kann123air From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1081 posts, RR: 3 Posted (2 years 6 months 1 week ago) and read 20358 times:
Welcome to part three of my June-July 2012 summer trip to India. This part includes the return, which I was especially looking forward to, since it would have my first flight on Etihad Airways, and my first flight on the Boeing 777-300ER.
Why did I want to fly EY? Well, the story starts in July 2007. We just landed in DEL on AA 292 from ORD, and in the gloominess and darkness of DEL, I saw an A330 that said "ETIHAD" across the body. I had seen a few pictures of the relatively young airline on airliners.net, but I had never seen it in person. It looked luxurious, so since then I had been determined to try it. (In my jetlagged and tired state, I thought it was a 777-300ER that had winglets)! Only later did I realize.....two engines....widebody.....winglets.....oh yeah, it's an A330!
Here are links to the first two parts of my India trip:
....and here is part three. After a month long vacation in Chennai, we headed to MAA late in the night on June 30th to catch the 5 am EY flight to AUH. Here are some pictures around MAA.
Checking in after arriving in MAA. Local time is about 1:20 am. This same counter just checked in 9W 226, which flies MAA-BRU-JFK. That probably would have been an easier way to get back to the USA, but I wanted to try EY!
While checking in, I looked at our boarding passes for the AUH-ORD segment. It listed our seats as 41 ABC. I was confused, since on aa.com I selected seats 20 HJK (I booked the flight as AA 6008). It turned out 41 ABC was right next to the galley, which I didn't like at all. I was frustrated with that aspect of EY.
We soon proceeded through security, and I walked around taking pictures while my parents were sleeping away. My aviation interest never dies at airports, no matter what time it is!
CX A330-300 shortly before pushing back to HKG:
This was one thing I was jealous about. EK can fly a 777-200 MAA-DXB, but EY can only operate an A320? Why?
First time seeing this guy. Air Arabia A320 leaving for Sharjah:
My boarding pass:
Our tiny little A320 that'll take us to AUH:
....and soon, we started boarding.
Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight number: EY 269
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A320
Departure time: 5:00 am
Arrival time: 7:45 am
Flying time: 4 hours 15 minutes
I was in awe of the beautiful and clean interior of the A320. Not to mention, it was the first A320 I'd ever been on with PTVs.
Speedbird 777-200 shortly before heading to LHR:
A Gulf Air A320 from BAH soon blocked my view of the magnificent 777:
And here is my PTV:
Freshly laundered for sweet dreams!:
AB and EY have an alliance now it looks like:
Starting to taxi out of Anna International Terminal now. AI express 738:
Shortly before the safety video:
Entering runway 07:
All the strolling around in MAA made me tired. I barely remember eating breakfast, but I was too exhausted to take a picture of it. I remember the choice though: some Indian food, or an omlette and potatoes. I was so tired of Indian food I chose the latter of the two choices. It was great!
I mustered up some strength to pull my D3000, which felt it like it weighed a ton, up to take some pictures of Abu Dhabi. I had never been to the Middle East before.
The sand colored winglets really go well with this desert backdrop.
I just love that ATC!:
China Airlines cargo 744 with two EY Crystal Cargo A330 aircraft:
This probably has something to do with the alliance between AB and EY:
You can see one of EY's formula one planes in the background.....can't quite tell what plane it is:
Visit Abu Dhabi 2012 A330 and Formula One A340 next to each other:
Tajik Air 757-200.....never seen that before.
Only then did I look at my watch. It was 8:30 a.m., and my next flight, EY 151 to ORD, was supposed to leave at 9:25, and we were still taxiing! I groaned....the first time I'm in an exotic Middle Eastern airport, I have to be in a hurry. Oh well.
I didn't take many pictures inside AUH. I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom! However, I did have time to stop at a chocolate shop and blow off $25 in three huge packets of authentic Middle Eastern chocolate. I have to say, it did taste much different and better than chocolate in the US!
A few of AUH next to the gate for EY 151:
And my first view of the majestic 777 that will carry us for the next 14 hours:
Boarding sign for the second longest flight EY operates. (The longest flight is SYD-AUH)
Wow! AA now serves AUH! :-P
And soon we start boarding my first 777-300ER flight!
Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight number: EY 151
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Departure time: 9:45 am
Arrival time: 3:30 pm
Flying time: 13 hours 55 minutes
Boarding now, walking through the jetway:
After walking to seat 41A, here is my PTV:
A little heli zooming over AUH:
Then they showed something I'd never seen: A travel prayer. I found it very interesting!
Taxiing now. Man, what a wing!!
End of the the safety video:
Another EY 773 headed somewhere:
We had to wait for this little guy to take off:
"Etihad 151 heavy, hold position, caution the Airbus A320 on the runway".
An A330 is following us:
Can't stop admiring that wing!
Good view of the company A330 while we power up:
Liftoff! Wow! An L1011 TriStar? Haven't seen him since the ATA days back in DFW!
Sun Air Airbus....A300 or A310?
Another new thing to me. A compass pointing toward Mecca, or "Makkah".
Look at that wingflex!!
And soon, the inflight entertainment turned on. Etihad's EBOX:
Good selection of recent movies. I watched a little bit of the Hunger Games, but since I'd already seen it, I quit after a while.
An Emirates plane, looks like a 777. Heading in the same direction as us, after takeoff from DXB:
Just can't stop admiring that unbelievable wingflex!!:
I have seen this city almost every night on NBC Nightly News back in the USA. Now I was thrilled to see it in person. Here is the city of Baghdad, Iraq.
Lunch was served flying over Iraq. It was a delicious dory fish fillet, with rice and eggplant:
I have this habit: holding the open butter container next to the map. I did it while flying over Kentucky on Speedbird 192 heavy (DFW-LHR), and I did it while flying over Chernobyl on Singapore 317 super (LHR-SIN).
The interior of our new 777-300ER:
No, this is not my laptop. This is the EBOX, where you can do any word processing!
I really don't know the point of this map, but it looks cool.
For the next two hours, I watched "Chasing Justice", starring Nicholas Cage. It was an excellent movie....I don't know why it bombed in the box office! One thing I'm mad about, though, is that I missed out on seeing Norway. By the time the movie was over we were above the UK, already over the Atlantic.
I opened my window for a peek of Iceland. (The FA's told all of us to close them after takeoff). It was quite cloudy, but if you look closely, you can see a little sliver of land.
A few hours later.....Greenland!
Thankfully the clouds parted, giving us some stunning views!
This confirms our location:
After entering Canada, our second lunch was served, consisting of a lamb patty with potatoes and zucchini. It was AMAZING!! (Notice how there's no salad left. At that point in the flight, I had told myself that I'm to tired to take my camera out and take a picture. However, the monkey on my shoulder kept nagging me, so after the salad I forced myself to do it. Now I'm glad that I did it!)
We then slowly started to descend into ORD:
Chicago Executive Airport (PWK):
....and, our first sight of ORD:
During this whole time, I was staring at the map on the EBOX, looking to see how far we had flown. The reason I was so eager to find this out was, I was hoping that this flight would become the longest flight I'd ever flown. The record holder was ORD-DEL on AA 292 back in July 2007 (when I saw an Etihad aircraft for the first time), and that was 7,477 miles. we were at 7,600 circling above ORD, and I was just hoping to cross that barrier. However, we only reached 7,417 miles. So, by distance, AA 292 still holds the record, but by duration, EY 151 beats AA 292 by a mere three minutes! (13 hours 55 minutes to 13 hours 52 minutes!)
Our massive flaps during touchdown:
I have good memories on this gate. This is where we boarded AA 292 in July 2007. Now it has an AA 777 that later left for LHR:
Some international heavies here in ORD:
I don't think this 738 counts as a heavy! Neat little AeroMexico advertising The Avengers:
AA 763 from Helsinki-Vantaa:
What a view of different airlines! Something only ORD and a few other airports around the world can boast:
Closeup of the Alitalia 767-300
AeroMexico 738, Alitalia 763, and United 744:
The PTVs....I'll miss you Etihad!
Stickers and notes left by the EY crew informing the other crew of shortages. (Guess who drank all the amazing mango juice :-P)
And we then got off. I'll miss EY a lot.
We then passed through Customs and Immigration, and here are the display boards here in ORD:
Oh, and one thing I almost forgot to mention. I didn't sleep even one second for the entire 13 hour 55 minutes of the flight. That shows my deep aviation interest!
Cool special ERJ:
My next flight will be on one of these little guys. My first one on a CRJ-700, in fact.
Was excited to see this. I'd never seen a SkyWest with this livery. Is it old, or just a special livery?
The SwissAir A330-300 just took off for ZRH:
Lufthansa 747 taxiing for takeoff:
N642AE! I just flew on this guy a month ago when heading to India FSM-DFW! Hello once again buddy! And thanks again, thanks to your delay in FSM I missed the AA 772 and instead got to fly on an awesome BA 744! (Here he is, coming in from OMA)
Wow. Virgin Atlantic A340-600 taxiing for LHR:
UA 772 after landing from PEK:
Cool floor here in Concourse G:
I've never seen this before. Why is there no Eagle on N834AE?
I was out like a light after that. The next thing I remember is the sqeal of the tires as we touched down in XNA.
And, my last picture of the trip as we pulled into the gate at XNA.
Overall, the return trip was nice and fast (compared to the trip to India). EY was great, but nothing, in my opinion, can beat the quality of service on Singapore Airlines. I would say EY151 was the second best flight I've ever flown, first being SQ317 one month before.
Thanks for reading, and as usual, comments are appreciated!
jetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1469 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week ago) and read 20322 times:
My first international flight was on EY's 77W back in 2007. I flew from MNL to AUH. I'm glad that you had a great time with EY and it's nice to see that they're flying the 77W to ORD. I saw one when I was at ORD last summer. AUH looks much better than it was 5 years ago! BTW, the food looks delicious. As for the IFE, I could only echo your comments about it. If it was great back in 2007, then it should be fantastic today.
Quoting kann123air (Thread starter): Overall, the return trip was nice and fast (compared to the trip to India). EY was great, but nothing, in my opinion, can beat the quality of service on Singapore Airlines. I would say EY151 was the second best flight I've ever flown, first being SQ317 one month before.
That's good to hear! Flying on SQ for the first time this Friday, including JFK-FRA-SIN then back on the A388 so I would definitely trust you on this one (and the common consensus that SQ is one of the best out there)
okapi From France, joined Jun 2006, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 19622 times:
Great report! I don't fancy that much the idea of spending 14 hours in Y but EY's product looks very nice. It seems that more and more airline cabin crew try to force pax to keep the cabin as dark as possible. I hate it!
I have the feeling transfer at AUH is easier than in other Middle East airports. How do you rate EY against SQ?
This is an A310-300 which was formerly operated for Air Kazakhstan and has been stored at AUH for at least 8 years. It got all painted up in Sun Air (Sudan) colours but was never delivered and continues to languish behind the hangars. One of the Midex A300s was scrapped there a few weeks ago, so I'm sure the Sun Air A310 will eventually suffer the same fate, if it has not already.
kann123air From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1081 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 19310 times:
Thanks for the replies!
Quoting jetBlue777 (Reply 1): My first international flight was on EY's 77W back in 2007. I flew from MNL to AUH. I'm glad that you had a great time with EY and it's nice to see that they're flying the 77W to ORD. I saw one when I was at ORD last summer. AUH looks much better than it was 5 years ago! BTW, the food looks delicious. As for the IFE, I could only echo your comments about it. If it was great back in 2007, then it should be fantastic today.
Yes, the IFE was great. But, again, it was the second best IFE I've ever experienced. The first being SQ's on the A380. (I'm raising your hopes really high!)
Quoting okapi (Reply 3): I don't fancy that much the idea of spending 14 hours in Y but EY's product looks very nice.
It was fine actually. I was actually hoping the last six hours would go by slower since I was having such a good time!
Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 4): One is going to DUS, the other to HKT - every morning. The HKT flight is very useful
Wow! Why HKT?
Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 4): This is an A310-300 which was formerly operated for Air Kazakhstan and has been stored at AUH for at least 8 years. It got all painted up in Sun Air (Sudan) colours but was never delivered and continues to languish behind the hangars. One of the Midex A300s was scrapped there a few weeks ago, so I'm sure the Sun Air A310 will eventually suffer the same fate, if it has not already.
debonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2487 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 18735 times:
Quoting kann123air (Reply 7): Ah, I see. But can't an A330 make the 5,700 miles from Germany to Phuket?
Yeap, maybe... But, under the new agreement with ETIHAD AB is no longer allowed to serve Asian destinations -like BKK (to protect EY and their AUH hub!). This is ridiculous, as passengers are now booked on flights via hubs in DUS and AUH to BKK to connect to partner-airline Bangkok Airways for domestic flights (like Koh Samui)!!!
It's not uncommon to see STN-DUS-AUH-BKK-USM or PMI-DUS-AUH-HKT-BKK....
IrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2264 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 18478 times:
Beautiful TR. I love the focus on ORD. I live here now and indeed, the lineup at T5 is truly spectacular. EY seems like a great little airline. If it were possible to earn EQMs on EY, I would fly them to DEL. Instead, I have to go with UA via EWR
I also miss AA 292/293. Such a shame it went away. I just dropped off my Mom at ORD to fly AI 126 and they are such a mess....rerouted ORD-FRA-DEL-HYD instead of the original n/s ORD-DEL-HYD. Also delayed 90 mins. Sigh.
Thanks again for posting. Hope you had a fun trip!
next flights: jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg, cdg-phl-msp
Yes EY's baby airbuses are spotlessly clean!! And the seats have a soothing colour too
Quoting kann123air (Thread starter): I barely remember eating breakfast, but I was too exhausted to take a picture of it. I remember the choice though: some Indian food, or an omlette and potatoes
So then you did not get those Snack bags that are served on those short haul flights. You can check out my reports to see what they look like. It contains a sandwhich, yogurt, banana and a bottle of juice.
kann123air From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 1081 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18033 times:
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 12): So then you did not get those Snack bags that are served on those short haul flights. You can check out my reports to see what they look like. It contains a sandwhich, yogurt, banana and a bottle of juice.
Hm, I wonder why. What route did you fly that provided the snack bags?
9w748capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 642 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 17842 times:
Excellent report! I was wondering when we'd see the return legs I almost flew EY on my last trip back from India but opted for RJ instead. I was pondering doing a TR but got too lazy so I applaud your efforts to drag the camera out and take the requisite pics! One question - did you find the 10-abreast seating comfortable on EY's 77W? Honestly that's a big reason I chose RJ was to avoid that insane arrangement (even though AA is also adopting it so it'll be unavoidable) - and to try out the A342.
Let me know if you're ever in OKC and we can go spot some ERJs here
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 17389 times:
Thank for the interesting read, a good conclusion of the series. Looks as though Etihad took good care of you on the flight. And the B777 is simply an amazing aircraft. No wonder you couldn't stop taking pictures of that wing!
By the way, I really think that picture you took of the Swiss A330 banking left on climb out from Chicago is excellent.
Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 15): did you find the 10-abreast seating comfortable on EY's 77W?
I found it to be very comfortable, but then again, I'm a very skinny person, so I find almost every airline seat to be comfortable. Also, I can't be sure about this, but since we were on the last row, I think we had slightly more of a recline.
Quoting Cactus739 (Reply 17): I think this is the first report I've ever seen including XNA... welcome back to NWA!
That's right! I hadn't realized that! Thanks!
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 18): By the way, I really think that picture you took of the Swiss A330 banking left on climb out from Chicago is excellent.