I Love Etihad’s Boarding Music!

I love airline boarding music. Last year I even wrote a post about what I consider to be the best airline boarding music out there. It’s not that I’d ever select an airline based on their boarding music, but boarding music is one of the things I associate with certain airlines. I remember the first time I flew Emirates, and one of the first things I recall is stepping aboard the plane and the great boarding music. As humans we make associations with experiences based on the music we’re listening to at the time, and I think flying is no exception.

In many cases boarding music is a tie-in of the airline’s branding, and that can be a powerful thing.

On my list last year for favorite airline boarding music was Etihad, which had one of my favorite boarding music tracks. Here’s 30 minutes of it:

There’s something about it which I find so uplifting and sort of mystical. When I think of the airline, that soundtrack is one of the first things which comes to mind for me. And if I’m perfectly honest, I listen to it almost every day. I find it to be great music to work to, so I probably have the song playing on repeat for at least five hours a week, on average. The video of the boarding music track has almost 700,000 views on YouTube, and I’m guessing a good percentage of those are from me.

It actually helps me work more efficiently. Something about the track makes me concentrate better and also write faster.

Etihad Airways has rebranded over the past year or so, with the introduction of their Airbus A380. They rebranded so many of their products, and also launched a stunning new ad campaign.

Perhaps their most popular ad has been the “Flying Reimagined” one starring Nicole Kidman, which is visually stunning:

I also especially love these rather over-the-top “staff” videos they made, about their butlers and onboard chefs:

While I loved Etihad’s old boarding music, their rebranding has also resulted in new boarding music, which I enjoy just as much. Etihad Airways has just uploaded it to YouTube:

As you can see, it’s the same soundtrack they use in most of their ads, and I think it’s brilliant. I think the best way I can describe it is as imaginative and mysterious, which I sort of get the sense is what Etihad is going for.

Now I just have to decide whether I’ll be working to the “new” or “old” track in the future. Or maybe I’ll mix it up?

Do you prefer Etihad’s old or new boarding music? And anyone love their branding as much as I do?

Comments

  1. Innocuous at best. Sadly, this sounds about as interesting as something strung together by a teenager on bad loop software.

  2. Ah! I’ve been looking for this since my last flight with them! I think it’s awesome and so spot on with their rebranding.

  3. Not part of Qantas’ standard musical loop, however on a recent late arriving Friday evening flight into MEL a couple of weeks back they played ‘The Hustle’ when the door opened. It made me smile, which is more than the grating, cloying, saccharine of ‘It feels like home to me’ will ever do.

  4. Awesome music. I’d be interested in more that you or other passengers like as this one. Obviously @Chancer has a very unsophisticated and underdeveloped music palate. This kind of music is played strategically throughout the Asias (and elsewhere) and Etihad has picked up on its calming abilities for passengers. It’s along the same lines as some of the scientifically composed music inducing calmess like this one
    http://youtu.be/VKI92De-t4U

  5. Just flew into TPE on EVA. The boarding music was for a Christmas-themed Hello Kitty/EVA Air cartoon on and endless loop. It was a maniacal rendition of Jingle Bells.
    Couldn’t find anything sharp enough to puncture my eardrums.

  6. @Laura – Well, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but I’d say you’re a know-it-all who delights in regurgitating what you’ve read on the internet. As for being scientific, this Etihad music sounds like a bunch of ACID loops that anyone with a mac or pc could have cobbled together. Get the software and try it yourself. I created similar sounding tracks in high school.

  7. Yes! I love the boarding music on Austrian – On the beautiful blue Danube..For me it’s just a part of OS and I like to hear that familiar sound whenever I board their plane..I’ve seen some people on FB complaining about the choice of boarding music but I hope the won’t change it :D..

  8. Ha ha – @Chancer is totally right. It gets a little tiring to constantly see all the fan-sheep agree with Lucky no matter the subject. I listened to both tracks and don’t hate them, some won’t rip anyone who likes them. But they aren’t “awesome” in the least. Relaxing – sure. Formulaic – definitely. There’s nothing unique about them in the least. @Laura by all means please do enlighten the rest of us with your vast sophisticated hipster ethnic trance catalog recommendations ha ha

  9. What happened to your ongoing trip report? Been a long time since last post and i so wanna read the etihad review

  10. I flew EY LHR->SIN last week. In AUH->SIN we were the only passengers in F, so I spent a bit of time talking to the cabin crew and actually mentioned the music. I said that I loved it the first time, but now seeing that all our flights had been delayed, I’d heard maybe close to 5 hours of it and it’s starting to annoy me, so god knows how she felt about it. She said she just completely blanked it out now and doesn’t even hear it.

  11. I actually love Etihad’s hold music when calling reservations. It’s probably the most generically middle eastern sounding track I have ever heard, but I’m easily entertained. 🙂

  12. When 90% of your flights over the last few years have either been with Emirates or Qatar, after each flight, for the next few days you have these songs going round and round in your nut, so I can’t say I’m too fond of them!

  13. Totally agree, this is a great working music.

    Airline boarding music is always really important – Emirates and Qatar are current favourites. I like BA’s only because it is familiar (being British, and flying with them a lot). Whereas it’s exactly what put me off flying with Virgin – they always had the latest hits playing, making you think you have boarded a party plane..

  14. Wait. Do all airlines have boarding music? I don’t know how many flights I’ve had in my life–let’s say 50 in the last couple of years, on about 8 different airlines (none uab though)–and I have never, ever noticed “boarding music!” For what it’s worth, I have better than average hearing, but do tend to be pretty inobservant. It’s rather disconcerting to find out this has been going on all this time!

  15. Took an Air India operated Etihad flight in September. It was the first time I actually noticed the boarding music and thought it was ethereal and very relaxing.

  16. I flew two segments on EY last month (GVA-AUH-SYD) and they had the new music. I like both, but I can see how too much of the new one can get on some people’s nerves. They have this music on hold and I I could swear I heard it in the AUH Premium Lounge.

  17. @Chancer and @Nota Sheep Yes I am a know it all when it comes to what I know because I live in Asia and have for the last 5 years and I travel extensively throughout Asia and spend many hours in Asian airports, lounges and hotels. I rarely have time for these blogs which you apparently love to frequent and bash everyone. So no I am not a blog groupie stupid. Nice try though.

  18. Can you please tell me what is the name of the musical piece used in the Nicole Kidman Flying Reimagined Etihad ad? It’s beautiful

  19. I love Etihad’s new boarding music and just like you Lucky, I too play it almost everyday… very much soothing.. I wanted to know who is the Composer?

  20. The boarding (and landing) music that I absolutely loved were the ones in Jet Airways, Air India and Xiamen Air.

    Does anyone know the names / composers of the pieces played by Air India and Jet Airways? They are truly uplifting and upbeat in a relaxed way, with judicious use of the table, flute and water music. I know one of the two is composed by the Shiv-Hari duo – not sure which one or the name of the composition.

    The latter plays “The waves of Gulang yu” on the piano (very nostalgic – incidentally we had visited Gulang yu island just the previous visit, but only heard this music on the flight!)

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