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Flight #3 of Connected Around the World in 8 Days – Etihad Airways EY 454 (AUH-SYD)

CATW8D_SYDBy: @Alttiude_Alex

Were you surprised by my change in airports?  Making the transfer between the airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi gave me the opportunity to include the next airline in my journey – Etihad Airways.

The evening of Sunday, March 30th I boarded a Boeing 777 for Etihad flight EY 454 bound for Sydney, Australia.  At over 7,400 miles this would be the longest segment of my trip so far, and I intended to make the most of my flight enjoying all the services of Etihad’s Wi-Fly satellite connectivity offering – comprised of mobile services, Wi-Fi, and 8 channels of live television.

As I was stowing my carry-on bag in the overhead bin, a neighbor in the seat behind mine spotted the @Altitude shirt I was wearing which reads “Get Onboard. Get Connected. Ask me how” on the back, and asked why I was wearing it.  He was quite intrigued when I explained that I was flying around the world all on flights with connectivity.  Neither he nor his wife, a delightful couple returning home to Sydney after a conference in Austria, had ever used in-flight connectivity and were surprised to learn that this aircraft was equipped with the service.  They were most interested by the opportunity to watch live television on the flight, especially when I told them that shortly after take-off we could watch the men’s finals of the ATP Masters 1000s in Miami on the sports channel Sport 24.  Ian and Carolyn proved to be lively company, and the three of us enjoyed our own mini viewing party cheering on Novak Djokovic as he handily won the match in two straight sets.

EY 454 - Wi-Fly mobile portalAfter the match, they settled in to watch a movie, teasing me that it was time I get to work and starting tweeting and “Facebooking.”  For those of you who have been following me on Twitter, you saw I made extensive use of the Wi-Fi, posting numerous photos of all three of the Wi-Fly services.

During the course of my tweeting, I struck up a conversation with @M_J_ALKHABBAZ.   He’s traveling with Etihad Airways in the next few days from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) and promised to tweet to us while he’s in-flight.  Isn’t amazing the people you can meet and the experiences you can share using in-flight Wi-Fi?

The sunset was gorgeous as we descended into Sydney Airport, where I was to be warmly greeted with Tim Tams by Debbie from iPass.  If you’ve been following along, you already know that I frequently use my iPass account – either via the Open Mobile client or as a roamer through the T-Mobile portal – to access Wi-Fi onboard.  It’s been great to have iPass’ support in both Frankfort and now here is Sydney!

My total miles – after landing in Sydney – with in-flight connectivity are now over 16,000. So far, it’s been the trip of a lifetime and the crew on all of the flights has been amazing. My next flight won’t depart until Thursday, April 3rd, but in the mean time be sure to check out the @Altitude Facebook page for the new photos I’ll be uploading.