The Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787 is the flagship product of Etihad in Business Class. This exact same product is also to be found in the Airbus A380 (review to follow). After having flown several different business class products, I must say that the new Etihad Airways Business Class definitely is among the best products out there. Read why in our extensive airline review!
On my recent trip to Australia, I decided to take not one, but two detours to test some new products. I’ve already reviewed the new Virgin Australia Business Class in the Boeing 777-300ER, which I was able to test through routing my return flight via Sydney.
I also decided to not fly from Munich to Abu Dhabi on the most direct route, but instead route via Dusseldorf to try the new Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787. And oh boy, it was totally worth it!
The seats in the Etihad Airways long haul business class are similar in all aircrafts when it comes to the configuration. Yet, there’s one major difference. In the new airplanes, the seats more exposed to the aisle are actually backwards facing.
You’ll find staggered seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, which means that there are “true” and “fake” window seats. Some seats are located in sort of a cocoon directly by the window, while the others are exposed to the aisle.
The same is true for the middle seats. Yet, there’s something special about the cocoon style seats as these are located very close to each other and thus are often referred to as “honeymoon seats” as they are perfect for couples.
So, let’s get to the new Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787, which comes with a product with a couple of new touches, which make the seats way more comfortable. First, the seats are wider and feel longer and thus offer additional seating comfort.
Second, there’s way more storage area, making it easier to keep your belongings by yourself. Third, several important improvements were made when it comes to small touches like the lighting or the ottoman.
It’s also worth mentioning that the new design in the Etihad Airways long haul Business Class adds positively to the atmosphere in the cabin. The cabin in the Boeing 787 is also quite intimate as there are not too many Business Class seats.
With the seats being wider and longer, the sleeping comfort in the Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787 is decisively improved. As this was a daytime flight and got some work done, I didn’t sleep. Yet, I’ll review the sleeping experience extensively in my review of the Etihad Airways Business Class in the Airbus A380. To teaser a little bit: The crew will assist you with bedding, which is very comfortable (the pillow is thick enough and the blanket not too heavy). The seats also feel wide and long enough to sleep on the back, the belly and the side. I must admit that I never had such a good airplane sleep as on the following flight in the new Etihad Airways Business Class to Melbourne, which I’ll review later.
Personally, I find the Etihad Airways Business Class catering to be exceptional. The airline offers a dine-on-demand concept, allowing you to choose the time you’d like to have your meal.
Before departure, you are already treated with a welcome drink of your choice including champagne (refills were offered). Right after the airplane reaches the cruising altitude, the Etihad Airways Business Class service continues with mixed nuts and a drink of your choice.
I decided to work for a approximately two hours and have lunch afterwards. The service started with a choice of three starters (I opted for the Arabic Mezze) followed by one out of four main courses of your choice (I had the Salmon Fillet).
After the main, you are served a selection of international cheeses followed by a dessert of your choice. This time, I decided to have the cheese and the Lemon Posset.
As it’s the norm for the Etihad Airways Business Class, the food was very good. While I found the Mezze to be a little boring (thus not bad by any means), the Salmon Fillet was exceptionally well executed.
The cheese and the dessert were very good as well. It’s also worth noting that the service on this particular flight in the Etihad Airways was great.
It was actually great to an extent that I was quite annoyed by how often I was asked whether everything was fine.
One of the most important advantages of the Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787 is the new entertainment screen, which is really big and also comes with a great quality.
While the old screens are not only small, but also come with an awkward quality, watching TV really makes fun sitting in the new Etihad AIrways Business Class. It’s also worth noting that the choice of movies, shows and music is absolutely stunning. There are hundreds of movies available, dozens of these a maximum of two years old.
You can control the TV either by touch (be aware that the screen is relatively far away from the actual seat) or by a control, which I didn’t find too intuitive. Upon boarding, you are also offered a selection of newspapers and magazines in multiple languages (including the language of the country you are departing in). Other than that, there’s also the board magazine waiting for you at your seat.
Best of all, the new Etihad Airways Boeing 787 also comes with Wi-Fi. While not complimentary even for Business Class, you can at least book passes with unlimited data. 24 hours of Wi-Fi cost approximately 20 Euro. The coverage is decent and spans over the world and the speed was relatively good for most of my flight in the Etihad Airways Business Class in the Boeing 787.
Flying with Etihad Airways in Business Class on long haul flights, you are getting a thick blanket, a plush pillow, noise-cancelling headphones and an amenity kit.
The headphones are of a good quality, but not as good as the market-leading Bose headphones. The blanket feels extremely comfortable and is among my favorite airplane blankets. The pillow is large enough, but a little too thin for my taste.
The amenity kit is also great, especially as each and every one is inspired by one city. You’ll not only find the typical high-quality amenities, but also a city guide. Not bad!
There are also some further toiletries in the Business Class lavatories.
The new Etihad Airways Business Class is without any doubt one of the best products out there. Taking into account that the Boeing 787 also comes with relatively few Business Class seats, the cabin feels very intimate.
The new design makes the whole cabin look physically stunning and the attention to detail (reading lights, better width and length) makes the whole flying experience even better than in the old Business Class). On this particular flight, the service and the catering in the Etihad Airways long haul Business Class were exceptional as well. All that said, I’d heavily recommend the new Etihad Airways Business Class as there’s hardly any product I know, which offers the same comfort in Business Class!