Airline: Etihad Airways
Flight Number: EY279
Class: First Class
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Delivered: December 2009 (Currently Stored)
Flight Duration: 4 Hours 20 Minutes
Distance: 1,876 Miles
After a nice and relaxing stay in the Maldives, it was sadly time to head home. This time, we are flying with Etihad through Abu Dhabi.
Etihad (EY) was the first middle eastern carrier I’ve flown, and I’ve been a fan ever since. OK, probably not as much as Qatar Airways, but still a fan. They’ve been getting some negative press lately due to their cost cutting measures on their premium products, but I still think they offer a solid product with comfortable seats, excellent crew, and generally very good food.
What I liked:
The Airplane/Livery – I’m typically not a big fan of the Airbus A330, but I love how this aircraft sports the “Visit Abu Dhabi” purple livery. This was also one of the last flights of this airframe, as it was removed from service as of December 7, 2019.
The seats – Though this was an older first-class seat, I consider it an “oldie but goodie”. The seat was spacious, plush, and very comfortable for sitting, lounging, and sleeping. Did I mention it offers personal air nozzles??? 🙂
The onboard service – Abby, the flight attendant working first class gave us excellent service. She was proactive in asking whether my companion and I wanted to dine together. The other crew were very also efficient, refined and charming in delivering the in-flight service.
The IFE – Etihad’s eBOX entertainment system was intuitive, responsive, and offers plenty of movie, TV, music, games, and other content to keep you busy during the flight. In-flight WiFi was also available on this flight.
The Chauffeur Service to the terminal in Abu Dhabi – We landed in Abu Dhabi and parked at a remote stand. I’m usually not a fan of remote stands, since you’ll have to go down the stairs with your luggage, but we were pleasantly surprised when our flight attendant mentioned upon disembarking that a chauffeur and limo was waiting for us as we exit the aircraft. The chauffeur met us and drove us to the terminal to catch our connection, while all other passengers took a bus.
What I didn’t like:
MLE Airport Experience – Male’s Velana airport was chaotic, as there were a few other flights departing at the same time. We had to line up for a half hour before getting into the check-in area.
The Leeli Lounge – The Leeli lounge in Male offers plenty of seating and is spacious, which is not bad for a contract lounge. The food options though could use a lot of work. The selection was a bit disappointing and did not look very appetizing.
It was OK…I guess:
The food – Onboard catering was very good, except for the chicken biryani dish that I ordered. It was a bit too salty for me. All other food and beverage offerings in-flight were excellent!
It’s been a while since we’ve flown Etihad and we were pleasantly surprised at how good their product is. We had an excellent flight with them from boarding to disembarking, and I can’t fault the crew for anything. They were friendly, charming, and delivered outstanding service on this short-ish flight. The food was very good for the most part, and beautifully plated by the crew. The seat, though not EY’s newest product was well-kept, spacious, and very comfortable. Good job, Etihad! We are looking forward to flying with you again soon!