Etihad Regional Economy Review Doha, Qatar to Abu Dhabi, UAE or ‘Sir – may I see your boarding pass again? and again? and again…’
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The short hop from Doha to Abu Dhabi commands high fares – I could not find fares under $250 for my dates, so I used Etihad Guest points. It's a rather good deal at ~7,000 points and $10.
DOH Airport is dominated by Qatar – the only other airlines I saw that afternoon were Etihad, Emirates and Air Arabia.
Flying on Etihad meant that access to the Qatar Business lounges was off the table.
The old Doha Airport had an Oryx Lounge with access for Priority Pass, but the lounge lady told me in stark words, "… not finished yet".
OK then, no lounges for me. The food court and duty-free area are brand new and moderately-priced. That did the trick for me.
Annoying for such a major airport development are the few immigration counters. I waited about half an hour on a (random?) afternoon. I bet there are times with no lines, but when you build a new terminal (that is barely at capacity now), this seems foolish to me.
Since immigration is so slow, the security check behind it is thankfully quick.
But one theme kept coming up – the incessant boarding pass checks. When entering the line for immigration, it is checked twice (?!) and of course the immigration agent checks it as well.
Then at the gate, it is checked again twice (at different times and points) and of course then again when you enter the aircraft.
Also, Etihad announced boarding at 5PM – of course no gate agent showed up before 5.20 and boarding actually commenced at 5.45 – a full 45 minutes late – with no announcements.
Since boarding was so late, our takeoff was late and so was the arrival in Abu Dhabi – not a major delay, but Etihad had set the expectations so high.
The flight was just 45 minutes in the air – a sandwich was served and water was distributed.
Thankfully, Abu Dhabi Airport showed its brightest side – no immigration lines and my bag came out right away.
Did you know that Etihad has a FREE shuttle bus to Dubai (Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Ain)? All you need to do is walk out of Arrivals, find the Etihad Shuttle Bus and show your boarding pass. You can make a reservation as well, but buses go every 15-30 minutes.
The bus is new and comfortable and you will be served a snack and water.
I landed at 8.15PM and was in Dubai by 10.15PM – not too bad.
Book your flight on Etihad here.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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