Up close with Etihad's new Airbus A380 first class apartments

By Chris C., December 19 2014
Up close with Etihad's new Airbus A380 first class apartments

Etihad Airways' new Airbus A380 first class apartments take off next week, but not before Australian Business Traveller had a chance to try them out.

Etihad's Airbus A380 First Class Apartments

With little niceties such as a chilled mini-bar and a private vanity mirror with make-up lighting in Etihad's A380 first class apartments, you'll feel like you've already reached your hotel before even leaving the tarmac.

Settle back in your reclining lounge chair...

... and put your feet up on the separate, full length ottoman:

After take-off, that transforms into a 204cm long, 66cm wide fully-flat bed – which the crew will prepare whenever it suits you.

Couples travelling together may wish to open a small privacy divider at the head of the bed for a little pillow talk or a good night kiss, available in six of the apartments:

Controls for the windows and lights are tucked away in the centre wall for easy access while you're resting...

... and if counting sheep isn't your thing, the wall-mounted TV screen pivots out to keep you entertained:

It's a touchscreen, although some travellers may find it easier to use the remote control, which sits atop USB power outlets and an HDMI input to connect your own electronic devices to the big screen:

As you rise from your slumber for the morning ahead, the TV folds away with ease to again face the reclining seat:

The windows you closed from the bed can be opened electronically – either by using the golden switches or on the digital control panel, found inside the armrest:

Releasing the button stops the blinds in their current position, which is great if you'd prefer just a little light at the crack of dawn.

The nightlight isn't a simple 'on/off' affair – a three-stage dimmer makes it a close substitute for a candle at dinner time, where there's also space to be joined by a companion:

Guests' meals are prepared to their personal tastes by Etihad's first class chefs, who are also experts at suggesting matching wines with each course.

Simple non-alcoholic drinks can be retrieved from the chilled mini-bar at any time without waiting for a quick response to your call bell.

Naturally, espresso coffee is also on the menu, as are a selection of teas. Both are served on a silver tray, which fits easily next to the seat or across from the ottoman:

You'll find the amenity kit almost hidden inside the vanity mirror compartment, which comes complete with strong make-up lighting to help limit queuing at the restrooms.

Last but certainly not least, each first class passenger can take a four-minute shower during the flight before landing refreshed for the busy day ahead.

Explore first class for yourself with this short video:

Etihad's First Class Apartments make their debut on December 27 on the airline's Airbus A380 flights from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow, with Sydney added to the superjumbo map from June 1 2015.

Also read:

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

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter – we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 13

Chris wins assignment of the year - great report.


23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

It's so good to see actual photos and not artists' mock ups of the apartments! This makes a huge difference in terms of getting a real feel for it. I'm very impressed - Etihad has surpassed Emirates with this understated, yet luxurious product (also glad to see a chilled mini bar - never got the point of the virtual hot box provided by Emirates). I cannot wait to place a booking for my 2015 trip. 

Now all they need is an on board masseuse for F passengers. 

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 440

Did I miss the news about EY A380 F having showers?!?

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 181

Great reporting. Meanwhile in NewsCorp wasteland, someone titled their report which is riddled with inaccuracies: would you pay 5.5k to fly backwards?


23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

I saw the same article. I then came over to this site as I knew there would be quality reporting and good photography of the same thing. 

As for flying backwards...who cares when you are at cruising altitude? It's not really something I notice. 

Happy to pay the fare for what is on offer - seated backwards or facing the front. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Jan 2014

Total posts 6

Hi Chris, great report thanks. Did you happen to spot which seat row nos. by the window have 3 windows (as some of them have 2 only)...? Would appreciate the feedback.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2441

Hi Alkaff,

Sorry, no - had too many photos and notes to take!


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