When it comes to flying, what I enjoy most on board is a good rest as well as the inflight dining. So when Dennis and I flew back from Frankfurt to Singapore after sailing the River Rhine on the inaugural sailing of U by Uniworld’s The A, earlier this year on Etihad Airways, I was excited. It had been a while since I last flew with Etihad Airways from Hong Kong to the IATA AGM in Dublin, Ireland and then back to Singapore from Manchester in 2016.
I was looking forward to flying on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Abu Dhabi to Singapore (EY470). Etihad first unveiled its Dreamliner (Aircraft Registration A6-BLA) together with its A380 in September 2014. I went for the unveiling but have never flown in the airline’s A380 or B787.
Etihad Airways F&B Manager on board its flights in Business Class helps you to decide on your meal and drink choices. He or she helps you pair the different types of wines with your choice of food. The airline always had the F&B Manager ever since I first flew with the airline in August 2013 between Singapore – Brisbane. The airline no longer flies this route today. These F&B Managers never fail to overfeed me by recommending me more to eat and drink.
Watch the video of our Etihad Airways experience on EY2 and EY470 from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi to Singapore.
From Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi
We boarded an A330-300 aircraft in Frankfurt after spending some time at the Lufthansa Business Lounge, Etihad’s designated lounge for business class passengers. First Class passengers get to enjoy the comfort of Lufthansa’s Senator lounges.
The business class seats in this aircraft were from the Pearl Business Class configuration. These seats are less spacious that the new seats in the airline’s fleet of Dreamliners and A380s Business Studio. These seats also recline to a full flatbed.
Since it was a day flight, amenity kits were not issued out. However, passengers could still request from the flight attendant amenities such as a dental kit or eye shades. Etihad Airways stopped giving out pyjamas, once a perk for its long-haul passengers, to business class passengers since late last year. The in-flight magazine had been revamped. I did not remember it as Atlas when I last flew with the airline. I was pretty intrigued by a timepiece article in the April issue of Atlas by Josh Sims – Faces of the Future. There was one Ressence timepiece in there that caught my attention. And when I flipped to the next page an MB&F Horological Machine No. 8 Can-Am got me all excited. Thankfully, none of these timepieces were available on Boutique, Etihad Airways’ onboard duty-free shop.
What has remained consistent is the friendly service and in-flight meals onboard. There’s always a choice of starters, mains and desserts. Dennis ordered the Beef Bresaola with cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, parmesan shavings with balsamic reduction as an appetiser for lunch. If beef wasn’t your thing then you could order from other starter choices such as a selection of hot and cold Arabic appetisers as well as the Butternut Squash Soup which I had.
Dennis doesn’t really drink so he orders his regular choice of beverage – apple juice. As for myself, I had a glass of 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Wairau River in Marlborough, New Zealand. The dry wine had intense tropical and stone fruit aromas and are balanced with the more delicate citrus and floral notes. The bread and butter is always a personal favourite but I usually try to control myself from overeating unless it is gluten-free. This time, I also got myself some garlic toast.
For mains, Dennis ordered the Lamb Kabsa. Having been in Europe for three weeks, he was yearning for rice or anything resembling food from home. The tender lamb is served with basmati rice and was definitely a treat. Our three-week European tour brought us to London, Guernsey, and then on the U by Uniworld cruise from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. Our final leg of the three-week trip was spent recuperating for two nights at 25hours hotel Frankfurt the Goldman before flying back to Singapore.
I ordered the grilled sea bass as my main. The grilled sea bass was prepared with café de Paris butter, spring onion, baby leek potato mash and red bell pepper. Absolutely divine and it paired well with the Sauvignon Blanc.
To complete the meal, I ordered a Chocolate tart with pistachio and mascarpone and a cuppa long black. It was a day flight so I didn’t mind pampering myself with more food and drink. Etihad Airways lets passengers in Business Class dine anytime. So you don’t have to eat when everyone else is eating. And after the meal service, there are all-day dining selections. On this flight, you could have a Piri Piri chicken sandwich with apricot harissa mayonnaise, a steak pie with potato mash and parsley sauce, seasonal fresh fruit and a selection of ice creams. You can also snack on potato crisps, baked cookies and madeleines or Arabic baklava.
The Business Studio In Etihad Airways Dreamliner
The Business Studio seats are very different from the old Pearl Business Class seats. These studio seats on board Etihad Airways’ B787-900 Dreamliner (A6-BLD) offer more seat space, more storage and a bigger tablespace. The in-flight entertainment screen is much bigger and the IFE console is also more interactive offering another screen to monitor your flight while you watch a movie on the big screen. Both can be operated by touching the screens.
The seats are configured 1-2-1 just as it is in the older Pearl Business Class configuration. That extra table space is great for your snacks, a drink, tablet and a book. Here is where the seat and light controls are also located. A video touchscreen handset offers an additional screen so that you can play games or monitor your flight’s path while watching a movie on the big screen.
These Zodiac Aerospace seats are so comfortable. That’s because each 22-inch wide seat is upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather. Together with a separate ottoman, the seat can be reclined into a full-flat bed that is up to 80.5 inches long. There is room under the ottoman for carry-on items and shoes. A large top-loading cupboard at the armrest can store water bottles, headsets, magazines and other items. That was where we found our lovely LUXE Guides amenity kit which has now been replaced with ACQUA DI PARMA kits.
Watching a movie or catching up on sitcoms is absolutely enjoyable because the Panasonic EX3 entertainment system offers over 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, gaming and high-definition screens.
EY470, the flight from Abu Dhabi to Singapore is always a red-eye flight departing Abu Dhabi Terminal 3 at 9.55 pm and arrives in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 at 9.55 am. So I spent most of this flight sleeping, skipping the meal. I had some bites at the Business Class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport before boarding the flight.
Dennis had a tomato and lemongrass soup creme fraiche as a starter and the Char Siu duck salad with orange, hazelnut, chilli and hoisin dressing for supper before heading to bed.
I had a cereal and orange juice for breakfast. we had a very well rested flight back which helped us ease in back into Singapore time. Arriving back in Singapore in the morning meant that we had the rest of the day to do laundry, have lunch and dinner back home before having a good night’s rest. The best way to beat jet lag, in my opinion.
This experience was sponsored by Etihad Airways, but the opinions are our own.