Has anybody flown with Etihad lately. We are flying Heathrow to Bangkok in 2 weeks time. Can anyone tell me what films are playing at the moment on the plane?
Brilliant - thank you soooooo much x
For a low cost airline, Etihad was really great. Planes were new, staff friendly- except for one big Stuart who bumped me as he ran down the aisle. Overall, a very positive experience.
What makes you believe Etihad is a low cost carrier?
Etihad is not a low cost carrier. It's full service and actually a very good one at that.
And whilst I am here, what is a "big Stuart".?
>> ... what is a "big Stuart".? <<
Perhaps he meant to write "steward"?
Just returned from Europe to Asia with Etihad. They are not low cost but a very cost cutting full service. Have been using them since 2005. At least they haven't replaced their flat bed with more seats yet. May still happen.Movie selection doesn't change in months.Edited: 12:00 am, June 23, 2012
We travelled with Etihad last month and thought the service was very good, you can get all the entertainment details including what films they're showing from their website.
Etihad has nice planes but very poor service in Abu Dhabi airport. I travel internationally for work all the time and I have never been treated so badly. My initial leg was delayed and so we missed our connection in Abu Dhabi. The staff made us queue for 4 hours from midnight until 4 am to get a hotel voucher. All they gave us was a one night hotel stay and no apology for the situation. Oh and this was Christmas eve, so I spent Christmas alone, in the hotel. I will never ever fly Etihad again if I can avoid it.
We are writing this to share with you the worst customer service experience by an airline after 15 years of travelling and visiting 47 countries.
It all began when we checked our flight details online to verify that our Paris to Abu Dhabi flight was ok and on time. When we arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport around 7ish, some 3 hours prior to our 22:05 flight at Terminal 2A, we joined the queue for our flight after checking the departure board which advised us that Flight EY38 was "on time".
After 1 hour or so and no movement in the line, I checked that the check in staff were there, they were but the queue was still not moving. Upon which I spoke to a gentleman from Etihad and he advised me that the flight had been cancelled. So after checking the internet and than the departures board, we than were only told by Etihad when we enquired ourselves.
This was the start of the calamity, at no time did any Management take the time to make an announcement or wander down the queue to advise customers who were eagerly waiting of what was happening. Than we were told to stay in line and when we get to the counter contingency details will be provided, some may or may not get on a flight and some may or may not get a hotel close by.
I waited inside the the ticketing line, whilst my wife waited in the check-in line as nobody knew what was happening nor did anyone from Etihad communicate efficiently what was occurring, even though in the background it seemed like they were rescheduling flights for some and hotels for others. I spoke to a Jo'Burg couple who were lucky to get another flight with Air France and another couple who had their Etihad flight cancelled on the same time the night before and yet again they were not given a flight, we would have thought they would have been given priority after being inconvenienced 2 days in a row, but they weren't.
Aa a customer service consultant with 23 years in the business, the main irritation for customers is the great unknown. People are aware planes have technical problems and may not be happy but they can deal with the matter if an attempt to communicate contingency plans are made efficiently and frequently, to no avail at Etihad on the night of the 9th of July.
We stood in 2 lines with limited information as to what was happening be it with our EY38 flight, our "new flight" nor our hotel. On top of that we were not given any food nor offers for a drinks and after enquiring with a supervisor/manager that appeared a few hours later, Narjorie, our persistent requests for food and drink vouchers were completely ignored. Narjorie and her colleague, were completely overwhelmed and did not seem to have any procedures or processes to follow as they were totally disorientated and did not cope at all well with the proceedings, even though they had had the same situation the night before. Surely they would have learnt something from that experience.
At about 9:30 we were finally told that we were not one of the customers who had been put on other flights, which is mind boggling as we were in one of the major airports in not only France, but Europe, to say that no other airlines were available was quite extraordinary. What is your policy regarding who gets priority on other airlines ? and is finding another flight on another airline a priority or would you rather have customers stay overnight ?
Upon being advised we were staying in Paris, we than had to follow up ourselves where we were staying as nobody had any idea when we approached the front counter. Finally after a further 20 minute wait, we were than told a bus was arranged for 10pm to take us to Montvillargene ? unbeknown to us this was near Chantilly some 35mins away, although we were told 20 minutes. It's than we asked again for food and drink from Narjorie and again our request fell on deaf ears, as we were told all food and drink will be provided at the hotel.
It was even more disappointing when we found out that some passengers were given food vouchers at the airport and ate around 9:30pm, very peeved and angry at this stage as my wife was getting very sick and we had already exchanged all our money prior to leaving Paris. This was explained to Narjorie, her colleague, and her staff but nothing was done nor was any empathy shown. We had never experienced such poor management of a situation than on this occasion, but Etihad would top that a few days later in Abu Dhabi. After constant requests as to what was happening nobody from Etihad was waiting for the buses when they arrived nor was anyone directing passengers to the bus, as their was more than one hotel and more than one bus going to those respective buses.
To see Etihad staff mingle and smoke, check their mobiles and take calls, whilst passengers were standing around not knowing where they were going or what bus was going to what hotel during this chaos was happening, diminishes any respect we had of Etihad and all its awards..So it was now 10pm and the 9:30pm buses were still there and people still asking what was happening and where were they going ? At 10:15pm the 9:30 bus left.. at 10:30 the 10pm bus arrived after enquiring constantly from 10pm onwards and being told it was "5 minutes" away on every occasion.
Our bus didnt depart until after 11pm and the driver didnt seem to perturbed nor Etihad staff as they took their time, not knowing if all passengers were accounted for, giving us "No" information as to why it was late, why we were still at the airport after 11pm, where and how long it would take to get to the hotel ? very poor communication and no sign of management once more and counter/check in staff just sat at their counters and spoke to one another, their was absolutely no leadership or direction shown what so ever throughout the night. To see the driver and Etihad staff still talking on their mobiles and smoking and laughing whilst we were onboard the bus for around 30 minutes was appalling customer service and totally disrespectful to all passengers especially as the bus was stifling hot and the bus driver didnt have the courteousy of turning it on for the air conditioning. We even witnessed a gentleman who was a business class passenger also treated poorly as he too was cancelled the night before and again tonight and he was not given any priority either, dont think he will be travelling Etihad again and we couldnt blame him !!
So finally after 11pm we departed Terminal 2A, so we thought, as the bus had to go back to pick up another passenger another 15 minutes, due to the fact nobody was taking accountability and responsibility for checking any list of the passengers going to their respective hotels. Than after app. 40 minutes, the driver was lost as he had no idea where he was going pulling up to more than 1 driveway trying to find the right hotel.
Arriving at the hotel well after midnight, with no food or drinks provided at the airport or on the bus, even though after numerous requests, my wife went to bed with a painful headache and feeling very nauseous. After making sure she went to bed we rang for room service and a meal, but being after midnight the chef had gone home and we were told their was no food. To say I was furious would have been underestimating the situation, I went down to talk to management and the lady at the front desk was extremely rude, so I asked for her manager who was trying his best to get some food organised. We had a drink at the bar finally, than we were told we could have toasted sandwiches or pasta, having settled for the pasta, other passengers were than having other meals such as pizza, etc. Again total miscommunication, not only from Etihad but also at the hotel. I spoke to Nazzi (with a Sth African accent I think), who said she would do her best to get us on a flight tomorrow.
It didnt end their as I finally got to sleep around 1:45am, as I was pretty stressed from the whole cancellation. We were woken at 7am with our new flight details, Gulf Air flying to Bahrain at 11:20 than an Etihad flight app.4 hours later to Abu Dhabi. We woke in haste had breakfast to be ready for the 8am bus. Surprise, surprise, the bus hadnt arrive after persistent enquires as to where the buses were, "only 5 minutes away Sir", we were advised to take a taxi as if we waited any longer we dont know if we would make our flight, but we had to pay for 45 Euros from our own money, still awaiting someone to advise us how we will be refunded. We hope that it will be directly debited into our account without any further hinderance or time on our behalf. Also Narjorie did suggest that Etihad paid $300USD to each person with each cancellation, so we would be due $900USD each ($1800 USD) due to our 3 cancellations upon which we would also like this debited into our account, not vouchers because after this experience not sure if we want to be put through that stress ever again !!
The gulf air flight was trouble free into Bahrain, upon arrival we found out their was another Gulf Air flight at 20:15, unlike our Etihad flight leaving at 22:25. We would have thought that Etihad would not want to inconvenience us any further and would have booked us on the quickest possible route, but that again wasn't the case and we had to ask if it was possible to change. It wasnt at first but after persistently asking and explaining our circumstances so one finally wilted and we had to run to the gates after the final call, even though we requested the change 1 hour in advance.
Finally in Abu Dhabi, the requested transfer to our hotel was not waiting for us, after talking to the Asian lady at the counter who wasnt very helpful, we asked for the Manager and Manzoor proceeded to help us. Not sure what he was doing but the email wasnt received and he followed it up than he had to organise the car, which should have been done by Paris prior to our departure on the 10th of July, so a further 60 minute delay, we didnt arrive at our hotel until after midnight, couldnt imagine what time it would have been had we taken the Etihad flight offered !! So now with only 2 days in Abu Dhabi instead of 3 days of our honeymoon we tried to make the best of it and put it down to a learning curve and we would be requesting compensation on our return.
On the night of the 12th July, we rang Etihad to confirm the return transfer we were promised for 8am for our 10:45am EY6450 flight, originally speaking to Vineeta who was one of the most unhelpful people I have come across. We explained to her our past experience in Paris and she explained that nothing had been arranged and she couldnt organise anything for us and she couldnt get anyone at the airport to call us this isnt her job or theirs to make outgoing calls. We asked to speak to Manzoor, but he wasnt available, so after the lack of co-operation from Vineeta, we spoke to her team leader Hatim Nasr in Abu Dhabi. He seemed very considerate, taking a few hours to get the transfer that was promised finally organised, however more disturbing was what was to come next.
Hatim told us that since our flight in Paris was cancelled than the proceeding flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney/Melbourne was also cancelled by the system (so he said) not sure how this can happen, please explain this process to us as we didnt authorise this ? Than as the call proceeded he advised us that we would be compensated as the delay would mean we would miss out on work, he than said an airport hotel would be arranged as we needed to check out by 12pm, we suggested that a hotel with a pool and some activities given our long delay. So we left with ;
1. confrimation that we had no booking for the 10:45am flight to Sydney which we had originally booked,
2. confirmation we had been rebooked on the Abu Dhabi to Melbourne (Direct Flight) at 10pm on the 13th of July
3. confirmation of the transfer pickup from our hotel at 12pm to the airport hotel
4. confirmation of the airport hotel booking with food and drink supplied.
What eventuated on the 13th of July was considerably different from the discussion we had with Hatim Nasr the night before...
1. we did get picked up from the hotel at 12pm
2. we were not driven to the airport or the airport hotel, but driven to Centro Yas Hotel (this wasn't communicated to us in anyway) where we were told their was no room service and we had to take all our luggage to the rooms ourselves, not happy !!
3. we were given a buffet lunch and dinner with a soft drink for lunch but told we could only have water for dinner , what are we prisoners of War ? all my wife and I wanted was soft drink or a juice and we had to call the Food and Drink Manager (who was from Essen in Germany) to avoid any disagreement, we felt like 2nd class citizens as we had no dirhams because we exchanged them the night before.
4. On our pickup at 8pm for our 10pm flight we were told by Siham (Duty Manager at Abu Dhabi Airport), that Hatim hadnt booked our flight and that we couldnt get a flight for days as Etihad had overbooked all the flights and was bumping people off of the flights. Spoke to other passengers who were in the same situation to us, Curtis and a lovely couple from Melbourne who had booked 10 months in advance, you would think Etihad would bump passengers who booked last, very poor service dont think they will fly Etihad again and will be telling friends. A French guy at check out said the only way we would get on a flight is if someone volunteered, but they didnt seem to be asking anyone, nor were they investigating other airlines. After 30+ minutes we suggested Emirates they said they too were booked fully tonight, but had seats available tomorrow, which after deliberation and no other option we took.
5. Back at the Centro we were told that for 10 dirhams each they would take our luggage to our room, what a joke...with dinner and light refreshments paid for, we were told by Management their that we had missed dinner and light refreshments didnt mean a juice. Now to say I got a bit peeved was again an understatement, I asked for a manager and the front desk guy came out and ok'd the juices and snacks at 50 dirham each. Only to be told later that we could only have rolls, than told it would be 20 dirhams each, so 3 people all with 3 different explanations, at this time I was steaming at which time we grabbed up to 100 dirhams worth of snacks and our drinks and retired to our room. Couldnt sleep that night as we were worried about getting home, oversleeping our 6am pickup and not getting to work, as if my wife was late for work she could lose her job, very worrying and we already missed one day of work too and $300 cash.
6. Pickup at 6am for a 10am flight departing Dubai, a 70 minute drive, after getting to bed at 12ish, with very little sleep.
7. Finally back in Melbourne, Etihad had one more chance to redeem itself with a transfer supposedly organised by Siham from Abu Dhabi airport for our 6:15 arrival, but true to form and current experience by Etihad staff nothing was organised their was no one waiting for us at the airport and our taxi fare cost $51.50 to our home (the taxi driver had runout of paper so we couldn't get a receipt).
8. So out of 5 Etihad flights on our itinerary, 3 were cancelled and we only boarded Etihad twice, amazing !!