From all the people trying to sleep in the Premium Lounge at Abu Dhabi when I first arrived, Etihad Airways (unlike Qatar Airways) have difficulty scheduling fast connections for their numerous transit customers.
Although there was a separate boarding line for Premium passengers, the queues, frustratingly, then mingled as we were approaching the plane, leading to a long wait.
The A330-200 Plane
On the plane I was shocked by what seemed like a cramped configuration of the Business Class seats. It was nothing like the Business Class seats I had seen in photos of their A380s.
However, once I sat down I was relieved to find the seat could make a fully flat bed and the pre-flight drinks service was very elegantly handled, with you being offered a small personal tray with each of the drinks on offer, including champagne. I opted for the lemon & lime juice.
The menu was also interesting with you being offered 'eat when you want to' in Business Class, the first time I have seen this. There were also breakfast or daytime options, a great idea when your body clock was as messed up as mine.
I had ordered the noodle dish before we took off but decided to have a nap while waiting for it and woke 5 hours later. The Etihad Airways staff did not attempt to wake me and I was so grateful for this, much needed, sleep. The 'fur' lined quilt you were given really helped me sleep.
When I did wake I ordered the noodle dish again and some champagne. However, some heavy turbulence then led to service being suspended. I watched 'Modern Family' while waiting.
When the grouper & prawns came they were in tempura batter, despite there being no mention of this on the menu. The egg noodles were rather heavy too. It was good it was a small, stodgy, portion.
We landed early at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh/Saigon) and had to wait for a stand, on the tarmac, for far longer than we were originally told. Not the best thing when you just want to get to your hotel and freshen up.
🐻🐻🐻🐻 (4 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - my disappointment about the seats lost them a 'teddy'. They would have lost more if it was not for the good sleep I got and the excellent crew. My tip: check the visa requirements for Vietnam before you travel. As a UK citizen I can only stay for 15 days using the visa exemption. However, I intend to return to Vietnam again after more than 30 days in Cambodia & Laos.