As I’ve noted in recent posts, I’ve been spoiled with upgrades recently, with five business-class tickets in a row being converted into first-class seats.
Well, the spell broke and on my last trip, business class really meant business class. But there is no way I’m complaining.
Once again, the carrier was Etihad. And, once again, the flight was smooth and the service was superb.
On this occasion, it was flight EY006 Munich to Abu Dhabi. Check-in at Munich was remarkably efficient (in fact, I didn’t realise it was over when it was). I wasn’t overly fussed about the Atlantic Lounge: I give my reasons here, although I will note here that, once again, I’ve been spoiled by the Etihad premium lounges in Abu Dhabi.
The aircraft was an Airbus A330-300, and I was in seat 6A. It’s the first seat on the left in the first row as you enter the plane from the front door. It’s close to the lavatory and the galley (which I didn’t mind, but others might), and has two windows for extensive views of the clouds.
Leaving Munich at 10.35am local time, it was schedule to touch down in Abu Dhabi at 7.50pm – a flying window of 6 hours, 25 mins – but it ended up arriving 30 minutes early. So, no problem there .
The space in the front business cabin (there is another to the immediate right as you enter the plane) is used well, with a one-two-one configuration and interlocking seats. There’s a large touchscreen TV with a good variety of viewing. The seats, of course, convert into fully flat beds, but as this was a day flight, I just used it in recline position.
I’m a big fellow but I no time did I feel cramped or restricted, and I believe I would have been able to sleep, at least for a few hours, had I wanted to.
The flight started, as it usually does for me at the pointy end of the plane, with a glass (or perhaps it was two) of champagne from the small but well-curated wine list. Non-alcoholic choices include juices, fine teas and coffees.
I’m not an audiophile, but the headphones did the job of channelling the sound from the movies (I finally finished watching the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and caught a fascinating documentary about Marlon Brando) and TV shows (two episodes each of Family Guy and Big Bang Theory) I watched. They also cancelled quite a bit of the background sound, including very minimal engine noise.
For lunch, I chose the sea bass, which was moist and crisp in the right places, and quite tasty.
And before touchdown, I had a trio of cheeses with relish and some delicious grapes. And, unusually for me, a red wine.
As always, the service was with a smile. The cabin attendant knew who I was and that I was a member of the Etihad Guest frequent-flyer scheme, and she took her time to speak to me about my requirements and sought my feedback on new menu items.
In summary: Etihad does it again, with a world-class product that underscores its place among elite full-service airlines. Business class is comfortable for chilling out and practical for actually doing business (all the connectivity is there, including internet access if you want it).
The flight was smooth, the service excellent and the entire process painless. Which is exactly how I like it.
Related: First class on the Etihad Dreamliner