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Etihad First Class Apartment Abu Dhabi to London Trip Report – Airbus A380

Etihad Airways Flight 17
Depart : Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Arrive : London (LHR)
Departure time : 1:45pm (Actual 2:06pm)
Arrival Time : 6:45pm (Actual 6:14pm)
Airbus A380-800
Registration : A6-APE
Delivered : 20th October 2015 (1.0 Years old) (9 months in service)

Seat : 4K
Flight Time 7h 07m
Meal Service : Lunch & Open Dining

I was picked up at 8.45AM sharp by my complimentary Etihad Chauffeur and was off to the airport. I had wanted to arrive early to check out the recently opened Etihad First Class Lounge in Terminal 3.

 It took about thirty-five minutes until we arrived at the First Class Check in Area.

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I was then escorted through into the private check in area and was checked in very quickly by a very nice agent. For some strange reason when I did try to check in online it did not work for me, but I did not mind as this first class check in was very nice.

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After checking in I was informed to head over to the private security screening, which at the time was empty, I must have completed security in under thirty seconds and right in front of me was the entrance to the new first class lounge.

 I was greeted at the entrance and had my boarding pass checked and then was walked to the elevator and made my way up.

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Upon arriving I was greeted by a very friendly agent who gave me lots of information about my stay, she then asked if I would be having breakfast with us today, and indeed I said yes and we walked into the lounge and over to the dining area.

I sat down near the window and made myself comfortable and was greeted within a matter of seconds as it was just myself and one other gentleman who were dining.

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 The menu was definitely very impressive and I took a good look over everything, the drinks menu was even more impressive, but it being Ramadan, no alcohol was being served.

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I then decided to go with a cappuccino and the eggs Benedict, I mean it was still breakfast time

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The coffee was very good and the eggs Benedict were cooked to perfection and very enjoyable. After having my breakfast I decided it would be a good time to take a good look around the lounge.

The lounge was a very nice size and hot lots of places to sit, but was very limited on places to recline and fully relax.

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The bar area looked a bit empty with all the alcohol removed

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The relaxation room was about the only place where you could find a seat that fully reclined into an almost bed like position.

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There was also a self-serve area around the back of the lounge with snacks, drinks and coffees to choose from

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And they also had two private rooms which did have sofa’s in that you might be able to sleep on

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I’m very surprised that this first class lounge has no private bedrooms or anything close to that for passengers to sleep in.

After taking my walk around I decided to check out the Cigar lounge, I had requested a shave and the barber was on break, so I decided to spend that time in the Cigar Lounge.

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The cigar selection was good and the lounge had just six seats, so it could get crowded pretty quickly during the peak hours.

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I was then updated that it was time for my shave and the barber was ready for me, I did forget to take pictures of this part, but it was a very nice experience.

After having my shave I quickly checked out the private shower rooms and gym before making my way back to the dining area to have a quick bite before heading to the gate.

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The shower rooms were nice and modern

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And the gym had two treadmills and cycle machines to use with a few weights

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I had about thirty minutes before boarding started and decided to give a mocktail a try along with the Ravioli dish.

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Both were very enjoyable. It was then time for me to head to the gate.

It was a short walk from the lounge to the gate and my boarding pass was scanned quickly and I found myself on the Jet bridge in no time at all.

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The upper deck of Etihad’s A380 features the residence at the very front, then the first class apartments and the rest of the upper deck is business class, with the lower deck housing a massive 415 seats in economy class.

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I was greeted with a very warm welcome from the crew and was introduced to Johan who would be looking after me on this flight. He then escorted me to my apartment 4K.

I was very excited to see the apartment and it definitely did not disappoint and was very big and spacious.

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A few moments after I had put my bag down, Johan returned with my welcome champagne and some Arabic dates and a welcome card.

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 I then relaxed and made myself comfortable and took a look around the seat

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I found my first class Pajamas, but waited until we took off to change into them.
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There was a rather comfortable blanket in front of me

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To the left of my seat just around the corner was a large vanity mirror which stored the amenity kit, but could be used at any point during the flight to freshen up.

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There was also some excellent storage space for personal belongings

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and just below that a private mini fridge with some waters and soft drinks

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It was interesting to note that the leather for the chair and bed had been made by Poltrona Frau who also make the leather interiors for Ferrari and other car brands

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Just to the left of my seat I had the IFE remote, a few USB ports and more seat controls

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The tray table was stored in the right side of my arm rest and slid out and then you pushed it and it pops out and then you can unfold it.

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I then checked out the contents of the amenity kit

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I was a little bit disappointed with this amenity when you compare it to Emirates who have great products. I was hoping for some slightly better products than Colgate & Schick. I Would think Etihad could invest a tiny bit more in better products for this kit.

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We pushed back about ten minutes late and started our taxi to the runway.

It was a wonderfully sunny day so we would have some great views on take off

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Our taxi time was about ten minutes and we lined up and started out take off roll

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The climb out was nice and smooth with not a cloud in the sky and it had some nice views to go with it.

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After passing 20,000 FT the crew came around to greet me again and let me place my order for lunch, I was allowed to specify what time I wanted my lunch to arrive. I figured I would relax and enjoy some champagne and a movie, so asked for my lunch to be delivered about two hours into the flight.

I enjoyed my Bollinger La Grande Annee (2005) with some olives, wasabi peas and mixed nuts.

The champagne could not be poured at my seat due to Ramadan, so it was poured in the galley and brought to me.

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I then closed the door to my apartment and relaxed and decided to watch Creed.

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The quality of the IFE was great, the screen was very responsive and the picture quality was great.

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Once my film was complete it was just about time for lunch service to begin for the time I had selected.

Johan set my table and topped up my champagne

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I had the amuse bouche to start which I can’t fully remember what it was, apart from the apple cubes and biscuit , but it was very tasty.

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I then decided to give the Gulf Mezze a try which featured Hummus, Tabouli and baba ganoush.
The baba ganoush was absolutely delicious and that went down first, followed by the Hummus, but the Tabouli was a bit dry, but it was a very good starter dish.

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I then cleansed my palate with a grapefruit Jelly & Ice

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Before enjoying my main course.
For my main I had the Authentic Gulf Chicken Biryani with Basmati Rice

The dish was very tasty and I really enjoyed it.

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I also loved that I could watch the air show and view the flight from the tail camera at the same time, this is a wonderful feature which I do love.

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After enjoying my lunch I finished with some Hennessy XO

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After my lunch we had about three hours of flight time remaining and I went for a drink in the lounge area.

The lounge is a bit strange, its dark and there is no bar, and just six places to sit. I did have a bit of a conversation with a few people in there and then decided I wanted to take a shower before trying to catch some sleep.

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I was shown how the shower works and informed I had five minutes of water, but you can start and stop the water as much as you want to make the shower longer. The flight was incredible smooth during my shower which really added to the enjoyment.

I must admit I’m really a big fan of the Airbus A380, I know it’s incredibly big and not always practical for airlines and the airlines that do have it still say it’s too big, but there are no other aircraft with showers on board which makes this aircraft a true luxury.

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After my shower I returned to my apartment and tried to get some rest, though I did not sleep at all. I was enjoying myself too much to sleep.

The bed was fantastic, almost as comfortable as a real bed. The mattress pad was soft but firm and it was nice to have two pillows.

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After resting I had my bed put back in the lounge mode and checked out the IFE.

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We had just over one hour and thirty minutes left at this point so I decided to have some more food and see what it was like.

I started off with the cheese plate which I had served with the Chateau La Tour Du Pin Figeac and also the Taylor’s select reserve port.

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I then gave the smoked salmon with compressed melon, fennel and lemon oil a try, it was fantastic and very tasty.

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With just thirty minutes left until we landed my Chef’s Special arrived which was filet Mignon served with lentils and dauphinoise potatoes. It was a fantastic dish and the steak was medium in the middle which is pretty good for steak on a plane.

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Once I finished up my final bite we started our descent into London heathrow met with some nice rain clouds that we spent some time dodging around in the sky. I have to admit heathrow ATC and the pilots did a great job of avoiding all of this even when we did three loops in the stack

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We dropped out beneath the clouds and it looked like London had just been rained on for a while and we made a smooth touch down.

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We then taxied to the gate, but had to wait to cross one of the runways for about five minutes due to arriving and departing aircraft.

We pulled up and I was the second person off the plane and snapped a picture of it when walking to immigration.

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I was the first person at immigration and used the E gate and passed through in a matter of seconds which was fantastic.

I had no luggage to collect and breezed into arrivals and met my next complimentary Etihad chauffeur who would be taking me into central London. He was a great guy and the ride into London was very enjoyable.

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It has been a fantastic journey on Etihad and I was really impressed with the first class apartment. From check in, to boarding the plane and being greeted, the fantastic food and drinks to the excellent service I had received.

Overall I was thrilled to have given them a try and would definitely do it again, it was probably one of the best flights I have ever had.

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One Comment on “Etihad First Class Apartment Abu Dhabi to London Trip Report – Airbus A380”

  1. Kathy Bies July 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    Wow wonderful pictures, all I can say is you are really spoiled. I want to travel like you.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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