Etihad Business Class 787-9 Abu Dhabi – Washington

Sadly, our vacation came to an end. My friend and I stayed a night at the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi after a series of flights. I felt very exhausted and as soon as we got into our room, I took a shower and fell asleep for 6 hours.

It was very hot anyway in Abu Dhabi, so we didn’t do much except visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center. It is stunning and definitely worth the visit.

We checked out our hotel the next morning and took an Uber ride back to the airport. It took us about 20 minutes without traffic. There is a separate entrance for premium passengers. Since we had our boarding pass, we didn’t have to check-in again. To my surprise, they asked us to put our carry-ons on a scale. Of course, mine was a little overweight, but they just let me through. I shopped a lot and didn’t check my bag for a reason.

We only had about two hours until the departure time. Keep in mind that there is a U.S. Pre-Clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Basically, passengers clear custom and immigration in Abu Dhabi before landing on U.S. soil. Luckily, this facility also has global-entry kiosks. I proceeded through immigration as if I were physically in the United States. Since we were admitted “in the U.S.” at the Pre-Clearance facility, our plane would land in Washington as a domestic flight.

I reviewed the lounge on my previous trip report, so I’m just going to review the flight.

Flight Number: EY131
Route: Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Washington (IAD)
Schedule: 10:45 – 17:10
Duration: 14h 25m
Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 6F
Date: July 24, 2019

We boarded through door 2L and turned left.

We selected the “honeymoon” seats 6E and 6F. Basically, it’s a set of two seats that are very close to each other. These seats are great if you are traveling with a companion. The good thing is that with this configuration, you can raise the partition for privacy.

It does look like seat 5H is reserved for crews. I noticed there is a curtain installed around it. But, if you are traveling alone, I find 6A and 6K the best. These are the only two true-window seats in the mini-cabin and offer a good amount of privacy.

The flight attendant working on my aisle is very kind and friendly. She came to my seat to introduce herself and offered a pre-departure drink. I had a glass of champagne.

If you didn’t know already, I collect amenity kits. I got excited when I got the yellow amenity kit on this flight. That means, now I have both colors including the black one I got from the outbound flight. I will write about my obsession with amenity kits on a separate post.

After the first round of drink, I went to the lavatory to change. I like changing to comfortable clothes when flying, preferably before take-off. When I came back to my seat, the flight attendant asked me if I wanted a refill. I love Etihad’s Bellini – That’s what I ordered this time.

We pushed back a little after 11 AM. It only took us a few minutes to taxi and we were on our way to Washington. A few moments later, the seat belt sign was switched off and the lunch service began.

I ordered prawn salad for the appetizer and fish for the main course along with another glass of Bellini.

The appetizer was delicious. I also found the fish flavorful as well.

I’ve heard people saying that Etihad catering isn’t that great. But that wasn’t the case on this flight. I’ve flown Etihad several times now and the food has always been good.

I had vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I didn’t feel tired at all because I slept too much on the day before, which is quite the opposite of what I usually do. After changing timezones several times in the past 10 days, my biological clock was totally off. Instead of sleeping, I just reclined and watched movies.

Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I ordered mint tea served with some cookies.

Sometimes I feel like it’s waste when I paid (cash or award) for a premium cabin. Especially if I didn’t even enjoy the amenities offered, such as a lie-flat seat. That said, at some point, I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up, we were flying over Canada.

I decided to order some breakfast. The breakfast consists of omelet, sausage, and hash brown. They were identical to what was served on my previous short-haul flight.

I continued my movie until we started to descend into Washington. We touched down right at 5 PM Eastern Time.


All in all, it was an uneventful flight. The service was great and the food was delicious. It was a comfortable ride from Cairo to Washington via Abu Dhabi. Redeeming 70,000 AAdvantage miles between North America and the Middle East is a great value. I’m hoping the AAdvantage frequent flyer program doesn’t devalue anytime soon. Though I think that’s too much to ask.

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