As we were stepping into the flight, the luggage loader hit the engine of the plane and 1+ hour later, we were informed that the engine could be potentially damaged and we would have to deboard and take the flight 24 hours later. After a chaotic 2 hours in the boarding area, we were finally taken to a nearby hotel where we stayed overnight. The next day, we were back in the airport & boarded after lots of confusion 'cos the airline systems were not updated with all the previous day passenger info. As the final straw, the flight was delayed by 1.5+ hours which meant most passengers incl us had to rush to make our connecting flight in Abu Dhabi to Bangalore, and of course, our luggage didn't make it (even though the Etihad personnel in Abu Dhabi assured us that it would). We finally got our luggage 48 hours after we reached Bangalore.
Mechanical issues & cancellations happen. But, how the airline handles such situations is what makes a good or bad airline. Not a single person from Etihad apologized or gave any miles credit for the overnight delay. Or, even for the delayed luggage. A simple sorry would have gone a long way. In fact, the only people who were considerate of the passengers situation were the hotel personnel in Nairobi. Even with the delayed luggage, the local luggage service company was more forthcoming and helpful, with absolutely no help/info from Etihad.
Very bad experience with this airline - our first and last time we will ever fly Etihad.