Updated on December 13, 2017
Flight Review: Etihad Airways Economy Class JFK-AUH
After about an hour (and a few G&T’s) in the Wingtips Lounge, Pat and I headed to gate A3 for our ~12 hour flight to Abu Dhabi!
Etihad flights depart out of terminal 4 at JFK (along with Singapore, Emirates, El Al, Virgin Atlantic and others).
As you can see in the map above, the Wingtips lounge isn’t identified on the map. If it were, it’d be where the “2” is, the Swiss Lounge. So as you can see, we had to walk back across the terminal, just a quick 5 minute walk to A3.
Boarding for the flight was a little bit of a frenzy. To clarify, the boarding process was actually very smooth – until we got on the plane. People wouldn’t get out of the aisle, were intentionally sitting in other people’s seats, etc. Just a mess. I mean I’ve been on flights where boarding seem unorganized and chaotic, but this wasn’t that. The crew was doing there job, the people were just a disaster and it looked like every other person on the flight had never been on a plane before and didn’t understand to get the hell out of the way!
It didn’t help that Pat and I were seating 30 rows apart from one another. We figured we’d have to go the crazy shuffle of switching with people once on the flight, because it was completely full (every single seat!).
Unfortunately for us, the flight was one of the B777’s operated by Jet Airways (ie. Jetihad). Basically it just lead to an inferior crew, extremely dated seats and “meh” in-flight entertainment (sorry for the spoiler!).
Airline: Etihad Airways
Route: EY100 JFK-AUH
Cabin: Y (Economy)
Seats: 63H and 63K
Flight time: 12 hours and 45 minutes (landed 20 minutes late)
The funniest part of this is that if you look on the SeatGuru seat map, our row doesn’t exist – and neither does the row in front of us!
Lo and behold, none of the seat maps I could find online were accurate to this plane (and still aren’t). But it doesn’t really make a difference.
We were the VERY LAST ROW on the plane in row 63. Right next to the bathroom! We felt so blessed. Luckily, it was pretty easy to get someone to switch seats with me (I think I had a window seat somewhere around row 36) considering no one wanted to sit there anyway. I took the window and Pat took the aisle.
I thought it was kind of ironic that we ended up getting the seats we did. I mean, we were on a mistake-fare ticket, and were probably paying less than $100 a person for this 12+ hour flight – so we didn’t have much room to complain!!
Anyway, boarding was started and we were ready for the long flight!
After making it to our seats and settling in, I took in the views! Breathtaking.
On flights like this (10+ hours in economy), you need to have a plan. Basically a, “How am I going to survive almost 13 hours in economy” plan. Mine was pretty simple. Since it was 10 p.m. it only made sense to me to go to sleep. I figured I’d pop a few Tylenol PM Extra Strengths and zonk out for 6+ hours. Then I’d wake up, eat, watch a movie or two, etc. Easy day right? Wrong.
I’ll update you on the success of my plan later, but let’s get on with the review.
Anyway, back to the plan. Started out successful, I took the Tylenol and passed out for about 6 hours – not great sleep but good enough.
I then woke up and grabbed something to eat! 2/2 so far.
I got the chicken. It came with broccoli, carrots and some mashed potatoes, along with some bread and a Hersey’s bar. Not too bad.
The IFE system was okay, but nothing great. I don’t feel the selection was very extensive and there was no on-board wifi available.
Funny enough, for the first time ever on IFE, I played a couple of the games with the back of the controller. Something that I’ve always seen and wondered who actually uses it. Well this flight, that was us! We played both poker and pong against each other in multi-player, and then I played PacMan. Interesting!
I watched Big Bang Theory and a few other reruns of shows I’ve already seen before, and just kept trying to kill time. I then watched Minions, which was a pretty good movie! Pat watched a few movies as well.
This is where my plan started to go awry. We still had over 3 hours left! I was ready to get off this plane!
Eventually Pat and I just got up and stood in the back for a while drinking water and talking. That was probably the only advantage to our seats was that we were close to the back of the plane and the open area back there.
Anyway, long story short, we survived!
Next thing we knew we were finally in Abu Dhabi! After a quick taxi we pull up to our gate in terminal 1 and were ready to get off this plane!
We made our way through customs and then towards the Premier Inn for out quick 1-night stay!
This wasn’t too bad of a flight, all things considered. Considering we pay just over $300 for a R/T flight to Johannesburg, we payed very, very little for this flight. Also, it’s a huge advantage that if you have to sit in economy at least it’s an overnight flight, as it makes it easier to sleep for a good portion of it (at least for me).
The service wasn’t especially good, and the seat was extremely uncomfortable (see: old), but for the price I couldn’t complain!
Have you flown long-haul economy on Jetihad? How was your experience?