Be Our Guest: Etihad First Class 777 Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

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The Etihad First Class 777 Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles Flight Review is part of the Trip Report Athens Marathon: The Original Course which includes the following cities:

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The captain came on the intercom to inform us that our flight time would be 16.5 hours long. Then he invited us to relax, lie-flat, as Etihad proudly presented – my first class dream service. I half expected Lumière to serenade me when I boarded the Etihad first class flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles. “Mr. Bachuwa, can I bring you this,” followed by “Mr. Bachuwa would you care for that,” was the theme throughout the beautiful journey home. Heading up the team of gracious hosts was the head chef, Alex, who made it his mission to make sure that I did not go hungry.

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There she is
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Best livery in the business?

Get Comfortable 

Like the A340 flight from Cairo to Abu Dhabi, the 777 first class cabin was spacious and empty. I, along with one other person, were treated to luxury that I certainly did not deserve. The flight attendant told me that the window seat would be where I could eat and relax and the middle seat of the 1-2-1 configuration would be where she would make up my bed. I was even given separate headphones and blankets for each seat so I wouldn’t have to drag them back and forth.

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Where I watch TV reclined
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The dinner chair
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The sleeping section
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Etihad pillows
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So comfortable
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Privacy is paramount

Amenities Kit 

The amenities kit included my second favorite pair of pajamas (SQ Givenchy are the best). I asked if Ms TPOL, riding in business could have a set since they are different in first than business and Alex made it happen.

Food – We play to win the game. 

We fly to eat, eat, eat, and drink, drink, drink. Though my stomach was still temperamental, I knew I couldn’t pass up on having my own chef and bottomless champagne simply because I wasn’t in perfect form. If anything did go wrong, I took comfort in knowing that I essentially had the first class bathroom all to myself.

Transitioning from that awkward interlude, I will declare that again, second to Singapore Airlines, Etihad had the best on board dining experience. The menu became superfluous as Alex prepared a wide assortment of appetizers, dinner dishes, and desserts.

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The usual
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Tomato soup, so good I had it twice
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First dessert
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Rib-eye on a flight was good but I wouldn’t order it again
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Custom dessert, doesn’t get better than this
Johnnie Walker Blue
Johnnie Walker Blue

Strangely, I did not photography the biryani and grilled chicken plate. I guess I must have eaten them in a hurry, forgetting my blogging responsibilities. Quite a shame since they were delicious.

Entertainment 

I was entertained by food and drink and the fact that I had paid $100 and 90,000 miles for this fantastic flight, the rest was just gravy. (no pun intended)

Movie Selection 

The movie selection was not very good. While Etihad can’t control whether new movies are Oscar worthy, it should provide more classics for passengers to watch. Cathay Pacific remains the best for in-flight entertainment.

Movie Time
Movie Time

Live TV

A nice feature was live news. Nothing puts me to sleep faster than CNN’s redundant ‘Breaking News’ announcements. Unfortunately, the live TV was not offered throughout the entire flight.

Internet 

When I boarded the plane, my AT&T phone received a text saying that Etihad had international EDGE service on this flight with normal international data rates applying. I have unlimited international data so I assumed that I would be covered. In Mongolia, AT&T sent me a warning text saying that they do not cover Mongolia along with the applicable rates. With that data point, I kept my Blackberry on throughout the flight, all the while wondering if I would be hit with a $1200 bill. I was hit with a $60 bill which I will be disputing because I didn’t receive a warning. Still, since the flight was so long, it was nice to have the option to not go off the grid.

Overall 

I know this wasn’t Etihad’s A380 apartments but I’ll take service over style any day of the week. On that day, the service was unmatched. Alex said he had just trained for the A380 so if I have him as my chef + apartment class, look out, mind will be blown.

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Welcome to Hollywood

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