Etihad Airways created a big splash when they introduced their A380 in mid 2015. Not only does the cabin look stunning, the concept of having a separate class above First with a private bedroom, bathroom and your own ‘butler’ in commercial airplane is unprecedented and quite revolutionary. While I have not had the chance to try their Residence product, I was fortunate enough to be able to build a perfect itinerary with their First Apartment for my spring break.
- EY 11 First Apartment
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) – London (LHR)
- 02:35 dep – 07:35 arr (8 hrs)
They say first impression can kill. I won’t exaggerate it but I was gobsmacked by the elegance and the beauty of the cabin design. The cabin layout is 1-1 (2 fully enclosed suites per row) on the upper deck of the whale of the sky, which should give you some idea of how spacious it is. Each ‘apartment’ is fitted with a very comfortable, wide, leather armchair. It has limited recline but you need not to worry because there is a 2+ meter-long ottoman right in front of your seat that can be converted into a bed, even before take off time.
You have a 24-inch TV screen which can be swiveled if you want to watch it from your bed. While you are awake, there is a triple-mirror vanity cabinet and a mini bar inside your suite. Or if you’d rather work, their onboard wi-fi is pretty decent and free of charge.
Feeling hungry? I’d recommend their signature steak burger. Or ask the chef for today’s special. Similar to other top tier carriers, EY has an on-demand dining service so you can order any type of meal anytime between take-off and landing
Want to hit the ground running right after landing? Why not use their onboard shower? The water is limited to 5 minutes per person but it was more than sufficient for me. I must applaud EY for their attention to details; even their lavatories/shower rooms are beautifully designed. You can also get complimentary chauffeur service in selected cities so you won’t have to worry about ground transportation once you land.
The only area of improvement I can think of from this flight is the crew – they were polite and professional but not somehow felt a bit robotic. Other than that, this is one cabin I’d be willing to spend the rest of my day in.
Aside of their exclusive Residence, EY First Apartment is, hands down, the best premium hard product offered by a commercial airline out there. Maybe they could have added more layers to the mattress but overall, I think anyone not satisfied by this product should just fly their own plane. ‘Flying Reimagined’ indeed.