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EY: The Good, Bad and Ugly

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OzEire

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This could be a long post, but I'm writing on my phone so I will cut to the chase.

Recent Y flights on EY (purchased as a VA codeshare) from MEL EY461, stopover in AUH then on to DUB EY41. Family and I will return in about 3 weeks.

The Good: VA happy to interline check-in bags to AUH, VA Platinum status recognised for weight allowances and later for priority boarding at the gate. NZ lounge is poor but staff were great and turned off the lights in the kids room so the little one could sleep before our late boarding call. Helpfully there are bright orange baby strollers available in the AUH arrivals concourse. AUH Premium lounge in T3 was nice, spacious, lots of food, (crap coffee) but I was very happy with the kids room.

The Bad: 14 hrs in Y is bad enough but lots of delays getting away from MEL so consequently the little one bawled until we reached cruise when he could lie down and sleep. I had spoken separately to VA and EY call centres about seating - apparently the process is that you cannot reserve a seat when travelling with an infant, however, we were assured a bassinet on a priority basis (youngest child onboard gets first dibs, etc). Onboard there was no bassinet set-up due to my son being aged >10 mths old. Surely the call centre could have provided this advice since they have the child's DOB in the booking. Anyway, lots of spare seats for others to spread out, but bassinet bulkhead had solid armrests so no chance of the child even lying down across our laps. The bassinet confusion, created by the EY call-centre made for a more uncomfortable flight than might have otherwise been possible if we could choose our seats. EY staff were generally disinterested and often could be found gathered in the gallery discussing duty free or flicking through magazines, it seemed quite a chore to get a coffee or snack when I asked for something to take to my wife who was nursing our son. Also the famed "onboard nanny" was a joke, we saw her all of 2 min in 14 hrs and she left our son's bottle in the galley and forgot about it, until I found it about 15 mins later, still empty, with no milk as we had requested (by this stage our baby was pretty upset looking for his milk).

The Ugly: as we were nursing our son for most of the flight we had not opened one of our armrest mounted tray tables until breakfast service only about 90 mins before arriving in AUH. We were shocked and disgusted to find the table had been packed away filthy, with a brown stain and remnants of a baby wipe stuck to it. Clearly the cleaners had missed this, and we had been sitting there inches from the muck for 12.5 hours. As it was busy, we had a child and landing to deal with, and out of shock, we didn't raise it with cabin staff.

In summary. I don't think the Bad, nor Ugly, is how EY would like to be known. I want to give constructive feedback to improve things for other flyers. But part of me thinks that EY should have done better and ought to provide something in this regard, even it is only an apology and ensuring improved service for our return trip. Is my expectation here reasonable ?

OzEire
 

TomVexille

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I've only had the one flight SIN-BNE in Y, and it was no better than flying any other airline in Y. Staff were entirely disinterested in their work. IFE screen was fuzzy.

In some ways I'd rather fly UA or AA. My one flight (and I know it was only one. More would be required to form an educated opinion) was not up to SQ or OZ Y standard. That said I would give them another shot if they were a competitive option.

IMO they are another airline that has built a reputation on J and F products which seems like the best marketing ploy at the moment.
 

smit0847

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I've always considered EY to be a fantastic J and F airline and a terrible Y one. My main issue is the 10 across 777 seating.

Regardless of how many on-the-ground perks they throw at VA flyers, as long as they are so bad in Y I will always pay a bit more to go SQ Y if I have to fly in Y. They are a much better airline and still a VA partner.
 

Ben6

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I've always considered EY to be a fantastic J and F airline and a terrible Y one. My main issue is the 10 across 777 seating.

Regardless of how many on-the-ground perks they throw at VA flyers, as long as they are so bad in Y I will always pay a bit more to go SQ Y if I have to fly in Y. They are a much better airline and still a VA partner.
Snap! I had a relatively painful Y experience with EY with the whole family (kids were 7 and 10 at the time), followed but a lovely J trip solo, including the delightful F lounge in AUH. I wouldn't rush to fly them in Y again but no hesitation in J.
 

jetpack

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To add some positivity to the thread, I've flown 8 sectors in Y with EY and have no complaints. One time I had a whole row of 4 seats to myself and another time I got an opup to J as a no status Etihad Guest member on an award ticket. AUH is a bit of a crappy airport but that's not EY's fault. Come to think of it I rank my EY flights higher than my QF flights to Asia even as a QF WP.
 

moa999

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I've always considered EY to be a fantastic J and F airline and a terrible Y one. My main issue is the 10 across 777 seating.

Regardless of how many on-the-ground perks they throw at VA flyers, as long as they are so bad in Y I will always pay a bit more to go SQ Y if I have to fly in Y. They are a much better airline and still a VA partner.
Tend to agree with the above.
EY do a great J and F and get awards for it, and just hope that it carries over to their crappy Y.
 

OzEire

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I hope the AFF Etihad rep is paying attention to this thread, they should note all of the references above to how badly these experienced flyers are describing EY's product.
 

Caversham04

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I've always considered EY to be a fantastic J and F airline and a terrible Y one. My main issue is the 10 across 777 seating.

Regardless of how many on-the-ground perks they throw at VA flyers, as long as they are so bad in Y I will always pay a bit more to go SQ Y if I have to fly in Y. They are a much better airline and still a VA partner.

Agreed - I'd be happy to fly VA to AUH but the prospect of Y on Etihad to get to LHR horrifies me after my one experience of being wedged into their 10-across 777........ WP access to the First Class Lounge can't compensate for that seating......
 
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OzEire

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Well as expected the Etihad rep here has had no response.

And as expected tonight (3 weeks after the flight) I received a pathetic generic response to my feedback, which cut and pasted advertising material from their website telling me how good their service should be ... totally ignoring the fact that I had provided feedback that the service was crap - literally, I found a pooy nappy in my armrest, a point that no amount of spin could respond to... so the feedback just ignored this part.

Ad addendum to my initial feedback... I also had to visit a doctor after the flight and I was prescribed antibiotics... it would not be a stretch to imagine that the filthy armrest covered in poo could have started an infection.

Tip to anyone thinking of requesting the bulkhead row on Etihad... don't!! Without comment on the pax who left the filthy item there (that is another story but should have been cleaned before I got there) clearly the cleaning staff are not up to the job.

I wish I could be surprised ... but I'm not. Time to escalate. Any suggestions ?

OzEire
 

OzEire

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No one is obligated to make a response on AFF.
Markis, EY Guest Rep and other mods,

Apologies if I have stepped close to the guideline boundaries.

I'm willing to acknowledge that my phrase was more an expression of disappointment with the lack of interest Etihad have with fixing issues in their business, including through the effective use of social media, including boards like this. A genuine source of informed feedback, provided for free - take it or leave it, your loss.

OzE
 

markis10

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No one is obligated, but where an genuine opportunity exists to improve customer service, a response would be expected IMO.
Based on past experiences reported, service recovery is not a common thing with many of the middle eastern airlines.
 
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