Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class Review

Thu, 07 Mar 2024

On a recent trip to Barcelona, we flew with Etihad Airways in their 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class. A newer styled aircraft, this was an overall great experience. Being a newer style aircraft made for a pretty decent experience, making the 13 hour flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi go rather quick.

Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class Cabin Layout

Consisting of a 1-2-1 layout, each Business Class seat with Etihad’s 787-9 Dreamliner provides direct aisle access and is arranged in an alternating forward/rearward staggered pattern.

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin Layout

We were seated in seat 7C and positioned on a left window seat meaning we were facing backwards for this flight. 

This made take off and landing feel a little bit unusual, however for the rest of the flight it was barely noticeable.

Window Rearward Facing Seat Etihad Business Class

Window Rearward Facing Seat Etihad Business Class

Window Rearward Facing Seat Etihad Business Class

Aisle Rearward Facing Seat Etihad Business Class

An important thing to note is that when choosing seating, the rear-facing seats convert into a slightly shorter Flat Bed of 75.7 inches in comparison to the front-facing seats which convert into a 80.5 inch Flat Bed. If you’re looking for a touch more room, we’d recommend the front-facing seats.

Front-Facing Seats On Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Airways 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class cabin consists of a total of 28 seats with 2 toilets and 5 or so cabin crew.

Featuring a fully Flat Bed, an 18 inch HD touch-screen display with a modern remote control at the seat for convenience (with a mini screen as well to view flight map) and a sliding privacy screen, this seat felt very enclosed, private and modern. 

Etihad Business Class Seat On 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Remote Control

Leg Room On Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner Etihad Business Class seat was spacious with good storage space available. This included an entire overhead cabin to ourselves or shared with only one other passenger.

Overhead Cabin Storage Space On Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

Storage Space On Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

There was a large enclosed storage compartment attached to our seat where we could fit a medium sized handbag, while there was extra storage underneath the foot rest as well as a second table, which made for a perfect space for a laptop. 

Extra Table Space 

Leg room was spacious when in a seated position and also when converted into a fully flat bed for sleeping. For reference, we are 5’10 and didn’t find it cramped at all. For travellers 6 foot and above, we recommend booking front-facing seats so you can take advantage of the extra 5 or so inches provided.

Spacious Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Seat

In-Flight Amenities And Storage

When boarding we were greeted with a mattress topper and pillow on our seat, while on our foot rest was a blanket. In the storage compartment to the side of our seat were Etihad sound-cancelling headphones and a water bottle. 

The sound-cancelling headphones were of average quality and also looked pretty worn. To turn your seat into a fully Flat Bed, there were controls located on the extra-side table side piece which made it convenient to use when sitting up and lying down. 

Close Up Of Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Seat

Supplied Blanket On Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class Seat

Storage Space Next To Seat

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Seat Controls

Shortly after take off, we were provided with a hot-towel to freshen up. This is always a nice touch in the Business Class cabin as it allows you to really settle in, ready for your meal. A towel was also provided prior to landing at our destination, which was again, a nice way to freshen up.

The in-flight entertainment was provided on an 18-inch HD touchscreen display screen. Although it was a touch hard to reach when in the seated position, the remote control allowed you to select movies, tv-shows, documentaries, live news, or TED talks quite easily.

In terms of range of entertainment provided, there was quite a lack thereof, - a very Marvel-film heavy focus with 1-2 comedies, dramas etc. included. Due to Etihad Airways being a UAE airline, some of the inappropriate scenes were cut-out or changed for assumed Islamic religious purposes.

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner Screen

The amenity kit we were provided was in collaboration with fragrance brand Acqua Di Parma. 

This included an eye mask, socks, hand sanitiser gel, 4-5 hand sanitising wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, a miniature hand cream and lip balm. We found it contained all the necessary items you’d expect on a long-haul flight, but nothing special. Something we’d like to see included are some slippers as they prevent you having to take your shoes on and off during the flight.

Etihad Business Class Amenity Kit

Inside Amenity Kit

In-Flight Dining 

Shortly after, the crew came around offering a range of drinks to choose from including champagne, juice and soft drink. 

Take Off Bubbles & Warmed Nuts 

 The staff were attentive in refilling our drinks, allowing us to sneak in an extra glass of champagne whilst waiting for the Economy passengers to finish boarding. This was a nice way to kick-off the flight! 

We also were brought warmed, salted nuts shortly after we were airborne.

Prior to take off, a staff member came around to ask for our preference with in-flight dining. We had the option to have our meal straight away after we had departed, or we could wait till later in the flight. 

This was a nice option as it gave flexibility for meal times, whilst also allowed those travelling in Business Class to request meals at other times throughout the flight.  

In-Flight Dining With Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner In-Flight Dining Menu

Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner In-Flight Beverage List

Alcoholic Beverage List

Alcoholic Beverage List

We were excited to try the A La Carte menu so opted for dining straight after take off. This also suited us as it had just gone dinner time when we departed. An hour or so after take off we were served our 3 course meal. 

This included a chicken appetiser, a barramundi dish as well as a lamb dish (we ordered two mains because why not?!) and then chocolate ice cream for dessert.

Being gluten intolerant, we selected the gluten free meal option prior to our departure. We found there wasn’t too much communication about what we were being served on the flight, only that if we were happy to proceed with the gluten free option. Although the main dish turned out to be barramundi (a less-preferred option for us), the flight attendants were happy to arrange to serve the Lamb Ghouzi on top as well.

The chicken appetiser with quinoa was fresh, plain and simple, with some nice flavours. The salad was however a bit wilted and was clear it had been in the fridge for a few days. We were surprised to see a 'bread' roll on our plate and had to double check we were given a GF appetiser. It was in fact, gluten-free and quite good and soft for a gluten free bread-roll. 

Gluten Free Chicken Appetiser With GF Bread Roll

As we aren’t a huge fan of Barramundi, only the vegetables were consumed. The steamed broccolini was basic but good.

Gluten Free Barramundi Dish In-Flight Dining Etihad Business Class

The Lamb Ghouzi lacked some flavour but was overall a relatively nice and filling dish to end our mains on. 

Lamb Ghozi Main Meal 

By dessert time we were quite full, so opted for a chocolate ice cream. We found this rather hard to eat as it was quite hard, meaning we had to wait for it to melt slightly before tucking in. It was a nice way to end the meal, giving us that hit of sweetness!

Dessert On-Board Etihad Business Class 787-9 Dreamliner

Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class Summary

Overall, our experience onboard Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class was good. With a newer aircraft model the Business Class seats were comfortable and modern.  

Having the option to pick when we dined was a great bonus, however it would be a nice touch in future to be notified what gluten free options were being served. Not only was the champagne we were served delicious, but we also found there to be a broad selection of other beverages, including mocktails.

The amenity kit included pretty standard amenities that most Business Class flights include. It would be good to see some sort of fragrance included (being what Acqua Di Parma is known for) along with some slippers for added comfort. 

Bedding amenities supplied were comfortable while the mattress topper was nice and soft, making for a comfortable in-flight sleep.

If you’re looking to fly Business Class with Etihad, checkout the latest Europe deals we have available. 

Alternatively, get in touch with an airfare specialist to discuss the other Business Class airfare options!

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