I’m pleased to report that my connecting Ethiopian 787 flight from Addis Ababa to Bangkok featured Ethiopian’s new fully lie-flat beds. But did it lead to a restful flight?
The flight departed from a remote stand and bus boarding was a free-for-all, with passengers pushing and shoving to get onboard and no separate line for business class.
Onboard, two flight crew members were already seated in business. Eventually, five seats would be occupied by crew (male FAs and pilots). The Ethiopian Bangkok flight continues on to Manila, so this appeared to be part of the crew for the second leg.
The lie-flat seats are what you find throughout much of the United Airlines longhaul fleet as well as American Airlines’ A321Ts (also on Saudia, Qatar, Aeroflot, and others). There is no direct-aisle access for window seats, but the seat is comfortable in all positions.
The flight departed on schedule at 11:55p. After takeoff, a “light” dinner was served. It was actually a full meal service, with the choice to have delivered course-by-course or on a single tray. I opted for tray service to try to maximize sleeping.
Dinner included a rice-based salad topped in arugula, a main course of salmon with asparagus and corn on the cob, and a chocolate brownie. It tasted fine, but not great.
Another Sleepless Flight
The crew—annoyingly—left the lights on for the entire flight. I don’t know why, but I was so jetlagged it did not contribute to my restlessness. I tried for hours to sleep and once again managed zero shuteye. And I wasn’t very productive, either – I did not even pass the time watching movies – I just laid there, wide-awake.
Due to the 1pm arrival time in Bangkok, lunch was served prior to landing. All three choices were not particularly appealing and I just picked at my lamb. And what is with these rice salads?
But there was more Ethiopian food! Seems like the selection is the same on every flight. Call me stupid, but I figured I would test out and see if I got sick again eating it.
I didn’t. It was delicious.
We landed 30 minutes early in Bangkok. A representative was waiting just past the jet bridge to hand business class passengers a “Premium Lane” voucher for passport control.
A full review is coming, but I am glad the trip is over. After three flights on Ethiopian, I can make these observations: service is good, you have no idea whether you are getting an old or new business class seat, and the 787 aircraft is clean and safe.
Not sure what’s in your kit but I travel around the world non-stop and completely rely on good quality eye shades (the ones with a bubble that don’t touch your eyelids and block out almost all light). I even carry a backup if their lost or wear out. Eye shades in Amenity kits go right in the garbage along the Amenity Kit (I keep the toothbrush). Also a high quality compressible camping pillow (I use a Nemo Fillo) for use in economy (against the window), business or hotels with crap pillows.
I must say also, after years of traveling non-stop I really could care less if I’m in business or some sort of good pitch economy where I have leg room. I sleep exactly the same. Putting the airline pillow under me in muti-hour Economy to keep from losing circulation in my legs from the airline seat. Lie flat seats are actually maybe the worst because they seem to be designed for women or short men (5’10” or less).
I’m over 40 and can sleep well in an emergency wherever I’m stuck — airport terminals, jungles or even Marriotts. If you’re so uncomfortable sleeping outside of a comfy bed and you want to travel this much, you definitely need to improve your sleeping skills and get a kit of devices that help you find comfort anywhere. Maybe you need to book some longhauls in E+ and do a trial by fire.
There is something familiar about the looks of the lamb dish…