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Etihad experiences

Level Contributor
1 post
7 reviews
Etihad experiences

Mine was awful:

My wife and I have recently flown return to Australia with Etihad and the best advice I can offer is choose Emirates or Singapore. You will regret ever choosing Etihad if not

They have a policy of not pre-issuing emergency exit seats which is quite normal and states as do other airlines that these have to be allocated at the airport so as to ensure those persons sitting in such seats are fit and abled bodied. No problem with this at all. Except when I arrived at Manchester airport first in the queue I was told by the check-in staff that all these seats had been allocated to “Etihad Guests”. I argued that this shouldn’t be possible but was told there was nothing I could do.

The staff, with the exception of two very nice ladies were awful. They were impatient, rude and unhelpful. We tried making conversation but they couldn’t be bothered. All we heard for the entire return journey was one or the other of them moaning to their colleagues about their hours, conditions, managers etc. Every request seemed to be too much trouble for them

The food was no different from any budget airline. Cheap, luke-warm, unimaginative and indigestible

We were offered just one wet towel on each of the whole of the 25 journeys

In Australia, I made several calls to Etihad to request costs to upgrade to business or first class. I never received a call back

I did receive an email a few days before the return journey asking if I wanted to “bid” for an upgrade in an auction. I immediately thought this must be a scam and contacted Etihad to investigate. I was told that someone would call me back to clarify – nobody ever called me back. As a result I didn’t chance bidding by following the link in the email in case it was a scam.

Upon our return I raised the issues of the pre-booking of the exit seats. Despite numerous emails they failed to explain or even investigate how these seats were pre-booked and in fact denied this was the case and that the seats were available. If this was the case, one would question why I would arrive 4 hours early at the airport, get offered the seats, turn them down then complain they weren’t available. This is nonsense – they were pre-allocated, FACT

Etihad also failed despite numerous emails to explain why they did not give me upgrade costs

In summary, I wouldn’t travel with Etihad again. I had a far better experience with Emirates and Singapore previously but fell for the fact Etihad’s costs were lower at the time of booking. I guess you get what you pay for. If you are prepared to receive poor on-board service, dire food, bad attitudes and unhelpful customer service then go ahead. If not, find a better alternative

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: Etihad experiences

Many of your points had me think you were flying with Emirates;-)

Leeds, United...
Level Contributor
2,612 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Etihad experiences

Exactly true Hans lol

I recently flew economy with Etihad, Manchester Bangkok and found them excellent. Food good, aircraft crew very polite and had a plentiful supply of drinks. I always try to book seats online 24 hours before and always have a very good choice of seat.

Last two flights with Emirates on the other hand very indifferent. If in future similar price would choose Etihad over Emirates every time.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,796 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: Etihad experiences

Well, my opinion of Etihad is the complete opposite of TheGrumpyTraveller ;-) My sister and I fly every couple of years to the UK for our holidays and last year was the first time we've used Etihad. Admittedly we were in First Class for 3 legs and Business for 1 leg (Etihad don't have a first class cabin on flights into Manchester, so it had to be business for that leg). Every single member of their staff, right from check-in in Sydney, onboard and until we landed back in Sydney, were wonderful. The food was better than 5* restaurant quality, the wines and champagnes were fantastic, the comfort of the suite in First beggared belief and we're now planning our next trip to the UK - we'll be flying into Heathrow this time, just so we can have all legs in First and we'll definitely be flying Etihad.

Level Contributor
15,891 posts
64 reviews
4. Re: Etihad experiences

Well, to be fair, there is a HUGE difference in the way passengers are treated in Economy as to how they are treated in the Premium Cabins. And that difference isn't just on board, but applies to all dealings with the airline from the time of booking.

It's such a shame because good service adds nothing to the cost of running an airline. It's just a matter of staff training.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,796 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: Etihad experiences

I do agree Eva that the service afforded when flying up the pointy end is excellent. Not long after we'd booked, I was having a bit of trouble booking the chauffeur online and so, rather than telephone, I emailed Etihad. I was at work at the time and immediately after sending the email, I walked to the back of our office to the printer and during that time, Etihad were on the phone to me to discuss my problems personally. As much as I think they're a great airline, I know that if I'd been booked in economy and I'd emailed them, they wouldn't have rung me in response to my email ;-)

That holiday was the first time we hadn't flown economy and it's certainly spoiled us - both my sister and I are refusing to fly long haul unless it's only in first, LOL (we don't even want business class!)

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
Level Contributor
39,474 posts
192 reviews
6. Re: Etihad experiences

We have flown Etihad quite a lot lately and have always been happy with the service, the food has always been good and we have never encountered rude staff maybe you were just unlucky.

Level Contributor
51 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Etihad experiences

We fly with etihad and are gold card holders. Usually the exit row seats would be allocated to us or other gold card holders. This has recently changed and they now charge for the exit row seats. I'm sure you can understand why they would allocate them to members of there reward service as a thank you for loyalty. It is true there is a huge difference between economy and business but there is also a huge price difference. Service is very business like in business but to be honest the cabin crew for Etihad in all classes are some of the best we have come across. Like anything in life if you are nice people are usually nice back!!!

The ground staff for Etihad really need some training however call centres and cabin crew are great in my experiences.

8. Re: Etihad experiences

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