Newest Review: ... sleep and true to their word i wasnt disturbed. I enjoyed flying with Etihad Airlines and would recommend them to anybody. This is a ver... more
A really good airline
Member Name: Bandi
Advantages: Wonderful Staff, Excellent Food, Comfortable Travel
Disadvantages: Abu Dhabi airport.
I am including this section so you can have some idea of what I have based the review on. In Dec '08, Jan '09, I flew Coral (Economy) class return between Dublin airport to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi. Both legs of the flight are 6hrs - 7hrs and in both directions I was scheduled to have about a two hour stopover in Abu Dhabi airport .
Check in at Dublin and Bangkok.
There were no queues at either check in desk when I arrived. There was absolutely no hassle with the check in. The staff were pleasant, helpful, efficient and polite.
When I checked in in Dublin I was told that the first flight, to Abu Dhabi, would be delayed by two hours. As this made my connection very tight, I asked about it and whether even if I made it, my bag would. The assistant had already marked my bag for a priority transfer and re-assured me that I would make the connection.
The cabin crew are excellent, friendly, helpful, professional and polite. When you get to your seat, a small cushion and blanket are provided. Flight socks, ear plugs and an eye mask are handed out later in the flight. The seat is wide and comfortable and the cabin does not feel cramped at all. As I sat beside the window on each flight I took, I had some additional room between my seat and the window which I found useful for putting my books etc. The leg room felt quite generous, but I'm 5' 3" so I will leave that assessment to taller customers. The only complaint I have about the seats is that they recline quite far. This is lovely when you want to recline, however when the person in front of you reclines it can feel slightly restrictive.
Each seat is provided with a screen and entertainment system. There is a wide selection of movies, tv programs, radio programmes and games. I didn't use the radio programmes at all. The games I found fiddly to play with the controller. Battleships and tetris passed a good half hour though.
The selection of TV programmes is quite good. There was an episode available from each of Malcolm in the Middle, My name is Earl, Friends, Scrubs and American Dad among others. Some of episodes were different on my outward journey and return journey which avoided too much repetition.
There is a large selection of movies, however due to the range of people being catered to, it is unlikely that you will find more than five or six of interest. I found more than enough for myself to pass the flight. Available titles included The Incredibles, Mamma Mia, Wall St, Dial M For Murder and Wild Child, so there was quite a bit of variety.
The food is excellent. Before the flight even takes off you are given water to drink. Shortly afterwards a menu card is passed out. The food served is all halal and when you book you are offered the opportunity to request a large variety of special meals. I stuck with the standard menu (beef, chicken, vegetarian options) and everything I selected was excellent. I especially liked the strawberry mousse that was given for desert. Additional drinks are offered regularly throughout the flight as well.
As I mentioned my first connection at Abu Dhabi was a fleeting visit to say the least. When we landed, transfer passengers were met by airline representatives and walked to the correct gate. This gate was right beside the gate we had just left, so there was no long walk around the airport. Security screening took place at the gate, but as everyone else had already boarded the plane this was very quick. Abu Dhabi certainly got top marks for convenience. I was sure after such a rapid transfer, that my bag would not arrive with me to Bangkok. It did, which was a fantastically pleasant surprise.
The second flight was on time and I spent two hours in the airport. I was surprised by how shoddy it was in places, particularly right beside the gate (after the security screening), where there wasn't enough seating for everyone. The shops were enough to kill an hour of browsing but there were long queues for the restaurants and the food I bought was over priced.
If you're due to spend much time there, I'd also suggest asking around friends to see if they have any local currency you can use. It's handier than paying by credit card.
Families were seated in the first row of each section of the cabin, and for very young children, small cots were hung from the bulkhead section so the children could sleep in comfort.
I would definitely recommend Etihad airways.
Summary: My choice for a long journey
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