Meh: Etihad Has New Boarding Music

Meh: Etihad Has New Boarding Music

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I consider myself to be a connoisseur of airplane boarding music. Not only do I enjoy listening to it when boarding a plane, but I play it at home for hours per day, because it’s generally great music to have on in the background when working. Along those lines, there has been a major update to what has historically been one of my favorite airlines for boarding music.

The progression of Etihad’s boarding music

In the past decade, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has had three different boarding music tracks, and the last of those has just been unveiled. There’s the one that was introduced about a decade ago:

Then there’s the one that was introduced over five years ago:

And now Etihad has just introduced its brand new boarding track:

It’s not bad, but such a downgrade…

Etihad’s new 14 minute boarding music track is calming, upbeat, modern, and playful. It’s not bad, and if an airline that didn’t currently have boarding music introduced this, I’d be a fan.

But my gosh, Etihad’s boarding music used to be so good, and I feel like this just isn’t to the same level. Both of the old boarding music tracks had some flair to them that can’t help but make me think of the Middle East, and like I’m traveling somewhere far away and exciting. I’m not sure if that’s because of the instruments and type of music, or simply because I was so used to listening to this when traveling to & from the Middle East.

I’ll miss the old boarding music. Maybe next time I board an Etihad flight I’ll just listen to the better boarding music with headphones. Then again, who knows when I’ll fly Etihad again — with the carrier likely retiring the A380, there aren’t many reasons to fly the airline.

Ugh, I miss the old, over-the-top, lighting-money-on-fire Etihad… 😉

Bottom line

Etihad Airways has just introduced new boarding music. While objectively pretty good as far as airline boarding music goes, I can’t help but feel like it’s a pretty significant downgrade compared to Etihad’s old track. But worry not, old Etihad boarding music — I can assure you that you’ll continue to be played on repeat by me at home!

How do you rank the three Etihad boarding music tracks of the past decade?

(Tip of the hat to Chandan Bhat)

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  1. Emily

    I actually found their precious and the current visiting music to be tacky and irritating. It was stereotypical with a hint of video game + elevator music. This is a harsh comment from someone who loves music and is open to a wide genre of music.

    1. Emily

      Egad for autocorrect! Replace precious with previous and visiting with boarding.

  2. Mark

    The previous boarding music had so much repetition, it was really really annoying. I honestly always thought it was a loop of about 90 seconds...

  3. iamhere

    So what? This does not affect my points and miles, travel planning, or credit card usage. People certainly do not pick airlines based on their boarding music.

  4. John

    Wow. How conceited is that…..there’s no reason to fly them without the 380 and the suites? You really do think highly of yourself look8ng for a free grab anyway you can schmooze your way into it.

  5. Mojo007

    The first and original Etihad Boarding music was a stunner. I have never thought about downloading a boarding music track but boy did I play this one so many times at work and at home. Truly exotic and mysterious. You feel like you are walking into a story from centuries deep. It was lifting and upbeat yet calming and soothing at the same time. I thought it was one of the worst decisions they made when they dropped it.

  6. TomLV

    Air New Zealand's boarding music isn't one song, it's a playlist. And whoever curates the list has always done a bang-up job. I've Shazam'd numerous tracks over the years. Not sure if I can post a link here, so just Google "Air New Zealand boarding music" and you can find their current playlist.

    And I for one love your boarding music posts. Ignore the haters!

  7. Rob K

    The first one was indeed the best! This latest one is just not right! I was the Etihad general manager in NYC for almost 5 years when they launched NYC service, that music flashes me back to the good days when the service was exquisite... it was then truly an experience above all others.

  8. The Muslim Passenger

    Etihad has really stepped up its game again. Flew JFK-AUH, ORD-AUH, and AUH-ORD two times all this past summer. The airline has brought back a proper meal service with starters, dessert, bread, butter, and 3 hot entree choices for the first meal service and two choices for the second hot meal services plus two options for mid flight snack service as well. There were snacks available to munch on mid flight and it seems they...

    Etihad has really stepped up its game again. Flew JFK-AUH, ORD-AUH, and AUH-ORD two times all this past summer. The airline has brought back a proper meal service with starters, dessert, bread, butter, and 3 hot entree choices for the first meal service and two choices for the second hot meal services plus two options for mid flight snack service as well. There were snacks available to munch on mid flight and it seems they did away with their buy onboard concept. They also brought back their amenity pouches for Economy class passengers. Meals were awesome on all of my flights.

    While I don't care much for the boarding music, Etihad has really proven itself quite well during the pandemic, I also like the 50% mileage accrual for AA on their lowest priced tickets.

  9. classcair

    Whenever I see your boarding music posts, I tune in enthusiastically... think to myself, this is a perfect soundtrack for work. Then about 5 minutes, the excitement wares off and the repetitiveness of the music kicks in, and I'm back to my old Pandora kicks.

  10. Adam Simmons

    I appreciate that it can be difficult to fill a paper, blog, etc. on a slow news day, but BOARDING MUSIC??

    1. Manazier

      Don't be such a sourpuss. Some of us AvGeeks do actually love listening to airline boarding music time to time.

  11. Ben

    The one from 5 years ago is so amazing. Many great memories that are elicited just by hearing it. Sad they're moving on.

  12. Chris

    I think you could throw on just about any Yanni CD and get the feel you're looking for

  13. S

    First one is definitely the best.

  14. Jason

    You’re missing the best one. There was a boarding music that played in 2013-2014 right before they introduced the one with Nicole Kidman. That imho was absolutely the best one. It was on every etihad flight I took when i started going to Abu Dhabi in 2013 and when i lived there from 2014 until they unveiled what you have as their second song. It’s hard to find and I have yet to find it. But alas!

  15. Tim

    Ben, I think this may be a case of rosy retrospection. Take a look at your best airline boarding music post regarding EY:

    "Next on my list is Etihad, because the Abu Dhabi-based airline actually has two “generations” of amazing boarding music. Personally Etihad’s boarding music from several years back is my preferred one of the two, and this is my go-to track to listen to while working."

  16. CJ

    Agreed, Ben. The previous iteration was just brilliant. I do have it on my phone and play it when I want to set a new mysterious vibe for an upcoming adventure.

Featured Comments Load all 18 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Emily

Egad for autocorrect! Replace precious with previous and visiting with boarding.

Emily

I actually found their precious and the current visiting music to be tacky and irritating. It was stereotypical with a hint of video game + elevator music. This is a harsh comment from someone who loves music and is open to a wide genre of music.

Mark

The previous boarding music had so much repetition, it was really really annoying. I honestly always thought it was a loop of about 90 seconds...

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