Cotonou to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Airlines experience is horrible from one end to the other. ✅ Verified Review
| Chaotic boarding in Cotonou, plane 45 minutes late with no apologies from the crew. No earphones distributed at any point for the entertainment system and not even an inflight magazine. Do not let Ethiopian’s ads on their new fleet fool you - planes (737s with Sky Interior in this case) are not properly looked after. On the Cotonou-Addis flight, there was fruit jam on the tablet and chewing-gum in the seat pocket. The seat covers were worn and falling apart. The overhead screens were not working and kept coming up and down. Very slow service with disgusting food and it took the crew about an hour and a half to clear the trays. Addis Ababa airport is a horrific place. Overcrowded, dirty, smelly (especially since the smoking areas do not close hence people smoke outside). The shops are a disgrace, with no fixed prices and people haggling over the price of items. Most items are just lying on the floor or on broken shelves, still in their delivery packages. Credit card payments did not work in two duty free shops out of three. The Ethiopian/Star Alliance Gold lounge is dark, dirty and has a very limited food choice. When I entered nobody was at the reception to scan my boarding pass. It is usually impossible to find a seat available in the evening. Better to stay outside and sit on the floor. The toilets, both in the lounge and outside, are dirty and smelly. Ethiopian Airlines ground staff are impolite, permanently yells at passengers to rush them to the gates and does not answer questions when asked something. Be careful as flights are not announced or the general chaos can lead one to miss the boarding announcements and therefore, the flight. Addis-Nairobi was similarly terrible, with tired seats (despite the young age of the aircraft, another 737 with Sky Interior). It was once again 45 minutes late with no apologies whatsoever. No earphones or inflight magazine, once again. No pre-take off checks, most people had their seatback down and/or were using laptops and electronic devices. Food very bad, with crew throwing the tray on the tablets saying “chicken” and again, the overhead screens were dysfunctional. I should also mention that at no point in Cotonou or Addis were there separate queues for Business/Gold members and Economy passengers during boarding, with disorganised queues, staff yelling in every direction and in general, a sense of squalor. It is a real pity to be sometimes forced to use Ethiopian Airlines because of the lack of competition in African skies. Avoid at all costs and prefer Kenya Airways whenever possible.