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Review: Etihad B787-10 Business (AUH-AMS)

Updated: May 11, 2023

After spending our five hour layover in the Etihad Business Lounge, it was time to catch our connecting flight to Amsterdam. While we enjoyed our Etihad 787-9 flight from Male to Abu Dhabi, the lounge left something to be desired. I was curious to see what awaited us on our longer flight to Amsterdam.


Booking

To get from the Maldives to Amsterdam we had a variety of options with a variety of European and Middle Eastern carriers. With the Maldives being a popular destination, cash fares were high so I looked for various award options. Ultimately I found availability for two on Etihad, with a stop in Abu Dhabi, through Air Canada Aeroplan for 50,000 miles per person which I transferred over from Chase. We were initially booked on a 787-9 but had an aircraft swap a few days before departure.


Lounge

After clearing transfer security, we headed for the Etihad Business Lounge in Terminal 3, which we had access to thanks to our business class tickets. While it was a nice enough place to spend our layover, it doesn’t hold a candle to the competing business class lounges from Emirates and Qatar. I have a full writeup in a separate post.


Boarding

After a long time in the lounge, we headed for our gate roughly an hour before departure, 15 minutes before boarding. Our flight was departing from Gate 60, which is one of the US Pre-Clearance gates but they used them for our early morning departure to Amsterdam today.

When we arrived at the gate, our Boeing 787-10 was waiting for us. Boarding was slightly delayed and, given the early hour, most people were sprawled out half asleep in the gate area. A few minutes after the scheduled boarding time, boarding began with Business class passengers, before pre-boards and families, and we made our way down the jet bridge and boarded through door 2L. I found it odd that Etihad chose to use a single jet bridge even though the second was available and this was their hub.


Etihad Airways

EY 77

AUH-AMS (Abu Dhabi International – Amsterdam-Schiphol International)

Seat: 8F (Business)

B787-10 (A6-BMA)

Scheduled: 3:55a-9:00a

Actual: 3:53a-8:33a


Once on board, we turned to the left and made our way down to seats 8E and F.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Cabin
Etihad B787-10 Business Class Cabin

Seat

I assigned us a pair of “honeymoon” seats in the third row of Business Class. The seats were the same Business Studio seats we had on our 787-9 flight from Male. The only difference being that the seat numbers were flipped, with the even number seats being the couples pairs this time. I found this odd since Row 5 is the first row on both aircraft.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Seat
Etihad 787-10 Business Class Seat

To the right of the large IFE screen was a table which is where the wellness and amenity kits were waiting. The IFE controls were also located here. There was a small touch screen display as well as a handheld remote that could pop out.

Underneath this were the seat controls as well as the controls for the reading light.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Seat Controls
Etihad B787 Business Suite Seat Controls

To the right of the seat was a large storage area that held a set of headphones as well as a bottle of water.


Amenity Kit

The amenity kit was Acqua di Parma branded and contained hand cream, cologne, dental kit, eye mask, and socks.


Menu

While we waited on boarding to wrap up, I perused the menu. Since our flight was departing at 4:00a local time and scheduled to arrive at 9:00a, I wasn’t surprised to see breakfast as the star of the show. The menu read as follows.


Departure

Prior to pushback, the FAs stopped by our seat with an offer of pre-departure beverages. Since our body clocks were all messed up, we both had a glass of champagne and surprisingly we were looking and feeling pretty good after a long day of travel. Even though boarding was slightly delayed, we still managed to push off the gate a couple of minutes early.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Pre-Departure Champagne
Etihad B787-10 Pre-Departure Champagne

In-Flight

Once in the air, I ordered the cheese plate which I accompanied with another glass of champagne.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Cheese Plate
Etihad B787-10 Business Class Cheese Plate

Afterwards, I put my seat into bed mode and dozed off somewhere near Shiraz, Iran with a little over 5 hours remaining in the flight.

I woke up a few hours later due to some turbulence as we were overflying Istanbul. I managed to fall back asleep for 30 minutes or so and ended up waking up for good over Serbia.


Breakfast

Since I was awake, I decided to go ahead and have breakfast. I started with a cup of coffee and the always gourmet Rice Krispies. This was accompanied by a croissant, butter, jam, and a glass of water with lemon.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Breakfast
Etihad B787-10 Business Class Breakfast Cereal

For my main, I had the brioche French toast which was served alongside a roll along with more coffee.

Etihad B787-10 Business Class Breakfast
Etihad B787-10 Business Class French Toast

Soon after breakfast concluded we began our descent into Amsterdam.


Arrival

We landed in Amsterdam and pulled into our gate 30 minutes ahead of schedule, next to a KLM 777. As we disembarked, the flight attendants held the economy passengers to allow us to deplane.

KLM 777 at AMS
KLM 777 at AMS

From there, it was a quick walk up the weird, submarine portal jetway and we followed the signs to passport control.

Despite the horror stories I have heard about transiting Amsterdam, passport control was a breeze and we were at baggage claim 10 minutes after deplaning. Though, we did have to wait 25 minutes for our bags to come out as there was a shortage of baggage handlers.

Amsterdam Baggage Claim
AMS Baggage Claim

With bags in hand, we followed the signs to the Trains where we hopped on a waiting train to Amsterdam Centraal.


Summary

Aside from some turbulence during the flight, we had a very pleasant time in Etihad Business Class on the 787-10. The food was good and the service was attentive. Also, even without a door, the seats were very private and comfortable for sleeping. While the lounge experience in Abu Dhabi needs some work, Etihad was excellent in the air.


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