MIDDLE EAST TRIP LOG
- Etihad Airways Chauffeur Service – Los Angeles
- Star Alliance Business Class Lounge – Tom Bradley
- Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge – Abu Dhabi Airport
- Etihad Airways Chauffeur Service – Abu Dhabi Airport
Yesterday evening I flew from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi aboard Etihad Airways, one of my favorite carriers to fly. I was looking forward to another great flight with Etihad but I feel like on this sector the cabin crew fell short on their on board service compared to my Business and First Class flight when I flew them during the month of June. Don’t get me wrong here, it was still an enjoyable flight but the service could have been much better and the attention to detail from the cabin crew was not to 100% yesterday evening, besides one cabin crew member that went far and beyond to make sure I was comfortable, had everything I wanted/needed and even made my bed. Luisa was the highlight of the flight by providing an incredible service when she was on duty. Her bright smile, will to work and going far and beyond didn’t go unnoticed in my eyes.
So on Today’s trip report, I will simply be pointing out some of the highlights of the flight and what I feel its worth sharing with you so you can benefit from this report.
Upon boarding through door 2LNR I was greeted by the cabin crew, she immediately pointed out where my seat was. I selected seat 5K which is the Business class (mini cabin) one of my favorite cabins aboard Etihad Airways 777-200LR. Upon settling into my seat and placing my belongings on the overhead bin, I was quickly approached by one of the cabin crew members and was offered a glass of water, juice or champagne – without hesitation I selected a glass of bubbles.
As the boarding was nearly finishing, another crew member came by offering the passengers a hot towel. This is the norm for Etihad Airways and it’s always a nice touch. I gladly accepted and cleaned my hands.
Shortly after, an announcement from the pilots was happening as they shared the flight information, the route we would be taking and the estimated time of arrival into Abu Dhabi. The flight was clocked in at 15 hours once airborne which is much faster than what we did in June. As I was listening to the pilot I took a look at the on board menu and beverage list. Keep in mind Etihad Airways cabin crew comes by your sit before take off to ask you what drink would you like after take off along with noting your preference on appetizers and main dish.
- The appetizers on board were different than on my last flight, as per usual their signature item is the Arabic Mezze which is my t0-go choice when flying Etihad.
- The main dish selection was also different and new additions/choices were added. Definitely a mix of beef, seafood, pasta platters with a variety of sides being offered. All choices looked fantastic with a great variety of items.
- The dessert selection was also different from my last flight with different choices of ice cream to select from, and as well, signature pastries were being offered. I skipped having dessert on this sector but every option looked phonemail and I should have tried one but I was stuffed from the feast I had for dinner.
- The red/white wine selection was also different from what I remember in June. I truly appreciate and like an Airline taking pride of bringing new options for their guest.
AFTER TAKE OFF SERVICE
Shortly after take off and once we reach a stable route of flight, the cabin crew began their on board service. I had a second glass of champagne and I was washing my mixed nuts with that. The champagne was nice, chilled and so refreshing. Can’t go wrong with it ;).
Within 30 minutes or so, the cabin crew member working my isle came to set up my table along with bringing my starter dish, which was the Arabic Mezze. There isn’t much to write here but one thing missing from the Arabic Mezze was the pita bread which I never got, and if you know pita and hummus go hand in hand. Though everything was fresh and it was delicious.
After about 10-15 minutes or so, my main course arrived. I went ahead and selected the beef tenderloin and it was an excellent choice. It was cooked to perfection, my sides for the dish was creamed spinach, potatoes wedges and some carrots. It came with a beef sauce that was also excellent and to wash my meal, I had a red wine blend of merlot. I highly recommend ordering this dish if you see it being offered on your flight, you won’t be disappointed.
With 11 hours to go until arrival into Abu Dhabi, It was time to catch some sleep. The flight itself was a mix of really bumpy air and smooth. Usually when the flight is fairly bumpy, it takes me a while to fall asleep but without a doubt the bumps put me to sleep right away. Be sure to ask your cabin crew to give you set up your bed with the duvet they provide.
After sleeping 6 hours deep without disturbance I woke up hungry and ready to eat. Keep in mind as a Business Class passenger you can dine at anytime you would like. Etihad Airways has a dining on demand style which works perfectly and within the menu you can see all the items that you can have at any given time throughout the flight. I decided to have breakfast food and went ahead with the English type breakfast and it was simply incredible, super tasty. Yet another recommendation that you should consider having on your flight.
For refreshments I had still water and a smoothie. The smoothie was better than ever on this sector. Great flavor and consistency. Along with your breakfast you get mini basket with pastries and croissant.
As always, I purchased the wifi plan for the entire duration of the flight at a cost of $21. It is an excellent deal since theres no cap and you can use it anytime. I switched the wifi from my phone into my computer and was able to get done about 3 hours worth of work which made the flight go by pretty fast. I took a peak at the air show and we were about 5 hours out from Abu Dhabi. At the time I was craving a cappuccino and the cabin crew accommodated the request shortly after. It was very good coffee and the cookie was tasty.
After the cappuccino it was time to catch some sleep until arrival into Abu Dhabi. The ride got pretty smooth so it was the perfect timing to do so. Business class seat on Etihad is a perfectly comfortable seat to get some sleep and with the duvet it’s even more comfortable. With 40 minutes to go until arrival, I quickly went to change from my pj’s into my regular clothes. One of the cabin crew members passed by my seat to offer me the Fast Track for immigration and shortly after the pilot came on the PA to give us our estimated time of arrival and to thank us for flying Etihad Airways.
The view on our descent into Abu Dhabi was simply breathtaking. One of the perks of this flight is that you can see the sunset twice.
Our descent was smooth and we arrived way ahead of schedule into Abu Dhabi. It was a first arriving into a remote gate rather than a normal gate and that was super uncomfortable to say the least but the ground crew from Etihad did an excellent job on handling the situation very well and get us to the terminal at a good pace.
ETIHAD AIRWAYS BOTTOM LINE
As I previously stated, I love flying Etihad Airways and its an absolute pleasure to fly. The flight itself was good but nothing compared to my flights in June. I felt like the cabin crew must have been tired and not in sync to provide the best on board service. Luisa one of the cabin crew members who often checked up on me was the best one aboard as her attention to detail was just on point. On a 15 hour flight the attention to detail from the staff has to be on point and on this sector, only one was on her element. This won’t stop me from flying Etihad Airways again because I look forward to flying them again in the near future. At the end of the day, a new flight its always a new experience.