Booking the flight
Making the booking with Etihad Airways was fairly simple. I was travelling from Incheon in South Korea to Johannesburg, South Africa. If you have access to a smartphone, you can easily download the app from either google play or the Apple app store. If you are booking online the process is fairly simple and the format is quite easy to use.
Seating and Menu options
Etihad gives you the option of choosing where to sit. You can choose a regular or paid for option. The paid for option is a lot more comfortable. This is mostly because there is more space as one seat has been removed in a row of three. The extra space is located next to the window. I had decided to purchase one of these seats for an extra $30.
Menus and Meals
On Etihad, you have the option of choosing what meal you would like to have on the plane. I decided to choose a Hindu meal. There is also a drop-down menu that explains to you what products are used in the preparation of the meal, which is great for those of you who care about what you eat. As you can see from the picture below there are a variety of options that you can choose from.
Baggage Allowances and Charges
Depending on your flight, Etihad sets the baggage allowance standard. I was allowed 1 x 30 kg of luggage as well as 1 x 7 kg of carry-on luggage. There are options for you to purchase extra luggage which can be done online or via the app. The cost to purchase extra luggage is cheaper if you buy it before getting to the airport (so I suggest that you check the weight of your baggage.
Checking in and boarding
Information regarding flight changes as well as check-in times are relayed via email as well as on the app. Checking in was fairly simple, I just needed to produce the credit card that I had used to book the flight to get my boarding passes and the whole process took no longer than 5 minutes.
Changing flight details and other information.
I had to change my flight information and details as I was leaving South Korea a lot earlier than expected. Changing of flight details can be done via “manage by booking” I got charged around USD 100 to change my flight as I had not chosen “the flexible option” which is available when you initially book your flight.
The first flight – Incheon, South Korea – Abu Dhabi International Airport
Seating and luggage
My paid for seat was very comfortable and there was a lot of room for my handbag and for me to stand and stretch. I was luckier than I had thought because in the two-seater space no one was sitting next to me, so I had the entire row to myself. It was also conveniently located next to the bathroom, which was superb. Carry-on space and luggage compartments were also enough for all passengers and were fairly easy to open and close. (If like me you had stored some items that you would want to use on the plane in there, it would be easily accessible)
The menu and eating times
My plane took off at around 00:15 and the first “meal” was served around 00:45. Firstly, I felt as though this was much too soon, as perhaps many had eaten before either at the airport or at home prior to the flight. (My personal view) Secondly, with previous airlines I had always been given a menu card (relaying what the meal options would be) There was no such on Etihad. The first meal was a terrible sandwich which consisted of bread with too much butter, turkey, tomato and lettuce. I could not eat the sandwich as it tasted horrible and I had given it back to the crew. They had also given us chicken cup noodles which I had instead. It was by no means something “delicious” but rather a snack just to fill up.
As I said before, the first meal was given at 00:45 on a 9-hour flight. The second meal was given around 07:00 which was a very long time after and there were no snacks provided in between. I had a real problem with this because at the time the second meal was given I was famished. Thankfully the second meal was a lot better than the first. As I had ordered a Hindu meal. It consisted of curried vegetables with potatoes. There was a serving of fruit as well as a mini-chocolate muffin. The curry was delicious. The fruit was ok and the muffin too dry for my liking. (Sorry that I didn’t take any pictures, but by the time my food had arrived, I was too hungry and tired to whip out my phone) The drinks cart only came through during the meal times and at other times I had to ask for either water or juice. ( I found this a little irritating)
In-Flight service and entertainment
Truth be told, the flight attendants were not as friendly and welcoming as on other airlines (such as Emirates) They do not really “take care” of you on the flight. A blanket, as well as headphones, were provided. The bare minimum of service was received and I didn’t really enjoy the flight experience. I did, however, tell them that I am a migraine sufferer and I would need some water or coffee sometime during the flight. One of the attendants noticed that I was looking for my headache pills around 3 am and brought me some water without asking (which was really great) other than that incident the other in-flight services were mediocre.
The entertainment that was available was music from the ’90s as well as a range of different movies. There were also many Indian movies available. There were news channels available from around the world as well as weather reports. I found this useful, as I wanted to know what the weather would be like when I arrived at my layover as well as the final destination.
The second flight: Abu Dhabi – O.R Tambo – Johannesburg, South Africa
My seating for the second flight was a lot more comfortable. I couldn’t choose a paid seat for my flight, however, it was not a problem. Due to the fact that the plane was not full, I found myself alone on a three seater. This was extremely comfortable as I could pull the armrests up and it converted into a couch. I had a lot of room and it made sleeping a lot easier and I was a lot more comfortable. However, if you are booking a regular economy class seat the experience would probably not be as comfortable. Considering the flight time, choosing for a paid seat for a longer distance would be a wise option.
The menu and eating times
The second flight was a lot better in terms of food and not service. The plane took off at 10:30 am and at around 11 am juice and snacks were provided. It was a light snack that was probably a biscuit or some savoury. I had eaten at my layover and chose not to take any. The main meal was given around 1 pm and it was a delicious chicken curry. It was served with a bread roll and some fruit. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the timing was good. There was also a third meal given at around 15:00. (My arrival time was 16:40) It was a curried vegetable pie which was also equally as good as the main meal. The problem that I had on this flight was that I was given my food first and maybe 30-40 minutes later given something to drink. The drinks cart came quite later. The timings and preparation by the flight attendants were quite poor.
In-flight service and entertainment
The entertainment was pretty much the same as on the first flight. However, the treatment from the flight attendants on this flight was way below par. I really felt as though they did not know how to speak to me and It was not a very good experience.
Landing – luggage
My luggage arrived safely and in-tact. I was very happy about this as I have heard such horror stories from people regarding lost luggage.
FLIGHT OR FAIL- OVERALL REVIEW
I did not enjoy my flight and treatment on Etihad Airways. The overall service was poor and if I had not had my own food, I would have been starving, especially on the first flight. There were a few highlights such as when I had my migraine, the food on the second flight as well as my luggage arriving safely. If you are looking for an airline purely as a means of travel then Etihad would be a good choice for you. Given a choice, I would not fly with Etihad again due to the poor customer service, food timings and menu.
SERENA’S RATING = 2.5 STARS/5
That’s it for this week! I hope that you found my post useful if so let me know in the comments!