Travelling business class on Etihad Airways is a blissful experience. The phone call confirming our chauffeur transfer to the airport the day before flying made us do a happy dance. Starting the indulgence from the driveway of your own home is fabulous. Breezed through check in and made our way to the Etihad First and Business Class Lounge. Champagne was poured and a lunch of quinoa moussaka, pearl barley and herb dish, salads and dips was had. Last minute blogging for a previous trip was done and another glass of wine soon followed.
The luxury continued when a staff member whispered your flight has begun boarding, and we headed to the gate, totally chuffed that our priority boarding was due this time to actually having a business class ticket rather than just a platinum velocity membership. The duty manager, Parv, greeted us with ‘Welcome back’, and immediately charmed us with his smile and attentive service.
We took our time unpacking our essentials in our little cubicle on the upper floor of the A380, books, noise cancelling headphones, and laptop, as a welcome drink was placed on our shelf.
Dinner was a mezze plate, steamed rice paper rolls, and mushroom, spinach, tofu with noodles, finishing with a cheese plate and a glass of Bordeaux.
The flat bed, while a little hard (didn’t notice the button that could ‘soften’ it), still allowed a full 8 hours sleep. And even though we were aware of some movement in the cabin, we still slept through the final meal service before landing (we needed sleep more than food, anyway!). Nice way to spend a 14 hour flight.
The first class lounge at Abu Dhabi (fast tracked through security) has become a familiar place to us, and the first thing we did was have a 15 minute massage, which did wonders for our necks and backs. We then sat in the dining room area of the lounge at the tables covered in white linen and ordered a Mumbai cocktail (Etihad’s signature ‘Bloody Mary’), tomato gnocchi, dukkah covered prawns, and a salad. Small portions, and truly fine dining.
The next leg was less than 4 hours, and being a morning one, breakfast was the meal service. One dish was a bowl of some kind of grain that looked like a cross between risotto and porridge and tasted savoury, like a chicken stock. The other dish was hash brown, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Only one meal service on this flight, but they were happy to top us up with sparkling water and nuts when we got peckish before arriving in Cairo.
We continue to be impressed with the food and service of Etihad and Virgin Australia, even when not travelling in the pointy end, but this trip really was flawless.