After a great new year’s holiday in Hong Kong, it was now time to return back home. As the hotel I was staying at, the W, was attached not only to a mall, but also to Kowloon Station (one of Hong Kong’s major stations), I had the option of checking in right there at the station instead of at the airport. They have check-in counters exactly like at the airport, and is available pretty much for all airlines until about 3 hours before departure. I thought that this was a novelty, and gave it a try. On the morning of my departure (my flight didn’t leave until early evening), I checked in at the station, dropped off my bags, and my boarding passes were printed. I went back to the hotel for a relaxing spa treatment, spent a bit of time in the jacuzzi, and then got dressed, and went back to the station. Here, I purchased a one-way ticket to the airport, and boarded the comfortable train to the airport. The journey time was about 20 minutes.
Hong Kong Airport is one of my absolute favourites, and I actually arrived a bit earlier than I should have so that I could do a bit of last minute shopping.
As boarding time neared, I made my way to the gate, and managed to catch my plane being towed to the gate (the Etihad flight arrives in the morning, and I guess the plane is then towed away to a remote stand and brought back to the gate when its time to prep it for departure).
Shortly thereafter the crew made their way to the gate – in my opinion Etihad’s crews are among the best in the world – refined and sophisticated.
The seating in business class was their standard layout, although this is now considered to be an “old” product. These seats feature on their Airbus 330s and Boeing 777s – their 787s and 380’s all have an updated product. Nonetheless, I still consider it to be among the best business seats out there, and I’d never complain about being assigned to sit here:)
On the ottoman in front of each seat along with the menu and blanket, was the amenity kit. Etihad offers passengers a bit of variety as their are different versions of the bag, each one inspired by one of the cities it flies to.
I remember thinking to myself that boarding was taking longer than it should, but it offered me some great views outside, and the chance to relish in another spectacular Hong Kong sunset.
On the ground as we waited, as is customary, we were offered hot/cold towels, and the choice of a welcome drink.
Once airborne, the crew sprang into action and started serving aperitifs along with some warmed nuts. I guess it’s a tradition for me to order a sparkling water with ice and lemon :)
For dinner that flight, I chose to go with the leek and potato soup, which was then followed by salmon with egg-fried rice and choy sum, and for dessert I chose the bread and butter pudding.
One of Etihad’s strong points, is its catering – it doesn’t feel like airline food, and it certainly no presented as such – which makes the experience feel authentically luxurious. Other airlines serve economy class meals on nice plates – and it shows.
I was connecting on to Kuwait the same day, but by that time I was quite tired, and the flight quickly filled up with some pretty rowdy passengers (who were met by the police once we arrived), and so wasn’t really in much of a mood to take pictures, other than the pretty tasty meal that they serve on this short sector.
I always enjoy flying with Etihad, and they are quickly becoming my airline of choice for a number of reasons – elegance, consistency, and quality. The only downside for the moment is the airport, and the new terminal has unfortunately been delayed again – but that still won’t stop me from flying with them any time in the near future.