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Off To Zimbabwe, Part 3: Etihad JNB-AUH-LHR  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 16726 times:

Off to Zimbabwe, Part 3: Etihad JNB-AUH-LHR




http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/cover.jpg

Intro



Hi!

Thanks for clicking on Part 3 of my Zimbabwe report!

This report covers my return flight from Johannesburg to London, via Abu Dhabi on Etihad

All the flights for my trip


EI 277 Birmingham BHX – Dublin DUB, A320
EI 208 Dublin DUB – Manchester MAN, A320
EY 22 Manchester MAN – Abu Dhabi AUH, A330
EY 604 Abu Dhabi AUH – Johannesburg JNB, A330
BA 6267 Johannesburg JNB – Harare HRE, B734
BA 6292 Livingstone LVI - Johannesburg JNB, B734
EY 603 Johannesburg JNB – Abu Dhabi, A330
EY 19 Abu Dhabi – London Heathrow LHR, B77W

My route, courtesy of GC Mapper, of these reports


The report is split into three parts


Part 1, BHX-DUB-MAN-AUH-JNB
Part 2, JNB-HRE, LVI-JNB
Part 3, JNB-AUH-LHR

And here’s the map of Part 3


The Report



With my Club flight from Livingstone safely landed in Johannesburg, my health given a nod from the authorities, and my luggage picked up, I went looking for the Etihad desks. I had just over 4 hours before departure, so was not expecting to find any. I was quite surprised to find not only that the desks were open, but that there was a substantial queue of people waiting. Having learnt from my mistakes before, I’d OLCI. This also meant I could skip the main queue – the OLCI queue had just one couple (also headed to LHR) in front of me.

EY check in in JNB
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1120.jpg

Continuing this holidays’ theme of seating issues, this flight would also have its peculiarities. After the problems on the southbound flight from MAN, I’d tried to re-reserve some window seats on these two EY flights. EY was in the middle of updating their website. When it came back online, no reservations made in the past could be managed online. I called up, and spoke to someone who didn’t really understand my request for a “window behind the wing, but not at the very back”. The result? A window seat in the very back row for both flights. Oh well, better than over the wing or in the middle, and I’m sure I can sort it out later.

A few weeks before the flight, I was also invited via email to bid for an upgrade to Pearl Business Class. The price was $449 for the JNB-AUH leg, and $650 for AUH-LHR. After contemplating for a while, I decided to stick to Y (and spend the money on the Victoria Falls helicopter ride instead). Those luxurious flat beds look great.



At OLCI my reserved seats seemed changeable, but kind of weren’t. “Kind of” as after a lot of wrestling with the system (it took me 20 minutes), my JNB-AUH seat was stuck, but my AUH-LHR seat was changeable. Horrible system.

I hoped that at the desk, they’d be able to move my seat. The guy was helpful, but he was also unable to release the seat. I was stuck at the very back for the JNB-AUH sector.

The DL desks over the way
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1121.jpg

With most of the European, American and Middle Eastern flights leaving in the late afternoon/evening, security and immigration was a lot busier than when I flew to HRE a few weeks earlier. Took about 30 minutes in total, so not too bad. Most of the immigration officials were in plain clothes, which it thought made them look very tatty. I’m glad the UKBA has forced the officers in the UK to wear uniforms now. Looks so much better.

Some planes…
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1124.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1125.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1126.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1127.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1128.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1129.jpg

Lounging in South Africa

I thought I’d try my luck getting into the SLOW lounge as an arrival Club passengers…sadly, it was a no go, so I headed on to the Sholongolo lounge.

Looking down from the SLOW lounge entrance
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1123.jpg

Like everywhere else in the airport, the Sholongolo lounge was really busy this time. Thankfully, there was no one else waiting for a shower, so I went straight in. JNB is now on my airport shower list (#16).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1130.jpg

The shower was great – I felt reinvigorated, and ready for my overnight sector. Time to hit the buffet? Sadly, as the lounge was busy, there were precious few seats left. I ended up in a far corner, with a footstool as a table. I grabbed some sparkling water, a Thai curry, and some sushi.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1131.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1132.jpg

The corner
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1133.jpg

Some more sushi, and a horrible burger thing
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1134.jpg

Cappuccino
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1135.jpg

And some rather sweet sparkling wine


After nearly 2 hours in the lounge, I decided to head out to explore the terminal a bit.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1137.jpg

FIDS. Abu Dhabi from gate A1
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1138.jpg

I wasn’t planning a further visit to the Bidvest lounge, but thought I might as well as I was passing.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1139.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1140.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1141.jpg

And a small snackette
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0596.jpg

Time for one last Amarula


The rather bland passageway down to A1
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1144.jpg

There was an unexplained delay for boarding. After 20 minute wait, the line started moving.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0600.jpg




When I first booked the flights, I noticed that the seat map on this leg didn’t correspond to any on the EY website. Hmmm, something’s wrong! A quick check showed that occasionally an Air Seychelles (HM) A330 (their one and only) operated on behalf of EY on the JNB route. EY own HM. When I rounded the corner of the airbridge and saw the distinctive blue lettering, I knew this to be the case for my flight. Cool!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1145.jpg

Yes, I’m definitely flying on Air Seychelles!



March 2013
Johannesburg (JNB) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Etihad EY 603, operated by Air Seychelles
Scheduled: 2030-0635 (8h05m)
Actual: 2052-0615 (7h23m)
Airbus 330-223, A6-EYY
Economy



Operated by

Plane Info

Interestingly, there was another Etihad plane registered as A6-EYY for 10 months over 2004/5. This now 15 year old A330 both started with and is currently with TAM. However, my A6-EYY is 7 years old, and started life with Jet Airways. It was bought by Etihad in July 2012, but has seemingly spent it’s short life on the EY register in HM uniform.

Time flies in the Seychelles

Time to find my seat, right at the back. First impressions were good. Thankfully, my seat reclined, and the window was well positioned.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1146.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1147.jpg

The cabin gradually filled up
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1148.jpg

The cabin was an odd hybrid of HM and EY. Crew were HM, amenities EY, catering EY, aircraft livery HM, aircraft registration EY, IFE HM, interior decoration HM, safety card/demo EY, service standards (generally) EY.

I recognised a few of the HM crew from the flight over – they were deadheading a few rows in front of me. There were some EY crew (in uniform) dead heading back to AUH as well.

It was just as well I didn’t pay for the upgrade to Business as the only reason was to try out the EY full flat seat. This bird had regular 2x2x2 seating. As the seat map had showed the HM aircraft from the time of reservation, I assume EY knew throughout that they were advertising an upgrade to their fancy seat, but all the while they knew the passenger would be flying an inferior HM seat. Very devious and underhand.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1149.jpg

El-Al next door
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1151.jpg

Isn’t that a gorgeous wingtip?!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1165.jpg

Good legroom
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1150.jpg

Headphones
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1152.jpg

And amenity kit
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1153.jpg


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 16875 times:

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1167.jpg

Safety card
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1169.jpg

IFE controller
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1156.jpg

Some interesting info on HM
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1157.jpg

The AVOD selection was, shall we say, “limited”. Thank goodness this was an overnight flight, and not a daytime one. There wasn’t even a moving map.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1158.jpg

HM fleet. I’m amazed that bringing HM to profitability involves just 1 longhual aircraft, and dropping all of their old European routes. As far as I know, there is one SEZ-AUH-HKG route, but I don’t know how the JNB rotation fits in with just one aircraft?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1163.jpg

Amazingly, despite the flight apparently being full, the seat next to me is empty (I can’t see any other empty seats). On the seat map, however, it showed a full (and also at check, the guy said I had a neighbour). I think that it might have been open as a crew rest seat (given that as crew walked past, they’d dump stuff found in the aisle (blankets/pillows etc) there. Kind of rude seeing as it was obviously that I was “using” both seats.

Off we go!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1170.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1176.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1186.jpg

The moon was glowing so brightly. This was the best shot of it I could get though.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1201.jpg

My seat had info in English and Arabic, whilst the aisle seat betrayed the aircraft’s past in India.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1208.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1209.jpg

Thankfully, on the very short list of films available, was Argo, Ben Afleck’s “vintage escape from Iran” thriller….and thrilling it indeed was.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1210.jpg

Cain all lit up after take off
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1211.jpg

The woman in front had all these horrid cushion things….they seemed to spend most of the flight either squished in the gap touching my knees, or on the floor by my feet.


I lifted this from the lounge….just as well, I was getting thirsty waiting for the drinks cart…..


Well, much like on the MAN-AUH leg, the crew took an age to get to me. The trolley arrived two hours and two minutes after take off. So, the food got to me slightly sooner, but there was no pre-meal drinks service. I asked the crew if this was SOP (to not serve a drink until two hours into the flight). I was quite shocked to hear that “with certain flights” it was. Completely unacceptable. People need something to drink, even if it’s just a quick water round before they start passing out the meals.

So, the food….unlike on the other flights, there was no menu. I can’t remember what this was, but it was fairly tasty. I have no idea how many options they crew started with, but this was the only option for me. Thank goodness I had the empty seat, otherwise I’d have been really annoyed being stuck at the back!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1216.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1217.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1218.jpg

Argo finished about the same time as my meal arrived, so I switched over for some Caribbean easy listening.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1219.jpg

Meal completed
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1220.jpg

Now I just have to wait for the tray to be taken away….another long wait (2h40m after take-off)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1221.jpg

I was tired and fed up by this stage, so went to brush my teeth, and try and get some sleep.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1222.jpg

I did get a G&T to help me sleep though


Nearly dark cabin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1227.jpg

Of course, at the back is the lit galley. Despite there being some very nice curtains, the crew couldn’t be bothered to close them during the night. This is certainly not a 5* crew.


A look around the back of the plane


I managed an hour or two of sleep before a “chicken or vegetable sandwich” was offered for breakfast. I used inverted commas as that was how it was sold by the crew. The reality was an omelette wrap, with traces of meat, possibly chicken.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1229.jpg

Lights are on before landing
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1230.jpg

A new deserty day is dawning over the Saudi peninsula
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1234.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1236.jpg

The EY magazine was an ok read (well, when the AVOD is as limited as on HM, you have to do something!). Sadly, it was obvious that some articles (like the one below) were paid for adverts despite being presented as factual travel features.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1237.jpg

Nearly in Abu Dhabi!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1238.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1242.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1246.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1252.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1255.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1256.jpg

Once again we were shunted off to a remote stand near the cargo area.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1256.jpg

Disembarkation…by stairs of course
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0607.jpg

Abu Dhabi Transit

After another bus ride, and transit past the trippy 1970s blue domed departure hall, it was on to the lounge. Again I tried to get into the Al Reem lounge, but was again denied “as the lounge upstairs is nicer”. Why be part of Priority Pass if you won’t let anyone use it!? So, again I head up to the Al Dhabi lounge for a shower and breakfast.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1265.jpg

FIDS…look like the LHR is delayed. This isn’t a problem and now means there’s no need to rush my shower and breakfast
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1263.jpg

My plane seems to be turning around as an HM operated flight to SEZ
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1264.jpg

The breakfast selection wasn’t quite a good this time….here’s my odd selection:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1266.jpg

Melon
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1269.jpg

Yoghurty muesli thing


And a hot chocolate
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1267.jpg

Part of the buffet


Lounge
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1268.jpg

An hour or so before the new ETD, I leave the lounge and begin my walk across to Terminal 3.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1271.jpg

After negotiating what is probably the most complicated airport shopping maze in the world, I find the LHR gate. My 77W is looking great in the Arab sun.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1274.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1277.jpg

Time to board?

This flight also seems to be pretty full. Managing boarding is a very stressed looking young English man, and another expat lady. The large queue of premium passengers and even larger queue of economy ones don’t move much despite their efforts. Problem passengers in both lines means boarding takes forever for everyone. At one passenger every 15 seconds or so, it takes a while to board the +300 seat plane. There is an apology broadcast apologising for the delay due to the “new boarding process”. Clearly, there are plenty of issues to resolve with it. Maybe they should “board” people as they enter the departure lounge (where they currently just check passports/visas) rather that as they enter the airbridge?

Finally, I’m on my way
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1278.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0611.jpg

March 2013
Abu Dhabi (AUH) – London Heathrow (LHR)
Etihad EY 19
Scheduled: 0840-1225 (7h45m)
Actual: 1029-1336 (7h07m)
Boeing 777-3FX/ER, A6-ETL
Economy

Plane Info
Our plane is a 3 month old newbie to the flying world.

Welcome onboard!

Given the massive queue behind me, it’s unsurprising that the plane is still not too busy. I have a seat mate though, someone I recognise off the JNB flight so we have a bit of a chat about the crap HM IFE. It later turns out his PTV on this leg doesn’t work but decides not to alert the crew to try and fix it.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1279.jpg

Loading like-with-like
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1280.jpg

The EY Airbus farm
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1281.jpg

Nice seats…much bigger screen than on the HM plane
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1283.jpg



A346 pulling out
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1285.jpg

How many crew does it take to open a door?


Menus are handed out on this leg. The breakfast options don’t inspire me at all.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1291.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1290.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1294.jpg

Still loading cargo
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1292.jpg

The A320s look great in the EY livery
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1295.jpg

A pre take off prayer
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1301.jpg

And then the safety demo
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1302.jpg



Our route
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1296.jpg

A prop landing…you don’t get many of these in the Middle East
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1305.jpg

Nice mood lighting
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1307.jpg

Finally, everyone is aboard, and we push back, nearly 2 hours late. EY seem to have real issues with timely departures from their hub.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1309.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1310.jpg

HM from afar
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1311.jpg

There are a few colleagues ahead of us for take off
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1315.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1316.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1318.jpg

And a nice corporate E jet
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1320.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1321.jpg



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 16862 times:

Some Amiri Jets
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1324.jpg

Finally, it’s our turn
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1323.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1328.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1331.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1333.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1338.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1342.jpg

And hitting the Arabian Gulf
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1343.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1344.jpg

Hot towels are handed out. It seems pot luck as to whether you get them on your EY flight
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1346.jpg

I’m quite shocked to see the same poor choice of films available as on my way out. It’s the 3rd of the month, so either it takes them a long time to update, or they only change the films every other month. Argh, what am I going to watch?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1345.jpg

I end up watching some bizarre film about a child and their adoptive family (The odd life of Timothy Green) . I don’t get it, so snooze most of the way through
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1348.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1350.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1352.jpg

Some company
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1354.jpg

Breakfast. As I said, the choices weren’t inspiring. Thankfully the most interesting of the lot was still available when the trolley arrived…the shish taok. Once again, it seemed that daytime flights get much faster service (70 mins after take off), but there was still no pre meal drink.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1357.jpg

It was an ok meal
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1358.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1361.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1362.jpg

Brrr
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1363.jpg

Handy info
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1365.jpg

With the odd child film over, I try Total Recall, but only manage about half an hour before giving up.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1371.jpg

Time for some light libations? A G&T please!


Over the snowy peaks of Romania
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1376.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1377.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0612.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0614.jpg

Dark cabin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0615.jpg

Next film? I go with Up.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0616.jpg

And another G&T


And over to Prague
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1381.jpg

The cloud cover increases over Western Europe
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1383.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1387.jpg

The “café” service is next….another wrap. It’s ok.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1382.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0618.jpg

Beginning our descent into LHR
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/DSCF1390.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0619.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0624.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0625.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0628.jpg

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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0632.jpg

Welcome to London!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0635.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0637.jpg

The new Germanwings
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0638.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0639.jpg

El Al when I left, El Al when I arrvied
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0641.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0642.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0643.jpg

Two EK A380s in LHR isn’t a novelty anymore
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0644.jpg

Not to be outdone, the Qataris also have two in town, one A and one B
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0645.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0646.jpg

Bye Etihad….probably won’t be seeing you again very soon
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0647.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0648.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0649.jpg

Filing past the nice C cabin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim3/IMAG0650.jpg

Immigration was fairly quick (a lunchtime arrive is good, avoiding the Indian and Far Eastern dawn and dusk crushes), and I was soon in the baggage hall. Belt 00? Does that actually exist? Turns out it does. Surely they could have named in belt 1A or something so it doesn’t look so much like a typo.


And then it was off to the tube to head home

So, what did I think?



Etihad seemed to like to keep you guessing. Consistency is certainly not their strong point, and I think this is one thing that doesn’t sit well with customers. Everything just seems a bit random, and poorly thought out.

Whilst for me the Air Seychelles plane and crew was a bonus (well in some respects), for others I’m sure it was very strange. I’d have been furious if I’d paid for an upgrade, only to find the old recliner seats rather than EY’s flat beds. The dubious IFE offerings on that bird didn’t impress either.

Sadly the issue of late late serving of meals on the overnight sectors cropped up again. The complete lack of a pre-meal drink, however, is really not to my taste. And the IFE….how often do they update this? If you have a paltry choice of films, please, at least change them every month.

So overall, I wouldn’t rate EY terribly highly. Certainly, they were a big step down from Qatar. I even think SV were a bit better (and certainly don’t blow a lot of hot air around). The crew were not terribly welcoming, and were clearly there for the dosh, not the job. Would I fly them again? Well, for a cheap fare, then yes. For a high quality and enjoyable flight? No.

As always, all comments and questions welcome, and thanks for reading about my latest trip!

Upcoming trips reports:



Late Jan/early Feb saw me complete my Star Alliance lounge tour of Europe (i.e. do the lounges I want to see before my LH Silver card finally gives way to Blue) with LH, LO & OS routing LHR-DUS-WAW-VIE-LHR. I’m writing this trip up after my African adventure
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/dubrovnik/wawtrip.gif

Easter will herald another inaugural, Cityjet’s new LCY-DRS route, along with a return NUE-LCY.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/dubrovnik/drstrip.gif

My Virgin flight up to Manchester for the A.net meet come in April, and my “interesting” return to London via Leeds, Geneva and Nice.


And now I have Gold staus with FlyingBlue, I thought it time to check out the Skyteam lounges in LHR, CDG and AMS:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/zim2/mapq.gif


Some of my other TRs:



Off to Zimbabwe, Part 2. BA/Comair, JNB-HRE, LVI-JNB
Off to Zimbabwe, Part 1. EI & EY, BHX-DUB-MAN-AUH-JNB
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 3, BDS-LIN-LHR
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 2. MXP-NRT-FCO-BRI
La Dolce Vita with Alitalia, Part 1. LHR-FCO-GOA
Dubrovnik with British Airways. Club on the B734
Autumn Asia Part 10: Take me home Saudia! DEL-RUH-LHR B777
Autumn Asia Part 9: Air India 787. Calcutta - Delhi
Autumn Asia Part 8: United Airways DAC-ZYL, Jet Airways DAC-CCU
Autumn Asia Part 7: Going Beyond Expectations. MH KUL-DAC on the A330
Autumn Asia Part 6: Silk Air and Firefly around the Malay Peninsula. SIN-LGK-SZB
Autumn Asia Part 5: Fine Dining on Scoot. TPE-SIN on the 777
Autumn Asia Part 4: First with Cathay Pacific: HKG-TPE F on the B744
Autumn Asia Part 3: Around China with KN, MU & CN
Autumn Asia Part 2: JALing it to Beijing. JL HND-PEK 772 Business
Autumn Asia Part 1: Limoncello with Alitalia. BA/AZ LHR-MXP-FCO-NRT
Va BeNe with Cityjet. RTM-LCY Fokker 50
Truly Great Britain: FlyBE EDI-IOM on Saab 340 & BA IOM-LCY on Saab 2000
Cyprus with Aegean. Business on the A321, LHR-LCA-LHR
Scotland In A Day: FlyBE GLA-BHD-LGW. DH8 & E190
Tegel A.Net Meet. SN LHR-BRU-TXL, LH TXL-BHX
Bye Bye Baby: easyJet LTN-BFS, bmi Baby BHD-BHX
Air One and Alitalia to Sicily – LGW-MXP-PMO-LIN-LHR
Part 12: Sun Air of Scandinavia & BA, DUS-BLL-MAN-LHR on the J31, D328 and A320
Part 11: Thai Airways BKK-FRA, B77W First Class & LH FRA-DUS Business
Part 10: Thai Airways Kathmandu-Bangkok, B772 Business Class
Part 9: Yeti Airlines “Everest Express” on the J41
Part 8: Biman Bangladesh A310 Dhaka-Kathmandu
Part 7: United Airways ATR Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar & Regent Airways Dash Chittagong-Dhaka
Part 6: Biman Bangladesh DC10 Calcutta-Dhaka
Part 5: SpiceJet B739 & Jet Konnect B738 Calcutta-Bagdogra rtn, with Darjeeling
Part 4: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class Singapore-Calcutta
Part 3: Sriwijiaya Airlines & Lion Air Boeing 737-900ER Banda Aceh-Medan-Jakarta-Singapore
Part 2: Valuair/Jetstar Asia SIN-MES and Garuda MES-BTJ
Part 1: U2 LTN-BCN, SQ BCN-SIN 77W Business
Africa Part 7: British Airways Club Europe B767, LCA-LHR
Africa Part 6: LX ZRH-ATH, A3 ATH-LCA. A Greek Tragedy
Africa Part 5: Dar es Salaam – Nairobi – Zurich with Swiss First
Africa Part 4: Fly 540 DAR-ZNZ in Y, and Zanzibar photos
Africa Part 3: ET KGL-EBB-ADD-DAR-ZNZ, A to Z with Ethiopian Airlines in C
Africa Part 2: SN BRU-BJM, SA BJM-KGL, Business to Burundi and Rwanda
Africa Part 1: BD LHR-CMN, TP CMN-LIS, SN LIS-BRU in Y and C
A.net meeting in snowy Tallinn. U2/FR STN-TLL-LTN
easyJet and bmi up to Aberdeen, LTN-ABZ-LHR
The Costa del Sol with British Airways. LGW-AGP-LCY
Mysterious Moldova (and Transnistria). Lufthansa LHR-MUC-KIV
BA to the Austrian Alps. LHR-MUC, INN-LGW
I can't get no Jetisfaction: LH LGW-FRA inaugural
Colombia Part 4: Colombia to London via FRA/MUC/HEL on LH & BA
Colombia Part 3: Colombia with Avianca (AV). SMR-BOG-MDE-BOG
Colombia Part 2: Colombia with Avianca (AV). BOG-MDE-CTG
Colombia Part 1: London to Colombia via ARN/MUC/FRA on BA & LH
USA and Mexico Part 4, British Airways Mexico City – London, World Traveller Plus
USA and Mexico Part 3: Around Mexico with Aereo Calafia Cessna 208B & Viva Aerobus B733
USA and Mexico Part 2: Sightseeing tour of SAN, and AA San Diego - LA – Dallas - San Jose Cabo
USA and Mexico Part 1: easyJet Luton to Paris, and BA Paris to San Diego via LHR in World Traveller Plus
British Airways to Scandinavia (LHR-CPH,GOT-LHR)
Where’s my bag? British Airways, Milan to London
What airline am I flying again? Bmi/Lufthansa Italia LHR-MXP
Albania and Macedonia: Austrian LHR-VIE-TIA, Macedonian Airlines SKP-ZRH, Swiss ZRH-LCY
Part 1, Lufthansa London-Munich-Frankfurt-Nanjing, Economy Class A321 and A343
Part 2, Cathay Pacific Shanghai to Tokyo via Hong Kong, Business Class A330 and B747-400
Part 3, ANA Boeing B767 Tokyo to Shanghai, & Air China Airbus A340 Shanghai to Beijing, Business Class
Part 4: Chinese domestics, inc. Joy Air Xi’an MA60, Tianjin Airlines ERJ, and China Express Airways CRJ
Part 5: Lufthansa Beijing-Frankfurt-London City, Economy Class A388 and E90
5 Countries, 5 Flights, 5 Days, with Ryanair (FR)
bmiFriday: Welcome to Sunny Norway, London to Bergen, A319)
Royal Jordanian, London to Aqaba via Amman. A330 and A320
Royal Jordanian, Amman to London, A330
London City to Antwerp with Cityjet and the Fokker 50
Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR, A319 and Dash 8
British Airways, Iberia & Binter to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, LHR-MAD-TFN-LPA-MAD-LHR, A320,ATR, A321
British Airways, London To Amsterdam, LGW-AMS-LHR, B737 & A321
British Airways up to a snowy Glasgow, with a change of flights and delay, LHR-GLA-LCY A321 and E90
Turkish Airlines Business Class from London to Istanbul. From Terrible To Fantastic
Turkish Airlines Business Class from Istanbul to Batumi (Georgia). Not again!
bmi Business Class, Tbilisi to London via Azerbaijan
Tallinn to London, with Estonian Air and BA, via ARN
Cuba! BA/IB London-Madrid-Havana, Business Class
Aerocarribean, Baracoa to Havana
Asia Trip, Pt 1: Qatar Airways Business Class (LHR-DOH-ICN)
Asia Trip, Pt 2: China Southern and Hainan Airlines (A321/A346)
Asia Trip, Pt 3: Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong to Penang
Asia Trip, Pt 4: Qatar Airways Economy (HKG-DOH-LHR)
A weekend in Transylvania with Blue Air (LTN-SBZ)
Helsinki for the weekend on BA and KF
Easter in Ukraine with Austrian
UAE and Oman with BA and Air Arabia. Y & Y+
HKG-LHR-HKG Air New Zealand, Premium Economy and Economy
US Airways LGW-DCA-MSP-LGA-LGW
London Heathrow - Zurich - Venice on Swiss Business for the weekend
Chasing the Eclipse on China Eastern
Taiwan: EVA Air (HKG-TPE rtn), UNI Airways (TSA-HCN), Daily Air (TTT-KYD rtn)
UA HKG-SIN-HKG Y Class, SQ KUL-SIN C Class
Bangkok to Beijing, Egyptair Business Class
Air China Beijing to Harbin, B777 Economy outbound, A330 First Class return
Tiger Airways, Singapore to Darwin return
A selection of Chinese Domestics; China Eastern, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines
Hong Kong to London on Singapore Airlines (744/380/77W)
Qatar Airways Beijing-Doha-London Heathrow (A330/A340)
Air China First Class. Beijing-Guilin via Xi’an
Armenia with Austrian Airlines. LHR-VIE-EVN
Round Asia Trip. URC-HTN,OSS-FRU,ALA-URC-LHW-KMG-JHG-KMG-SYX,HAK-NKG-PEK-NRT-LHR,
Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lucky Air, ANA, Economy and Business Class.

SAS and Lufthansa Business Class, LHR-OSL-FRA-FRA, B73G and B744



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently onlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16549 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Consistency is certainly not their strong point,

Well, did you know, that you could fly with ETIHAD from HKG to DUS via AUH without touching a single "real" EY plane?

I don't know where the road is leading to, if more and more operations are sourced out - to Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and maybe JAT next! It is nearly impossible to have ONE straight service level with so many different airlines and backgrounds...


User currently onlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6205 posts, RR: 30
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15861 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I would have been furious if I had paid thousands of $$ and then find myself on C in an Air Seychelles plane. Really, smells of trying to defraud customers.

Great series of reports. Loved them.



MGGS
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15837 times:

Thanks for the interesting series of reports!

Consistency is definitely not the strength of Etihad Airways and the lack of beverage service prior to the main meal is not good. I think even a quick run with a few selected soft drinks, juices and water will be appreciated by all passengers.

I am actually surprised by Etihad's service from AUH to LHR... Emirates serves a continental breakfast after takeoff, and a hot lunch prior to arrival on these day flights, but Etihad chooses to do hot breakfast after takeoff and a light snack prior to arrival. I wonder which way Qatar goes.

Thanks for sharing again and I enjoy your series of reports!

Carfield


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15644 times:

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Quoting debonair (Reply 3):
I don't know where the road is leading to, if more and more operations are sourced out - to Air Berlin, Air Seychelles and maybe JAT next! It is nearly impossible to have ONE straight service level with so many different airlines and backgrounds...

Yeah, it's clearly not about offering the best to their customers

Quoting AR385 (Reply 4):
I would have been furious if I had paid thousands of $$ and then find myself on C in an Air Seychelles plane. Really, smells of trying to defraud customers.

Fraud, maybe not, but mis selling, definately

Quoting AR385 (Reply 4):
Great series of reports. Loved them.

Thanks!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 5):
Thanks for the interesting series of reports!

Glad you liked them!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 5):

Consistency is definitely not the strength of Etihad Airways

Nope

Quoting Carfield (Reply 5):
the lack of beverage service prior to the main meal is not good. I think even a quick run with a few selected soft drinks, juices and water will be appreciated by all passengers.

Yes, a glass of water at the minimum

Quoting Carfield (Reply 5):
I am actually surprised by Etihad's service from AUH to LHR... Emirates serves a continental breakfast after takeoff, and a hot lunch prior to arrival on these day flights, but Etihad chooses to do hot breakfast after takeoff and a light snack prior to arrival. I wonder which way Qatar goes.

IIRC correctly, they did a full breakfast and then a snack for lunch...much better than the EY snack though



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15347 times:

Hey Gab

Thanks for sharing the return.
It was a pleasure to read about EY and HM.
While EY looks better than some of my longhauls I'm used to taking.
However they don't seem to be on par of reports of EK, QR, SQ....

Nice too log the HM bird as well, I actually like the blue seating.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 14973 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):
Thanks for sharing the return.

Thanks for reading!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):

While EY looks better than some of my longhauls I'm used to taking.
However they don't seem to be on par of reports of EK, QR, SQ....

Indeed, they're not bad, but certainly not as good as QR/SQ etc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 7):
Nice too log the HM bird as well, I actually like the blue seating.

Yes, was great to log the airline, especially as I don't think i'll bhe in the Seychelles any time soon



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1161 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 14798 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Gabriel,

Great report like always, really enjoyed it. EY really does seem to be a mixed bag here although nice to catch the rare Air Seychelles plane! If I paid for an upgrade or was in C, I would be mad!

Thanks for putting another great series up, really enjoyed all of them!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago) and read 14562 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):

Great report like always, really enjoyed it

Thanks Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):
EY really does seem to be a mixed bag here although nice to catch the rare Air Seychelles plane!

Yes, very mixed, and indeed, great to get the HM plane

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 9):
Thanks for putting another great series up, really enjoyed all of them!

No problem!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1716 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 14501 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Gabs,

Thanks for this final installment of your latest series. I did enjoy this one, as all the others as well. Too bad to read about another mixed bag that is Etihad. I'd like to give them a try ex BRU whenever I have the opportunity - don't know when if ever - but the choice will be more difficult since we also have Qatar... Would you rate DOH better than AUH for transfering?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
NB is now on my airport shower list (#16).

Congrats, I only have 1 in my non-existent list  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Yes, I’m definitely flying on Air Seychelles!

That makes a nice change but indeed, what about those who booked C class and get an inferior product...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Isn’t that a gorgeous wingtip?!

It looks very nice and exotic.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
and dropping all of their old European routes.

LHR as well? Or am I still living in the past  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
How many crew does it take to open a door?

What a funny pic!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14356 times:

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):

Thanks for this final installment of your latest series

Glad you enjoyed them Nils!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
Too bad to read about another mixed bag that is Etihad. I'd like to give them a try ex BRU whenever I have the opportunity - don't know when if ever - but the choice will be more difficult since we also have Qatar... Would you rate DOH better than AUH for transfering?

Um, well DOH is very busy, but you don't have to walk far. AUH is also very busy, and but with walking. When the new DOH opens, it should be a great facility.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
That makes a nice change but indeed, what about those who booked C class and get an inferior product...

There might be some pissed C class pax tonight!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 11):
LHR as well? Or am I still living in the past
Everything has gone. Now just SEZ-AUH-HKG and SEZ-JNB, plus some domestics.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1303 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 13765 times:

Hi Gabriel, great conclusion to your report. Both sectors didn't look too bad, but I get the impression that you thought EY were a bit below expectation?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As the seat map had showed the HM aircraft from the time of reservation, I assume EY knew throughout that they were advertising an upgrade to their fancy seat, but all the while they knew the passenger would be flying an inferior HM seat. Very devious and underhand.

A little bit sneaky - No doubt this has caused a few people to complain.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
There wasn’t even a moving map.

What?! You get those on even the shortest of routes.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
The woman in front had all these horrid cushion things….they seemed to spend most of the flight either squished in the gap touching my knees, or on the floor by my feet.

Dont you just hate it when people in front end up dropping stuff into your space.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Of course, at the back is the lit galley. Despite there being some very nice curtains, the crew couldn’t be bothered to close them during the night.

I was sat at the back on a VS A330 and don't remember having this issue? I think there might be a toilet block separating the cabin from the galley though and the lights above them were switched off.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
The A320s look great in the EY livery

Looks like an A319 to me?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
I’m quite shocked to see the same poor choice of films available as on my way out. It’s the 3rd of the month

I was on a VS flight a few years back on around the 10th of the month both the film choices and the mag were from the previous month.

Looking forward to reading about your upcoming trips!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 13597 times:

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
great conclusion to your report

Thanks James

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
Both sectors didn't look too bad, but I get the impression that you thought EY were a bit below expectation?

I mean, they were ok, but certainly not great. All their marketing makes one think they are excellent, which they aren't.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
What?! You get those on even the shortest of routes.

I was surprised about their absence

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
Dont you just hate it when people in front end up dropping stuff into your space.

Yes

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
Looks like an A319 to me?

Haha, er, yes, you passed the test!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 13):
I was on a VS flight a few years back on around the 10th of the month both the film choices and the mag were from the previous month.

Very poor



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently onlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8544 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 13461 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi GC, nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A few weeks before the flight, I was also invited via email to bid for an upgrade to Pearl Business Class. The price was $449 for the JNB-AUH leg, and $650 for AUH-LHR.

- I like this idea, good yield management.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Some more sushi, and a horrible burger thing

- The burger thing looks dire, why did you pick it up?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I wasn’t planning a further visit to the Bidvest lounge, but thought I might as well as I was passing.

- IMG! - They have Bells!! - talk about serving crap!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
When I first booked the flights, I noticed that the seat map on this leg didn’t correspond to any on the EY website. Hmmm, something’s wrong! A quick check showed that occasionally an Air Seychelles (HM) A330 (their one and only) operated on behalf of EY on the JNB route. EY own HM. When I rounded the corner of the airbridge and saw the distinctive blue lettering, I knew this to be the case for my flight. Cool!

- Yay! -Now that's a rate machine/airline!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Airbus 330-223, A6-EYY

- Not to be picky, sorry, it's a -243.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
It was just as well I didn’t pay for the upgrade to Business as the only reason was to try out the EY full flat seat. This bird had regular 2x2x2 seating. As the seat map had showed the HM aircraft from the time of reservation, I assume EY knew throughout that they were advertising an upgrade to their fancy seat, but all the while they knew the passenger would be flying an inferior HM seat. Very devious and underhand.

- Interesting, I wonder how much compensation they end up paying out on complaints?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
So, the food….unlike on the other flights, there was no menu. I can’t remember what this was, but it was fairly tasty. I have no idea how many options they crew started with, but this was the only option for me.

- Hmm, potatoes and ?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The A320s look great in the EY livery

- Err, 319...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Etihad seemed to like to keep you guessing. Consistency is certainly not their strong point

- Agreed!

I had 4 EY flights ins 2007, a while ago agreed, however following your travels it seems nothing service wise has improved for Y class travellers and the catering has got worse. The staff, IMO, lack continuity and many are quite surly.

EY are off my travel list since my flights, just cant trust what you are going to get.

Cheers

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 offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 987 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 13406 times:

Hi Gabriel! Nice report again! Reading your EY reports, it really seems to be hit-or-miss with them, not very consistent. Not what you would expect from them. Thanks for posting!

User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6568 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 13379 times:

Hi Gabriel !

Great to read your final report from your Zimbabwe adventure !

Nice bonus to add another airline with the Air Seychelles aircraft! Interior looks very much like Jet Airways still.....

Meal option on either flight doesn't look very good. Bad also that the IFE choices are so limited and not updated.

The AUH old terminal needs to be replaced! It seems so crowded although when I was there, it wasn't too bad that was in 2006.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
How many crew does it take to open a door?

Very funny!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Belt 00? Does that actually exist?

There's a 00 gate in Nice in Terminal 2. I always thought that was a bit odd.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 13278 times:

Thanks for allk the comments!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for reading!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
- I like this idea, good yield management.

Well, kind of. There was also a maximum bid, which was actually lower on the JNB leg than the minimum on the LHR leg. Why put a limit on how much someone wants to bid?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
- The burger thing looks dire, why did you pick it up?

No idea!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
- Not to be picky, sorry, it's a -243.

Ha, yes, that is picky   It was a -223 on the original aircraft

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 15):
- Hmm, potatoes and ?

No idea

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 16):
Nice report again!

Thanks

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 16):
! Reading your EY reports, it really seems to be hit-or-miss with them, not very consistent. Not what you would expect from them

Yes, consistency is not their strong point

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Great to read your final report from your Zimbabwe adventure !

Thanks

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):

Nice bonus to add another airline with the Air Seychelles aircraft!

Yup, nice to be able to tick it off

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
The AUH old terminal needs to be replaced! It seems so crowded although when I was there, it wasn't too bad that was in 2006.

Definately, way too busy

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
There's a 00 gate in Nice in Terminal 2. I always thought that was a bit odd.

Yes, you don't noramally number things atarting at 0!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 779 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 12801 times:

Excellent read - well done

Clearly the HM metal is pretty cool bonus, thanks god you declined the upgrade; i wonder the price difference considering the distances look similar.
From your report the SV product seems better indeed

Thanks for this TR and your latest African series



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 12516 times:

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 19):
Excellent read - well done

Thanks Leo!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 19):

Clearly the HM metal is pretty cool bonus, thanks god you declined the upgrade

Yup, was a nice change, shame about the quality of the hardware though

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 19):
Thanks for this TR and your latest African series

No problem!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineplaniac787 From India, joined May 2012, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 12203 times:

Great report!

Really cool to see Air seychelles..And maybe you could give etihad some benefit of doubt...Maybe there was an equipment failure or something and this was sent as a backup...but you never know...It could have been a devious plan to earn money...

I think etihad is slowly loosing there charm...I have reading reports recently where service has been rather sloppy...
I dont know why this is happening because I used to rate them very highly some time back...but its disappointing seeing this...

SQ,EK,9W, even european carriers could have given me better service....Maybe an american carrier could come close too  

Maybe 9W is not doing the right thing by joining hands with them...But only time will tell

Thanks for the report and keep writing..

Cheers

Pradat



Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12083 times:

Looks like Etihad needs to get it together. Hopefully these are just growing pains and aren't representitive of a long-term company culture.

While it was cool that you got fly on a HM plane, I agree with you that it's in poor taste to advertise an upgrade for a far superior J class product than what is actually offered on the HM aircraft.

The late meal delivery is bizarre and I'd be incredibly annoyed.

Lastly, their AUH hub operation looks like a mess! A 2-hr delay when the weather and aircraft are in good condition? You've got to be kidding me!

EY has so much potential but they really need to fix a lot of things it seems. Their hard product (minus the IFE) is phenomenal. I've always been interested in flying Etihad, but after reading some recent reviews I think I'll steer clear for a while.

Thanks for sharing, this is an incredible report!


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26989 posts, RR: 57
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12041 times:

Hey Gabriel.  

Nice end to your trip. Air Seychelles was a bonus. Surprised me when I expected EY thats for sure   I remember when they used to fly to LGW with their B767s . Shame no more.

EY is a weird one yet they seem to have a very loyal following in the UK and Ireland especially in Premium cabins. Meals looked ok for Y .

Look forward to the next reports.

Regards

Philip  


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11870 times:

Fantastic report!

From an enthusiast point of view, it was definitely a bonus to score that HM A330! But I'm not so sure your average passenger would appreciate these sporadic deviations.

EY's alliance strategy makes business sense for the most part, but I am not sure where the line should be drawn. At some point there is just going to be way too many product variations over a single ticket involving several 'trunk' routes. And I personally don't see such intense variations with the other major alliances either. This is all too new I guess!

Having said all this, I did really enjoy my Etihad flights in Business Class a few months back, but your experience here unfortunately left tons to be desired. That meal you got for breakfast looked horrible; plain and simple!

Many thanks for sharing this with us!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
25 gabrielchew : Thanks Pradat Well, the seat map showed the HM plane since reservation.... Yup. Expanding too fast I think Only time will tell I guess Yes, that was
26 SCQ83 : Very interesting report. I am quite confused about EY's business model. Five years ago, it looked like they wanted to become the niche/"boutique" airl
27 SR 103 : Thanks for a very entertaining report Gabriel. I have to say your whole experience definitely seemed sub par which is a shame. I have flown Etihad a f
28 Post contains images globalflyer : HI Gabe...wow how exciting... an HM flight! Well one would have thought so! I would have been so disappointed too if I had accepted the upgrade and it
29 Post contains images EICPT : Fantastic and comprehensive series of trip reports - quite jealous of you!! Apart from the long haul sectors the short hauls are rarely documented on
30 deltamartin : Hi Gabriel! Nice report as usual! The EY hardware looks great on the AUH-LHR leg, shame about the inconsistency though. A nice touch from a flightlog
31 gabrielchew : Thanks for all the comments! Thanks! yes, it seems very haphazard No problem It seems like they have been expanding with any airline they can Yes Will
32 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Gabriel, nice last part of your latest Africa series. EY looks okay in general, but its product cannot match the two big rivals' product. The price
33 Post contains images IrishAyes : Hi Gabriel, I envy your ability to mass-produce trip reports. you write with so much detail and precision, and even if i try to compete on your level,
34 gabrielchew : Thanks Udo Nope Yes, there was a sliding scale between "unlikely" and "very likely" or something like that. The higest possible bid on the JNB sector
35 Ryanair!!! : What a holiday you've had! I received the same upgrade offer previously from EK. I didn't take up the offer(because i had missed the email after check
36 gabrielchew : Yup, super duper That is a bargain, better than from EY. And yes, very deceptive of them for advertising the EY seat on an HM plane Oh come on, you n
37 RvXKaz : Hi Gabriel, Very interesting (and rare) experience on an EY and HM flight! I enjoyed reading about your experience and it's abit disappointing that th
38 gabrielchew : Hi Gavin Yes, some aspects of the service were quite dissapointing...hopefully these were anomalies rather than SOPs....who know! And yes, nice catch
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