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Old 2nd December 2016, 10:52 AM   #1
9V-SPL
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Default Ethiopian Airlines ADD-SIN-KUL from June 2017

Unfortunately no 5th-freedom rights between SIN and KUL.

Quote:
Addis Ababa – Singapore – Kuala Lumpur Planned service resumption to Singapore from 01JUN17 as nonstop flight remains unchanged, however frequency revised from 7 to 5 weekly. Service will extend to Kuala Lumpur
ET638 ADD0040 – 1450SIN1550 – 1710KUL 788 x26
ET639 KUL2315 – 0035+1SIN0200+1 – 0620+1ADD 788 x26

Overall service for Kuala Lumpur increases from 4 to 5 weekly, with intermediate stop in Singapore, instead of Bangkok. ET does not have local traffic rights for Singapore – Kuala Lumpur sector.
http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/...rom-june-2017/
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Old 19th September 2018, 06:01 PM   #2
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I recently flew Y class SIN-ADD-ZNZ on ET with my family recently, and thought that I'd summarize the experience here (as opposed to writing a full TR).

The good:

- ET's online platform: I booked tickets, selected seats, requested special meals, etc, seamlessly. A better experience that booking online on a major Singapore based carrier. I did not try the online check-in option. I received timely email alerts (including an update on a delayed flight - see below).

- Legroom on the Dreamliner: ET flies the B788s on the SIN-ADD segment. It is the standard 9 abreast seat arrangement, but legroom felt much better than other 787s I've been on (e.g. UA, NH).

- IFE: Decent selection of blockbusters, good selection of kids' movies and games (much better than FI, according to both 259850 Jrs), really good selection of classics (think "Rebel Without a Cause", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", etc). Icing on the cake is a collection of African movies - gave me a chance to sample Nigerian rom-coms. Too bad the Amharic movies were not sub-titled.

- Coffee: Best coffee on Y ever. Served from large thermos pots.

- Lounge in ADD: As a *G, I was given access to the Star Alliance Gold lounge in ADD. At peak times, it was crowded, but food selection was good: both western and Ethiopian options (very good injera and wot). Since I spent a long time there, I observed their cleaning procedures, which was detailed (in contrast to aircraft cleanliness, see below). As an added bonus, they didn't mind letting the kids in (in addition to Mrs 259850, so 4 of us on one person's status).

The OK:

- Onboard service: It varied quite a lot, some crew were more friendly and helpful than the others. But no worse than say my recent experience on PR, CI, CZ, etc.

The bad:

- Onboard catering: On the SIN-ADD leg catered by SATS, food was fine. On other legs, it was barely edible. Surprisingly, no Ethiopian options offered.

- Maintenance of hardware: Seats, etc looked a lot more worn than their age (we flew on aircraft less than 4 years old).

- General cleanliness of aircraft: Toilets could have been cleaner (worse than CI, CZ, etc). I found food wrappers in the seatpocket.

The ugly:

- The transit experience in ADD: Total chaos (except for the lounge experience and free WiFi). On arrival in ADD, I got an email from ET saying our connecting flight to ZNZ was delayed by 4 hours. But the person at the transfer counter disagreed and insisted that it was on-time. It took a long while (almost 1.5 hours) - and the intervention of a supervisor - for them to realize it, and offer us a hotel voucher. But the hotel transfer desk staff were unhelpful, and asked us to wait outside the airport in the parking lot. The hotel shuttle didn't arrive for over an hour (we were finally told by security personnel that roads were closed for "VIP movement" and we should not be waiting there). Mrs 259850 went back into the airport (this requires security screening) to check with the hotel transfer desk, but they just ignored her. We then decided to skip the hotel offer, and spent 6 hours in the lounge waiting for our delayed flight. I admit, "VIP movement" was out of ET's control, but surely the hotel transfer desk personnel could have taken greater interest in our plight. Finally, when our flight was finally ready for boarding, we were told by lounge staff to go to a gate different from the one printed on our boarding passes (and TV screens). But the gate personnel didn't seem to be aware of the change, and didn't want to let us in. It ended with lots of raised voices from passengers - and the gate staff finally relenting to ask a supervisor, who confirmed that we were right. Transit on the way back was no better (except that the flights were on time). The flight to Singapore did not appear on TV screens in the terminal, but lounge staff again came to our rescue and told us where to go. Gate staff were just as rude as before. Again, this is not a complaint. I "enjoyed" the adventure, but just want to warn travelers who'd prefer a less colorful transit experience.

- Hygiene awareness of select flight crew: Random observations: (1) I noticed a flight crew opening food packaging with her teeth. (2) When Mrs 259850 went to ask for water in the galley, a crew asked her to serve herself from a large bottle of water, which was about 2/3rds full; and then, the crew member proceeded to open new large bottle and drink directly from it. (So OK, it may have been her personal bottle, but can we be sure?)
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Old 19th September 2018, 06:06 PM   #3
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I noticed that many (perhaps a majority) passengers on both inbound and outbound flights were flying LOS-KUL. On the way back, only a small number of us got off in SIN. One of our bags chose to stay on board too. Thankfully it was found in KUL, and sent to us on an MI flight the next day.

Makes me wonder why ET doesn't just fly ADD-KUL-SIN.
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Old 20th September 2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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I flew ET via ADD to SIN a few months ago, sounds very similar to my experience!

The first flight to ADD was a Boeing 777-300ER. If you took the 787 and found it worn, imagine what it was like for the 777-300ER which has been in ET's fleet for even longer! The recline was wonky, coffee/food stains on the seat covers, torn fabric exposing the metal frame...I just hoped that the aircraft maintenance was a lot more thorough than it was for the cabin!

The airport transit experience was very disorganized. They directed connecting passengers directly to the boarding lounge which I should not have gone to since I had a long transit (more than 12 hours) and was not going to stay in the airport the entire time. In any case, the boarding gate lounge was separate from the shops and cafes and ET lounges. I was "trapped" in the boarding gate lounge until one of the staff let me cut through the security line backtracking through the body scanner, and I went to the lower level transit counter to get my hotel voucher (since my connection was more than 12 hours, I was entitled to a free room by ET until my next flight, food included).

When it was time for my flight to SIN, there was a gate change, to a common gatehold room on the ground level to be bussed out to remote stands. It was packed, with all gates boarding almost at the same time. The screen for the SIN gate was not functioning so no one really knew if we were at the right location and waiting for the SIN flight, apart from asking one another. There was a lot of waiting, not a lot of information.

On another flight out of ADD, we were all lined up at the gate, minutes before boarding was supposed to begin. I was disappointed since it was scheduled to be an A350 flight but a 777 was at the gate. Suddenly, they announced a gate change. Apparently the initial gate assigned was the wrong. The 777 started pushing back moments later. We were bussed to a remote stand where the A350 was waiting for me

Regarding the onboard food, I was actually quite impressed with portion sizes for some flights. On one of my intra-Africa flights, I had beef steak, and it was actually quite tender and tasty! On other flights, the main dish had big chunks of meat, very substantial and fairly tasty. To SIN though, it was bad. Breakfast consisted of a casserole of beans. No other choices.

ET's SIN flight does seem to have more KUL-bound pax, also wonder why they don't fly to KUL first. Could it be codeshare/interline connections through SQ, which would make a KUL stop more inconvenient for pax?

In conclusion, I feel that ET has big ambitions and potential but execution needs a lot of improvement. I've never flown other airlines in Africa but ET is already supposed to be one of the best!
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Old 20th September 2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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Also, for some reason, our booking for SIN-ADD showed a 0215 departure but at the airport we learned that it was 0200. Good thing we did not miss the flight.
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Old 20th September 2018, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbojet Lover View Post
Also, for some reason, our booking for SIN-ADD showed a 0215 departure but at the airport we learned that it was 0200. Good thing we did not miss the flight.
I had the same experience. I arrived at the airport early though....kids were too excited to sleep.
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Old 20th September 2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbojet Lover View Post
ET's SIN flight does seem to have more KUL-bound pax, also wonder why they don't fly to KUL first. Could it be codeshare/interline connections through SQ, which would make a KUL stop more inconvenient for pax?
Perhaps it is a cost issue. KUL might be cheaper for crew accommodation, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbojet Lover View Post
In conclusion, I feel that ET has big ambitions and potential but execution needs a lot of improvement.
I'd agree. And I don't think it will take much to fix the ADD transit issues - it all boils down to training, and fixing a few screens in the hold area. The airport is crowded, but extension works look almost complete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbojet Lover View Post
I've never flown other airlines in Africa but ET is already supposed to be one of the best!
A well-traveled African I met on this trip ranked ET second to RwandAir. But the latter is much smaller, I suppose.

Anyway, we don't have much of a choice flying to Africa. Flying via DOH and DXB appears a lot more expensive and time-consuming. Flying via JNB only makes sense for a few Southern destinations. I'd easily fly ET again - just need to be better prepared.

Last edited by 259850; 20th September 2018 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 21st September 2018, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 259850 View Post
I had the same experience. I arrived at the airport early though....kids were too excited to sleep.
We were actually late and cutting it close for checking-in for (what we thought) a 0215 flight. Fortunately there was still someone checking-in at a sole the Business Class counter. We arrived at the gate at 0140 and there was still a security line that snaked out of the gate.

I wouldn't mind flying ET again but I would not go out of my way to fly them.
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Old 24th September 2018, 06:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 259850 View Post

Anyway, we don't have much of a choice flying to Africa. Flying via DOH and DXB appears a lot more expensive and time-consuming. Flying via JNB only makes sense for a few Southern destinations. I'd easily fly ET again - just need to be better prepared.

How about via IST?
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Old 25th September 2018, 11:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by lingua101 View Post
How about via IST?
Yes. LHR, CDG and FRA also have good connections to Africa. But ET/ADD has the most frequent flight connections to major African cities, and the best flight schedules for connections to/from SIN, minimizing transit and flying times. ET is also substantially cheaper.
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