My second favourite way to fly (after Lufthansa First Class, of course), has long been Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment. I’ve flown the product over a dozen times by now and I was always left with a positive and “reimagined” experience… well it looks like Etihad Airways has really sunk with their cost-cutting.

Where do I begin? The Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi used to offer a ton of delicious food items – with a very extensive menu. How extensive is the menu now? One page. Technically two, if you count the Arabic version.. Seriously? I remember when the Etihad lounges not in Abu Dhabi had a one-page extensive menu.. but in their hub, really? Do the other lounges now have one item on the menu.. or? Furthermore, the food options are now downright disappointing and something I would expect in a British Airways Business Class Lounge, but not from one of the Middle Eastern carriers!

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment

It gets worse… while the hard product hasn’t changed on the A380, everything else has. The food was average (and reduced), the drinks were okay (though the champagne has been downgraded), the lavatory amenities and amenity kit amenities were downgraded, and the crew… oh, the crew – they must have been from United AirlinesThey were terrible and rude. No welcomes given, passengers were not addressed by name, “something to eat” was asked… I felt like I was flying a U.S. airline (minus the apartment).

Etihad, your cuts to First Class are shameful. I can’t believe in literally over a year, the soft product has gone from being the best in the world to “average”. It is important to remember that while the hard product still “wows” passengers, the soft product needs to match.. and it didn’t. I really hope that this flight was just an exception and I got a bad crew or something.. but if this is the new normal at Etihad Airways, I’m really disappointed.

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