Once again, I’ve booked an airplane award redemption without a real trip planned. The option of flying Etihad Apartments for 65K miles (booked on Air Canada’s site) was too good to pass up. Amazingly, many people jumped on this offer in 2023, and many had their trips canceled as Air Canada and Etihad had some miscommunications. Luckily, my flight was never canceled, and it was my first big flight for the start of 2024.
This trip originated in London and went to Abu Dhabi, so it made sense to ask my daughter, Lindsey, who lives in London, to accompany me. We originally thought of flying from Abu Dhabi to the Seychelles, but another 5 hours both ways, along with transfer times, did not sound great to either of us. We eventually settled on just staying in Abu Dhabi, which has gorgeous hotels, great weather, and plenty to see and do. But this post is about the thrill of flying Etihad Apartments – let’s get to it.
I knew we had Etihad Lounge access from a previous trip to Abu Dhabi , and I well remembered the delicious sticky toffee pudding (one of my favorite UK treats). I was more than a little excited to get it again (yes, I am the treat girl of THM, for sure)! Sadly, they had changed the menu, and sticky toffee pudding was not on it. However, we shared a burger and fries, finished off with an apple tart.
We also were able to do a fast track through the London Heathrow Airport at security, so that made it much quicker.
There is nothing like turning left on an airplane (this means you are headed for business or first-class seats). We were warmly greeted by the Etihad attendants and taken to our suites – the doors were reminiscent of Singapore Suites to me.
There is a large, comfortable chair where you sit with a large TV screen across from the chair. Under it is a long bench that folds out to make a comfortable bed, which the attendant makes for you when you are ready to go to sleep.
Near the closing doors was a small closet that I could put my jacket in. There was also a vanity area with mirrors and this is where I found my amenity kit. Several small drawers opened up in the suite for storage, and one contained soft drinks and water.
Meal service began with the customary warm washcloth and some dates. This was followed by warm nuts, dried peas, and olives. Dining is on demand, and there are many options for food and beverages!
I had tried caviar for the first time on Singapore Suites and thought it was fine (kind of tasteless, to be honest), so opted for it again for my first course, along with a mocktail and a Diet Coke. I followed this with a delicious lobster salad.
My main course was filet mignon with mashed potatoes. They were good, not great. They asked me how I wanted the meat cooked, and I asked for medium, but it was obvious that they were all well-done. For dessert, I finally got my beloved sticky toffee pudding.
Not only do you get some upscale products in the amenity bag, but you also get pajamas. These were very soft but VERY oversized. I didn’t end up taking them home.
There are two quite large bathrooms in first class and one has a shower that is relatively smaller than the Emirates “shower in the sky”. Because our flight was going to be short at seven hours, I changed my plans to shower and opted for more sleep instead. I ended up with three to four hours of sleep. When I awoke, I had them bring me hot chocolate and pastries in place of a full meal, since I had eaten so much at dinner. Before I knew it, my highly anticipated flight in Etihad Apartments had ended.
How did it compare to Singapore Suites? Quite favorably. The rooms are narrower but still large, enclosed, and simply amazing. The food is equally good despite the overcooked beef, and the attendants are beyond kind and helpful. The difference in redemption costs is where it got interesting: 143K miles for Singapore Suites and 65K miles for Etihad Apartments. Granted, I caught a great deal, but that is what makes award redemptions fun – chasing the deal and going somewhere you didn’t plan to go!
Well, things have changed since I last flew into Abu Dhabi. There is now a Terminal A home to Etihad, which is impressive! The old terminal was not impressive in the least, so it was a surprise that they now have this nice, beautiful terminal. In fact, there was a special area for checking in to Etihad first and business class. There are also two beautiful new airport lounges – one for first and one for business with a spa (which hasn’t opened yet, and no one seemed to know what services would be available there or for whom).
The lounges are beautiful, and you can depart directly from the lounge to your airplane. I have to say, the Etihad knows how to do luxury and privilege.
We flew home on Etihad Business Class (a little hard after flying first 😜), and these flights cost 45K each. Honestly, it is an amazing product, and we had a great meal. It’s just harder, now that I know what’s going on in first class flight. Go into flying premium products, knowing that it is hard to go back!
Flying in Etihad Apartments for less than I usually pay for other business class seats was something I had to make happen! I may not have known where I would vacation at when I booked it, but flying Etihad Apartments for 65K miles was worth chasing the deal and then deciding on a destination! It was a flight I’d love to do again in the future!
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