I have never cared much for flying for a number of reasons, all of which I’ve dealt with in previous articles. However, my dislike for flying doesn’t take away the necessity of it. Today therefore, I find myself at Brussels Airport for the sixth time this year, waiting for my flight to depart destined for Abu Dhabi.

My flight is operated by Etihad, an airline whose existence I was unaware of until January this year, when I flew with them for the first time. The first time I heard the name mentioned was by a clerk at Widerøe’s ticket office at Oslo Airport who enthusiastically declared that my flight was not, in fact, operated by Brussels Airlines, as I had thought, but by this fantastic luxury airline where the customers were not named passengers – rather they were named, and cared for as guests.

I was immediately sceptical; a feeling which was further strengthened when I sat down in my seat and found that they had managed to mount an entire remote control on the inside of the armrest, resulting in my thigh constantly pressing random keys, more often than not calling on the cabin attendant as a result. However, as I removed the remote control from it’s armrest socket and put it on my knee things took a definite turn for the better.

Now, having flown with Etihad on five occasions I am looking forward to the experience; I am looking forward to my seat; I am looking forward to the in-flight entertainment system (which is available for every seat in every seating class); I am looking forward to the pleasant cabin personell – and – I am even looking forward to the food.

Antoher of Etihad’s treats of is the good mood of it’s employees. Office staff, ground crew and flight crew have been remarkably happy and helpful in all my dealings with them. I asked a guy whether they were extremely well-paid or if there was some other explanatio for their constant cheerfulness. To this he replied that they were all people who had left established airlines and who wished to achieve something more, something different, in a new company. Then he gave me a more spacious seat.

Go fly Etihad!