I promised you a review on Etihad in my post The Tickets Are Booked, so here it is.
We have now been on our flights and we were quite impressed.
They were probably the easiest and hassle-free flights I’ve been on. I feel like something always seems to go wrong when I fly. I’m either running late, my plane’s delayed or cancelled, my baggage is too heavy, I have a hidden pair of scissors somewhere, I booked the 2 tickets in my name somehow & it goes on, you name it & it’s probably happened to me.
Actually, there was one mishap but that was mainly my fault on our domestic flight. So, it had nothing to do with Etihad.
When we checked-in in Cairns the lady asked where we were flying to. Rookie me said Brisbane & not London . Luckily the Hubby checked with her where we had to pick the bags up from. She rudely replied Brisbane & was very quick to defend herself & insist that there was nothing she could do to change it now.
I wasn’t even mad, I figured it was my fault, but she automatically got really defensive. She must have had a long day & dealt with some rude people already.
So, then we had to pick up our bags at the Brisbane domestic airport, get the transfer bus & do the check-in procedure all over again.
This worked in our favour in the end.
We got a lot more excited when we went to the Etihad check-in desk than we did at the Virgin check-in in Cairns. It made it real, this was it we’re there & we’re hopping on the plane that’s going to take us to the other side of the world for the next 18 months.
Brisbane, Australia to Heathrow, England via Abu Dhabi, UAE.
First leg: Boeing 787-9 (twin-jet)
Second Leg: Airbus A380-800 (four)
Economy, window seats 14A & 7F
13 hours for the first leg & 7 hours for the second leg.
On the original tickets, the flying times were an hour longer.
Flying from Australia to England you are entitled to 23kg checked luggage. The allowance varies depending on where you are flying to & from so be sure to double check. Carry on is 1 bag weighing up to 7kg. Saying this I had 2 bags & absolutely no issues. But if you’re worried about taking 2 carry-on bags don’t risk it.
Check-In & Boarding
It all went very smoothly. The line moved quickly, our bags were checked & we were ready to go in no time.
They didn’t have any self-service check-in machines but you can check-in on line & then go in the shorter bag-drop queue. It didn’t seem to be moving much faster than our queue anyway.
There were very few issues with boarding our 2 flights, everything went smoothly & quickly.
During our stop over in Abu Dhabi, the only thing that could have been an issue was the intense bag searching at the gate. We had to get all electrical items out and turn them on so they can check them. They also swabbed everything for explosive ordinates screening.
So, if you have a stopover in Abu Dhabi make sure everything is easily accessible and fully charged.
The seating is configured 3-4-3. An unfortunate configuration for the person sitting on the aisle seat, luckily not us.
Seat accessories are abundant on the Etihad planes. You have your standard fold down tray as well as an extra cup holder for when the tray is up, a coat hanger hook & a built in head rest on the seat.
The recline of the seats is the best I’ve experienced so far. When you recline the seat slides forward as well. So you don’t have to worry about taking up the person’s leg room behind you.
There is also a USB port & a multi-national power point for charging your devices.
I was surprised at how comfortable the flight was. We were supplied with a blanket, a cushion that could be split down the middle, to use as a neck pillow, and a little “sleep tight” pouch with a tooth brush & paste, eye mask, socks & ear plugs in it.
The lights were dimmed for almost the entire flight which helped when trying to sleep.
I used the pillow to sit on because my boney bum always gets sore if I’m sitting for long periods of time. I didn’t really need the blanket as the cabin temperature was pretty comfortable most of the trip.
The only discomfort I had was entering & leaving Abu Dhabi. The temperature went up & was a bit hot for an hour or so. Probably didn’t help that the temperature outside was 36 degrees at 6 in the morning.
Etihad has its special E-Box entertainment system. I don’t have much to compare this to but I found it pretty impressive.
You had access to a great range of movies but not too many that it was hard to decide what to watch. You also have access to the latest TV Shows, & Live TV Channels, Music, Radio, Documentaries, Kids Movies & Shows & games like Angry Birds.
The Hubby spent the whole length of The Lost City of Z (2hr & 21min) playing Angry Birds. So there is definitely something for everyone on there.
You also have access to wireless internet at a charge of 5USD for 30min & you can use your mobile to make calls when the ‘no mobile’ sign is off.
The thing that I found the most annoying with their in-flight entertainment is that you weren’t allowed to use it during take-off & landing. The service was disabled for a good hour while everyone was boarding & while we were waiting to take-off. The only thing you could see was the flight path. At least on the Airbus you had a camera so you had something to watch during take-off & landing.
The food definitely wasn’t the best in-flight meals I have had but it also wasn’t the worst. A redeeming point was we got metal cutlery, practically first class.
We got our first meal as soon as we were steady in the sky. I had the lamb with a tomato sauce & rice. It also came with a bread roll, fresh fruit, a berry & lemon slice, water & chocolate.
Intermittently throughout the flight snacks were handed out to those that were awake.
Our flight finished with breakfast. I had the scrambled eggs with a chicken sausage, tomato, & a soggy hash brown. Not very appetising. It also came with fresh fruit, chocolate muffin, yoghurt & orange juice.
The flight attendants were really lovely & incredibly helpful. They were a multi-cultural team & spoke multiple languages between them. They all looked very smart in their purple & brown uniforms. We couldn’t have been happier with the way we were treated on this flight.
Staff were also very helpful at check-in. Hubby has an English passport & we didn’t know the best way to travel using it. The lady helping us was great, explained that we should use the Australian passport all the way until we got to England. Then you use the English passport to enter the UK.
Hmmm, it seems super simple now that I look back on it. Oh well, the things you learn.
We’d definitely fly with Etihad again. As a whole, the experience was definitely up there. Hopefully next time we’ll be able to give first class a go. I have a feeling that it’d be very luxurious.
I give it 4 1/2 smiley flight staff out of 5.
Convinced Etihad is the next airline you want to fly with? Then check out some of their flight deals & other offers here.
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Had any crazy or amazing flying experiences? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below or on my facebook page.