Etihad Regional Business class on a two class cabin aircraft offers a solid hard and soft product for shorter flights within the Middle East. The seats are similar to recliner seats that used to be found on transatlantic 757s and offer more space and comfort than U.S. domestic flights but lack the pizzazz of lay flat seats and comforts that are found on long haul flights; instead Etihad Regional Business Class offers a happy medium to cater to travelers.
The flight from Abu Dhabi to Cario left at 1350 and flight time was scheduled for 3 hours and 50 minutes. After a visit to the departure lounge and complimentary spa services, we left the comforts of the lounge for the chaos of terminal 1. The terminal is dated and crowded and makes for an uncomfortable experience for those who cannot hide in the lounge. The circular gate area hosts multiple boarding gates and due to the small size of each pier, it is hard to not crowd the boarding area or gate agents. When the agent did call boarding, I do not recall hearing any zone or priority called, but instead everyone rushed the gate and pushed towards the jet bridge.
Once on board I was greeted by multiple Friendly Flight attendants and offered a welcome drink from a tray which included lemon mint juice, orange juice, or water. The Flight attendants then took orders from the menus which were already in the seat back pocket and introduced the entire crew to us individual. Service was friendly and the FA was very excited as this was her first flight and she was excited to show us everything she learned in Etihad training.
Preflight drink (above) and Pictures while taxing of the sail like control tower and terminal – it was very hazy/dusty out!
Construction of mid field terminal set to open in 2017
Pictures of the hazy Abu Dhabi during take off and Yas Island
Once in the air, service began very quickly. About 25 minutes after takeoff each customer was brought their drink, mix nuts, and a warm towel. Before the nuts could even be consumed or drinks finished, the appetizer was served. The meza plate was good, but not nearly as flavorful as the dish I had on the first class flight from Washington, DC. Immediately following the appetizer the main course was served, followed by a cheese plate and dessert. I opted for the Fish which was very good for airline standards. The main course was better than what is served on airlines in the states, but was a far cry from the amazing dinner I had the night before on Etihad. Furthermore, the stemware on the regional flight was so small I felt as though my wine glass wasn’t much larger than a shot glass and the flight attendants were not as observant or pour happy with the alcohol on this flight between the two Arab nations, leaving my wine glass empty for the vast majority of the flight. However the chocolate mouse tart was scrumptious and a perfect way to round out the meal!
Overall the flight was comfortable, the service was good, and the soft product for a 4 hour regional flight was better than anything I am used to! Airlines from both North America and Europe could learn from Etihad as they offer a quality product and offering that is second to none. The flight attendants were extremely friendly and all smiles and willing to fulfill any request without a sneer or question. My only complaint would be that Etihad replace their tiny glasses with larger stemware so flight attendants do not have to refill drinks every 5-10 minutes!
seat controls with massage function and Personal TV with Etihad Ebox entertainment
More From This Series
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- Etihad Airways B787 First Class Washington Dulles (IAD) to Abu Dhabi (AUH)
- Etihad Airways Arrival Lounge Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Airways First & Business Class Lounge Terminal 3 Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Airways A320 Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Cairo (CAI)
- Qatar Airways A320 Regional Business Class Luxor (LXR) to Doha (DOH)
- Qatar Airways Stopover Hotel and Program Doha
- Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha
- Qatar Airways A380 Business Class Doha (DOH) to Paris (CDG)
- American Airlines Admirals Club Paris (CDG)
- American Airlines B767-300 retrofit Business Class Paris (CDG) to New York