Seat E&F - Love Middle Seats

Etihad Business Class Studio A380

Etihad Airways on the A380 flies from and to Abu Dhabi on the following route:

  • London
  • Melbourne
  • Mumbai
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Sydney

 

Etihad A380 in Abu Dhabi International Airport
Etihad A380 in Abu Dhabi International Airport

Flying on the A380 is definitely a major upgrade from flying the A330 aircraft as the premium cabin experience is completely different.

A330 - Etihad Business Class
A330 – Etihad Business Class
A380 - Etihad Business Studio
A380 – Etihad Business Studio

I had the chance to fly the Abu Dhabi – Paris and New York – Abu Dhabi route. Both flights offered the same high quality service experience on the ground and in-flight.

Checking-in process was a breeze at both airports, especially how there are dedicated lines for First & Business class passengers for boarding and security. I never had to wait in line for any longer than 5 minutes (even at JFK Airport).

Dedicated line at New York JFK Security
Dedicated line at New York JFK Security

 

 

The On-Board Business Lounge

 

Residence, First and Business class passengers are boarded straight to the upper deck and as we enter the aircraft is an on-board business lounge and bar with a sleek luxury design which makes the cabin looks unbelievably sexy.

Etihad Onboard Business Lounge
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge Bar
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge Bar
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge
Etihad Onboard Business Lounge

This lounge is accessible for any business and first class passengers.

 

The Cabin and Seats

A380 Cabin During The Day
A380 Cabin During The Day

Cabin during the day

Cabin at Night
Cabin at Night

Cabin at night

 

 

 

Etihad Airways on the A380 has 415 Economy seats in the lower deck, 70 Business Class Studio Seats, 9 First Class Apartments and 1 (3-room) Residence in the upper deck.

 

The Business Studio is a 1-2-1 seat configuration, all aisle access, with alternating rear and forward facing seats.

A380 Seat Map Upper Deck
A380 Seat Map Upper Deck

As a window seat fan, the best seats would be the A&K even window seat number (10,12,14,16 and so on) as you’d get much privacy closer to the window. If traveling as a pair, the love E&F middle seats (10,12,14,16 and so on) works best too.

Despite the luxury and sleek edges of the cabin ‘packaging’, I noticed some of the seat fabrics looked quite worn out.

Seat 14A (closer to Window)
Seat 14A (closer to Window)

 

Seat 15A
Seat 15A (closer to the aisle)
Window Seats
Window Seats

 

Seat E&F - Love Middle Seats
Seat E&F – Love Middle Seats
Seat E&F
Seat E&F
Side compartment window seat
Side compartment window seat

One thing I loved about the window seat is the spacious personal compartment that could fit 2 bags.

Pockets by the seat
Compartment & Pockets by the seat
Flat bed Seat
Flat bed Seat
Flat bed seat
Flat bed seat

Entertainment

IFE Screen
IFE Screen
IFE Screen
IFE Screen
IFE Controller
IFE Controller

The touch-screen In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screen was more than a decent size and it was very easy to use with the controller.

Noise canceling headphones
Noise canceling headphones

Food & Drinks

Menu Business Studio
Menu Business Studio
Menu Business Studio
Menu Business Studio
Anytime Snacks
Anytime Snacks

Consistently as I take my seat before departure, the cabin crew would courteously offer beverages and ask my meal time preference. Kudos to the crew as they had never failed to deliver my meal at the time I requested.

Appetizer
Appetizer
Main Course
Main Course
Dessert
Dessert

The food was delicious, although nothing extraordinary but the servings were timely and well-presented.

All Day Snacks Breakfast Cereal
All Day Snacks Breakfast Cereal

The all-day anytime menu is a perk I always appreciate when sitting in business or first class as I find it to be very useful on long-haul flights.

Amenities Kit

I loved how they’ve upgraded their amenities kit from the playful  and full color Luxe brand to a modern yellow and black leather pouch by Acqua de Parma.

Amenities Kit
Amenities Kit – Acqua de Parma
Amenities Kit - Acqua De Parma
Amenities Kit – Acqua De Parma
Amenities Kit
Amenities Kit

How to Book Etihad Using Points / Miles

The best value to book an Etihad flight is using American Airlines AAdvantage miles, the miles required is a lot less than redeeming with Etihad Guest Miles. Remember you can still be a member American Airlines AAdvantage even if you don’t live in the US.

However, Etihad Guest Miles is transferable from Citibank Premier Miles, so it would also be a good option to use Etihad Guest Miles to upgrade from an economy fare to Business using credit card points.

Citibank Premier Miles Airline Partners
Citibank Premier Miles Airline Partners

Alternatively, the business class airfare flying from Jakarta to Europe (round trip) can go as low as USD 1,900 during low season and this is a great deal.

Sometimes you need to weigh in when it’s best to book using miles or cash. If it is a heavily discounted business class fare, I’d personally book using cash so you can accrue the double miles plus get a chance to upgrade your airline status (only if you see value in receiving the elite status benefits).

 

In Summary

Flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris took almost 8 hours and from New York to Abu Dhabi was 13 hours. I got to experience both day and night flights, including experiencing the Etihad Business Lounge in Abu Dhabi when it was packed and empty (which was nice).

Seats C&D - Middle near aisle
Seats C&D – Middle near aisle

I would only prefer flying Etihad in the A380 since the A330 cabin is not as impressive.

If flying to Europe originating from Jakarta, the business class cabin on Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliner is a lot sexier than the A330. And you could also get a chance to fly the new Qatar QSuites from Doha (a business class cabin designed like a first class). Q-Suites currently serves Amsterdam route from and to Doha. This cabin will also serve Singapore (starting November 2018), Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita (starting January 2019).

Qatar Qsuites
Qatar Qsuites