N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1686
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Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:56 am

Etihad Sydney to Abu Dhabi New Pearl Business Class Bitter Sweet Experience

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/TripReport5/SYDD4202.jpg


Hi All

Since I have moved to UAE, I have a lot of opportunities to fly Etihad.

I have experienced all classes from First to Business to Economy on various length flights.

Etihad have came a long way from my first ride with them in 2006.

This report focus on things Etihad do well and things need improvements from my most recent long haul trip with them.

Please use the link below to access the TR

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/TripReport5/


Let me know if you have problem cannot see it.

Cheers

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Burj
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:02 am

As always.....AWESOME trip report!

Love how they have the "prisoner stripe" pillows!
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:04 am

Quoting Burj (Reply 1):
Love how they have the "prisoner stripe" pillows!

LOL I love all your observations of details and funny questions! Keem Em coming  
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:28 am

Hi Sam,

another excellent report with fantastic pictures! I must say I'm a bit disappointed by EY. What I find ridiculous is the lack of an amenity kit on a 14+ hrs flight. Virgin Atlantic hands those out in Y Class even on relatively short LHR-DXB and DXB-LHR flights. What I don't like either is the seat cover design in EY's J Class.

The food looks great, though.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:46 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
What I find ridiculous is the lack of an amenity kit on a 14+ hrs flight.

Yes cost reduction in full swing on EY. They must be under pressure to make profit.

If you read my 2006 TR on Etihad (when not many people know them), comparing the pictures, they came a long way.

Etihad: Bangkok - Abu Dhabi - Beirut + Sights (by N178UA Apr 30 2006 in Trip Reports)


What's not mentioned is their generous frequent flyer scheme. You have to join and find out how easy to get redemption seats  

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Quokka
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:55 am

Hi Sam,

As they have not yet opened PER as a destination, I have yet to experience the pleasures of EY.

Your photos, as always, are excellent and show EY at their best.

The food offerings do look good and are very well presented.

I too am surprised by the lack of an amenity kit on such a long flight: were the WCs well-stocked with toothbrushes, razors, etc?

The excess baggage with EK isn't always as flexible as you suggest. I have seen staff in DXB going round and checking bags in the departure area and checking-in any bags that they deemed too heavy. EK does give an extra weight allowance by both class and tier status, though.

Call centres: don't you just love them.  

The niggles aside, on the basis of your own report and of those written by others, I would welcome the opportunity to try EY should they decide to come to PER as they have indicated in the past.

Thanks for sharing,
Quokka
 
Carfield
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:42 am

Thanks Sam for another stellar report!

I have only experienced their first class service from Milan Malpensa to Narita earlier in the year, and the service is very good in first, especially F had one or two passengers. Your report gives me a very good insight into its business class cabin, which I want to give it a try. The amenity kit situation is pretty bad though... in first class earlier this year, I got PJ and amenity kit on all four segments - various daytime and overnight flights, but I presume business class is under a different scheme now. Emirates has a similar policy with no amenity kit and PJ on daytime flights, but offer them on overnight flights even the shorter ones. But on the super long haul flight, I can't imagine cutting corners. For the shorter Europe to Middle East flights, I understand, but for the rest of the long haul networks, there is no excuse.

BTW I have a quick question - I have read another report that they recollected the menu cards in business class now, and do they do it in your flight? just curious...

Thanks again for sharing!

Carfield

[Edited 2011-07-25 00:43:37]
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:21 am

I second Burj's observation of the prisoner stripes pillow. I just find them so stylishly chic! Like something out of a Conde Nast feature focusing on some tucked away exclusive resort on Nantucket. Hmm... with the staggered layout of JCL seats, you can end up at a window seat with no windows.  
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
flythere
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:59 am

Only 130 onboard this long-haul flight???! That is ridiculously low!!
A very nice report again Sam!! Thank you!
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:21 pm

Great report Sam!

Unlucky that you had issues with your luggage, but allowances are there for a reason!

I'm surprised there are no amenity kits on such a long flight.

I had no idea that EY had Pocari Sweat on offer - who else has this?

The F seats look very comfortable - classy looking leather.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
The777Man
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Mon Jul 25, 2011 6:16 pm

Hi Sam!

Very nice nice report with very nice pictures as usual!

I'm surprised that the baggage allowance for J class is so low ! 50kg would have been more appropriate or perhaps even higher. But you can not fault them for sticking to their own rules. Especially at an out station like SYD, I would not expect them to waive anything.

The upholstry and the pillows look horrible in my opinion! Their sand colored side panels look nice though. Seat does look comfortable though.

No amwnity kit on a 14h flight in J is a joke for a premium carrier like Etihad. I even got a small amenity kit on my recent transpacific flight in Y on Philippine Airlines.

Food looks really, really nice. Good to hear that they can at least do something right......

Looking forward to your next report. !

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
paris380
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:51 am

I think of course you get better service after telling crew member you are taking pictures for magazine and websites. This is not service what most people would receive. Very interesting. Also, do you get paid by the airlines when they use your pictures?
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:05 am

Quoting Quokka (Reply 5):
The excess baggage with EK isn't always as flexible as you suggest. I have seen staff in DXB going round and checking bags in the departure area and checking-in any bags that they deemed too heavy. EK does give an extra weight allowance by both class and tier status, though.

Let me first say I enjoy your EK report very much as well!

True. Status does matter when comes to extra baggage. On all my EK flights my baggage allowance was way beyond what I can carry so I never have any issues.

On my Etihad First Class Trip in Jan 2011. (my moving trip) I was not allowed anymore beyond 43 kg (The station manager kindly grant me 3 extra kg)

I feel Etihad is like a LCC, being super strict and offer no leeway to their premium pax.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 6):
I have only experienced their first class service from Milan Malpensa to Narita earlier in the year, and the service is very good in first, especially F had one or two passengers.

I enjoyed all your TR especially the Etihad and RJ ones.  
Quoting Carfield (Reply 6):
But on the super long haul flight, I can't imagine cutting corners. For the shorter Europe to Middle East flights, I understand, but for the rest of the long haul networks, there is no excuse.

Agree No Excuse. Lucky I carry my own eyeshade in my bag everywhere I go. There aren't much items in the toilet either.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 6):
BTW I have a quick question - I have read another report that they recollected the menu cards in business class now, and do they do it in your flight? just curious...

I am not quite sure but I hided mine  
Quoting flythere (Reply 8):
Only 130 onboard this long-haul flight???! That is ridiculously low!!

Yes. Most of Etihad's GCC flights loads are even more shocking. I've been on an A320 has 22/136 pax, A330 to Bahrain has 53/215 pax  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 9):
Unlucky that you had issues with your luggage, but allowances are there for a reason!

I never have any issues with premium classes flights except 2/2 on Etihad once in First, once in Business. After all I have only exceeded by a few kilos and the flight is not completely full at all. So either all of previos flights I have the check in crew turned a blind eye on the scale or I was fortunate, but not with Etihad. I obtained a GOLD status know, so I will challenge my baggage limit next time from SYD (extra 15kg allowed)  
Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I'm surprised that the baggage allowance for J class is so low ! 50kg would have been more appropriate or perhaps even higher. But you can not fault them for sticking to their own rules. Especially at an out station like SYD, I would not expect them to waive anything.

I told the Etihad guys I will facebook and tweet to made everyone aware of this strict rule. You should see their faces in SYD at check in  
Quoting paris380 (Reply 11):
This is not service what most people would receive. Very interesting. Also, do you get paid by the airlines when they use your pictures?

Contrary to your believe, I receive the same level of service everyone else does. And this is my hobby, I paid for my flights and do not make any money selling my pictures.  


Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Flying Belgian
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:42 am

Regarding their L.F I can assure EY has some very healthy L.F on most of their flights. But indeed usually regional GCC flights can be quite empty as many GCC carrier operate wide-bodies or A321 on such short hops.

I wanted to non-rev to OZ last year in October and all EY and QR flights to OZ were very full or overbooked but not on the way-back. Australia L.F can be very seasonal sensitive I assume.

And EY's L.F outbound/inbound Europe are quite OK from what I hear with colleagues non-reving on them recently.

Thanks Sam for the nice T.R !!
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
MSS658
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:48 am

Nice report, thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading it.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:16 am

Quoting Flying Belgian (Reply 13):
I wanted to non-rev to OZ last year in October and all EY and QR flights to OZ were very full or overbooked but not on the way-back. Australia L.F can be very seasonal sensitive I assume.

Yes, forget it if it is school holiday season, 4 times per year with end of the year busiest. But during non-school holidays especially March, May, August, November, the loads are very low. Not only on EY, this is the same case on most carriers. Perhaps you can make a plan to visit during these months mentioned.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Nice report, thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading it.

Thanks. I forgot to add the Ebox entertainment system EY have falls short of EK's ICE. There are much less movie selections. (and weird choices)

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
DJMEL
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:25 am

Sam,

As always a fantastic trip report and amazing photos!!!!!

Yes EY has certainly come a long way in a short time!!! More Engaging Ground and Cabin Crews are the key to a succesful Airline!!!!
 
chrisrad
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:11 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
What I find ridiculous is the lack of an amenity kit on a 14+ hrs flight. Virgin Atlantic hands those out in Y Class even on relatively short LHR-DXB and DXB-LHR flights
Quoting Quokka (Reply 5):
I too am surprised by the lack of an amenity kit on such a long flight: were the WCs well-stocked with toothbrushes, razors, etc?
Quoting Carfield (Reply 6):
The amenity kit situation is pretty bad though... in first class earlier this year, I got PJ and amenity kit on all four segments - various daytime and overnight flights, but I presume business class is under a different scheme now. Emirates has a similar policy with no amenity kit and PJ on daytime flights, but offer them on overnight flights even the shorter ones
Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
No amwnity kit on a 14h flight in J is a joke for a premium carrier like Etihad. I even got a small amenity kit on my recent transpacific flight in Y on Philippine Airlines.
Quoting N178UA (Reply 12):
Agree No Excuse. Lucky I carry my own eyeshade in my bag everywhere I go. There aren't much items in the toilet either.

Does everyone seem to forget super premium sweetheart darling Singapore Airlines does not offer an amenity kit either in J class?
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:35 pm

Quoting chrisrad (Reply 17):
Does everyone seem to forget super premium sweetheart darling Singapore Airlines does not offer an amenity kit either in J class?

Nice one  

But on my Etihad flight they didn't offer any single items like lip balm, eye shade, slipper, socks......
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
atrude777
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RE: Etihad New Pearl Business Class Experience SYD-AUH

Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:57 pm

FANTASTIC REPORT!

I have continued to enjoy your trip reports, and the pictures are stunning.

Maybe I just have low expectations, but not having the kit wouldn't bother me. I am so used to flying Y all the time, especially on Southwest to get anything above that exceeds my expectations.

Etihad looks like a great airline to fly, and their J and F looks amazing in my opinion.

Well done!

Alex
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