Why I’m So Excited to Fly Etihad


I’m super excited to fly first class on Emirates in a week and a half. I’m also super excited to fly first class on Etihad a week and a half after that. The 14+ hour flight is filled with experiences and opportunities that I’m already giddy just thinking of.

Here are a few of the reasons I can’t wait for our trip home from paradise:

The Cabin

When Etihad introduced their A380, the layout of their cabin was¬†groundbreaking for the airline industry. Sure, economy is economy, running the full length of the lower deck. And business class, while nice, is a fairly standard flat bed in 1-2-1 configuration. There is a small “lobby” in between business and first class (think lounge with small bar). First class stole the show.

The front of the upper deck on the usually twin-aisle plane is one single aisle, with first class apartments on either side. These cabins are basically twice the size of any other airplane suite, each with a bed and a chair.


If I get bored in bed, I can move to the reclining chair. Want to take a nap? I’ll move to my bed. Need a change of scenery? I can have the bed turned back in to a bench and sit there!

Danielle and I have seats 3K and 4K, the two suites on the right side of the cabin that are conjoined. When we’re getting our beauty rest, we’ll be able to be right next to each other in what is the second-closest thing to a double bed in the sky (the first closest being an actual double bed on Singapore Airlines Suites Class).

First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi

Admittedly, this will happen before we fly. We land in Abu Dhabi at 11 PM, and don’t take off on our connecting flight to New York until 3:30 AM. Seeing as I often start falling asleep ridiculously early, usually this would be the most awful setup imaginable to me.

But earlier this year, Etihad opened a new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi that has put most other first class lounges to shame.

etihad-first-class-lounge-1This lounge has all the usual lounge amenities: ridiculously delicious food and drinks, and a comfortable and quiet setting to relax. And it has much much more.

There is a spa, where I can enjoy a free treatment during our layover, and a salon where Danielle can get a blowout (because, obviously, we will need to look our absolute best for our 3:30 AM flight) or I can get a professional shave. If I’m feeling so inspired, I can use the fitness center, or the yoga room, and then shower and clean up before taking off. If I feel so inclined, I can even indulge myself even further in the Cigar Lounge, partnered with a big delicious glass of scotch.

The Shower, The Food, The Lobby

Maybe this will seem old by then, having done the same a little more than a week prior on Emirates, but again I will spend 5 minutes of pure-joy showering 7 miles up in the air. The food will be top-notch (and the drinks too). If things seem cramped in my suite, I can go to Danielle’s and hang there. If that’s still not enough room, we can go hang out in the Lobby, on a round couch with its own bar, drinks and snacks!

Why? Because. Just because. Because Etihad First Class. On a whale of a plane flying for 14 hours from the middle of nowhere to New York City. Booked for free using miles.

I cannot wait.