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Friday, April 5, 2013

MY UNPALATABLE ETIHAD EXPERIENCE




Yours truly had to go to Dubai, the tourist capital of the UAE very recently. Needed a break badly and also had to attend a friend's 40th birthday. Had planned on attending Tuface & Annie's wedding in Dubai, but changed my mind at the last minute, when I heard that the couple were not allowing their pictures to be taken at the wedding ceremony. So not wanting to be one of the Joneses, decided to stay put and go afterwards. Would I be attending the wedding ceremony so I 'll be seen to be a friend or because I needed to be seen working? I decided on the later. 

My visa came a bit late, so couldn't book my flight ticket on time. When I had to, space was only available on Etihad Airways. Which meant that, I 'll have to fly instead to Abu Dhabi, the financial capital of the UAE, then ride a bus shuttle from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Always in need of adventure, I quickly agreed and got my ticket. Having seen the Etihad Airways advert like a million times, I was expecting a pampering like never before. Reason been that, I had taken Emirates Airline before and totally enjoyed the glorious experience. So my expectations were high. 

Flight was scheduled for the morning, so that by the evening of the same day, I 'll have gotten to Dubai. We left Lagos, a little behind schedule, but we finally left, plane was neat, crew were cool and on board entertainment was A-class, had time to watch Argo and about 2 other films. My total disappointment. Was the food! It would be an understatement for me to say that the food was 'wack', totally tasteless and unbelievably bland. If you are not going to consider that the country you fly to has a say as par cuisine, then make sure that the continental meal served is on point. Have had the opportunity to fly Emirates Airline, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Turkish Airline, Arik Airline, South Africa Airline, just to mention a few, a couple of times and I have never had any issue, but this time around. I was not pleased at all. 

Thinking that might have been a one off, I thought to give them the benefit of the doubt, at least till my return flight. That particular experience, was even worse. Firstly, had to leave Dubai for Abu Dhabi by the uneventful bus shuttle by 11:30pm for a flight that was scheduled to fly by 9:50am the next day. The journey in the bus took an hour, ten minutes, so we got to Abu Dhabi by sometime after 12am, then we get to wait for the upwards of 8 hours, 30 minutes. Totally painful wait, if one has nothing to do, it can be crazy. The terminal 1 is a very small space, so one can go round in 10 minutes, after the endless wait, we then board and lift off. Again the on board entertainment was great, food time came again and they didn't surprise me, like I thought they should. Blandness and tastelessness, just mildly describes it, the people in charge of making the food need to improve and improve very fast. I spoke to at least 5 others on the flight back to Lagos, who all said the food was terrible. 

Apart from the terrible wait and the bad food. The flight attendants were great and very courteous and the pilot landed the plane, so expertly and without fuss, he must be commended. 

Would I try them again, I think I would think twice, except I know for sure changes have been made. 

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aloba so it's food that is your problem? Na wa o. You wanted salty, spicy and peppery food ehn? You shall wait. Plane food especially to and from Nigeria has never been anything to write home about. They gave you healthy food and you are complaining. Less salt, less fat and less sugar. With all the epistle you didn't tell us what you were served? Abi was it oyibo food that you don't know? LOL. Don't wait for the food you like on the plane. Eat and fill your belle before you fly shogbo?

Mama Borngirl said...

Now if you know anyone working at Etihad, please do help Aloba forward his complaint!

Neni Stone said...

Wow... And I was about to buy a ticket next week after seeing all their swagged out ads on TV! Me wey like food. Thanks for your story!

http://nenisnaija.blogspot.com/2013/04/an-easy-purifying-facial.html

Anonymous said...

1) you flew economy
2) You are not embarassed to say you eat on the plane
3) you can bring your own food or try flying business, the food tastes different and is served in fine china.
4)As for the connection to Abu Dhabi you could have checked out late and taken a taxi @ 6am to AUH airport, it only costs 250 AED.

Anonymous said...

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Aloba is a journalist cum blogger, not a politician or footballer, so what's all this elitist talk about flying first class and all ?! Smh

And y'all think Aloba's rant about the airline's food was over-the-top? Check out this classic rant about Virgin Alantic written in the Telegraph years ago http://miafarradaily.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-is-this-richard-stand-in-rant.html?m=1