Etihad

Etihad’s Puzzling Approach To The Electronics Ban

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With the US electronics ban about to be implemented, airlines are outlining their policies for how they’re going to deal with this. Both Emirates and Turkish have announced that they’ll let passengers take their electronics all the way to the gate, and will then allow passengers to check them there. They’ll be securely packaged, and upon arrival in the US they’ll separately be brought out to passengers.

I appreciate the effort they’re putting into the system. While it doesn’t totally solve the problems the electronics ban causes, at least I feel they’re doing what they can to minimize the risk of electronics being stolen or damaged, and are also minimizing how long passengers will be separated from them.

Well, now Etihad has announced their electronics ban policy, and it’s… confusing.

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The Most Practical Way Airlines Could Avoid The Electronics Ban

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As I’m sure just about everyone knows by now, the US has implemented an electronics ban for passengers traveling nonstop to the U.S. from Amman, Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Casablanca, Dubai, Doha, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait City, and Riyadh.

While I don’t question that they’re likely working off of a very credible threat, and while I think it’s important to keep passengers safe, I have a lot of questions about the implementation:

— The UK has instituted a similar ban and presumably they’re sharing intelligence, so why did the US put the UAE and Qatar on the list, when the UK didn’t?
— More specifically, there’s a US Pre-Clearance facility in Abu Dhabi with an additional and thorough security screening checkpoint, so why aren’t those flights excluded, because the security is unarguably tighter than if you’re traveling through many European airports?
— Only direct flights from the above countries are included in the ban, so Emirates’ flights from Dubai to Milan to New York, and Dubai to Athens to Newark, are excluded. Does that really make sense?

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Will The Electronics Ban Change Which Airlines I Fly?

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Reader David W asked the following question in the Ask Lucky forum:

“@Lucky @Tiffany and anyone else:

Will you be making changes to existing flights that are affected as well as changing plans that are in the works?”

I can’t speak for Tiffany or anyone else, though I will share my perspective. As I assume just about everyone knows at this point, there are restrictions on electronic devices in the cabins of planes for nonstop flights from:

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Etihad A380 Service Changes: Hello Paris, Goodbye Mumbai

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Well, I guess this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Etihad has just announced that as of July 1, 2017, they’ll be cutting A380 service to Mumbai, and will be introducing A380 service to Paris.

The Abu Dhabi to Mumbai flight (EY203/204) will be replaced by an A340-600, while the Abu Dhabi to Paris flight (EY31/32) is replacing a 777-300 or A330, depending on the day of the week.

As of now Etihad has updated their schedule through October 28, 2017. That means Etihad continues to show the A380 flying to Mumbai after that date, and doesn’t show the A380 flying to Paris after that date. That’s likely because that’s when the next schedule cycle starts. So I wouldn’t count on Etihad bringing the A380 back to Mumbai, but rather think they just haven’t put too much thought into the schedule beyond that.

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The Opening Of Abu Dhabi Airport’s New Midfield Terminal Is Delayed By 2 Years

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As much as I love Etihad, I find that Abu Dhabi Airport leaves a lot to be desired. While the new first class lounge is great, the terminals as such are subpar. Terminal 1 is outdated, while Terminal 3 is way too small to handle the number of passengers they have during peak hours.

Never mind the fact a majority of flights at Abu Dhabi Airport presently leave from remote stands…

Fortunately Abu Dhabi Airport is constructing a new midfield terminal, which will accommodate an additional 30 million passengers per year. That’s huge, especially when you consider that the airport currently has a capacity of about 23 million passengers. The new terminal will be 700,000+ square meters, and should mean that significantly fewer planes will have to leave from remote stands.

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The Cheapest Fares I’ve Ever Seen In The Etihad Residence

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When it comes to Etihad’s gorgeous A380s, they’ve no doubt garnered the most attention for The Residence, which is their private three room suite with butler service, located at the front of the first class cabin.

It features a living room, bedroom, and even a private bathroom with shower.

When The Residence was first introduced, it was consistently insanely expensive. There weren’t any discounts for creatively originating travels in cities that are typically known for cheap airfare. However, over time that has changed.

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Review: Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi

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A couple of days ago I finally had the chance to visit Etihad’s new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi. The lounge opened in May 2016, after substantial delays. While I used to fly Etihad all the time, I’ve been making an effort to review more new airlines lately, so this was my first time passing through Abu Dhabi in first class since the lounge opened.

Prior to that I visited Etihad’s Premium Lounge Abu Dhabi, which can be accessed by business class passengers. For a business class lounge it’s solid.

Etihad’s Abu Dhabi first class lounge is open 24 hours a day, and is located just past the security checkpoint at Terminal 3. So if you’re originating in Abu Dhabi you’ll find the lounge as soon as you clear the security checkpoint. Meanwhile if you’re connecting, clear transit security at Terminal 3, and then follow the signage to the first class lounge.

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My Glamorous Life: Being Force Fed A Tasting Menu At 3AM With A Stomach Bug

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Let me start by saying that I’m beyond grateful to be able to make a living doing what I’m passionate about. Since a very young age I was obsessed with airplanes and travel, and I pinch myself every day about the fact that I’m able to do this full time. That’s despite the constant jetlag and exhaustion. Seriously, I couldn’t be more grateful for this, and I owe it all to you guys.

So take this post as being tongue in cheek, as it’s more of an amusing reflection of what my life is like in practice, despite what it may look like in Instagram pictures, etc. This has been an especially crazy travel week for me. Over the course of about a week I flew from Los Angeles to Taipei to Singapore to Bali to Hong Kong to London to Abu Dhabi (don’t worry, I’ll explain the reasoning for it eventually).

I took the 2PM flight from London to Abu Dhabi, which arrived at 1:30AM. I was dead tired after getting minimal sleep the past week. I wasn’t hungry in the slightest. And I even had a bit of a stomach bug.

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Etihad A380 Apartment In 10 Pictures

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Hello from Abu Dhabi! Yesterday I flew from London to Abu Dhabi in Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment. I’ve reviewed Etihad’s A380 first class many times before, so won’t be writing a full review. If you want a super thorough review, check out my posts about my past flights from Abu Dhabi to London, Abu Dhabi to New York, New York to Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi to Sydney.

In this case I took the 2PM flight from London to Abu Dhabi, which is perfect in terms of enjoying the short flight, since you can have a nice lunch or dinner service, and then get some rest.

Etihad’s A380 first class cabin is stunning — it’s hands down the most visually stunning cabin on a commercial plane, in my opinion. It’s also the only single-aisle cabin on a widebody commercial aircraft.

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The 2 Best First Class “Products” I Haven’t Yet Tried

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In the past couple of years I’ve written lots of posts ranking various airlines, lounges, etc. Two of the most popular such posts include my list of the world’s six best first class airline products, and my list of the world’s seven best first class lounges.

Quite a bit has changed since I last wrote those posts. Some airlines have opened new lounges and introduced new first class products, while I also had the chance to try some products for the first time. I’ve received several requests from readers asking for an updated ranking, which I’m hoping to do very soon.

The thing is, unlike the airline rankings we see from the mainstream media, which include stock images and are based on airline marketing campaigns, I want to be sure I’ve experienced each of the products I’m ranking firsthand.

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Etihad Says They Won’t Add More Flights To The U.S., But…

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There has been a lot of contention between the “big three” U.S. carriers and the “big three” Gulf carriers for a couple of years now, regarding the Open Skies agreement. The U.S. carriers argue that the Gulf carriers are unfairly subsidized, and there’s no way the U.S. carriers can compete.

The U.S. carriers made their case so poorly and hypocritically, and ultimately the U.S. government decided not to take action against the Gulf carriers, at least under the Obama administration.

However, the lobbying group for the U.S. carriers has said that they’re excited about working with Trump, and hoping he’ll take a tougher stance:

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Etihad May Actually Join The Star Alliance?!?

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Earlier I posted about how the CEOs of Etihad and Lufthansa are meeting in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, apparently to announce some sort of expanded cooperation.

This relationship almost emerged by accident, due to their mutual connection to airberlin. However, in the meantime the two airlines have found value in working together, though they’re starting slow. As of now Etihad and Lufthansa are just codesharing on select flights between Europe, South America, and the Middle East.

As I explained, the announcement tomorrow could come in many forms, ranging anywhere from a maintenance contract to Etihad joining the Star Alliance to Etihad buying an equity stake in Lufthansa. Earlier I speculated that it would be more significant than a maintenance contract, but less significant than Etihad joining the Star Alliance, or buying an equity stake in Lufthansa.

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The CEOs Of Etihad & Lufthansa Are Holding A News Conference Tomorrow…

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Reuters is reporting that the CEOs of Etihad and Lufthansa will be holding a joint news conference in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, which follows expanded cooperation between the two airlines, and speculation of a closer partnership on the horizon.

The relationship between Etihad and Lufthansa is a new one, and is due to their mutual connection to airberlin — Etihad owns a big stake in struggling airberlin, and Lufthansa is essentially saving airberlin by taking over many of their planes, as a way of keeping other ultra low cost carriers out of Germany.

Despite Lufthansa’s previous vocal opposition to Etihad, the two airlines have extended their relationship beyond their connection to airberlin, and are now codesharing.

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