On the Ground: I arrived at Abu Dhabi International Airport from Dubai in no time; I used the same driver for most of my trip, and we had become fast friends. At the airport, I was immediately met by a friendly ground agent and was whisked to the first-class check-in, as the business-class counter was busy. From here, I went through security and was soon shopping at the duty-free shops. Once I made all my purchases, I went into the business-class lounge and found a single seat where I could leave my roller bag next to me. The lounge was busy, as flights depart in every direction of the world at this hour. Etihad could use a significantly larger lounge based on the traffic I encountered. The lounge cuisine was tasty, and I made sure I had a little bite pre-flight.
I know Etihad has a separate boarding procedure for business class, but somehow I ended up behind a long line of economy-class passengers after we went through additional screening at the gate. This made for a long wait at the jetway.
Pre-Flight: I was seated in one of the “outer seats.” The cabin configuration staggers single seats so that they can recline to fully flat; consequently, every other seat is either closer to the window or closer to the aisle. My recommendation is to select a seat closer to the window, as this means you are less likely to be bumped by flight attendants walking the aisles, as was my case.
I was immediately offered a glass of Champagne, juice or water once I was situated in my seat, which was two rows from the economy bulkhead. Attendants distributed newspapers and magazines — no Global Traveler on board? — as well as business-class (Pearl-class) menus with many options for dining and snacks.
In-Flight: Besides recommending the window seat, I also recommend you stay as far as possible from the economy-class bulkhead, as this is where the bassinets hang for infant travel. During my entire flight, babies were crying, with little attention from their parents. As a parent myself, I am well aware children of this age cannot simply be placed in a bassinet for the entire flight of 10-plus hours. They must be periodically walked around the cabin; this was never done. Even with earplugs, I found sleeping impossible.
The seat is comfortable, but with my broad shoulders and over-6-foot height, it was a little tight. I found myself hanging out in the aisle slightly, causing the occasional flight attendant collision. This could have been resolved with the inner seat selection.
The onboard menu offered a vast selection, including Nile perch, apricot-stuffed chicken, lamb pot roast and vegetable lasagna. I selected the perch, which was tastefully prepared. I started the meal with a selection of Middle Eastern appetizers. I skipped the dessert in favor of time to sleep but did have a snack from the extensive menu. The cheese platter was nice and not overly heavy. An extensive list of premium wines and spirits includes Drappier Brut Blanc de Blancs and Glenlivet 12-year-old single malt scotch.
The Experience: Overall, a little seat manipulation prior to my departure would have made this a perfect flight.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority-tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous flight attendants
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Los Angeles Office announced a new initiative for would-be travelers waiting for the green light. The Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand launch comes on the heels of Thailand’s foreign travel restrictions extending until further notice.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
IMAGINE SETTING SAIL IN AN EXOTIC, far-flung destination, just you and your family or group of friends aboard a private yacht. The sun warms the deck, a soft breeze dances off the water, and an über-attentive crew caters to your every whim while the personal chef whips up the finest of the local cuisine with all of your culinary preferences top of mind. All the while, the captain navigates the yacht into secluded coves; to pristine, seemingly undiscovered beaches; or even to the hottest spots along the coast for a night out on the town.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Life House, a new boutique hospitality brand, plans to open a new property in Nantucket next month. Life House, Nantucket follows similar hotels in Miami, Denver, Brooklyn and Chattanooga. The hotel, set within the historic Century House, is taking reservations for bookings beginning in August.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Airline alliance oneworld launched an information portal for customers to provide updates on the health and wellbeing measures travelers can expect as part of the alliance’s member airlines’ commitment to passenger safety and care.