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Cigar Industry

Etihad Airways Combines Cigars and First-Class Flying

Aug 11, 2016 | By David Savona
Etihad Airways Combines Cigars and First-Class Flying

First-class flying is all about comfort—boarding before the rest of the passengers, enjoying a far better seat and being pampered with drinks, food and service not found in other parts of the plane. But Etihad Airways has something extra for that level of service—first-class cigars.

In May, the 16-year-old airline opened a cigar lounge within its new Etihad Airways First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi airport. Access to the cigar lounge is free for any traveler flying first class on Etihad.

The lounge has 16 zones, including an à la carte restaurant, showcase bar, fitness room, spa, barber, nail salon, television room, relaxation room and the cigar lounge. The cigar lounge is small, but stylish, with a trio of curvy, wide-bottomed chairs, light-paneled wood and a luxe atmosphere. The cigar menu is well crafted and almost entirely Cuban, and the cigars and the drinks are served free of charge for those flying first class.

Etihad Airways First Class lounge

There are three Cohibas (ranging from the dainty Panetela to the fatter Siglo II and Siglo IV), two Montecristos (a diminutive No. 4 and a fat Double Edmundo), a Romeo y Julieta Petit Churchill, a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial (the tubed version was Cigar Aficionado's No. 4 cigar of 2014 with a score of 94 points), an Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 from the Dominican Republic (the lone non-Cuban cigar) and a Bolivar Emiratos, the Regional Edition Cuban smoke made specifically for the United Arab Emirates that launched in 2010.

Each cigar has a spirit pairing, if you so desire, and the cigars and spirits come at no extra charge beyond your first-class ticket. Long delays in such a spot would hardly be upsetting, given those conditions.

The airline has partnerships with American Airlines, Air France and KLM, among others, and it serves such U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

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