This November, I flew Business Class in an Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER from Etihad’s hub in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to Bangkok (Thailand).
Etihad has a fleet of 29 Boeings 777, which feature the same Business Class product that you will find on Etihad’s Airbus A330 aircraft. The seat is a decent lie flat but is not nearly as good as the Business Studios on Etihad’s A380 and B787 Dreamliner planes.
This flight was part of a larger itinerary, which involved a round trip between Frankfurt (Germany) and Bangkok (Thailand) with a stopover in Abu Dhabi. A ticket was €1299 EUR, a fabulous price for a long-haul Business Class trip from Europe to Asia. I purchased the ticket during a 48-hour flash sale on the Etihad Airways website. Most airlines offer sales from time to time, and if you take a look at our tips on booking cheap Business class tickets, you will find out how to snag these cheap flights.
If you like to fly, you may also be interested in how to score a flight upgrade in 2018.
Etihad Flight Review
Etihad Airways’ Boeing 777 fleet comes in four different seat configurations. Its long-range B777-200LR and some B777-300ER have a three-class layout, with one First, two Business, and several Economy Class cabins per plane.
Most of Etihad’s B777-300ER aircraft have a two-class layout since Etihad chooses to drop First Class cabins on these planes. These planes feature either one Business Class cabin with 28 seats and 3 Economy Class cabins with 384 seats or two Business Class cabins of 40 seats in total and 340 Economy Class seats spread over 3 cabins.
A B777-300ER operated this flight to Bangkok with the 40 Business Class seats spread over two cabins in front of the plane, separated by a galley with two toilets. The front cabin was larger with 28 seats, while the aft cabin was much smaller with only 12 seats and had a more intimate feel. This is the cabin I prefer.
The Business Class seats on board all of Etihad’s B777s are arranged in a 1-2-1 staggered layout, which means that all seats face forward and that every passenger has direct access to the aisle. Note that this seating pattern means that middle pairs and window seats have a few inches/cm more length in bed mode than the aisle seats. This seat layout is not unique to Etihad as you also find it on other carriers such as Iberia, Emirates (A380 planes), Finnair (A330), Qantas, Asiana, and Thai Airways.
The cabin has an elegant, albeit slightly dated look. The Business Class cabins in Etihad Airways A330 planes feature an identical design and seat layout.
The Business Class seat has a pitch of 72 inches (183 cm), and the width is 20 inches (50 cm). In front of each seat, below the fixed entertainment screen, is an ottoman covered in brown leather with some storage space below. The tray table is attached to the back of the seat in front and can be pulled out quite easily; the table can also be moved out-of-the-way when you need to get up. The seat’s side features a USB port and international power port near the floor, making it quite difficult to reach for them when you want to charge your devices. The armrest holds the handset for the in-flight entertainment system, as well as the seat controls, which includes massage functions.
At the push of a button, the seat can be reclined into a fully flatbed with a length of 72 inches (183 cm), which includes the footrest. Unfortunately, no duvet is provided to enhance sleep comfort on this medium-haul flight. Etihad only provides turn-down service (including a mattress, cotton loungewear, and slippers) on longer flights. Etihad’s Middle East competitors Emirates and Qatar Airways do offer turndown service on both medium and long-haul flights.
What are the best Business Class seats on Etihad’s low-density B777s
Solo travelers should go for the window seats. Window seats are alternately located closer to the window (A & K seats) or to the aisle (C & H seats), and the A & K seats are the ones you want to choose (you will feel very exposed in the C & H seats).
Couples and good friends should go for one of the middle seats (seats E and F on rows 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 14).
The seats in the smaller Business Class cabin (rows 7 and 8) enjoy a more intimate ambiance. If you are a tall person (taller than the length of the flatbed), you should choose the middle pairs or window seats since these seats have a few inches/cm more length in bed mode than the aisle seats.
What are the worst Business Class seats on Etihad’s low-density B777s?
Solo aisle seats 5A&K and seats 12A&K are located in front of each cabin, and other travelers tend to bump into these seats every time they return from the lavatory.
No amenity kit was provided on this medium-haul flight to Bangkok. The only amenities provided on this flight were an extremely comfortable blanket, a decently sized pillow, and noise-canceling headphones.
During this day flight to Bangkok, only one meal (lunch) was served. I choose the following selection from the menu:
- Dill poached prawn with sesame red cabbage
- Beef tenderloin with roast potatoes, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, and shiitake mushroom sauce
- Sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce
The food was good and decent, and the presentation was nice.
Each Business Class seat is equipped with a personal 15 inch (38 cm) LCD screen with plug and play feature that allows passengers to upload their own games and create personalized music playlists. Etihad offers more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment (so-called E-box) with a wide selection of films, games, TV shows, live TV channels, audio programs, and CDs. Wi-Fi is available for a charge based on the data usage, with $4.95 USD for 30MB, $11.95 USD for 90MB, and $19.95 USD for 180MB.
Review by our friends at Luxury Travel Expert