Review: Etihad Business Class AUH-BRU – World Travel Adventurers

On our return home from the Maldives, we were excited to review Etihad Business Class as part of our itinerary from Male to Washington D.C. We booked our flight with Air Canada Aeroplan miles and flew Etihad Airways Business Class from Male to Brussels with a layover in Abu Dhabi. This review covers the longer segment on flight EY 57 on Etihad’s Dreamliner Boeing 787-900 from Abu Dhabi to Brussels. Our Etihad Business Class Review covers all the details of this 7-hour international flight.

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Etihad Business Class Review-WTA Score

**Our WTA score represents our own views based on our personal experience with the entity being reviewed.

Etihad Business Class Cabin

Booking Etihad Business Class with miles

We booked Etihad Business Class with Air Canada Aeroplan miles. We booked the return home from Male to Washington D.C. for a total of 100,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles plus $207 Canadian dollars (about $167 USD at the time) per person for this one-way itinerary. The itinerary included a 4 hour 15 minute flight on Etihad Business Class from Male to Abu Dhabi,  this 7 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Brussels, and then a 8 hour flight from Brussels to Washington D.C on United Airlines Polaris Business Class. For our family of four, our flight back to the US would have cost $28,594.40; we saved $27,926.40 on this redemption!

Etihad Airways Business Class Costs

We saved over $27,000 for our one way trip back to the US!

Since Air Canada Aeroplan is a transfer partner of several transferable currencies, it is fairly easy to accumulate miles. You can transfer points to Aeroplan from the following programs at these ratios:  American Express Membership Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), Capitol One miles (1:1 transfer ratio), and Marriott BonVoy (3:1 transfer ratio with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred).

Some of our favorite travel reward credit cards (see current offers) can earn you a valuable welcome offer that you could transfer to Aeroplan. Our top picks include the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit CardThe Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and the American Express® Gold Card.

Etihad Business Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi

We spent our layover in Abu Dhabi at the Etihad Business Class Lounge. The lounge was almost empty when we arrived in the middle of the night. We had no problem finding couches to sleep on until it was time to board our flight. There were showers and spacious bathrooms where we freshened up before boarding. A bathroom attendant kept the bathroom spotlessly clean.

The lounge was not serving any buffet or food when we arrived. The kids wanted a snack so we were able to get packaged muffins and milk. The lounge started serving a breakfast buffet at 4:45am, but we decided to sleep until it was time to board our flight since we knew we would be served breakfast onboard. The lounge’s breakfast buffet offered eggs, French toast, fruit, and pastries.

@worldtraveladventurers Reply to @gfmcorleone Have you been to this lounge? #etihadairways #abudhabiairport #businesslounge #businessclasstravel#frequentflyers #airportlounge ♬ original sound – Luxury Family Travel Creators
Etihad lounge Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways Lounge in Abu Dhabi

Etihad lounge Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge

Etihad Airways Business Class lounge AUH

Etihad Airways Lounge Buffet

Etihad Lounge AUH

There were several couches to sleep comfortably on our layover in Abu Dhabi

Boarding our Business Class Etihad flight

Since Etihad requires passengers to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test to fly, we showed our PCR test results prior to boarding. As business class passengers we were among the first to board the flight. The gate did not connect directly to the plane so we had to ride a bus from the terminal to the plane.

Warm Welcome on Etihad Airways Business Class

When we boarded our flight we were greeted by friendly flight attendants. To protect themselves during the pandemic, the flight crew were wearing face masks, face shields, rubber gloves, and plastic gowns to cover their uniforms. They chatted with our kids and offered to take a family photo for us. We noticed that we had almost the entire cabin to ourselves, with just one other passenger.

The cabin crew came around with a tray of welcome drinks of champagne, mimosas, or mint lemonade. We started off with glasses of champagne and also received a bowl of nuts and Bellinis before takeoff, which is my favorite champagne cocktail.

Etihad drinks

Etihad Business Class welcome drinks

Etihad business class drinks

Bellinis and warm nuts were served before breakfast

Etihad Business Class Seats on B787-900

Our flight EY 57 was on Etihad’s Dreamliner B787-900. Our Etihad business class 787 cabin had a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access from every seat. We took the entire first row of the cabin and were able to see each other throughout the flight across the aisles. We let the kids sit next to each other in the middle seats and we each took a window seat.

The cabin has alternating rows of forward-facing and rear-facing seats, with window seats facing the opposite direction of center seats. We let the kids fly facing forward while we flew backwards. I have heard that some people get motion sickness from flying backwards, but it didn’t bother me.

Etihad 787-9 business class

Etihad Airways Business Cabin on Dreamliner 787-900

The seats reclined to a fully flat position that was 6’4″ long and 22″ wide, which was plenty of space for 3 out of the 4 of us. Since Bertaut is 6’6 he could have used a few extra inches of length, but he was still able to sleep comfortably.

Etihad business class seats

Etihad lie-flat seats

Etihad lie flat seats

Our son had plenty of space without even using the footwell

Each seat has a footwell area underneath the IFE screen, a tray table that stores inside the console, and a storage compartment large enough to keep a phone, camera, and amenity kit. Overhead storage is available for carry-on luggage. The windows don’t have shades but instead can be darkened electronically.

Etihad Airways seat business class

Etihad 787 business class seat

Etihad Airways business class 787

Etihad IFE screens are above footwells

The seats had a universal power outlet and USB port for charging devices. There was a remote control for the IFE system that stored in the console. The controls for the seat recline and lights were on the console.

Etihad business class seat storage

Storage on Etihad 787 Business class seats

Etihad seat controls

Seat controls and IFE remote control

Etihad power station

USB port

Etihad Business Class Dreamliner Review

Etihad Business Class Seat Lightning

Etihad Business Class Amenities

High-end Etihad Business Class amenity kits were by Acqua di Parma. The yellow faux leather bag contained a dental kit, eye mask, hand cream, socks, and a mini cologne. We also received an essential wellness kit which contained a face mask, sanitizing wipe, and hand sanitizer. Pre-pandemic flight crew handed out warm washcloths prior to cleanse hands, which has been replaced with disposable sanitizing wipes.

Etihad Business Class Amenity kit

Etihad Amenity Kit, Wellness Kit, and Headphones

In each seat there was a thick brown quilted blanket and pillow covered in a beautiful pillowcase with bright colored geometric designs. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones was available in each suite as well for use during the flight. The kids each received an Etihad Explorers activity set which looked like a suitcase and had some things to keep them occupied.

Etihad children's amenity

Children’s Amenity

Etihad blanket

Etihad Business Class amenities include quilted blanket and pillow

Etihad Business Class Menu

The Etihad Business Class menu for our morning flight from Abu Dhabi consisted of breakfast and a light meal before arrival. While Etihad Business class used to serve meals on demand whenever passengers wanted, we were informed prior to takeoff that our flight crew was only serving a meal after takeoff and just before landing to reduce the contact with passengers during the pandemic.

Etihad Business Class Menu

Etihad Menu for Business Class

Etihad Business Class Drinks

Etihad Beverage Menu

Etihad business class drinks

Etihad Business Class Drink Menu

We had flown Etihad business class previously and absolutely loved the Arabic cuisine. This time around the menu wasn’t as extensive since it was a morning flight instead of an evening flight serving a full dinner. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the meals that were served.

For breakfast we received warm croissants, yogurt with mango compote and granola, and fresh fruit. I ordered a cheese omelette, Bertaut opted for the Arabic breakfast of foul medames, and the kids had French toast. Everyone enjoyed their breakfast, which was served on while porcelain dishes on top of a white table cloth. The service was very elegant even during the pandemic. This was in stark contrast to our later flight on United Airlines Polaris which served champagne out of plastic cups, which doesn’t taste quite the same.

Etihad business class meal

Arabic breakfast of foul medames

Etihad business class food

Etihad Airways breakfast was served with bellinis

Etihad menu

Our kids enjoyed their Etihad breakfast of French toast

After sleeping for the bulk of the flight, we woke up for a light pre-arrival meal. The only problem we encountered was that there was not enough of each item on the menu for us to order what we wanted.  We all wanted to order the chicken kebabs, but the cabin only had an allotment of 2 chicken dishes. So we ordered a steak sandwich for our son and the pasta dish for our daughter.

This had happened to us as well on a previous flight on Etihad Business Class, where they ran out of certain meals so we couldn’t order what we wanted. It seems to be a common occurrence based on our experience with Etihad. Thankfully there was still something else left to order and they didn’t completely run out of food. That would have been more problematic to arrive hungry after flying business class long-haul internationally. However, the portions for the before arrival meal were very small. We could have eaten a double portion of the chicken or would have enjoyed a side dish like rice. We didn’t get any photos of the pasta or sandwich before the kids bit into them.

Etihad business class meal

Chicken kebabs

Lavatories on Etihad 787 Business Class

The Etihad business class cabin had two lavatories at the front of the cabin. The bathrooms had a touchless sink and toilet and small black vanity. Acqua di Parma hand soap and hand sanitizer were available, but no hand cream or facial mist as we’ve seen in other business class cabins and even on Etihad pre-pandemic. The lavatories were standard, but the tiled backsplash added a nice design element.

Etihad Airways business class lavatory

Etihad Business Class Lavatory

Etihad amenities

Acqua di Parma hand wash

Inflight Entertainment

Each suite had a 18.5-inch touchscreen inflight entertainment screen. We enjoyed a selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games which the kids especially enjoyed. We could also see our progress with the flight path tracking screen. The menu was also available to view from the IFE screen in addition to the printed menu cards we received.

Etihad Airways 787 Dreamliner Seat

Etihad IFE Screen

Texting and Wifi were available for a fee. Texting only was just $1.79, an hour of wifi was $6.29, 6 hours was $14.39, or 24 hours was $26.99 for Etihad Airways frequent flyer members. Passengers without membership paid slightly more.

Etihad wifi price

Etihad Airways Wifi prices

Service on Etihad Air Business Class

Although the service was limited to reduce interaction with guests during the pandemic, the service that we received was outstanding. The flight crew were very friendly and warm, smiling and chatting with us when we arrived. When we landed in Brussels, the crew invited us to see the flight deck with the pilots. The kids were able to ask questions, look around and even touch some of the controls. They really loved that experience. We genuinely appreciated the flight crew taking time for us to create a special memory. It’s not every day that kids fly business class, and the flight crew seemed to really enjoy interacting with our kids.

Etihad Flight Deck

We were invited to see the flight deck

Last thoughts on our Business Class Etihad Airways Review

Overall we had a really pleasant flight thanks to the kind flight attendants, comfortable suites, and delicious food. We were disappointed that they ran out of chicken entrees, but everything we were served was top quality and elegantly presented. Etihad Airways offers one of the best business classes in the sky. Our experience was in line with its high standards of service, comfort, and dining. Have you flown Etihad Business Class? How was your experience?

*Editorial Disclosure-The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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