Istanbul to Siem Reap

The golden era of Pan-Am and the novelty of transatlantic flights have bitten the dust. Many flights are little more that buses with wings and it’s difficult to rustle up enthusiasm about doing battle with the security lines and squeezing into a cramped seat while the air conditioning blasts your eyelids wide open for the duration of your trip. But our recent Ethiad Airways trip from Istanbul to Siem Reap via Abu Dhabi and Bangkok managed to bring a long-forgotten sense of anticipation to flying again.

We had a long journey ahead of us, but broken into short hops it became extremely bearable. Especially when the flights weren’t fully booked and we ended up being able to move to extra leg-room seats for two of the flights.

It took us nearly a full day (with flight times and layovers) to get from Istanbul to Siem Reap and much as I need to sleep I just couldn’t, but somehow Red manages to always get his head down and recharge his batteries.

Neale Hughes

He stayed still long enough for me to sketch him. I made a personal artistic commitment to myself to do a sketch a day – so I’m off to a great start. (I didn’t quite capture Red’s likeness but I’m pleased with how I captured his coat and eyeshade.

The first leg culminated in a 90-minute layover to Abu Dhabi, which was uneventful. I wasn’t prepared for the cleanliness, order, and aura of deft efficiency throughout the airport, and was pleasantly surprised by the cleanest and best smelling airport toilets I’ve ever had the pleasure of peeing in.

The central departure lounge area has a futuristic edge that wouldn’t look out of place in Las Vegas. I wish we’d had longer to explore, but we were tired and it wasn’t long until boarding time so we headed straight to the gate to wait for the next leg of our journey to Bangkok.

Etihad Airlines

We chose to fly Etihad not because they sponsor Red’s beloved Manchester City, but because they were one of the cheapest and the connections were the most passenger-friendly. It was such a pleasure to fly with them, not just because we snagged some extra legroom at no extra charge, but because the cabin staff were friendly and very helpful. The only blip was that I’d chosen a special meal (Asian Vegetarian) – and I received exactly the same meal twice on the first two legs of our flight. So second time around I gave the meal to Red and I kept my fingers crossed that there was a vegetarian option on the regular menu (there was!)

So I’d definitely fly them again. We only have a one-way ticket so who knows, maybe they’ll be flying us back to Istanbul in a few month’s time.

[bctt tweet=”Two Thumbs Up for #EthiadAirlines from #Istanbul to #Cambodia. Whose your favorite airline? #TravelBlogger ” username=”birdsOAFpress”]

When you fly long-haul – whose you’re favorite airline?