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The Etihad Airways Y Class Experience (with Pics)  
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 29678 times:

Please note: this is a very long and thoroughly descriptive report, with many pictures to accompany it. I do hope however that you will find it an enjoyable read.  

Introduction:

As you probably realise by now, it's been a while since I produced a trip report. I will admit that even though I have done a couple of foreign trips since my last write up on here, I have not felt the need to produce anything - how many more trip reports about US Airways do you guys want to read anyway? Yes, I flew them again in Nov 2010. It was an enjoyable experience, but maybe I will write about them another day.

Back to today's presentation and I will make a point of mentioning that I wrote this report 'live' on an iPad as I was experiencing each flight, so as to keep the experience and atmosphere in memory. I will make a point of commenting that while some airlines are worthy of being written about, others just aren't - or as in certain cases, you say that you will write about them but then decide not to! It was not to be the case on this trip however.


Background:

Etihad Airways is one airline that I was told many great things about, and indeed I have read a few trip reports about them as well. They have won many awards, including "World's Leading Airline" and "World's Leading First Class", plus they have one of the youngest fleets of aircraft in the world and as I found out, some of the most beautiful cabin crew in the skies today.

Today it is my turn to write about this amazing and young airline, having decided to try them for my latest "voyage" across the globe.


The Trip to Heathrow:

My long day of travelling started at 00:15 on the Sunday when my cab arrived to take me the 1.5 miles (it was raining heavily!) to the city bus station in Sheffield, ready for my National Express service 240 to Heathrow Airport - central bus station. The bus was only 2 weeks old and was fitted to the latest NX specifications - leather reclining seats, mood lighting, floor level emergency path lighting, etc.



We departed on time at 00:55 and on the way south stopped off at Chesterfield, East Midlands Airport, Coventry and arrived into LHR at 05:30. There were 4 people on board when we departed my home city, and a grand total of 8 people on board by the time we arrived into LHR. I was the only passenger leaving the bus at this location - the rest were headed to LGW - the final destination of the bus. As we approached the central area of LHR, we passed a huge advertisement which read "Welcome to Heathrow Airport - home of British Midland International" - a nice sight!

I jumped onto the Heathrow Connect "Siemens desiro" train for the quick 5 minute trip to Terminal 4. Today was the first time I'd ever visited T4 so I had no idea what to expect regarding it's state or the atmosphere of the place. I was pleasantly surprised, it looked fairly modern and very clean, which was a good start. It was also marketed as the 'Skyteam' hub, with many posters dotted about the place.

Today was to be my first ever flight on Etihad Airways (I have flown Qatar Airways before) and as an added double bonus, it would also be the first time I had flown on both the 346 and the 77W aircraft types. Needless to say I was very excited, in an aviation geek sort of way!  


Leg 1:
Date: Sun 6 Feb 2011
Flight: EY 12
Route: London Heathrow (LHR) - Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Scheduled Timings: LHR depart 0915 - AUH arrive 2015 (actual times below)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600 A6-EFH
Seat: 22A (window)

Having already checked in online earlier, I proceeded to zone C in Terminal 4 and dropped my luggage at the Etihad check in counter. I then received 2 new boarding passes for my trip from the ever cheerful staff member manning the desk. I was the only person at economy check in at the time so I was served immediately.

T4 Check in


Boarding Passes


I made my way to security to find it empty (6am) and it took literally 5 minutes to pass through with no problems at all. I then made my way to the '4 Deck' premium lounge, which I had reserved the day before - it cost me £18, so I did rather hope it would at least be on par with a normal airline premium lounge!

The 4 Deck Lounge











I spent a few hours relaxing, eating snacks and watching the ramp activity. I then went upstairs to the 3rd floor viewing deck (sky deck) and took a few photos with no issues (no one bothered me saying I was a security risk). The viewing area is glass enclosed so depending on the angle you can get reflections in the picture but I tried to minimise those as best I could.

Pictures from the "Sky Deck"











At 08:10 I made my way to the allocated gate for todays flight and awaited the boarding announcement. For todays flight our boarding was due to commence at 08:25.

Gate area views








Boarding commenced slightly early and was completed at 09:00. An announcement was made for doors to be closed and we pushed back on time. A brief taxi to runway 27L was followed by a 15 minute wait for other traffic before we took off.

It's at this point I should remark on the legroom in economy class on this A340-600. Let's just say it was nothing short of amazing! There was also a foot rest built into the seat in front which was available for use, and there was enough room at the side of my seat to fit my fully loaded man bag (messenger bag) with no problems. This gave me plenty of legroom under the seat in front for me to stretch out.







Our flight today was commanded by an American Captain and a we had a British First Officer. The head flight attendant was a gorgeous Australian female (loved the accent too!) and she was ultra professional. An announcement was made that today's crew could speak a combination of English, Arabic, Afrikaans, Swahili and Thai, which I thought was a pretty good combo.

The flight plan for today had our aircraft cruising between 35000 and 39000 ft during the flight. Our routing was over The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Iraq and the Arabian Gulf, giving us an en route time of 5h 55 in total.





Headsets


After take off, a brief cold refreshment service was offered before lunch.



Today's menu in economy was as follows:

A la carte:

- Marinated past salad with sliced chicken.

Choice of:

- Arabic mustard chicken with curry sauce, spiced rice and spinach with chickpeas.
- Braised beef with Rosemary jus roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables.
- Home made baked tomato and spinach lasagne

Dessert:

Warm chocolate and cherry crisp crumble, served with a choice of hot drink (americano, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, Ceylon tea, green tea).

I chose the braised beef by the way, in case you wonder! The meal was nice and the interesting feature was that the cutlery was steel, not plastic like on many western airlines. A very nice touch I thought.

Lunch



To continue:

While eating lunch I chose my entertainment from the excellent AVOD system that was installed on the aircraft. The system is called 'E-Box' and has to be the best IFE system I have had the pleasure of using so far in all my 11 years of flying across the globe. The choice of movies, music, programs and other entertainment options is truly staggering!

I settled down to watch "Unstoppable" which I thoroughly enjoyed, and being a railway man myself I understood all of what was going on in the movie and I did have a few laughs about a few of the crazy movie moments too. After the movie had finished, I brought up the air show feature and saw that we were flying just to the north of Ankara. We had less than 3 hours of flight time to go, and our ground speed was exactly 1000km/h at that point - 621mph for those who prefer the 'other' measurements! During this look I then noticed that our arrival into the U.A.E had been brought forward by about 40 minutes due to tail winds, which would now mean I was to have over 2 hours on the ground at AUH, instead of 1hr 30 minutes.

Woo!



I decided to listen to an assortment of tunes for the remainder of the flight and indeed I was entertained by the likes of Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson (who is gorgeous I should add) to name but a few.

At 1330 UK time (1738 AUH) we hit some moderate turbulence as we passed over the snow covered mountain ranges of Turkey, which despite the choppy air, looked incredible from 35000 feet above. I switched the aircrafts external camera view on and had a look for myself at the cockpit view of the terrain - amazing! The seatbelt sign lit up followed by an automated IFE interruption asking everyone to please be seated with seat belts fastened. There was then an announcement from the cockpit for the flight attendants to take their seats.






The turbulence lasted over half an hour, gradually becoming worse, despite continuous course changes of the aircraft which I would guess as being the result of the cockpit crew trying to get us out of the chop as quickly as possible. Nevertheless we all seemed to cope with it, although I did develop a headache after a while of being wobbled about in my seat.

Approximately 2 hrs prior to landing, the cabin lights in Y class were turned off, and replaced with some soothing mood lighting (blue) which was a nice touch. Not that it mattered however because everyone on the left side of the aircraft had opened the window shades to take photos of those mountains I mentioned earlier. It seems most of the guests (as EY call it's customers) had a camera with them!




One thing I have to add is that this flight was not anywhere near full in any of the classes that I could see when boarding. There were about 20 seats in my section of Y empty, plus roughly the same amount in the rear Y cabin. The C class cabin was about half full on this flight too. What about the F cabin? I have no idea.

This is how I will now write all my reports - as they happen!


Flying over southern Iraq, I checked on the flight map again to see our progress. We had an arrival time into AUH of 19:36 local, and had 1 hour 15 minutes of flying time left to go. Our ground speed had now increased to 1050km/h (652mph) and all I could see below was a thick haze and a faint glimpse of desert sand, plus a rapidly approaching sunset. For those interested, the OAT at our altitude (35000ft) was -48c (-54.4F).







At approximately 1hr 10 minutes to landing, a snack was served. The 'Cafe Service' consisted of either: Warm chefs selection of savoury pastries or hot soup with a bread roll. I didn't feel like soup so I chose the pastries (Chinese chicken). However I did wonder how much more food I could possibly eat, as I still had a near 6 hour flight to take yet!

The flight eventually landed at 1936 local, just as predicted and within 30 minutes I had cleared security and made my way to the gate for my connecting flight. Upon arrival at gate 28, I found it empty and with the flight due to leave 1 hour 10 minutes later, I wondered where the aircraft was!

A few views of AUH











To be continued.....


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 29801 times:

Leg 2:
Date: Sun 6 Feb 2011
Flight: EY 402
Route: Abu Dhabi (AUH) - Bangkok (BKK)
Scheduled Timings: AUH depart 2155 - BKK arrive 0650+1 (actual times below)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER A6-ETE
Seat: 33K (window)

Continuing on with my report, I was relieved when the aircraft turned up at the gate - at 21:00 I might add! The next flight left at 21:55 and I did wonder, can EY turn a 77W in 1 hour? Well it seemed I was going to find out!

My Next Flight



I sat at the gate and watched as the inbound flight was unloaded of it's passengers and cargo. This was completed at 21:15. I then wondered if this flight had just in fact arrived from one of the neighbouring gulf states on a short hop? If that was the case then I'm sure it would be turned around pretty quickly. I sat and admired the ground crews and service teams doing what they do best. There were 3 catering trucks, 2 baggage belts, a cargo loader, fuel truck, air stairs and a jet bridge attached to the aircraft, all at once - it looked chaotic especially with all the people on the ramp each trying to do a task.

I finally spotted the cockpit crew doing a walk around, and noticed the cabin crew had all arrived at once so I had some hope that we would be away on time. I suppose you could say "it doesn't matter" as time would be made up in the air - but in fact I was told that EY is a very punctual airline and they wanted to get the flight up in the air as quickly as they could.

Departure time eventually arrived, then vanished - without any announcement of a delay from anyone in the gate area. It seemed that none of the 4 staff on duty cared about what was going on with the aircraft. There were no phone calls made and no one went to check on things to see what was going on, instead just lots of tapping away on computer keyboards. So I did wonder what was happening, and so did many of the other people who were waiting to board the flight as well, it seemed. We finally started the boarding process at 22:00, 5 minutes after we should have departed. But, at least it wasn't 5 hours of a delay so hey why worry?

On Board



Anyway, boarding was completed by 22:30 and we eventually took off exactly 1hr late, and climbed out towards Oman immediately after a western departure. Our route today would take us over the Gulf of Oman and out to India. We would then fly just to the south of Ahmedabad and Nagpur before heading to Rangoon and then the coast of Thailand.

As this was my first time on a 77W I was surprised to find just how narrow the aisles are when the aircraft is configured with 3-4-3 seating in Y class. I was thinking that would rather put up with 11 hours of 2-5-2 or 3-3-3 configured 777 rather than 6 hours of what I was currently in! The legroom however more than made up for the lack of aisle width so I tried not to let it bother me. One thing I should mention is that on this flight, every seat in Y was taken - amazing!

More Views







After all, I was on an adventure (more on this later) so I didn't mind a few negatives being mixed in with the many positives on this trip.

As with the A340-600, the IFE offering on this flight was the same, but the Y class seats on the 77W have the addition of a built in power supply system. I was able to fully recharge my iPad while writing up this stage of the report with no problems at all. After reaching cruise - 35000ft on this flight - we were served refreshments and handed the dinner menu. At this stage of the flight we had 4hrs 15 minutes remaining in the air, we were cruising along at 690mph and were showing a (late) arrival into BKK estimated to be at 07:13 on Monday morning.





Tonights dinner would be as follows....

A la carte:

- Three leaf salad
- Vegetable terrine on cucumber and carrot salad

Choice of:

- Dory fish tagine stewed vegetable with coriander rice.
- Chicken in oyster sauce with sticky rice and stir fried vegetables.
- Vegetable lasagne with rom a tomato sauce.

Dessert:

- Pineapple and Ginger crumble, served with a choice of hot drink (americano, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, Ceylon tea, green tea).


Going against my better judgement (I've seen the movie 'Airport' far too many times) I chose the fish. I wonder if the captain did too?  



Again on this flight we were presented a meal which included steel cutlery. Also of note is that there would be no second meal / snack on this flight as it was a fairly short flight by long haul standards. I didn't mind simply because I was full up by now!

After dinner (well, dessert too!) I opted to use the small amenity pack that I had been given after boarding - socks, toothpaste and eye shades. I really needed to catch up on my sleep, as when I boarded this aircraft I had already been awake for over 19 hours. By the time I woke up, the iPad was fully charged and I packed it away prior to landing in Bangkok. I should add that I only got roughly 1 hour of sleep, estimated - but I felt better for it.






We landed pretty much at our estimated time of 0713 and arrived at a gate some 10 minutes later. The view of the runway approaching on the front view camera was simply stunning and was broadcast on every AVOD screen as we made our approach. Immigration formalities took less than 10 minutes but one thing that got me was this - I approached the counter and gave the female immigration officer a very cheerful hello, but she just gave me a blank stare! Then she took my picture, stamped my passport and handed it back to me, all this without even saying one word to me! Is this normal?

Following this, I waited half an hour for my bag to arrive - it seems that as it was the first to be loaded onto the aircraft, it would be the last one to be offloaded - indeed that seemed the case as my rucksack was one of the last 10 bags to come off the baggage claim belt. Anyway, my ride picked me up from the meeting point and less than 2 hours later I was enjoying a bite to eat at the first of 4 different hotels I'd be staying in on this trip. It was time to let my adventure begin.....  



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 29762 times:

Leg 3:
Date: Mon 15 Feb 2011
Flight: EY 407
Route: Bangkok (BKK) - Abu Dhabi
Scheduled Timings: BKK depart 0820 - AUH arrive 1205 (actual times below)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER A6-ETF
Seat: 31A (window)

I had checked in using the iPad the previous evening, so I knew what seats I would be sitting in before the flights departed today. I had once again chosen seats in the area of the wings on both aircraft.

I decided to travel from Bangkok city to the airport using the express rail line. I had ordered a cab to take me from the hotel to makkassan station, so I could board the 'red line' train which operates non stop to the airport.

The cab driver tried to convince me that it was easier to let him drive me all the way to Suvarnabhumi but I specifically told him that I wanted to catch the train. The end result? He dropped me at a different station to the one I wanted and I had to catch the blue line train which took 35 minutes to reach the airport instead of the 15 minutes it would have taken.

The City Line Train (taken while exploring BKK, not on the day I flew home)








Upon arrival at the airport, I made my way up a never ending stream of escalators and finally arrived at zone Q of departures. I bypassed the very long line (must have been 100 people) for Etihad check in and made my way to the bag drop line which only had 6 people in it! My boarding passes were issued and I was given some baggage tags for my cabin baggage as well.

Some images from BKK








I breezed through immigration and security then made my way to the gate. The flight boarded on time at 0720 for an 0820 departure. However we were delayed pushing back by over 30 minutes as we were still waiting for passengers to clear immigration and security due to the airport being extremely busy (half the immigration counters were unmanned).










We finally took off about 50 minutes late at 0910 and despite the efforts of the flight crew we were unable to make up any time on route and so landed late, but I'll explain more about that later in the report.

Pre Departure Photos......







The on board service started not long after departure, with light refreshments and a menu handed out. On today's flight we would be served a breakfast then a light snack prior to landing in Abu Dhabi later.




Today's menu:

- Seasonal Fresh fruit
- Fruit Yoghurt
- Croissant with preserves

Choice of:

- Chicken kofta, with shashouka scrambled egg, fried potato and ratatouille
- Plain omelette and veal sausage served with blanched asparagus, cherry tomato and Lyonnaise potatoes
- Stir-fried rice vermicelli noodle with mixed Asian vegetables

Served with:

A choice of hot drink (americano, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, Ceylon tea, green tea).


For breakfast I chose the chicken which was indeed very nice and I enjoyed the meal. During the meal service I watched a movie "The Town" which I really enjoyed. It was then that I just knew I must catch up on my sleep, to which I estimate I managed 2 hours - when I woke up I felt fine so I must have slept well. When I woke we were well past India and flying over the sultanate of Oman, preparing to start our descent into AUH.

Breakfast




Progress




Prior to landing our snack service was a bag of chocolate popcorn (!) accompanied by a choice of cold drink.








Landing Shots









We all had an amazing view of our landing from the front view camera which was automatically shown on all the PTV screens in the cabin. I managed to record a video of this feature  

Video - Takeoff from BKK and Landing in AUH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yE-oOP_0W8


We eventually landed at 1255 local time, which immediately posed a problem - my connecting flight had started boarding 35 minutes ago and there was only 15 minutes remaining before the "doors closed" and the flight was due to depart. We left our aircraft at gate 28, and there was a mad dash by all on board in the direction of the transfer zone!

Would my bags make the next flight and indeed would I? Well of course - this is Etihad Airways after all, and they certainly know how to take care of their guests. Those of us with 'immediate' departures were ushered to the front of the security lines at the transfer area, while our bags were cross decked from the 77W straight to the waiting A346 which was on the next stand.

I walked to my new gate (29) and boarded the aircraft with time to spare. In the end I appreciated the way that all the staff worked to get us late arriving guests as quickly as possible from one aircraft to the other in a short time as possible. I've tried similar tight connections at LHR without success!

For the final part of the trip please see below......



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 29661 times:

Leg 4:
Date: Mon 15 Feb 2011
Flight: EY 17
Route: Abu Dhabi (AUH) - London Heathrow (LHR)
Scheduled Timings: AUH depart 1320 - LHR arrive 1730 (actual times below)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600 A6-EF*
Seat: 21A (window)

I boarded the aircraft at 1315, bearing in mind we were supposed to depart at 1320. The crew appeared cheerful and relaxed and each one of them welcomed me aboard. We eventually pushed back about 15 minutes after our scheduled departure time, due to awaiting the late guests from the BKK flight. We took off at 1340 local from runway 31R, the one we had landed on only 45 minutes ago!

Cabin View




Take Off Views




Service commenced immediately after departure and consisted of a savoury snack mix with a cold refreshment. A menu for the flight was also handed out - today's offering would be lunch, followed by a pre arrival snack later.

The menu:

A la carte:

- Cajun marinated chicken on cabbage salad and lettuce

Choice of:

- Lamb biryani with aromatic rice and roasted onion.
- Chicken curry sautéed inn fried onions and spices with yellow rice and green pea masala.
- Vegetable lasagne with rom a tomato sauce

Dessert:-

Warm apricot crumble, served with a choice of hot drink (americano, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, Ceylon tea, green tea).

Cafe service:

- Warm chefs selection of savoury pastries
(or)
- Hot soup with bread roll


On this occasion I chose the lamb meal, as I'd eaten chicken for breakfast and the lasagne being vegetarian didn't appeal to me.

Meal




By the time the meal arrived I had again fallen in love with Kelly Clarkson, who's music I was (again) listening to on the AVOD system - E-BOX. Our cruising altitude today was to be 36000 feet initially but then climbing to 40000 feet once we had burned off enough of our fuel.

I was unable to hear how long our flight time was to be when the captain made his announcement as we had a very loud and (I would assume) very ill youngster on board who was continually coughing very badly and crying too - much to the annoyance of many on board (lots of sighs could be heard!). Needless to say the flight was about 2/3 full so many in the rear cabin took the opportunity to move forward.

After dinner I once again took the sleep option, then it was time to indulge in more movies from the IFE. This time I chose to watch the movie 'RED' about a group of retired CIA agents. To be polite on the plot line, just imagine the following - your grandpa or grandad running around the country blowing the hell out of anything they don't like the look of or anyone who decides to mess with them - that's it! There was a lot of gun fire, explosions and stuff like that.

Progress








About 1 hour 30 prior to our scheduled arrival into LHR we were offered the cafe meal and I chose the savoury roll which was nice - no picture however this time! Landing cards (immigration forms) were offered to those on board who were not EU residents and then the cabin was made ok for arrival into London.

It was about this time that my female seat mate produced an iPad of her own and she appeared to be writing some form of note at the same time that I was finishing off this trip report. So we were both flying over western France writing up stuff on our iPads lol. The captain then announced that we were 166 miles out of LHR and that we would be starting to descend in less than 5 minutes.






Approaching the final paragraph now, we landed on runway 09L at 1732 and it wasn't long after that when we arrived at the gate.




Immigration was the next stop for me after a cheerful ciao to the crew of the flight. One of the flight attendants on board I recognised during deplaning and indeed after talking to her I learned that she used to fly for British Midland out of LHR - she now lives in AUH and enjoys flying for Etihad.


So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, thats the Etihad Airways Y class long haul experience described in great detail. I can't fault the airline at all, for anything really! Every aspect of the operation seems to be run very well, and while there are slight niggles with the general confusion and chaos at AUH during night time rush hour periods, that is not the fault of the airline. As for which aircraft I prefer, I have to say that for comfort the A340-600 wins for me on this trip. It is also the quieter aircraft of the two as well.

All I have to say for my verdict on this carrier is - "excellent".

Thank you for reading  

Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineCARST From Germany, joined Jul 2006, 811 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29527 times:

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 3):
All I have to say for my verdict on this carrier is - "excellent".


Hello BMIFlyer, good to hear that verdict, additionally your pictures and descriptions speak for themselves. Hope I can fly with Etihad one day...

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I will admit that even though I have done a couple of foreign trips since my last write up on here, I have not felt the need to produce anything - how many more trip reports about US Airways do you guys want to read anyway?
Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I will make a point of commenting that while some airlines are worthy of being written about, others just aren't - or as in certain cases, you say that you will write about them but then decide not to! It was not to be the case on this trip however.



Regarding these quotes above I think every trip is worth being written about. If people would only write about the great experiences on SQ, EK, QR, etc. the readers get a wrong picture of the airline industry. Perhaps some airlines have a small advantage, but as you mentioned yourself you can have good trips with other airlines, too. So an TR about some (longer) flight with US is worth a read between all this TRs on a.net about domestic flights and long-haul flights on the worlds' five-star-airlines.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29443 times:

Great report Lee (NEVER knew your middle name was a FANTASTIC one  )

You had a better experience on EY then I did, that's for sure. Fab pics.


User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29417 times:

What a pleasurable read, it has been to long that is for sure.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1776 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29396 times:

Great report Lee and some great pics. I'm starting to hear more and more good things about EY so I may have to try them out one of these days


There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29180 times:

Non Av Trip Report: River Kwai Visit, Etc (by BMIFlyer Feb 17 2011 in Non Aviation)


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1235 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29020 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice to see another Etihad trip report out there    Yes Etihad is quite a nice airline, and their short haul turnaround flights have the nicest crews. Unfortunately I did not have a pleasant experience on the outbound from Toronto, but most flights out of Toronto to the Middle East are known to be very demanding flights lol. If you don't mind I'd like to share my report here too
Etihad Airways YYZ-AUH EY 140 & AUH-KHI EY 221 (by flightsimboy Nov 26 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Back to today's presentation and I will make a point of mentioning that I wrote this report 'live' on an iPad as I was experiencing each flight, so as to keep the experience and atmosphere in memory.

What a great way to keep track of your flight!!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600 A6-EFH

Nice!! I do wish I can someday fly an EY A346!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
It's at this point I should remark on the legroom in economy class on this A340-600.

The legroom does look quite generous

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
An announcement was made that today's crew could speak a combination of English, Arabic, Afrikaans, Swahili and Thai, which I thought was a pretty good combo.

As usual with Middle Eastern carriers, lots of multilingual crews

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
While eating lunch I chose my entertainment from the excellent AVOD system that was installed on the aircraft. The system is called 'E-Box' and has to be the best IFE system I have had the pleasure of using so far in all my 11 years of flying across the globe. The choice of movies, music, programs and other entertainment options is truly staggering!

Etihad's E-Box is good, but nothing compares to EK's ICE. However with EY's E-Box I did actually watch a lot more movies than I did on EK just trying to decide what to watch lol

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
The turbulence lasted over half an hour, gradually becoming worse, despite continuous course changes of the aircraft which I would guess as being the result of the cockpit crew trying to get us out of the chop as quickly as possible. Nevertheless we all seemed to cope with it, although I did develop a headache after a while of being wobbled about in my seat.

It's been a while I have experience severe turbulence. It usually rocks me to sleep!!!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
After dinner (well, dessert too!)

That would have been Etihad's unique dessert service which is a seperate run after the main meal trays are cleared. Quite a nice touch and that hot chocolate and dessert is a great sleep enhancer!!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER A6-ETF

Flew her on the YYZ-AUH-YYZ run....Gorgeous aircraft, but I still long to fly the A346!!


User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3236 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 28966 times:

This is such a nice trip report. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm glad you had nice flights with Etihad


R-E-S-P-E-C-T
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 28857 times:

Just curious, your 77W in a 3-4-3 configuration or did I get that wrong?
Just because i had a look at seat Guru and it was showing EY's 77W's as 333?
or is this simply out of date and they've gone 3-4-3 like emirates?


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 28820 times:

Hi Lee,

Nice Report of Etihad Airways who are of course growing larger and larger but seemed to have kept they're service level top-notch. All the meals looked very good and sounds like you were treated like a guest.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
It's at this point I should remark on the legroom in economy class on this A340-600. Let's just say it was nothing short of amazing!

Excellent to see that they offer excellent legroom. Reminds me of my KE flights which also had very generous legroom.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
The meal was nice and the interesting feature was that the cutlery was steel, not plastic like on many western airlines
Also reminds me of KE.  
Good to see though that they haven't got rid of metal cutlery.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 3):
All I have to say for my verdict on this carrier is - "excellent".

  

Looking forward to seeing more reports from you.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently onlinevivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28504 times:

Lovely Trip Report on Etihad, Lee!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Today was to be my first ever flight on Etihad Airways (I have flown Qatar Airways before) and as an added double bonus, it would also be the first time I had flown on both the 346 and the 77W aircraft types. Needless to say I was very excited, in an aviation geek sort of way!

I can understand that feeling. I just had my first flight on an A340-600 a couple of weeks ago.  
Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I spent a few hours relaxing, eating snacks and watching the ramp activity. I then went upstairs to the 3rd floor viewing deck (sky deck) and took a few photos with no issues (no one bothered me saying I was a security risk).

Nice views. It is always good to have a place to view all the ramp action.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I settled down to watch "Unstoppable" which I thoroughly enjoyed, and being a railway man myself I understood all of what was going on in the movie and I did have a few laughs about a few of the crazy movie moments too.

I loved that movie too. I am a rail-fan myself and thoroughly enjoyed the movie (and the over-dramatized bits)

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
The 'Cafe Service' consisted of either: Warm chefs selection of savoury pastries or hot soup with a bread roll. I didn't feel like soup so I chose the pastries (Chinese chicken).

We were served similar pastry rolls on our DOH-DXB legs on QR. I really liked these.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 1):
The legroom however more than made up for the lack of aisle width so I tried not to let it bother me.

Decent legroom...

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
He dropped me at a different station to the one I wanted and I had to catch the blue line train which took 35 minutes to reach the airport instead of the 15 minutes it would have taken.

Oh man! That sucks.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Those of us with 'immediate' departures were ushered to the front of the security lines at the transfer area, while our bags were cross decked from the 77W straight to the waiting A346 which was on the next stand.

Wow, thats pretty neat. Good job by Etihad.

Overall, a fantastic report on the Etihad experience. This is one airline I am yet to experience - having flown on the other two biggies - EK & QR, but from the TRs here, it looks like a good airline to fly on.

Cheers,
Vivek


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 28297 times:

Hi, great TR...

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
Every aspect of the operation seems to be run very well, and while there are slight niggles with the general confusion and chaos at AUH during night time rush hour periods, that is not the fault of the airline.



I think it's the fault of the airline... I flew EY some time ago and I was enjoying also an excellent flight- but AUH transfer was chaotic. EY promised with the introduction of the new Terminal a far better and outstanding service and smoother connection. It seems the goal is missed...

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 11):
Just curious, your 77W in a 3-4-3 configuration or did I get that wrong?



This should explain- read the remark!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jens Breuer



User currently offlinePlanemad1 From UK - England, joined Dec 2010, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27930 times:

An enjoyable read Lee. Brings back memories of flying with them last year. Just one question - why were you staying in 4 different hotels?

User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 27909 times:

All they've gone 10 abreast... well it makes perfect sense especially if you can increase the legroom and that seams to be the deal with EK's approach...but not AF or KL.

if you can add another 30 seats it adds up.


User currently offlineNQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 27644 times:

Excellent stuff Lee, really enjoyed your report.   I'd love to visit Thailand one day.

User currently offlinerobso2 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2010, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 27614 times:

Super TR. Great to read about the Y product for a change  


733/4/5/6/7/8/9, 319/20/21, 752, 744, 772, 332/3, 343/6, E70/90, AT43, AR85/1, D38, D10, M82
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 27264 times:

Quoting CARST (Reply 4):
Hello BMIFlyer, good to hear that verdict, additionally your pictures and descriptions speak for themselves. Hope I can fly with Etihad one day...

You should, they are a fantastic airline  
Quoting lhr380 (Reply 5):
Great report Lee (NEVER knew your middle name was a FANTASTIC one)

You had a better experience on EY then I did, that's for sure. Fab pics.

Ha ha ha, thanks mate 
Quoting luv2fly (Reply 6):
What a pleasurable read, it has been to long that is for sure.

Thank you!


Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 7):
Great report Lee and some great pics. I'm starting to hear more and more good things about EY so I may have to try them out one of these days

Yes, I am actually looking forward to flying them again soon!


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
What a great way to keep track of your flight!!

Indeed, sure beats fiddling about with a laptop.


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
If you don't mind I'd like to share my report here too

Im going to read it now!


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
As usual with Middle Eastern carriers, lots of multilingual crews

The flight back from BKK to AUH had 9 different language speaking crew members!


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
That would have been Etihad's unique dessert service which is a seperate run after the main meal trays are cleared. Quite a nice touch and that hot chocolate and dessert is a great sleep enhancer!!

Yes its a perfect touch.


Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Flew her on the YYZ-AUH-YYZ run....Gorgeous aircraft, but I still long to fly the A346!!

She is, very nice sound from the turbines too 
Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 10):
This is such a nice trip report. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm glad you had nice flights with Etihad

Thanks  
Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 11):
Just curious, your 77W in a 3-4-3 configuration or did I get that wrong?

The lates 77Ws delivered are all 3-4-3 now. Makes sense if you can increase revenue per flight

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 12):
Nice Report of Etihad Airways who are of course growing larger and larger but seemed to have kept they're service level top-notch. All the meals looked very good and sounds like you were treated like a guest.

Yes it's been a while since I experienced that kind of service on board any flight

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 12):
Good to see though that they haven't got rid of metal cutlery.

Indeed, makes a change

Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 13):
Lovely Trip Report on Etihad, Lee!

Thanks  
Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 13):
I can understand that feeling. I just had my first flight on an A340-600 a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, such an amazing aircraft!

Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 13):
Wow, thats pretty neat. Good job by Etihad.

Overall, a fantastic report on the Etihad experience. This is one airline I am yet to experience - having flown on the other two biggies - EK & QR, but from the TRs here, it looks like a good airline to fly on.

Yeah they really know to to treat their guests, no matter what class they travel in

Quoting Planemad1 (Reply 15):
An enjoyable read Lee. Brings back memories of flying with them last year. Just one question - why were you staying in 4 different hotels?

Thanks.

I was visiting 4 different cities on my trip  




While in Thailand, I had a chance to fly domestically too.....

Thai Domestic Flying - Orient Thai Airlines MD82 (by BMIFlyer Feb 18 2011 in Trip Reports)

Not as in depth as this report but still worthy of reading  



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlinetriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 27063 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 2):
The cab driver tried to convince me that it was easier to let him drive me all the way to Suvarnabhumi but I specifically told him that I wanted to catch the train. The end result? He dropped me at a different station to the one I wanted and I had to catch the blue line train which took 35 minutes to reach the airport instead of the 15 minutes it would have taken.

I live in Bangkok. Taxi's are plentiful and cheap, but if there's traffic, it will take you a lot longer. The Airport Rail Link makes it so much quicker to get to Suvarnabhumi from downtown Bangkok.

I would have insisted the taxi driver take you to where you want to go. Sometimes you have to be firm with them. Make sure they always use their meter to determine the fare. It's illegal not to. If a taxi driver ever asks you how much you want to pay, always say, "Meter meter." If he is not willing to use the meter then get out.

And I would not have paid the taxi driver for taking me to the wrong place either.



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 26642 times:

Hi Lee,

great report about your trip on EY, haven't seen one for a while.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I then went upstairs to the 3rd floor viewing deck (sky deck) and took a few photos with no issues (no one bothered me saying I was a security risk).

Interesting, I should go there one day.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
I chose the braised beef by the way, in case you wonder! The meal was nice and the interesting feature was that the cutlery was steel, not plastic like on many western airlines. A very nice touch I thought.

The presentation used to be much better, but good to hear it was good.

Quoting BMIFlyer (Thread starter):
Headsets

Those look quite impressive!

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 3):
Leg 4:
Date: Mon 15 Feb 2011
Flight: EY 17
Route: Abu Dhabi (AUH) - London Heathrow (LHR)
Scheduled Timings: AUH depart 1320 - LHR arrive 1730 (actual times below)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus A340-600 A6-EF*

You had A6-EHE according to ACARS.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2109 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 26416 times:

Thanks for the report. Actually the most interesting part for me is the 4 Deck Lounge. Would definitely try it someday. During my last visit to LHR T4, it is still known as Holideck Lounge.

User currently offlinePhen From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 26339 times:

Wonderful report, excellently written and presented. Well done. It reminds me of a very similar trip I did in summer 2009 with EY - DUB-AUH-BKK and return - but with an A332 instead of an A346 on the DUB-AUH-DUB legs. EY are by far the best airline I've flown with and I hope to experience them again soon!

User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 26184 times:

Hey Lee. Good to catch another report from you.

Interesting to read how your trip went and glad you enjoyed the experience as an ETIHAD guest. A nice way to fly in Y without doubt. So good to get a full host of equipment with the Y seat. Always glad of in-seat power (didn't know this was limited to the 77W with EY).

My experience of EY(only 2 segments MAN-AUH-MAN) pretty much mirrors yours. Only complaint was a 2hr delay ex MAN with no real announcement and a 3hr delay ex AUH due to a problem with the cargo door. We were well looked after in AUH though and fed and watered while we waited.

Hey, that chocolate popcorn looks good. Nice idea there.

Thanks for sharing your experience Lee

Cheers,Lee.


25 mxp : Hallo there great trip report im going to fly to BKK next May and im still in doubt which airline book that have from London Airbus 330/340 my preferr
26 LondonCity : Great report and pics. Really enjoyed reading it all ! It shouldn't be amazing. Consider that Thailand is one of the main SE Asian tourist destination
27 MSS658 : Nice report, looks like 3-4-3 config was not that bad (or at least better than the AF 77W)
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