Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine: Dubai - Addis Ababa

by DariusTR

Airline: Ethiopian Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Class: Business / Cloud Nine
Route: Dubai - Addis Ababa
Date: November 2010

Check-in was in DXB Terminal 1. Long queues in front of the security checks, average check-in at one of the 4 desks (1 for Business “Cloud Nine”, 1 for “Silver/Gold” and 2 for Economy). Took quite long, because they needed to check the credit card I had used for the booking. A really unnecessary procedure that took more than 10 minutes. Passport control and security checks were empty, so I could quickly head to the departure Level and the Plaza Lounge. I was really impressed, because the lounge was exactly next to the departure gate. The Lounge is nothing to write home about, lots of food and drinks, but the quality of the warm and cold dishes was really poor: hot food was overcooked, biscuits, salad and Danish pastries were quite old and hard ! Disgusting ! WiFi was for free. The staff in the lounge was neither friendly nor courteous to the guests. I just had a coffee and some snacks there and went to the gate for immediate boarding.

I was welcomed by a flight attendant in a traditional Ethiopian dress and was escorted to my seat. This B767-300ER was quite old, but kept in average shape, although the Business Cabin needs to be refurbished, because of the not properly working entertainment system and the very old, not fully operating seats. I had to change the seat 3 times, as the other two seats were broken. This was no problem as there were only 5 passengers in the Business Cabin. The toilets were always clean, here you could see the former owner of this aircraft: KLM.

Welcome drinks were quickly served after boarding. Champagne, juice and water. The menu, headphones and an amenity kit were handed out. After take-off, a drink and some snacks were served.
The meal was served on a tray, although cheese and dessert was on a trolley service. The quality of the food was quite good, especially the appetizers were quite delicious.

Cabin crew were friendly and did a good job, although I would have preferred them to ask more if everything was all right, or if I would have liked to have another cup of tea etc. The captain made his announcements 3 times and he was able to speak really good English. Cabin crew spoke good English, too.
Although the departure from Dubai was late, we had an on time arrival in Addis Ababa. Business Class disembarked first and was taken to the terminal in a separate bus.

All in all a good experience. If ET refurbishes the Business Cabin they will have a good product. The aircraft on the DXB-ADD route will be replaced by a new B777 in a few weeks, so this will be a great experience to travel from DXB via ADD to FRA.

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