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Etihad Airways Business Featured

Review: Etihad Airways B787 Business Class

AUH FRA
Arrival Airport Frankfurt International Airport
Flight Carrier Etihad Airways
Flight Number EY7
Duration 7 h
Aircraft B787-10
Cabin Class Affaires
Cost 45 000 points Aéroplan
To the point

An Etihad Airways Business Class flight review from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, obtained with 45,000 Aeroplan points.

Etihad Airways is one of the new Aeroplan partners. So you can use your Aeroplan points to travel on any Etihad flight, like between North America and Abu Dhabi, or as I did here between Abu Dhabi and Europe. At the end of 2018, I had the opportunity to review Etihad Airways First Class on the B777 and the A380 (a diametrically different experience between the two aircraft). I also reviewed both the Paris Charles De Gaulle and Abu Dhabi lounges (including the private suite reserved for passengers travelling in Etihad Residence).

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Etihad First Class Apartment - A380

A very different time today following COVID-19: A380s have been removed indefinitely from the Etihad Airways fleet, and a handful of aircraft operate flights with a First Class cabin.

For this 7 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt (allowing me to catch a connection on Lufthansa to Nice), I chose to try the Etihad Airways Business Class called Business Studio.

Booking with Aeroplan

A 7-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Europe (Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, etc.) costs :

  • 25,000 Aeroplan points in Economy
  • 45,000 Aeroplan points in Business Class
  • 65,000 Aeroplan points in First Class

And approximately $80 in taxes (including the Aeroplan partner booking fee).

aeroplan etihad airways business en

And the cash cost of that same flight? $3,125. Of course, I wouldn’t have paid that price, but it gives you an idea of how much value you can get from your Aeroplan points in that scenario.

Here I get a value of : ($3,125(flight cost) – $81(taxes paid)) / 45,000 points = 6.8 cents per point. That’s more than triple my Aeroplan point evaluation at 2 cents per point.

etihad airways business class cost

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Etihad Airways - Abu Dhabi Business Lounge

Arriving at dawn at Abu Dhabi International Airport to catch this flight to Frankfurt, I head straight to the Etihad Airways Business lounge.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Lounge

The latter is still not very busy, and the social distancing measures are fully in force.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Lounge

For example, it is impossible to help yourself to the buffet: it is necessary to place an order with the staff. Since I was going to have lunch on the plane, I only asked for one (or two) glasses of champagne!

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Lounge
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Lounge
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Lounge

Etihad Airways - Business Studio

Finally, after two glasses of champagne and a mimosa, I arrived at my boarding gate. Few people for this flight to Frankfurt. In fact, I will be the only Business Class passenger on this flight (which does not contain First Class). Besides having the entire Business Cabin to myself, I am taken to the plane by a fully privatized bus.

The social distancing measures are well respected!

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Bus
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

At some time of the year, taking an early morning flight in the middle of the desert is always an incredible experience, with the mist enveloping the entire airport. Here I am at the foot of the Boeing 787-10 that will take me to Europe.

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Etihad Airways - B787

On board, I am spoilt for choice for my seat. Two more passengers will finally join me, probably upgraded at the last minute.

The cabin layout of this aircraft allows all passengers to have access to the aisle. However, half of the seats are in the opposite direction of the aircraft’s flight. I recommend choosing these seats only if you have a long night flight (it is easier to sleep lying down in this direction because of the horizontal degree of the aircraft, which always flies with the nose higher than the tail).

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

For this daytime flight, I prefer a window seat in the direction of travel. Anyway, with only 3 passengers on board, I’ve set up my desk two rows back, my bed one row back, and my dining seat will be this one (you’ll note that this seat is missing a window – a lack of judgment due to lack of sleep no doubt) :

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

For passengers travelling as a couple, I obviously recommend the middle seats of the cabin (be careful to choose the ones that are stuck together):

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

The other middle seats are distanced from each other and more exposed on the aisle (i.e. the “worst” seats of this business class).

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

And for those travelling with a baby – I’ve been there – you should know that it is possible to install a bassinette between those two business class seats, between both parents (or between you and another passenger who will be more than happy to assist you if you are travelling alone).

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

The seat has a USB socket, an electrical socket, the electric controls for the seat, the remote control for the television and some storage space. The table is large, and it is easy to place a laptop.

Shortly before take-off, health kits are distributed to help control the spread of COVID-19.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

Then the business class kits will be distributed as well as pillows and duvet.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

Finally, the menu of the day will be brought to order before take-off.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

Would you like a glass of champagne, Mr. Voisine?

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

I like to make the French wine industry work 🙂

Now we take off with a beautiful view of Abu Dhabi, still misty.

Shortly after take-off, lunch will be served.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio Repas
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio Repas

After this excellent meal, it’s time for me to work while enjoying the Wi-Fi. Indeed, Etihad Airways offers an excellent Wi-Fi network for a fee.

However, HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® credit cardholders have free and unlimited access to the Boingo Wi-Fi networks that Etihad Airways is partnered with (along with Lufthansa, Swiss, Singapore Airlines, etc).

etihad wifi plans
Etihad Airways - Wi-Fi
etihad wifi boingo
Etihad Airways - Wi-Fi
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

I mainly use my HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® abroad because of the no FX-fee (2.5% savings on each transaction). In addition, it comes with a $100 annual travel credit.

After two hours of work, I decided to take a nap to counteract the effects of waking up at 4 am and one too many mimosa orange juice.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

Legroom is reasonable without being huge. Being 5’8″ tall, it’s enough for me. But a taller person might find the space cramped.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

After two hours of nap, a small turn to the toilets to refresh myself.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio - Toilettes
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio - Toilettes

Shortly before landing, a snack is served (an excellent Steak Sandwich), accompanied by a glass of champagne (and a double espresso).

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio - Repas
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio - Repas
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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio - Repas

I enjoy the beautiful views of Europe on this sunny day.

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Etihad Airways - Business Class Studio

We land on time at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany with a sad picture: the entire Lufthansa A380 fleet grounded due to COVID-19.

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Lufthansa A380

Conclusion

Etihad Airways may not offer the best business class around the world, but this product is solid. Being able to get a 7-hour flight under these conditions for only 45,000 Aeroplan points is a real bargain that I encourage you to try at least once!

4.7 Milesopedia Rating

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