Earlier this month I flew with Etihad Airways (economy class) on the London Heathrow to Bangkok route (via Abu Dhabi). As it’s the first time I’ve flown with this airline I’d like to give my review of the service so that it might help somebody else thinking of flying on this route with Etihad. The reason I flew with Etihad was that at the time of booking they offered the cheapest flight to Bangkok. Part of the reason for the good deal that I got was that it involved a long stop-over in Abu Dhabi with 8 hours to wait for a connecting flight to Bangkok. Despite that, I thought the service was very good and would have no qualms about flying with Etihad in the future.
Etihad Check In at London Heathrow
Etihad operate out of Terminal 4 at London Heathrow which isn’t as big or as busy as Terminal 3 where many of the other long-haul airlines operate from. I’d already checked-in online before the flight and at the Etihad desks there is a dedicated line for online check-ins. However, on arrival there were no queues at the Etihad desks anyway so it wasn’t an issue. Similarly, passing through security was quick and efficient which isn’t always the case at Heathrow.
London to Abu Dhabi
The flight was slightly late departing from Heathrow (scheduled departure at 13.50) because of the usual heavy plane traffic at Heathrow and the long taxi to the departure runway. Flying on an Airbus A346, the plane was approximately 90% full, but the proximity of spare seats meant I had room to stretch out which is always a bonus in the economy seats. Even if the plane was full, I’d still say the legroom was reasonable. The on-board service was very good. The staff were courteous and efficient and the food was excellent. The in-flight entertainment system was modern and worked well, although the choice of movies isn’t as extensive as an airline such as Emirates. That said, there are only so many movies you can watch on a 7-hour flight and so I was quite happy with the selection available.
Abu Dhabi Airport
There isn’t a huge amount to do at Abu Dhabi airport, but it is modern and very clean. The departure area of Terminal 3 has the bonus of free wi-fi and there are also numerous computer terminals (again free of charge) for those without a laptop who want to use the internet. I wasn’t looking forward to the long wait for the connecting flight, but it wasn’t as bad I’d anticipated. The choice of cafÃ©s and restaurants is limited, but is still more than adequate. The toilet facilities are spacious and clean, so again no complaints there.
Abu Dhabi to Bangkok
The second leg of the journey to Bangkok was on a Boeing 777 which was full. As with the first leg of the journey, the on-board service was very good with very polite staff. I thought the food on this leg of the journey wasn’t as good as before, but that may have just been down to my own personal preferences. The in-flight entertainment system was decent and worked well enough, but as before the choice of movies wasn’t huge.
Overall, I was very impressed with my first experience flying with Etihad. In my opinion, the Etihad flight was excellent value for money and although the flight was cheap it didn’t mean a compromise in service. Having flown with other Middle Eastern airlines between London and Bangkok (including Emirates and Qatar Airways) the service from Etihad is of the same high standards with extremely courteous and efficient staff.
Marks (out of 10): 8
I booked my flight with ebookers.com »