Recently we flew from Geneva to Malaysia with Etihad and were a bit disappointed with our experience.
We expected a lot more from the middle east carrier as our experiences with Emirates and Qatar have always been very good.
So we chose Etihad this time based on price, as we were flying for Christmas and New Year the prices on all airlines were quite high and so when we found a good price on Etihad we thought we would take it.
We did not think before hand that Etihad was a budget airline but some of their practices seem to place them in that category. Having to pay for any seat allocation (even when flying with infant and family), this is something we have not had to on a long haul flight for a long time. There were no free options to be able to book our seats together in advance other than to pay extra and both us and many others we saw on the flight were split up from their travelling partners. Also, mid flight, snacks are for sale, where as other flights we normally take have these things offered for free.
We were hopeful that the travelling Nanny that they advertise on their website would also be of help to us. But this was pretty much non existent. The person who was designated nanny was always friendly and introduced themselves at the start of the flight and gave a little something to the children but that was it. They also will not take your child, which means meal times can be a pain. While we don't expect this service and have done fine on other flights without it, it was just disappointing as they really seemed to advertise this benefit and we expected more of it.
To be fair, the food, in flight entertainment and comfort of the plane were fine an really could not complain about those things, but when the price on Etihad is often similar to those on Emirates we know which airline we will continue to fly with in the future.
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