Etihad Airways Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees, and More

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Etihad Airways is the second-largest carrier in the United Arab Emirates, operating from its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Although Etihad has been cutting routes in the last 2 years, it serves many destinations across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific.

Basic Info

Airline: Etihad Airways

Website: Etihad.com

Category: International airline

Frequent Flyer Program: Etihad Guest

Tagline: “From Abu Dhabi to the World”

Number of Passengers Annually: 18.6 million

Fleet: 110

Main Hub: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)

Destinations: 91 destinations across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific

Etihad Airways Route Network
Etihad Airways route network. Image Credit: Etihad

Frequent Flyer Programs

Etihad Airways’ loyalty program, Etihad Guest, rewards guests with miles every time a passenger flies with Etihad or one of their partner airlines.

Miles can be redeemed against future flights, fare upgrades, holidays, charitable donations, and more.

Once members reach the tier status of Silver, Gold, or Platinum, they receive benefits such as priority check-in, increased baggage allowance, and discounted upgrades.

Hot Tip: Explore the best ways to earn lots of Etihad Airways Guest Miles, and you’ll be booking that reward flight sooner than you think!

Ticketing Options

Etihad has 4 different fare types for economy tickets — 2 for business class, and 1 for first class and The Residence.

These fare types offer different levels of flexibility and benefits, such as eligibility for refund and percentage earnings of Etihad Guest Miles. All fare types include carry-on and checked baggage*. First class and The Residence also come with chauffeur service.

Features/Restrictions
Fare TypeRefundableEligible for UpgradeMiles EarnedPriority Check-InLounge AccessDate Changes Permitted
Economy DealNoNo25%NoFeeNo
Economy SaverNoYes50%NoFeeNo
Economy ClassicYes, for a feeYes75%NoFeeNo
Economy FlexYesYes100%YesFeeNo
Business SaverNoNo115%YesYesNo
Business ClassicYes, for a feeYes130%YesYesNo
Business FlexYesYes200%YesYesNo
FirstYesN/A250%YesYesYes
The ResidenceYesN/A400%YesYesYes, for a fee

*Economy Saver Deal is a “carry-on luggage only” fare for routes between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Hot Tip: If you’re traveling light, you have the option of selecting Etihad’s carry-on only deal, available when you book an Economy Saver Deal fare between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Etihad Baggage and Other Fees/Add-Ons

Baggage Fees

Etihad uses a weight concept for the majority of its destinations, with an allocated weight allowance applied depending on the fare type.

Flights to/from the U.S. work on a piece concept, where 2 pieces of luggage are permitted, and the weight is dependent on the cabin.

Etihad Carry-on Allowance

All passengers may bring 1 personal item, in addition to:

  • Economy passengers may bring 1 piece of carry-on that must not exceed 15 pounds (7 kg)
  • Business, First Class, and The Residence passengers may bring 2 pieces of carry-on with a combined weight of 25 pounds (12 kg)

Size Restrictions:

  • Personal item: 15.7 x 11.8 x 15.9 inches (40 x 30 x 15 cm)
  • Carry-on: 19.7 x 15.7 x 9.8 inches (50 x 40 x 25 cm)

Emirates Checked Luggage Allowance

Flights To/From the Americas (Piece Concept):

  • Economy: 2 x 50 pound (23 kg) bags (excluding carry-on luggage only fares)
  • Business and First: 2 x 70 pound (32 kg) bags

Size Restriction (Piece Concept):

  • Maximum linear dimensions of each piece must not exceed 62 inches (158 cm) — 27.5 x 19.7 x 15 inches (70 x 50 x 38 cm)

Flights To/From Other Destinations Outside of the Americas (Weight Concept):

  • Economy: 50 pounds (23 kg)
  • Economy Saver and Classic: 66 pounds (30 kg)
  • Economy Flex: 77 pounds (35 kg)
  • Business Class: 88 pounds (40 kg)
  • First Class: 110 pounds (50 kg)
  • The Residence: 4 x 70 pound (32 kg) bags

Size Restriction (Weight Concept):

  • Maximum linear dimensions of each piece must not exceed 81.5 inches (207 cm) — 35.4 x 28.3 x 17.7 inches (90 x 72 x 45 cm)

Hot Tip: Find out more information about the baggage policy in our Etihad baggage article.

Other Fees and Add-Ons

Change/Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Unfortunately, Etihad is not transparent about its change and cancellation fees, and these depend on the fare type and journey. Passengers should check the terms and conditions at the time of booking.

In addition to the change or cancellation fee itself, Etihad also charges a service fee if this is done through the contact center or a retail office ($20-$45).

Hot Tip: Learn more about the Etihad’s fees in our award flight changes and cancellations article.

Advance Seat Selection

Seat selection is free from check-in (24 hours before the flight,) but fees will be charged for seat selections made earlier than this.

As with its change and cancellation fees, Etihad does not disclose fees for advanced seat selection, but after running a few searches, we found consistent fees of $30-$180.

Unaccompanied Minor: $100 for direct flights; $150 for connecting flights

Transporting a Pet: Passengers are permitted to transport a falcon in the cabin or as checked luggage. Business and first class passengers can transport up to 2 falcons and an economy passenger, 1.

The fees to transport a falcon are:

  • To/from the U.S and Canada: $360
  • Short-haul: $180
  • Medium haul: $250
  • Long haul: $320
  • Ultra-long haul: $390

Onboard Wi-Fi: All passengers can enjoy 90 MB of free Wi-Fi and can purchase additional packages:

  • Lite (50 MB): $5.95
  • Flex (140 MB): $15.95
  • Premium (300 MB): $29.95

Meals and Refreshments: Although meals are included, passengers have the option of purchasing alternative meals, snacks, and drinks.

  • Hot meals: $5-$7
  • Snacks: $3-$7
  • Drinks: $3-$5

How to Avoid Paying Excess Fees and Travel Expenses

There are several rewards cards where charges on your statement can be paid for by using your points/miles balance. We like Capital One cards for this strategy and here are the cards we recommend:

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This no annual fee card comes with a 20,000 mile welcome bonus (worth $200) once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. When you use your card for travel purchases (e.g. baggage fees), use your miles to pay off all, or part of, your statement! This is why we like this card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The "big brother" card to the VentureOne® with a larger 50,000 welcome bonus (worth $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Etihad Lounges

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH):

  • Abu Dhabi Business Class Lounges in Terminals 1 and 3B
  • Abu Dhabi First Class Lounge and Spa in Terminal 3
  • Abu Dhabi — U.S. Premium Lounge
  • Abu Dhabi Arrivals Lounge

Other Etihad Lounge locations:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Economy Class

Etihad Airways Economy Class
Etihad Airways economy class. Image Credit: Etihad

Amenities Include:

  • Complimentary meals and beverages, including alcohol; the number of meals received depends on the flight duration
  • In-seat screen with entertainment on wide-bodied aircraft; E-BOX Stream available to stream entertainment to your personal device on narrow-bodied aircraft
  • Full-size blankets and fluffy pillows
  • Power charging points
  • Over 30 magazines in the e-library
  • 90 MB of free Wi-Fi; additional data available for a fee

Hot Tip: Fancy a bit more space without upgrading to business? With Etihad’s Economy Neighbour-Free, you can bid for the surrounding seats to remain passenger-free throughout your journey.

Business Class

Etihad Airways Airbus A380 Business Class Seat Mood Lighting
Etihad Airways Business Studio. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Amenities Include:

  • Chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to the Etihad airport lounge (where available)
  • Adjustable headrest, back support, and cushion firmness. Lie-flat beds on wide-bodied aircraft. Seat with generous recline and legroom on narrow-bodied aircraft.
  • In-seat screen and entertainment system with over 180 movies, 350 TV shows, and live sports
  • Dine anytime from an à la carte menu
  • A unique socializing area called “The Lobby” is available on the upper deck of the A380
  • ACQUA DI PARMA amenity kit with an eye mask, socks, earplugs, and signature fragrance
  • Access to the arrivals lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport
  • 90 MB of free Wi-Fi; additional data available for a fee

Hot Tip: Want to find out what it’s like flying Etihad business? Read all about Greg’s experience flying Etihad business class on the A380.

First Class

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class Middle Seats
Etihad Airways First Class Suite. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Etihad has 2 fits for First Class. Both offer a private suite, but the airline’s new First Class Apartments (found on the A380) include a separate armchair and bed. Adjoining apartments can also be opened to share the experience with a travel companion. The standard first class suites have a chair that converts into a lie-flat bed.

Amenities Include:

  • Chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Access to the Etihad airport lounge (where available), including Abu Dhabi International Airport’s First Class Lounge and Spa
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • In-seat screen and entertainment system with over 180 movies, 350 TV shows, and live sports
  • Access to Apple Music
  • In-flight chef, boutique wine list, and pairing option with meals
  • ACQUA DI PARMA amenity kit with lip balm, body lotion, and cologne, in addition to the usual toothbrush, socks, and eye mask
  • Access to the arrivals lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport
  • 90 MB of free Wi-Fi; additional data available for a fee
Etihad First Class Apartment - Turndown Service and a Movie
Etihad Airways First Class Apartment. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Additional Amenities Unique to the A380 Include:

  • Onboard shower
  • A unique socializing area called “The Lobby”

Hot Tip: Did you know you can book one of these First Class Apartments on points? Here’s a step-by-step guide on the best ways to book Etihad First Class using points.

The Residence

Etihad Airways The Residence
Etihad Airways The Residence. Image Credit: Etihad

Amenities Include:

  • Chauffeur-driven limousine
  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Private airport lounge in Abu Dhabi International Airport
  • Private 3 room apartment with separate double bed, ensuite shower room, and living area
  • Luxury sleepwear
  • ACQUA DI PARMA amenity kit with lip balm, body lotion, and cologne, in addition to the usual toothbrush, socks, and eye mask
  • Dedicated VIP travel concierge
  • Chilled refreshments cabinet
  • On-demand dining and wine pairing
  • Large screen and entertainment system with over 180 movies, 350 TV shows, and live sports
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Access to the arrivals lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Seat Specs

Etihad has a fairly young fleet of aircraft with just under 40 787 aircraft that are just a few years old.

In 2019, Etihad controversially removed in-seat TV screens from its fleet of Airbus A320s that operate short-haul flights, replacing them with a personal device holder.

Airbus A320
CabinSeat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
Business16 reclining seats49″21″
Economy12032″18.1″
Airbus A321
Business16 reclining seats49″21″
Economy15832″18.1″
Airbus A330-200
Business22 flatbed seats73″20″
Economy24031.5-33″17.5″
Airbus A330-300
First8 closed suites80″30″
Business32 flatbed seats73″20″
Economy19131.5-33″17.5″
Airbus A380-800
First9 closed suites80″29.5″
Business70 flatbed seats73″20″
Economy41531″17.5″

 

Boeing 777-300ER 3 Class
CabinSeat CountSeat PitchSeat Width
First8 closed suites80″29.5″
Business40 flatbed seats73″20″
Economy28231″17.5″
Boeing 777-300ER 2 Class (Layout 1)
Business28 flatbed seats73″20″
Economy37431.5-33″17.5″
Boeing 777-300ER 2 Class (Layout 2)
First8 suites69″20.5″
Business42 angle flatbed seats60″20.5″
Economy31032″17″
Boeing 787-10
Business32 angle flatbed seats73″22″
Economy26731-32″17.1″
Boeing 787-9 (Layout 1 and Layout 2)
First8 closed suites80″26″
Business28 flatbed seats73″22″
Economy19531-32″17.2″

Hot Tip: Find out which aircraft and seat types operate to and from the U.S. with our definitive guide to Etihad’s direct routes from the U.S.

Etihad Customer Satisfaction


Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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