Flying a new aircraft with an awesome Business or First Class product for the first time is always a joy. It’s even better when you happen to book the flight literally four hours before departure. A few weeks ago, I was lucky to be able to fly Ethiopian Airlines’ brand new Airbus A350-900 in Cloud Nine Business Class from Dubai to Addis Ababa.
I was in Dubai for about three days, I flew there in Cathay Pacific Business Class from Hong Kong, and then I needed to fly to Europe.. but literally nothing was available on any airline from the United Arab Emirates or Qatar to Europe in Business or First Class on the day I needed to fly. Literally nothing.
Luckily there were other options. I checked Lufthansa First and Business Class from other countries, and it turns out that Lufthansa’s First Class cabin was wide open from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt on their Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
The best way to redeem miles for First or Business Class from/to the Middle East/Europe is through Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, which charges only 35k miles, one-way from the Middle East to Europe in First Class. That is an amazing value considering you can transfer points to KrisFlyer from AMEX, SPG, etc.
So how would I get to Ethiopia from Dubai? No problem! Ethiopian had award space in Business and Economy on their 3.5 hour flight from Dubai to Addis Ababa, which would get us just in time to catch the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. The only issue is that the transfer from AMEX to KrisFlyer takes 12-24 hours, and it was literally the day before departure. So I risked it and the miles showed up the next day and I was able to get everything booked since the award space was still there.
So how was the Ethiopian Airlines experience in Cloud Nine Business Class on their brand new Airbus A350-900? Freaking amazing. I never thought Ethiopian Airlines had such great service. There were literally only three other people in Business Class, so the entire cabin was mostly empty.
The food was delicious, the flight attendants were super kind and friendly, and the seat was very comfortable and spacious. Beyond that, I think the cabin is gorgeous. The various, vibrant colours that Ethiopian uses are amazing and really bring out their brand very well.