What’s your favourite airline? If you’d asked me a few months ago, I would have said Air New Zealand. Not because I’m a loyalist national but because they always offer great service, reasonable prices and are big on innovation. Ask me now though and I’d struggle to give the same answer.
I’m spoilt you see. We recently had the extreme pleasure of taking two flights on Etihad (both between Brisbane and Singapore). I don’t think I could go back to preferring any other airline.
Why do I love Etihad so much now? Because they’re the best airline in the world!
Simply this, Etihad’s business class service is extremely affordable. If you read my previous posts about using auctions to get business class upgrades you’ll know how we made our business class flights on Etihad affordable. Flying on Etihad in business class is actually a pleasure.
Dedicated check-in desks for business class travellers at Brisbane airport, priority passes for security and access to the Air New Zealand business class lounge make waiting in the airport for your flight comfortable and enjoyable. At the Singapore end they have a check-in room in Changi airport with private security lines and an even plusher business class lounge complete with massage chairs.
On board, Etihad’s business class product is comfortable and luxurious. Lie-flat beds arranged in pod formation. Massage rollers in the seats. Noise cancelling headphones. (The don’t have kid-sized ones so if you are travelling business class with little kids then you might want to bring your own. Here are the best headphones for toddlers.)
The food was out of this world and the service by flight attendants top notch.
Flying with Etihad in business class we arrived at our destination feeling great. We were rested, relaxed and well-feed. There was none of that horrible “flight smell” to wash off at the end of the journey.
Travelling with children in business class is always a bit of a worry but we found Reuben was better behaved on these flights than any of the others 30+ flights he has been on in his three years of travel. More space to spread out in, a proper bed to sleep in on a night flight, comfortable headphones, potato chips at the push of a button… why wouldn’t he be well-behaved?
Etihad have an in-flight nanny – a flight attendant dedicated to keeping children entertained and happy on flights. She came up and introduced herself to us, explained that she would be working in the economy class cabin (where children usually fly) but that she would make special trips up to business class to see Reuben during the flight for games and face-painting. Fortunately for me, he slept through the entire flight so didn’t get a chance to play with the nanny but it’s still an amazing service for parents on board.
We would go out of our way to fly with Etihad again!
What’s your favourite airline? I’d love you to chime in below with a comment on which airline you think is the best in the world and why.
Wow – I didn’t know about the inflight Nanny. That’s awesome. Did Reuben like her?
They’ve got an in-flight nanny? No wonder we got such poor service the time we flew with them Brisbane Singapore return. The nanny must have been off sick and the other staff were no doubt upset at having to do something which wasn’t in their original job description. Either that, or this is a new thing brought in after complaints from parents.
Honestly – it’s the only flight I’ve been on where the attendant insisted I keep my 15 month old strapped in on my lap even when the seatbelt signs were off (she screamed and threw toys in frustration for hours on end, everyone loved it and a simple walk would have solved everything) and tried to stop me going in to the toilet with my children (because obviously the toddler was going to change her own nappy). That was probably the worst of it. I was travelling alone with both kids so a bit of help would have come in handy.
It remains my worst flight ever with kids, beating out that time when my daughter got a vomiting bug halfway through the flight and we had to be hauled off the plane by quarantine, stinking to high heaven, and go straight to a hospital.
(Sorry for the rant – obviously your crew was wonderful. Airline crews probably all have good and bad shifts.)
An in-flight nanny?! This may be the best thing I’ve ever heard.
I’ve only flown with Etihad in cattle class, but found it to be on par, if not better, than Air NZ and Emirates. Would fly with them again in a heart beat! Eyeing up business class too… 😉
I have flown on many airlines and I have flown Etihad many many times. My tickets are bought by the people I work with so they are usually Pearl class, but I occasionally upgrade to business class.
Etihad outstrips all of the airlines that I flown with by a country mile. The standard of comfort and service is exceptional. I am now a Gold Card holder and can use many of the facilities offered to Business Class, and that is wonderful when traveling a lot.
Etihad are the first choice airline for me.
Nice blog. I also like Etihad. Because, i think it is the best airlines in the world. Your photos are also very nice.Thanks a lot for sharing.
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I do like Air NZ though am less than impressed with their latest marketing stunts.
Haven’t flown Etihad – probably the nicest I’ve flown has been Qatar to date. I was suitably impressed P)