Welcome aboard this Ethiopian Airlines 787-9 business class review! If you’re here, chances are you’ve wondered, “What is Ethiopian 787-9 Business Class like?” Perhaps you’ve heard whispers of uncertainty, and you’re navigating the common pain point of doubting whether Ethiopian Airlines business class truly fits in with its Star Alliance partners.I understand your reservations, as I’ve been in a similar position.
I received an audible gasp when I told a fellow Rovos Rail passenger I was flying Ethiopian on my way home from Africa. For an airline that is part of the Star Alliance and flys to more destinations in Afirca than any other, I found this response a bit odd. Having experienced Ethiopian Airlines Business Class several times now, I’m here to offer you a trusted and expert perspective on what it’s really like. As fellow business class travellers debating whether to choose Ethiopian Airlines, you and I share the same goal: to make informed decisions about the airlines we fly.
In this Ethiopian Airlines business class 787 review, we’ll look at the highs and lows of Africa’s largest carrier. Together, we’ll uncover the unique features including Ethiopian Airlines business class food, seats, and the distinctive experiences that make this airline a compelling choice for your African adventure. This is my Ethiopian 787-9 business class review.
Cape Town Ground Experience
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class 787 Check-in
After spending an incredible week exploring Cape Town and the surrounding wine region, I said goodbye to my group and made my way to the Cape Town International Airport. Check-in for my Ethiopian 787-9 business class flight was straightforward with little to no wait at the dedicated business class check-in. The staff was cheerful and had us sorted in minutes.
I was on the first leg of a wild Aeroplan routing that had me going through Addis Ababa, Dubai, and Houston before arriving home in Vancouver. This route was chosen based on business class availability end-to-end but also so I could fly on Emirite A380 business class. Since this routing was going to span three days, we jokingly said goodbye to our luggage (spoiler, it took a week to get home) and made our way to the Cape Town airport lounge.
CPT International Sky Lounge
Our Ethiopian Airlines business class seats got us access to the CPT International Sky Lounge. I was expecting a better Star Alliance lounge option however Johannesburg is the hub city and its airport benefits from better services. Nonetheless, we made our way through the crowded entry and up to the lounge for a pre-flight snack and drink.
The CPT International Sky Lounge was VERY crowded and VERY hot on our visit. The heat in Cape Town that week surely didn’t help but there were several large air conditioners throughout the space which shows, at least, the problem is acknowledged. On the positive, there was a decent selection of snacks and drinks and we were able to find seats tucked away from the large crowd. Stay tuned for my full review.
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class Seats on the 787-9
As I boarded our Ethiopian 787-9 business class flight I was surprised to find an empty cabin. This allowed me to check out a few different Ethiopian Airlines business class seats.
I quickly found that Ethiopian Airlines business class seats on the 787-9 offer a truly comfortable way to fly. With surprisingly spacious seating that reclines into a fully flat bed, these seats provide ample room to relax and get some rest during long-haul flights. The layout is 2-2-2 so aisle access is not available for every passenger. That said, the seats have a well-thought-out design that provides a sense of privacy.
Each seat comes equipped with a large touchscreen entertainment system, a variety of storage compartments, and a comfortable workspace for those who want to stay productive in the air. It’s a blend of functionality and luxury, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
The Ethiopian 787-9 business class seats and cabin certainly aren’t the most stylish in the sky. With bright red the only colour to go with the hard grey plastic, they aren’t much to look at. Still, what points Ethiopian Airlines loses in style are made up in function. I settled in nicely and had more than enough storage to disperse my favourite carry-on accessories and then some.
Service & Amenities
As I found during my Ethiopian Airlines 787-9 business class review, service is top-notch marked by its attentive and accommodating cabin crew. Staff was friendly and attentive from takeoff to touchdown. This was highlighted by the traditional dress worn and the helpful explanations of the food served.
Service started with a hot towel then a choice of orange juice, water, or champagne. Prior to dinner a snack of crackers were served with a drink selection. I asked for a gin and tonic and had a choice of flavoured tonic water which was nice.
The lavatories were clean and basic with nothing of note to write home about, but these washrooms hardly ever are.
Much like the seats, the amenities kit is ugly but functional. The bag contains all the standard items (eye mask, socks, toothbrush, hand lotion etc..) but what I particularly liked is the kit opens up wide with a hook so you can conveniently hang the bag. It is something I would use again camping which is more than I can say for most amenity kits out there.
Lastly, the bedding and blankets were great and I slept very well, something not common for me on long flights. The large green blanket in particular was cozy and made for a comfortable sleep.
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class Food & Drink
What really sets this service apart is the food, specifically the traditional dishes they serve.
Admittedly, I have loved all the Ethiopian meals I have tried in Vancouver and, sadly, I missed out on my food tour in Addis Ababa so keep that in mind when I say that the Ethiopian food on Ethiopian Airlines and in their ADD lounge are the best I have ever had. They serve up a variety of vegetarian and meat dishes along with Injera (Ethiopian flatbread) BEFORE the main meal.
I thought I learned my lesson from my Ethiopian Airlines A350 business class flight where I didn’t know that there was a full 3-course meal AFTER the Ethiopian dishes but I still managed to overeat. It’s that good. So good actually, that I didn’t capture any photos this time around.
For my main, I had Peri-Peri Grilled Chicken which was just OK but I wasn’t. My travel partner had the steak and was also just OK. There was a seasonal fish dish that I wish I tried instead as they seem to do best with local flavours.READ MORE: Turkish Air Business Class Review – The Best Food in the Air?
I followed my main up with an apple pie dish and some really amazing Ethiopian coffee which also came with some chocolates.
Ethiopian Airlines 787-9 Business Class In-Flight Entertainment
Ethiopian Airlines business class 787 in-flight entertainment is a decent offering of new-release blockbuster movies and hit TV shows. Passengers can immerse themselves in a world of entertainment with a generously sized, high-definition touchscreen monitor that also offers a wide selection of music and interactive games.
Whether you’re catching up on the latest Hollywood film, enjoying the classics, or relaxing to your favourite tunes, the in-flight entertainment system adds an extra layer of comfort and enjoyment to your journey. Plus, with a user-friendly interface and a wealth of options, you have the power to curate your own in-flight entertainment experience, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable flight.
Wrapping up this Ethiopian 787-9 Business Class Review
Given the unfavourable comments I previously heard, my journey with Ethiopian Airlines 787-9 business class was a pleasant surprise. From the moment I settled into those spacious and comfortable seats to the delightful culinary experiences and top-notch in-flight entertainment, Ethiopian Airlines truly stands out as THE carrier in Africa. Would I pick them or Emirates or Turkish? No, but given their extensive coverage, I would not shy away from it in the future.
It was a surprising favourite of mine because it shattered any preconceived notions I may have had about what to expect from an airline. The impeccable service, attention to detail, and the perfect balance of modern luxury and cultural authenticity have left a lasting impression.READ MORE: Singapore Air A350-900 Business Class Review