11th October 2015 at 19:00 #592798
Anonymous11th October 2015 at 19:00 #592799
Etihad's new 789 Dreamliner, has the same seats as installed as on the A380, no longer referred to as "Pearl" Business, but Business Studios. They run two 789's to Singapore each day, this being the 22hrs departure from AUH, arriving into SIN at 10am the following day.
Information on configurations, routes, and details of the worlds largest order of the 787's, 41 789's and 30 78-10's…
Chauffeur cars pick you up from your stopover, or self booked hotel anywhere within the UAE, and you are taken to the dedicated First and Business Class Terminal for Etihad. Different areas for First and Business check in, that merge into a Fast Track Immigration and security. If you arrive earlier in the eve 6-8pm, these areas are less busy, as is the huge amalgamated lounge near gate 35 of T3. Check in was immediate, with two 32kg check in bags now allowed for First and Business Class, lesser than before on the new system for economy.
** You need to check carefully for all classes, ranging from Breaking Deals, Saver, semi, and flexible fares. Each now carry a different mileage, baggage allowance, and Z class fares DO NOT include chauffeur services!
A Business saver gives you 130% miles, plus cabin bonus and you level bonus, and the Chauffeur services each side of yr trip, as well as for stopovers.**
The lounge is one of the best in The World in my view, with a better choice of foods than any other Airline, even those in The Far East. It houses a bookable spa for complimentary back, shoulder, facials, or longer appointments from a menu for a decent charge. There is also a Barbers and Beauty Salon, Apple PC area, sit down bar, huge restaurant area service for all drinks, and now more buffet choices of many cultural foods. There are many types of seating to relax, also individual booths to watch TV with one large leather chair to relax in and choose your channel.
Boarding was delayed due to the incoming flight delay, from Washington. Staff were "Putting out fires" with many passengers coming to ask or show Boarding Passes and ask questions, and only making two announcements in 90 minutes, when the delay was posted as 25 mins delay.
Etihad tend to board an hr before, and with generally more staff than other Airlines, also Chef in First, and a F & B Manager in Business, on all Etihad flights, your order for the meals, and breakfast prior to landing is taken in full, with drinks. This is all done before take off, so service is quickly arranged when airborne, and no trolleys, only individual attention, and your complete choices are managed by one person. The food is excellent, A La Carte, as well as a choice of 4 starters, 4 mains and desserts. A coffee and tea menu as well as the usual drinks, fine wines and champagnes always reflect the superb presentation and quality of the meals.
The new Business Studio, has a large amount of room, and as with all The Dreamliners, larger windows, controlled by an electric phased dimmer blocking out all light at the maximum, but you can still dimly see outside remarkably. There is a little more width, and better space for your shoulders and arms, and the seat reclines fully horizontal flat, and you feel no difference between the seat cushions when stretched out, which is rare. Better storage and a larger surface are aside of you, and a semi circle opposite that, and you gain access between to the aisle. The window seats are more private, and are 4 across, but then the next rows are 4, in the rear facing direction. These from experience tend not to be the first choice of travellers, but in the design of the Studio (curve shape), it accommodates comfortably and also works for the economics of the revenue. I did see the First Apartments, but they did not appear to be much different from the previous First on this aircraft, apart from lighting, and also 4 across. I would actually choose the Business over the First cabin!
I sat in 6K, which is just behind the First section, two rows of Business, so more private, quieter than the main cabin of Business, and well forwards of the wings.
It was very comfortable with a duvet, and high quality amenities bag with useful contents, a fabric bag in Arabic style. I slept for 3 hrs and the flight was 7 hrs 11 minutes, and left the gate late from SIN, as it had arrived in late from Washington.
Staff are very attentive, addressing everyone by name, and seeing to one person entirely, for the breakfast service as taken the night before. Continental, as well as hot items, sweet, savoury, energiser health drinks, and wonderful tall glasses of Latte from an excellent machine, fresh juices, or the A La Carte menu. Each person receives a freshly baked mini loaf of bread.
Entertainment was very good, much improved, fast, precise, and for the flight information, many options and views of the flight itself. Sales from the boutique can be made from the menu also, and an up to date choice of films, and a large spectrum of themes to choose from.
Arrival and Changai was quick, Business and First Guests were assisted off whilst staff stood keeping economy guests until after. If you do need buses, then they are different for F&B, and economy also. We were at a far off gate, but a brisk walk, 2 min wait at Immigration, and very courteously seen to & offered a sweet also, collection of baggage with Priority within 5 minutes, and out through Green channel with no x ray required.
An excellent and very enjoyable new Business Studio, many improvements in space, lighting, width and length of seat, storage, and all the benefits of the quieter and clever 789.
Though starting from London, i began flights with Etihad from Amsterdam, saving £800 on the same Business fare charged from London. At times CDG or Dublin also are worth looking at.
For Sydney flights, Etihad were charging £3,700 return for a Business Saver. From Dublin (Charged in Euros), £2,050. A huge saving. This meant an easy start from LCY, and a £99 KLM booked, but CityJet flight connecting return.
Superb and clever changes to The Guest Business Studio, First did not show a difference to me, but the vast changes to selecting your fare and the conditions must be carefully checked when booking. Looking at various EU Airports can save as much as 40% for the same fare. Guest miles for First have risen from 3 to 4 x, Business remains at 2, and the various Y fares 1, but a lower % of miles accordingly, AND luggage levels vary.
The remarkable Amsterdam starting point fare on a "Breaking deal" in Euros, worked out at £1,156 return to Singapore with stopovers in Abu Dhabi both ways.
Excellent 789, service, food, and a pleasure to fly…12th October 2015 at 16:21 #592800
Excellent review MarcusUK, thank you.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.