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to worry about flying Ethiopian Airlines?

(27 Posts)
Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 13:24:59

I have a choice between a straight forward direct overnighter with Ethiopian. or a 24-hour monster with Lufthansa. I'm not a good flier. and yes I know I'm more likely to get smashed to bits on the motorway etc etc. My head knows that but my heart (already half way up my throat and going ten-to-the-dozen just thinking about this) doesn't appear to.less of aibu more of a wwyd?

Rosa Tue 11-Oct-11 13:28:33

It it was me Lufthansa....

worraliberty Tue 11-Oct-11 13:28:43

Well I've never flown with either so I have no experience.

Is there much difference between the two?

TanteRose Tue 11-Oct-11 13:32:07

sorry, but go with Lufthansa

don't want to link to airline safety rankings as it would scare you shock

Bunbaker Tue 11-Oct-11 13:33:10

OH is a regular flier with Lufthansa and really rates them.

Where are you flying to?

Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 13:34:58

flying to Addis.

there is another possibility - lufthansa from Heathrow - but that would entail getting to Heathrow for about 6.30 am.

Balsam Tue 11-Oct-11 13:35:50

Perhaps Google their safety stats? If you don't like what you see, go with Lufthansa.

I'm not a good flier either and I would pick Lufthansa. Not because I think anything would happen on the other but just to avoid the extra worrying beforehand.

grovel Tue 11-Oct-11 13:39:55

The food's rubbish on Ethiopian.

SuchProspects Tue 11-Oct-11 13:43:23

Back in the day, when I was much younger and skinter than I am now I flew Philippine Airways to Australia because it was nearly half the cost of any other ticket. It was awful. The plane was delayed and became further delayed at every stop. They paid no attention to the non-smoking section (yes, that long agosmile ) so we were surrounded by thick cigarette smoke for the whole flight. We were left sitting on the runway in the UAE without air conditioning or water for 5 hours. On one leg the electrics didn't work in our block of seats after liquid poured down from the overhead lockers. On another leg the oxygen masks randomly came down in another section of seats. Two of our landings were a bit hairy with the plane skewing over to the side of the runway despite what seemed to be perfectly fine landing conditions. We got no sleep.

I doubt our lives were significantly more at risk though and I'm sure I've risked my life to a greater extent for less money in many of the things I did when I was younger. But just for comfort's sake I don't go with cheap airlines now if I can avoid it. But I have no idea what Ethiopian Airines are like. So YMightBU.

wideawakenurse Tue 11-Oct-11 13:49:43

Lufthansa - vair good.

FreckledLeopard Tue 11-Oct-11 13:51:25

I think Ethiopian Airlines' safety record was pretty ok, with the only incident being when an aircraft was hijacked a number of years ago, they ran out of fuel and it ditched in the sea with a large loss of life. Other than that, though, I think the overall safety is much like other airlines.

elfiro Tue 11-Oct-11 13:58:31

If they are allowed to fly into the EU their safety standard must be ok.

eurochick Tue 11-Oct-11 14:00:31

If you are flying from a European airport, you should be fine. My understanding is that in order to fly into European airports, they have to meet European safety standards. With airlines with poor safety records it tends to be the local flights that are iffy.

We had a similar dilemma a few years ago about flights to Cuba. The options were Cubana or Virgin (with a fair difference in price). I read that Cubana had a terrible safety record so stumped up for the Virgin flights. Later I learned what I mentioned above and found out that Cubana's long haul aircraft are usually ex-Thai or Malaysian planes in good shape. The problem is the old Russian stuff they fly around the island and on short hops over to South America. When we got there we found we had two internal transfer flights... on Cubana. There were bits falling off the insides of the planes and they were ancient. I am not a nervous flyer but I wasn't happy!

Flying from Europe you should be just fine from a safety point of view. (although the plane might not be shiny and new).

Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 14:03:23

Freckled - you are right - (except that you miss the crash they had last year over the med) but on the whole their record is good - second only to South African among the AFrican airlines. so I know I'm being irrational. (especially as I have, in teh past taken internal flights on Yemen Airlines (when I was young, rash, childfree) and as later this year I'm flying Zimbabwe airlines having failed to persuade dh we should drive 600 miles.)

I have potential light though - the 24 hour monster is premised on me leaving manchester the evening before, flying to hamburg, spending several hours in hamburg airport, before flying onto Frankfurt to get the lunchtime flight to Addis. I've pointed out to teh agency that I could in fact fly direct to Franfurt in the morning. no idea why they didn't think of that. just put my departure date into their computer and didn;t actually apply any common sense I think

HerScaryness Tue 11-Oct-11 14:05:33

Sheeet, I wouldn't fly EgyptAir after a couple of their flights (and they are maintained in Denmark IIRC, forced to after one too many crashes)

Would I personally fly on Ethiopian?

Never in a MILLION years NO.

If I were you, I'd go for the Lufthansa flight, get a hotel near the airport the night before if you are catching a 6.30am flight.

Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 14:06:33

and I know the thing about fying from EU etc. I know I know (but my heart's stil going...)

tbh the scariest flight I took was an internal one with Egypt. the pilot changes his mind about landing atthe last minute (camel on teh runway or something) and gawd that was scary. A friend of mine who works in the industry laughed her socks off when I told her - she said that Egypt Air is the one airline she sould never fly with (internally)

cookcleanerchaufferetc Tue 11-Oct-11 14:08:33

Ethiopian airlines are owned by the government, so I would be concerned about the quality of their planes and servicing. I would prefer an early LHR flight or long Lufthansa flight.

DMCWelshCakes Tue 11-Oct-11 14:08:34

In order for an aircraft to fly into UK airports it must meet UK safety standards. So although there may be differences in food/decor/in-flight entertainment between different carriers, they all have to adhere to the same regulations. The problems arise on internal flights in less regulated countries, not on the international flagship airlines.

Working at LHR I see Ethiopian planes flying over my head every day. They have lovely big Boeings which are nice & shiny, not a crate with wings tied on. smile

You'll be fine whichever one you choose.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 11-Oct-11 14:09:35

I think the only airline I wouldn't fly with again is Laos air.
We've been on the national carriers of many different countries, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Oman etc.
Laos is the only one that scared me so much I refused to return and went back using Thai and a 8 hour road trip.

lesley33 Tue 11-Oct-11 14:21:59

Agree that if they fly into Europe they should be fine. Airlines with terrible safety standards are banned from Europe.

As I understand it, whilst some African countries have appalling safety records for their aircraft, Ethiopian airlines have a good safety record. I don't know about the comfort level provided by their planes though.

I flew with China's airlines and their staff and safety is good. The plane wasn't up to date in terms of screens on seat backs for example, but the food and drink was very good - with unlimited free alcohol in economy. So it depends on whether you are happy to put up with possible lower standards in entertainment and comfort (although they may be good) for a lower priced ticket. It si worth googling your route as some airlines use up to date planes in some routes and older planes which are still safe but with lower comfort standards on other routes.

I agree that internal flights can be where the real problems are as safety standards can be very poor.

niceguy2 Tue 11-Oct-11 14:26:02

In order for an aircraft to fly into UK airports it must meet UK safety standards.

Agree. I fly quite frequently and safety wise I don't have any real concerns.

However, comfort-wise there's a huge variation. For that alone I'd recommend flying with Lufthansa. I remember flying to Nigeria with Royal Air Maroc and it was about the worst flight of my life. It was literally packed to the rafters with luggage strewn everywhere. 1 hand baggage meant 6 and let's not talk about the riot inside the terminal where even the police ran off.

PerryCombover Tue 11-Oct-11 14:27:00

I think the food is fine

Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 14:34:29

thanks everyone for being nice! I'm hoping I can cut the time on the lufthansa one and go for that. tis easier in terms of departure airport too

Acinonyx Tue 11-Oct-11 14:48:12

I have flown on both.

My EA flight back from Addis to Cairo had an, er, problem (something seemed to fall off one of the wings??). We made an emergency landing in Khartoum, spent 9 hours on the runway, no AC, in July, a few dismal hours in some sort of holding shed then a rather nicer night at the Hilton with free buffet (no alcohol though).

Next morning we flew on - in the same plane hmm. I teamed up with another young woman travelling solo and she stayed with me for a while in Cairo. I introduced her to a friend (exbf as it happens) and they are now married with kids.

Now exbf and I were supposed to have an agreement to introduce each other to people - but he did not introduce me to anyone. Most unfair.

Anyway, despite the happy ending (and the interesting and rather handsome Lebanese passenger sitting next to me with a brief case full of diamonds and pictures of himself under-dressed - I'm not making any of this up honest) I would hesitate to recommend this air line.

Hatwoman Tue 11-Oct-11 15:18:51

great story!

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