main course: Rib-eye steak cooked to medium
Dessert: Trio of dessert includes bread and butter pudding, caramel cream and chocolate brownie with Ice cream.
Etihad’s A380 feature the latest version of E-box entertainment which is much powerful, richer content and easy to use. It has same drop down app like a Samsung phone! I didn’t watch movie but played around the many different in-flight map mode.
Bed Turn down
After a large meal, of course it is nap time Before retiring to bed, I co-ordinate with my neighbor who seat in 3A to take a few inspiring couple suite pictures. I have them in my mind for a while now
I slept soundly for two and half hours and when I woke up, we’ve just started descend into Abu Dhabi. From the map, we took an unusual Southerly route, total flying time was 6 hr 28 minutes. Some may argue the flight time was too short, but I think it is just perfect. I don’t like flight time too long to get bored. A short flight left a sweet feeling and making you want to fly with them again real soon!
I have my afternoon tea and cake before landing in my private cabin.
With a smooth touch down on Rwy31R, the Etihad A380 arrived home once again and my first experience with Apartment came to a sweet end. Unlike anything I have done in the past, this one raised the bar by far and I was very impressed of my flight with Etihad with their new aspired in-flight service and offering and of course new aircraft. They have came a very long way since I started flying with them and living in Abu Dhabi. Looking forward for more Etihad A380 flight into the future.
Some group photo together with the First Class Crew in the Residence after landing (note: When there are no passenger booked in Residence, the butler changed to his normal uniform, on our flight, Karim the butler was kind enough to change to his butler uniform for just pictures!
Feedback and comment always welcome
Full Video Trip Report