- Anatomy of an Award: India to United States in Etihad and American Airlines First Class for 90,000 AA Miles
- Trip Report: Etihad Business Class from Chennai to Abu Dhabi
- Trip Report: Etihad First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi (Including Shave and Massage)
- Trip Report: Etihad First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to New York: Seat, Suite, Vanity, Amenity Kit, Pajamas, Bed, Sleeping
- Trip Report: Etihad First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to New York: Food, Drink, and Onboard Lounge (this post)
- Trip Report: Etihad First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to New York: Shower and Bathroom
- Trip Report: Etihad First Class Apartment from Abu Dhabi to New York: Service and Wrap Up
- Trip Report: American Airlines A321 First Class from New York to Los Angeles
I have broken my 15 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to New York into four parts because I had over 200 photos and several videos from the flight. This section covers roughly the first half of the flight and my review of the suite and related amenities.
On the Etihad A380 in First Class, there is a ton of food and a dedicated chef. You can eat as much of the food as you’d like, prepared to your specifications, whenever you want.
Similarly, there is enough booze to send an entire frat to the emergency room, and you can drink as much as you’d like whenever you want.
When I was escorted to my suite upon boarding (see that beauty here), I was asked if I’d like a drink. I ordered champagne, and Bollinger 2005 was poured at my seat.
The champagne was served with dates and a hot towel.
The food menu had some appetizers and entrees listed; some proteins, sides, and sauces listed for you to mix-and-match for yourself; and snacks, desserts, and breakfast options.
I was stuffed from the lounge (report here) and my previous flight and exhausted since we took off at 4:27 AM, so I didn’t order anything else before take off.
When I woke up, the flight was more than halfway done, so I was ready to start taking advantage of the elaborate offerings.
I had a mimosa and water brought to me while I contemplated my order.After careful consideration, I went with the Arabic mezze to start, followed by the tenderloin served with vegetables, mashed potatoes, and roasted new potatoes.
I asked about breakfast in bed, and the flight attendant told me that while it was possible he didn’t recommend it because the tray was so small that my order wouldn’t comfortably fit on it. Instead, I dined at the large table in front of my seat while I watched live BBC.
A fennel terracotta was served as an amuse bouche.
It amused my bouche. but I was ready for the main event, which I had paired with a Heineken, Chivas 18 on the rocks, and a water. Next came the Arabic mezze, which had a variety of delicious bites. I really liked the hummus and ate all of it before the flight attendant realized he had forgotten to serve the mezze with pita.Everything about the meal service is personalized, and the flight attendant was coming past my seat every few minutes to clear my plate and bring the next course. The third course was a very tasty three bites of orange sorbet to clear the palate.
Finally I got to the main course.
The steak was cooked to my specification–medium–which is unusual for a flight. The highlight was the oven roasted potatoes, which tasted even better bathed in the jus with which I had ordered my steak.
Finally for dessert, I selected the chef’s special–a take on tiramisu, which was creamy and decadent. I don’t know where my head was, probably floating along somewhere with the Chivas 18, but I didn’t order any cheeses after the meal, which is often my favorite course. By the way, my take on Chivas 18 is that it tastes better and smoother than other whiskeys I’ve tried, but it doesn’t taste good. I couldn’t imagine just sitting around and sipping it for its taste. I imagine it is an acquired taste, and I don’t plan on acquiring.
As the flight continued, I read, watched movies and TV, and used the inflight internet, which was fast enough to watch ESPN highlight videos for the steep price of $22 for the flight.
As I did all those things, I ordered more drinks. I had a Bloody Mary…
Other than my shower and a quick look at the onboard lounge, I stayed in my suite the whole time. The onboard lounge directly behind the first class cabin has two couches, a small table, and some alcohol displayed.
It doesn’t have the atmosphere or appeal of the bar on the Emirates A380. While I spend the majority of Emirates flights at the bar, I only spent 15 minutes here, and I think it was deserted through most of the flight.
Two hours before take off, I decided to have a snack. I ordered the Etihad steak sandwich and french fries, to be served to me in bed while I watched TV. The flight attendant promptly brought me a small tray with the sandwich and potato chips. He explained that there had been a miscommunication about my french fries, and that they were already cooking. The fries were served a few minutes later.The steak sandwich is really quite delicious, and I recommend it as a snack after you’ve had the full meal experience.
The food and beverage selection and execution in Etihad First Class is superb, the equivalent of a nice, free restaurant on the ground. (Where are those?)
In May 2015, I booked my suite for 90,000 American Airlines miles + $39 (including Business Class from India to Abu Dhabi and American Airlines First Class from New York to Los Angeles.). The same award will cost 115,000 miles if booked March 22, 2016 or later. If you can book by March 21, you can lock in the current price for travel through February 2017.
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