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Etihad in J – Still a good choice?
I have an upcoming Etihad trip in a few months, ORD-AUH-CAI in Business, booked with AA miles – will be my first time on Etihad. Having read all the reports of cost cuts and declining service, I’m wondering if I should start looking for different options. Any opinions or recent experiences? for point of reference, most of my international flying is usually in AA J.
It is awful. One of the worst in the region. Why did you book in the first place? Because of Luckys paid promo talk? Even he has slowly started to admit things have changed (obviously due to no more freebies coming his way now, just recall how he got his overnight suite stay while transiting in the Residence).
While I sounded a bit harsh – just to clarify so that Lucky will not ban me – if the Residence advertised a stopover stay in a hotel suite in Abu Dhabi and Etihad declined to accommodate Lucky in the first round (and only reconsidered because of potential bad publicity) – what makes you want to give any business to Ethiad after knowing this?? An airline with clearly false advertising?
But also from personal experience, the Arrival lounge in AUH ruined my clothes, staff played fool with me, etc. As elsewhere in the region, the service culture within a company is not great due to people from so many different backgrounds and under constant stress nowadays. Qatar Airways has the same setting but is managed a lot better so that even though employees may be under a lot stress, they will still perform reasonably. These Eastern European staffmembers that Etihad has plenty are simply not capable of handling the expecations the Emirati marketing team tried to create and after bad investments everything is about to shut down soon anyway. Sooner than you expect now.
I’m mainly interested in the onboard aspect and whether or not there are better alternatives out there. For my O&D and restriction to AA miles, my other reasonable alternative, if space were available, is to fly AA to LHR and BA to CAI, or possibly RJ through AMM. Qatar doesn’t fly to CAI currently so no help there.
Anyone with recent experience with Etihad’s 77W J product who can provide some feedback?
[QUOTE=”MIchael10, post: 50351, member: 4089″]I’m mainly interested in the onboard aspect and whether or not there are better alternatives out there. For my O&D and restriction to AA miles, my other reasonable alternative, if space were available, is to fly AA to LHR and BA to CAI, or possibly RJ through AMM. Qatar doesn’t fly to CAI currently so no help there.
Anyone with recent experience with Etihad’s 77W J product who can provide some feedback?[/QUOTE]
If you can, route from ORD to JFK and fly on the a380 instead of the 77W. Much better experience, and it’ll cost you the same miles.
Three weeks ago, I flew Etihad — albeit O, thank you very much — and what I would say is, no need to panic, lol. Fret not. The champagne is still cold and plentiful, and service is a 10x better than you will get on most airlines. And if you’ve never flown them, you wouldn’t necessarily have a frame of reference to even notice any diminishment, to the extent there is any. I feel like some of these reports are a bit hyperbolic in their tone.
This was my second time on Etihad, and it was lovely. When it was time to land, I would have been quite happy if they had offered to fly around for a few more hours.
Pretty sure the J experience will be close enough to O such that you will be just fine.
Re the A380 … honestly, six of one, half a dozen of the other, given that you would have to re-route and add an extra leg to get to JFK. All these extra hoops / flight segments we often do just to have a potentially more pleasurable flight experience for the majority of the flight, can often add stress and mitigate any potential added pleasure.
Stick with what you have and tell us all about how much you enjoyed it!
[QUOTE=”TexasFlyer, post: 50299, member: 239″]It is awful. One of the worst in the region. Why did you book in the first place? Because of Luckys paid promo talk? Even he has slowly started to admit things have changed (obviously due to no more freebies coming his way now, just recall how he got his overnight suite stay while transiting in the Residence).[/QUOTE]
[USER=239]@TexasFlyer[/USER] — I’m not sure where you got the impression that Ben is paid to promote any airline (he isn’t) or accepts whatever freebies you’re imagining (he does not), but if you ever have questions about this, or any of our editorial policies, please just ask, rather than give other readers poor advice based on those misconceptions.
Hi [USER=4089]@MIchael10[/USER], and welcome!
I agree with what [USER=4095]@Rav[/USER] said — while there [I]have[/I] been annoying cost cuts over the years, I don’t think you’d notice them without other reference points. We highlight these things because we think they’re interesting, and give insights into how management is thinking — not to turn people off from flying the airline.
And you have a fantastic mileage redemption ahead of you — the only better option using AA miles would be Qatar, and that’s not helpful if you want to go to Cairo.
[USER=2891]@Peter B[/USER] makes a great point about trying to shift over to the A380 if you can, but you’ll have a great time on Etihad, and I’m so jealous of your trip to Egypt!
I think it’s really a hit or miss in terms of service on Etihad nowadays. They’ve hired a lot of new cabin crew and they’re not as customer focused as older crews.
My last flight in J with Etihad was before they got rid of their AUH-SFO route. I flew J back to SFO. There was no status recognition on board and the service during meals was rushed. There was a family split between J and Y and the crew allowed them to swap seats throughout the flight and also allowed Y passengers to use the J restrooms. They also didn’t respond to calls.
On the other hand, I flew Y with them several months later and the crew was great.