After a typically pleasant but unexciting flight on a regional Delta flight from RDU to JFK we had our flight to Abu Dhabi on Etihad to look forward to. Etihad rarely release more than two seats in either business or first class on any of their flights, and this one was no exception, and so I booked our children in business class and put my wife and I in first class. When we came to check in at the Etihad first class desk this turned out to be a bit of an issue for them as apparently they see this as the children flying as “unaccompanied minors”. After a bit of back and fourth we agreed that one parent would sit in business for take off and landing to keep everyone happy. Something to think of if ever you book a family with kids in a different class in the future.
I have written about my experience with Etihad first class before, and having flown it a couple of times I was very excited to be back on board. While the “unaccompanied minor” issue was a bit irritating during check in once we got on board everything was just awesome, in fact even better than previously. We had a great crew and the JFK-AUH flight has now been changed to a 777 service which is a newer plane that has a smaller F cabin with just two rows of four suites along with a nice mini-cabin in business class that the kids were seated in.
My kids got seated in their mini-cabin seats and were very excited:
Having said that they then came to take a look at our first class suites and then their jaws really dropped:
After checking out the awesome and new first class suites they went back and I got cracking with some champagne:
The flight was a late take off, around 11pm, and shortly after we were up in the air the on board mood lighting was set into “make you sleepy” mode with warm colors and stars:
My boy was with me for the take off and start of the flight and got to enjoy some of the changing light scenes:
Anyway not long after take off my wife joined me back in first class and we started watching some TV. Then comes the most boring trip report in the world… because I basically went to sleep and slept solidly for a good 8 hours or so. I must confess I don’t normally sleep well on planes even with flat beds and all, but given how late this one left and how tired I was as I had just had a run of pretty sleepless nights, I just completely pooped out. So when I woke up we were only maybe an hour or two away from Abu Dhabi. So I figured it would be a chance to eat some breakfast, even though technically it would be evening time on arrival.
I called the flight attendant and the on board chef was able to put together a nice egg dish that really hit the spot perfectly. Starting off with some coffee to wake me up:
And then nice poached eggs with some good sides:
The food was delicious. I have always found the food on Etihad to be excellent – not overly complex but well prepared and highly enjoyable.
After breakfast I headed back to business class and let my daughter join her Mom for the landing in First class. My boy was up and awake and happily reading a book in his biz class carriage:
I have to say if there were four seats available in business they would have been perfect. While obviously smaller and more “cramped” than the huge First Class suites the business class product is really superb, especially in this mini cabin. Here are a few more shots from the cabin:
And so there we have it… before we knew it we were in Abu Dhabi. The verdict from my kids, and from my own hour long or so experience, is that the business class product is as excellent as the First Class one is. And on this new 777 probably even a little better if you can get into the mini-cabin up-front. The crew were excellent from start to end, the seats incredibly comfortable, the food was excellent and all round just a phenomenal way to fly.
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