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Whilst this lounge is no Sydney QF F Lounge, I have certainly seen a lot worse. A dedicated dining area and a good selection of food and drinks, with plenty of staff  on hand for assistance if required. There is a SPA here for massages as well (always a good thing) but again, not of the grandeur that SYD F Lounge offers.  There’e some nice areas to relax and watch TV (or not) and a reasonable bar area nicely stocked.  There is also a couple of computer/printer bays if required.  There are not a lot of toilets in this lounge and the showers (all 2 of them) are merely an extra cubicle next to the stalls in the bathroom: not my idea of  a great layout.  The one common theme in all Etihad’s lounges is that they are scrupulously clean. However, the other common trait is the lack of power points for recharging phones. tablets and computers. Luckily, in First and Business  at least, the aircraft are fitted with both USB and 220V power so we walked off the plane with all equipment fully charged. This is a nice lounge to relax in if transiting, but the T3 lounge is far bigger  and offers a lot more services, so it’s worth the walk : about 10 mins between lounges.

 

American Airlines have garnered a number of A330′s since the merge with US Airways and this aircraft, and indeed the route, is one of those. The flight leaves LHR at 1.20pm and arrives into CLT at 5.45pm local time. flight time is nominally 9hrs 25m.  The aircraft are far form new, but this one was in excellent condition. The J class cabin has a 1-2-1 configuration, with the seats angled inwards. The centre seats offer reasonable privacy for the single traveller, although obviously the single seats along each side are better if you want complete privacy or to work whilst in transit and not bother your seat mate. The seats are comfortable, offer more than enough leg room and lie flat when converted into a bed. Not a lot of storage in the seat pod, although shoes/boots fit comfortably under the foot rest. Pillow is a good size but the blanket/duvet is on the thin side, so if you feel the cold (as my wife Zoe does) you may want to wear something warm.  The inflight entertainment (IFE) is delivered via a 15 inch screen, with plenty of titles to choose from, both in movies and TV. The music choice lacks a little, in my opinion, so if you enjoy your music whilst travelling, take your smart phone music library with you.

The amenities kit is standard fare – with lotions and potions supplied by Red Flower and aptly branded Wanderlust. However, I do love the fact that American always supply a small packet of tissues and a pen – enabling you to fill out the customs forms without getting a pen from your carry one or coat that had been carefully hung in the cupboard by the FA.

The menu is also reasonable: I had the cod, which was surprisingly good. Zoe had the beef and was very happy with it, but it looked a little overcooked for my taste. Medium rare is not on the food heater settings. Dessert is always the same for us if available, the Ice Cream Sundae. Construct your own with nuts, butterscotch sauce and whipped cream (calorie free of course) drizzled over Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. There is a nice looking cheese platter available too, but we never seem to order it!!! The wine list is nothing to write home about , but the reds were acceptable. The champagne was rubbish.

The service was very good but not outstanding. And interestingly, with a different FA in each aisle, Zoe felt hers was less remarkable than the service I received.

Overall, a very comfortable flight with good service. Not a bad way to get across the Atlantic pond.

After the 787 First experience BNE-AUH, I was expecting somewhat of a let down on this leg in an A330, J Class. Whilst the hard product was considerably less comfortable, the service and the food was exceptional. The config is 1-2-1 with the window seats in the herringbone style – one angled inwards and the next angled outwards. I don’t have a problem with this, however, the strange open sided footrest allows your feet to drop off when trying to lie flat. In the case of the outward angled seat, this means your feet can fall into the aisle – not great if you’re trying to sleep. Not a true lie fat bed, but reasonably close to it and cushions were comfortable: this was a daytime flight of 8hrs so no sleep was attempted. USB and power points are available, however positioning makes egress from the inwards facing seat difficult if power leads are plugged in, as you have to step over them to get out into the aisle. Not a great deal of storage space, but room for your phone beside you and space for shoes, under the foot rest. The tray table was one I had not seen before this flight, but it was functional enough albeit difficult to get around whilst deployed.

The food on this flight was excellent – nice array of choices and some nice wines to go with it. The usual IFE controls and strangely, the list of titles available far exceeded that available on the BNE-AUH flight.  Overall, a very comfortable flight with great service that seems to be the norm for Etihad.

 

 

 

 

Hi all – I can definitely recommend Etihad’s 787 in First – wonderful trip. 13hrs and we both feel very alert – maybe something to do with the Dreamliners’ internal pressure being set to 6000′. I will break this report into sections for ease of reading,

SEATING/CABIN:

Only 8 seats in First on this aircraft – 1-2-1 config. 1A/K and 2 A/K (1-2-1 config) are both 3 window seats, and with the 787′s large windows, it’s made for those of us that like “looking out”. 1A/K face backwards, 1D/G face forwards. 2 A/K face forwards and 2 D/G face backwards). The centre seats have tall screens between them that can be lowered for couples travelling together and raised for single travellers wanting privacy. The bathrooms are large with a separate fold down seat/tray to put clothes on if you’re getting changed.  Plenty of storage space – under the ottoman for hand bags and small carry on (reasonably shallow), jackets hang in space in edge of seat capsule.
1A/K has a cupboard next to the bulkhead for carry on; 2A/K has no overhead storage or cupboard – staff store it further back. Side screens simply slide to meet in the middle when you want complete privacy.

CONTROLS/IFE

There’s a plethora of controls for the seats, lights and IFE. Touch screen and standard buttons for the seat and touch screen  and buttons on the detachable IFE control. You can also send messages and place calls to other seats.  (if there is one criticism of this flight, the movie selection is pretty poor and finding them not intuitive.) However, you can plug your own device into their system (phone, iPad, laptop, and watch your movies on their screen) – I would recommend you do this if movies are your thing. In flight WIFI (provided by T-Mobile) is available FOC as well. Found it very good with quite acceptable upload speeds. There are 2 USB ports for charging phones, an AC outlet (multi plug type) and a small cooler compartment with 2 bottles of water, a Coke and a lemonade as standard.

MENU – Extensive choice here with any time dining and A la carte menus. Chef introduced himself at the beginning of the flight and made recommendations.  I decided on the Tenderloin beef and it was cooked to medium rare perfection. For dessert the cheese platter complimented  the Bordeaux red I was drinking. There is no Breakfast menu: it is made to order. I had poached eggs with hollandaise sauce.No shortage of choice on the drinks menu either – whether alcoholic or not.

AMENITIES

Eithad supply very nice pyjamas – soft black material. The top has a short zip rather than button up or just pull over type. The pants are standard draw string type. We found them very comfortable. The amenities kit contained LeLabo toiletries, along with the standard eye patches, ear plugs etc. The male kit also contained a shaving kit: a nice touch.

This one one of the best flights we have experienced – superb service, good seating, nice aircraft. It could be best summed up by the fact we were disappointed by the fact we arrived in Abu Dhabi early.

 

The trip from Doha to Paris on Qatar Airways was another memorable one. Aircraft was an A340 – not quite as swish as the 777, but service was again impeccable.  A few days in Paris, including New Years Eve at the gorgeous Intercontinental Le Grand.  Incredibly beautiful city – the history just surrounds you. Never enough time here no matter how long you stay. C’est la Vie.

This is a beautiful airport. We have seen many, but this was impressive. Huge concourses, well laid out, amenities for Kids, adults and shopaholics, all manner of restaurants and shops. The Business Class lounge (Al Mourjan Buisness Lounge)) is, in a word, incredible. Huge in size, two restaurants and nice showers and toilets with plenty of charging points (USB and Multi plug AC outlets, so no adaptors needed) and quiet zones for getting some sleep. Also some cabanas behind one of the restaurants – incredibly quiet and the staff will ask you your flight number so they can wake you for boarding. The level of service is fantastic, staff to passenger ratio is higher than I’ve ever seen anywhere. Must say the only thing missing is the lack of a good viewing area. There is one area you can see part of the runway and watch aircraft come a go, but it’s a far cry from the view at the SYD FLounge. BUT, it is the best Business club I have seen anywhere. I’ll let the following pictures do the rest of the talking.

This is the first time we have flown with QATAR Airways and I have to say I was impressed. The aircraft was a 777-300ER.  J (Business) class was spectacular and the service impeccable. Great menu selection and any amount of nibbles along the way are available upon request. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the crew at any time.  Meal was very nice. Wine selection wasn’t extensive, but what was there was good.  15yr old Glenn Livet wasn’t a bad scotch either. Seats were comfortable and sleeping was easy. Arrival at DOH was a little early and alhtough we were only transiting, we still had to go through security, albeit this was very efficient and 20 mins after disembarking, we were sitting in the club.

 

J Cabin QATAR 777-300ER

 

Leg Room – J Cabin – QATAR 777-300ER

 

J Cabin QATAR 777-300ER Spacing

 

Sparkling Rose (or BRUT) before take off.

 

Huge Screens – touch control or remote in seat

 

Men’s Amenitiy Kit


Ladies Amenity Kit

Sleeping Kit with PJ’s

 

Lamb Shank Main – Delicious

After spending Christmas morning with the family, we headed for BNE for a late lunch at the QF Buiness Lounge. Aircraft for the flight was an a300-200. Crew were great – flight a little early into PER. Bus trip to Int. terminal was a little longer than expected – walking is definitely not an option. A couple of hours in the QF Lounge at Terminal 1 before next sector.

Christmas Day Traffic BNE

Lunch at BNE Qantas Lounge

ng ready for Flight 2.

As I watched my home town drown in a sea of murky brown water this week, it was impossible not to become emotional. Watching story after story of sadness and hardship emerge has to take its’ toll on anybody that has an affinity with any of the affected areas.

This is not the first time I have seen Brisbane swallowed by water – as a teenager I watched the streets fill with water as they made their way inexorably towards Moreton Bay. This time, however, the enormity and scale of the disaster is much, much greater as 75% of my home state, Queensland, has been affected by flood over the past few weeks.

The feeling of helplessness takes over because, despite all mans’ cleverness and ingenuity, there is nothing you can do to stop the water. Nature will take its’ course and the water moves into streets, buildings, houses and lives. And all of them will never be the same again.

As the water rises, spirits fall. Watching a lifetime of work and possessions literally float away is a devastating event and I am fortunate enough to count myself amongst those who have never had to endure that devastation. However, watching friends and fellow Queenslanders suffer that fate, is heartbreaking. And for those who have lost loved ones as a result of this flood, one can only imagine the sadness they are enduring.

Then the water begins to recede and it is now that human spirit comes to the fore. Queenslanders have a very proud heritage of being resilient, ready to stare adversity in the face, roll up their sleeves and get on with the job at hand. News images today prove that nothing has changed.  As the cleanup starts, strangers suddenly become friends and appear out of thin air to help those that have been affected. Thousands of volunteers have arrived ready to work for no reason other than they want to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is the true definition of altruism – do something for someone else expecting nothing in return.

I am eternally grateful that these floods did no more than inconvenience me. My family, some of whom live in Brisbane, are all safe and dry and our home on the Sunshine Coast had no more than a small amount of water enter the garage. During this week, I have paused to realise how fortunate I really am.

We would like to help all those that have been affected and as such, Zoe is anchoring a live video feed bringing entrepreneurs from around Australia and the world in a training webinar fundraiser – “Returning from Adversity – Flood Relief Fundraiser for Entrepreneurs”. The training is online but the live feed will be anchored in Brisbane, and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Red Cross for distribution to those that need it most. This is a great opportunity to help out and participate in some great training. Go to http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=138372796223994 for details and we look forward to sharing a great day and helping those that have endured so much.