Review – Etihad Airways 777 First Class from AUH to LAX

Introduction

You’ve seen pictures and read reviews online already, I won’t rehash.  See my AUH to Tokyo review for a more in depth review of Etihad F.  This AUH to LAX flight was a pretty long 16 hours and change.  This was the 9AM flight, so we got to the airport at around 6AM to take advantage of the F lounge.

 

First Class Lounge and Pre-clerance

We got to the First Class lounge a bit after 6am, but they took over 20 minutes to prepare our food and since we had to be at the pre-clearance gate 1:30 hrs before our boarding time, we just got up and left.  Someone stopped us and said our food was coming out; I told them we had to go.  Also, I found out the free hair cuts in the old lounge were now ~$11 USD or so.  Still cheap, but I sure didn’t have enough time to do it.  Pre-clearance was pretty fast and there is another smaller lounge (with laid out food) before the gate.  Not quite the same as the F lounge.  When you land in LAX, it’s like stepping off a domestic flight in the Tom Bradley terminal.  It’s odd because you’re walking past shops as if you were DEPARTING LAX.  Then you have to walk all the way to baggage claim and pick up the bags in a roped off area.  It was fast…just odd if it’s your first time.

 

Champagne

Etihad serves Billecart-Salmon in the F cabin.  I didn’t care for it too much so I switched to the Duval-Leroy rose champagne after my first glass, which tasted better IMHO.

 

Wifi

There was wifi on the flight, but it was too expensive for my taste, so I didn’t even try it.  Plus, I didn’t care to get online.

 

Conclusion

This was a loooong 16.5 hr flight and since I was flying this at 9AM, I couldn’t really fall asleep, so I watched most of the movies.  I think I woke up 6 hours my meal and had a snack.  Since my wife and I were the only 2 in first, I asked if I could sit in the seat across from me to eat versus them changing my bed back to the sitting position.  After I was done with my meal, I was able to roll my fat lazy ass back in my bed.

Compared to my Emirates flight, I would pick Emirates again because 1) cheaper wifi, b) better champagne, and c) direct from Seattle.

 

Pictures

  • Aris

    Question about immigration pre-clearance in AUH. Is there a separate faster line for Business/First Class passangers?

    • Miles per Day

      There is, but we really didn’t need it cuz there were like 5 lines and no wait at all. That could be because we got there about 30 min before boarding time; not sure how long it is if you get there too late.

  • Gary Leff

    I find the cheaper wifi on Emirates to be a bug, not a feature. First, the Emirates connection has less bandwidth to begin with for the whole A380. Then the cheap wifi means so many passengers use it that it’s nearly impossible to get pages to render. On the other hand I find Etihad’s wifi to work better than American’s domestic wifi, comparable to Delta’s newer gogo ATG installs.

    Of course I’m using the wifi for business, as a business expense (either for work, and reimbursed, or for one of my businesses and so it reduces my taxable income) so I’m predisposed to prefer faster wifi at a higher price than limited wifi and near-free.

    • Miles per Day

      Gary, I flew the EK 777 from Seattle to DXB and the $1 wifi was fine. Had no issues with page loading. Not sure how full the flight was. For a casual traveler, the $1 was adequate. Maybe they’ve upped their bandwidth lately?