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As a Brit having lived in Ethiopia and flying ET almost exclusively for 3 years, and now currently living in SA, I would avoid flying ET at any cost unless there were no other options. Hygiene is an issue with their food, as I had gotten sick so often with the food after the first month of flying with them that I refused to eat anything that was served on board except for crackers. The FA’s would get annoyed that I would not partake in the meal service and have demanded reasons for not eating at which I could not tell the truth. Their cabins are not well maintained and their bathrooms are the filthiest I have encountered with any major airline. While ADD is better than a lot of African airports, I would not transit it if at all possible and head direct to any European airport instead from JNB, although CDG is a nightmare to transit through as others have mentioned.
I concur with KSHaggag above and prefer flying LH or BA to Europe as they have better products in the sky. LH’s Premium Economy class seats have no equal, IMO, and fly them almost exclusively whenever I head to Europe.
SAA provides an OK product without direct flights to DUB. Their food is safe and quite good. They do fly older generation A330’s and A340’s, which translates to their eco and biz class seats being not as comfortable as LH, BA, or TK IMO.
TK through IST is another route I have taken. Connections through IST can be challenging depending on your final destination, but their *A Gold lounge is the best lounge anywhere. Turkey is having major issues right now, so that has to be considered in light of recent events, but that is just about anywhere as well.27 Mar 2016
Flight_doc1 ,I do endorse your approach fully .Well,in other words you have said it bluntly ,what I was embarrassed to tell .Yes ,I was not feeling ok with ET for those reasons mentioned .
Add to this ,the cabin crew were never neatly groomed ;there is no comparison between ET and KQ ( Kenya Airways ) for example when it comes to grooming !!..
ET is gaining a lot of propaganda but that is just about growing their network and buying new aircraft ,however that is not the whole story about a reliable airline with which you feel safe and ok .Being the fastest growing in Africa does not inspire me much ,if at all …
I am happy you have raised the fact that LH s Premium Eco is indeed a good product ;it does compare favourably in the Premium Economy Arena really ….
I would suggest that Stainforth do more research and include LH in his exploration ,looking for the best airfare around .It pays off to go for a reliable product on the long run .
TK is good in the air ( better food and good IFE ) but their crew members need to learn the verb ” to smile “.Their hub is often chaotic and mostly overcrowded .
Iberia is launching JNB soon and I am confident they will be ready to deal and wheel in the beginning to fill their flights ;you can check them out ;they do fly to Dublin I presume .
Good luck and enjoy selecting the best around !27 Mar 2016
Whilst my experience with ET is limited to just a few flight ex JNB, I’ve never had any problems. My university also uses them frequently for Academic Travel into Africa, including JNB with 24 students a time twice a year in economy. Including Malawi, Tanzania etc we probably book about 150 trips a year We have never had any complaints or problems on any of the flights or transits.28 Mar 2016
Emirates and Etihad do .The point here is it seems that ET and AF had the ultimate connections and fares ,etc…
My advice would be that if LH fares in Eco are reasonably within the set budget ,then go for it especially that there is a chance to upgrade the longhaul to Premium Eco for a small surcharge (online) .29 Mar 2016
I have fond memories of flying ET to Addis in business and ordering a gin and tonic. The flight attendant solemnly filled a large tumbler up with gin and gave me a can of tonic. it lasted all flight…29 Mar 2016
Although I have never flown ET, I have been to Addis Ababa and can’t imagine the transfer will be too painful as long as it’s not a long stopover.
The same applies to CDG, which I know much better. It’s not such a bad airport to make a connection, contrary to what many posters say!
Overall I would go for the best connecting times which suit you best.31 Mar 2016
CDG is not ((generally )) a pleasant airport BUT the AF hub in T2 E,F is ok .It is the best that CDG has to boast .
T2E reflects the best about CDG .2F comes next .With AF ,you sometimes fall on nice crew members ( it happened to me a lot of times frankly ) ,oherwise they are just uninspiring or tasteless ( careless ) .
By all means ,I would feel safer and more at ease with AF rather than with ET and this has NOTHING to do with the fact that ET lies in Africa because KQ ( Kenya Airways )and SA ( South African Airways ) are truly world class but they are not being funded to buy such a big fleet …31 Mar 2016