Etihad Business Class: LHR-AUH A380 *Guest Post*
I decided to try a new angle for my content. The following post is a Guest post from my friend, Hans, who was my professional photographer on my recent Maldives trip. Comment below if you’d like to see more Guest posts.
Etihad Business Class from London (LHR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) was our first taste of luxury in the air during a 2 week-long whirlwind trip.
We started with the lounge, where all the discomforts of travel seemed to evaporate. The space felt like a hotel spa oasis with lounge chairs, complimentary buffet and a la carte food and drinks, massage services, and showers to freshen up. There’s something about being cooped up in a plane with recycled air that just makes you feel soiled after every flight. So there’s nothing better than having lounge access to get an opportunity to freshen up before and after a long haul flight – it’s just awesome! The whole thing really made it feel like you were not traveling at all. Now, off to the plane!
When it was time to board, the process was fast and easy. Being in business class, you of course had priority boarding, but in the case of flying Etihad A380, first and business class had their own boarding area. So you didn’t even see the herds of people flying economy. Again making the experience that much sweeter! It was like the red carpet had been rolled out and we were truly experiencing first class service.
As we found our way to our pods (24 E&F), we found them to be spacious and located just in front of an exit door. This location provided a lot of privacy, because we had no neighbors to either side. These center seats were also nice for a couple, because the divider could be raised for more privacy or lowered for a more social experience. In addition, we had easy access to a coat closet for additional garment storage. As we got settled in, we were welcomed with a choice of drinks and nuts to snack on.This is the way to travel!
The pods had a contemporary feel, with a neutral color palette, and nice ambiance created by the soft adjustable lighting. For entertainment there was a large 24-in wide touchscreen tv (which is super nice) and a hand-held device that worked as a remote control, game controller, or personal viewing device (mirroring a lot of what was available on the tv). There was a nice side table with headphones, personal care pack, water bottle, and magazines tucked into various compartments. Opposite that, a small table housed the remote and seat controls, as well as keeping drinks and snacks out of the way. Both tables were functional and conveniently placed no matter how the seat was inclined. Again the whole idea of having your own personal pod was just amazing to me. It was truly luxury in the air. Time to eat!
Like a fine dining restaurant, the multi-course dinner was served on a white tablecloth, with ceramic plates, silverware and a cloth napkin. You won’t find plastic cups and utensils here. Nice! The food was well prepared, nicely plated and enjoyable to the palate. The food was definitely a major upgrade from economy but the one blemish on the experience was that the service I received was less than stellar. My wife received first class service from the way the utensils were laid out, to the manner in which the food was delivered. However, while I enjoyed my food, the carelessness and lack of attention to detail shown by my server was disappointing and not befitting a luxury tailored experience. Ironically, the person who was serving me was none other than the cabin manager – maybe she was having an off day, but service should have remained first class.
After dinner, it was time to sleep and take advantage of the lay flat seats – which were comfortable, roomy and quite private. The main cabin lights were turned off, accompanied by softly dimmed blue lighting. Nice touch. Lights off, in a comfortable bed under a blanket and eyes closed…lights out. I’m just amazed how comfortable flying can be. Wow! Life is good in business class.
All in all, it was a great experience and we appreciate Palo helping us experience this luxury in the air. Next time, we hope to experience the first class apartments!
Professional Photography: Hans