Etihad Airways LAX-AUH 777-200LR Diamond First Class

I booked a First Class one-way award ticket from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi (LAX-AUH) on Etihad Airways using 90,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles and $6 in taxes. This would be my 3rd time ever flying in international First Class since I’ve only tried Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines in First Class. I was excited to fly on Etihad Airways flight 170, one of longest flights ever clocking in at 16 hours.

Introduction to the Middle East
Etihad Airways Chauffeur Service to LAX Airport
LAX Airport Star Alliance First Class Lounge
LAX Airport Star Alliance Business Class Lounge
Etihad Airways LAX-AUH 777-200LR Diamond First Class
Etihad Airways Chauffeur Service at Abu Dhabi Airport
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Since I was in First Class, I was able to book a complimentary Etihad Chauffeur to LAX Airport and a complimentary chauffer from Abu Dhabi airport to anywhere in the UAE. As you can see from the boarding pass, it says ‘Limo Check In’.

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After hanging out at the Star Alliance LAX First Class Lounge and the LAX Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, we made our way to the gate house one hour before scheduled departure.

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Etihad Diamond First Class and Business Class began boarding at the same time. When I got to the jet bridge, there was a sign directing First Class customers to the left and Business Class customers to the right side.

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The Etihad Airways Boeing 777-200LR (B77L) First Class is in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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I chose Seat 1K which was a single window seat on the right side of the plane which ensured maximum privacy in the First Class enclosed suite.

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The seat was large with plenty of legroom which contained a large flat screen TV and a blanket.

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The First Class flight attendant poured me a glass of Gosset ‘Grand Millesime Brut Grande Vallee 2004’ champagne as a pre-departure beverage.

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There was also a small mini-bar beverage compartment containing a package of nuts (Yummy mani) with still (Acqua Panna) and sparkling water (San Pellegrino).

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The Etihad Airways First Class suite also had a comfortable pillow, magazine and book dividers, storage compartment with audio/video and a universal power outlet.

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There were also headphones provided along with a small personal LCD screen and seat adjustment controls at my fingertips.

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The flight attendant passed by the Etihad enclosed suite with pajamas and an amenity kit.

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There was a small gift box of dates and a card that read ‘Welcome Onboard’ from the Cabin Manager.

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Here’s the Diamond First Class Beverage Selection menu:

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Cocktails

– French 75 – Gosset, Gin, Lemon
– Classic Martini – Vodka, Vermouth, Olives
– Manhattan – Whiskey, Vermouth, Bitters

Aperitifs and Spirits

– Martini Extra Dry, Martini Bianco, Campari
– Johnnie Walker Blue Label Scotch Whisky, Glenlivet 12 year old Single Malt Whisky, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey
– Grey Goose Vodka, Absolut Vodka
– Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
– Bacardi Superior Rum
– Cognac Carnus XO
– Taylor’s Select Reserve Port
– Lustou Deluxe Cream Capatoz Andres Sherry

Beers

– Carlsberg, Heineken, Victoria Bitter, Kronenbourg

Liqueurs

– Bailey’s Irish Cream, Cointreau, Kahlua, Malibu

Liqueur Coffees

– Irish Coffee, Cointreau Coffee, Baileys Iced Coffee

Champagne

– Champagne Gosset ‘Grand Millesime Brut Grande Vallee 2004’
– Champagne Jacquart ‘Rose Mosaique Brut Reims NV’

Red Wine

– Chateau du Tertre ‘5eme Grand Cru Classe Margaux 2006’
– Xanadu Shiraz Margaret River Western Australia 2011
– Line 39 Pinot Noir Central Coast California 2013
– Valpolicella Fattori Col de la Bastia Veneto Italy 2012
– Bodegas Roda ‘Sela’ Rioja Spain 2009

White Wine

– Chablis Grand cru Les Bougros William Fevre Burgundy 2009
– Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough NZ 2013
– Terras Gauda ‘O Rosal’ Rias Baixas Spain 2013

Dessert Wine

– Villard ‘El Noble’ Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Chile 2011

Mocktails

– Caribbean Sunrise – Mango Juice, Mint, lemon, Grenadine
– Pommeade – Apple Juice, Lemonade, Lemon

Soft Drinks

– Seasonal Fresh Juices, Spiced Tomato Juice
– Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, Mirinda Orange, Evervess Soda, Evervess Tonic, Everess Ginger Ale

Teas – From Dilmah’s ‘Exceptional’ range – please refer to our Dilmah tea menu

Coffee

– Espresso, Macchiato, Latte, Cappuccino, American Filter, Decaffeinated Filter
– Hot White Chocolate, Hot Chocolate, Horlicks Light, Ovaltine

Waters

– San Pellegrino Sparkling Water, Aqua Panna Still Water

Here’s the Diamond First Class Inspired Fine Dining Menu:

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Welcome aboard,

We have taken inspiration from the best restaurants around the world to create a unique dining experience for our Diamond First Class guests.

Choose from one of the delicious options on our expansive a la carte menu or ask our inflight Chef to tailor-make your dining experience. The chef has a pantry of fresh ingrediants from which to prepare a meal just for you, so feel free to ask for their recommendations for anything from a six-course tasting menu to a healthy snack to a special dessert treat.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the hospitality of Etihad Airways. We’re delighted to serve you.

Thomas Ulherr, Corporate Executive Chef of Etihad Airways

A La Carte Dinner

Appetizers

– Arabic mezze – a selection of Middle Eastern hot and cold appetisers
– Chicken marinated with lemon butter milk mousse and mixed crudité salad
– Roma tomato soup spiced with harissa
– Watercress soup with crème fraiche and baked jalapeno pepper

Mains

– Roasted rack of lamb with steamed green beans, peas, celery puree and minted jus
– Biryani – Your choice of lamb, chicken or fish served with fried onions, cashews and raisins
– Home –made gnocchi served with Tuscan vegetables and cherry tomato ragout
– Chef’s special – ask our chef about the ‘special of the day’ or to create something especially for you

From The Grill – Select your choice of meat or fish from the options below together with your preferred side dishes and sauces and our chef will prepare it all to your taste.

– Grass-fed beef tenderloin
– U.S. rib-eye steak
– Rack of lamb
– Chicken breast and thigh
– Fillet of sea bass

Sides

– Herb filled mushroom
– Steamed green beans
– Oven-roasted mixed vegetables
– Turned chateau potatoes
– Creamy mashed potatoes
– Oven-baked French fries
– Steamed rice

Sauces

– Béarnaise
– Veal jus
– White cream sauce
– Café de Paris butter
– Red peppercorn and shallot sauce

Taste of Arabia – a selection of dishes inspired by the best of the Middle East

– Arabic mezze – a selection of Middle Eastern hot and cold appetisers
– Roma tomato soup spiced with harissa
– Biryani – Your choice of lamb, chicken or fish served with fried onions, cashews and raisins
– Warm rosewater kunafa – sweet Arabic cheese pastry with cream and chopped pistachio
– Sulaimani tea

Desserts and Digestifs

Cheese – a selection of international cheeses

Desserts

– Fresh fruit
– A selection of ice cream flavours
– Dessert taster – four mini desserts to tempt you – warm apple pie, orange panna cotta, blueberry and lemon cheesecake and ice cream
– Warm rosewater kunafa – sweet Arabic cheese pastry with cream and chopped pistachio
– Vanilla and chocolate mousse with red berries and mango coulis

Dessert Wine

– Villard ‘El Noble’ Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley Chile 2011

Digestifs and Liqueurs

– Taylor’s Select Reserve Port
– Cognac Camus XO
– Cointreau
– Kahlua
– Baileys

Kitchen Anytime – A selection of sweet and savory items to enjoy any time during the flight

A selection of breads and pastries
Passion fruit and cucumber mocktail

A range of breakfast cereals with full-cream or low-fat milk

Breakfast taster – a selection of four mini breakfast items (natural yoghurt, red berry salad, booster juice quinoa with mixed nuts and warm milk)

Sweet select – white chocolate and raspberry lollipop, vanilla cupcake, chocolate biscotti with blueberries

Fresh eggs cooked to order and served with your selection of chicken sausage, rosti potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans or foul medames

Toasted bagel with roast beef, mustard mayonnaise and pickled gherkins

Sambar and burji – scrambled eggs and mixed vegetable in Indian spices served with lentil doughnut and semolina cake

Sandwiches made to order

The Etihad Steak Sandwich – with rocket leaves, turkey rashers, red onion compote, melted cheese, mayonnaise and grain mustard

Watercress soup – with crème fraiche and baked jalapeno pepper

Cheese – a selection of international cheeses

Nibbles – potato crises in a variety of flavours, freshly baked cookies and madeleines, Swedish crisp breads, Arabic baklava

Here’s the Etihad Dilmah tea menu featuring Green Teas, Black Teas, Herbal Infusions, and Black Teas with Flavour:

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I was overwhelmed by the menu because I’ve never seen a menu that large and extensive! There must have been a list of 300 different beverages and teas to choose from. Not only was the beverage menu overwhelming, the dining menu must have had over 100 different types of food to choose from.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted to have an authentic Arabic meal experience and that meant choosing the Arabic Mezze and the Biryani. The flight attendant came by and asked what I wanted to eat and I asked her for the Arabic Mezze and Biryani, but she had to double check with the chef is the Biryani was still available. She came back and sadly informed me that the Biryani was no longer available and I chose beef option instead.

After the flight reached cruising altitude, I was given a steaming hot wet towel.

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At this time, I also connected to the Wi-Fi internet on my phone which costs 15 euros for 24 hours of access.

To start, the flight attendant offered Sulaimani tea along with a date.

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I was given a bread basket with butter and four types of condiments.

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As an appetizer, I chose the Arabic Mezze which came with hummus, pita chips, grape leaves, and lamb. It didn’t look appetizing, but it was delicious.

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Next up was a strawberry sorbet serving as a palette cleanser.

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Since the biryani was no longer available, I had the beef with steamed green beans and oven-roasted mixed vegetables. The main entrée was disappointing as the steak was tough and I still was still disappointed about the biryani not being available.

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Dessert was chocolate ice cream and a biscotti cookie which didn’t look appetizing in presentation, but you can’t go wrong with ice cream on the plane.

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After dinner service, all I wanted to do was sleep, so I informed the flight attendant to please make my bed.

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As I snuggled into my seat, I realized “OMG, this bed is super huge.” It felt like a Twin XL bed that I had in my college dorm room. Everyone knows it’s possible to have two people sleep on a Twin bed. I thought to myself, “I could potentially invite someone from the coach cabin to snuggle with me”. I wrote that the Etihad Airways First Class Suite Makes It Easy To Join The Mile High Club.

After sleeping for 8 hours, there was still 5 hours left on the flight. At this time, I couldn’t sleep anymore and didn’t feel like watching a movie, so I resorted to using the internet. I also passed some time by talking to the onboard chef since there was not a single First Class flight attendant in sight.

They left the poor onboard chef all alone in the galley. I chatted it up with the chef and he said that he would get me anything that I needed. I asked him, “Where are all the flight attendants?” and he said, “They all went to sleep.”

At this point, I inquired about the biryani and he said that he actually had one leftover which got me excited. That’s all I wanted to eat onboard and he was searching for the ingredients.

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He told me I could have the biryani with lamb, chicken, or steak and informed me that I could have it as a pre-arrival meal. This was one awesome chef and we exchanged Instagram usernames. Follow @snipercook on Instagram.

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As a pre-arrival meal, I had the Lamb Biryani served with fried onions, cashews, and raisins which was amazingly delicious.

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Afterwards, the flight attendant recommended the Arabian Mint Tea with Honey which was refreshingly delicious.

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I talked to pretty much every First Class flight attendant (after they woke up to serve the pre-arrival meal) and they had an awesome personality. They were friendly and told me their impressions of the UAE and gave me a list of things to do. I told the cabin manager I was Instagramming my meals and told her how disgusting the Arabic Mezze looked like (did someone drop a #2 in the middle of the plate?).

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I told her that my friend Lucky from One Mile at a Time flew the inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles and his Arabic Mezze looked totally different. (Pic from Ben’s Instagram – //instagram.com/p/osUEN1FR3g/ )

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We both were laughing at the night & day pictures of the Arabic mezze and she agreed that the catering out of Los Angeles was horrible.

30 minutes prior to landing, the flight attendants passed out Fast Track cards for Customs and Immigration at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

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In the end, I loved the Etihad Airways First Class enclosed suite and the cabin crew onboard my flight (especially the chef). They all had distinct multi-cultural personalities and loved every aspect of their job. The onboard Wi-Fi was amazing and fast which made it enjoyable to live tweet and Instagram with friends.

 

About the Author

Points Summary
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1 Comment on "Etihad Airways LAX-AUH 777-200LR Diamond First Class"

  1. Great seats but… what if you are traveling with someone?

    It seems that being in those seats pretty much cuts you off from any type of meaningful interaction with your flying partner. I flew F on Lufthansa to Munich and though the seats weren’t as private as the ones shown in your pictures, they were great great for my wife and I. Even sitting across the aisle from each other, we could chat away. It would have been difficult to do that on the Etihad seats.

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