Time to leave had unfortunately come all too quickly. After a last morning spent enjoying our idyllic resort, we packed our stuff and drove our rental through the scenic road that from the hotel led us to the airport. After returning the car we proceeded to check-in for our Air Seychelles flight to Mahe, that today as well would be operated by Etihad.
Check-in was somewhat busy, but didn’t take long. Security took longer, as the line was not too quick to clear.
We made our way to the Air Mauritius lounge, which is the only lounge in the airport. This is split into two levels – a ground floor for Priority Pass guests and an upper floor for business class and frequent flyer elites.
The lounge was busy when we visited, but not overly so. It was rather large, with many seating areas but not too many sofas/armchairs. Décor was nothing to tell home about, but overall it was a perfectly acceptable lounge.
It had a bar with proper bartender – he could mix drinks (including local ones) and there was proper champagne – and an extensive food selection that ranged from curries to sandwiches to pasta to desserts. Food quality was decent.
Around thirty minutes before departure we made our way to the gate. People were already lining up to board, but the business class lane was empty. We were the first ones to board, and we took our seats in the large Etihad cabin. To our surprise, the cabin was empty, although a pilot eventually took one of the seats and a customers was upgraded from economy class. While I like personalized service, I must admit that I do not like too much attention, and so I was glad that other passengers showed up.
Our flight attendant was Italian, so it was easier than usual to get good service. Hard and soft products were the same as our prior leg, so I won’t digress too much on it. This time we got dinner instead of lunch, and food was overall good.
Once we landed in Mahe we made our way through the connections gate, picked up our boarding card, and made our way to the lounge. After fifteen minutes it was time to go, and this time we walked our way to a proper Air Seychelles plane (finally!).
HM uses an Airbus A321 between Mahe and Abu Dhabi, in full livery (which is beautiful, by the way). The cabin consisted of four rows on business class, and only one seat was occupied besides ours.
Our flight attendant was a young Seychellois, a took very good care of us. He was clearly proud of being working for his national carrier – bear in mind this is a tiny airline and not many people get to fly internationally.
The plane had recliners with footrest, and were overall perfectly acceptable for a five hours flight. There was a smallish tray in one armrest, and a TV screen in the other. The TV was loaded with Etihad’s E-Box selection, which ensured good quality.
The flight attendant handed us menus and an amenity kit. Unfortunately I did not keep both, and did not take any photos either. Drinks selection was the same as on our previous flights on HM, while the amenity kit was basic but good enough for the length of this flight.
Service was very good and – as you might expect given the light loads – personalized. Dinner ended up being tasty.
We started with a goat cheese and beets appetizer, which was very good and served with cassava.
As main, I had the chicken curry, which I really enjoyed. Thuy wasn’t a big fan of creole cuisine, but I thought it was real nice – a good take on traditional Indian flavors.
Thuy had the pasta, served with a creamy mushroom sauce. She thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next was some cheese…
And then a delightful opera chocolate cake which ended a very good meal.
After taking a nap, we were ready to land in Abu Dhabi (around 1am). The lights of the city are always a nice contrast with the blackness of the desert, and I was excited that this was Thuy’s first time in the region!
We stayed at the airport hotel – a bargain at $60 per night. It was nothing luxurious, but it was clean.