✅ Trip Verified
| Abu Dhabi to Bangkok. This is a general review, I use Etihad quite often because it operates from my home city and the airmiles accrued through my credit card give me Gold Class membership which allows Business Class service prior to boarding the flight. About 8-10 years ago Etihad was my favourite airline edging out Emirates, Singapore and Qatar. It has steadily deteriorated since that point and for the last few years has felt like a budget airline. It feels like everything is run for the benefit of the airline and the customer is just a cash cow. It is the only airline I now that regularly boards the passengers one hour and 15 minutes before scheduled departure and is almost always late to depart. My last few flights menat that we were boarded almost two hours before take off and that makes a long haul flight that much more uncomfortable. During the two hour wait there are no refreshments and no entertainment. Two bum numbing hours without even a view out of the window as distraction. The refreshements seem to be fewer and further between, even the in seat call button frequently fails to get a response. During my last flight, the meal options were beef, chicken or vegetarian when I asked what the dishes were I was told again 'beef or chicken' I eventually established it was beef and rice or chicken and rice (I didn't ask about the vegetarian option). Airline food is universally mocked for being generally unpalatable but I remember that several years ago Etihad in-flight food as being something that I actually looked forward to. The food on my last flight (Bangkok - Abu Dhabi) was amongst the very worst I have ever had and I left all but small sample bites from the dishes. I also noticed on my last trip that Etihad are now offering an option to buy extra food items. A five star premium airline that sells snacks!! I'm sure that the decline in quality of the food and the introduction of paid for snacks is no coincidence. The entertainment system is still very good but it is switched off unceremoniously about 30 minutes before landing. Some airlines have the entertainment available from the moment you sit down until the time to leave and when I enquired why this isnt possible with Etihad I was told it was for safety reasons. Maybe Etihad have different safety regulations to other Middle East carriers but I suspect that it is so they can collect in the headsets early - which summarises the apparent Etihad policy of prioritising airline convenience over customer comfort. At every stage it seems that costs have been cut and cut and cut and has turned what once was a premium airline which was a pleasure to fly with, into a hollowed out shell with stressed staff, disgusting food, poor service, scant regard for customer comfort and an unwavering eye on the bottom line. In short a budget airline in all but name and price. Think twice before using this airline.