FLIGHT NUMBER: EY450
ROUTE: Sydney to Abu Dhabi
DURATION: 14 hours 45 minutes
From meditation music to mindful eating and an in-built massage option in your chair, the journey from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on an Etihad Airways A380 felt, at times, more like a mini wellness retreat than a long-haul flight.
Dine Anytime menu a masterstroke
Those who don’t like to overeat while at 30,000 feet will appreciate the Dine Anytime Menu influenced by the destinations Etihad Airways flies to, which on this flight included a selection of bread and pastries, breakfast, cereals, frittata and a steak sandwich. Although Etihad Airways no longer offers pyjamas to its business-class passengers, it does offer onboard amenities such as pillows, blankets, earplugs and a padded seat protector to help with a more comfortable sleep.
Speaking of comfortable sleep, the seat, designed by Poltrona Frau furniture makers in Turin, Italy, converts into a comfortable fully flat bed that extends to 6 feet and 8 inches, making this a popular airline for basketball teams. Direct aisle access means you don’t have to clamber over anybody to get to the bathroom.
Ready for take-off
Inside the console of each seat, which can be set to Recline, Ready for Take-off or Table Mode, is a 38 cm personal LCD video screen, as well as two USB ports and an RCA socket for those who need to connect a laptop. There is also a small storage compartment and concealed storage space to fill with personal belongings and paraphernalia while you are dining.
Library and luxe amenities
In addition to the new release movies in more than 10 languages, the TV programs and audio channels onboard include a library of CDs and games. What we also love is the luxe toiletry bag filled with Scaramouche + Fandango products that feature big bold lettering to help the identification process when the lighting is switched to soft and moody mode: HC = hand cream, LB = lip balm and BL = body lotion.
Staff friendly and efficient
We also commend the carrier on its beautifully dressed staff, who are friendly, efficient and attentive. For those who like to mingle at 30,000 ft or simply want to stretch their legs will love The Lobby, located on the Upper Deck of the A380 between first and business class. The Lobby seats up to six guests and is fitted with seatbelts, power supply and connectivity ports, making it perfect for lounging around on the wide-body aircraft.
Note: one of the benefits of travelling Etihad from Australia to Europe, Asia, Africa or anywhere on the network is that it includes a free stopover in Abu Dhabi, which breaks up the trip beautifully. The verdict: Excellent service and the comfortable lie-flat bed has me arriving reasonably fresh and ready to transition to riding a camel in Jordan. etihad.com