Since a recent upgrade has led me to post a review on Emirates' first class, I decided to give a comparative review of a flight in first class with Etihad that I made last April (I still do not know WTF).
Both products are excellent, with Emirates the gilding and unnecessary luxury reigns, with Etihad it is more a case of executive excellence.
Everything starts in the lounge restaurant (for those who want to eat on the ground and then sleep during the flight), unquestionably the best at CDG airport. Sure, there is not the transit by car to the aircraft offered by Air France first class - since it is at the door right next to the lounge - but there is the private driver to the airport and the hostess from the lounge who will accompany you to your suite on the plane.
The suite is spacious, large leather seat, small seat opposite, large screen, mini bar, large table to eat and work. No mirror, flowers or gilding as with Emirates, but a real place for storing luggage, a function control panel and ceiling lighting with variable colours.
The care kit which comes in a black square is very classy, the code for 24 hours access to the WiFi is much appreciated.
The service tries to be effective, rather than pretentious. I really enjoyed the freshly squeezed juice (I usually do not drink alcohol on airplanes) and of course the meat cooked just as we like it by the on-board chef.
So I have a slight preference for the first class of Etihad over Emirates, but it is mostly a matter of taste and colours, not the level of the product.
However, I won't compare it to the first class at Air France, although the French company brags a lot, which, with its tiny screens, the imposed service times, without WiFi and without the intimacy of suites, it's still a good business, but not exceptional service.
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