Etihad Airways First Apartment AUH-JFK A388

I'm starting this post with a selfie of me showering on a plane at 36,000 feet, flying at 509kts over Eastern Greenland.

Because really, nothing is going to top this from this point forward.

At the end of March American Airlines is updating their award chart. Almost always this means the cost of award redemption is going to up...way up. I've been meaning to try the famous First Apartment on Etihad, but never got around to it since Abu Dabhi, their hub, is out of the way. With the impending devaluation, I got off my ass, found availability, and booked the flight. Ended up booking a long circular route: UME-ARN-TXL-AUH-JFK-PIT-JFK-FRA-ARN-UME.

But really, it ended up being UME-ARN-TXL-AUH-IAD-JFK-CLT-PIT-JFK-FRA-ARN-UME thanks to diverted flight + misconnect.
 

 First class check-in, Abu Dabhi

First class check-in, Abu Dabhi

 Gate. Abu Dabhi has US CIS pre-clearance, which means you clear US CIS before you get on the plane, and when you land you don't need to deal with immigration anymore

Gate. Abu Dabhi has US CIS pre-clearance, which means you clear US CIS before you get on the plane, and when you land you don't need to deal with immigration anymore

 2nd biggest first class cabin in the world, after The Residence on the same Etihad flight

2nd biggest first class cabin in the world, after The Residence on the same Etihad flight

 Like the Lufthansa First Class that is being phased out, it has a separate seat and bed

Like the Lufthansa First Class that is being phased out, it has a separate seat and bed

 Couch with pullout bed to the right

Couch with pullout bed to the right

 Your own vanity in your "apartment"

Your own vanity in your "apartment"

 And a mini-fridge too. No, the drinks aren't gonna cost extra

And a mini-fridge too. No, the drinks aren't gonna cost extra

 One central aisle in the first class section. Apartments to either side. The Residence to the left in the front. Shower to the right

One central aisle in the first class section. Apartments to either side. The Residence to the left in the front. Shower to the right

 Couch folded out into a bed

Couch folded out into a bed

 Starter

Starter

 They emphasize that the meal service is anytime, on-demand. Here is a made-to-order omelette

They emphasize that the meal service is anytime, on-demand. Here is a made-to-order omelette

 I will say that I've had better steaks on other airlines. It is still quite good

I will say that I've had better steaks on other airlines. It is still quite good

 The shower control. Each passenger gets 5 minutes of water. The bar shows you how much water you have left. Showing by far is the most decadent thing I've ever done

The shower control. Each passenger gets 5 minutes of water. The bar shows you how much water you have left. Showing by far is the most decadent thing I've ever done

 Between first class and business class is a nice little lounge area

Between first class and business class is a nice little lounge area

 Some of the alcohol selection by the lounge

Some of the alcohol selection by the lounge

 This is one of the most amazing flight I've had. Better flash a faux gang sign and represent the west coast.

This is one of the most amazing flight I've had. Better flash a faux gang sign and represent the west coast.

Etihad flies the First Apartment between Abu Dhabi - London and Abu Dhabi - New York. I decided to book the New York flight because it gives me 13 hours to enjoy this cabin and service instead of just 6 to London. Funny enough, as we are about to land in New York, the airport was closed due to weather, so we had to divert to Washington. However, Washington didn't have the facilities to service an A380 and Etihad probably didn't want to let us off anyway, so we sat on the plane in Washington until we finally took off and headed back to New York.

Total time on the plane: 21 hours. I definitely got my 90,000 AA miles + $35 worth.

Can you imagine how much it would suck to be stuck in economy for 21 hours?