Etihad Airways Airbus A380 first class 'shower suite' review

By David Flynn, February 29 2016
Etihad Airways Airbus A380 first class 'shower suite' review

Taking a shower mid-flight, while cruising high above the clouds, is a luxury usually associated with private jets. In many respects it's still a luxury, being restricted to just one aircraft flown by only two commercial airlines.

That aircraft is the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet – and those two airlines are Emirates and Etihad, the monied and highly-competitive twin carriers of the UAE.

We've already taken a look at Emirates' A380 shower suites, so how does Etihad's superjumbo shower stack up?

Although there are two showers nestled into the nose of Etihad's A380, one is reserved for passengers in The Residence – that three-room private supersuite which also boasts its own living room and bedroom.

Read: Inside Etihad's The Residence private A380 VIP suite

A second shower is shared among the nine first class apartments, and is located in the larger of two bathrooms, ahead of second smaller lav-only washroom (below).

The first class shower-washroom has plenty of space to change, and is stocked with the same range of Le Labo Bergamote 22 amenities – including a special shower kit – as you'll find in the first class suite's vanity cabinet.

The washroom as a whole is well-appointed and includes this solid hair dryer.

If you're planning on having a shower during the flight, it's best to book your time in advance. Most travellers opt to shower closer to arrival, although on the A380s making their late-night departure out of Sydney (and, as of June 2015, Melbourne)  there's something to be said for a quick shower before dinner and bed.

Each passenger has a five minute supply of water, although if the shower hasn't been used by all nine first class passengers the cabin crew can over-ride that an add a few extra minutes to your session.

Of course, you can turn the water flow on and off as many times as you wish – just hit the big black button in the middle of the dial.

And keep an eye on the timing indicator: when it reaches orange you'd better be ready for a final rinse.

As it happens, the cabin crew gave me eight minutes under the nozzle instead of five – but being mindful of the limited supply I still found I was in and out within five minutes.

(And this from somebody who otherwise luxuriates in long showers)

The shower head is fixed into a corner of the stall so it's up to you to manoeuvre around for the best spray and coverage...

... and as you have to be inside the stall with the door closed in order to turn on the water, you'll also need to carefully position yourself to avoid that initial blast of cold water.

When you're done, pat yourself down with a fluffy towel, shimmy back into your clothes or the first class 'sleep suite' and pad back to your comfy first class suite.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 274

So since was a review, what is the final score? Thoughts? Good or bad?


23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

The claim that you need to carefully position to avoid getting blasted with cold water isnt true. The water temperature is set to warm and the pressure is extremely good. 

Although a little more cramped than the showers on Emirates, this one is just a good experience. 

Nothing like a shower before bed flying 40,000 feet in the air (can always have another shower on the ground on arrival). 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 169

I've used both the Emirates & Etihad showrers. A litle more room in Emirates however I'd have to hand it to Etihad. All round just a better package.

28 Mar 2016

Total posts 1

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