✅ Trip Verified
| Etihad is the epitome of 'okay'. The first leg of our flight was on a tired looking A330, the cabin of which was looking decidedly dated and the IFE hardware not particularly responsive. The flight attendants were not overly friendly or helpful which was fine but they did not give the impression of working for a premium, full-service airline and I've probably had friendlier crews on easyJet flights. The best that can be said for the meal on this flight was once again, okay, nothing to complain about but nothing exciting either. Although, the use of steel cutlery is nice to see. The primary benefit of transferring at Abu Dhabi is its small size meaning that its relatively easy to get from one gate to another for connections but it was also easy to tell how cramped and crowded it would be to spend more than an hour here for a stopover as the airport certainly needs to expand to meet demand. AUH's most interesting feature is its security policy whereby hand luggage is scanned and passengers made to go through metal detectors which every, single, person seemed to be setting off, including myself, despite having nothing on me and not having had any issues at EDI. This then means being patted down in a small curtained area with an unfriendly and unspeaking member of security staff. Not only this, but once passengers arrive at their gate everyone on our outbound flight (though only certain people on our return, we were waved through without searching strangely) was having their carry-on hand searched which seemed slightly excessive giving all the security measures passengers have already been through up to that point. The next leg of the trip was on a relatively new A380 which had a modern cabin and great IFE system despite the seats being uncomfortable this felt like a much better flight. The crew were marginally more friendly than the EDI-AUH leg but still did not go out of their way to be courteous or helpful for passengers. The most disappointing thing on this flight was the food, not its quality but lack of quantity. There are no menus in economy which is fine but would have been a nice touch. We were served a dinner after takeoff of which there were only two options left so I chose the pasta which was delicious and came with a salad, roll and small pudding. But during this 13 hour flight we were only given one more 'snack' of popcorn and then a breakfast of cinnamon roll and custard before landing in Sydney, at half past five in the evening. This was not enough food for the length of flight. Our return flights were of similar quality the only issue being the check-in staff at Sydney Kingsford Smith airport. Passengers were queuing for check in as it was shown as being open for this flight on the overhead monitors however, the ground staff were all standing behind one desk chatting, laughing, hugging each other and not one desk was open yet. After standing for half an hour and a now huge queue having developed with several people going over to ask what was going on check-in finally opened. Once we eventually got to the bag-drop counter we were greeted by an unfriendly man who answered my request to print off our boarding passes with 'obviously'. Not a good impression. Overall the experience of flying with Etihad was just fine, nothing more or less but I would definitely try another carrier for a long-haul flight before ever choosing them again as even though they were the cheapest option it certainly shows.