Chalk this one up to “I was in the area.” I had a half ticket left over from a prior trip that could get me to Southeast Asia in style, but I’d need another ticket home. I considered not going but then I stumbled across the relatively cheap fare on Ethiopian Airlines from Bangkok to Newark. And, as an added bonus the itinerary included a 26 hour stop in Ethiopia so I could spend a little time out exploring.
The trip started out pretty great, mostly because I was able to skip the hour-long check-in line. It was easily a hundred passengers long and everyone had bags. Usually multiple bags very large and very heavy. I skipped to the Business Class/Star Alliance Gold line where there were only a couple passengers and was through in about 10 minutes.
From there I chose the EVA lounge as it was closest to the gate and relaxed with some snacks prior to boarding.
The flight was nearly full – maybe a handful of empty middle seats – and even with the 1:45a departure from Bangkok there’s a full meal service offered. I don’t remember if I ordered something or if it just showed up on my tray table but when I woke up a few hours in to the trip I had some pasta on my tray table.
Eventually I got my wits about me enough to watch the sunrise and enjoy the last bit of the flight, with sunrise over Africa as we skimmed along the cloud tops.
Hard stand on arrival is a mixed bag. After a long, overnight trip the delay in getting to the terminal and through immigration was mildly annoying, mostly offset by the great views of the Ethiopian fleet as we drove across the field.
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