Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I have been catching up on reports of trips made last year and this series will be exactly that. This series of flights was special for several reasons. First, the timing. My family was expecting a new member in July of 2016 so this window of time was my last chance to enjoy some flying for a while. Second, as a "last hurrah", it was an all points on deck sort of affair where I simply pooled every point currency I had available and sought to exhaust them into a grand adventure. Through the luck of my timing I beat the devaluation cutoff of both AA and the Alaska and Emirates. Finally the trip was loosely based around A380. The first class cabins on these machines are nothing short of spectacular so let's have a comparison.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
The long awaited Etihad First Class lounge was well overdue for opening. It was still not open when i passed through AUH in May 2016. I am surprised it was built at all with an entire new terminal opening in the next few years. I suppose if the construction timeline for the new terminal is similar to the new lounge it will be a few more years than expected. You know what they say, "Over promise and under deliver." Wait, I think that's off…
There is no ground escort or preferred lounge entrance for an F passenger so this is what awaited me.
Disappointed not to experience the new lounge this is still a very nice facility.
I grabbed a seat in the open lounge area to enjoy some water. The lounge was under the morning crush and was very crowded. The tabels were all littered with debris from other guests. There is a roped off First Class section but I was more interested in some hydration and a shower.
I visit the spa area to arrange a shower. There is no wait. The shower rooms are disappointing in that they are cramped and hot.
I do love spa water.
I also secure a haircut. I was feeling a little shaggy but really just wanted to get a haircut in an airport lounge. Check. It turned out well and the barber was quite affable and had a good gift of gab.
Otherwise my time here was sleeping on a couch as there are no proper rest rooms. Fortunately the lounge cleared out and my only company was staff cleaning for the next rush.
Comfortable secluded nap space. It might have been for VIPs but no one hassled me.
When the lounge was between flight banks I snapped a few pictures.
Apologies for the light coverage of this lounge. Please see some of my other reports for more information on this facility here:
As departure time approached I made my way the short distance to the boarding gate.
At the door of the aircraft I was welcomed aboard by name and shown directly to my "apartment", 4K. The delightful young famale flight attendant wiht a distinct English accent invited me to occupy any seat as I was the only F passenger on this flight. Normally those words elicit celebration in the av-geek world but to be honest it's hard to tell the difference in this product. I guess I get first pick of shower times? Oh hell yes I'm showering on a 3 hour flight.
My personal struggle of 10 hours without champagne has ended.
Boarding pass. In retrospect a seat assignment was necessary.
The vanity and mini-bar are both stocked, even for the short hop to BOM.
Let's peruse the menu. I assume they won't have run out of anything… 1
The Bollinger was topped up with precision. An ice bucket en-suite is something they need to consider…
More amenities are provisioned…for the 3 hour flight…
The couch/bed has a huge storage beneath.
My private cabin is on the move.
An-225 OMG! Loading a massive crane.
OK, we have a lot to do and a short time to do it. Let's get to work. I didn't eat in the lounge so let's take a meal.
Table setup and champagne snacks.
Some really nice roti from the bread selection and the scallop starter. Good texture on the scallop.
The Gulf Mixed Grill a.k.a. plate of protein ranging from unremarkable to vile.
Despite the fantastic flight attendant pleading with me to try some other dishes I threw in the towel. Technically the towel was presented to me but…
On a trip to the lav I spied over the wall at the residence.
I was surprised when they offered the shower service. NO, not that kind, what is wrong with you? I didn't think they would carry the water but I was wrong. And shower I did.
Back at my place (I know, frustrating that the toilet shower are not ensuite) I am showered again but this time with offers of final food and drink orders. I request some coffee and water. The water is accompanied by ice cream. It must be a local Gulf culture thing.
Of course this flight was coming to an end before I could even get into it. The cabin was prepared for landing and soon we were coming back to earth in the literal and figurative.
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Abu Dhabi - AUH
Mumbai - BOM
The Ground Service: There is no ground service. Perhaps even a disservice of having to queue up behind travelers arguing that they should have access to the lounge.
The Lounge: It's decidedly a J lounge, just a very nice one. The Spa and Cut and Shave services are more F than J.
The Cabin: Mine...all mine! It's the one product that makes the alone in F prize irrelevant.
The Crew: Stupendous. Smiling, fun, confident and flirtatious. I don't see any way to improve.
The Food and Beverage: The roti was spot on. Otherwise not very good.
Overall: An apartment, shower, amenity kit, slippers, and pajamas on a 3 hour flight. Sure, why not?
15 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".