Photo tour: Etihad's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner first class suites

By Chris Chamberlin, December 19 2014

Brisbane residents are in for a treat come June 1 next year, with Etihad's new Boeing 787-9 touching down and linking the Sunshine State directly with Abu Dhabi.

At the pointiest of pointy ends are new first class suites designed specifically for the Dreamliner, laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration with a generous 204cm-long fully-flat bed.

Passengers in the centre seats can enjoy the journey together by lowering a divider...

... which can stay open overnight as you rest your eyes:

The Dreamliner's first class suites are similar to the more spacious First Apartments on the A380, but with the Poltrona Frau lounge chair converting into that 204cm bed rather than having it emerge from a separate ottoman.

Each suite has sliding doors to afford guests maximum privacy, which stand at 147cms from ground to top.

They're useful whether you're resting, working or simply taking in a movie on the 24" LCD HD screen:

A literature pocket is tucked away beside the seat...

... as are USB and headphone outlets.

There's ample space for cables to pass under the cover once it's closed, so there's no need to keep it open whenever you've donned the headphones.

Did we mention that there's also a chilled mini-bar fridge?

Each first class suite has a sturdy dining table, positioned and laid out so that the rim of the wine glass is below the bottom of the entertainment screen handy if you're watching CNN live via the satellite and are trying to read the scrolling news bar.

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin (below) experienced the suite first-hand following its reveal in Abu Dhabi, and ensured that there was sufficient room for the customary pre-flight 'silver tray service' without needing to extend the meal tray itself.

The seat can be adjusted in any number of ways to accommodate even the fussiest of travellers using a digital touchpad:

Within every icon are several more options with a raft of lighting controls...

... configurable lumbar support, a massage function and more.

A 'do not disturb' button comes in handy when you're trying to maximise your rest or finish compiling an important presentation, which the crew will only ignore in cases of emergency or when it's time to land.

Cabin crew are also required to make sure every passenger is wearing his or her seatbelt if the seatbelt sign is illuminated, so be sure to fasten it over your blanket or duvet to avoid being woken up.

To top things off, there's a small ottoman opposite from the seat, which can be used as a footstool or for hosting a guest over a meal or for an informal chat.

For an even closer look at first class, watch this quick 45-second video:

Etihad's Boeing 787 Dreamliner first class suites make their debut on February 1 2015 to Dusseldorf, and replace the Airbus A330 on flights to Brisbane from June 1.

Also read:

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Abu Dhabi as a guest of Etihad Airways.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Fantastic now i can go home in style! I wonder if they are going to have a window in the dunny?!

EY food and recent service improvement will make for a pleasent trip.

05 Sep 2011

Total posts 66

Looks excellent. However, the video appears to show that half the seats face backwards. Is this actually the case, and if so why? I understand why BA and United have forward/backward configurations in business, but I cannot see what this is achieving here in first.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

The new Business Class is backwards/forwards facing.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 340

What is even better is that the 787 suite can be booked on saver award, ie. You can book it with velocity points. 

KG
KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

In theory they can be booked, in practice you will find it is near impossible to find Guest Award space. It might change in the future though, as when SQ introduced suites they were hard to come by with mileage but now they are widely available. I reckon when the novelty wears off one can find award space on the saver level.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

1-2-1 seems a little tight on a 787.  1-1-1 would have been more generous and actually demonstrate some innovation.  All the gimmicky crap like chilled compartments makes no difference when 1-2-1 is the same config as CX has in J on the 77W.  Nothing to see here.


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