Airlines: Etihad Airways Flight: EY455 SYD-AUH Reg: A6-APH Aircraft: Airbus A380-861 Dep SYD Terminal 1: 9:50 pm Arr AUH Terminal 3: 5:40 am Distance: 12,075 km Flight time: 14h 39m
I had planned to visit Mumbai during the December 2016. Had almost booked Malaysian Airlines but my internet dropped just as I was about to hit the submit button. On restarting the price had risen by a few hundreds. Tried other options, found Etihad price reasonable for the time of the year.
My relatives had flown with Etihad a month earlier, had water spilled on the pant. My expectations were low after hearing the service level.
Still decided to give it a go as I wanted to try something different from the usual flights.
I was travelling via Abu Dhabi after 36 yrs. Having 8 hours transit, had booked seat on the Etihad bus to Dubai. Dropped the idea as it would take 1.5 hours each way. I planned to take public transport to Abu Dhabi city from Airport.
Below is the long video [42 mins approx] report covering the flight.
Full Video Trip report
I had done my online check-in 24hrs earlier. Had a dinner meeting with friends and got dropped at the airport. Arrived at the airport around 6.30p.m and joined the internet check-in queue. Had about around 20 people ahead, took around 30-35 mins for Check-in.
When my turn came, passport, visa was checked. Check-in person said that my destination was the happening place. I later found out why. It was around 7p.m, decided to head for immigration and security check.
Immigration didn't take long as I went through e-passport and the queue was shorter. Security was next, got a full body scan before begin let out into the duty free area. Next stop was GST refund. Queue here was crazy. Atleast 50 people in queue, mostly mainland Chinese with tonnes of items. The queue was extremely slow. Had filled the GST claim online yet it took 1.5 hours to reach the counter.
Went straight for the gate, boarding had commenced. I was seating the front section most passengers had already boarded. Went down the aerobridge to see the Etihad bird.
Etihad Airways A6-APH
Boarding via front door
Waiting for boarding to complete
Soon everyone was settled, door was closed and pushback commenced. Safety instructions was displayed on the IFE screen.
I had activated the tail camera.
Flight departed at 9.50pm local time. Once cruising altitude was reached, Hand towels was provided. Dinner service commenced soon. Got served first as I had ordered special meal.
I didn't like the meal. Rice was dry, the lamb was rubbery. Lucky had a good meal before boarding the flight. I don't like wasting food, but the food was terrible.
Half eaten tray
Crew served others. Got a red wine to snooze off after the meal. Tray was collected along with others. It was going to be long flight, decided to check out the IFE.
Got served popcorn after 3 hrs.
Decided to stay off the entertainment and snoozed off for few hours,
Closer to Sri Lanka
The flight was in complete darkness from start to finish, hence there are not window views till just after take off and before arrival.
Tail Cam view - Darkness
E-box Entertainment Guide
Still about 5 hours of flight, I had connected to the onboard Wi-Fi for 24 hrs paying AUD $35 approx .
Breakfast service started about 1.5 hrs before landing. A new set of crew was providing the service. I didn't like the food again, the upma was dry. I tasted couple of spoons and let it go.
Breakfast - Rava Upma, chutney, fruit salad
I felt the crew service was not upto the mark from both sets.
Flying close to Arabian Peninsula
Closer to Abu Dhabi
Soon it was time for touch down. Windows shades up, seat upright, tray table in, cables off the usb charger.
Cabin prepared for landing.
Landing was smooth. Arrived at the gate in Terminal 3.
I was in no rush to get off, had a chat with my seat mate - Spanish girl, she was travelling to Mumbai onwards to Goa on Jet Airways to a yoga resort.
Tail cam view
I deboarded once the crowd had passed.
View of the Airbus A380
After arriving at immigration, only 4 people were in the queue. I was asked where I was coming for and how long I will be staying. Answered the questions. Got my photo taken and passport stamped with 30 day visa. My bag was checked all the way to Mumbai. Having just a handbag, passed customs without any issues.
Exchanged some AED Dirhams at the exchange and went outside.
It was 5.20 am and dark outside, decided to wait till daylight before heading into the city.
Will write the next trip report : Abu Dhabi - Mumbai on Etihad Airways A380.
I'm unable to load all the photos. Do watch the video, where I have covered the complete flight.
Hope you enjoyed the report.
Thanks for reading :)
Sydney - SYD
Abu Dhabi - AUH
Overall Etihad had a good hard product and weak on the customer service, food and beverage. Sydney Airport was packed as usual with the evening bank of departures. GST claim was extremely slow. Abu Dhabi Airport was not busy at the hour, took couple of minutes to walk of the terminal. Will I fly again with Etihad - No.
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