Browsing Tag: Etihad Airways

A few months ago I wrote about a flight in Etihad’s 787 business class. Later in the trip, during a long connection, I got to explore the highlights of the airline’s hub in Abu Dhabi.

Those highlights included a free hotel program for long layovers and a unique US immigration pre-clearance facility. The pièce de résistance was a morning visit to the incredible first class lounge, with a gourmet breakfast, great views of the ramp, and even a cigar bar.

Read on for a walkthrough of Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub, and for tips on how to take advantage if you pass through the airport yourself.

A few years ago Etihad Airways set out to streamline itself. After hitting hard times and running into fierce competition, it cut routes, cut costs, and invested in a more fuel-efficient fleet. And earlier this year Etihad announced a long-awaited return to profitability. So that part of the transformation seems to be working.

What’s better than one Dreamliner? How about Two? – Photo: Manu Venkat

But did the passenger experience take a hit from the airline’s belt-tightening? We had a chance to find while flying business class on their 787-9 Dreamliner, a staple of their leaner long-haul fleet. Read on for plenty of photos, videos, and opinions on the experience. And at the end of the story we have some fresh news about Etihad’s onboard product.

Arriving at Dulles

Our flight was in business class from Washington D.C. to Abu Dhabi. I love planespotting at Dulles, especially from onboard those goofy “mobile lounge” buses.

Etihad’s Verified to Fly program allows you to confirm your COVID vaccine related documentation in advance, which scores you access to a separate shorter check-in line. Definitely take advantage of if you can — it can mean major time savings at the airport.

A few months ago, Etihad Airways introduced the Airbus A350-1000 to their active fleet, which came equipped with a brand-new business class cabin. These aircraft have been flying a select few long-haul routes, including to New York JFK.

It was on that route that my wife — ahem I mean the newest AirlineReporter guest contributor Meghan Koushik — grabbed some quick pictures. And it’s a really gorgeous cabin. Take a look for yourself.

This business class cabin has the same understated style as Etihad’s previous business class seat still flying on their Dreamliners, but with more consistency from seat to seat. There’s also an improved privacy factor, thanks to sliding doors that turn your seat into a miniature suite. Notably, Etihad doesn’t offer a first class cabin on their A350s, so this business class is as fancy as you’re going to get.

We’ll be back later with some thoughts, photos, and videos from a separate flight on their B787 business class. For now, let us know in the comments section below what you think about the cabin, or if any of you have firsthand experience flying it.