The Etihad Experience

Greetings from 36,000 feet. AAC, CPA and I are aboard Etihad Flight #12 from LHR to AUH (a/k/a Abu Dhabi). We are fortunate enough to be flying in the Etihad Apartments (their first class section on the A380), made possible with lots of AAdvantage miles we’ve been storing up. (See my recent post to explain in more detail.)

We boarded about 15 minutes late, no big deal. When we stepped onto the plane, there was a member of the crew who was waiting to take us to our “seats” – AAC, CPA in 3A and me in 4A. On the Etihad A380, you don’t get a “seat”, you get an apartment! 

Etihad A380 Apartment
The Etihad Apartment

Etihad Apartment 3A and 4A
Our apartments side-by-side

I cannot tell you how many attendants we have in our section (only 8 apartments), but I know that there’s an on-board chef, a food-and-beverage manager, and 2 other people who are here to show us a good time. They are extremely professional, very friendly, and not at all overbearing.

AAC checks it out
AAC, CPA checks out Apartment 3A. He likes it.

4-A
My digs – 4A – notice that the champagne has already been poured

After you get settled in, we’re presented with food and beverage menus with lots of options. It’s only a 6.5 hour flight (actually wish it were longer), and I’m hoping to have 2 meals to sample different things, but we’ll see about that.

Chef drops by to introduce himself and to see what you may want to eat and when. You can eat whenever you like. Nice.

Welcome Aboard Snack
Champagne, Arabian Coffee and Dates as a welcome aboard snack

All A380s are outfitted with cameras in the tail, so you can watch the plane’s movements, including takeoff.

In the queue for takeoff
Awaiting our takeoff

Food Menu
The lunch menu

Lounge Menu
The lounge and grill menu

Speaking of the “lounge”, have I mentioned that there’s a bar right behind our section? So if we want a change of scenery and, perhaps, a cocktail, it’s right over there!

Etihad Bar
The lounge aboard the Etihad A380

AAC, CPA decided to wait to eat, but I was somehow hungry. Here’s a look at my meal:

Meal Service - 01
Let the games begin!

Meal Service - 02 Amuse
An amuse-bouche – a bleu cheese croquette

Meal Service - 03 Mezze
Hot and cold mezze

Meal Service - 04 - Palate
Palate cleanser – a cucumber sorbet topped with aspic

Meal Service - 05 Lamb
Authentic Gulf Lamb Biryani

Eren, the food and beverage manager on our flight, provided the wine pairings, which he presented as a blind tasting. I did pretty well, too, identifying both the red and the white.

I was very, very good – ate only 1/2 of each course because, later in the flight, I’d like to try the Etihad steak sandwich, arguably the most popular item on the menu. But I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to handle that in a couple of hours.

Oh, did I mention that there’s a shower aboard? Everyone’s encouraging me to try it, and I think that I will. I’ll let you know about that.

AAC relaxing
While I’m stuffing my face, AAC, CPA is relaxing next door

In the meantime, for some unknown reason, I just got really sleepy. I may have to ask that my be be prepared and get some winks.

Buh-bye for now.

 

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