* Note – although this flight was last year, I'm often being asked about the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, so here's my review of it – enjoy!
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Flight Details
Time: 02:35 to 07:35
Date: July 2015
Flight: Etihad Airways EY11
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800 (388)
Route: Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow (AUH to LHR)
Cost: 41,419* Etihad Guest miles and 320 AED
- * Luckily, I managed to get this rate before Etihad Guest devalued their award chart in late 2015.
- Generally, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are a better way to redeem for Etihad Airways than Etihad Guest.
Click here for how to use American Airlines AAdvantage miles to book on Etihad Airways.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Boarding
On boarding, the Cabin Manager personally greeted all passengers individually.
On entering the Apartment, there were a personal welcome card, champagne, (warm) nuts, amenity kit and pyjamas laid out ready. Although the issued pyjamas were a Medium, they fit well (and I'm a big guy!) and were more comfortable than I expected – but one wonders how big an XL must be.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Orientation
Etihad have 9 x First Class Apartments, one “The Residence” and three showers on the A380. There is one central aisle for crew/passenger access, so each Apartment stretches over the space one and half Business Class seats would do.
The photographs and words cannot do justice to the sheer size of the Apartment, but let's try.
Firstly, on the right-hand side, there is a dresser/wardrobe, low-level minibar, and the traditional armchair, covered in very luxurious brown Poltrona Frau leather.
Moving over to the opposite side, there is a 6 foot-10 inch bench seat/Ottoman – again in the sumptuous Poltrona Frau leather – and 24 inch Flat Screen LCD TV, on an adjustable frame.
In addition to the furniture, there is an abundance of under-seat and side-panel storage (as can be seen in the photo above) and a crushed-velvet (no kidding!) blanket.
Finally, to add a little privacy, there is a sliding door which can be closed. For those that want to ask THE question without actually asking it, YES – once the door is closed nobody can ‘peep over', leaving you to your own devices and activities 😉
For those that want to ask THE question without actually asking it, YES – once the door is closed nobody can ‘peep over', leaving you to your own devices and activities 😉
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Dining
Etihad's concept on the First Class Apartment is All Day Dining, where the onboard chef prepares you any meal at any time.
Despite the delectable sounding sandwiches and breakfast items, I chose the Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin with Hollandaise sauce, and it was amazing. So much so, I even had seconds of it again instead of breakfast.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Drinks
As always with Etihad, it was nice to see some more eclectic beers on the menu – Victoria Bitter, Hoegaarden and Kirin Ichiban.
What's also nice is there's a choice of different whisky and vodka brands, such as Absolut/Grey Goose and Jameson/Glenlivet/Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
Three cocktails were available – Classic Martini, Manhattan and French 75.
Of course, being an A380 there's also the main onboard Upper Deck bar, although I didn't see they need to visit as I wanted to savour the Apartment.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Sleeping
Whenever you are ready to turn in, the crew provide a turndown service where the Ottoman bench is transformed into a wider bed, and pillows/duvet provided. Especially cool is the TV is fitted on an ingenious extendable frame which swivels out so you can watch it from the bed.
Especially cool is the TV is fitted on an ingenious extendable frame which swivels out so you can watch it from the bed.
I'm not sure if it was the comfort of the bed, the delightful bedding or those cocktails, but I was out like a light in minutes few.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Shower
First Class passengers are allocated five minutes to use the shower, usually by pre-booking an appointment time on boarding. Crew tactfully wake you up when it's your time for the shower, so book the time wisely (as that bed is sooooo comfortable!).
Amenities were by Le Labo (as used in Fairmont hotels) and were Bergamot, which was very nice and refreshing.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Arrival
One of many benefits of flying First Class is the sheer speed of baggage reclaim. Although I was quick to disembark and clear immigration at Heathrow, my case was waiting for me – within 15 minutes of landing!
Chauffeur service was impeccable – Audi A6 from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and up to 100 miles from Heathrow in a BMW 7.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: What's good
This was the first time I'd flown First Class, but I'm sure it will be a very long time before any of the other carriers can match the sheer excellence of the Apartment.
Service was impeccable, food and drink were amazing, the bed was soooo comfortable, and overall, one bucket list item firmly ticked off in awesome style.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: What's no so good/niggles
The only possible thing to complain about is the fairy tale had to come to an end – a dream trip.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment: Conclusion
Whilst flying First Class is on many people's list of life goals, the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment has really raised the bar.
Award space is generally good on most Etihad flights, but the challenge is getting value for those points or miles. Etihad Guest devalued savagely in late 2015, and American Airlines AAdvantage also devalued in March 2016.
However, I'm determined to book another trip in this amazing Apartment, so keep watching for the blog to see how (and when) I do it.
Disclosure: All of our reviews are visited anonymously, and we pay for all charges ourselves.
We feel no freebies, no bias, no PR or marketing involvement makes for a better objective and fairer review for you.
Have you travelled in the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment, and if so, what did you think of it? How do you think it compares with the other carriers' First Class?We've love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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