I have flown on Etihad before, but only in coach and business class. I have always wanted to fly their first class product, as its one of, if not the best going, at least that is what I have read in many places. I have not flown every airlines’ first class, so I can’t say, but its the best I’ve flown, for sure.
I used American Airlines miles to pay for the flight. I flew from Oklahoma City to Los Angles was on American Airlines. My first Etihad “First” flight went from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi, then I flew the a380 first class on to Mumbai. The total ticket only cost me 115,000 AAdvantage miles one-way, plus less than $100 dollars in taxes. American airlines raised their price from 80,000 miles to 115,000 miles last year, so that hurt a bit, but it was still well worth it!
I had a 1 night layover in Los Angeles, in which I stayed at the Westin LAX. The next day after arriving to the airport, the check-in went smooth enough, but I feel the First class check-in was not really the best arrangement. It was all mixed in with business and then coach, and there were throngs of people it seemed in line. I did get up to the counter pretty fast, but the lady checking me in was taking quite a bit of time, and was typing quite alot, which led me to inquire if something was wrong. After asking for my Indian visa several times, I finally got checked-in and the lady invited me to the Etihad first class lounge.
After checking in, I was disappointed with the fact that there was no Pre-check nor fast track for first class. I stood in almost the same slow line as everyone else, and it took forever.
LAX Etihad first class lounge is relatively new, and it seems that way. I really enjoyed the decor, and amenities, but it seemed very small, and the staff seemed like they were quite confused about a lot of things. I know there is just 1 flight a day from LAX on Etihad, so I assume the staff works other lounges as well, since its not open all the time I wouldn’t imagine.
Etihad’s signature drink, for this lounge, the Los Angles was not available, so I got 2 others, which were extremely good! Sorry I cannot remember the names.
Their was a full menu you could order off of, or you could eat from the small buffet. The menu included many things and were impressive. I ate a little humus, had my drinks, and headed for the gate.
The plane that services LAX is an older 777-200 plane. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but it did seem a little aged when I was boarding. The age of the plane quickly became my last thought as I realized the amenities and just how nice it actually was, regardless of age or size!
The Flight attendant quickly came to welcome me and gave me my amenity kit, with pajamas, and slippers etc. The chef also came by very quickly to speak to me about my food requirements and what he could do for me as a Vegan. I was very happy he was willing and excited to work with me, which he did!
The first class cabin was half full, so their were only 5 of us out of 8 seats. The passengers seated next to me originally were a Saudi prince and his wife. I did not know this until we arrived in Abu Dhabi. I did move to the seat in front of me, because it was empty as was the one beside it.
We took off over an hour late, due to a plane being broke down behind us, then we were stuck waiting for other planes. Apparently Etihad leases the gate at LAX from American Airlines, so Etihad probably comes last in the pecking order under AA planes.
After taking off, I was quickly offered champagne, again, and the chef came back by to summarize the meal I had requested. The table was set, and the courses started to roll in. I believe six courses in all were served, and each was great. I had one hiccup, the chef sent out a cheese dish instead of the quinoa dish I ordered. I caught it by the taste immediately and luckily (for me) did not consume any. He was embarrassed , apologized and quickly fixed the problem. I was angry and curt with him at first, but quickly got over it.
After eating I worked on my blog a bit and then changed into my pajamas and asked my bed to be made. The chef was on duty at that time, as the other 2 flight attendants were on rest break. He offered to make up the seat next to me as my bed, that way I could get up and down without having to make up the bed each time. So I had 2 Etihad first class seats on this long flight, which was awesome!
I’m amazed how well I slept on this flight! They place a mattress pad down, and make it up with sheets and blankets and real pillows. Not just “real” but very high quality. The ceiling of the plane looked like stars, and I went right off to sleep.
After waking up, I ordered a full Indian breakfast , (the chef was Indian) and he recommended it. I was blown away!
Before I knew it we were coming into Abu Dhabi, and it felt like the flight was a 3 hour flight, not 17, it was amazing!
Arriving In Abu Dhabi
When we landed and I went through Immigration, I went to the Etihad Arrivals lounge just to check it out. The lounge was nice and pretty, but it was empty and not really all that special.
I left for a night at the Aloft Abu Dhabi, and that was it
I will talk more about the last leg in this flight on the A380 in another post, but I can say, Etihad was more than amazing. You feel like you are in a Five Star hotel in the sky. The service, the food, the plane was amazing. I can see why the US Airlines are trying to kick Etihad and the other Gulf carrier (Emirates, Qatar) out, because they are MUCH BETTER, in EVERY WAY!
This trip spoiled me badly! I will cringe when I sit in coach from now on, but I will have to deal with it as I can’t fly this type of flight every time!
If you have lots of money, or lots of American Airlines miles, I highly recommend Etihad first class, they completely changed my idea of flying. Everything I have read , heard and watched about Etihad first class was more than true!
Thanks for reading.