Etihad Business Class Abu Dhabi to Chennai

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I had had less than four hours to kill in the lounge which went by quickly after a shower and massage, but I was anxious to board my plane for the 4 1/2 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Chennai. Though the business class was an older version, it was quite comfortable and I enjoyed my flight as much as my transatlantic segment in Jet Airways First Class.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA seat

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA seat back

Better seat controls than I’m used to in US domestic first class.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA seat controls

The flight was empty so every passenger got their own row which was quite nice.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA cabin

The friendly flight attendants came by with water or orange juice prior to take off.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA orange juice welcome drink

Then cool towels and menus.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA towel and menu

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA dinner menu

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA beverage menu

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA wine list

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA spirits and beer menu

I never had a desire to visit Abu Dhabi but it was fun checking out the landscape during our ascent.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA scenery

After we reached cruising altitude they brought hot nuts and choice of drink.  I decided to try the Champagne Lallier, ‘Grande Reserve’ which was perfectly nice.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA nuts and champagne

For my starter I decided to go with the Arabic mezze selection of appetizers instead of the marinated prawns. I was impressed the attention to detail when plating and the fact I had my own serious breadbasket and hammered stainless steel plate for my pitas.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA arabic mezze

For my main course I decided to try the baked salmon with turmeric rice, sauteed spinach, dried tomatoes and creamed palm hearts. It was fine, but I couldn’t tell if my tastebuds were off because I was tired or if the chicken mandi would have been a better plane choice.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA salmon dinner

The date pie with rosewater infused zereshk berries was both interesting and tasty! And the perfect note to end on. At this point I was quite tired and decided to try to snag an hour or two of sleep before landing.

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA date pie

But of course I first had to have my cup of after dinner tea from the extensive list. 🙂

Etihad Business Class AUH MAA tea

We landed, only to discover that the Etihad flight attendants had only had one of the multiple forms that we needed to fill out for customs and immigration. So it wound up being a mess with people darting up to the desks to get the forms from the agents, running back to find a place to fill them out before getting back in line to go through.

Fortunately it was late at night so only one or two other flights had come in around the same time.

Coming out of baggage claim and customs was overwhelming, you were immediately deposited outside with crowds of people waiting to greet their loved ones. I stuck out like a sore thumb and had to decline several suspicious offers of rides and help while I tried to find my Etihad Chauffer.

A cool perk of flying Etihad Business or First Class is that they will send a car to come get you at your origin and drop you off at your destination for free, even when you’re flying on an award ticket! Depending on how far away you are from the airport, this can really save hassle and dollars!

I’d decided to go with that options rather than the free car offered by the Park Hyatt and rather regretted it. I wound up calling of my chauffer that had been texted to me and it took a few more minutes of me wandering around to  find him, but eventually I was in the car and getting my first taste of traffic in India.

Etihad Business Class MAA chauffer

More from this trip:

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