Read our Etihad Airways 777 Business Class Review including Chauffeur pick up, Lounge access and trip report on an Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER from Manchester Airport to Abu Dhabi.
The flight from Manchester to Abu Dhabi was the first segment of our Business and First Class trip to Singapore.
We purchased Business Class Classic tickets for the journey (W booking class), so we earned 130% Etihad Guest Miles. This Included lounge access, chauffeur pick up from our home, two bags of hand luggage up to 12kg and two bags of checked baggage up to 32kg.
Trip Details: Etihad Airways 777 Business Class Review
- Departure Date: 11th January 2017
- Departure Airport: Manchester Airport (MAN)
- Departure Time: 08.10
- Arrival Airport: Abu Dhabi (AUH)
- Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER Two Class V2
- Flight Number: EY16
- Airline Class: Business Class (Pearl Class)
- Seat(s): 11E & 11F
We requested the Chauffeur Service online via https://www.etihad.com/en-gb/plan-and-book/book-chauffeur/ and to be honest were a bit sceptical of the process.
In the end, we contacted Etihad Guest Services to confirm the booking. However, there was no need to worry as an email and text message was received 24 hours before departure.
The driver picked us up at 4.10 am, and we were being dropped off at Manchester Airport Terminal 1 approximately three hours before our take off time. In hindsight, we probably should have requested a later pickup, but it gave us time to relax in the lounge and do a little shopping.
The chauffeur driver dropped us off outside the doors directly in front of the Etihad Airways check-in desk.
The queue for economy passengers was relatively long, and there were a couple of people in front of us in the business class line.
We had already selected our seats but not checked-in online. However, the process was quick and efficient, and it was long before we were heading through security.
Luckily it was still only 5.30am, so the terminal building was not busy. Security at Manchester Airport T1 is by far one of the worst, but for a change, it was all plain sailing on this occasion.
Once you have passed through security and duty-free, you take the stairs to the Executive Lounge Level. The Etihad Lounge is at the end of the corridor after passing The Escape, Aspire and Emirates Lounges.
We were one of the first passengers in the lounge due to our early arrival at Manchester Airport, so we decide to sit on the sofas opposite the TV.
We were greeted quickly and offered a drink, which we gratefully accepted. Even though it was an early hour, we both went for a glass of champagne and a cappuccino!
The food menu offered several different breakfast options, and an English breakfast with toast, another cappuccino and a glass of champagne got ordered.
You can sit down in the dining or bar area. However, we had our breakfast served on a tray on our knees while relaxing watching Sky News.
We left the Etihad Lounge early to do a bit of duty-free shopping and made our way down to gate 31 about an hour before the departure time of 8.10am.
Unfortunately, the boarding process was chaotic which is unusual for Manchester Airport. We assumed the flight from Abu Dhabi had arrived late into Manchester as the first announcement was to board economy passengers in the back rows of the aircraft.
The process grounded to a halt and economy passengers were left queuing at the gate. It was at least 15 minutes before business class passengers were asked to board.
We boarded and got to our seats, and it wasn’t long before a member of the cabin crew offered us a glass of Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Champagne.
The Boeing 777 finally pushed back about 25 minutes late at 8.37am, which gave us enough time to have a top-up of champagne before we were airborne.
The Seat(s) & Cabin
We selected seats 11E & 11F in the middle section. The Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER (77W) Two Class V2 configuration had 40 business class seats in two separated cabins and 340 economy seats.
The business class cabin configuration of 1-2-1 on the 777-300ER has both its benefits and pitfalls similar to the Airbus A330 planes used on the Manchester to Abu Dhabi route.
The seats on the flight lay entirely flat with a bed pitch of 73 inches and width of 20 inches. When travelling as a couple, we find the middle seats the best choice. The downside is you don’t get to film takeoff and landings.
The seats to avoid are D & G as they offer less privacy and are directly on the aisle if you are travelling solo A & G are the better options.
Etihad has introduced a new range of limited edition Business Class Amenity Kits inspired by six of the airline’s favourite cities; each kit has a different colour and design.
The Abu Dhabi Amenity Kit with sleep, dental, skin care and earplug products by Scaramouche & Fandango was the collectable bag given to us on the flight.
Although amenity kits are a great idea, we don’t tend to use them in-flight, and in the end, we have several at home unused.
With Etihad’s E-Box In-flight entertainment system you get a 15.4-inch screen in business class. The screen doesn’t tilt, but it is large enough to enjoy watching a movie while sitting up or reclining your seat.
You can use the handheld control unit or touchscreen to scroll through all the options on the E-Box system, although when reclined it ‘s hard to use the touchscreen feature.
Etihad is like most long-haul airline and offers over 600 hours of movies and television shows via their entertainment system.
You also get the added benefit of having noise-cancelling headsets ensuring that you don’t hear any cabin sounds while watching the entertainment system.
The system also provides USB, Ethernet and audio jack sockets to enable you to charge most electronic devices and outlets compatible with all the leading plug types.
Food and Drink Service
Before takeoff, the cabin crew came round to take our food and drink order. We both decide to have another glass of Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Champagne after take off.
We intended to sleep in the fight and order a snack from the All Day Menu, however, a couple of hours in and with the smell of food, we changed our minds.
There were the All Day and A La Carte dining options available on the flight.
All Day Dining Menu included a range of pastries, fruit smoothies, yoghurts, a variety of breakfast cereals, tandoori chicken sandwich, fruit, ice creams and selection of sides.
The A La Carte options include starters of Arabic mezze, Balik salmon and butternut squash soup. In addition to our main course seared sea bass and blue cheese risotto, with desserts including cherry pistachio cake, passion fruit and mango dome and seasonal fresh fruit.
There was a selection of soft drinks, beers and spirits available, along with a variety of white and red wines.
Changing our minds seemed to cause a problem for the cabin crew as we tried to order from the A La Carte Menu.
We selected the fillet of beef with steamed carrots, asparagus, potatoes and peppercorn sauce accompanied by a glass of Peroni, as well as Chicken Biryani with aromatic rice, fried cashew nuts, onions and raisins accompanied by a gin and tonic.
Not having a starter left room for some cheese and crackers with fruit and then it was time to relax before landing in Abu Dhabi.
There were three business class toilets on this flight one at the front, and two behind where we were sitting.
Staff and Cabin Crew
The check-in and lounge staff were excellent. However, the cabin crew were not the most attentive on the flight. As mentioned earlier it seemed to be a problem when we decided to change our minds about eating in-flight.
Our request about eating from the A La Carte Menu felt as though we were a burden on the cabin crew. It was only a request, we were happy to eat from the All Day Menu, but through gritted teeth, the cabin crew served our order.
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Verdict – Etihad Airways 777 Business Class Review