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Members overall score: 92/100 (Read member reviews)


First Apartment  A380
Sydney / Abu Dhabi

Founded back in July 2003, Etihad Airways emerged onto the highly competitive airline scene, operating its inaugural flight to Beirut in November that year.

Creating the company was a bold and somewhat visionary move by Abu Dhabi’s leaders at that time, especially given the significant competition and muscle just down the road: Emirates. Not to mention the fact that during these buoyant times for aircraft manufacturers, acquiring the aircraft for a new fleet required patience. If Etihad was to succeed in its own right, it needed much more than just access to significant amounts of cash—it needed to be truly innovative and gather together one of the best management teams in the business.

Now, some thirteen years later, the combination of cash, talent and a relentless focus on innovation has produced an airline that is not only deserving of your devoted patronage but one that delivers a product and service that takes the guest experience in all classes to a whole new level.

Sure, Etihad is not an absolute ‘airline nirvana’ and, like any large operation, things do go wrong from time to time. And if the airline does have a weakness, it is probably that its ground services can, in times of need, lack authority and the know-how to fix things on-the-spot and definitively for travellers in the premium cabins.

But inflight, it’s a slick operation, and it’s clear why Etihad is winning customers over from its competitors. The airline has come a long way in removing much of the pain associated with long-haul travel and has ‘reimagined’ flying in such a way that it has become, dare I say, a rather pleasurable experience. Read more Golden Palm reviews here.


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