Good evening everyone! If you follow me on my Instagram – @qwertyuiopete, you must have seen my recent multi-city European winter escapade in December 2019.
On the way back to Kuala Lumpur, both legs of my journey were upgraded to business with Etihad Airways and here’s a quick, succinct breakdown of my experience flying on board their 787-900 Business Studio from Brussels to Abu Dhabi.
As a Gold member of the Etihad Guest Loyalty Program, I get to enjoy pre-flight perks including priority check-in, boarding, lounge access, and more! Read more about their reward program by clicking here!
Moving on to the review, shall we?
Etihad Airways utilises The Suite – Brussels Airport new lounge are in Pier B. Offering a minimalistic approach to their interior design, the lounge was comfortable, spacious and offered a generous selection of breakfast foods and beverages.
My flight was scheduled to depart at 10:05 a.m. from Brussels and the lounge was good enough for a quick breakfast and coffee, away from the rest of the busy airport.
By 10 a.m. I was already at my gate and they were calling for business class passengers, Etihad Gold and Platinum members to come forward for priority boarding. The process was quick, smooth and five minutes later I was already at the door of the plane.
Etihad Airways’ 787-900 Business Class cabin has a total of 28 seats, providing a bigger sense of privacy and space. Assembled in a 1-2-1 configuration, half of the seats face forward, and the rest facing backwards.
For this leg from Brussels to Abu Dhabi, I managed to select seat 6K. 6K is inarguably one of the best seats on the plane as the seat is positioned next to the window, slightly away from the aisle compared to seat 11H as an example.
I was very impressed by the seat, both aesthetically and ergonomically. Etihad Airways not only managed to impress me with the seat’s functionality, but also with the cabin’s overall interior design. Aesthetically, the usage of brown, yellow, and gold colours sets a very warm and luxurious ambiance. The lighting fixture next to the seat was a nice additional touch with a fine focus on detail.
The seat is able to fully recline to a flatbed or to any position you like, controlled by a set of buttons at the seat console.
As mentioned earlier, the seat fully reclines to a flatbed and has ample foot space in front. Being 5’7 really has its perks sometimes, especially when it comes to flying.
Let’s talk about their service.
I can remember distinctly how my first flight with Etihad Airways went in 2018. I was charmed by their cabin crew and the seamless experience I had, from checking-in, boarding, to arrival. Since then, I always had somewhat of a high expectation in Etihad whenever I choose to fly with them.
After settling down at my seat, a flight attendant greeted me and introduced himself as the crew member who would take care of me for the journey. He asked whether he could get me anything to drink while we are waiting for the rest of the passengers to board, and I requested for a glass of champagne. He even offered some explanation on my seat and helped me familiarise myself with the setting on board their 787-900.
A few moments later, he arrived with a glass of champagne, a bowl of cocktail nuts and berries, with a warm towel. Since I have skimmed through their menu on their website earlier, I have already decided what I planned on having.
I ordered the balik style salmon as my starter, and the braised beef cheeks with mash potatoes, green beans, roast carrots, and beef jus as my main with plenty of champagne to wash everything down.
The Balik style salmon was good enough as a basic starter, although I would prefer if the portion could be a little bit bigger. As for the braised beef cheeks, it tasted decent even at cruising altitude. The meat was tender and the sides were more than enough to keep me full for the rest of flight.
One thing that definitely impressed me the most about the meal service was that I can have my meal served at my own preferred time. Having the flexibility to dine on demand granted me the freedom to lounge and enjoy the flight at my own pace – a service I think all airlines’ premium cabins should offer especially on long-haul flights.
Lets talk briefly about the inflight entertainment service. Their entertainment service, the E-Box was updated with a selection of recent television shows and films. Generally, I do not use any airlines’ flight entertainment services that much since I much rather prefer reading, or watching pre-downloaded content from Netflix on my iPad. Nevertheless, the options available on their E-Box are more than enough to keep someone entertained for a 6-hour long flight.
The amenity kit provided by Etihad Airways was presented in an Acqua di Parma PU leather pouch. The contents include your basic dental hygiene kit, a sleeping mask, a pair of socks and sample sizes of Acqua di Parma cologne and lotion.
The content was solid, and I can see myself using the pouch as a small, handheld pouch for everyday use.
Pajamas and slippers were not offered in this flight.
I spent the remainder of my time reading before I had a quick one hour nap. By the time I woke up, there was a couple of hours left before we start our descent to Abu Dhabi International Airport. My flight attendant came to ask me about my rest and if I wanted anything and naturally, I asked for more champagne.
At 19:30 Abu Dhabi time, we arrived in Terminal 3 of Abu Dhabi International Airport.
I was pleasantly satisfied with my experience flying with Etihad Airways on their 787-900 in Business Studio. Their hard product seems to be one of the best I have tried so far both in business and economy, and their services have been excellent since the first time I flew with them back in 2018.
Though, I have seen numerous complaints by passengers on Twitter about their service, thankfully I have yet to encounter any major issues so far that would upset me.
Would I recommend Etihad Airways? It is a solid yes. From pre departure to arrival, to lounge access and their loyalty program, my experience has been seamless and service both from ground crew and cabin crew was spot on.
“Choose Well” – Etihad Airways, and indeed I have.
All photos taken on iPhone X.
Brussels (BRU) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Aircraft Type: 787-900
Duration: 6h 25m
Cabin: Business Studio