Here I review Etihad’s lie flat business class seat for a regional flight from Abu Dhabi to Male (Maldives).
- Introduction, overview, and costs
- Star Alliance first class and business class lounges, LAX
- Etihad First Class, Los Angles – Abu Dhabi.. the 3rd Longest Flight in the World!
- Premier Inn, Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Etihad’s new business class lounge, Abu Dhabi
About 35 minutes prior to departure time we headed down to our gate. Now, even though we were departing from terminal 3 (an upgrade from several past regional flights) it was still going to be a bus gate.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to an airport where I have such a high proportion of bus gates — even departing long haul to destinations other than the U.S., and as I found out on this trip even arriving from the U.S.
After a few minutes it was time to board. They called business class and Etihad’s top elite frequent flyers (not those of partners) who had a designated bus. Of course any business class passengers boarding later wouldn’t be on the business class bus — not that it’s better than the economy bus, though perhaps a few less people meant it was less packed and so marginally more personal space (although there wasn’t much personal space).
After an extensive tour of the airport we found our way to our aircraft.
On entry into the cabin I was presented with Etihad’s international business class product. I had only really ever seen it up close when departing an Etihad flight through a door behind the first business class cabin.
Traveling with my wife we chose center seats together. The seats are staggered so that one row is open to the aisle while the next has a table between the seat and aisle. I had the table. And that made the seat feel incredibly claustrophobic.
This feeling was exacerbated by the warning about getting trapped:
Window seats opening into the aisle would be my clear preference.
There was a menu and blanket at each seat.
Seat storage is pretty limited.
Pre-departure beverages and towels were distributed. I merely had a glass of water (you can throw things at me now..).
And that’s when I… fell asleep. Long travel day, time difference, and a rocky sleep caught up with me. I honestly don’t recall the taxi out or even the takepoff. Next thing I knew, I had nuts at my seat.
My meal was attractive and tasty enough.
After eating I watched a little television and the flight passed quite rapidly. All in all a good seat, and good food, for a short regional flight.
We were on the ground in Male on time.
We came in beside an Emirates aircraft, and just after them, meaning we’d have a bit of a wait at immigration.
We took the brief walk across the tarmac to the arrivals hall. There we had fast track passes, though on this visit and the last one it was anything but fast. Once through immigration you collect your bags off the belt, and walk them over to customs nearby. Every bag gets x-rayed as it enters the country so don’t bring in any contraband! (Not even duty free liquor.)