FlyingRoo82
Topic Author
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:40 am

Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:23 am

Introduction

Hi all. This report covers the return leg of my recent trip to Europe & Israel - from Istanbul to Sydney via Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways (code share with Virgin Australia). I had travelled on an earlier flight on Turkish Airlines from Tel Aviv to Istanbul to catch the Etihad flight.

FIRST LEG – IST TO AUH

Date: 30 May 2013
Flight: EY 96
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Depart: 14:25 Ataturk (IST)
Arrive: 19:50 Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Class: Pearl Business
Seat: 7A

Pre-Departure

My flight from Tel Aviv arrived in Istanbul at 12:15pm – which gave me about 2 hours till my Etihad flight was due to depart. I thought his would be ample time. Wrong! By the time I bought a visa (yes, I needed a visa for the whole 90 minutes I was in Turkey), cleared immigration (the line was massive), collected my bags and went go through customs, I only had 45 minutes until boarding.

Luckily check-in was seamless with two dedicated business class counters. I was given an express pass for security and passport control and went straight to the Wings Primeclass Lounge. The lounge was small with limited choice of hot food but had a nice salad and dessert bar. There were standard alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks too. It wasn’t very busy which was nice. I tried the hot food choices (no idea what they were) – very tasty though!

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/20130530_132058_resized_zpsabd53f0f.jpg

I headed to the gate which was about a 5 minute walk from the lounge and did some plane spotting.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21941024x683_zps86b1f9d3.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21951024x683_zps50ac410b.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21961024x683_zpsd15a93fe.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21971024x683_zps7ea1dc52.jpg

On Board (Pre-Takeoff)

Priority boarding was called after a short delay. I made my way to seat 7A which was at the front left of the cabin. The lie-flat sat seat was in the new colours. Today it was about a 90% load in business class.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22151024x683_zpsf6e3b5e0.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21981024x683_zps02c6ab7b.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_21991024x683_zps667ffa64.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22001024x683_zpsc7aa755d.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_2201683x1024_zps8e1595d3.jpg

A friendly South African flight attendant introduced herself to me and I was offered juice or water (interestingly, but no champagne). I opted for the lemon juice which was very refreshing. This was followed a few minutes later by a warm towel. My lunch and drink order was then taken.

Some pics I took while we taxied to the runway:

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_2202683x1024_zpsf82f88a1.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22041024x683_zpsdaa4f8e5.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22041024x683_zpsdaa4f8e5.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22061024x683_zpsc881da4b.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22071024x683_zpsd9dc7c14.jpg

Takeoff

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22111024x683_zps044bf60f.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22121024x683_zps12a610ed.jpg

Some cabin pics just after the seatbelt sign was switched off:

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22131024x683_zps9c16eb15.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22141024x683_zps2c5cbb7e.jpg

Lunch

Shortly after takeoff, drinks were served. I had ordered the Champagne which was accompanied with warm nuts. This was topped up promptly without having to ask.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_2219683x1024_zpscf1a331d.jpg

For starter I had the Arabic mezze – a selection of hot and cold appetizers - which was very tasty. It was served with delicious olive focaccia bread:

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22211024x683_zps7abeac15.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22221024x683_zps36ad085d.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22231024x683_zpse196bc54.jpg

For main course I had the Sumac baked sea bass fish with red currant basmati rice, tomato sauce with sautéed broccoli, marrow and aubergine. This was delicious – probably the best meal of all 4 flights during my trip. Accompanying the main course I switched from Champagne to a lovely, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22241024x683_zps397afb47.jpg

For dessert I couldn't decide on the cake (Lemon and saffron cake garnished with almond flakes and crushed pistachios) or the Providore ice cream so flight attendant offered me both – nice!

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22251024x683_zps44ca9f49.jpg

To accompany the dessert I ordered an English breakfast tea. I had to ask a second time for the tea which, unfortunately, never came. Just when we were about to land the flight attendant approached me and apologized profusely about forgetting my tea – she had burnt her hand in the galley – poor thing. I joked that I hoped she didn’t burn it while preparing my tea!

Abu Dhabi Airport

We landed in AUH at 20:00. I only had about 2 hours stopover so went straight to the Etihad Business Class Lounge in Terminal 3. The lounge was fairly crowded but I managed to have a nice shower and 15 minute massage.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_2226683x1024_zps7c19f346.jpg

I wasn’t that hungry but the food on offer was pretty impressive – I helped myself to a plate of cold cuts (turkey and chicken), salad and a Dilma tea.

SECOND LEG – AUH TO SYD

Date: 30 May 2013
Flight: EY 454
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Depart: 22:00 Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Arrive: 18:10 Sydney (SYD)
Class: Pearl Business
Seat: 13A

Pre-Departure

I made my way from the lounge to the gate which, from memory, was about a 5 minute walk, stopping on the way at Duty Free to buy a bottle of Belvedere vodka (much cheaper than at Sydney Airport).

Boarding was a bit behind schedule and things seemed a tad chaotic at the gate. After about 15 minutes priority boarding was called.

On Board (Pre-Takeoff)

I made my way to seat 13A (again a window seat which offers maximum privacy). I didn’t take any pics of the seat or cabin as it was identical to the one I flew over with (see my last trip report). The cabin was about 95% full on this flight.

Once I settled into my seat, I was offered juice or water – but again no champagne. A friendly Australian steward took my drink order for after takeoff and then dinner order.

Dinner

About an hour after takeoff my drink was served – Glenlivet 12 year old (on ice) with warm nuts.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22271024x683_zps238497cd.jpg

Service for dinner was very slow - maybe it was the full flight but at least serve some bread first. Being after midnight by now, I decided to skip starter and just have the main – Arabic spice and yogurt marinated chicken, aromatic rice with dried lemon and roasted vegetable sauce – served with a nice glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Very nice meal!

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22281024x683_zps256c6cf0.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22291024x683_zps9fe87a4a.jpg

I skipped dessert as I wanted to get a good sleep.

Breakfast

Even though the flat bed is very comfortable, I had a disturbed sleep – perhaps due to the turbulence. With 3 hours to landing, I was pretty hungry so requested a full breakfast. To start, I had a croissant and cinnamon bun, served with jam and butter, fresh fruits with wild berry coulis, natural yogurt with strawberry coulis and granola, served with an English breakfast tea.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22301024x683_zps7435d3c1.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22311024x683_zpsdd129647.jpg

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http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22331024x683_zps0148df06.jpg

This was followed by an omelet with tomato, onion and capsicum, turkey bacon, turkey sausage and mushrooms, served with a delicious fruit smoothie. The omelet was fantastic, not dry at all.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22341024x683_zps79a8709b.jpg

Landing

Some pics just as we were about to descend into Sydney:

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22351024x683_zps7ff9be21.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22361024x683_zps98c030f7.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22391024x683_zpsfc539044.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22371024x683_zpsbae337ad.jpg

I had another tea just before landing which was accompanied with a nice little chocolate.

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_22401024x683_zps88f0eb69.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b632/adswein/Istanbul%20to%20Sydney/IMG_2241683x1024_zps725f0199.jpg

Arrival

After a smooth landing and relatively short taxi, we disembarked and I made my way to passport control. I went through the SmartGate within 2 minutes and headed straight to the baggage carousel. After about 10 minutes my bags arrived. Using my express card I went through customs and the officer waved me through to the arrivals hall. Luckily at that time of night (6pm) there was hardly a queue for a taxi - pleasant surprise!

Conclusion

Once again this was a fantastic trip on Etihad J class. The following provides some brief comments on the main aspects of the flights.

Cabin: clean, roomy, soft colours.
Seat: very comfortable in all three modes (up right, relax and lie flat).
Food: restaurant quality all the way. The sea bass on the ISTAUH flight was the standout meal.
Service: was more reactive than on my first two flights from SYD to AUH and FRA. Maybe this was due to the full load. Still, cabin staff were always friendly, polite and helpful with anything I needed throughout the flight (when asked).

Overall, the Etihad J class experience is truly amazing and I would definitely fly with them again if I had the choice!
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:51 am

Another great installment on Etihad Airways!! Had I not to experience Business (thanks to the upgrade) I would have not been able to enjoy the report completely. I agree their cabin crew overall especially in J are professional and friendly. I can only imagine flying J out of Toronto next time lol
 
omidp
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:39 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:20 am

Very nice TR. Id love to try Etihad some day  
 
celestar
Posts: 498
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2001 11:37 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:49 am

Wow, I really like the food presentation of Eithad. I wish I can fly with them!
Hey, I did not know Qatar has A310, nice photo!
 
comorin
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 5:52 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks for an excellent TR! Your meal photos are top-notch - what kind of equipment did you use?
 
FlyingRoo82
Topic Author
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:40 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:23 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 1):
Another great installment on Etihad Airways!!
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 1):
Very nice TR. Id love to try Etihad some day

Thank you!

Quoting celestar (Reply 3):
Wow, I really like the food presentation of Eithad. I wish I can fly with them!
Hey, I did not know Qatar has A310, nice photo!

I also didn't know! I checked their fleet and they actually don't have one listed. I'm assuming it is for VIP / government use.

Quoting comorin (Reply 4):
Thanks for an excellent TR! Your meal photos are top-notch - what kind of equipment did you use?

Cheers! I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i - it's an entry-level DSLR.
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:30 am

Quoting omidp (Reply 2):
Very nice TR. Id love to try Etihad some day  
Quoting FlyingRoo82 (Reply 5):
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 1):
Very nice TR. Id love to try Etihad some day

I didn't say that lol....I've already flown them numerous times   
 
FlyingRoo82
Topic Author
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:40 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:58 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 6):
I didn't say that lol....I've already flown them numerous times  

Woops I must have selected the wrong text, sorry bout that  
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: Etihad Long Haul Pearl Business IST - SYD

Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:15 am

Hi

Interesting report about EY's J class to SYD! EYs color tones always impressed me.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer

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