I normally do not like to advise people on which options they should choose. I like to provide people with my reviews and facts and let individuals make their own opinions. However, Etihad is running a promotion with Marriott so that is why I wanted to write this post. I recently (within the past 3 months) have take 6 flights on Etihad and not one flight was decent. I also spoke to many of my fellow passengers to see if my experience was unique or if others were experiencing the same thing -- turns out others were experiencing the same thing. I have also been following blogs and travel reviews on other people flying with Etihad and they seem to be having the same bad experience I have.
The experience is a lack of customer service or attention to customer service detail. I have flown with all 3 Middle Eastern carriers and the other 2 seem to be paying attention to these details. Even if they falter on a flight here or there, they always try to improve and make their product better. I flew Etihad long-haul as well as short-haul and each sector had late take-off and late arrival - with no explication at all - each sector had food that was not good and sometimes smelled (the food that I received on the long-haul outbound was the same food I received on the inbound service -- 2 months later!) but was worse was the lack of customer service the in-flight personnel had toward their passengers. On each sector, the IFA seemed annoyed at the passengers.
One example was on a short-haul sector where there were multiple passengers who were speaking multiple different languages. Some of these passengers did not know where their seat was so they were trying to ask various flight attendants. Instead of taking some time to help the passengers, each flight attendant seemed to want to pass off the passengers to someone else. I spoke one of the languages that the passengers were speaking so I decided to assist one of the fligth attendants who just kept talking in a loud voice and raising her hands. The FA attendant had the passengers boarding pass and was trying to put him in the seat, but when I looked at the boarding pass it was for an earlier flight and not for the flight we were on (which is odd that this passenger had managed to go through all the Etihad security checks and board the plane without having the correct boarding pass with him). I eventually found the correct boarding pass and got him settled, and the FA came to me and said 'today is the day you don't want to do my job!' and walked away in a huff. I understand FA jobs are tough, especially with passengers from all around the world who speak many different languages -- but isn't that part of the charm or adventure? Even if you do not like it and it is getting on your last nerve, isn't this your job so shouldn't you pretend to smile and help out the passengers?
In another instance, an FA was serving drinks and gave a passenger a cup with a leak in it so the drink kept leaking on the passenger. It took the passenger multiple calls and only after the aid of other passengers to get the FA's attention and when the FA's attention was received and the problem pointed out -- the FA's solution was to put the faulty cup in a new cup and give the passenger 2 napkins and walk away. That is it!
It's not only in-flight crew as I have had similar bad experiences with the crew on the ground and in their customer service centers in Abu Dhabi (none of whom know what the airline has on their website - and I actually showed many of them items on their own website).
If you have a choice and an option - my advice is to skip this option and choose to fly another. You will be happier
Happy and safe flying