Review: Etihad Business Studio Jakarta to Milan (via Abu Dhabi)

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Flight numbersEY 475 (CGK – AUH)
EY 81 (AUH – MXP)
Airplane typeBoeing 787-9
Seat numbers8A (CGK – AUH)
10K (AUH – MXP)
CostUS$322 (S$444)
Date of flightsApril 2022

How I booked this ticket

This one-way Business Class ticket was booked in late 2021 when an Instagram follower alerted me of an error fare for one-way flights from Manila to Milan.

I booked the ticket for just US$322 (S$444) and then called the customer service hotline to change my departing city to Jakarta for free, as it was covered under Etihad’s ticket flexibility policy due to the pandemic.

This flight typically costs around US$1,100 (S$1,500).

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How to fly Etihad Business Studio

Etihad Business Studio can be found in all Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 aircrafts.

Because of the low amount of miles required and taxes/fees for award redemptions, the best ways to fly Etihad Business Studio are with American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

If you do not have credit cards that can earn AA miles, you have 2 choices:

  1. Buy AA miles
  2. Buy Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer them to AA

Here are some great routes in Etihad Business Studio that you can redeem with AA miles:

  1. Between Asia and the Middle East for 40,000 miles + ~US$62
  2. Between the Middle East and North America for 70,000 miles + ~US$62
  3. Between the Middle East and Europe for 42,500 miles + ~US$62

Unfortunately, it makes little sense to use Etihad’s miles for their own flights because of the high amount of miles required.

Etihad Business Studio

The seat looked smart and I liked the design and furnishing.

The cabin layout is similar to Qatar Airways’ Qsuite. The key differences are the lack of doors and that the window seats of Etihad Business Studio are forward-facing.

Seat 8A
View from the front of the seat

The foot well narrows in at the end but it was not a problem for me.

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View from the back of the seat
Foot well
Middle seats
Middle seats

It is important to know that seats 9C and 9K in Etihad’s 787-9 aircrafts do not have a window. This is not a problem in the 787-10 and A380 aircrafts.

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Seat 9C
Seat controls
Seat massage controls
Lighting controls
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USB port

I do not usually talk about tray tables but this one deserves a shoutout. I have never seen one on a plane that is as heavy-duty and sturdy! Big thumbs up.

Dining table
Headphones

The seat transforms into a flat bed with very comfortable beddings and pillow.

Related: Business Class beds visualised

Bed mode of seat 10K
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View from seat 10K
View of the Alps

Amenity kits

Business Class customers receive Acqua di Parma amenity kits for every flight. While there are differing kit colours and design, the contents are the same.

Acqua di Parma amenity kit
Acqua di Parma amenity kit
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Contents of Acqua di Parma amenity kit
Hand cream and cologne
Hygiene kit

Dining

In general, food quality was great on my Etihad flights.

Passengers were offered a choice of beverage (including champagne) immediately after boarding.

Like most other airlines, food onboard Etihad Business Class are served at fixed times; no dine-on-demand.

Jakarta to Abu Dhabi

Food menu
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Alcoholic menu
Arabic Mezze
Prawn Biryani
Jackfruit Pudding
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Beef Semur

Abu Dhabi to Milan

The early morning (3am) flight from Abu Dhabi to Milan was serving breakfast and as you would imagine, was a little less exciting.

Food menu
Breakfast Wrap
Cheese Omelette

Service

Service was inconsistent in my experience.

I was the first to board the aircraft and had my phone in one hand (not recording) but was told “no video!”. It was strange as I knew that there was nobody in the business class cabin and I would have loved to share videos of the beautiful Business Studio on Suitesmile’s Instagram page.

I noticed that same cabin crew and another one was quite unfriendly in speaking to other passengers. It wasn’t a good reflection of the overall experience though, as other cabin crews were superb throughout the flights.

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Where to credit?

My flights were booked into fare class ‘Z’ and I opted to credit them to Etihad Guest for 115% accrual. This gave me a total of 9,603 miles (worth US$134).

I chose to credit to Etihad Guest as I am holding Citi cards from Singapore that can be transferred to the frequent flyer program.

Etihad’s miles are great for the following Business Class redemptions:

  • Seoul to Prague in Czech Airlines for 25,610 miles
  • Muscat to Bangkok in Oman Air for 34,000 miles
  • Casablanca to New York in Royal Air Maroc for 44,000 miles
  • Japan to Europe in ANA for 63,000 miles

Lounge experiences

Flying Etihad Business Class from Jakarta to Milan gets you access to Saphire – Plaza Premium Lounge in Jakarta and Etihad Business Class Lounge in the airline’s home airport in Abu Dhabi.

The lounge at Abu Dhabi airport looked very old and uninspiring. The good news is that the construction of the new airport is already over 90% completed.

My ratings

This is how I am rating my Business Class experience (vs other airlines):

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Seat9/10
Bed Mode10/10
Dining9/10
Privacy9/10
Service8/10
Cleanliness10/10

Bottom line

Although not quite world-class, Etihad Business Studio is a very good business class product. Service standards and home-ground lounge experience are areas that could be improved.

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