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REVIEWS


A380 BUSINESS CLASS Etihad Airways


Have you ever felt so comfortable in the sky that the thought of a lengthy flight is almost exciting? Well that’s the feeling I had when I boarded my Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi – a feeling of utter delight!


My flight was a little delayed (by


four hours!) but it felt like no time at all because I made myself at home in the lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. The lounge isn’t huge but the service is great and the food options are vast, with both a buffet area and à la carte menu available. On boarding the A380, I was instantly


wowed by the space in the upper deck. I’ve travelled business class a fair few times now, but the space per seat seemed far greater with the national carrier of Abu Dhabi. In fact, each seat is almost within its own little pod and very private. I was instantly impressed. The entire top deck is dedicated to top-tier bookings – there are 70 seats for business class, nine for first class and, of course, the ultra-exclusive The Residence, a completely private suite! Etihad does business class extremely


well. I felt like I was flying in style from start to finish – of course, being welcomed with a glass of champagne helped me settle in quickly. Shortly after take-off I was welcomed by


at least seven members of staff, including a food and beverage manager who ensured my every culinary whim would be taken care of. I knew such jobs existed in hotels and on cruise ships, but it was my first experience of this on an aircraft. Business-class guests have access to an extensive à la carte menu, as well as a selection of dine anytime ‘options’.


After I’d made my culinary choices – including truffle tortellini and pan seared cod – the F&B manager recommended the wines which would pair best with dishes. I opted not to have dessert straight


away; instead, a few hours into my flight, I ordered ice cream and another glass of champagne. Just another perk of flying business!


With a belly full of food, it was time to sit back and relax, and that was easy on my 80.5-inch flatbed. It was only a click of a button and I was stretched out


8


horizontally with the softest faux-fur blanket wrapped around me. Another click of the button allowed me to choose the firmness of my seat.


After a little rest, I decided to explore some of the upper deck and discovered The Lobby – a bar in the sky. This is a huge hit for travellers on the A380; it’s a lively area where guests gather to have a drink or snack. It also becomes a hive of activity when sports or special events are being broadcast on the TV screen. I loved The Lobby, but the ultimate


wow factor is the service. Staff are extremely attentive, and even offer tips on what to do during your stay in Abu Dhabi. All in all, a brilliant experience, and I’m already looking forward to my next Etihad flight!


ETIHAD.COM HOLLIE-RAE BRADER


aspire march 2017 — 91


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