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Etihad Airways Part 1 : SIN To LHR Via AUH  
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1795 posts, RR: 10
Posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 17623 times:

1st leg

Flight details
Carrier: Etihad Airways
Flight number: 473
Date: 11th June 2011
Routing: SIN-AUH (AUH= Abu Dhabi)
Seat number: 36A (Economy)
Aircraft type: Airbus A330-243
My 4th ride on this aircraft type and 3rd airline to be flying the A330-200.
1st time on A6-EYG
Engines: Roll Royce Trent 772 engines
Date delivered: 29th March 2006
Line number: 724
Registration: A6-EYG
Flight duration: 6 hrs 50 mins
FL: 380
Load factor for Y class: 90%
Departure gate: F31 (Terminal 2)
Arrival gate: 31
Departure runway used: 20C

Airbus A330-200


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Introduction

My sister was getting married in June and Raymond invited me to join him in Europe, so it was like killing 2 birds in one stone! As Raymond wanted to try Sri Lankan and I had already flown with them before, we decided to meet over there instead. There were a few choices in mind. I wanted to fly the A340-600 quite badly, QR and EY are the best choices to fly this aircraft. However, the timing of QR's return flight's connection time is only 45 mins, and I am not going to take that risk as you guys know LHR's traffic is notoriously known for its bad traffic. So I decided to go with Etihad, a new airline for me and I get to fly on my favourite Airbus A330-200. The air ticket was expensive, it cost me about S$1549, only booked it in May. My regret was not booking it earlier, as I wanted to keep my options open, perhaps flying with Emirates was also another option. However, the A380s would be there for a while, so flying the A340-600 was the deciding factor! My flight routing would be EY473 SIN-AUH and EY18 AUH-LHR (A346 scheduled). A few days before my flight, I had checked on what planes were used on EY18, I was hoping for EHJ, the F1 formula plane. I was worried because the on LHR routing, EY is known for doing equipment swops, and I saw A333 which I did not want on the 2 flights before mine. Kept praying that it would not be the case on my flight, besides flying on a Saturday, they may use a bigger plane!


Online booking

The website reminds me of EVA Air's, lack of features. The strangest thing is you get to choose the seat first before you book, my first time encountered on any airline. That was how full the flight was. Since I had no choice, I choose aisle seats at the side. One great thing I love about Airbus wide bodies is that they are 2-4-2 seating configuration, which means no middle seat!To add on, the website was pretty buggy, there were few times when I clicked on payment, it gave me the white screen (Bad request). I was quite pissed off, but eventually got it done, more importantly at least I know a new airline to my list and A346 will be ticked off from my wishlist.


Photos of cabin, both A330 and A340-600 since they are so similar.


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Inflight service

I heard positive feedback on EY's service, they are supposed to be better than Emirates. Like Emirates and Qatar, they have a crew of foreigners from all around the world. My expectation of this airline is high, so I was expecting to enjoy the service on board this flight. Boy, I was so wrong. This has to be one of the worst flight services I had experienced at least for this year. The cabin crews were rude and grouchy and they looked disinterested in their jobs. Most of their time they spend at the gallery chatting among themselves. I was wondering was this for real? It's unbelievable! 2/10 is the highest I can give!

PTV entertainment system

This was supposed to be the older system, AVOD but lacking of inflight plug for Iphone charger and laptop. But what I like about it is that it has the camera view and touch screen which SQ should installed on their PTV system! The system itself is easy to use and no problem navigating at all. I give this 9/10 rating.

AUH airport


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Conclusion for this flight EY473

The service was mediocre, meal was ok, seats was fairly comfortable with limited legroom space, entertainment system and flying the A330 was the only positive highlight for me! The flight was turbulent until we passed by the Bay of Bengal.I didn't sleep much because of the moderate turbulence, but I managed to watch some nice movies. Since then, I had sent in a complaint letter about the service on this flight. More on this later. It was a bad first impression! Did I get better service on my connecting flight? Stay tuned.  

Ratings

Service : 3/10
Aircraft: 10/10
Cleanliness : 10/10
Punctuality: 7/10
Comfort: 6/10

Grade: C-

About AUH airport

The terminal was quite small, with limited shops. The gates were not far from each other, it wasn't difficult to get to where I want to go. So if you are going there for transit, you should not have any problems. There is a cafe on the 2nd level and some view of the tarmac. The so call free wifi was useless, I couldn't access anything from my Iphone. However, if you need to use the internet, there are computers for you to use around the gate areas, they are free to use.


Leg 2

Flight details
Carrier: Etihad Airways
Flight number: 18
Date: 12th June 2011
Routing: AUH-LHR
Seat number: 25C (Economy)
Aircraft type: Airbus A340-642
My 1st ride on this aircraft type and 1st airline to be flying the A340-600
1st time on A6-EHE
Engines: Roll Royce Trent 556 engines
Date delivered: 29th June 2007
Line number: 829
Registration: A6-EYE
Flight duration: 7 hrs
FL: 390
Load factor for Y class: 100%
Departure gate: 35
Arrival runway used: 09R


Airbus A340-600


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Introduction

I was looking so forward to this sector, but because of my bad experience on my previous flight, the enthusiasm level wasn't there! Nevertheless, I told myself to stay positive, hopefully fingers cross, I get to fly the A340-600. I went to the gate to see my aircraft, however it was parked at the far end of the terminal, the last one in fact, and I could only saw the tail, Airbus tail, cannot tell which model exactly. So the tension got higher especially when boarding started!


Before boarding

Looking at how long the queue was for Gate 35, I thought it was going to be a full flight, and I was right, not a single Y class seat was vacant when I did my usual walk around during the flight. Anyway, it took about 15 minutes to clear the queue and waited in the boarding lounge for the announcement to board the aircraft. When that time came, I was one of the first economy passengers to head towards the runway. Heart was pounding quicker and quicker when I was heading towards the plane! I didn't want to wait until the return flight for the A346! I wanted the A346 then !! Finally, I saw the sight of my plane, and to my biggest relief and joy, it was indeed the A346, not the F1 formula livery though.


On board

The seating arrangement was the same as the A332, 2-4-2. You can't tell any difference unless you walk around the economy section. You will realize how long this plane is, similar to the Boeing 777-300. The take off was powerful and what was more significant compared to the 777-300 is that this plane was much quieter even though it was powered with 4 engines than 777-300's 2 engines. Entertainment system was the same as my previous flight, so no comment on this. Ok this must be what you guys are wondering, service? This set of crews were younger and more Asians this time round, service was better, but comparing with airlines like SQ, CX or MH, service is still not there yet. Also, my PTV on this flight was not working, and there was no other seats available, so I have to put up with it until LHR. This was of course included part of the complaint. More about this flight, it was much smoother than my previous flight, meals was tasty . Despite not able to use the PTV, the flight was better and I did catch some sleep on this flight.


Conclusion

I guess you can say that I was quite unlucky in both flights, I did have thoughts of just flying back on another airline, but that would waste a fair bit of $$. Besides, I still wanted to fly on the A340-600 which in my opinion was a more comfortable passenger plane than the Boeing 777-300ER. (Sorry to my Boeing friends :P) Stay tune for my return flight to know whether did it get any better or worse!

Ratings

Service : 6/10
Aircraft: 10/10
Cleanliness : 10/10
Punctuality: 10/10
Comfort: 7/10

Grade: B+

For more of my trip reports and photos, please feel free to view my blog.

http://www.charlesryan77w.blogspot.com/

Cheers
Charles


Airliners is the wings of my life.
14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinephotoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 450 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 16594 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Hey

I'm sad to hear the service was bad on both your flights! Although, it's nice to hear that the food and the aircraft
were great. I hope your image about the service will change in the future, I've had many bad experiences with service
before and a flight later, the service was splendid  .
Thanks for your TR!

Niek



'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 16376 times:

Hi Charles!

Nice report with nice pictures ! Too bad the crew wasn't that good on SIN-AUH; the crew makes a big difference in my opinion if' it's a good flight or not.

I much prefer the 777 to the 340-600 but I have flown it with QR. I flew EY in 2006 AUH-BKK and had a much better flight than you. Flight was not very full and I had a breakfast AND a snack on a 6h wich both were very nice.

Looking forward to hear about the return.

The777Man

edit year flown with EY to 2006 from 1996

[Edited 2011-10-08 16:26:55]


Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1795 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 16285 times:

Hi guys

Thanks for your replies.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
I much prefer the 777 to the 340-600 but I have flown it with QR. I flew EY in 1996 AUH-BKK and had a much better flight than you. Flight was not very full and I had a breakfast AND a snack on a 6h wich both were very nice.

Of course you prefer the 777, I will be surprise if you don't   Wow, that's about 10+ years ago, I guess things changed ? Services on board not only EY, but also EK used to be better in the past when their operations were much smaller then.

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 1):
I hope your image about the service will change in the future, I've had many bad experiences with service
before and a flight later, the service was splendid

Well, you will find them up after my return report is done, haven't started on that but should be done in the next few days  

Cheers
Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 16236 times:

Quoting 9V-SVC (Reply 3):
Wow, that's about 10+ years ago, I guess things changed ? Services on board not only EY, but also EK used to be better in the past when their operations were much smaller then.

Yes, things have changed. I lfew with EY in 2006, not 1996, my mistake. Still a while back.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineycp81 From Singapore, joined Jun 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15883 times:

Great trip report! I have always wanted to try the A346 but never had the chance. The closest was on TG but they swapped the A346 on the BKK-LHR route for the antiqued B744 for the summer schedule a couple of years ago.


My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 15490 times:

Hi Charles,

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I was expecting to enjoy the service on board this flight. Boy, I was so wrong.

Shame that you were disappointed with your flight experience despite getting to fly on the A346. The crew certainly make the difference and if they lack interest it spoils the enjoyment.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
One great thing I love about Airbus wide bodies is that they are 2-4-2 seating configuration

This is a major advantage for passengers in Y, you will only ever need to pass one person at most to get out if you have a window seat.

I have only flown on the A346 with SA from PER to JNB, but the A345 used to be a regular feature going to DXB. I agree that they are quieter and in EK's case the A345 is the only aircraft in their fleet that isn't 2-3-2 in J. Were you able to check out the EY's premium cabins either on boarding or deplaning?


User currently offlineCabincrewifly From Ireland, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14873 times:

Great TR!

Massive PTV's unlike BA!



EI FR RE EIR IWD MA FUA
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 14687 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & pictures Charles, thanks for sharing.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I heard positive feedback on EY's service, they are supposed to be better than Emirates. Like Emirates and Qatar, they have a crew of foreigners from all around the world. My expectation of this airline is high, so I was expecting to enjoy the service on board this flight. Boy, I was so wrong. This has to be one of the worst flight services I had experienced at least for this year. The cabin crews were rude and grouchy and they looked disinterested in their jobs. Most of their time they spend at the gallery chatting among themselves. I was wondering was this for real? It's unbelievable! 2/10 is the highest I can give!

- I last flew EY in 2007, 4 sectors, 3 of the 4 flights had poor service from poor crews, really unimpressed and not sure when I will step aboard one of their planes again, suspect when the get their first A380.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
The take off was powerful and what was more significant compared to the 777-300 is that this plane was much quieter even though it was powered with 4 engines than 777-300's 2 engines

- The 777 is a loud noisy plane, I try and avoid them where possible, nasty things!

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
Also, my PTV on this flight was not working,

- I too had that problem on 3 of the 4 flights.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
the A340-600 which in my opinion was a more comfortable passenger plane than the Boeing 777-300ER

- Totally agree!

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1795 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 13738 times:

Quoting ycp81 (Reply 5):

Great trip report! I have always wanted to try the A346 but never had the chance. The closest was on TG but they swapped the A346 on the BKK-LHR route for the antiqued B744 for the summer schedule a couple of years ago.

That was very unlucky! TG is well known for doing last min equipment swops at least in the past in SIN when you see a mixture of everything coming in especially on TG403/404 and TG409/TG410 (BKK-SIN flights).

Quoting Quokka (Reply 6):
Were you able to check out the EY's premium cabins either on boarding or deplaning?

Yeah , I did but was not able to take photos of them, unfortunately. The A345's business class looks very nice, different from the A332 and A346 if I was not wrong.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 8):
The 777 is a loud noisy plane, I try and avoid them where possible, nasty things!

I would try to take them only if I get to sit the rows in front of the engine, quieter but still not that quiet to my liking.


Thanks for your comments guys ! I have more trip reports coming up and my return flight is currently on the works. Will post that up once I am done!

Have a nice one!

Charles



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1152 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 13046 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I wanted to fly the A340-600 quite badly

You have no idea how much I want to fly this bird!!!

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
I get to fly on my favourite Airbus A330-200

Yes the Airbus A330-200 is indeed such a graceful bird, when compared to it's bigger sisters the -500 and -600 versions and comfortable too

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
However, the A380s would be there for a while, so flying the A340-600 was the deciding factor!

Etihad's A340-600s will be here for a while too. They aren't going anywhere for now.

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
The strangest thing is you get to choose the seat first before you book, my first time encountered on any airline. That was how full the flight was. Since I had no choice, I choose aisle seats at the side

Etihad's seat bookings on the internet by default block out all the window seats. It is not indicative of a full flight. One call to the Call Centre and you can have the window seat of your choice (if available). They usually just block off the first few seats (for infants) and the last few seats (which can be used for operating crew)

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
This has to be one of the worst flight services I had experienced at least for this year. The cabin crews were rude and grouchy and they looked disinterested in their jobs.

Yes, it is a shame that EY's cabin crew truly fall short on service. It is not the same as it was when I flew them when they had just started services to YYZ. You can read those reviews here.

Etihad Airways YYZ-AUH-KHI (Nov'05)-Lots Of Pics! (by Flightsimboy Dec 22 2009 in Trip Reports)

Etihad Airways KHI-AUH-YYZ (Dec'05) Lots Of Pics (by Flightsimboy Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)

Etihad Airways YYZ-AUH EY 140 & AUH-KHI EY 221 (by flightsimboy Nov 26 2010 in Trip Reports)

Etihad Airways KHI-AUH EY 222 & AUH-YYZ EY 141 (by flightsimboy Nov 26 2010 in Trip Reports)

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
When that time came, I was one of the first economy passengers to head towards the runway.

You mean the airbridge  . But I guess you were eager for the A340-600 to get to the runway!!

Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
The take off was powerful and what was more significant compared to the 777-300 is that this plane was much quieter even though it was powered with 4 engines than 777-300's 2 engine
Quoting 9V-SVC (Thread starter):
still wanted to fly on the A340-600 which in my opinion was a more comfortable passenger plane than the Boeing 777-300ER

The Airbus aircraft are much quieter and I'd opt to fly on an A340 any day over the Boeing 777-300ER. But if you want to experience those powerful takeoffs, then the Boeing 777-300ERs are the ones to be on!! The Airbus A340s can take forerver to get up there.


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2887 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 12367 times:

Great report, shame the experience wasn't everything you had expected 

Out of interest how did the legroom/comfort compare between the A332 and A346? Flying SYD-AUH-MAN in December one both types, and from your report feeling a bit cautious with my expectations at the moment!


User currently offline9V-SVC From Singapore, joined Oct 2001, 1795 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12180 times:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 10):
Etihad's A340-600s will be here for a while too. They aren't going anywhere for now.

That's true, forgot to mention that I had already flown on the A380 with SQ, so flying the 346 was the deciding factor.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 10):
One call to the Call Centre and you can have the window seat of your choice (if available). They usually just block off the first few seats (for infants) and the last few seats (which can be used for operating crew)

Didn't know that, I know what to do next time, thanks!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 10):
You mean the airbridge  . But I guess you were eager for the A340-600 to get to the runway!!

Yeah, typo error, typed too quick ! airbridge :P

Quoting qf002 (Reply 11):
Out of interest how did the legroom/comfort compare between the A332 and A346?

A332/A346 are exactly the same if using the old seats. Currently there are new seats being installed on the A332s, not too sure when will A346 gets the revamp. My return trip is almost done and I will post it here soon, do check out the photos for comparison! Cheers. Have a great trip!



Airliners is the wings of my life.
User currently offlinevaus77w From Australia, joined Aug 2011, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 11435 times:

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 1):
The take off was powerful and what was more significant compared to the 777-300 is that this plane was much quieter even though it was powered with 4 engines than 777-300's 2 engines.

You're right on that one! Having flown the 777-300ER SYD-LAX return, those engines make a hell of a noise. Sleep is impossible without earplugs. I haven't flown on an A340 yet but it sounds much more comfortable.

Great TR. Was thinking about flying Etihad to Europe in the future but I think I'll look elsewhere based on what I've read.

[Edited 2011-10-14 04:26:04]

User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 854 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10205 times:

Nice report - thanks for posting.

I think Etihad really need to address their inflight service. Economy is never going to be amazing, but geez, I hear such bad things about EY. Three friends of mine who fly a lot have flown EY in the past 12 months - and they have all made a point of saying just how terrible the service was. This can't be a coincident. I now avoid EY, and actively tell people thinking of flying them to do the same. EY really need to address this.


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