While Etihad is nothing short of spectacular in many ways, it does not measure up to Qatar Airways on intra-Gulf flights.
We departed from a remote stand, meaning a long bus ride from the gate to the aircraft.
Etihad Airways 371
Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Bahrain (BAH)
Friday, June 03
Depart: 08:30 AM
Arrive: 08:45 AM
Duration: 01hr, 15min
Distance: 281 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Seat: 3F (Business Class)
Etihad’s A319s offer four rows of 2-2 seating in business class. Recline is better than a typical domestic U.S. first class seat and the seatback pockets have three compartments for easy storage of sunglasses and passport. The seats also include a legrest and footrest.
A full IFE library is also offered with noise-canceling headphones. The seat was provisioned with power outlets in the center console, but they were turned off for the duration of the flight (and the flight was so short I did not bother to ask about them).
Service shined and the cheerful FA greeted each passengers and offered business class passengers a pre-departure beverage and cold towel.
What disappointed me was the meal service. While any meal is an impressive gesture on a 45-minute flight, Etihad served a cold croissant sandwich, cold muffin, and cold pastry. All three were stale…no exaggeration. Why bother to serve something if you are going to serve something stale? Qatar Airways would have offered a hot breakfast on a flight of similar length. At least the fruit was fresh.
We landed on-time in Bahrain.
In fairness, the service received on a 281-mile flight was pretty darn impressive. But Qatar and Gulf Air do better on regional flights.