Etihad Economy Coral Class: IAD-AUH B787-900
I needed a positioning flight for my AUH-SYD flight in which I used American miles to book Etihad’s new Apartment Class. Getting to Abu Dhabi from LAX can be easy by flying their nonstop flight but it’s on their older 777. Flying to IAD allowed me to try their new plane, the B787-900, which featured their new Economy Smart Seat and inflight WiFi which was well worth the stop. The flight needed to be as comfortable as it could be given it was a 12+ hour flight in Economy (Coach).
After landing from LAX on Virgin America, I proceeded to the Etihad lounge to see if I could get access due to my 5 hour layover. I knew I didn’t have access via any other method so I had to ask if I could pay for a pass. Surprisingly, the receptionist offered me access for $75 and explained the amenities. There was no question this would be worth the access fee so I paid the fee and entered. They offer luggage storage at the front desk so I was able to hand over my carryon so I didn’t have to lug it around the lounge. This is the first time I’ve seen this offered by a lounge. It felt like I was entering a hotel. The lounge wasn’t busy and would be emptying out once a Saudi flight left. I was the only guest in the lounge for about 1 hour in between the Saudi flight leaving and guests arriving for my Etihad flight. Food & drinks were plentiful and the staff was amazing! They offer a sit down restaurant inside the lounge which is where I decided to grab some dinner prior to the flight. Boarding for the flight began and the lounge has a private exit to allow you to board the flight directly. My luggage was waiting for me at the lounge exit when I boarded my flight. I’m glad they reminded me as being in the lounge for 5 hours I almost forgot about it. I did chat with the receptionist about the seats on my flight which she informed me it was very empty and I should be able to snag an entire row but to be sure to inform the flight attendant about the change.
Upon boarding, I knew I made the right choice. It was a brand new plane with large TV’s, WiFi and plenty of open seats. I secured an entire center row of 3 seats and informed the flight attendant. Once I made the change everyone around me asked and they all quickly filled up. Oops… We took off on time and we were served dinner shortly after takeoff. The dinner was very good for an economy class meal and I made my bed by using the 3 seats. It was sufficient to get a couple hours of sleep and made the best of it. The built-in headrest adjustments also made it easy to nap while seated upright. I purchased WiFi (Wi-Fly) which was cheap @ $21.95 for the flight with unlimited use. The speeds were fast for an international satellite connection provided by T-Mobile. They invested a ton in the latest inflight entertainment system by offering large TV screens making it an enjoyable flight. I’d highly recommend flying this B787-900 when you need to book a flight to/from Abu Dhabi. It’s the best way to fly in Economy!
Stay tuned for my review of Etihad’s Apartment Class onboard their new A380…