Etihad First Apartment: Simply Awesome (and coming back to the US!)

Update 11/30/23: Etihad has announced that it will return Airbus A380 (and First Apartment) service to New York (JFK) starting April 22, 2024. The airline had stopped using A380s completely during the pandemic, then started flying them again earlier this year, but only in between London and Abu Dhabi. Now, Etihad is bringing the plane, along with Greg the Frequent Miler’s favorite first class product, back to the Abu Dhabi – JFK route. It’s been four years since Greg was originally able to fly in the Apartment. My guess is it won’t be another four years before he’s back. His original review follows.

In October of 2019 I had my first chance to fly one of the most luxurious first class products in the world: Etihad First Apartments.  I paid 80,000 American Airlines miles plus $51.40 in taxes and fees to fly from the Seychelles to London, with a very short layover in Abu Dhabi.  The flight from the Seychelles to Abu Dhabi was an unremarkable four hour business-class flight.  The 8 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to London in Etihad’s First Class on board their A380 aircraft, though, was remarkable.  It was awesome.

Not only was the first class suite amazing, but the cabin crew was phenomenal.  Four crew members separately came to introduce themselves and to help plan my time on board.  It was an overnight flight, so I wanted to sleep, but I also wanted to get the most out of my time on board.  We worked out a plan that included a small meal before sleep, then a cold meal at breakfast so that I could sleep a bit longer (a hot meal would require more time), then an on-board shower.  This had to be the best flight of my life, edging out even Singapore Suites.

Since this post was written, new ways to find and book Etihad apartments have surfaced. Etihad’s First Apartments are now bookable with Air Canada Aeroplan miles (as well as with AA miles and Etihad’s own program of course).  The easiest way to search for availability is using the Aeroplan site or via SeatSpy (details here).  You can book online with Aeroplan, but must call in to book with AA.  Flights between London and Abu Dhabi cost 62,500 AA miles each + ~$300 in taxes and fees, while Air Canada charges 65,000 miles each way plus ~CA$450 in taxes and fees.

For the rest of this post, I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

a leather couch in an airplane
My seat. Along the right is a bench seat that would later be turned into a bed.
a room with windows and a couch
View from my seat toward the aisle. Across the hallway is a second suite. Each suite has doors that close.  I found it interesting that they style each suite with different hues.  My apartment had dark brown leather whereas the one across the hall is more cream colored.
a yellow pouches with a black band
The cabinet along the wall next my seat opened to reveal lighted mirrors and an amenity kit.
a group of cosmetics on a table
Amenity kit contents shown
two glasses of wine on a tray
Which champagne would you like sir, Brut 2006 or Brute Rose’? How about both?  Certainly.
a group of burgers on a plate
The on-board chef recommended the sliders. They were great.
a bed with a book and a magazine on it
Bed time! I found the bed to be very comfortable.  This is one place where my Singapore Suites flight was better: it had an insanely comfortable bed. This one was comfortable, but not insanely so.  I still slept very well!
a bagel sandwich on a plate
The original breakfast plan was smoked salmon on bagel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good. How could they make this tasteless?
a plate of food on a table
A crew member quickly noticed that I hadn’t eaten the bagel sandwich and asked if I’d like something else. Curious what would happen if I went off-menu, I asked for an Eggs Benedict. The chef met the challenge brilliantly. It was awesome.
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Update neglects to mention that Apartments are currently completely unavailable for AA miles bookings.


How do you know which one is an Apartment?


Booked 2 seats in First for GVA-AUH. It’s not the Apartment, but I’m still happy. Saves me the pain of positioning to LHR and the fees were only $44 for each ticket with AAdvantage.


I scored flight 20 on Jan 10. Whoever reserved the 2nd seat on this flight, say hi to me as I am sitting in 3A.


You probably got the seats I canceled. I booked those seats yesterday afternoon and canceled them last night and rebooked seats on January 20.


Well, in that case, I think you very much for changing your plans. Much appreciated.


Ahhh bummer. All gone, I was too late! 🙁


FYI, travel has to start somewhere by January 19th. Was able to book DOH-AUH-LHR originating DOH on 1/19 and then departing AUH on 1/20. Was not available originating in AUH on 1/20. Works connecting thru LHR on 1/20 as well.


Jackpot! See you on the 19th my friend! Easy booking through Aeroplan


If you see a guy in 4K that looks like he snuck into first class, buy him a drink at the onboard bar. BTW, BKK-DOH first class on Qatar A380 has great availability for 50K AA miles


Is it easier to call AA Overseas or within the USA?


My husband just call the USA number and the hold was not that long. We just booked 2 seats with AA over the phone. When you call you can provide them with your phone number and they will call you back when it is your turn.


Booked mine via Chat on the AA App. Not sure that was necessary but wanted to give it a try. I recall somebody bypassed the large AA phone queue for the recent Qantas award bonanza by using chat.

Simon Guy

Thanks for the hot tip! This will be my first trip to the mid-east and my first trip on Etihad


Just booked. Thanks for the heads-up!


Greg I am stoked. Just got off the phone with. AA Intl desk and booked a one way flight in the Ethiad Apt London to Abu Dhabi January 7th. 62,500 miles plus $290+ USD. I am going by myself. I will now need to book a one way ticket to London using Virgin Miles and then an onward ticket from Abu Dhabi to Manila or Cebu. I live in Anchorage AK and Argao Philippines. Thanks again !


Thank goodness I read your blog on a regular basis. Just booked one seat via Aeroplan. Looking forward to it, thank you =)


It’s this a prediction? Update says “12/9/2023” or someone is really anxious to start 2023.

[…] I miss Etihad first class — and this wasn’t even the apartments that Greg flew! […]

[…] Last year I had the opportunity to fly Etihad First Class Apartments from Abu Dhabi to London.  I loved everything about the experience!  You can find my review here. […]

[…] This is awesome news.  Suddenly we can use Air Canada miles transferred from Amex, Capital One, or Marriott (see our Transfer Partner Master List) in order to book Etihad, and with no fuel surcharges!  I flew Etihad’s incredible first class apartments this past October and loved every minute of it. It was out of this world awesome.  See my review here. […]