- Flight: EY25
- Aircraft: A380-800
- Class: Apartment (First)
- Seat: 3A and 4A
- Route: Abu Dhabi International (AUH)-London Heathrow (LHR)
- Distance: 3,432 miles
- Duration: 8hrs 15min
- Departure: 11:06AM
- Arrival: 2:35PM
After spending an amazing New Year Eve night at the W Hotel on Yas Island, my SO and I taxied to the airport at around 06:00AM for our 10:45AM flight on New Years Day.
Check-in was quick and efficient. It took about 20 minutes to get through security as all business and first class passengers were directed to use the general security lanes.
The Etihad First Class Lounge was directly after security. We were pointed to the elevator upstairs by the front door attendant and then greeted warmly by the receptionist. Feeling a bit hungry, we had breakfast first and were immediately seated in the dining area.
Our waiter recommended I have the nasi goreng which tasted authentic. My SO had the pancakes with wild berries (sorry no pictures again!)
All first class passengers are offered a complimentary 15 minute spa treatment at the Six Senses Spa within the lounge. Today was the day that I would get my first facial treatment.
With about 45 minutes to boarding, we made our way to the gate. Our massive A380, registration A6-APG, was delivered to Etihad in 2016.
After a document check, we were invited to the pre-boarding area separate from the general waiting area. All priority boarding passengers were allowed into this smaller seating area.
Once boarding began at 9:45AM, all first, business class, and elite passengers boarded at the same time. We waited on the jet bridge for about five minutes before stepping onto the plane.
Our plane was beautifully decorated in the special “Choose South Korea” livery.
The superb purser Drogon greeted us at the door and then personally escorted us to our Apartments.
My Apartment, 3A. =)
The Apartment was simply stunning. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
At 30″wide, the seat was more than enough for my SO and I to sit together on.
My SO was seated in 4A which was separated halfway by a wall and there was a divider that could be lowered.
There was a massive vanity set directly next to the door.
Below the vanity was a 110V outlet and a small tray table with a dedicated cup holder.
There was also a medium sized drawer.
And below that was a chilled minibar stocked with Coke, Sprite, and water bottles.
Directly next to the vanity cabinet was a small storage shelf that popped out.
On the wall was the IFE control. Below were two USB ports, HDMI input, and headphone jack.
Beneath the arm rest was an additional seat control panel and deep storage compartment.
There was a literature pocket on the left side with a stylish lamp. The tray table popped out from the armrest on the right side of the seat.
There were electronic window blinds with two separate layers. The second layer was very thick and blocked out all of the bright sun.
The IFE screen was massive at 24 inches. It was a crisp touch screen.
Across the seat was a 78 inch long bench that converted into the bed. I sat on my SOs bench later when we dined together.
Below the bench was storage space for carry on luggage.
My standard sized carry on was able to fit below.
Awaiting at each was a pair of Etihad branded headphones. These were OK but not as comfortable as my own pair of Bose headphones.
Our amenity kit, slippers, and pajamas were also waiting for us at the seat.
Etihad’s amenity kit was a large Acqua Di Parma black case. It was stocked with a toothbrush, socks, eyemask, lip balm, hand lotion, and a small vial of eau de cologne. The male and female kits were identical.
The pajama set was quite comfortable and light weight.
The slippers were well padded.
There was also a plush blanket at the seat.
For the first class cabin there were two lavatories. One was a large lavatory without a shower. It was stocked with facial mist, hand wash, hand cream, and cleanser.
The other lavatory doubled as the shower room.
After Drogon escorted us to our seats, our flight attendant came by and welcomed us aboard. We had a choice of beverages and both selected the 2006 Charles Heidsieck Brut. It was served on a metal tray with a warm towel, olives, and Wi-Fi card.
First class passengers each received 90MB of complimentary Wi-Fi.
Next we were given the wine and beverage menu.
Drogon came by with traditional Arabic coffee served from a Dallah. The coffee was strong.
Vikram, the inflight chef, presented us with the menu. He explained the concept of dine-on-demand and the Chef’s special.
We began our push back on time and the first officer announced our flying time of 7 hours and 39 minutes.
Etihad presents passengers with three different views from outside cameras. There were tail, forward facing, and downward facing cameras.
Takeoff was smooth and we had some hazed views of Abu Dhabi.
The IFE remote had a 4 inch screen.
Each apartment had three large windows. Stunning.
15 minutes after takeoff our flight attendants came by with a a lovely tray of snacks. My SO had a glass of the Charles Heidseik Rose.
I stuck with the Brut. The snacks included mixed nuts, olives, and pickled vegetables.
We decided to have lunch immediately after takeoff. I joined my SO in her seat and our table was set. The table was massive and large enough for both of us to dine comfortably.
Drogon came by with a warm bread basket. I had a crunchy pretzel bread and pita.
To start my SO had the pumpkin soup which she enjoyed.
I had the signature caviar service. The presentation was elegant and a mother of pearl spoon was provided.
There were five blinis which were fluffy.
The garnishes included finely diced red onions, cilantro, Crème Fraiche, and diced boiled egg yolk and egg white.
Next we shared the traditional Arabic mezze. The hot Arabic appetizers included a sambousek (meat pie), two warmed pitas, and a meatball (not sure what it was called).
The cold appetizers included fresh tabbouleh topped with pomegranate, hummus, and muhammara (roasted red pepper dip).
A fresh mango sorbet served as the palette cleanser before the main course.
My SO decided to have the Gremolata Chicken Breast for her main dish. It was served skin-on and over a lentil sauce.
I went for the Beef Tenderloin. Vikram had asked how well done I would like it and I asked for medium rare.
It was phenomenal. This was hands down the best piece of meat I’ve been served on-board any flight. Just as good, if not better, than what I’ve had at certain restaurants on the ground.
Stuffed, we decided to save dessert for later. Our glasses were topped off and we were given another warm towel.
A small box of chocolates was also handed out. My SO had both hers and mine; must have been good.
Drogon and our flight attendant then asked if we would like to have our beds turned down. They set up the double bed while we went to change into our pajamas.
We were each given a nice plush large pillow and a smaller pillow. There was a thin mattress topper and a comforter.
In between the beds were additional light controls and a headphone jack. The IFE screen could fold out for viewing while we were in bed.
I watched the tail cam while my SO fell asleep pretty quickly.
The main cabin lights were switched off while the mood lights were turned on.
Halfway into the flight I had an Americano. It was served with a bowl of mixed cookies.
With about two hours to go until we landed in London, the shower was set up for me.
The shower was stocked with a foot towel and a body towel. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion was also provided.
The dial on the left side indicated how much water was left to use. Each passenger is allotted five minutes worth but the water could be turned off and on. Surprisingly, the water was warmer than expected.
Just as I was about to get undressed we hit a spot of rough air and the captain switched on the seat belt sign. I went outside but the flight attendant said it was OK for me to continue to shower. “Just hold onto the railing!” As I began to shower, the turbulence got worse and the first officer came on the PA and instructed flight attendants to take their seats. At this point I was butt naked but decided to finish showering with one hand on the wall railing….
My SO showered after me and afterwards we decided to have our pre-landing snack.
Vikram suggested we share the Beef sliders. These were delicious with crispy fried onions, fresh arugula, Monterrey jack, and a sriracha mayo dressing.
We both ordered a dessert. The yoghurt and white chocolate cake topped with berries was great.
But the star of the show was the warm date pudding with vanilla crumb and hazelnut crunch. It was warm, gooey, and just the right amount of sweetness.
With 30 minutes to landing, the flight attendants came through to prepare for landing. Drogon the purser, Vikram the chef, and our flight attendant came by to personally thank us for flying Etihad.
We were presented with a Fast Track pass for immigration.
We had a very smooth landing and taxied for about 10 minutes before arriving at the gate.
Thanks for the amazing flight Etihad!
Next to our plane was a China Southern B787-8.
This was the most memorable flight I’ve flown on. It was surreal to be able to have a lovely meal sitting across from my SO, cuddle, then have a hot shower at 36,000ft.
Our purser Drogon was extremely friendly and welcoming. Vikram our chef was out of this world. His steak was superb and rivaled steaks on the ground. I am forever thankful to have had this once in a lifetime opportunity and hope that this wasn’t my one and only time aboard the apartments.
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