Zurich-Abu Dhabi-Zurich, B787-9 Dreamliner, Configuration: 8/28/195
second review on Etihad, please also see my first review under the tab “Airline reviews”
I flew on the new Etihad Airways Dreamliner out of Zurich on a midday flight. The business class seating configuration is 1-2-1 with some seats facing forward and some seats facing backwards.
I was seated in 5C which was the first row but facing backwards. The seat was a large size full flat business class seat which offered different lights (reading, moodlight and decolight). The seat was comfortable and offered enough stowing space. The well-known windows of the Dreamliner are a real highlight featuring the automatic shades which allow for different levels of natural light during daylight flights. The headsets are not particularly comfortable and are connected to the seat with a small magnetic plug which can accidentally disconnect whenever moving or shifting. I did not like it.
The inflight service consists of a dine anytime concept where you order your food from the menu and decide on the time that you like to eat. I tried the soup and a main dish (radicchio risotto) as well as a dessert and then some ice cream and fruits before landing.
The cabin crew on the outbound flight was correct but not very charming or friendly. Different picture on the inbound flight where the crew was attentive and charming at all times.
Abu Dhabi Airport is still under construction and does not have enough gates with aerobridges. I would guess that about 50 % of all flights are still operated by bus gates. This can be very time consuming and uncomfortable in Abu Dhabi’s hot and humid climate.
Verdict: Hardware from check-in to airplanes are solid, inflight service depends a lot on the crews. Abu Dhabi Airport needs a lot of improvement.