Etihad A380 Business Studio Review
Sydney to Abu Dhabi
Although I've flown Etihad First Class apartment on their A380 twice in the past few months, I have never flew their Business Studio on their A380 so this time I chose to fly in Business Class instead, definitely a hard decision!!
The check-in in Sydney is super organised, Etihad have came a long way since its humble start in Australia.
2 separate check-in area across Row A/B at Sydney Airport for guest travelling in different classes.
First and Business Class guest are invited to use "Express Path" to clear immigration and pass security.
For departing passengers, the immigration is getting automated kiosk soon!
After passing security check, I walked through the huge duty free and shopping area. Etihad Premium Lounge is located at the Western pier of the International Terminal near R.M. Williams shop.
I was warmly welcome by the lovely staff there with arabic coffee and dates.
To see more of the Etihad premium lounge in Sydney, please visit here.
Boarding is called at gate 61 about 50 mins prior to our departure time, 2045.
It was all very orderly.
My seat is 8K, the first window seat in the forward right hand side of Business Class cabin. Just behind the onboard Bar area.
Tonight's flight to Abu Dhabi is operated by A6-APD with about 350 passengers onboard.
The seat feels excellent in terms of privacy especially at window seat. it is also bigger than the Etihad existing Business Class seat on their A330/B777 main fleet.
Extra side storage bin next to wall on A380.
Electronic control next to the seat.
I was warmly greeted by a lovely British staff, Michelle and chose a glass of champagne to settle in for the long flight.
The 2 control you need for the flight!
Seating, cushion firmness, massage function, window and lighting all in one control.
The seat control can adjust the seat cushion firmness (softness) by inflate/deflate the seat cushion! Very impressive.
Main Menu of the IFE onboard Etihad A380.
Tonight's flying time from Sydney to Abu Dhabi is 14h35mins. The total route is displayed below in the flight map. We will fly over Central and Western Australia, Broome, then Southwest of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Southern part of Kerala, India before reaching Abu Dhabi.
Since I have been fed with a full 3 course dinner, I opted for some sweet before heading to bed.
It is a Banana Toffee pie.
Beautiful bed setup by the excellent crew, Michelle.
Etihad also provide a good pyjama in Business Class and appropriate amenity kit for the overnight flight.
After about 5 hours sleep, I woke up and end up in the onboard lounge for some chillout while most passengers are still sleeping.
The lounge is an excellent feature onboard and mostly very quiet. There are a few table cover books and a large TV Screen playing latest news. (CNN)
It is not a self service bar, but you can get a cabin crew to serve you.
Then I ordered Salmon for late supper. This was quite disappointing, it was dry and tasted off.
More time were spent watching 2 movies and a little bit more sleep.
One hour before landing, I have a Beef pie and mash potato. Etihad don't serve a full breakfast in Business Class on this 14+ hours segment. Passenger have a choice of a frittata or various snacks for breakfast. Cost cutting is definitely in full swing.
Overall, the catering is quite poor and I found it hard to believe this is the case from Australia, where normally I am used to good food. The a la carte menu has a few proper meal choice with lot of snacks (cookies, desserts, fruit plate) on offer.
We landed at 5:40am on time in Abu Dhabi. Temperature was a soaring already 32 degrees C.
Overall, Etihad Business Studio on A380 is very comfortable, private and spacious. The brand new aircraft interior have definitely been a highlight. It is a much improved version from their main fleet Business Class. The window seats are probably the most private one without any disturbance and there are extra side bins for personal belongings. Many aisles seat are rearward facing so be aware of them. My best pick of seats in Business Class is any window, if you must have an aisle, I would suggest 23A or 23K, these are very private in the 2nd smaller cabin.
In terms of food on this particular Etihad flight is rather disappointing. Cost cutting is very evident on this 14 hour flights.
Cabin crew are excellent, especially Michelle who looked after my area.
Above are my first hand experience onboard Business Studio of Etihad. I hope that you will be able to try the experience for yourself sometime in the future, and share in the enjoyment I've experienced.
For more experiences on Etihad, please see my dedicated Etihad Airways page.