We flew Etihad from Tokyo to São Paulo in October 2016. There was one 14-hours flight from Tokyo to Abu Dhabi and another 12+-hours flight from Abu Dhabi to São Paulo. It took over 30 hours all the way. It’s a long way even for people who are used to long-haul flights. All in economy class.
To start, it was Melissa’s birthday we were traveling on, so we asked if we could have a little cake, cookie or whatever and they refused. That was super sad and it made us feel very insecure. But then we needed to change Melissa’s food for a child meal and they were awfully nice. They said they’d have to check and all, but THEY called us, around 3 times, to confirm that her food was changed for a child meal, without us calling to ask. That had never happened before. We always had to call over and over.
That lightened our mood.
The first flight
We arrived in Tokyo super early and the check-in wasn’t even open yet. When it opened, the line was long and it took us around half an hour there, but we can’t complain: the lady at the check-in counter was very professional, she helped out everyone as best as she could. She also confirmed the food. Haha.
The plane wasn’t very new, some of the controls had problems and the touch screen wasn’t aligned properly, but overall it wasn’t a really bad flight. We watched movies, ate, slept, watched some more. The flight attendants were nice and patient. They handed the kids a little bag, an actual bag with zipper and all, with an activity book, color pencils, tic-tac-toe and something else I can’t recall (sorry).
There was also a little bag for everyone, with a toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, sleeping mask, and slippers.
The movies on weren’t what we were expecting, with very few options for the kids, but it was ok. For grownups, I was hoping for some Japanese movies (since the flight was from Japan) but there was none – loads of Indian and Chinese movies, though!
The food wasn’t particularly good nor bad, just the usual airplane food, that tastes like nothing. But it was filling.
The air was really cold and dry, so we had to drink lots of water and even use some nose spray.
Our connection was in Abu Dhabi. The airport is beautiful, but we walked for around 20 minutes from the airplane to the airport itself. So freaking far. We spent almost all of our connection time in a row of chairs with chargers. Great comfy seats, not all chargers were working, but some were and that was enough.
The second flight
And we had to board the second flight. It was absolutely equal to the first flight. Maybe it even was the same airplane. The movies were also the same, and that was a bore because we’d watched everything we might have wanted to watch on the first flight, so the kids mostly played, when the control worked. Maybe it was because we were tired, but this flight seemed to last forever.
During this flight, the flight nanny showed up, she introduced herself, gave the kids another goodie bag (just like the one they got on the previous flight) and offered to help us any way we needed. She came around a few times to bring Coral a pipe cleaner flower and a ‘best behavior’ certificate. I guess that’s a big help for people flying solo, but we didn’t see a nanny during the first flight at all.
It wasn’t until the end of the flight that Coral started feeling sick and vomited all over her and the seat. And it was during an unusually long turbulence. We cleaned her up as best as we could, changed her clothes and waited, it was only 3 more hours. But she felt sick again 2 more times. The last one, all over me, during landing. It was a shaky flight, I give you that, and we were all super tired. She was very upset because she wanted to wash her hands and we couldn’t use the toilets after the plane landed or during turbulence. No one of the flight attendants took notice and we didn’t really call for them, but we probably should have. We had enough clothes for Coral in our carry-on, but not for me, so I had sick all over my pants when we exited the plane. Remember, everyone, take a spare set of clothing for everyone and a pack of wet wipes. I always do, but this time – just this time – I didn’t.
So all in all, it was OK. I guess it was only disappointing because it was the flight right after our amazing AirNZ flight. It wasn’t the best flight ever, but it wasn’t bad either. This flight was very cheap, so I guess we get what we pay for.
Have you flown Etihad Airways before? What are your thoughts?