1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
ETIHAD UNVEILED ITS NEW CABIN PRODUCTS for its A380 and B787 aircraft last year, including the Business Studios. The airline’s first A380 started on the London Heathrow-Abu Dhabi route at the end of December; a second is planned for May, and a third in H2 this year.
CHECK-IN and LOUNGE
Chauffeur service is complimentary for business class within a 100-mile radius of Heathrow – great for an early flight. A fast-track security channel meant I was airside and at the Etihad first and business class lounge within ten minutes.The recently refurbished lounge includes à la carte restaurant and Six Sensesspa with complimentary 15-minute treatments.
The Business Studios are in a dovetailed 1-2-1 configuration, all with direct aisle access. Seats CDGH face backwards. A large surface at side, plus a generous fold-down table in front, gives plenty of space and options for eating and working. Seat features include 18in TV screen, touch-screen controls, USB/multi-region power sockets, fully-flat bed and lumbar massage. The upper deck has a maximum of 81 passengers, compared to 417 economy seats on the lower deck, so it doesn’t seem to get hectic, even on a full flight.
Before take-off, I was welcomed by the cabin manager and offered a drink and newspaper. A stewardess explained that meal times were at our choice, but I could pre-order from the à la carte menu now, and then choose eating times later. The menu features Arabic and European dishes. Food is good, as is the wine list, and premium spirits and liqueurs are offered. Wifi is available, and the lobby lounge, with circular sofas around a coffee table, is a nice spot to have a drink with colleagues.
An impressive product and service, with clever layout to create a feeling of space. All-aisle access, plus the quietness of the A380, puts it in the top league. The all-premium upper deck feels tranquil and relaxed. The good catering, drinks and ease of working make it a pleasant, in-flight experience. With a full turndown service and comfortable beds, this product will work well on the longer routes when Etihad adds more A380s and Dreamliners to the network.