What had been a very special out-of-town family-bonding Europe trip to usher in Christmas unfortunately began and concluded in a disappointing poor travel services by Etihad Airways.
The flag-carrier of the United Arab Emirates advertises itself as becoming “the world’s leading airline” in just 10 years. Etihad boasts of the awards it amassed.
I would say there is no truth to this advertising based on my family’s experience last week.
From the not-so-warm ground staff at the Etihad check-in counter to their lousy business class lounge at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, plus the uncomfortable business class seats and defective onboard entertainment system—all prove it’s not worth taking Etihad Airways for a long-haul flight.
Not only that. While the Arabic word “Etihad” means “union,” the airline’s Boeing 777 is ironically not so family-friendly.
They just do not offer adjacent seating for families including those travelling with little children.
Etihad would rather have toddlers sit on their own, away from their parents with flat assurance from flight attendants that they will keep an eye on the little ones.
I thought it’s all fluke the first time around but my loved ones and I were treated to these deplorable services on our agonizing flight back home.
So, if you are planning to fly to Europe or the Middle East, take any airline but Etihad.
Etihad, by the way, is also known to frequent travelers to Europe for leaving luggage, or worse, losing them.
To compensate them for inconvenience they put up with, the Etihad Airways staff pay the outraged passengers a few Euros or dollars, adding insult to injury.
I find it hard to believe Etihad Airways has received accolades for “customer satisfaction.”
ETIHAD is the worst airline I have tried so far since I started traveling when I was 6 years old.
Marikina carnival more like a casino
Marikina, the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines,” now prides itself with one of the biggest carnivals in the country but not eliciting complaints from watchful constituents.
These concerned residents told me that the features of the holiday carnival, particularly the rides, are not safe for the public.
In addition to these dangerous rides, the peryahan is crowded by illegal gambling stalls, including bingo, color and numbers game that have gotten even kids hooked on.
That is why they are questioning why Marikina City Mayor Del de Guzman agreed to permit such operations, perpetrated by one “Roy Atienza.”
Atienza is a big-time gambling lord who also operates in Manila and Quezon City.
Apparently, this culprit is cashing in on the Christmas season by providing “family-oriented” carnival entertainment but not without the lucrative illegal gambling portion of it.
“Kung sisilipin maigi, front lang ang mga bulok na rides nito sa dahilang main attraction talaga ang sangkatutak na lamesa ng pasugalan na dinudumog gabi-gabi ng parokyano pati kabataaan,” one long-time resident said.
So, the question some non-government organizations (NGO) and church groups are asking, “Magkano ba ang dahilan at binigyan ng permit ng City Hall itong peryahan?”
Why would the City Engineer’s office or the Business Permits and Licensing Office allow the dilapidated rides, such as the Ferris wheel and roller-coaster rides?
Perhaps, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) should inspect, too, as reportedly this gambling lord Atienza prefers to power up his carnival with illegal “jumper” connections to Meralco lines.
I sure hope the good Mayor de Guzman will give this culprit the boot out of Marikina.
Sapatusin na ‘yan, Mayor!
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