Previous posts in this around-the-world journey:
The most noteworthy part of the trip from the Park Hyatt Maldives back to Male (MLE) was the speedboat ride to the airport at Koodoo. The ride was rough. The speedboat powered through the waves sending showers of spray as the boat pitched up and slammed back into the water.
I was glad when we docked at Koodoo and took a golf cart to the terminal. A hotel rep made sure I got checked in and cleared security.
The flight to MLE was on another Maldivian Dash 8.
Another Hyatt rep met me at the domestic terminal. He escorted me to the international terminal for check in for the Ethiad flight to Abu Dhabi (AUH). The Park Hyatt Maldives and for that matter the Sheraton Full Moon Resort did an excellent job of arranging and coordinating my transportation in the Maldives.
After clearing security I went to the lounge Ethiad uses for its business-class passengers. This lounge is located near the shopping area at the MLE international terminal.
The Leeli Lounge is nothing spectacular like the Ethiad first class lounge that I would be visiting after this flight. Still it is a solid business lounge with decent food and beverages, a quiet and comfortable atmosphere, wifi, plenty of electrical outlets, and agents who can help with flight issues.
For those not flying first or business class, there are two Priority Pass lounges at MLE as well.
Ethiad A320-200 to AUH
This was the same type of aircraft that I came to the Maldives on. This flight, though, would let me experience a dinner service.
The flight boarded from a bus gate.
Bus gates are not as convenient as boarding through a jet bridge. On the other hand, riding a bus on the tarmac and boarding via air stairs provides an interesting view of airport operations and the plane I will be on.
The Ethiad A320-200 has 16 business-class seats in a 2-2 arrangement.
The seat controls and video remote are built into the armrests. The tray table is stored in the arm rest. Personal video screens fold up from the center console that also is the location for a/c and USB power for each seat. These seats also come with noise-cancelling headsets. While I prefer all-aisle-access seats, these seats are perfectly acceptable for shorter international flights.
Before takeoff, the flight attendants served pre-departure beverages.
After takeoff, the dinner menu was handed out.
I followed the advice of the Ethiad flight attendant who was my seatmate on the flight to the Maldives and had the lamb.
I had no complaints about beverages, the meal, or the service from the flight attendants.
The flight arrived in AUH slightly ahead of schedule after three hours and 40 minutes at 10:15 p.m.
WE deplaned at a remote stand and were bused to the terminal.
I was looking forward to visiting the new Ethiad first class lounge. That review will be the next post.