Flight Review Etihad Business Class EY22 MAN-AUH Manchester to Abu Dhabi
In the last year, I've flown Etihad Business Class several times because it's a) consistently excellent service b) a convenient redemption opportunity.
Time: 1930 to 07:00
Date: February 2016
Flight: Etihad Airways EY22
Aircraft: 777-300ER Three Class
Route: Manchester, UK to Abu Dhabi, UAE (MAN to AUH)
Cost: 30,000* American Airlines AAdvantage miles and £206.56* (approx.)
- 30,000 was before March 2016 devaluation; this route now costs 42,500 AAdvantage miles
- £154.84 Taxes and Carrier-Imposed Fees, $75.00 Award Processing (fee for phone booking) – approx. £51.72
Click here for how to use American Airlines AAdvantage miles to book on Etihad Airways.
Etihad Business Class flight EY22: the good
Etihad Lounge at Manchester Airport
Although it's the first time I've used it, the Etihad Lounge at Manchester Airport was pretty good. Obviously – given Etihad only fly 2-3 times a day from Manchester – it's smaller than Abu Dhabi and other Business Class lounges, but the service standards were equally as high. Several TVs to watch the rugby, waiter service to bring a Guinness over, plenty of seating and a nice selection of snacks made for a lovely experience.
Lie-flat seats were very comfortable, in fact the lady next to me reclined almost as soon as she was onboard (see photos).
In Flight Entertainment (IFE)
Great selection of relatively new films and content, and whilst not as extensive compared to Emirates, there's still plenty enough movies, TV shows, music etc. to keep entertained.
Etihad also provide very good noise-cancelling headphones (see photos)
Etihad provide ‘all day' and ‘a la carte' for Business Class, so you order the latter as your main meal and can nibble at the all day anytime. Just as with the First Class Apartment, you can be assured that you won't be hungry flying Business Class with Etihad.
The starter of Mushroom Soup with Creme Fraiche was outstanding.
The Braised Beef Cheeks were good, and the Cheese was excellent.
Given I'd tucked in at the Etihad Lounge, along with the main meal there was no need for any ‘all day' extras.
Spoiler alert: I don't understand wine or champagne, other than to say I like and drink whatever's put in front of me.
Champagne was served straight away on welcoming onboard, as well the purser taking a drinks order for main meal.
Another thing I like about Etihad is offering VB, which is a nice change for a beer from the usual suspects of Budweiser, Heineken etc.
The Bombay Sapphire gin also went down very well.
If I was ever pushed to pick a difference between Etihad and Emirates, whilst it would be tough, my answer would be – consistency of service.
Although it's fine margins, I've had one or two little service lapses on Emirates whilst none at all in Etihad (even in Economy).
It's always worth spending time talking with the attendants, purser and Cabin Manager, as they are always interesting and personable, and you can tell they are actually keen to please and interested in their passengers.
Etihad Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi
This trip was the first time I've made use of the Etihad Arrivals Lounge at Abu Dhabi, and very impressive it is too – especially the steak sandwiches at breakfast!
Read the full review here: Etihad Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi
Etihad Business Class flight EY22: the not so good
Okay, this may sound a cop-out, but there was hardly anything I could complain about.
Just for the sake of making a point, the seat was a teensy uncomfortable, perhaps because of some fastening underneath the cushion. Not wanting to sound like the Princess and the Pea, I soon got used to it and honestly, it was a very minor glitch. I've sat in the same seat on previous flights, so perhaps it was a defect or a fault, and I'm sure if I complained the staff would fix it – or move me – but it wasn't worth bringing up.
Etihad Business Class flight EY22: conclusion
Yet another terrific, excellent redemption on Etihad Business Class by using American Airlines miles.
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 on Etihad Business Class? Let us know your thoughts and feedback via the comments below – we'd love to hear from you!
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