Review: Etihad Airways Pearl Business Class A320, Muscat – Abu Dhabi
Our flight with Etihad was like our earlier flights. It really set the stage for excellent flights throughout the Gulf Region. The on board product and catering were excellent. Our ability to access great business class inventory by transferring points into Etihad Guest frequent flier program made for great value redemptions.
This post is one chapter on our second Round the World trip via Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Poland. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: The Khors of Oman, Cherry Blossoms in Japan, & Pirogies in Poland. Round the World #2 via Star Alliance Business Class on ANA, Thai, Etihad, Turkish & Lufthansa.
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Trans-border
- Air Canada Express: Vancouver – Seattle
- United Club Lounge Sea-Tac, Seattle, Washington, USA
- The Club at SEA Lounge, “S” Concourse, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Washington, USA
- ANA Staggered Business Class: Seattle – Tokyo Narita
- ANA Arrivals Lounge – Tokyo Narita
- The Westin Tokyo
- Meiji Jingu Shine & Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo, Japan
- The Imperial Palace and Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan
- Tsukiji Fish Market and Ginza Shopping, Tokyo, Japan
- Cherry Blossoms and a Night out in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
- ANA Lounge, Narita Terminal One, Tokyo, Japan
- Asiana Airlines Business Class, Tokyo Narita – Seoul Incheon
- Hyatt Regency Incheon
- Asiana Business Lounge, Terminal One Concourse, Seoul Incheon
- Thai Airways Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Spa, Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge, Bangkok Survharnabhumi
- Thai Airways Business Class: Bangkok Survharnabhumi – Dubai
- The Grosvenor House Apartments, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- At the Top, Visiting the Worlds’ Tallest Observation Deck, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Trading at Old Markets of Dubai, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Pearl Business Lounge, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Pearl Business, Abu Dhabi – Muscat
- Shangri-La Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman
- Shopping at Mutrah Souq & The Corniche at Muscat, Oman
- Spotting Underwater Turtles in Bandar Jissah, Yiti, Oman
- Plaza Premium Lounge, Muscat, Oman
- Etihad Airways Pearl Business Class, Muscat – Abu Dhabi
- The Four Points by Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Lufthansa Senator Lounge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Dubai International Business Lounge, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Turkish Airlines Business Class, Dubai – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
- Swiss Airlines Business Class, Istanbul – Zurich
- Swiss Airlines Senator Lounge “A”, Zurich, Switzerland
- Swiss Airlines Business Class, Zurich – Warsaw
- The Hotel Bristol, Warsaw, Poland
- Strolling Old Town Warsaw, Poland
- Visiting the Remains of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Parks of Warsaw, Poland
- LOT Business Lounge, Warsaw, Poland
- Lufthansa Business Class, Warsaw – Munich
- Lufthansa Business Class, Munich – Vancouver
Review: Etihad Airways Pearl Business Class A320, Abu-Dhabi – Muscat
Booking the Flight:
We had booked this ticket through Etihad Guest for 6,000 miles per person for the short one hour flight from Oman to the United Arab Emirates. It was much easier than sorting out all the driving and immigration processes had we traveled by car between the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
MCT-AUH (Muscat International Airport, Oman – Abu Dhabi Terminal 3 )
EY383 – Pearl Business Class (I)
April 25, 2014
11:10 AM – 12:15 PM
Booked: Airbus 320
Flown: Airbus 320
We left from the Plaza Premium Lounge Muscat and proceeded to the gate. A flight delay of 1 hour was announced. We ended up returning to the lounge to wait out the delay.
Returning to the gate, we eventually boarded a bus to get out to the plane. The Pearl Business Class fliers boarded last. We were also held in the bus until all the passengers had boarded to prevent standing in the scorching heat on the outdoor stairs.
On Board Etihad Pearl Business:
As usual, Etihad had their boarding music playing while we boarded the aircraft. It’s hard not to have a relaxing smile listening to this to set the mood at the start of an Etihad flight.
On board again, we settled into the cool green Recaro designed, Etihad Pearl Business class seats. The cabin today was 5 out of 16 occupied.
Pre Departure Services:
A lemon and mint pre departure beverage cooled the stomach today, along with a towel service on a tray.
A short prayer before takeoff as we left Muscat departing from Runway 26 R
Views on the Climb to Cruising Altitude:
There was some interesting aircraft at the airport, which appeared to be shared with the military. We had some interesting views as we climbed to altitude.
We had great views on the climb out. The terrain is so different from the usual greens I typically see in the Pacific Northwest of North America.
In Flight Entertainment & Internet Connectivity:
Like our earlier flight, the in flight entertainment is in a monitor stowed in the arm rest.
Today’s flight featured an in flight wifi hot spot. Prices were reasonable for a longer flight. The connectivity was advertised both via SMS text message and upon signing into the wifi network.
If the internet wasn’t your thing, there was also the Aspire inflight magazine.
The Meal: Light Arabic Snacks
Today’s catering were various Arabic snacks. Given the continued delicate condition, I regretfully wasn’t in a position to enjoy much of them. Still, they were pleasantly presented and I nibbled on them with a glass of champagne.
At the conclusion of the meal services, Fast Track cards were distributed. I really appreciate this feature. Fortunately, we’ve never experienced long immigration lines at Abu Dhabi as we’ve always arrived on short haul jets.
Views on the Descent to Abu Dhabi:
On approach to the landing, we had to do a “go around” on the landing. This added about 15 minutes.
As always, the terrain is so interesting to look at in this part of the world, including full subdivisions mapped out on the approach into Abu Dhabi that have not been constructed yet.
Upon parking at the gate, the jet bridge was broken and had to be reset. Etihad dealt with the issues professionally and empathetically. It’s amazing how a simple apology or empathy can color your impression of an airline.
On landing, we got to see another crazy construction project with the new infield terminal of the Abu Dhabi airport being built. Despite being a small terminal, Abu Dhabi Terminal 3 still has a great décor and appearance upon arrival with arriving passengers and departing passengers mixed together on the same floor.
Using Etihad Chauffeur Drive:
After clearing immigration, we collected our bags and headed to the Etihad Chauffeur desk. With the counter, there were no issues waiting to get picked up or what have you. Our reservation was located without incident.
We were led out to a row of cars and I was asked if I wanted a white Toyota Previa Van or a black Audi A6 today. By passing the family van, we opted for the A6. Our bags were loaded up, including one on the front passenger seat and we were in Dubai before we knew it (1hr of travel time).
We had a pleasant one hour drive up to Dubai, where we headed off to The Four Points by Sheraton on Sheikh Zayed Road for the night, prior to heading onto Poland the next day.
My Last Thoughts on Etihad Pearl Business Class:
Overall, Etihad is a pleasant way to get around the Middle East. Their BA Avios style distance reward chart also makes it quite lucrative for your short flights between the GCC countries. We would fly them again without question. The value of having the Etihad Chauffeur Drive added to these tickets was tremendous and we’d be sad to take another business class flight without it in the future.