Review of Etihad Airways flight Doha Abu Dhabi in Business

Airline Etihad Airways
Flight EY394
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 00:00
Take-off 23 Nov 16, 10:00
Arrival at 23 Nov 16, 11:00
EY   #13 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 242 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 1889
Published on 21st January 2017
photo ey396 cover

Next was Etihad Airways A380 Apartment service to Melbourne. However being in Doha I needed to make the short hop across the Persian Gulf to Abu Dhabi. This flight was on Etihad's Airbus A320. I scheduled this flight early enough to spend some time in Etihad's prestigious First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi.

Note on Doha transits: There is a transit fee to enter Doha of about $28USD. However if your transit is Qatar Airways in and Qatar Airways out, you can go to the Qatar Airways website and apply for a free transit assuming your connection is the next day or sooner.

Doha's Hamad International airport is a short $8 Uber ride from Old Town where Hilton has an excellent DoubleTree hotel. The airport is brand new, having opened in 2014 and it's beautiful, which one would expect.

This view is once you enter inside the facility. The architecture is stunning.

photo ey396 doha ap 6

After an easy check-in at the Etihad counter to verify my Australian visa and a breeze through the no line at security, I took the escalator down to the departure level. Prominent in the center of an expansive gate-wing transit area is this 6.8 million dollar stuffed teddy bear.

photo ey396 doha ap 5

Plenty of huge TV screens showing your favorite ads make the airport look like a futuristic arcade.

photo ey396 doha ap 2

But then for a moment I thought I was in an Apple store.

photo ey396 doha ap 4

As you can tell the airport was mostly empty this morning. Most Middle Eastern flights depart during the overnight hours due to the extreme heat that is typical for the area.

The ride was prepared and offered a picturesque view of the gulf.

photo ey396 plane 1

Note to US and European airlines:

This is business class.

photo ey396 cabin 3

This is business class legroom:

photo ey396 cabin 1

And this is a true business class seat:

photo ey396 seat 6

And away they go.

photo ey396 away they go

The 34 minute flight offered enough time to snap a few photos of the seat.

Plenty of legroom.

photo ey396 seat 3

And some zzz's if you so desire.

photo ey396 seat 2

Note to US/European airlines #2:

photo ey396 food 2

I repeat, this is a 34 minute flight at 10AM.

photo ey396 food 3

It ended as quickly as it started.

photo ey396 view 7

And the less fortunate.

photo ey396 view 6photo ey396 flight path

And now the fun was to begin.

Abu Dhabi airport is the stark opposite of Doha International. It's old with small walkways and low ceilings. The signs confused me as well, but I found it.

photo ey lounge entrance 1

Up the elevator to the 2nd floor and I was warmly greeted by an attendant who checked my carry-on bag. Then I was seated with a concierge who explained all the services and did a walk around tour. Before showing the facility it is time to dine.

Welcome.

photo ey lounge food 5

Breakfast #3 for the day so far.

photo ey lounge food 2

From my breakfast table, a view of the front dining room as well as the entrance. (I was mostly the only patron in the lounge for many hours.)

photo ey lounge area dining 1

The lounge is shaped like a U. The entrance and front dining room being on the right side of this "U". The area also has more dining tables as well as one of two bars and the kitchen.

photo ey lounge area dining 2

The bottom of the "U" views the airfield as well as having a room with relaxing chairs on one side and the 2nd bar on the other.

photo ey lounge area bar 1photo ey lounge area middle 1photo ey lounge area bar 2

For those wishing to plane watch.

photo ey lounge area middle 2

The left side of the "U" is another dining area that is more secluded.

photo ey lounge area back

Interspersed throughout are private rooms where one could catch a nap. There are no sleeping rooms with beds at this lounge.

photo ey lounge area priv room 1

You can relax and watch some TV.

photo ey lounge area priv room 4

This Relax and Recline room featured 5 or 6 lounge chairs that fully reclined. They provided a nice warm blanket and I decided it was time to snooze.

photo ey lounge area priv room 2photo ey lounge area priv room 3

Other rooms included a fitness room, playroom for the youngsters, a cigar lounge and the special Residence Lounge which I'll never see, unfortunately.

So when one wakes they usually have breakfast, #4.

photo ey lounge food 1

Now it was time for a shower and to check out the spa.

photo ey lounge shower 2photo ey lounge shower 1photo ey lounge shower 3

When traveling on an Etihad first class ticket you are entitled to a complimentary 15 minute treatment at either the Six Senses Spa or Style and Shave by Etihad. For whatever reason I chose a manicure at the Style and Shave room. You could get a short massage or a hair trim for your complimentary treatment as well. Plenty of other services are available for longer periods at a cost.

photo ey lounge spa

Rested, clean and manicured with a couple hours to go I couldn't think of anything else to do, but eat.

Here is the dining room menu.

photo ey lounge menu 1photo ey lounge menu 2photo ey lounge menu 3

And the Emirates Palace 5 course menu.

photo ey lounge menu 5

While contemplating what to eat I sat down in one of the lounge chairs. A waiter provided a menu.

A different menu.

photo ey lounge menu lounge

And then I took a seat at the bar and…

A different menu.

photo ey lounge menu bar

Now I faced a most critical dilemma. Do I have a full meal in the dining room and risk not being hungry for the first class extravaganza that awaited at gate 61? And if I pass on a full meal, which menu do I order from, the bar or lounge menu?

There was only one way to decide.

photo ey lounge food 4

A nice glass of Bollinger "La Grande Anne", vintage 2005.

photo ey lounge menu wine

Decisions. Decisions. In retrospect I made the wrong one. But it's not what you think. Find out flying to Melbourne next.

photo ey lounge food 3


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More on Etihad's premium class services
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Verdict

Etihad Airways

7.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.0

Doha - DOH

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

Abu Dhabi - AUH

6.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access5.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

The service on this short flight and the few, check that, many hours in the Etihad First Class Lounge furthered by excitement and expectations for flying in The Apartment on Etihad's A380. Every Etihad employee I encountered was more proof to me that their employees are what sets them apart from other carriers in premium travel.

Information on the route Doha (DOH) Abu Dhabi (AUH)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Doha (DOH) → Abu Dhabi (AUH).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Qatar Airways with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 0 hours and 41 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 382929 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Thank you Mark for sharing this detailed FR (or perhaps LR-lounge report) with fantastic pics and descriptions. ;)

    "Note on Doha transits: There is a transit fee to enter Doha of about $28USD..."
    - Great point and I'm sure the tip is greatly appreciated by future travelers to this airport.

    "Prominent in the center of an expansive gate-wing transit area is this 6.8 million dollar stuffed teddy bear. "
    - The famous teddy under a lamp. It's a very unusual exhibition piece to say the least.

    "And this is a true business class seat:"
    - Lovely seats. How I wish U.S. carriers would feature these Recaro seats on long transcon narrowbodies that are not JFK-LAX/SFO. I'm based in SFO and it seems that the F cabin on flights to places like MIA and BOS are an afterthought.

    "I repeat, this is a 34 minute flight at 10AM."
    - This is worth repeating over and over again. It's shameful what U.S. carriers serve (or not) on flights of similar length.

    "Then I was seated with a concierge who explained all the services and did a walk around tour. "
    - The personalized service is a nice touch.

    "Breakfast #3 for the day so far."
    - Eggs Benedict! you're a man of great taste sir. Did you add a few drops of Tabasco sauce? ;)

    "There are no sleeping rooms with beds at this lounge."
    - Judging by the tour I would have expected them. Even some J lounges have these.

    "Now I faced a most critical dilemma."
    - Most people would love to trade places and have predicaments like yours. :P

    "A nice glass of Bollinger "La Grande Anne", vintage 2005."
    - Absolutely! Nothing is more conducive to clear thinking. :)

    Looking forward to your next leg.

    • Comment 383189 by
      Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

      "Breakfast #3 for the day so far."
      - Eggs Benedict! you're a man of great taste sir. Did you add a few drops of Tabasco sauce? ;)

      But of course, and the sauce on #4, thyme bread coated poached eggs, was a tangy mustard sauce (not choron as the menu stated) and that was excellent. Thanks again, see you on the 380

  • Comment 383360 by
    hmendes1 4 Comments

    Gotta love how ME3 can serve basically a full course meal with drinks for a 30 minute flight, yet American can't serve drinks on a 1 hour sector for some flights!
    Out of curiousity if I booked a ABX - DOH return flight in 'business' would I be able to use first lounge?

  • Comment 383439 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 494 Comments

    Thanks for reading Hmendes1. Not sure what you mean by ABX but if you have a mixed class ticket where one leg like DOH-AUH is business and the other leg AUH-??? is in first then you can use the lounge. If both segments are in business then you can't.

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