Etihad A330 Business Class Review flying from Manchester to Abu Dhabi on ‘Blue Moon Raising’ aeroplane.
Our Etihad Airways flight from Manchester to Abu Dhabi was the first segment of our business class trip to Phuket, and we were taking our fifteen-year-old daughter with us for her first business class experience.
We purchased business class saver tickets for the flight (Z booking class), so we earned 115% Etihad Guest Miles. The downside about buying the business class saver ticket is that we did not get the Chauffeur Service but a good discount on the ticket price more than compensated for this.
- Departure Date: 29th May 2016
- Departure Airport: Manchester Airport (MAN)
- Departure Time: 20.10
- Arrival Airport: Abu Dhabi (AUH)
- Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
- Flight Number: EY22
- Airline Class: Business Class (Pearl Class)
- Seat(s): 8H, 9K & 10H
Etihad’s check-in desks are on the ground floor of Manchester Airport’s Terminal One. Located at the far end of the terminal with a separate business class check-in desk.
We had already booked our seats online, so it was just a matter of dropping off our suitcases and collecting our boarding passes.
So it was straight to security. However, it was the start of the half-term holidays; the queues were already long, but luckily we used the fast track lane as Etihad Airways Business Class travellers.
Once you have passed through security and trudged through duty-free, you walk past Dixons and 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 all had a quick bite to eat, relaxed and a couple of drinks before boarding.
About forty-five minutes before departure a member of the lounge staff advised us that our flight was boarding at gate 31. By the time we arrived at the gate most of our fellow passengers had boarded the plane.
Once on board, a glass of Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve Champagne was gratefully accepted but not for our daughter; she had a glass of juice.
It wasn’t long before the flight pushed back from the gate, we were at the end of the runway and ready to take off at 8.20pm, which was only 10 minutes past the scheduled departure time.
The Seat(s) & Cabin
We pre-selected seats 8H, 9K and 10H before check-in. There were only Business Class seats on the flight and no First Class on the Airbus A330-200, which is usually the case when departing from Manchester Airport.
Our seats lay entirely flat in Business Class. However, the one criticism is the width of the seat which is 19 inches. The seat pitch is 73 inches so you should be able to lay flat comfortably as long as you are not 6 feet plus.
The Business Class Cabin configuration of 1-2-1 on the A330-200 has both its benefits and pitfalls.
When travelling as a couple, we find the middle seats are an excellent choice as you do not have to climb over anyone unlike the equivalent seats in British Airways Business Class. You should avoid the aisle seats in the middle of the cabin as you are more likely to be disturbed by other passengers and cabin crew walking past you.
The aisle seats next to the window are our preferred choice if the middle seats are full, as they give you a bit more privacy, and you will not get knocked or disturbed by passing traffic.
Etihad has introduced a new range of Business Class Amenity Kits inspired by six of the airline’s favourite cities, each kit having a different colour and design.
The Los Angeles Amenity Kit with sleep, dental, skin care and earplug products by Scaramouche & Fandango was one of the collectable bags on the flight.
Sleep Pack – Socks and Eyeshades
Dental Pack – Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Skincare Pack – Facial Moisturiser and Lip Balm
Care Pack – Cotton Pads, Ear Buds and Emery Board
Ear Pack – Ear Plugs
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.
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 main plug types.
Food and Drink Service
After having a preflight glass of Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve Champagne and being topped up before takeoff, the cabin crew came round to take our food and drinks order.
What sets Etihad’s Business Class product apart from other airlines is that you can order or have your meal whenever you want.
On this flight, there was the A La Carte selection of starters, mains, cheese and desserts as well as the All Day Dining selection.
As we had all eaten in the Etihad Lounge before the flight, none of us ordered from the A La Carte menu. However, as we were reviewing the flight, one of us decide to have the steak sandwich from the All Day Dining menu an hour into the flight.
What has happened to the steak sandwich? It seems to have got smaller in the last nine months.
The sandwich was a little disappointing; there has clearly been a rethink on the size and the filling since we last flew with Etihad.
Breakfast service started an hour and a half before landing, and on offer was a choice of cereals, pastries, fresh fruit, or a warm cooked meal.
Staff and Cabin Crew
We couldn’t fault the service at check-in, boarding or onboard the aircraft.
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Etihad A330 Business Class Verdict
There were a couple of minor issues but nothing that would stop us travelling Etihad Business Class again, so the flight met our expectations.
One criticism is Etihad doesn’t seem to use First Class configured aircraft on their evening departures from Manchester. As Etihad Guest Members it would be nice to be able to use points to upgrade from Business Class to First Class on this leg of the journey.