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Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways  
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



It’s unique, it’s fresh, and it’s bursting with flavor. It may seem twisted, or maybe a little odd, but nevertheless, it’s totally new!

Never before seen you may think, rightfully so, as it’s the first time!

It’s all about you, and only you. Maybe you’ll like it, or maybe not. Change is in the air, somewhere out there! Sometimes you’ll see it, others you won’t! The past has been refined,
Inspired Service defined.


Welcome to my 9th Trip Report.


This TR will cover the following USA flights:


  • - AUHJFK on Etihad Airways A340-500 in Pearl Business Class
  • - JFKAUH on Etihad Airways A340-500 in Diamond First Class
  • - Helicopter tour around New York City

My previous Trip Reports can be found here:

CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)

It was my nine-day summer break, in which I decided to go to the USA with my brother. In spite of all the trips I have made so far this year, believe it or not people, this was my first long break from work this year! While this TR will only cover the New York portion of the holiday, three days of it were also spent in Minneapolis (and a separate TR for that).

Now that the EK A380 flights had entered the selection mix, this posed some difficulty in choosing the appropriate airline. Who wouldn’t take up another opportunity to get on the A380? Well, the fact that I had some Etihad Guest miles to spare was the one and only decision factor in this case.

One thing to note was that it wasn’t so easy to secure this award ticket, and I was somewhat discouraged from all that FFP-fiasco. These miles are meant to be used and abused, not saved in some account that keeps them as intangible as can be. Needless to say that even as a Marco Polo Club member, I need to plan ahead one year in advance for an upgrade! Boy am I longing for KLM’s Flying Dutchman days! So yes, I shall be closely reviewing my FFP policy during the next several months.

For my AUH-JFK portion, I will focus only on certain features, as I have previously reported it in the past (Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK). There have been some differences such as in the in-flight service, and so these will be highlighted here.

Before my flight, I had consulted with my ‘insider source’ on some intelligence gathering. I was told that the aircraft that will take me to JFK will be A6-EHD, EY’s newest A345.


Tuesday August 19th, 2008

Ground Handling:
Check-in went smoothly without any hiccups. However, one thing to note here was that Etihad has now implemented its own above-wing self-handling at AUH hence, doing away with our own Abu Dhabi Airport Services. The staff seemed a little slow and unbothered, but apart from the agents wearing EY rather than ADAS uniforms, there wasn’t much difference worth noting. The overall check-in procedures were otherwise almost identical to my previously reported experience.

The New Premium Lounge
I was quite anxious to experience this newly renovated lounge. Having the same location as the previous Premium lounge however, I didn’t expect much improvement. The same space has now been separated into two sections, one for Diamond First, and the other for Pearl Business. Heading towards the Pearl section on the right side of the lounge, I entered what I believed to be the most congested and dirtiest area in the airport. There were passengers practically lying on the floor, others sitting on laps of others, and some even had their bare feet up on the couches. The buffet seemed nice however, although not much different than before. As there was absolutely no place to sit, I went back to the reception where the agent handed back our lounge invites, and asked us to go to the Airport Hotel lounge, which was even filthier and filled with drunk and obnoxious passengers. In fact, it was tonight where I had realized the true effects that congestion has on AUH.

I realize that there is practically no space available at the airport for a bigger EY lounge though, and that is probably the only contributing factor to its current disastrous state. So until Terminal 3 is up and running, my preference will remain in lounging by the main satellite building.


Wednesday August 20th, 2008

Boarding
Once on board, I was greeted by the cabin manager, a short Filipina dressed in the new uniform. Cabin Managers on Etihad can now be distinguished from the rest by their light grey uniform. The female uniform is especially nice as the hat is now slightly retro-looking that it reminded me of the older days of flying, and the skirt is rather short, reaching slightly above the knees. Furthermore, female Cabin Managers also wear bright red gloves giving the overall look more from a hotel rather than an airline.

Unfortunately, this time around I was not escorted to my seat like the last time.


Flight Information

Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight No.: EY 101
Routing: Abu Dhabi – New York (JFK)
Scheduled Departure Time: 02:05AM
Actual Departure Time 02:30AM (Pushback)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 08:30AM
Actual Arrival Time: 08:30AM (touchdown)
Equipment: Airbus A340-500
Registration: A6-EHD


Inspired Service
This is the new in-flight service on Etihad’s Diamond First and Pearl Business classes. It was introduced during the beginning of this year (I think), on flights to LHR and SYD, and is gradually being introduced on the airline’s long-haul network. This service allows passengers the flexibility in choosing when to eat and drink from a new menu that features “a la-carte” and “kitchen” style choices. This means that there are no pre-set meal times although orders are taken right after take-off, should you want anything to eat. As for the remainder of the flight, the passenger is given the freedom to choose any item on the menu at any time.

Another element of the new Inspired Service is the lack of trolleys in the aisles. Each person is served individually by the crew, and not in groups, nor with a trolley. For example when I took my seat after boarding, a crew approached me with only my menu and amenity kit to hand to me, and asked what I wanted to drink before takeoff. After so, another crew approached me to hand me my hot towel; hot towels are served to each passenger individually, and not off a tray to everyone.

The outcome is a brilliant idea; however I have found it to cause some congestion in the aisles. As each passenger had to be served individually, this meant that the crew had to go back and forth between the galley and the seats a countless number of times for welcome drinks, menus & amenity kits, and hot towels. Furthermore, given the short time between boarding and pushback, all these service elements had to be accomplished which meant the crew seemed a little rushed.


China Airlines A333 (B-18312) From TPE, With Continued 5th Freedom Service To VIE



The Onboard Food & Beverage Manager
Etihad now has onboard Food & Beverage Managers, whose exact role I am still unsure about. One F&B manager is assigned to each flight, and they are dressed in a white jacket. From what I was told, they overlook the food presentation for the premium classes, and are active cabin crew in Diamond First. Furthermore, they are available to be consulted for their recommendation of beverage with your meal and so on and so forth. However, from the way I saw it, these F&B managers are a hybrid between Gulf Air’s Sky Chef and a regular cabin crew, with no clear role from either side.


The Menu



Kitchen
Anytime

Enjoy full a la carte dining or select individual dishes from the Anytime menu. All the dishes on the menu are available at anytime during the flight today

Tuna stemperata steak, caper and olive sauce (L)

Warm club sandwich with crisps

Eggplant involtini with saffron rice (T)

Hout bil tamatem wal zaytoun (T)
(Cod steaks in tomato sauce with ginger and black olives)

High Tea

Calorie rich bedtime cookies

Arabic baklava (T)

Lemon and walnut popcorn with paprika salt

Warm bella olives with garlic, orange and rosemary

Swedish crisp breads

Baked cheesecake with passion fruit coulis

Fresh seasonal fruit, watermelon jelly

Providore natural ice cream

Selection of cheese




Breakfast Brunch
A la carte

Enjoy full a la carte dining or select individual dishes from the Anytime menu. All the dishes on the menu are available at anytime during the flight today

Fresh white bean taboulleh, pancetta of masala chicken (T)

Prawn and mint salad

--------------------

Prawn curry with rice, raita yoghurt (S)

Soft cous cous with tagine of chicken breast (T)

Arabic braised lamb with pearl barley and gremolata (T)

Rolled Thai omelette with smoked trout (L)

Served with:
Organic five-leaf salad


--------------------

Selection of cheese


Lintzer-torte with crème fraiche

Mini Pavlovas with lemon curd and fresh berries

Fresh seasonal fruit, watermelon jelly

Providore natural ice cream



[S] Spicy [L] Light [T] Taste of Arabia
All meals served are prepared according to Halal requirements. We apologise if your choice selection is not available due to previous guest selection.


Wine List



The Flight
An announcement was made by our captain, advising us of our routing to New York. He also informed us that the flight time for tonight’s flight was to be 13 hours and 45 minutes; the longer the flight, the more fun for me!

Shortly after, a Tunisian cabin crew, Wafa, appeared in the aisle. A few moments later she arrived at my seat.

“Monsieur, what would you like to drink after takeoff?”
“A Bloody Mary please”

The doors were closed at 2:25AM, and as the ambience silenced down, five minutes later A6-EHD pushed back with her engines gradually powering on to life. Fifteen minutes later, we took off to the dark skies and began our ULH to JFK.


IFE Flight Info



Moving Map



After the seatbelt sign was switched off, the cabin crew got up to prepare for the service. Shortly afterwards Wafa appeared in the aisle taking meal orders from everyone.

“What would you like to eat?”
“May I have the club sandwich and the cheesecake afterwards please?”


Cabin At Night



Shortly afterwards, my infamous in-flight Bloody Mary was brought to me, with an ‘Amuse Bouche’ that consisted of something, with caviar. I nibbled around it, avoiding the caviar, and it tasted, well, different.


Bloody Mary & Amuse Bouche



Later, my club sandwich was brought to me, followed by the cheesecake.


Club Sandwich



Cheesecake



Three of my favorite food/meal items were on offer in this new menu, which are the club sandwich, high tea, and the cheesecake, so no doubt I was to have an enjoyable culinary experience on this flight. As expected, the sandwich was perfectly prepared, with no butter, and was just warm enough. The cheesecake was also mouth-watering.

After my table was cleared, the Filipina Cabin Manager approached me to ask how I found everything so far. After a quick chat, I learned that she has been in her role as Cabin Manager for 8 months so far, and although it still seems a bit overwhelming, it is also a lot more fun.

Judging by her rather junior level as a Cabin Manager, I could only assume the rest of her subordinate crew members were close to brand new in their roles. Nevertheless, the service seemed quite alright so far.

I then turned my seat into a fully flat bed and snoozed for a good 4 hours, only to wake up when it was already light outside.

The View Outside: How Can You Not Love Those Engines?



It was time for high tea, in some far away time-zone somewhere, but nevertheless, that is exactly what I decided to order; with coffee. It originally came with tuna sandwiches, in which I decided to skip, and have only the muffins and the scone. It was absolutely fantastic!


High Tea, High Flight



After my meal, I powered on my IFE and watched Kung-Fu Panda, which I found to be quite amusing and the right movie to watch at the time. After the movie, I decided to sleep some more, and only woke up about three hours before landing. By that time, the mood lighting had been activated.

Mood Lighting


Many of the passengers by then were ordering their final meal, in which I decided to do the same. Wafa approached me again, with a smile.

“Would you like anything to eat for breakfast Monsieur?”
“Yes, may I have the taboulleh to start, and then the chicken cous cous please?”
“Certainly, would you like a Bloody Mary with that?”
“Yes please”
“Very spicy like last time?”
“Definitely”

Breakfast Set-Up



Arabic Mezze-Style Starter



Butter, Sea-Salt & Pepper, and Amazing Bread



Taboulleh & Chicken Starter: Large Portion For A Starter!



Cous Cous



I loved the new presentation of the meals, and for the first time, I found these meal trays to be rather tasteful for a Business Class product. The food, as always, was of very high quality, and great taste.

After my table was cleared, I decided to walk to the back of the Economy Class cabin for a quick stretch. The cabin was jam-packed.

Coral Economy Class



At 7:55AM New York time, we started our initial descent towards JFK International Airport. Also, the fasten seatbelt sign was switched on, and everyone returned to their seats. The crew began their preparations for landing, and collected the headsets.

On Approach: What Airfield Is This? Anyone?



At exactly 8:30AM A6-EHD touched down at JFK, bringing this flight to an end. A few minute taxi, and we arrived at the gate.

Taxiing To The Gate





When the seatbelt sign was switched off, everyone got up to gather their belongings in preparation to exit the aircraft. I gathered my things, and proceeded down the aisle, thanked the crew for their effort and went down the aerobridge and into JFK. Immigration and customs were a breeze, and within no time, we were heading out to the hotel in Manhattan.

CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



After a fantastic stay in Manhattan, I dreaded the fact that it was time to head back. However, I had the return flight to look forward to. Perhaps my last, and probably only time, I sat in First Class was on KLM's Royal Class from AMS to DTW. So this trip in Diamond First was to be a unique one.


Friday August 29th, 2008

I woke up at 4:30AM to shower, get ready, and prepare for the trip. I then had my coffee and by 6:30AM, I checked out of the hotel. By that time, my airport transfer was waiting at the entrance of the hotel. By 6:40AM we left the hotel for JFK.

I was dropped off at the fabulous Terminal 4 by 7:10AM, where I had a cigarette before heading inside the building for check-in.


Etihad Airways Drop-Off Area



At around 7:15AM I headed inside to find that the check-in counters had already opened. What I found to be rather strange however, was that security staff was standing at the end of the queue area scanning all Etihad passengers’ passports into their laptops. If this was Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or even Amsterdam, on a flight going to the U.S., then I would find it normal. But this is the first time I see it happening the other way around. This was never the case on any Emirates flight I flew on from New York, and I confirmed that by hopping over to the nearby EK counters to find nothing of that sort. Does anyone know why this is the case?

Another observation was that the check-in staff is no longer dressed in Etihad uniforms. A previous Trip Report on the JFK inaugural flight showed them dressed in EY’s uniform; not sure if that was only for the first flight or not though.

Etihad Check-In Counters



Heading past the crowd and straight through to the Diamond First section, I presented my passport to the security agent, who checked my passport and let me through to check-in. At the check-in counter, I handed my documents to the agent, who processed my way through without a hassle. Within seconds, I was handed back my passport and ticket, and given my boarding pass, fast track card, and lounge invite.

Boarding Pass



Lounge Invite



Fast-Track Card



I headed towards the lounge, all the while thinking that Etihad uses the Swiss lounge for some reason. After arriving at the LX lounge and finding it closed, I realized that there was another common use lounge called “The Lounge” which is used by Etihad. I arrived at the reception desk and handed my lounge invite to the agent, who also noted down information off my boarding pass and welcomed me inside. By 8AM I was inside the lounge.


The Lounge



It was an interesting lounge I must say. A small area, however given the time of day, it comfortably served the purpose. Although the food selection was rather mediocre, I found the ambience of the lounge quite pleasing. However should your flight be delayed for several hours, the available seating may not be appropriate. The staff on the other hand, was very friendly and kind.

Inside The Lounge

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/New%20York01/030.jpg









This Is What Made Me Love This Lounge






Poor Selection Of Food





A waiter approached my seat and asked what I wanted to order, so I asked for a bagel, and some Orange Juice. I also helped myself to a muffin at the counter.


Bagel & OJ




Muffin



I then sent a text message to my ‘insider source’ for some intelligence gathering on today’s flight. A few weeks back I was told that A6-EHA was assigned to operate the flight. However today I learned that Alpha was not doing it, and instead, it was good old A6-EHD again! The same aircraft that brought me here last week, will be taking me back today! Furthermore a good friend of my ‘insider source’ was operating the flight today and I was promised a visit to the crew rest area! Life is good!


The Usual Morning Mix At JFK: SA A343 & AI 77L



At 8:30AM, my Etihad aircraft arrived from Abu Dhabi naturally stealing the spotlight from her second-best peers.


A6-EHD Arriving On Time From AUH



By 9AM I got bored of the lounge so I thought I would head towards the gate. I left the lounge and walked around for a little, before heading towards security, which of course was the usual hustle and bustle. By 9:30AM I was at gate B22. Sitting right across from our holding area, was our crew, waiting to board the aircraft.


Gate B22



The Crew That Will Operate Today’s Flight



The Beautiful A340-500







TAM A332 (PT-MVG)



The Fabulous SAA A343 (ZS-SXC)



By 10:10AM a boarding announcement was made, calling for passengers that require help, in addition to premium passengers to board the aircraft first, followed by Coral Economy passengers who will board when their respective row numbers are called out.

I gathered my things and proceeded through the queue. Again, a security staff was at the end of the queue who checked my passport before allowing me through. I handed my boarding pass to the Swissport agent, who tore off her portion and handed me back my stub. She wished me a pleasant flight, after which I headed through the aerobridge.

I arrived at Door 2L of the aircraft, where Jon, a Spanish male Cabin Manager and a Romanian Laura were greeting everyone. Laura took one look at my boarding pass and instantly smiled.

“Aha, Mr. Hawi, Welcome on board! My colleague will escort you to your seat”
“Thanks”
“Enjoy your flight!”

By 10:15AM I was on board.

CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

As we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew got up to prepare for the service when the seatbelt sign was switched off.


In-Seat Techno-Station



IFE Controller & Telephone



Seat-Controller







Leg Space



Windows



Mini Bar



When I tried to play around with the seat controllers to try the different positions, I realized that the seat in fact was a little flimsy. I had heard previously that the seat wasn’t of high quality at all, and was known to consistently malfunction. At times when I pressed a button to move my seat forward, sometimes it moved back, and so on and so forth.

As I was exploring my seat functionalities, the F&B Manager appeared, and placed a hot towel for me by my seat.


Hot Towel



Shortly afterwards, Bouthaina arrived at my seat to offer me a sleeper suit.

“Sir, would care for a sleeper suit for today’s flight?”
“Yes please”
“Will medium be ok for you?”
“Actually, I’ll take a large instead please”


Sleeper Suit



The F&B Manager then reappeared with Arabic Coffee.


Arabic Coffee



The World Of Etihad



Poor Mood Lighting On Today’s Flight!



Bouthaina was passing by taking everyone’s drink orders. As she arrived at my seat and took my order, I requested my very usual Bloody Mary. I really need to try something new!

A few minutes later, she returned with my drink and with an ‘Amuse Bouche’ which consisted of lobster with custard. Yes, as the name implied, it was weird!


Bloody Mary & Amuse Bouche



The Food & Beverage Manager At Work



As everyone finished their drinks, and the crew collected the empty glasses, Bouthaina passed around to take lunch orders from everyone.

“Sir, what would like to eat?”
“I’ll have the soup, then the chicken with the salad, and rhubarb crumble for dessert please”
“Would you like still or sparkling water with your lunch?”
“Still water please”

Shortly afterwards, my table was set up with the necessary linens, silverware, and glasses, and all the usual condiments. Also, an Arabic style starter was set on my table similar to what I had on my previous flight in Pearl.


Table Set-Up









As soon as I finished my tasty starter, it was promptly cleared and replaced with my soup. The soup was perfectly heated and tasted great!


Soup



Chicken & Salad Came Next: A Bit Bland!





Followed By Dessert: Fantastic!





As soon as I was through with lunch, Bouthaina immediately cleared my table. Feeling very full, I thought to turn my seat into a bed and watch some IFE. As easy as that sounded, it turned out to be quite the effort in trying to get my seat to turn flat, until it completely froze. The cabin Manager (Jon) noticed my struggles with the seat and immediately offered to help by resetting the seat from a button that had to be accessed from under the carpeting somewhere.

“Sir, let me try to reset the seat from the back. If it doesn’t work we will have to do it manually for you”
“No problem”
“Would you like us to make your bed?”
“Yes please”
“No problem, please have a seat in the lounge, while I fix this for you”


Dirty-Kitchen



Bar Area Before Setting Up



Bar Area With Set-Up





The Onboard Lounge



As shown in the pictures above, the lounge offered the basic snacks, mini sandwiches, juices, and fruit. It was a very comfortable area actually, but unfortunately it was mostly occupied by the different families who wanted their social privacies and to also walk their screaming babies. It definitely does not compare to the Onboard Lounge on the Emirates A380 however! But that is a different story altogether!

Ten minutes later Jon returns to inform me that the problem has been fixed and that my bed is ready.


My Bed



In Bed



After sleeping for four hours, I woke up and it had already turned dark outside. I then decided to watch some IFE and play around on my laptop for a little while. Half way through as I was flipping channels around, my IFE froze, but restored by itself 30 minutes later (this kept happening throughout the rest of the flight). Feeling hungry again, I opted for the club sandwich, as on my previous flight.


Club Sandwich



The Lavatory





Amenities Dumped Like That Is So Not First Class!



After my visit to the lavatory, I hung around by the galley to stretch, when I found Joanne in the adjacent Pearl galley.

“So how is everything so far?”
“Fantastic, thanks”
“ ‘Insider source’ mentioned that you wanted to visit the crew rest area, so I can definitely let you take a quick look as the Cabin Manager will not allow anyone to go in there because some crew are sleeping”

After some chatting at the galley, I asked one of the crew to clear my bed as I wasn’t planning on sleeping any more. By then, it was starting to get brighter outside.


Cabin View In The Dark





Gradually Getting Brighter Outside









Approximately two hours before landing, I ordered my third and final meal; again, high tea! I just couldn’t resist! My table was immediately set up, and my plate and green tea placed. This time it came with chicken sandwiches, which was much better.


High Tea



As soon as I finished my meal and my table was cleared, Joanne appeared by my seat.

“I have asked the Cabin Manager and he agreed that you can also go inside the crew rest now as all the have awoken and are not in there anymore”
“Can I take pictures of it?”
“Absolutely, follow me!”


Staircase Leading To The Crew-Rest



The Bunk Beds!



Being my first time to personally see a crew rest area, it felt like something out of the military; quite cosy actually, but I wonder how much sleep can the crew actually get in those beds.

At 7:25AM the captain made an announcement informing us that we were about to start out initial descent towards Abu Dhabi International Airport. Five minutes later the seatbelt sign was switched on, and everyone returned to their seats and prepared for landing.

The crew made their final preparations, and also collected the headsets. Bouthaina also passed around collecting any menus in sight. Naturally, I played the usual ‘pretend-to-be-sleeping’ trick because my menu was, well, my menu now!


Cabin Towards The End Of The Flight



As We Approached AUH



At exactly 8AM, A6-EHD touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport, bringing an end to this flight, and to my great 9-day holiday in the USA. A quick taxi to the gate, and chocks were on in no time.

As soon as the seatbelt sign was switched off, everybody got up to gather their belongings in preparation to deplane. We were let out first as soon as the doors had been opened. As I walked towards the door, I thanked Joanne and the rest of the crew for their efforts and proceeded through the aerobridge and into AUH.

Immigration was no hassle whatsoever as I had my e-gate card. My bags also came out within reasonable time, and within 20 minutes I was landside. I walked to my office building where I had parked my car, and headed straight home!

In conclusion, I felt that in comparison to my last Etihad trip in February’08, the service level definitely had its ups, but also some downs as well. The new Inspired service is a fresh and innovative idea in my opinion, that makes Etihad quite unique (especially in Pearl Business) in comparison to other airlines. On the downside however, the service lacked that personal touch that I have lately gotten accustomed to. Service at times seemed a little rushed, but that is because so many new elements have to be incorporated into it. Perhaps with a little fine-tuning, there will be enough time for that personal touch, which I believe is the icing on the cake!

With regards to Pearl Business and Diamond First, Inspired Service has only decreased the differences between the two products. Meals are relatively similar in both classes, which indicate to me that Pearl Business Class cuisine has been brought up to First Class standards; the differences are nothing too significant actually. In my opinion however, my preference will be towards Pearl Business Class as I thought that the meal presentations and the services were more unique for a product of its kind. Furthermore the first class seat is a very comfortable one indeed, but a little flimsy as several seats on during flight had to be reset, including my own, and one other which was deemed inoperable for entire flight.


Goodies



Amenity Kits: HUGE First Class Kit On The Right!






The remainder of this report will include pictures of New York.


CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Helicopter Tour Around New York City
























Leg Space With A View!











Thank you all for reading my Trip Report. I hope that you enjoyed it, and your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Future Trips:

September 30th – October 4th: Amman, Royal Jordanian Economy Class (A319, E-195)
October 12th – 14th: Kuala Lumpur for work, however the flights are not confirmed yet (maybe SQ?)

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineJoka From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What a great TR.
Thanks for all the wonderful pictures and very thorough descriptions.


User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Oops! I missed a section! This should be the 3rd section! Sorry, here it is:

Flight Information

Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight No.: EY 100
Routing: New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:50AM
Actual Departure Time 10:55AM (Pushback)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 07:45AM +1
Actual Arrival Time: 08:00AM (touchdown)
Equipment: Airbus A340-500
Registration: A6-EHD

Laura handed my boarding pass to her colleague, a lovely South African Joanne, who read my name off the boarding pass and chuckled.

“How are you doing today? I believe you know ‘insider source’ “
“I am fine thanks, and yes as a matter of fact I do”
“Please follow me your seat is right this way”

We walked past the galley, and instead of the usual right turn, this time around I was the one who got to turn left! As I entered the serene Diamond First Cabin, I was also greeted by the Food & Beverage Manager before arriving at my seat, 3K.

“Would you like anything to drink before takeoff?”
“May I have a glass of orange juice please?”
“Certainly, please make yourself comfortable while I get your drink”
“Thank you”

Although it was nice to know someone operating the flight, I was hoping that Joanne was not working on my side, because I don’t feel too comfortable demanding things from crew whom I know. Luckily, she was operating Pearl Business Class.

Moments later Joanne returned to my seat with my Orange Juice.

“Here you go”
“Thanks!”
“My colleagues in First Class will be taking care of you, and later on during the flight we should catch up”
“Most definitely, thank you very much”

My OJ



Diamond First Class Cabin



Settling in my seat, I found it to be comfortable so far; definitely not narrow, and with ample leg space. Furthermore, the IFE screen was massive! The absence of overhead compartments gave the ambience a breath of fresh air, which made it seem like I was in a private club; not even an executive jet.


The Seat



IFE Screen



The View From My Seat



As I got settled, a Tunisian Bouthaina approached my seat to hand me my amenity kit and menu.

“Welcome on board sir, this is your amenity kit, and inside is your headset, and a bottle of water”
“Thanks”
“You are welcome. This is also the menu for today’s flight, please take a look at it, and I will come back later to take your order”

Headset



Menu



Lunch
A la carte

Enjoy full a la carte dining or select individual dishes from t he Anytime menu. All dishes on the menu are available at any time during the flight today


Smoked eggplant caviar and mushroom tart with tapenade

Spring onion pikelets with zaatar spiced gravalax (T)

Sweet onion, wild mushroom and faro soup


--------------------

Roast salmon with citrus fruits, buttery baby potatoes and spinach (L)

Rack of lamb with fennel risotto (T)

Poached chicken breast, tomato and pineseeds rice (T)

Thyme scented gnocchi with pesto

Tumbet of eggplant, potato pepper pie with lemon ricotta and parmesan



Served with a choice of:

Organic five-leaf salad

Buttered spinach with grated nutmeg

Carrot and parsnip puree

Patatas Bravas

Steamed rice, freshly ground coriander


--------------------

Selection of cheese


Rhubarb crumble with crème anglaise

Passion fruit tart

Caramelised oranges with white chocolate parfait

Fresh seasonal fruit, guava jelly

Providore natural ice cream



Kitchen
Anytime

Enjoy full a la carte dining or select individual dishes from t he Anytime menu. All dishes on the menu are available at any time during the flight today


Ocietra caviar with potato blinis and crème fraiche

Steak sandwich, roast cherry tomato crush, onion jam

Gulf fish and chips, minted mushy peas, lemon cheek

Warm club sandwich with crisps

Lamb rice pilaf with coriander, garlic yoghurt sauce (T)

Turkey bacon with pached egg and spinach, tomato relish

Baked artichoke omelette

Toasted saffron banana waffles, blackberry butter and date syrup (T)

Continental breakfast

Breakfast bakery

High tea

Calorie rich bedtime cookies

Arabic baklava (T)

Rosemary and garlic popcorn with lemon salt

Warm bella olives with garlic, orange and rosemary

Swedish crisp breads

Fig and cardamom tart with honeyed yoghurt (T)

Strawberry flan

Fresh seasonal fruit, guava jelly

Providore natural ice cream

Selection of cheese



[S] Spicy [L] Light [T] Taste of Arabia
All meals served are prepared according to Halal requirements. We apologise if your choice selection is not available due to previous guest selection.



Wine List



Just as I was wishing to be the only passenger seated in Diamond First today, the cabin gradually started to fill up. An older man and his wife were the first to board after me, followed by an Emirati couple who were seated in the two middle seats next to mine. Another man traveling by himself later joined to sit right in front of me, and finally two families, one from Saudi Arabia, and the other from Kuwait I think, both with their babies, filled up the remainder of the cabin. Since when did screaming babies fly first class?

At around 10:30AM, the seatbelt sign was switched on, and an announcement was made by our captain that we would be departing on time. He also advised us of our routing for today, and that our flight time to Abu Dhabi was to be 12 hours and 40 minutes.

As everyone got settled in their seats, and passenger seatbelts clicked away throughout the aircraft, the cabin crew was making their final preparations for departure. The doors were closed at 10:50AM, pushback occurred at 10:55AM.

During Pushback





After a relatively short taxi to the runway, A6-EHD took to the skies by 11:20AM.

CONTINUED BELOW



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineBentley55 From Panama, joined Mar 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent trip report.

The quality of the food, and its presentation really impressed me. I dont think any US or European airline can match the presentation (the bread, the arababic starters, cutlery etc).

Furthermore, I think that the inflight menu is a great idea and I hope more airlines align themselves close to what Etihad is offering.


User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Way to go! Great TR. Impressed with the structure, organization and most of all picture quality. Although I am not too fond of TR's that look like restaurant reviews I found the quality of the food pictures amazing. The lighting looks almost professional.

Can you tell me (and no doubt 'us') what camera you used? I need to get me one of these...  Smile

Keep up the good work!



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8534 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hey Roni!

Been waiting for this, well worth the wait too, thanks!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Heading towards the Pearl section on the right side of the lounge, I entered what I believed to be the most congested and dirtiest area in the airport. There were passengers practically lying on the floor, others sitting on laps of others, and some even had their bare feet up on the couches

- Wow, not what I would have expected, sounds pretty nasty.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
The female uniform is especially nice as the hat is now slightly retro-looking that it reminded me of the older days of flying, and the skirt is rather short, reaching slightly above the knees

- Hmm, like the sound of that  Wink

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
hot towels are served to each passenger individually, and not off a tray to everyone.

- Nice touch.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Shortly after, a Tunisian cabin crew, Wafa, appeared in the aisle. A few moments later she arrived at my seat.

%u201CMonsieur, what would you like to drink after takeoff?%u201D
%u201CA Bloody Mary please%u201D

- Normally the 1st of many.................. Smile

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
The View Outside: How Can You Not Love Those Engines?

- Classy, very classy!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
It was time for high tea, in some far away time-zone somewhere, but nevertheless, that is exactly what I decided to order; with coffee. It originally came with tuna sandwiches, in which I decided to skip, and have only the muffins and the scone. It was absolutely fantastic!

- Certainly looks nice.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Taboulleh & Chicken Starter: Large Portion For A Starter!

- That's huge!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
TAM A332 (PT-MVG)

- That was on the ground teh day we arrived on EK3801.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
In-Seat Techno-Station

- Nice, like that.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Mini Bar

- Are they chilled?

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
Oops! I missed a section! This should be the 3rd section! Sorry, here it is:

- I thought something was missing!

Really enjoyed, many thanks Roni.

Kind Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni,

Amazing trip report as always, brought back a lot of memories for me. Nice to see changes have been made in the last 12 months since my flight with them.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
I was told that the aircraft that will take me to JFK will be A6-EHD, EY%u2019s newest A345.

I'd hardly call it "new" anymore...LOL

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 1):
I sat in First Class was on KLM's Royal Class from AMS to DTW.

Wow, considering they removed Crown Class in 1993, that must have been quite a long time ago.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
I loved the new presentation of the meals, and for the first time, I found these meal trays to be rather tasteful for a Business Class product.

Presentation certainly looks much better now.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Chicken & Salad Came Next: A Bit Bland!

The chicken looks rather dry and bland, not quite what I was expecting for First Class.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Bar Area With Set-Up

I see nothing has changed in this area, would have thought some modifications could have been done.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Furthermore the first class seat is a very comfortable one indeed, but a little flimsy as several seats on during flight had to be reset, including my own, and one other which was deemed inoperable for entire flight.

You know, there were no problems what so ever on my flight last year. Maybe the seats just don't have a long life, shame see EY buying un-reliable seats.

When is Terminal 3 suppose to open in AUH? I might make a trip out to India this winter and was thinking of actually trying Pearl out since I did not get a chance to last time.

Again, amazing trip report, I really enjoyed reading it. To think that while you were flying in Diamond on an Etihad A340 to Abu Dhabi, I was stuck in BusinessFirst on a Continental 767 to Amsterdam.

SR 103


User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2974 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Well another great TR! it just keeps getting better!!!  thumbsup 

I must say the meal pictures have actually made me hungry, they look so delicious.

I always believe that EY has one of the best J class products around after SQ. Holistically they have real good aircrafts, but its the crew that disappointed my on my 8 sectors on EY.

I know how comfortable the EY J class is, too bad I could only experience t for 2 hours and 45 mins on my way to BOM a year and a half ago.

Also I really think you should take SQ to KUL, albeit you will get their older product because I think neither DXB nor AUH gets the B77W. AUH gets the B772 IIRC (JED-AUH-SIN).

Once again an amazing pictures and an amazing report.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 3 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Fantastic report! I'm so jealous!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 3):

Helicopter Tour Around New York City

Incidentally, the world's busiest heliport, if the information I have is up to date.


What is the big circular impression in the ceiling of the cabin with the blue LED lights around it?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Another excellent trip report Roni. I could really get used to your high standards; you never disappoint.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Before my flight, I had consulted with my 'insider source' on some intelligence gathering. I was told that the aircraft that will take me to JFK will be A6-EHD, EY's newest A345.

Well, considering that you actually work at AUH, I am not surprised you have an insider source!! Hehehe...  Smile

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Heading towards the Pearl section on the right side of the lounge, I entered what I believed to be the most congested and dirtiest area in the airport.

Oh dear... I was actually considering giving EY a try in the premium classes, but the lounge just sounds horrible. When will EY have the new terminal 3? I'm not sure I would want to spend a couple of hours in transit in the 'dirtiest' area of the airport.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
This is the new in-flight service on Etihad's Diamond First and Pearl Business classes.



Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
Furthermore, given the short time between boarding and pushback, all these service elements had to be accomplished which meant the crew seemed a little rushed.

Mmmm. I guess this service is a good idea, but I am not really convinced it works that well for Business class. Like you said in your report, maybe the crew per passenger ratio is just not enough in Business. However, it sounds like a very good product for the First class cabin.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
It was time for high tea, in some far away time-zone somewhere, but nevertheless, that is exactly what I decided to order; with coffee.

I really like the presentation of all the food and the china that EY use. Very nice indeed! The food looks good too... especially the club sandwich.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
At 8:30AM, my Etihad aircraft arrived from Abu Dhabi naturally stealing the spotlight from her second-best peers.

I agree, the A340-500 is a beautiful plane.

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
I requested my very usual Bloody Mary. I really need to try something new!

Hahaha... I agree!! Maybe if you take SQ to Kuala Lumpur you can give the Silver Kris sling a try instead!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
IFE froze, but restored by itself 30 minutes later

Mmmm... The seat looks really nice, but I agree with you that it appears to have quite a few glitches.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 2):
Naturally, I played the usual 'pretend-to-be-sleeping' trick because my menu was, well, my menu now!

Hahahaha!! Nice to know that I am not the only one who has invented some tactics to keep the menus.  Smile

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
Since when did screaming babies fly first class?

Hehehe... Wow... I guess that is the Middle East for you...  Smile

Once again, thank you for the superb pictures and narration. It was a pleasure to read and view. About your trip to Kuala Lumpur in October, I would actually recommend EY on this sector. I have flown with QR, MH, SQ, EK, TG and EY from the Middle East to Kuala Lumpur and EY had one of the best products in my opinion. However, SQ is pretty much on the same level if you fly their 772 from AUH. I'm not too fond of the 773 they use to fly to DXB.

Best regards,
Globetraveller


User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1844 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Amazing TR! I someday hoe to fly Etihad when I go back to the Middle East.

The quality of the cabin, seats, and the meals (the sheer abundance and quality) puts even Singapore and Emirates to shame!



Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineBochora From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2008, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report!
Always love your presentation!


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 946 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey Mr Roni!

Another "jewel" of a report - pun intended  Wink ... great stuff again! The quality of EY's inflight offerings seem to have been vastly upgraded since the last time I took them a year ago, the way the meals have been presented are top notch, and the meals themselves look delicious. Your comments about the marginal difference between Pearl and Diamond are apparent from the photos of the meals - apart from the wider seats and extra knickknacks you get up front, it seems Pearl is good enough.

Thanks for sharing this TR my friend!

ap


User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi All,

Thanks for all your comments! Apologies for missing a section. That was so stupid of me  Sad

Quoting Joka (Reply 4):
Thanks for all the wonderful pictures and very thorough descriptions.

Hi Joka,

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

Quoting Bentley55 (Reply 6):
The quality of the food, and its presentation really impressed me. I dont think any US or European airline can match the presentation (the bread, the arababic starters, cutlery etc).

Hi Bentley55,

I was especially impressed with the new 'look' of Pearl Business Class meals. Perhaps First Class, although decent, matched many other airlines, but Pearl i believed was a unique offering.

Quoting Henkybaby (Reply 7):
Can you tell me (and no doubt 'us') what camera you used? I need to get me one of these...

Hi Henkybaby,

Thanks for your comments.

This time around i only used my average 10mp canon powershot. Nothing major or too extravagant, but it did the job.

I wanted to use my other camera for Diamond First, but i wasnt too sure how the other passengers would react, so i kept it simple and discreet.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Been waiting for this, well worth the wait too, thanks!

Hey Mark, Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Hmm, like the sound of that

And the sight of that is even nicer haha  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Normally the 1st of many..................

Oh so true! ... i had a total of 4 on each sector. Not that bad!  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
That was on the ground teh day we arrived on EK3801.

Wasn't that the plane whose airline, aircraft type, origin, and registration number you managed to identify within seconds when it was still on final approach miles and miles away?  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
Are they chilled?

No. Actually the soft drinks and the water were luke warm!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
Amazing trip report as always, brought back a lot of memories for me. Nice to see changes have been made in the last 12 months since my flight with them.

Hey Anosh!

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed!

There will also be more changes and fine-tunes in the near future. Let's just say that Etihad has 'huge' plans. As for when these plans will materialise is totally different story however  Smile

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
I'd hardly call it "new" anymore...LOL

Well certainly not new, but its definitely the newest of the bunch  Smile

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
Wow, considering they removed Crown Class in 1993, that must have been quite a long time ago.

I must have been at most 11 years old. We flew DXB-AMM-AMS (A310) and then AMS-DTW-DAY. The DTW flight was overbooked and because we had just signed up for Flying Dutchman, we were upgraded to F  Smile I still have the amenity kit, preserved as ever  Smile

Say, was it called Crown Class or Royal Class?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
would have thought some modifications could have been done.

From what i hear, all of that will change. Diamond First Class seats will also be changed completely, and Pearl Business Class seats will be made wider.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
Maybe the seats just don't have a long life, shame see EY buying un-reliable seats.

They certainly do not. One thing i also did not like, was whenever i would change the position of the seat, the sound was practically louder than the engines outside, and it almost felt like the seat was going to collapse on the floor.

Another reason for their state, is i think that the A345's are utilized to their absolute very potential. They are barely on the ground! 4 of them do daily SYD & JFK and three times a week somewhere in Europe (CDG maybe).

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
When is Terminal 3 suppose to open in AUH?

A very VERY good question indeed  Smile hehe

Latest so far, is by October.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
I might make a trip out to India this winter and was thinking of actually trying Pearl out since I did not get a chance to last time.

Normally i would definitely encourage you to fly EY as always  Smile

But this time, dude! take the EK A380!
If it'll be anything like the inaugural flights (which i believe it will be), you'll be in for a real treat!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 9):
I was stuck in BusinessFirst on a Continental 767 to Amsterdam.

Any TR for that? We have not seen anything current from you in forever !

Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
Well another great TR! it just keeps getting better!!!

Hey Ojas!

Thanks a lot for your kind words! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
I always believe that EY has one of the best J class products around

I agree! However service-wise and cabin-crew related, Cathay tops it for me  Smile

Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
but its the crew that disappointed my on my 8 sectors on EY.

They are changing for sure.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
too bad I could only experience t for 2 hours and 45 mins

One thing i have noticed is that Gulf carriers seem to offer much better service on long-haul/ulta long-haul flights. The crew do not seem too bothered on 3 hours flights for example.

One very reason why i prefer flying RJ to AMM for instance.

Quoting Ojas (Reply 10):
Also I really think you should take SQ to KUL, albeit you will get their older product because I think neither DXB nor AUH gets the B77W. AUH gets the B772 IIRC (JED-AUH-SIN).

I don't normally fly SQ, although i am a bit curious to be honest. It depends on what they decide to book me on at work. My inner feeling says SQ, so let's see  Smile

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 11):
What is the big circular impression in the ceiling of the cabin with the blue LED lights around it?

Hi ANITIX87,

Thanks for reading. This big circular impression is purely ornamental and it supposed to resemble a dome-like structure.

However as evident in the pictures half of the circle's lights were inoperable!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
Another excellent trip report Roni. I could really get used to your high standards; you never disappoint.

Hey Globetraveller! Hope all is well with you!

Thanks for reading, coming from an excellent reporter as yourself, your comments are greatly appreciated!  Smile

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
I am not surprised you have an insider source!! Hehehe...

Insider Sources are very important! haha  Smile

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
Oh dear... I was actually considering giving EY a try in the premium classes, but the lounge just sounds horrible.

Well you can still try their premium product  Smile just avoid the lounge at AUH anytime between 11pm and 3am.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
When will EY have the new terminal 3?

End of October, fingers crossed!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
but I am not really convinced it works that well for Business class. Like you said in your report, maybe the crew per passenger ratio is just not enough in Business. However, it sounds like a very good product for the First class cabin.

I have a slightly different point of view here actually. With regards to First Class, to me it seems on par and very similar to other airlines. and comparing to their previous product in F, not much has changed apart from the menu and the china.

As for Pearl, it was a brand new concept. Once up in the air, everything seemed great. Just the hustle and bustle during boarding was a bit uncomfortable. The hot towel for example, doesnt have to be given out before takeoff, and perhaps with your drink order while in-flight. Something like that.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
especially the club sandwich.

Definitely agree here!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
the A340-500 is a beautiful plane.

It's the best  Smile

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 12):
About your trip to Kuala Lumpur in October, I would actually recommend EY on this sector. I have flown with QR, MH, SQ, EK, TG and EY from the Middle East to Kuala Lumpur and EY had one of the best products in my opinion. However, SQ is pretty much on the same level if you fly their 772 from AUH. I'm not too fond of the 773 they use to fly to DXB.

MH and EY are my personal choices actually. Even more so if it will be EY's 77W.

What is the difference between SQ's 773 and their regional 772?

Quoting TUNisia (Reply 13):
Amazing TR! I someday hoe to fly Etihad when I go back to the Middle East.

Hi TUNisia,

Thanks for reading, i am glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting Bochora (Reply 14):
Great trip report!
Always love your presentation!

Hi Bochora,

Thanks a lot for reading  Smile


Thank you all!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Airpearl (Reply 15):
Another "jewel" of a report - pun intended ... great stuff again! The quality of EY's inflight offerings seem to have been vastly upgraded since the last time I took them a year ago, the way the meals have been presented are top notch, and the meals themselves look delicious. Your comments about the marginal difference between Pearl and Diamond are apparent from the photos of the meals - apart from the wider seats and extra knickknacks you get up front, it seems Pearl is good enough.

Airpearl!

Thanks for reading, as always. Glad you enjoyed.

I agree with you here. Pearl is good enough! If not better maybe.

Hope all is well!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineHenkybaby From Netherlands, joined May 2008, 593 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 16):
This time around i only used my average 10mp canon powershot. Nothing major or too extravagant, but it did the job.

I'd say...

Unbelievable quality for a 'simple' digital camera. Did you use flash for the food shots? Did you process the pictures in Photoshop or something? I mean they are of seriously good quality... Better than I often get with a digital SLR. I have heard this is the best of the non-SLR's out there but your pictures really convinced me. Bummer, since I only just bought a Casio Exilim for those times you dont want to be carrying around a biggy.

Once again: great pics.



Wherever you go, there you are!
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Ronerone (Reply 16):
Say, was it called Crown Class or Royal Class?

I want to say Crown Class, but maybe some KL expert can correct me if I am wrong. After all I only started flying KL back in 2001. In the 90's, I used to fly a lot of CX, SQ and SR.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 16):
But this time, dude! take the EK A380!
If it'll be anything like the inaugural flights (which i believe it will be), you'll be in for a real treat

I'll take your word for it and look into the 380.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 16):
Any TR for that? We have not seen anything current from you in forever !

I actually am in the process of writing it so it will be out soon. However there have been a rash of BusinessFirst reports here lately so I am sure no one is in any hurry to read another.

SR 103


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for a very well written report. Love the pictures that you've taken too! Lots of efforts have gone into the designing of each meal. I must say that EY's meal presentation in their premium classes is one of the most elegant and classy ones that I've ever seen.


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3228 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Gob smacked, WOW, many thanks.  Wink


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1711 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow that was an amazing TR, you have made a really good work.

In the beginning your TR's weren't anything that special, but sure they were good. But for some reason your reports seem to get better and better for every new report you write, one thing that has made the last couple of reports better is you camera upgrade, the pics came out so much better now than what they did in the earlier reports.
And your writing is also very good aswell.

The EY J product looked pretty nice, but aren't those seats a bit narrow? Also, the cous cous looked very nice, as a matter of fact it looked very much like traditional home made Moroccan cous cous.

The F product also looked nice. The lounge on the other hand didn't look very F like, the food offerings seemed pretty poor, why couldn't EY use the EK JFK lounge?
The food in F looked very similar to J. In my opinion small babies shouldn't be allowed in any premium cabin at all. Take in account that there are some people who have paid big sums of money to fly in F and letting those babies spoiling the F experience would be unacceptable to me. Small babies should be placed in the overhead bins in the back of the bus (and yes that may seem very cruel and it really is).

Thank you for sharing.



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineJfklucky777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

Roni, awesome TR as usual! So informative, great pictures, and great opinions!

Quoting Ronerone (Thread starter):
At around 7:15AM I headed inside to find that the check-in counters had already opened. What I found to be rather strange however, was that security staff was standing at the end of the queue area scanning all Etihad passengers’ passports into their laptops. If this was Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or even Amsterdam, on a flight going to the U.S., then I would find it normal. But this is the first time I see it happening the other way around. This was never the case on any Emirates flight I flew on from New York, and I confirmed that by hopping over to the nearby EK counters to find nothing of that sort. Does anyone know why this is the case?

All carriers flying to/from the U.S. are required to submit passengers passport details to immigration. Some airlines at JFK such as EY, AI, and VS have a security firm that gather everyone's passport information before check in and also verify passengers' documents and visas to make sure they can go wherever they are going. Some airlines like EI, EK, and LX have the check in agents gather passport details and check in the passenger at the same time. It basically comes down to what each carrier prefers. I personally feel that having the security firm pre-check in creates 2 queues at check in. Also, the check in agent is well more informed about the airline and its services so dealing with a random security agency might be a bit impersonal.


User currently offlineRonerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1660 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi All,

Thanks a million for your comments!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 19):
actually am in the process of writing it so it will be out soon. However there have been a rash of BusinessFirst reports here lately so I am sure no one is in any hurry to read another.

But we still want a TR from you  Smile

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 20):
Thanks for a very well written report. Love the pictures that you've taken too! Lots of efforts have gone into the designing of each meal. I must say that EY's meal presentation in their premium classes is one of the most elegant and classy ones that I've ever seen.

Hi SQ772,

Thanks a lot for your comments.

I am glad that EY has taken this major initiative to distinguish themselves this way. They have definitely put in some thought into improving their product, and it is showing.

Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 21):
Gob smacked, WOW, many thanks.

Hi Readytotaxi,

Glad you enjoyed it!  Smile

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
In the beginning your TR's weren't anything that special, but sure they were good.

Hi LH4116,

Thanks for reading. In the beginning my TRs were horrible haha  Smile

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
aren't those seats a bit narrow?

Well they are definitely not wide. But to me, i think they are alright. Some however do consider them to be too narrow. They are very comfortable though, especially when they turn into flat beds.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
it looked very much like traditional home made Moroccan cous cous.

It also tasted like that too.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
why couldn't EY use the EK JFK lounge?

I don't think EK wants to share its lounge with anyone. Too bad, as that lounge is one of my favorites. Do & Co do an outstanding catering job there!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 22):
In my opinion small babies shouldn't be allowed in any premium cabin at all. Take in account that there are some people who have paid big sums of money to fly in F and letting those babies spoiling the F experience would be unacceptable to me.

Yes! and these families also had kids thrown in Coral Economy who constantly kept coming to our cabin to see their parents! The Cabin Manager got a little annoyed, because he tried to explain to the parents, but you cant really do much about it can you!

Quoting Jfklucky777 (Reply 23):
All carriers flying to/from the U.S. are required to submit passengers passport details to immigration. Some airlines at JFK such as EY, AI, and VS have a security firm that gather everyone's passport information before check in and also verify passengers' documents and visas to make sure they can go wherever they are going. Some airlines like EI, EK, and LX have the check in agents gather passport details and check in the passenger at the same time. It basically comes down to what each carrier prefers. I personally feel that having the security firm pre-check in creates 2 queues at check in. Also, the check in agent is well more informed about the airline and its services so dealing with a random security agency might be a bit impersonal.

Hi Jfklucky777,

Thanks for reading!

And thanks for this information. It makes complete sense and i had not thought of it this way. I agree with you that outsourcing this to a random security agency does make make it seem more impersonal.


Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
25 Aleksandar : Well Roni, what can I say? Excellent as usual I was really glad to see my town in the moving map on your flight to NYC. A.
26 Ronerone : Hi Aleksandar, Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope all is well! Regards, Roni
27 Mk777 : Roni, I love your style of writing TR's. They describe every minute detail about your experience with EY. The food looks delicious but after reading s
28 Misbeehavin : Great report! Thanks for sharing! The service level looks to be excellent, and all the little details like no trolleys etc go a long way towards impro
29 Post contains images Ryanair!!! : Lucky biatch... The report is finally done and I was waiting with bated breadth for it... Dude... It seems like yesterday when you got off the EK A380
30 CastropRauxel : Hey Roni, Another wonderful and detailed report! was a great read (and to be honest, made me hungry!). The Inspired Service seems like an exceptional
31 Oa260 : Hey great report as always . Fantastic photos. Brightened up a boring grey day here !! Last night after landing in DUB I saw the EY crew ( 13 of them
32 Post contains images Ronerone : Hi Mohit, Thanks for your kind words Glad you enjoyed it! It was my highlight as well. What made it really great was that i was randomly selected to
33 Ronerone : Hi Philip! Glad you enjoyed it! Perhaps you may have seen the Cabin Manager's new uniform. If it was a female, she will be more noticeable with the r
34 CastropRauxel : Well then, now we just have to wait for EY's A380. too bad it's only 4 more years Hmmm. I hope they will implement it on BKK as well before I fly the
35 ThaiA345 : Hi Roni !! Great work as usual and nice for you to finally get some holiday time to yourself Really love reading your TR and you are really becoming a
36 Ronerone : Well, i asked around for you, and apparently Inspired Service is on BKK flights now Hope you try it! Mr. Herbert! Good to hear from you my friend. I
37 Flpuck6 : Hi ! Excellent report and thank you for sharing. the food and presentation look like that of a (superior) business class ... I noticed only one thing
38 NZ107 : Another brilliant trip report! Is it something about Arab carriers - they seem to stock both Coca Cola and Pepsi! Saw in that bar of yours that you ha
39 BLACK BOX : Great TR Roni, thanks for sharing. ThaiA345's comments about the demise of his namesakes got me thinking, with the shortage of LH/ULH aircraft that EY
40 PlaneHunter : Another excellent report with a huge selection of great pics, Roni. Stunning views from the helicopter! I wouldn't want to fly the same reg twice... E
41 Ronerone : Hi Flpuck6, Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it Regarding the table cloth, sometimes they were there, others they werent. I want to say that duri
42 CastropRauxel : OH WOW! Thanks!!! that's really nice of you!!! Man, I'm sooooo looking forward to that flight now!
43 Ronerone : Hope you enjoy it! The EY 77Ws are a nice treat Regards, Roni
44 Caleb1 : Help! Where is the rest of the trip report?
45 HeartDoc : Fantastic as always, for those of us that are new to the forum, you provide excellent ideas for reports. You had mentioned about using FF miles. How e
46 Ronerone : Hi Caleb1, The TR should still be there. You may have to expand the threads. Hi HeartDoc, Thanks a lot for your comments, and welcome to the forum! I
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