Etihad is the flag carrying airline of the United Arab Emirates. As the national airline of a country which prides itself on luxury and glamour, it’s unsurprising that Etihad has won a plethora of awards for its business and first class services. The airline is also known for its lavish corporate sponsorships, including Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium and the English Premier League football team Manchester United.
Etihad is a truly global airline, and is one of only eleven carriers serving all six inhabited continents. Although they’re not a member of any air alliance, they have code share agreements with a huge number of airlines, including flag carriers such as KLM, TAP Portugal, and Turkish Airlines as well as smaller airlines like Niki and Flybe. Having won the title ‘World’s Leading Airline’ at the 2013 World Travel Awards, Etihad is clearly going from strength to strength.
How to Check-in
Etihad offers online check in on more than half of their routes, and can be used between 24 and 2 hours before the flight departs. Otherwise passengers can check in at the airport: check in opens three hours before the flight, or four hours if you’re flying from Abu Dhabi. Check in closes an hour before departures, although Diamond First Class and Pearl Business Class passengers can check in 45 minutes before departure at Abu Dhabi Airport. Etihad also offer city check in from 24 hours before departure, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This is useful if you want to skip the queue at the airport. Unfortunately the service is currently unavailable for travellers heading to the USA. In Abu Dhabi the service is available at ADNEC (Expo Check-in) and near the Abu Dhabi Mall (City Terminal). In Dubai, early check in is available at the Etihad Travel Mall. It’s also possible to check in for flights at Al Ain Airport in Al Ain.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Economy passengers can bring bags with a total weight of 30kg, and each item must measure 45cm x 72cm x 90cm. Members of Etihad Guest can bring extra: Gold Elite members receive a 50kg allowance, Gold members 45kg, and Silver 40kg. Business class passengers have a weight allowance of 40kg, and again each piece must measure no more than 45cm x 72cm x 90cm or weigh more than 32kg. Gold Elite members can bring 60kg, Gold members 55kg, and Silver members 50kg. Finally, first class passengers have an allowance of 50kg: each piece must not exceed 45cm x 72cm x 90cm or weigh more than 32kg. Gold Elite members can bring 70kg, Gold members 65kg, and silver 60kg. Rules are slightly different for travellers heading to the USA, Canada, and Brazil, as these countries operate on a ‘piece’ basis rather than weight. First and business class passengers can bring three bags weighing up to 32kg each, and economy passengers can bring two. In Brazil the weight limit for economy passengers is also 32kg, but in the US and Canada the weight limit is 23kg.
Seating – Leg Room, Choosing Seats
Legroom is fairly generous in all classes. Coral Economy passengers benefit from 32-33 inch seat pitch, Pearl Business travellers can enjoy the very generous 72 inch seat pitch, while Diamond First customers get a fully enclosed cabin featuring a six foot long bed. Seats can be chosen for free at check-in.
Meals, Snacks and Drinks
Etihad take pride in their on-board fine dining offer, and each flight has an on-board chef. Each cabin has a complimentary bar service, with a range of fine wines on offer. Meals are included in the ticket price: economy class passengers have a choice of three mains from the award winning menu, while business and first class passengers can eat whenever they like from the a la carte Anytime menu.
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