On a recent trip to Europe and America all booked on Velocity frequent flyer points, flying business class or better (on all flights over 2.5 hours) the Clever Voyage Team got to experience the amazing Etihad First Class. We had originally booked Brisbane to Milan via Abu Dubai in Business class for 120,000 velocity points plus $86AUD taxes in early in 2016 before the Velocity reward chart devaluation and Etihad surcharge was introduced.
Check in was a breeze with a dedicated line and agents for the premium cabins. We encountered a little confusion at check in and the agents told us there was an issue with our seating. We were told to proceed through immigration go into the lounge. At Brisbane airport, Etihad’s daily flight uses the newly relocated Air NZ lounge, which was quite nice. We helped ourselves to some sparkling wine and cheese while we waited for our flight.
Not long after enjoying a couple of sips of wine we were paged to the front counter where we were given the news first class upgrade!!! To fly First Class on a 5 star airline had always been a bucket list event for me and we were about to experience it for an absolute bargain.
Boarding and Seating
There was a dedicated boarding queue for Business and First, so no waiting, we were straight on the plane.
The Etihad cabin layout and seating configuration setup was amazing, each First Class “Apartment” as coined by Etihad, is greater than the size of 2 business class seats. So much space!
Biggest airplane toilet ever! Can’t reach the other side.
Food & Drink In flight Service
On arrival on the plane we were provided with glasses of Bollinger 2005. This is the best champagne I’ve ever tasted and am not normally a champagne drinker. The drink range available in flight is wide and varied.
Hot Tip – It’s not on the menu but you can ask for the degustation menu – it is a sample of everything! We enjoyed 9 meals matched with different wines. Amazing.
The flight departed at after 9pm Brisbane time, so by the time with finished 9 courses it was 2am.
Lie Flat Beds
As it was a long 14 hour flight, there was still plenty of time to sleep in our own full size, lay flat single bed in our First Class pajamas.
The plane and inflight service and amenities were 10 out of 10. The best flight we have ever been on.