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November 18, 2015

Review: Etihad A380 First Class Double Apartment to Sydney

Etihad A380 First Class Double Apartment

First Class Apartment from Etihad delivers supreme luxury and the relaxation to enjoy it with minimal interruption, from award-winning design and cabin staff who attend to the smallest details of your journey. More than just great product and service, it is extraordinary travel experience!

EY454 Abu Dhabi to Sydney

Etihad First Class Apartment

20 October 2015

Passenger: 490/496, First Class load 9/9

Reg: A6-APC

Flight time 12 hr 45 mins

This is NOT my first time flying Etihad A380 First Class apartment, after an absolute “WOW” flight in January 2015, I have been looking forward to my 2nd, a much longer flight. This time I decide to share the joyful experience with my wife. Flying together on our 4th wedding anniversary date!

As with all journeys on Etihad, the trip started with Limo pick up at my residence, then with porter service at airport and easy stroll through check-in and security, we arrived at Etihad Premium Lounge near gate 35 two hours ahead of our flight.

Unfortunately the Etihad First Class lounge is delayed in its re-opening. All First Class passenger can use either Terminal 1 First Class lounge (small one) or the Premium lounge combined with Business Class passengers.

Etihad Premium Lounge

L1

A special area reserved for First Class passengers. (And for Residence Class passengers if sold)

L2

L11

L12

L3

L4

L6

L7

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L5

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The lounge has decent and good variety of food and dessert. However the lounge feels simply too temporary and too common. There isn’t any special in this lounge and paled in comparison with Lufthansa, Qantas, Cathay, Emirates or Qatar Airways lounges.

Perhaps the most exciting element is Etihad Shave. A brilliant concept for the weary travelers who can opt for a shave or haircut (ladies can opt in for nails)

Below is my favourite barber/shaver (from Morocco)

Etihad Shave and Six Senses Spa

 L13

L14

Another awesome aspect of the Etihad Premium lounge is the Sixth Sense Spa which entitle First and Business Class passengers for 15 minutes complimentary treatment. (Massage/Facials)

L15

L16

L17

Welcome Onboard

Boarding at Gate 33

Interesting we have to walk up the ramp of the upper aerobridge to board upstairs.

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We received warm welcome at the doors and escorted to our apartment suite, 1H and 2H. (both aisle seat)

6A

The wife is happily settled in her apartment 2H, which is an aisle seat.

The apartment feature make up station with mirror, 3 electronically controlled window, a generously long bench/ottoman and plenty of private space!

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It turned out we have a common friend with the F/B manager onboard, Chanida. It is a small world if you live in Abu Dhabi.

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Each apartment has plenty of storage places and a private chilled fridge. There are no overhead bins of course.

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The takeoff was delayed by an hour due to congestion of Omani aerospace. This became a serious daily recurring problem as most flight bound for India/Asia/Oceania leaves at the same time from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

During this time we were given a tour of the onboard bar.

The onboard bar/lounge is located just behind First Class and the galley but in front of the business class cabin.

Onboard Lounge

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The bar has self service concept, it does not have bar attendant like onboard Emirates or Qatar.

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I was in reversing position on takeoff as seat 1H face rearwards. It was interesting to feel the power of engine pulling my towards the force. The A380 is exceptionally quiet especially on the upper deck.

After the takeoff, table were set quickly for dinner. We opted to have dinner together.

Here is the menu: (Complete A La Carte and dining on demand)

M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6

Fine Dining

Beautiful table set up

20B

20c

20D

Chef creation: Amuse Bouche

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Starter: Lemongrass Soup and Alaskan Crab duo

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Middle Course: Lemon Sorbet to whet appetite.

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Main course: Chef Creation. Medium Rare Beef Tenderloin with Greek Salad and Mash Potato.

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Main Course: Rib Eye steak chopped with peppercorn sauce.

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Dessert Trio to follow.

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As usual after a heavy dinner, it is time to digest and go to bed to sleep. At this point, we were about 2.5 hours into the 13 hours flight and near Bangaluru according to the excellent inflight map display.

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Time for bed

Both beds were turned down. The double suite (1H/2H, 3A/4A, 3K/4K) allows couple to face each other when in full flat position.

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You still get plenty of space to move around with beds fully turned down!

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Good Morning Australia

After a solid 7 hours sleep, we’re already in the middle of Australia.

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View from the inflight tail camera. Over Red Center Australia!

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The excellent inflight map have many view option, this is pilot’s view

35B

I ordered my own customized breakfast, steak strips and fried eggs.

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Another look of my Apartment with doors closed. Breakfast can be have in total privacy like hotel in-room dining.

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The excellent upgraded Etihad E-box entertainment on A380. With smart phone type drop down choices. Touch screen enabled.

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Before landing, I have the luxury to take a quick 5 minutes shower to refresh.

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A Surprise before arrival!

An hour before the final arrival into Sydney, the crew surprised us with a beautiful heart shaped anniversary cake and champagne mimosa for an ultimate onboard celebration.

We didn’t see this coming at all and felt fully blessed and loved.

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A photo with the excellent team looking after us. Especially F/B manager Mariam (She is also the butler onboard) from Tunisia.

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Arrival into the shores of Sydney, final moment from the windows over Botany Bay.

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Conclusion

The Airbus A380 is an aircraft like no other. Etihad have completely reimagined the travel experience with the A380 in order to offer the ultimate in luxury, comfort and service for their guest.

With a smooth touch down on Rwy34L, the Etihad A380 brought us to our old home, Sydney and our experience with double Apartment came to a sweet end.

I was very impressed of my flight with Etihad with their new aspired in-flight service and offering on this new state of the art aircraft. The crew made an outstanding effort looking after us and made us feel truly loved, blessed and royalty.

I don’t think there will be ever a bad flight experience onboard Etihad A380, the product is just so outstanding and will speak for itself.

Looking forward for more Etihad A380 flight into the future.