✅ Trip Verified
| Ethiopian airlines is a world class airline, comparable to Emirates. Plus, they’re half the price of Emirates. I recently flew ultra-long haul 23 hours each way from Bangkok to Buenos Aires and returning from Newark. Both flights had two stops for crew changes. Check in at Bangkok Airport seems disorganised and the location of the check in counters which are next to El Al means you are checking in next to armed security personnel which gives an uncomfortable feeling. My hopes went up when I visited the EVA Air lounge which was very good. Boarding was extremely disorganised, they shouted out business class passengers but I was blocked by other passengers from entering the gate. We had the older business class product which is similar to Turkish Airlines A330, but compressed into a smaller cabin. You had a choice of mimosa, champagne or orange juice on boarding, and the cabin was 50-75% full on all flights. After a late night departure, only three passengers chose to have dinner, so there was no excuse for slow service. Within an hour after takeoff, I had enjoyed a very good late night meal. They plate the food on board the aircraft and place individual elements on the tray table, rather than bringing it out on a tray. After which, I slept like a baby on their comfortable seat. A comfortable quilt is provided, business class quality, but the pillow is too small. Transfer in Addis Ababa is messy, but you manage to get through somehow. The cloud nine lounge is one of the most unique I have ever experienced, and instead of doing an ear-wrenching PA a lounge attendant walks around shouting different destinations which are ready for boarding. I felt this was acceptable as they didn’t want people missing their flights. I thoroughly enjoyed a six-course meal on the flight to São Paulo, including some local dishes. One thing they do right on Ethiopian is every chicken dish I’ve had has always been moist and not dried out. Great job on that! The crew were courteous and well-trained. They were more than willing to go the extra mile. There were Enough movies to keep me entertained for all flights. The return from Newark just proved to me they are better than Emirates. The flight was delayed due to weather and late arrival, so when they announced the delay I asked if I could wait in the business class lounge. The gate agent said she would pick us up and whisk us through when the flight was ready to board. Sure enough, 30 minutes later, the gate agent comes and sees me and whisks me and other business class passengers through a very crowded boarding area. The flight was delayed three hours due to de-icing and weather, and by the time we got to Addis Ababa, we literally had five minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave. No problem, they whisked all tight connections onto a bus and drove us straight to the plane, and I was literally the last passenger to board the plane. All these little details clearly make Ethiopian Airlines a world class airline. When I re-read their website, they define their cloud nine as “a mix between first and business class.” I can very clearly see elements in the soft product which accounts for first class service. The hard product is still business class, to be fair. I would have no hesitation in flying Ethiopian again at all.