The Ethiopian Business JNB ADD Flight Review is part of the South America & Africa Points Heist Trip Report.
Move over Frontier. Out of the way Allegiant. There may be a new winner for worst flight experience. This flight makes Air France from DTW-CDG in coach look half decent. The flight I am writing about is the one from JNB-ADD in Cloud Nine (Ethiopian’s nickname for its business class) aboard a Boeing 737.
Boeing 737s in General
I detest flying business in a 737. I hate those fat recliner chairs that barely recline as much as I dislike the people who glare at me when I fly coach domestic and have to walk through the 737 ‘first class cabin’ on the way to my seat. Comfort plus seats are more comfortable, so please spare me the upgrade and the dirty looks.
I could not believe that Ethiopian uses a 737 for the 5.5 hour journey from JNB to ADD. This is an international flight to their hub from one of the busiest airports in Africa. SAA uses an A330 with lie flat seats to and from Victoria Falls to JNB, and that flight is only one hour long.
I’m not a fan of music when I’m boarding a plane, whether it be Kenny G or YG. On Ethiopian Airlines’ red-eye flight, there was music that I could not recognize that was played at an inappropriate volume.
The hard product was terrible but the service was great. They offered pre- flight champagne and fresh orange juice.
The amenities kit didn’t contain anything special, but I did keep the bag as a case for my mouse.
I asked the flight attendant if the plane had TVs. She said yes and pointed to the ceiling. When the monitors popped down for the safety video, I realized that this was going to be an old school flight where movies are played for the community and individuals do not have a choice.
Speaking of movies, Ethiopian must have the longest safety video next to Malaysian Airlines. Like my complaining, the safety video never ends. I learned that I can use my laptop, but I cannot use my printer while on the plane.
I was too tired to eat and too grumpy to keep my eyes open. I didn’t eat any of the food or have any drinks. Thus, there are no photos of miniature salt and pepper shakers.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not find a comfortable position to sleep. All I could do was reminisce about my SAA seat and hope I would wake up to the sound of the pilot saying we were beginning our descent. The good thing about coach is being crammed into a tiny space which forms a cocoon of comfort. That sardine feeling is much better than almost reclining, almost being able to put your feet up, almost being able to lean against the window. The constricted space in Peasant Class lends itself well to my Kama Sutra of Surviving an Endless Flight, which, incidentally, also was aboard Ethiopian Airlines. This crap 737 seat did not.
This was the worst flight I have ever taken. When I fly Allegiant or Frontier, I know what I’m getting myself into. When I fly business domestic, I don’t expect anything more than old leather seats that barely recline and flight attendants who may come around once. But, when I’m supposed to be on Cloud Nine, I envision blankets and pillows, not angled seats and outdated videos.