Review of Etihad Airways flight Sydney Abu Dhabi in First

Airline Etihad Airways
Flight EY455
Class First
Seat 4K
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 14:40
Take-off 23 Mar 16, 21:50
Arrival at 24 Mar 16, 05:30
EY   #12 out of 113 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 203 reviews
jwong
By 2574
Published on 14th May 2016
Etihad has done a great job in their latest product investment on the A380 and B787. The 'flying reimagined' has certainly brought First Class to the next level with the First Apartment on their A380. I was fortunate to experience this on one of the longer sector from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

With the A380 departing Sydney at night, I was able to leisurely head to the airport after work with plenty of time to spare.

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In the absence of the glamours First Class check in Abu Dhabi, Sydney has dedicated check in counters for First Class guests where check in was completed very swiftly.

After obtaining my boarding pass and with some time to spare, I proceeded to the Eithad lounge prior to boarding.

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In Sydney, there's one common lounge for both First and Business Class guests.
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There's the usual buffet style food offering which was presented very nicely.
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In addition to the buffet offering, there's a table service with an a la carte 3 course menu.
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For the appetiser, I chose the Confit Atlantic Salmon which was light and refreshing.
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To follow, main course was the Slow cooked Beef short rib with pickled pearl onion, Brussels sprouts and parsnip puree. It was juicy and tender.
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To finish off, I settled in for the Chocolate mille-feuille with hazelnut praline and strawberry sorbet.

The service was quite efficient and allowed some spare time prior to the boarding being called. As the flight was full for the night, the lounge was also quite busy so I settled along the bar bench until proceeding to the gate.

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With the flight being operated by the A380, it used one of the larger gate area giving a lot of space with premium boarding located on the right side of the gate. Despite the full flight, there was no hold up at the gate and I got to the aircraft in no time.


Upon being greeted by the crew at the door, I was escorted to my 'apartment' in 4K.

Upon entering the First Class cabin, the sense of spaciousness and privacy can definitely be felt. The use of space is well thought of giving each apartment a seat and a couch/bench that converts to a bed which is great for not needing to unmake the bed if you want to sit upright mid flight.


Some snaps around the apartment.
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It even is equipped with a dressing cabinet where the amenity pack is deconstructed with its amenities placed inside the cabinet. It also featured a large mirror. I guess it'll be great for pre landing make up??
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The lounge/sleep ware was delivered promptly after settling into my seat.
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A pre-flight Bollinger la Grande Anne 2005 was also quickly offered along with the welcome note and some dates. One of the crew also came around organising the shower schedule as this was available on the A380. Then the inflight chef came along to take my dinner order.

Plenty of flight info available.

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After take off, a pre dinner drink was offer and I requested the Rose which was the Duval Leroy Rose accompanied by some mixed nuts, vege chips and olives.
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Noise cancelling headsets were presented with a headset case.
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Shortly after finishing the Rose, my table was made up.
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I've heard about the palate cleansers on Etihad's First Class and now I have been presented one prior to the appetiser.
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The Pan-seared tuna with beetroot, wasabi mayonnaise and sesame seeds.
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A second palate cleasner of passion fruit sorbet prior to the main.
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For the main, I opted for the Chef's special which was a trio of mini grill. It consisted of a fillet of steak, chicken breast and salmon.
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To finish off, the 'Textures' on this flight was Strawberry, Parfait, jelly, micro sponge.
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I then also topped it off with a chocolate ice-cream.

Due to us flying through a bit of rough weather, we were strapped in for a bit after dinner meaning the shower was not available. So I opted for a movie which and asked for a French 75.
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I also had the bed made up as I was starting to nod off.

A few hours have passed by and about 4 and a half hours into the flight, we have finally passed through the rough weather and the seat belt sign was extinguished. At that point, I popped into The Lobby while the shower was prepared.

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A nice concept for having a chat when travelling with friends.

The shower was prepared and I must admit that it was a privilege to have this option available.

After this, I got a few more solid hours of sleep in the very comfortable bed and by the time I got up again, I was asked if I wanted breakfast.

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Starting off with some fresh fruit.
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Eggs were cook to order and I opted for a sunny side up. To accompany, I had steak, kipfler potatoes, Roma tomatoes and sauteed asparagus.
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With the amount of space and a comfortable bed, the 14 hour flight did go pretty quick and we've arrived at our gate in Abu Dhabi T3 before knowing it.
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The aerobridge did offer a good sight of the aircraft.

Following passport control and baggage reclaim, Eithad has an Arrival Lounge where you can freshen yourself, grab a light bite as well as notifying the pre-booked chauffeur that you have arrived.



I was directed to head outside of the terminal where the chauffeur would be made available.

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An Audi was assigned for the ride.

Overall, I was impressed by the airport and inflight experience that Etihad has offered. The crew were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The apartment layout was very well thought of giving plenty of space and privacy. The shower onboard was a very nice touch. Food was pleasant but lacked the wow factors that premium classes sometimes bring. The only let down was some hiccups with online check in as well as the arrival chauffeur. I certainly do look forward to flying Etihad's premium cabins in the future.
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Verdict

Etihad Airways

8.9/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering8.0

Etihad Airways Lounge

6.3/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment5.0
Services6.0

Sydney - SYD

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Abu Dhabi - AUH

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Overall, I was impressed by the airport and inflight experience that Etihad has offered. The crew were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The apartment layout was very well thought of giving plenty of space and privacy. The shower onboard was a very nice touch. Food was pleasant but lacked the wow factors that premium classes sometimes bring. The only let down was some hiccups with online check in as well as the arrival chauffeur. I certainly do look forward to flying Etihad's premium cabins in the future.

Informations on the route Sydney (SYD) Abu Dhabi (AUH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Sydney (SYD) → Abu Dhabi (AUH).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is Etihad Airways with 7.9/10.

The average flight time is 14 hours and 31 minutes.

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1 Comments

  • Comment 348692 by
    mogoy 4824 Comments

    Thanks for sharing !

    EY Appartment is definitely in my view the best F cabin.
    Catering is nicely presented and appetizing.

    Pity that you did not report the wine list as it is a weak point of the EY offering.

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