May 14, 2017

Review: Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room LHR
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

Etihad Airways EY 171
Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Los Angeles (LAX)
November 27, 2016
Aircraft:  777-200LR
Seats:  2D/2G

We boarded the 777 for what would be the longest flight of our lives.  Clocking in at #6 on the longest flights in the world, the Abu Dhabi to LAX flight is blocked at 16h 30m and covers nearly 7,300 miles.  The Buffs had just beat Utah and were headed to the Pac 12 Championship so we were ready to celebrate.  We settled in for what would be a fantastic flight.


I'm writing this 6 months after flying so details on crew and crew and food are a bit sketchy.  Sorry for the lack of menu pictures and details about what we ate/drank.

While we both loved the pinnacle of first class flying (Etihad First Class Apartments) last year, I found Etihad's 777 first class to be really great.  There's less space and no shower but the seat/bed were very comfortable and we food/wine are identical.

One of the best parts about flying Etihad is the welcome.  The crews are young and warm.  In my experience, they seem to genuinely enjoy doing this.

Welcome note, towel, dates, and Champagne

Great to start things off with a welcome note, Champagne, and dates.  Once in the air, a few snacks to get things started.

Wine pairing and small bites
The center seats are ideal for couples traveling together.  There's plenty of storage.

A "minibar."

Smartly designed power outlets with 2 USB ports.

Intuitive seat controls.

A set of giant televisions.

And in bed mode, I actually found the bed to be slightly more comfortable than the A380 First Class Apartment.

The cabin is gorgeous.  Love the finishes and mood lighting

Our chef was outstanding on this flight.  He offered a wine pairing throughout the meal which we obviously accepted.

I had an outstanding steak and really appreciated the small portion given I wrapped things up with more wine and carrot cake.

After the meal, it was lights out for 6-7 hours.

When I woke up, I think we were still 5+hours outside of LAX so I fired up the wifi and did some work prior to landing.  The post US election move theme was fun but also slightly depressing.

Upon approach into LAX, I was glued to the onboard camera which had some amazing views of the city and ocean as we came in for a landing westbound.

After landing, we said goodbye to the crew and headed for GE and our economy United flight back to Denver and a return to reality.

Final Thoughts:
This was a super long flight but the food, wine, crew, seat, and bed made it feel like a transcon.  I love Etihad's style and really enjoy interacting with their crews.  I'm excited to give the A380 and First Class Apartment another shot but you really can't go wrong with the "older" 777 first class product.  We've flown Etihad first three times now and the food/wine/service has been outstanding on each flight.  Award availability is pretty easy to grab from Abu Dhabi on the 777 routes and not a terrible deal even post AA devaluation at 115,000 miles each one-way.

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