My journey to “the other side of the world” (The Seychelles) started out simply enough- OMA-IAD-CDG-SEZ, all on SkyTeam. However, after I had successfully created a low-level SkyTeam award, Air Seychelles suspended their CDG-SEZ service. So there I was, most of my dream trip to the Seychelles planned- without a way to get there. Enter Etihad Airways.
The new plan was OMA-ATL-DXB, transfer to AUH, then AUH-SEZ (and back) with Etihad. I went all out on this trip, including paid J on Etihad. After several days in Dubai, my travel partner and I began the journey to the Seychelles. Since we had two business class tickets, we technically could’ve had our own Audis, but we decided to share. We were picked up by the Etihad Chauffeur service bright and early, and deposited at AUH shortly thereafter.
Upon arrival at AUH, we were whisked immediately to the First Class & Business Class entrance, where we were personally escorted through the airport and to a special security lane. We were given our invitation to the lounge, and enjoyed the expansive selection of food. I poked around and found the amazing shower:
Boarding in AUH was pretty disorganized, which was a bit of a disappointment, considering we were at Etihad’s home airport! We settled into our bright green seats -4A & 4B, for the short 4.5 hour flight almost due South on a very new A320. I ordered the lemonmint juice- a signature of Etihad’s in AUH.
For our mid-morning flight, we were offered a hot breakfast. Additionally we received fresh fruit, cold cuts & cheese, yogurt and breakfast rolls. It was a lot of food for a short flight. Service was attentive but not annoying. Time flew quickly, especially with some of the unique IFE choices.
10 days after arriving, we had to leave the Seychelles. Departing SEZ was much more organized than in AUH, though they only have one flight to dispatch, so I guess it’s much easier. We had a hot meal on our way back as well. I had the risotto, while my travel partner enjoyed the lamb. We were given lounge access to the premium lounge in Mahe, Fast Track Customs through AUH upon landing, and again a driver took us to our hotel in DXB.
The crew returning from SEZ was much better than the first crew, with Lead FA Andrew excelling in customer service. All in all, the short haul experience on Etihad was very good. Decent food, decent IFE, new planes, comfy recliner chairs… and a great lounge experience! I am eager to try their long-haul service at some point in the future.