Review – Etihad Airways A380 First Class

by Zac George
a seat in an airplane

Welcome to this review of Etihad Airways’ A380 from Sydney to Abu Dhabi in First Class.


It was the 23rd of November, I was bored and wanted to go somewhere. I had recently bought 150,000 American airline miles for an upcoming trip to the U.S. But that got cancelled due to family pulling out Damn!. I was looking at going to somewhere within Asia but wanted to find a good redemption, I then stumbled across Abu Dhabi. Ive always wanted to visit the U.A.E and thought it’d be a brilliant opportunity.

I started researching and found I could get over there on first for only 60,000 miles on Etihad first class WOW! thats got to be one if not the best AA redemptions. I went onto the Etihad website to find availability from Sydney on the A380. Etihad is known to be random with releasing award space. it was looking doubtful that i’d find a seat. I started searching closer and then found that the 27th had first Availability Awesome!. I rang the Australian AAdvantage call centre and immediately booked. It was ticketed within 48 Hours. Etihad are releasing first space about 4 days before departure at the moment.


At 2:00pm I flew down to Sydney. I left plenty of time to relax and not rush.I landed at 4:30 local time, you would usually land at 3:30 but Sydney has daylight savings during summer making it an hour in front of Brisbane. I caught the terminal transfer bus from T3 to T1 and proceeded to the First class checkin which was quick and easy. Security can be very long at peak times in Sydney but with an express pass its a whole lot quicker 😉

From security it was onto the fairly new Etihad lounge. The lounge offers an A la carte menu, buffet and a variety of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.

The lounge staff were extremely friendly and very attentive. The lounge opened in mid 2014 so its relatively new. Its quite a small lounge but is quiet when it fills up.

The lounge is located here Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 11.53.20 amImage: Australian Business Traveller

After something small to eat in the lounge it was time to get onboard, I was beyond excited.

As you step onboard one word will cross your mind WOW!

IMG_1274Etihad A380 First  cabin

Etihad is currently the only carrier to have a single aisle first class cabin. This makes for excellent competition between the big 3 UAE carriers.

There are a total of 9 suites and 1 residence cabin which can fit 2 passengers.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.00.29 pmImage: Etihad Airways

As you sit in your seat, you are greeted by the Purser and they will address themselves by name. I was then introduced to the crew member that would be looking after me today unfortunately I didn’t catch her name but she was very friendly. She put my bag away and asked if there was anything I needed.

I was then brought a tray with a signed welcome letter, a glass of water which would usually be champagne but due to being underage I can not drink, a small dish of dates and a hot towel.

IMG_1095Welcome tray

The first suite has many very cool features that make it so successful.. 1. The sofa bed folds that folds out to become bed, very smart!. The mirror/personal wardrobe that features your amenity kit, with range of Bergamote 22 and Le Labo products. 3. Another fantastic feature of Etihad is the Personal inflight chef. The menu can be customised to what you would like and you also have the option to dine when you would like.


Etihad Airways A380 First Class

Suite 4A


Etihad Airways A380 First Class

Etihad Airways A380 First Class Personal Wardrobe

Dining when ever you like is a fantastic feature while flying!

After sleeping for nearly 10 hours of deep sleep which is rare for me, I took advantage of the dine when you like and had some pastries and fruit which was fresh and set out well.

Another advantage of flying in first is the onboard shower. Ive showered onboard previously and its a cool/weird experience, something you have to try for yourself. You have a limit of 5 minutes which is more then enough.

IMG_1262 2 bathrooms for first, 1 with the shower and one without.


Etihad Airways A380 First Class

Etihad Airways A380 First Class Onboard shower


Etihad Airways A380 First Class Bathroom

Bathroom with some great mood lighting, but feels dark while in the shower

So as we start out decent, there is a though crossing my mind ‘when can I do this again’.


Etihad Airways A380 First Class

Suite 4K


Etihad Airways A380

A6-APC in the stunning new Etihad livery!

So for only 120,000 AA miles this is defiantly worth redeeming for!. If your looking at redeeming miles for this be sure to book before march 22nd as thats when the AA devaluation kicks in. All booking after then will increase to 100,000 each way which isn’t nearly as good value. But if you book before march 22nd for a later date the amount of miles will stay at 60,000.

Also a huge shout out to the staff operating my flight, especially the inflight chef Sanjay!. Thank you for a fantastic flight.



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0 comment

issam January 27, 2016 - 6:05 pm

Hello,you have a big chance 🙂 A380 is my big dream respect frome #Motocco #Africa
Insta : jevoyageseul

Patrick Schwarz March 18, 2016 - 10:01 am

Wow Zac! Good job, if only Qantas partnered with Etihad I could go on there first, because of staff agh. Hope to go on this beauty soon! Hope your enjoying life out of school!

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