Your Guide To Etihad Business Class

24 Sep 2015

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Operating from its base in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Etihad flies to over 125 cities in more than 60 countries.

The airline’s Australian schedule includes daily direct service from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to Abu Dhabi. Domestic connections within Australia can be organised through these cities with code-share partner Virgin Australia. Popular Etihad connections from Abu Dhabi include cities throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

In 2015, Etihad introduced the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 to its fleet. In addition to these new aircraft, the airline has begun efforts to refurbish the cabin interiors of its Boeing 777 fleet to match the superior in-flight product offered on the Dreamliner and super jumbo. The product consistency across its fleet has garnered Etihad a reputation for quality service and comfort, surpassing its competition in the international sector.

Etihad introduced the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in 2015. Image courtesy of Eithad Airways.

Fleet

Etihad’s fleet is made up mostly of wide-body aircraft with single-aisle planes operating from Abu Dhabi to regional points across the Middle East. One of the youngest in the industry, Etihad’s fleet is comprised of the following aircraft:

  • Airbus A319/A320/A321
  • Airbus A330-200/300
  • Airbus A340-600
  • Airbus A380
  • Boeing 777-200LR/300ER
  • Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

From 2016, Etihad will take delivery of the state-of-the-art Airbus A350. These planes will replace all A340s by the end of 2017.

 

Business Class

Transfers

Business class passengers flying Etihad will enjoy complimentary chauffeur transfers between their home or office and the airport. Etihad also allows its passengers travelling under Virgin Australia or other codeshare flight numbers the ability to use the convenient transfer service. Available at over 40 destinations in Australia, Europe and around the world, the pick-up radius is a generous 40 to 100 kilometres depending on the city.

Comfort

Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner and A380 Business Studio seats continue to win awards for their style and state-of-the-art comfort features. The wide seats recline to a fully flat 6 foot, 1 inch long bed for a restful sleep. A fluffy pillow and duvet are available along with a personalised turn-down service on longer flights. The advanced seats also feature a massage and lumbar support function and lighting controls for ambient lighting.

Dining

Business Class guests enjoy the personalised service of the onboard food and beverage manager. Guests can choose from several starter, main and dessert options from the inflight menu as well as drinks from an extensive wine and beverage list. Flexible dining times are another standard feature giving guests the option to dine when ready.

Entertainment

Over 750 hours of on-demand entertainment is streamed to 18 inch touch screen TVs in Business Studio (787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 services). Other aircraft feature a slightly smaller screen with a control pad for entertainment navigation. All First and Business Class guests are provided with noise-cancelling headsets for optimum sound quality.

Baggage

Similar to First Class, Business Class guests are permitted 2 checked bags. Each bag has a maximum weight of 32kg. Etihad Guest Silver, Gold and Platinum members receive an additional allowance which varies depending on the destination. The carry-on allowance also mirrors First Class with 2 bags permitted in the Business cabin. The total combined weight of both bags must not exceed 12kg.

Lounges

Etihad likes to think of its premium Abu Dhabi lounges as more boutique hotel than airline lounge. Features found in these upscale terminal retreats include a complete international buffet and à la carte dining, a spa and shower rooms, a relaxation and TV viewing area, full bar and a business centre. Spoil yourself with a soothing spa, book yourself in for a beauty treatment or indulge in a relaxing pre-flight massage ahead of your long-haul trip to Europe.

Etihad Airways newly refurbished First and Business Class Lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport’s Terminal 1. Image courtesy of Etihad Airways.

In addition to Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s Premium Lounge can be found in Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Paris, Sydney and Washington D.C.

Etihad Guest Gold and Platinum frequent flyers also have access to Virgin Australia’s 11 domestic lounges across Australia as well as international lounges operated by other codeshare partners.

Alliances

Etihad maintains codeshare alliances with a number of airlines. These alliances increase the number of destinations available to Etihad and partner airline guests while also extending reciprocal lounge and frequent flyer benefits. Virgin Australia is one of Etihad’s most valuable alliance members. Other alliance members include:

Check-in

There are several ways in which to check-in for an Etihad operated flight. Online check-in is available between 24 and 2 hours before departure. Boarding passes can be printed, or saved electronically to a mobile device when checking-in on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile boarding passes are not available from Australia cities.

Guests may check-in at the airport. Priority check-in lanes are available for top tier frequent flyers. Airport check-in counters open 3 to 4 hours before departure. All guests must be checked in for their flight a minimum of 60 minutes before departure. Failure to do so may result in denied boarding and loss of fare.

The airline also offers a 24 hour city check-in facility in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Abu Dhabi facility is located across from Abu Dhabi Mall. Guests may check-in here between 24 and 4 hours before departure. Dubai’s facility is located on Sheikh Zayed Road where guests must check-in a minimum 6 hours before departure.

Todd Sturm

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. No matter where my travels take me, I enjoy experiencing each destination from the perspective of the locals. Some of my favourite attractions include historic sites, national parks and architectural landmarks.