Route: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Guangzhou Baiyun Airport
Departure date and time of flight: 14:00pm on the 8th October 2010
Flight Number: ET606
Flight duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Class: Economy Class
Aircraft type: Boeing 767-300ER
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight departed on time and landed around 10 minutes early.
Any baggage issues:
No issues- the bags arrived on time and in one piece. I noticed that after we landed at Guangzhou airport, the Chinese Police and customs only stopped and searched passengers who appeared to be of African origin. They did not stop any non-black passengers. Though I was not surprised by the sheer open discrimination of the Chinese- as this is common in China.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
At Bangkok I was one of the only 5 passengers checking in for this flight. The check-in staff were Thai, and there was no Ethiopian logos to be seen anywhere. This flight was coming in from Addis Ababa and was going to continue onto Guangzhou. The stopover time at Bangkok was for an hour.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Choice of drinks (standard- tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade or coca cola), and a bottle of Merlot (red wine), was offered.
Comments regarding the first meal:
Lunch was served around an hour after take off somewhere over Laos. A choice of fish or chicken was offered. The food was fresh. Ethiopian airlines actually feed you like there is no tomorrow- and for an airline of a country where the economy is not doing as well as it should, this is a great compliment.
The fish was served with fresh vegetables blended neatly with a sweet and sour sauce red and green pepper curry. A lovely salad dish accompanied the meal that also contained a soft bun. It was a sheer delight to see cream crackers and soft cheese on this flight and to eat lunch somewhere over Laos was also nice. The highlight of the meal has to be the delicious tiramisu dish- perfect and no complaints for this whatsoever. The cabin crew in Business Class were nice to offer me a another helping of the tiramisu dish.
Ethiopian branded salt and pepper were offered, as well as Ethiopian branded napkins. This is what you want when you fly with a national flag carrier- you want some authentic service from that country, and you want to be able to feel the culture, the hospitality and food of that country. Ethiopian certainly displays this.
I was pleased with the food. It is better, if not the same, as some of the fully scheduled European airlines in service.
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks was offered after the meal- this included the complimentary bottle of Merlot. The juice was a brand from Thailand- I suppose freshly loaded in at Bangkok.
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any): None
Comments regarding the second meal (if any): None
Comments on the in-flight system (if any):
In this 767-300ER there was no in-flight entertainment system at the back of each seat. Instead there was a large TV screen at the front of each cabin.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The cabin crew were very friendly, however they could be given more training on some aspects of aviation. All the cabin crew were native Ethiopian and spoke excellent English. If anything the friendly service of the cabin crew is an excellent indication of how welcoming is the culture of the country. Ethiopian really strives to achieve its best and the positive and friendly attitude of the cabin crew really demonstrates this. I was pleased.
However, I noticed that as we landed at Guangzhou, passengers started getting up and taking their luggage from the overhead compartments as the plane was still taxiing to the gate. None of the cabin crew stopped the passengers to stop, there was no announcement from the Captain either, and nobody was told to sit down until the aircraft had come to a complete stop. Most of the passengers who got up before the aircraft came to a standstill were mainland Chinese people, and some were African too. I have taken a photo of this moment on my camera and is shown in this article. The mainland Chinese passengers also started using their mobile phones and loudly could be heard saying “Wei, Wei Ni Hao!” (Hello, Hello, how are you?!”
Improvements that could be made:
Perhaps Ethiopian should have native Ethiopian staff members manning the check-in desks at Bangkok Airport, and even better perhaps they should consider providing baggage tags and boarding passes with the Ethiopian logo. Perhaps Ethiopian Airlines should serve stainless steel cutlery in both cabins (Economy and Business Class) and not just in Business Class. For the next generation of new aircraft that Ethiopian is ordering, they should consider having IFE at the back of every seat.
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
Despite having an 767-300ER, the aircraft interior was not that clean, and was full except in Business Class. When I entered the aircraft, I was welcomed with a sight of tired passengers, and some unpleasant smell in the cabin. One would expect this from a plane that had come in fresh from a different climate, different culture and with different style of passengers.
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best):
6 (the interior let it down- otherwise for the food I would give 10/10)
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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