TRIP REPORT: Review of Etihad Airways (EY) Apartment Class EY461 MEL – AUH

TRIP REPORT: Review of Etihad Airways (EY) Apartment Class EY461 MEL – AUH

Flying in first class is hard, but flying in an Apartment?!?

After spending a week in beautiful Melbourne at the Australian Open, it was time to come home. When we planned this trip, there were several options: A) back home nonstop to LA, B) make a quick stop somewhere in Asia on an Asian carrier or C) Etihad A380 via Abu Dhabi in their First Class Apartment?

Naturally, it was “C” of course.


In this review we will walk you through flight, EY 461 from Melbourne (MEL) to Abu Dhabi (AUH). From the check in to the arrival lounge in Abu Dhabi and everything in between.  Plus, we will take an in-depth look at their A380 product.

This routing (MEL-AUH-LAX) will take over 28 hours of flight time home, plus a two-day stop over in Abu Dhabi. But…being the travel enthusiasts we are, all of the above was exciting to us, especially the thought of the First Class Apartments on the A380 and First Class Suites on the 777.

Flight Details

Etihad Airways (EY) flight EY461
MEL-AUH Gate 132
Sunday, 22 January
Departure: 22:50
Arrival: 6:25 +1
Flight Time: 14h+35m
Aircraft: A380
Seats (Apartments): 3A and 4A

Etihad has several different classes of services.  They have international first, business and coach.  In addition to that, on their A380 routes, they offer The Residence and Apartments as part of their first class product.  Keep in mind that The Residence is a class above the Apartments.

On today’s flight we will be flying Apartments (First Class) in Apartments 3A and 4A.

First, it’s important to note the layout of the Apartments and Residence on the A380.

A few notes of interest.

All window seats (3A, 4A, 3K & 4K) are forwards and backwards and they connect with the other person when the divider is lowered.  All aisle seats (2C, 5C, 1H, 2H & 5H) do not connect to another seat.

With that, let’s take a look at the Apartment.  Here’s some 360 views from our Theta camera.

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Each apartment offers a stocked mini bar, full vanity, seat and bench that pulls into a twin size bed.  In addition to a small jacket closet, full size TV screen and touch remote.

There are a TON of buttons in the Apartment…and after a “few” glasses of champagne it’s easy to confuse what button does what. Then, all of a sudden it’s a window shade show! 🤫

Also noted on the seat map is that Apartment passengers have access to the shower.  Oh, yeah! A full shower!  There are many things that I want to do and experience in my life, but being able to take a full shower at 40k feet is a travel geeks dream come true!

When you board, you inform the crew what time you’d like your shower.  I asked for mine closer to landing.  They scheduled me about 90 minutes prior to arrival.  It was stocked with product, soap, shampoo, etc.  It even has a hairdryer!  You’ve got 5 minutes of hot water, but with a simple push of the button, you can turn it on and off. The lavatory is kept in immaculate condition the entire flight.

The other great feature of the Etihad A380 is the bar area for First and Business class passengers.  Note the power and audio controls at each seat.


Lounge, Boarding and In-Flight

We arrived at Melbourne airport a couple of hours early since we wanted to experience their lounge. After checking in, we were invited to the lounge which was a short way after immigration and security screening.

Etihad has their own lounge in Melbourne and was open to both First and Business Class customers. In the lounge area, there were plenty of chairs along the windows to watch airplanes take off and land. There’s also a full bar area and right beside that is the dining area where every guest could have a restaurant dining experience from the menu.

For those looking to grab a quick bit without the “fuss” there’s also a self-service food area where sandwiches, salad and Arabian Mezzehs.

A local boarding call was made and we were off to the plane.

A quick walk UP the jetway to the upper deck boarding.

After making a left at the upper door, we arrive at our Apartment with a welcome on board note and drink.

and then the Arabian Coffee..

Then, a quick tour of the First Class cabin and our Apartments.

Mitch talks us through the Apartment…

The lighting and cabin details are so beautifully done.

Jeremy, our inflight chef, immediately came by to introduce himself, walked us through the menu and dining process. Basically, it’s whatever we want, whenever we want! Our flight attendant, Mariam, came around and showed us the remainder of the space: minibar, vanity table where the amenity kit was stowed and she handed out our pajamas.  The crew was so kind, sweet and just over the top accommodating!

Etihad has WiFi installed on their A380 and it’s not bad.  However, it tends to cut out and drop when you go over the North Pole.


The IFE had MANY different options…They also offered live channels!

Inflight Service

Once again, the crew were the stars of this flight!  In-flight chef Jeremy, In-flight Butler Eugen and FA Mariam were all wonderful!  Kind, caring and wanting to please!  What more could one want?!

Dinner A La Carte service started with snacks and a glass of champagne.

Table sitting..

Menu as follows…it’s basically whatever you want…

Appetizers for us

Followed by the Moreton Bay lobster with cucumber, saffron aioli.

Next up, Mitch had the carrot and coriander soup with creme fraiche and Polrit had the Gulf Mezze, a selection of Gulf hot and cold appetizers.

Then, something unique!  A palate cleanser of lemon sorbet before the main course.

Main course for Mitch was the chicken breast with leek, shallots and onion.

Polrit had the sea bass with tomato and fennel.

Dessert was up next with a glass of dessert wine, Semillion blend.  Delicious!

Last course was desert and Jeremy did not disappoint!  He made us the mango plate!  Mango ice cream, mango parfait, jelly and micro sponge!

After stuffing ourselves, Eugene and Mariam made our beds and put down the divider.

After a few hours of sleep, I was feeling a bit hungry.  I ordered the truffle fries!  Jeremy did not disappoint!  The last time you had pommes frites on a plane was?????🤭

We had some cocktails, notice the stir stick!

About three hours out from landing Jeremy came around asking if we were ready to eat.  Now, it’s important to note, we aren’t big breakfast on a plane people.  Something about eggs, cereal…yeah, no thanks!

So we had asked Jeremy if we could order from the lounge and grill menu and he said, “of course!”

Polrit had the steak frites with MORE truffle pommes frites.  Mitch enjoyed the famous “The Etihad Steak Sandwich”.  Both were delicious and a must order!  Jeremy also whipped us up a side salad.


He did insist on sweets before we finish! Madeleines, cookies and more!


Once again, Etihad did not disappoint!  We received the new first-class amenity kit in partnership with designer Christian Lacroix and Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza. Omorovicza’s Gold collection: Inside we found lip balm, facial moisturizer, hand lotion and cleansing wipes. Omorovicza also stocked the lavs with face mist, face and hand wash and hand lotion.

We also got all the needed items, ear plugs, a comb, a toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and eye mask, and a relax pack of pillow mist and pulse point oil.  Along with Christian Lacroix male pajamas.

Before we knew it our 15 hour flight was coming to an end! 😭

We touched down on time.  Said our thanks and goodbyes to the crew.  Then we headed to the arrivals lounge for Etihad in AUH, (yeah, arrival lounge, that’s a real thing) and was escorted to our chauffeur who was awaiting our arrival.


Our final grades of Etihad Airways EY461

 Lounge @ MEL: A+

Comfort of the Seat: A+

Cabin Space Seat Layout: A+

Food: A+

Amenity kit: A+

Storage space: B

Inflight cabin crew service: A+++

Ground customer service: A

Overall thoughts?

Anything and everything that is COOL about aviation, flying and inflight service happened on this flight!  A bar on board a plane, check! Fine dining, check!  A huge suite “Apartment”, check!  Butler & Chef, CHECK, CHECK! Christian Lacroix-branded products, CHECK!  A shower at 40k feet, check!  You haven’t lived until you’ve showered in the clouds.

Everything you’ve ever read about Etihad is all true!  The staff was fantastic, food phenomenal and the A380 was a dream!

The Apartments on the A380 is a bucket list item for ANY aviation fan.

Etihad is a great airline with a focus on providing excellent and memorable customer service. Since our last trip in the Apartments, Etihad has shifted this product to their daily SYD-AUH route giving the Harbour City double A380 service.

We will be flying SYD-AUH in May, so follow us on social media for more on this excellent product.

Have you flown on Etihad? How was it?  Let us know in the comments!

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