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Etihad’s new business seat …. is BA Club Suite (and save £150 at Etihad with Amex Offers)

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Etihad has had a rough time of it in the past few years. A major restructuring took place before covid and the airline decided to shift focus from trying to compete with Emirates in scale to becoming a mid-sized boutique airline.

That change meant it had more aircraft than it could ever hope to operate. This includes five A350s which have sat in storage since their delivery in 2019.

It now appears that Etihad is ready to dust these birds off and start flying them because it has taken one to the Dubai Air Show.

Etihad's new business seat

Introducing Etihad’s new business class suite

Inside the A350 is Etihad’s newest business class seat. No official photographs have been taken but there is a video circulating on Twitter of CEO Tony Douglas getting a tour.

You may find it uncannily familiar. That is because it is the same seat as BA’s Club Suite, albeit with Etihad’s choice of colour scheme and fabrics.

It has the same door and same new tray table mechanism as Club Suite. Unlike British Airways, however, Etihad has chosen to install a beautiful little mood light in every suite which I always thought BA should have done. It softens the seat and gives it a bit more atmosphere.

Like British Airways, Etihad is not installing a First Class cabin on its A350s. First is now only available on five Boeing 787-9s, as the A380 fleet has been permanently retired. It looks increasingly likely that Etihad will move to a Malaysia Airlines style offering with ‘business plus’, although CEO Doug Thomas insists “it’s not the end of first class.”

I’m not complaining. The Collins Super Diamond design, which is what both Club Suite and Etihad’s new suite are based on, is my favourite ‘off the shelf’ business class seat. It manages to perfectly balance personal space, in flight entertainment and a flexible tray table.

We’ll let you know when we get some official images from Etihad.

PS. Save £150 on Etihad with Amex Offers

A new American Express cashback offer has appeared for Etihad Airways. Assuming you are targetted, you can get 15% cashback up to a maximum of £150 (so £1,000 in bookings) on flights from UK airports.

etihad amex offer

The offer applies to all bookings – there is no minimum spend. You need to book by the end of the year.


How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (February 2023)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Waddle says:

    Looks great and I’m sure there was a commercial reason to go for a new business class seat because, personally, I quite liked the previous version. Was quite Q-suite-esque and there was more choice for couples/singles due to the alternating arrangement.

    • Phillip says:

      I agree! I’m a big fan of the business studio and I think it still holds its own today nearly a decade down the line both in comfort and style! Certainly superior to what Emirates offers in business, especially on their 777s!

  • meta says:

    Some cards also have a version of £200 off £500 spend.

    • flyforfun says:

      And some cards have none. 🙁
      First time in a long time a discount could have influenced my choice of airlines for an upcoming trip. Will stick to the tried and tested.

  • ChrisC says:

    What’s the implication of this on BAs roll out of the seat?

    We were always told that the speed of installation was constrained by the manufacturer only being able to produce 3 seats a day.so it takes most of a month to produce enough to be able to refit a cabin.

    • Rhys says:

      The planes have been sitting around for 2 years!

      Shouldn’t have any implications for BA. 3 seats per day was (as I understood it) the BA output, not the manufacturer’s total output.

  • Dominic says:

    “seat pitch doesn’t matter anymore”

    Discuss.

    • Rich says:

      Well I flew club suite for the first time last week and am 2m / nearly 6’7” and the seat was fine with the narrowing foot stool area not a problem which it had been when I flew Etihad business on their A380. So pitch didn’t cause me any issues.

      • Dominic says:

        Would you say the same in an economy seat?

        I ask, as that’s what one of the (I assume?) Etihad execs said in the video for their Economy (+ extra space) seat (to note, their pitch is perfectly acceptable, in any case)

        • Rich says:

          Sorry, I had missed that! No I wouldn’t! I struggle with BA short haul outside of row 1 / exit rows and would never ever fly long haul economy again and thankfully I can afford to avoid it. For someone my height I would say it’s actually dangerous what with DVT risk etc. and the person in front can’t recline their seat beyond my knee caps!

          • BSI1978 says:

            I’m ‘only’ 6′ 3″, but would have to agree with all of this. Do have to stretch the budget at times but that’s one of the reasons I value this site!

  • Manya says:

    Has anyone seen any worthwhile fares from booking direct that would also make use of the Amex offers?

    In most cases I have seen cheaper via booking through a 3rd party.

  • Paul says:

    In that video you can hear them say that their A350 will be 10 across in Y from airframe 6+.

    • Rhys says:

      Didn’t listen to the audio….that sounds awful!

    • flyforfun says:

      The airframe is wider though. Not sure by how much and if it justifies an extra seat. I’m guessing it will be like when the 777 were crammed with an extra column of seats and the width went down from around 18″ to 17″ with the narrowing of the aisles. I never realised and ended up on Emirates 10 abreast 777 years ago. Never again. Shoulder wars for 18 hours. Did a B787 in Y with their narrow seats. 4 hrs first sector doing the same. The next 14 hours I had baby in a car seat next to me and that was better as I had all the shoulder room and no arm rest fights either.

  • Dominic says:

    FYI you can also get 10% off with Amex (I think exc taxes, so not a huge amount) using this link: https://www.etihad.com/en/book/special-offers/promotion/american-express

    Should stack with the other offer.

  • Ben says:

    I have £200 off £500 spend on Etihad flights on plat plus supp plat, but not on supp golds.

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