Review of Etihad Airways flight Abu Dhabi Manila in Economy

Airline Etihad Airways
Flight EY 428
Class Economy
Seat 51A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 09:05
Take-off 14 Apr 13, 10:10
Arrival at 14 Apr 13, 23:15
EY   #9 out of 136 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 236 reviews
Published on 26th May 2015
Hello! Welcome to my first trip report.

This is my first time doing a travel blog. And I apologise for any error that you will find in this trip report.
I will do my best to share with you my travel experiences. I hope you'll enjoy!

This trip was 2 years back and I was flying RUH-AUH-MNL. There are a lot of airlines flying this route offering direct or connecting flight. Here are some of the options I had to choose from:

Direct flights - Saudi Arabian Airlines (the only one offering direct flights that time)
Philippine Airlines resumed their direct flights to Riyadh April 2014. Cebu Pacific Air started service October 2014. Making that 3 airlines offering direct flights between RUH and MNL

One-stop connection - Cathay Pacifc, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines ended their flight Oct 2014. Oman Air now offers flight to Manila via MCT, it started Dec 2014

I chose Etihad because:
1. A very competitive fare
2. A good flight and connection time. (After arriving in MNL, I had to catch a 4am flight to another destination with another airline. EY offered the most convenient connection)
3. I wanted to try a new airline. YES, this was my first time flying Etihad

And *TAAA-DAAAA* we have my first trip report. Please do enjoy reading!

Contents of the Trip Report includes:

1. EY316 from RUH and Transit in Abu Dhabi
2. Boarding and Pre-flight
3. Take-off and in-flight
4. Meal service
5. Cruise and E-box entertainment system
6. Descent and landing

Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (A6-ETI)
Seat no.: 51A
Estimated departure time: 10:10am (GMT +4)
Actual departure time: 11:00am (GMT +4)
Estimated arrival time: 23:15pm (GMT +8)
Actual arrival time: 10:50pm (GMT +8)

1. EY316 from Riyadh and Transit in Abu Dhabi

Aircraft: Airbus A320-200 (A6-EIB)
Seat no.: 8A
Estimated departure time: 04:00am (GMT +3)
Actual departure time: 04:30am (GMT +3)
Estimated arrival time: 07:05am (GMT +4)
Actual arrival time: 07:05am (GMT +4)

It was just a very short flight. Nothing much happened

I got to fly with Etihad's A320 in F1 livery (A6-EIB)
photo a6

Very decent legroom for an A320
photo A2

IFE. It was a short flight and they only played Just for Laughs.
photo A1

Breakfast. Strawberry Yoghurt, Muffin, Juice, and a choice of coffee or tea
photo a3

Ferrari World can be seen upon landing into Abu Dhabi
photo a4

Welcome to Abu Dhabi! The home of Etihad Airways.
photo a5

Our aircraft next to another A320.
photo a7

First time in AUH? Just follow the signs!!
photo a8

View of the departure lounge from the arrival corridor.
photo a9

Transfer and Security area. Sorry for the blurry shot
photo a10

Transfer and security screening was smooth! It only took less than 8 minutes.

I still got 3 hours before my next flight so I wandered around the terminal.

Right after the security screening area is the duty free area which looked like a mall.

Luxury brands
photo a11

Food court on the upper level. I can't help but admire those ceilings!
photo a12

photo a14

photo a15

To the departure lounge
photo a16

Flight departures
photo a13

Internet kiosk are available at the departure lounge. Sadly, it has a very slow internet connection.
Connecting to the Free Wifi of the airport is more convenient and reliable.
photo a18

Gate 29 will be used for the flight
photo a17photo a20photo a19

2. Boarding and Pre-flight

Boarding commenced at 9:35am. It was a bit chaotic as some are pushing and cutting their way through the line. But, kudos to the Etihad ground staff at the gate as they still managed to have an efficient boarding.

photo a21photo a22photo a23

Seat 51A
photo a25

Gotta love that legroom! Note that I have a bulky bag underneath my seat but I still managed to stretch my legs and be comfortable the whole flight!
photo a29 - Copy

Power and USB plug is available
photo a27

We waited for some 15 or so connecting passengers, then the ground staff conducted a pre-flight check to make sure everyone was onboard. It took quite a lot of time.
photo a30

While waiting…….
photo a24

3. Take-off and in-flight

10:30am. Finally the doors are closed and we are good to go!
photo E3

We took off at 11:00am. 50 minutes delayed.
photo E1

Now that is my type of wing. SEXY.
photo E2

Lovely aerial views of Dubai!

Palm Jumeirah
photo a32

Burj Al-Arab
photo a33

Burj Khalifa
photo a34

4. Meal service

To start. A pack of biscuits and a soda
photo a35

Main meal options:
1. Fried fish dory in Sweet corn sauce and fried rice
2. Beef kofta and mashed potato
3. Vegetarian pasta and cheese

Meal includes A chicken and noodle salad, mini-muffin with pineapple mousse, warm bun, condiments, and water.
photo a36

I chose the fish option. It was good!
photo a37
Metal cutlery!!! Not very common on some other airline

5. Cruise and E-box entertainment

Cruising altitude.
photo a38

Most passengers decided to sleep after the meal service. Note the screen that are off.
photo a43

E-box. Etihad Airways' entertainement system.

Content was very good. Latest movies, foreign films, TV shows, music, and games.
It is user-friendly and very easy to control.
photo a28

The controls
photo a26

Headphones. Looks like a business class headphone.
photo a31

You can plug your own device.
photo a39

Yes, I want to continue!
photo a40

6. Descent and Landing

1 hour and 30min to go before landing in Manila, a light snack was served.

A choice of Hot noodles or Chicken sandwich

I wasn't expecting a cup noodles, though. A cup of hot chocolate to go with my noodles.
photo a42 - Copy

Mood lighting. Changes color in a pattern that goes from Red-Green-Blue-Purple
The cabin crew started distributing arrival forms for Manila before preparing the cabin for landing.
photo a41

photo a44

Landing video:

We landed at MNL's runway 24.

Despite the 50 minute delayed departure from Abu Dhabi, we landed in Manila 25 minutes ahead of schedule!

After the seatbelt signs were turned off, passengers rushed to get out of the plane. Bags were literally flying everywhere!
I pre-selected the seats at the back so I wasn;t in quite a rush to get out.

The grey circles are meant for privacy purposes. :)
photo a45

Why the rush to get out? THIS.

Long lines in immigration. We arrived on a peak arrival hour. With multiple flights utilizing wide-body jets arriving all at the same time. During these hour, it's normal to wait in line for hours. But it took me only 35 minutes to clear immigration. And by the time I got to the baggage claim hall, my bag was already out. Not bad at all.
photo E4
Starting late-2014, 5 airlines were moved out of NAIA Terminal 1 to NAIA Terminal 3 (Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, KLM, and Singapore Airlines), so I'm guessing lesser lines now? And, Terminal 1 is under-going a major renovations. I haven't been to T1 recently. To those who have, please do share your thoughts and experience!

Etihad Airways EY428 from Abu Dhabi. B777-300ER (A6-ETI)
photo a46

And that concludes my first trip report! Feel free to ask anything, and leave a comment!

THANK YOU! MARAMING SALAMAT! Until my next trip report!

Next flight: Cebu Pacific MNL-BCD –>
See more


Etihad Airways

Cabin crew8.5

Abu Dhabi - AUH


Manila - MNL



Etihad really made an impression on me! Hope to fly with them again!



  • Comment 137544 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this report with us, very rare routing :)
    And welcome to the site!

    I got to fly with Etihad's A320 in F1 livery (A6-EIB)
    - I spotted this one last time I was in AUH, very pretty in the all black livery.

    The seats in Y really don't look that bad, very large IFE (E-Box is very good) and acceptable seat pitch. The USB and power outlet positioning is something I don't care for since it interferes with passengers getting out of the window seats to use the lavatory, but at least they are present. You still had the prison stripe blankets!

    Catering looks very nice for the main meal, and the metal cutlery is indeed very rare for Y (sometimes even for Y+). Only a small snack pre-arrival on a flight this long (9-10 hours)? That's very poor by EY. They should serve something more substantial than a cup noodle since the plane lands at 11pm and that is essentially your dinner for the day.

    Looks like a business class headphone.
    - Those are the business class headphones, lol.

    Very unusual route that they took to cross south-Asia.

    How were the crew on this flight?

    • Comment 316914 by
      CrispyCrackling AUTHOR 4 Comments

      Thank you so much!

      Yes, I love the Black F1 livery! ANd I love their livery as well (the regular ones, not the new ones).

      Yes, I was really surprised to receive a CUP NOODLE on my tray table. And it was JUST A CUP NOODLE, no condiments, biscuits, or even a bun. They need a little more improvement on that. They did eventually serve a sandwich, my seatmate ordered one, but the portion was a bit small. Considering that I was still going to catch another flight after arrival, I did felt very hungry.

      The route, yes it is unusual. I saw on time on FR that EY424 (the return flight of the 1st flight to MNL) took the same route back. While other ME bound carriers (EK, SV, QR) who left at the same hour took the regular one. (the one passing over Thailand). But it was interesting, since I got a clear view of Hong Kong from 38,000ft!

      The crew, well.... at first they looked very intimidating. Especially the gentleman serving our row, but in the end when I started to make conversation with them, they were fine! I guess looks can be a little deceiving sometimes. And, I went to the back galley to ask a favor to one of the crew, and a lady serving there was very accommodating and friendly. I had trouble communicating with her since I got nervous as it was my first time to have an actual talk to an FA (besides asking for water/food), and it was my first time to talk to a person with British accent. She was kind enough to slow down so I could understand her clearly. They were really great!

  • Comment 137555 by
    AFGK1 41 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this review and welcome to flight report!

    I'm glad another post to Manila has been added, it's pretty rare to showcase Philippine airports on this site.

    The seat looks good, and as NGO has said, it's pretty bad for EY to serve Cup Noodles for dinner, that was pretty cheap, a sandwich could have been ok, but a meal would be better, since this is a 10 hour flight....

    I haven't been to T1 recently but I heard there were really vast improvements, and I also have experienced a queue at the airport during a red eye flight. I don't think 5 airlines are enough though, but it could suffice for a while...


    • Comment 316977 by
      AFGK1 41 Comments


      I could see that you are a Filipino, hehehe! Cheers!

      Even if it's 4 PM in AUH, I wouldn't accept cup noodles for a snack , besides I think you could buy it for P50/$1.

      Let's hope that we could experience the beauty of T1 before it could close down ;)

      I'm pretty excited for your next flight report!

      Cheers! Mabuhay po kayo! :-)

    • Comment 316916 by
      CrispyCrackling AUTHOR 4 Comments

      Thank you!!

      You are right! A report to/from a Philippine destination is quite rare here. And trip reports on Philippine carriers too. My connecting flight after this EY428 is actually on a Cebu Pacific domestic flight from Terminal 3. It would be a pleasure to contribute a report on some Philippine airports and routes in and out of Manila. I'm planning a few of them, but it would be on past flights since I'm not a frequent traveller.

      Pretty bad indeed. Plus it was dinner time for MNL! Maybe the basis of the meal was AUH local time, it was served around 4pm AUH time, too early for dinner so they just served CUP noodles.

      I just saw the T1 renovations through pictures and news on TV. But it would be nice to see it from the POV of a passenger. Let's just hope we could find one someday!

      Cheers! Salamat ulit! :)

  • Comment 137556 by
    nadavkr3 4 Comments

    Thank you for sharing your flight experience with Etihad Airways and welcome to flight-report.

  • Comment 137595 by
    whitelight44 346 Comments

    Excellent TR with great pictures, thanks for sharing. I'd love to try Etihad :)

  • Comment 137843 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Salamat po for this first report and welcome.

    Catering looks decent and glad to hear that you had an enjoyable experience.

  • Comment 443580 by
    JonnyR 1 Comments

    Nice report. Can you tell me how tall are you my friend? I'm due to travel on EY48/408 shortly and an wondering about seat 51A.
    I'm 6ft or 1.82m so like a little legroom. Seats looks a little cramped. Thanks in advance.

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