As a consequence, Etihad has gone through some major passenger experience shifts, such as farming out their lounges to other operators, cutting down on chauffeur for passengers and knocking off the spa. Economy class passengers now have the option to buy Lounge Access, buy-on-board products such as First Class Pyjamas, bid for a neighbour-free Economy seat to name a few. They even made standard seat selection paid except for those who book Economy Flex. Last year, Etihad Airways launched Economy Space, their version of extra legroom Economy seat cabin.
Qatar Airways recently introduced a new Economy class seat for short-haul operations with their narrowbodies, along with a new dining experience. Etihad Airways, today launched a new Economy class product for their narrowbodies at the Arabian Travel Market.
Etihad removes seatback TVs and moves to bring your own device
Etihad Airways will refurbish all their 23 A320/321 aircraft with new extra-spatial design seats by UK based Acro. All of these aircraft will be reconfigured by August 2019. The slimline seats will have fast-charging USB ports as well as an adjustable phone and tablet holder.
Passengers can wirelessly stream more than 300 hours of free inflight entertainment through Etihad Airways’ onboard Panasonic eXW system. Widebody aircraft will continue to retain personal seatback screens.
Etihad’s new dining experience
Major changes are also coming to the soft product. Etihad Airways is introducing a new dining experience for economy class. While Etihad is advertising it as a redesigned and enhanced complimentary dining concept on all its flights, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Etihad Airways has introduced a new curved triangular base plate design made using recycled materials. The design is intended to reflect the heritage of Abu Dhabi.
According to Etihad Airways,
On journeys of over three hours, the main course of the core complimentary dining service is now a larger, contemporary bistro-style meal which is higher in quality, with a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients and more destination-focused choices.
Judging by what Etihad Airways has put out in their YouTube video, the overall meal size is actually smaller but the main dish may be larger as promised. Etihad Airways will now serve just a two-course meal. There won’t be any salad or appetiser. The changes have been happening since the start of April 2019.
Etihad Airways has clarified that desserts will indeed be served but there will be a service change.
Delicious dessert items will be served separately with the after-meal coffee and tea service, reducing clutter on the tray during the main meal. On shorter flights, dessert will be served with the main meal.
In addition to this, Etihad Airways will be expanding its buy onboard menu to include a Sweet or Salty menu. The menu will have a Tapas box, hot dishes, and premium sweet and savoury snacks, all available for purchase. Etihad has tied up with Bateel, Starbucks, Thorntons, Cawston Press, Heavenly, Perrier and Barbells for the buy onboard menu.