Ethiad Airways was a big disappointment for me. I was looking forward to flying Etihad after seeing the reviews and viewing the TV advert with Nicole Kidman, but it sure did not live up to my expectations. Especially with regards to food and service at the airport and onboard the flight.
I flew business class to Kuala Lumpur with a stopover in Abu Dhabi breaking up the journey. So let’s start with the Chauffeur pick up. They offer it from Abu Dhabi, but from London as a business class passenger we did not receive this. Which was an irritant.
On arrival at the Heathrow Etihad lounge I was pleasantly surprised by the style, albeit sterile, but it was modern and clean. All in all, it felt very much Middle Eastern which is a style that I personally like. On arrival the lady on reception welcomed me and on the way to my seat I went to get a couple of magazines. However, at the magazine stand there was only one English newspaper and everything else was Arabic. I spoke to the lady again on the reception and she said that they only offer Arabic magazines, as this is their mainis the small things for me and to not have English magazines at an English airport is not good.
We sat down and asked the waitress for a glass of champagne and she looked at us as if we were crazy to ask. She then went of and returned ten minutes later with the champagne, I need to mention at that stage we were alone in the lounge so ten minutes to pour a drink was not acceptable!!! We were then told that there would be no food for an hour as they were changing over from breakfast to lunch. We were very hungry and said that would not do, so in the end they allowed for us to order some eggs Benedict. I asked for mine to be cooked well done and when they came out they were undercooked so we sent them back. When the lunch menu was finally available I just ordered a portion of chips and a spring roll as I am a vegetarian. When the chips arrived they were still frozen in the middle and the spring roll was soaked in fat and soggy. So in the end I just went to Pret a Manger and purchased a falafel wrap. I was irritated that in a business class lounge they were incompetent to cook basic food!!
On boarding the A380 again on the surface level I was impressed with the size of the beds and chairs but did not like the configuration of beds facing backwards. We were offered a glass of champagne and hot towel but the towel had seen better days and was a yellow colour. The toiletry bag was laughable and cheap. I would even say Virgin Atlantic’s bag is better and that is saying something. I had ordered a vegetarian meal for me, and a kids meal for my daughter.
Mine was inedible and they forgot to put my daughter’s meal on board. So I ate nothing on route to Abu Dhabi I was just glad that I had purchased a pretzel from Pret otherwise it would have been a nightmare. My daughter was ignored throughout the flight, even with regards to food and drink and when I questioned the air airhostess her answer to me was there was a button to press and she is a child. I said I don’t care she paid an adult price.
On the second leg of our flight I had a cheese tart again uncooked and my poor husband was not able to eat as there was no food left as they had only packed 70% food as was a night flight it was a total disgrace. I really feel they should call it the diet flight. This is really something they need to work on number one having enough food for the business class guests on-board and number two that it is edible and good quality.
Although the television on-board was a good size the inflight entertainment was very bad. I think they had one recent movie and the rest were 6 to 12 months old so by the second leg of our journey we had viewed all the movies. There is no point having a good TV with nothing to watch.
There was also a bar on-board, but nothing like Emirates when I went up there no one was stationed there, there was no food and after waiting five minutes for no-one to come I went back to my seat and pressed the buzzer.
The staff were also not very friendly trying to be controlling and on the verge of dictatorship. They were adamant that my bag shows go in the overhead locker although it fitted underneath fine yet were happy to leave all the duvets and pillows all over the floor blocking the exits. I said to the hostess that it should be all or nothing. It can’t be selective what they choose to put away as the duvets were blocking the entrance. The toilets were also in a state constantly with water or urine on the floor and when I asked why I was told that it was because the crew have to clean them.
A positive I can say about the Lounges in Abu Dhabi an Kuala Lumpur there was a kids room with a nanny. So you could drop the child of to watch a movie or play while you relax for a while I liked that.
As I mentioned in previous blogs I like Emirates, as you are not reliant on the crew doing a good job as they leave everything on display in the lounge and the same can be said on-board. When you don’t offer self-service and the opportunity for the client to take back a little control by walking to the bar if the staff are not great then the crew serving really need to be on it and willing to do a good job.
I sadly have no intention of flying Ethiad again as it is great offering a Ferrari but if there is no engine or petrol to keep it working well. What’s the point?