Eti­had Air­ways A380 busi­ness class

Abu Dhabi-New York

Business Traveller (India) - - TRIED & TESTED FLIGHT -

BACK­GROUND Eti­had Air­ways op­er­ates two non-stop flights a day be­tween Abu Dhabi (AUH) and New York (JFK). I flew on EY 101 that de­parts AUH at 1015 and ar­rives at JFK at 1620. It op­er­ates its A380 for this ser­vice.

CHECK-IN Since I was fly­ing from Mumbai, I checked-in my lug­gage at Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s Ter­mi­nal 2. Af­ter land­ing at Abu Dhabi (AUH), I re­laxed for a few hours at Eti­had Air­ways Busi­ness Class Lounge ac­ces­si­ble to its busi­ness and first class guests at Ter­mi­nal 3, close to gate 35 (there is an­other one at Ter­mi­nal 1). As a pas­sen­ger of Eti­had Air­ways, I was al­lowed to process my immigration and cus­toms for Amer­ica through the United States Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion (CBP) fa­cil­ity at Abu Dhabi air­port. There is a ded­i­cated US Pre­mium Lounge af­ter the clear­ance that in­vites first and busi­ness class pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling to the US. This lounge is much smaller but has sim­i­lar F&B as the lounge at Ter­mi­nal 3.

BOARD­ING Board­ing was smooth into the colos­sal A380’s up­per deck that houses 70 busi­ness and ten first class cab­ins, The Res­i­dence (an ex­clu­sive three­room cabin) and The Lobby (an in­ti­mate six-seater lounge fit­ted with seat belts, power sup­ply and con­nec­tiv­ity ports). I was greeted with pleas­antries and of­fered juice, lemon mint or cham­pagne upon board­ing. A menu card for food and drinks was pre­sented soon af­ter. De­par­ture was de­layed by 15 min­utes be­cause of cargo load­ing.

THE SEAT Busi­ness Stu­dios, a term coined for Eti­had’s busi­ness class, are con­fig­ured as 1-2-1 and dove­tail each other. My Busi­ness Stu­dio 10A felt like a tran­quil nook in the sky. A two-mode lamp, a large cush­ion with Eti­had’s colours and a che­nille fleece-lined blan­ket are some of its of­fer­ings. Sub­tle shades of brown and gold decorate the space that has a lot of stowage in­clud­ing a com­part­ment for shoes. My win­dow seat had two com­part­ments be­side the win­dow; one stored head­phones and wa­ter bot­tles, and the other had a LUXE amenity kit that fea­tures Scaramouche + Fan­dango lip-balm and mois­turiser, den­tal kit, eye-mask, earplugs and socks. A sleep-suit along with slip­pers is also placed in a cloth bag here. The seat is elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled through a panel next to the 18-inch tele­vi­sion screen. There are var­i­ous per­mu­ta­tions and com­bi­na­tions in­clud­ing op­tions for mas­sage, cush­ion firm­ness and mood-light­ing. There is a slid­ing door that al­lows pri­vacy while sleep­ing. Eti­had’s E-BOX In­flight En­ter­tain­ment has a num­ber of live chan­nels, an ex­ten­sive e-li­brary, a va­ri­ety of cinema and mu­sic that can be con­trolled through a de­tach­able re­mote con­trol. The seat has two USB ports and a main socket for UK, US and EU plugs. Win­dows are elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled and have two shades.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE?

Since seats dove­tail each other, it’s ad­vis­able to pick one that faces the di­rec­tion of flight to avoid feel­ing dis­ori­ented.

THE FLIGHT A stew­ardess in­tro­duced her­self and took my food and drinks or­der as soon as we took off. I asked for my meal im­me­di­ately since I hoped to sleep af­ter eat­ing. Eti­had has an all-day menu on this long­haul flight that fea­tures pas­tries, ce­real, omelette, a steak sand­wich and masala dosa (In­dian crepes). For my ap­pe­tiser I picked the smoked salmon with potato, red chard, beans, olives and crème frâiche. From my main course I opted for the chicken breast with spelt and white bean cas­soulet, spinach and lemon. Later, I en­joyed the sin­ful sticky toffee pud­ding with but­ter­scotch sauce with an espresso as I watched a doc­u­men­tary on War­ren Buf­fet. I spent an hour at The Lobby, the in­ti­mate lounge lo­cated be­tween busi­ness and first class that fea­tures two com­fort­able so­fas and a staffed bar. I also en­joyed Bil­le­cart-Salmon NV Brut Cham­pagne over an­other movie be­fore I changed into my sleep-suit, flat­tened my seat (180-de­grees) and slept un­til an hour be­fore land­ing.

AR­RIVAL Eti­had Air­ways’ pre­clear­ance at its hub made my ar­rival at New York In­ter­na­tional Air­port a breeze at 1620. I left the air­port as a do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger.

VER­DICT Eti­had Air­ways’ A380 is the ul­ti­mate grandeur in the air. A long haul flight to the States was made com­fort­able and lux­u­ri­ous its ameni­ties and ser­vices.

TESTED BY

Akanksha Maker

DE­PAR­TURE TIME

1015

JOUR­NEY TIME

14 hours 5 min­utes.

AIR­CRAFT TYPE

A380

CON­FIG­U­RA­TION

1-2-1

SEAT WIDTH

22”

SEAT RECLINE

180-de­grees

BED LENGTH

80.5”

PRICE

In­ter­net rates for a mid­week re­turn busi­ness class flight from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) in mid-De­cem­ber started from $16,755 (`2,92,792).

CON­TACT

eti­hadair­ways.com

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