The Abu Dhabi airport was great, with beautiful architecture, many computers with free internet and a brand new, expansive terminal. As expected, the capital of the UAE didn’t fail to impress; there were numerous showrooms with flashy cars on display, quality souvenir shops, lounges, a hotel built right into the terminal, cafes, TVs and recliners in the waiting room, and lots of carpeted floors that are comfortable enough to sleep on in case of a long wait!
The seats in economy class weren’t leather. The aisles were quite narrow. Each seat comes with a pillow and a blanket. After takeoff everyone was provided with pre-packaged earphones for the onboard multimedia system. Each seat also comes with a 110 V outlet.
The entertainment system is touchscreen enabled, or it can be controlled with the remote.
The remote control for the entertainment system doubled as a video game controller and a payphone for long-distance calls (aptly called “Ground Calls”). The back has a slot for reading credit cards, allowing you to simply slide your card, authorize the payment and place the call. Convenient, but expensive at $6 a minute! The system’s database even had movies in Russian. Before takeoff, the safety instructions were displayed on the screen rather than having flight attendants go through the procedures. Just below the screen is a handy cup holder you can use without having to open your table.
The tables themselves have a very interesting design. They basically have three useable positions. When the table is folded up you get access to a cup holder located on its underside. The table itself is folded in two when you deploy it, which is handy if you want to balance water, coffee or small items. Thirdly, you can open it up to its full size for the meal.
Lots of snacks were offered during the flight. The attendants were very friendly, polite and courteous; if you requested anything, they gave it to you with a smile, asked if you needed anything else, offered re-fills. Service is great. Interestingly, not all of the attendants were from the Emirates. I even overheard two of them having a conversation in English.
The terminal of the new airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
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