Business Class review: flying high with Etihad
One of the things that I’ve always loved about the idea of travelling in Business Class is those natty pyjamas that come as part of the package. Do people really wear them? Thanks to a very lucky and welcome upgrade on my recent Etihad flight, I got to find out for myself.
Operating onits late night flight out of Melbourne, this is my first time on Etihad’s new A380 (launched on the Melbourne to Abu Dhabi route last June). Starting my trip in style, I opt for a glass of bubbles and a dish from the a la carte menu on offer in the lounge. The portion sizes seem bite-sized, but then I remember there’s the promise of on demand dining when I get on board.
If you’re not keen on eating before the flight, the airside windows of the lounge allow you to sit at the bar, enjoy a cocktail and take in the comings and goings of Melbourne’s runway.
Boarding the A380, I catch a glimpse of The Lobby, a decadent space on an aircraft, which is allocated for those lucky enough to sit in the Upper Deck. As delighted as I am to be spending the next 14 hours in one of the Business Studios, I can’t help feel a momentary pang of … could that be jealousy?
And when I get to my seat, I scold myself, as the Business Studio is indeed something for which to be thankful. And I’m even more fortunate as I swap my allocated seat, which is one of two that can be fully enclosed by a privacy screen, with a father separated from his young daughter. I now have the pure luxury of a forward facing window seat, complete with huge under window storage compartments that mean I don't need to store my bag in the overhead locker and can keep all my ‘necessary’ travel bits and pieces close to hand.
With champagne in hand, I wonder what I did to deserve such wonderful treatment, when, to my sheer joy, I’m asked if I would like a pair of pyjamas to change into. Would I ever! A quick google (as we haven't yet taken off) and I confirm that yes, I can keep them (would anyone else really want to wear them afterwards?). Also, I discover there’s actually a thing called the ‘pyjama challenge’ whereby you have to try and slip into something more comfortable, in this case a cotton two piece, at your seat, without anyone copping an eye full!
Spurred on by my now two glasses of champagne, I decide to tackle the challenge once we’re up in the air. So, with dinner ordered and my movie chosen, I sit back and count the minutes until the lights are dimmed and I can squirm around under my doona!
This is where my excitement with the pyjama challenge ends, I’m afraid. Yes, I do manage to get into my pyjamas without anyone screaming in horror, but so to does everyone else around me! At no point did I see anyone make a trip to the loo and come back wearing their pyjamas, yet I saw plenty of passengers relaxing in this comfy loungewear.
Thankfully, I still have my meal from the Dine Anytime menu – beef tenderloin washed down with a nice glass of Bordeaux red if you don't mind, to look forward to. And of course, there’s always the fun of getting back into my own clothes before I can get off the flight!
Etihad operates flights on A380s from Sydney and Melbourne.
The Business Studios offer a fully flat bed of 6 feet, 8 inches.
Dine Anytime menus are offered in Business Class on all Etihad flights from Australia.
As well as pyjamas and slippers, Etihad also offer amenity kits with designs that represent one of five cities and include a Luxe City Guides for that city. The kits come with products by Scaramouche + Fandango.
There’s no need to screw your eyes up when watching your favourite movies, with an 18.5-inch screen available in the Business Studio.
Not only does your seat offer a massage setting, you can also customise the depth of both the back support and seat cushions.
Depending on the business fare, you may be eligible for a free chauffeur driven car to and from the airport.
Dedicated check in and lounge access are also included.
Etihad also offers arrival lounges at certain airports to ensure you can hit the ground running at your destination.
To find out more about Business Class fares and routes, visit Etihad.com. It’s also worthwhile checking with your travel agent who may be aware of special upgrade offers that could make Business Class more affordable.
Debbie would like to thank Etihad Airways for her upgrade to Business Class.
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