Flight Review: Etihad Airways 787-900 Business Studio

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.

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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.

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The Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner
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Seat 6K

Seat:

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.

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“True” window seat as it the seat is positioned directly next to the windows.

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.

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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.

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Etihad Airways 787-900 Business Studio Seat Console

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Seat in full-recline mode.

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.

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Compartment counter. Opening it would reveal a larger storage space below. 

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.

Anyway,

Food:

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.

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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.

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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.

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Balik style salmon with cucumbers, orange, red grapefruit, chive, and horseradish cream.

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Braised beef cheeks, mashed potatoes, green beans, roast carrots & beef jus.

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.

IFE:

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.

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Noise-cancelling headphones, though I still prefer my own Sennheiser.

Amenity Kit:

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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.

Flying Experience:

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.

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At 19:30 Abu Dhabi time, we arrived in Terminal 3 of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Summary:

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.

Stay hydrated,
Peter.

All photos taken on iPhone X.

 


 

Flight Details:

EY58
Brussels (BRU) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Aircraft Type: 787-900
Depart: 10:05
Arrival: 19:30
Duration: 6h 25m
Cabin: Business Studio
Seat: 6K

To Dream ‘Realistically’: Oxymoron & London.

We are almost halfway through 2019 and truth be told, a lot has happened since the last time I posted. Life has its own way in keeping us busy and occupied, and in the blink of an eye, a few months have whizzed past.

My degree has been occupying the bulk of my time with occasional trips here and there (check out my Instagram page to keep tabs on which flight I’ll be on next). I was in the UK in February, specifically Manchester, Bristol, and London for an interview.

 

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I was given the opportunity to be interviewed for an internship position in Airbus’ Communication Department, however I was not selected for the internship. It was a great experience though, considering the fact that I was the only Asian representative out of the other 10 candidates where we were chosen out of a pool of almost 6,000 applicants. That achievement alone is something to be proud of because growing up in a very small, conservative town in the middle of nowhere, I have the potential to break free from the stereotypes that revolve around individuals who come from towns nobody even know they exist.

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Waiting for the train from Manchester to Bristol

It’s disheartening to hear damaging narratives from people around you who suppresses your potential by telling you to aim for something ‘more feasible and realistic’. Dreams are never realistic. To dream of something realistic is an oxymoron on its own, and I strongly believe one can dream of anything they desire.

This rings true in all facets of our lives and I support all my friends who realise their own worth and value; not dictated by society’s expectations. It has been such a blessing to have met countless individuals who share the same drive and goal in life; to be able to find contentment under every rock they turn. I am proud to call these individuals my friends, and even prouder when I see them achieving little milestones in their own pace and effort.

Covent Garden
Street performer in Covent Garden

I cannot express this enough; I am truly grateful for the experience and the people who have supported me throughout the journey, and also during the aftermath where I cried when I found out I was not selected for the position.

I was given the chance to visit the UK for the second time in the span of less than a year and if that is not my stars lining up in my favour, then I don’t know what is. I guess it’s more than just the way the stars are arranged, it’s the people who tirelessly love you, the effort you put into your dreams, and the support from the community around you.

Covent Garden Restaurant
Restaurant above Covent Garden.

It may just be pure luck; and if it is – then boy, am I the luckiest person in the world! I will keep this blog up and running to document my future endeavours, so if you want to be notified about my future posts – subscribe!

Til then, continue to dream.

Stay hydrated and blessed!
Peter.

All photos shot on iPhone X.