✅ Verified Review
| London to Male via Abu Dhabi. My wife, myself and our two young children (2 years and 6 months old respectively) flew last night from London to Abu Dhabi. Had our flight left on time we would have had two hours to catch our connecting flight to Male. This didn't happen and our flight left London roughly two hours later than it should have done which put our connecting flight at risk. That said we had made up some time and landed at 8am with our connecting flight was at 8:40am. The warning signs appeared on the flight when the crew were evasive when asked for advice, simply telling us to talk to the Etihad 'transit staff'. After we rushed off the plane we were apprehended by the transit staff who made us sit in a waiting area for ten minutes without offering an explanation. We gave up on this and ran to our gate, arriving at 8:25 only to be told we needed to have been there five minutes prior to this point in order to Board (20 minute limit is imposed). We were carrying exhausted young children and at this point my wife burst into tears. We were then shuttled to another transit area, on foot which took ~30 minutes, half dragging/carrying our poor kids. The line at this location was about an hour and a half long with one staff member dealing with ~60 similar issues by themselves. If you ever need to see how a company treats its most vulnerable, captive passengers this place gave it all away. Most of the women were in tears. At this point our children were close to breaking point but we were fortunate to find a kind Etihad employee walking by who took us to alternative transit area. There we were told we had been re-booked on a 00:55 flight and we would be put up in a £40 a night hotel 37km away. The staff in the transit area were aggressive and refused to discuss the logistics of how we were supposed to get two small children, without buggies/strollers, to this destination. Most importantly they refused to discuss why we would have to wait 15 hours when the airline could not have waited five minutes for us to board. Eventually we were able to relocate to a closer hotel but I write this 7 hours later and we are yet to receive a call telling us where our luggage is. We critically need this because our 6mo old son needs milk, nappies and a change of clothes. Taking him outside in 45c heat to try and find the above is not really acceptable. My final gripe, and I appreciate this is a high quality problem, is that we have now missed a night in a hotel we spent a year planning and saving up to visit. Etihad refuse to discuss compensation and their website doesn't offer any advice. I also believe we are entitled to EU flight delay compensation but they're attempting to use the loophole that since we were changing flights outside of the EU this doesn't hold! Please take care when flying in economy with this airline. Their regard for passengers below business/first class is appalling as is their indifference to the conditions young children travel in.