Recently, one of our team member had the opportunity to travel on Etihad Airways flight EY182 from San Francisco to Abu Dhabi in First Class. This flight leave San Francisco at 9.35 AM and arrives in Abu Dhabi at 12:30 PM local time on the following day.
This is an award ticket booked about 1 week prior to travel. We redeemed 90,000 AAdvantage miles for a one way First class award to India on Etihad Airways plus $75 Close in booking fee and $5.60 taxes/fees.
Etihad is unable to get new planes at the pace they are growing, hence Etihad leased a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Jet Airways to operate in this route. This is an Etihad operated flight on Jet Airways configured flight, meaning flight is staffed with Etihad team on Jet Airways aircraft.
To give you a little perspective, a First class seat is about 4 windows in length. You could see in the below picture, the forward portion of the aircraft is the first class cabin
This is a Boeing 777-3000ER long range flight with a total journey time of approximately 16 hours from San Francisco to Abu Dhabi. This is a 3 cabin flight with 8 First Class Suites, 30 Business class seats and 274 Economy seats.
Journey began with a welcome drink followed by introductions. Lead flight attendant and onboard chef introduced themselves and explained the features of suite and provided the menu. We preselected Asian Vegetarian meal, otherwise you could order any meal in the menu at your convenience and is made to order.
You can request turn down service when you want to go to bed.
In Flight entertainment is equipped with a wide range of movies including several Indian films across various languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc..
Food is made to order and is presented nicely. Note that we selected Asian Vegetarian in advance. We got a dinner and breakfast during this flight, however, you can request snacks from the menu when ever you like.
We were surprised to get Vada, Upma and Sambar for the breakfast. However, Vada is not as soft as we would have liked.
Amenity Bag :
Etihad First class amenity bag is one of the best in the industry. Sougha is the provider of these bags, who works with the local artisans in UAE.
You get New York based Le Labo Bergamote 22 series toiletries, which included hand balm, facial moisturizer and lip balm.
Etihad offers a kids entertainment bag in flight, which includes several activities to keep kids busy. Purser was very engaging and when we mentioned that the purpose of trip is a family visit, She quickly offered 2 bags to our kids even though we were not travelling with kids – which was a nice gesture.
How can you do it?
You need 90,000 miles for a one way first class award from USA to India on Etihad Airways. There are many opportunities to earn AAdvantage miles.
We had an excellent time on the first class cabin during our Journey from San Francisco to Abu Dhabi. You could a variety of food and drinks through out your flight. We will also write another post on Business class award on the same route.
It is possible to get a first class seat on Etihad Airways at a fraction of retail value (about $15,000) when you redeem AAdvantage miles for award tickets with Etihad.
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