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Etihad First Class on Jet Airways: JFK-AUH

a glass of champagne and a glass of water on a table

My grand 3 week adventure in Asia this February started with Etihad First Class from JFK to Abu Dhabi. It was my first time trying Etihad and though I had read reviews, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. And I definitely didn’t internalize the difference between flying on Etihad metal or a Jet Airways flight (my first flight was the latter).

a jet plane at an airport

Flight cost: 90,000 American Airline miles + $50 taxes/fees
Flight value: $11, 975

I had actually flown First Class on a Jet Airways aircraft twice before with Turkish and Thai Airways, so when I boarded, the cabin looked familiar.

a red recliner with a black and white pillow

a pillow on a chair

a door in a room

I was also a little disappointed, I loved that the suites had doors that closed and the cool ceiling lighting, but I had found the lie-flat seat rather uncomfortable for sleeping, and just like on Thai Airways, no mattress pad was provided.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I love how airy the cabin feels, made by removing overhead storage, but that also means that my carryon had to be stored up front in the closet since my under seat storage was only large enough to store the suitcase or my laptop case.

While I settled into my seat the attendants came by with dates and arabic coffee.

a hand holding a sausage next to a cup of tea

And champagne of course!

a woman sitting in a chair holding a glass of champagne

They also passed out the pajamas and amenity kits. The PJs were ok, kind of a gold yellow color, but clearly not constructed for people with hips. I got a large and the top swallowed me while the bottoms were a tight fit across the hips.

a woman standing in a bathroom

The amenity kit was just lame for an airline touted for luxury, it only had a face mask, socks, a toothbrush and three tiny beauty items in a Jet Airways branded plastic bag.

a black cloth and a black hat

The bathrooms were also a little surprising given everything I’d heard about Etihad’s first class luxury and service. I know I’m spoiled, but I missed having cheap cotton washcloths instead of paper. 🙂

a sink and soap dispenser in a bathroom

a shelf with bottles on it

a white box with a yellow handle and a plastic bag inside

The food was good though! They have an in-flight chef who came by before takeoff to take my order. I couldn’t decide so I asked what he recommended and he suggested a few items, offering to put together a selection for me.

Shortly after take off they came by with nuts and the rose champagne I had chosen.

a glass of champagne on a table

An amuse bouche of wrapped cheese (I forget what the fancy name was 🙂 )

a plate of food with a fork

The first course was a selection of the appetizers including paneer tikki (with pomegranate) and shami kebab.

a plate of food on a white surface

Next was a mini selection of various entrees including tomato shorba and murgh tikka masala.

a plate of food on a table

a woman sitting at a table with food on it

And dessert of a mango pudding and fruit plate with a cup of tea.

a bowl of fruit and a dessert on a plate

a cup of tea on a plate

I tried to go to sleep after dinner but despite the cabin being kept pleasantly cool and the awesome starry sky on the ceiling, I just couldn’t sleep more than an hour or two.

a ceiling with stars in it

So I availed myself of the giant tray table which fit both my laptop and my portable monitor and managed to get some work done.

a laptop and a monitor on a table

Aided by the fact the tv and movie selection was limited and only slightly hindered by the fresh popped popcorn throughout the flight.

a popcorn container on a table

I also noticed that the attendants were pretty dilligent about keeping everyone’s suite doors closed during the flight. When I would get up to use the restroom or access my carry on I wouldn’t always close them all the way, but any passing attendant made sure to do so.

A few hours from landing I was still pretty full but they were very eager for me to have the second meal, and since eating is a good way to pass the time on flights, I went for it.

a paper with text on it

Breakfast items were an option but I decided to try the tandoori chicken sandwich was good and arrived beautifully plated!

a sandwich on a plate

I was more stiff and tired than I would have expected when we finally arrived in Abu Dhabi and glad to get off the plane and find the nearest lounge with a shower.

a yellow sign with black text

Next Up: Etihad Premium Lounge Abu Dhabi and Business Class to Chennai


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    1. I totally agree! That’s when I learned the big difference between booking an Etihad Jet Airways flight and flying on Etihad metal…:(

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