Etihad First Class Lounge Now Open…Finally!

After the long wait Etihad have opened their new first class lounge.

The lounge has been a talking point for some time now. Before this lounge they used a roped off area of the premium lounge which wasn’t any different to the business class area’s. The lounge was originally supposed to open on May 1st but the construction hadn’t been finished at that time and was delayed.

The lounge has some fantastic new additions which will be loved by a variety of passengers. The new areas include a Cigar Bar, A full gym, Relax and recline room, and a play room. A Bar, dinning area, six senses spa, style and shave and residence room which were in the original lounge have been also been included.

At this time these are the only photos available and are all property of Etihad Airways.

13323739_1230696296954495_3719135331663857242_oEntrance into the lounge

 

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etihad-first-class-lounge-spa-dining_SuperWideDinning area and chef

 

13268513_1230696813621110_1543832480867622754_oetihad-first-class-lounge-spa-relax_Standard.jpgRelax and recline room

13308393_1230696873621104_8133779818260973521_oSix senses spa

 

etihad-first-class-lounge-spa-playroom_SuperWidePlay room for kids

 

etihad-first-class-lounge-spa-bar_SuperWideBar which is identical to the JFK lounge

 

 

etihad-first-class-lounge-the-residence_SuperWideResidence room

 

etihad-first-class-lounge-spa-cigar-2_SuperWideCigar lounge

 

13268323_1230696476954477_5804329118765994799_oMore lounge seating

This lounge also has some interesting and very unique features such as a clothes pressing service similar to the arrivals lounge and a concierge service.

Basic features like Showers, Prayer rooms and a Tv rooms are available.

The entry requirements for the lounge are as follows:

First Class guests, Etihad Guest Platinum and Etihad Airways Partners Platinum guests, and those staying in The Residence onboard its Airbus A380 fleet.

I will be in the lounge on Friday and I will be able to give a full comprehensive review. I am extremely excited to visit and am very happy with what the lounge looks like from these photos.

Do you think this could be the new best lounge in the world?

Review – The Pier Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge

After my time in the Wing I was very excited to try the Pier. I had heard so many good things about the lounge that I had to try it for myself!

Like the Wing the Pier has both a first and business class lounge avaliable. At the time of visiting the business class lounge was being renevated so I wasnt able to get a few photos sadly.

IMG_3059The entry to the Pier business lounge

IMG_3053Entry to the Pier first lounge

IMG_3037Modern looking entry hallway

IMG_3051Day suite

IMG_3025Day suite

Interestingly there is a small note saying the max time for using the day suite is 1 1/2 hours but was told I could use it as long as I wanted as my flight was at midnight and the lounge was very quiet.

IMG_3032Dinning area

IMG_3031A La Carte menu

IMG_3034Fragrant chicken

IMG_3035Beef ribs

IMG_3038Bar Area

IMG_3039Seating areaIMG_3040More seating

IMG_3041Even more seating

IMG_3042‘The Pantry’

IMG_3043 (1)Fully stocked fridge with soda, beer, water and various snacks

IMG_3045Coffee machine

IMG_3046Various tea options

IMG_3047Ice and lemon for beverages

IMG_3049Cutlery and jelly

IMG_3050Self serve vodka

IMG_3048Big variety of snacks, breads, fruits and desserts

IMG_3052‘The bureau’ office and computer spaces

After spending nearly 6 hours in the lounge I can easily say this is the best Oneworld lounge I have visited. The lounge was very quiet, staff were very attentive and friendly and the food was very tasty.

Tip: When a dish in Asia contains chilly it really means your tounge will burn 😉

I cannot wait to visit again and also try the new renevated business class lounge.

Have you tried the lounge, whats your opinion?

 

 

Review – The Wing Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge

Ever since I obtained Oneworld Emerald there have been 2 lounges on the top of my list I have wanted to visit. The Pier and Wing first class lounges in  Hong Kong. I don’t know what it was but It was something I really wanted to experience.

As my previous post explained which can be found here Qantas A330 Business class review, I was headed to Hong Kong the main reason to see family and review these two lounges.

I arrived at Chek Lap Kok airport extremely early almost 10 hours early yes that is a long time to be in a lounge! The only reason I was so early was to help my grandparents around the airport as they were flying to Newark before I flew back to Sydney. My first impression of the airport was Holy S**t! I’ve been through Dubai and many other airports but there was something crazy about it that I loved.

Check-in and security were quick and easy and I was airside within 15 minutes, pretty impressive considering the amount of airline traffic and passengers that pass through.

As security was very close the the Wing it only seemed logical to try that lounge first.

First impression of the lounge was ‘WOW’!

IMG_3370Various newspapers and magazines to read

IMG_3368secondary dinning area of the Wing

IMG_3364Work stations with Apple mac’s that have windows installed on them

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IMG_3366Bar area

IMG_3365Champagne bar

IMG_3362large amounts of seating and its always a quiet space

IMG_33613 types of Champagne to enjoy

IMG_3360Lots of natural light

A great feature of this lounge is the natural light. It makes the lounge feel a lot more spacious and empty.

IMG_3357Comfortable working table chairs

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The thing I was most excited to see in the lounge was the Cabana’s. I had heard from many friends and other bloggers that I had to go and use it. Unfortunately I didn’t use the Cabana as I had spent most of my time in the Pier.

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Long black marble walkways which feel very private.

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I had to pinch myself because for a second I didn’t believe I was in an airport lounge. Yes a shower is popular In lounges these days but a full sized bathtub, thats awesome!

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IMG_3352Extra amenities

IMG_3351Large basin that is nice and clean

IMG_3350Jurlique products.

Surprisingly both lounges use didn’t hand and moisturising products. I didn’t realise till after leaving the lounge and looking through photos. I like the idea and think it adds a nice touch.

IMG_3349Comfortable leather couch

IMG_3348Very tall shower

IMG_3347Full sized bathtub

IMG_3346Overview of the Cabana

Overall I loved my time in the lounge and would love to go back and use the Cabana. I love the fact that Oneworld Emerald members can access the lounge. Is this lounge better then the Pier? In my opinion Not quite. If your wanting to have a shower or bath before a flight this is the lounge to go to. The Pier has showers but nothing like this.

I’ve visited a few oneworld lounges and would have to put this this quite high on the list.

 

Review – Qantas A330 Business class suite Brisbane to Hong Kong

For some time now I have wanted to trial the new Qantas business suites on a longer flight as I’ve flown them on domestic flights a few times now. They currently operate into Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila and Jakarta and very soon Honolulu. Occasionally  they will have some flights to Auckland and Wellington but that is very rare and usually seasonal.

Their A330 fleet were in much need of an upgrade so when Qantas released this product a lot of people were very happy.

This is their new suite which is a customised Vantage XL seat in in configuration of 1-2-1 which should be the industry standard in business class products.

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Interestingly the seats on the A330-300 fleet are covered in a mesh fabric instead of leather which is featured on the -200 aircraft that do domestic flights and occasionally international. In all honesty I do prefer the mesh as the leather can get quite warm on summer flights.

The suites feature a 16 inch Panasonic Avionics system which is also found on the newer generation of business class and first class on Singapore Airlines.

The screen is very clear and extremely responsive which is fantastic.

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For Asia flights a Jack Spade amenity kit is offered. There is both a male and female version of the kits. No pyjamas were offered as its a midday flight.

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The kits are quite basic but for 9 hours they are more then sufficient. They feature ASPAR products which are quite nice.

IMG_2995Amenity kit contents

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To start off I had Sourdough bread with handcrafted butter as well as a coke zero and assorted nuts.

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IMG_3004Lamb Biriyani

IMG_3006Baked vanilla custard

Both the main and dessert were absolutely fantastic. These meals would easily be one of the nicest I’ve had on a flight, so thank you Neil Perry!

The suite offers quite a few different seating options. One significant feature of the seat is the half reclined setting for takeoff.

The seat also has a massage feature and Do not disturb functions which I didn’t use for this flight.

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The suite also includes in seat power which is great and a USB port.

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The seat also include a small reading light which is quite bright when needed.

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The business cabin is in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration. If I was to recommend a seat I would say all of the even numbered seats as they are next to the window and have a lot more privacy then the odd numbered seat.

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Overall I would definitely fly this on this product again. Unfortunately Qantas have no plans to use these suites on their long haul fleet. I’m was impressed with the comfort and food onboard.

I’m sorry if this isn’t a in depth review as I wasn’t planning on reviewing this flight. In the coming days you will see a few more reviews from my small trip to Hong Kong including the Pier and Wing first lounges and cathay pacific business flight to Sydney.

 

I’m going to Abu Dhabi for a day!

Yes you read that right, I’m going to Abu Dhabi for a day. This may sound absolutely ridiculous but hear me out.

 

Think back to the American Airlines devaluation. The rates for travel in first and business to the middle east were extremely good value and I had taken advantage of that before. The rates were SYD/MEL/BNE/PER – AUH in F for 120,000 roundtrip or 90,000 in business class. Such good value!

At the time of booking I had 150,000 miles left in my account and had absolutely no idea what to do with them. It is sometimes hard convincing your parents to allow to travel far away on my own at 16 but it’s great when they understand. I was looking at all different options but I can’t stay away from the middle east, I love it! I started to look for First availability from Brisbane , Sydney and Melbourne, Nothing was available. So instead I decided I’ll trial Etihad’s business class. At the time space was wide open leaving Australia but very limited leaving Abu Dhabi. So I chose to fly out June 3rd and leave the same day. The women on the AAdvantage line probably thought there’s something wrong with me.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 12.26.57 pm

While I am visiting Abu Dhabi I will be seeing my grandparents and having a look around the St. Regis where they will be staying, which I’m excited to see.

Another thing I’m excited to see is the new First lounge which was supposed to open May 1 so hopefully its open. Even though I am travelling in business class apparently Virgin Australia platinum members will be able to access the lounge, similar to what happens with the Star alliance first lounge at LAX.

What do you think, crazy or ridiculous?

American Airlines to add B/E Diamond seating on their 787-9 and A350

American Airlines has confirmed that they will be adding the B/E Diamond seating to its future A350, 787-9 and 23 of their 772’s that have not been reconfigured.

I was quite surprised to see this get announced, but I do understand the reasoning behind the choice. The seat is already being used by Qatar and the feedback they have received has been very positive.

Back J cabinEvery one gets direct isle access which is now a gold standard in business class seating.

J seat 3B/E Diamond seating on the Qatar A350.

I myself have flown Qatar and absolutely loved the seat. Its wide, comfortable to sleep on and direct isle access is always fantastic.

Qatar currently have these seats fitted on their 787, A350 and A380 aircraft.

Another airline using this seating is Virgin Australia. I’ve flown their new business 5 times now domestically and found its a fantastic product and fits the airline very well.

Virgin Australia currently have these seats fitted on all of its A330 aircraft flying Coast to Coast from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. And occasionally you can get the Sydney to Melbourne flight as its positions for Perth.

Virgin Australia have also started reconfiguring their 777 fleet to add this seating. At the time of writing this 1 has already been finished and is exclusively on the Sydney – Los Angeles – Sydney flights. As more are finished they will be put on the Brisbane – Los Angeles – Brisbane and Sydney – Abu Dhabi – Sydney.

21387777872_0e7dd57490_oWide seating and many storage options.21211686719_cd49107962_oSpace throughout the cabin is more then sufficient.

Virgin-Australia-New-Business-Class-2Image: Virgin Australia

Currently American Airlines use 2 types of seating on their 777-300ER and 787-8.

787-dotcom-business-gallery-2Image: American Airlines

Above is the current seating that American Airlines use for their 787 fleet. It is described as custom zodiac seating. In my opinion it seems too narrow but I will have to review to find out.

American has since cancelled its contract with Zodiac as they were taking too long on preparing their seats for AA’s 772’s. This is why they are switching to B/E as they needed a new seat supplier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImage: American Airlines

The above image show’s the current 777-300ER business class. This seating configuration is called reverse herringbone and its currently the most popular choice for both airlines and passengers wanting direct isle access and passenger comfort. This seating is currently being used by Cathay Pacific, EVA air, Air Canada and Delta Airlines.

Bellow is a picture of the new seating that will be fitted in the near future.

American-BE-Aerospace-SeatImage JonNYC – Flyertalk

Overall I’m quite surprised to see that AA will be switching to B/E Diamond seating instead of sticking with Zodiac and continuing with reverse herringbone. I will be looking at trialling both products in the near future and reviewing them.