This lounge is outdated, overcrowded at peak instances, and screams for an growth, although redeeming qualities embrace an amazing bar and barista espresso
I like visiting flagship airline lounges, as there’s usually a number of area, actually good meals and drinks, and inventive services. That is usually true of airways with gigantic hub-and-spoke fashions (i.e. most individuals are flying one-stop itineraries via the airline’s hub airport) – Emirates’ enterprise class lounge terminal, Qatar Airways’ lovely Al Mourjan (The Backyard) lounge, and Turkish Airways’ new Istanbul lounge come to thoughts.
Etihad joins the three airways talked about above as one of many 4 greatest hub-and-spoke airways within the Center East. Their flagship lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport’s Terminal 3 opened in 2014; the airport is quickly seeking to open “Terminal A” in November, a a lot bigger and extra trendy terminal that can have an Etihad lounge of its personal.
Effectively, I’m glad we’re going to see a brand new terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport, as a result of each the airport and the Etihad lounge are far too small and outdated to deal with the sheer quantity of passengers that transit via the airport. The lounge has some redeeming qualities and premium options, although the expertise merely isn’t snug, significantly throughout peak hours. Right here’s my overview of Etihad’s present flagship enterprise class lounge.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entry and Opening Hours
The Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi is open to Etihad enterprise class passengers and Etihad Visitor Gold members. You’ll be able to pay US$120 or 16,000 Etihad Visitor Miles to entry the lounge for as much as 4 hours, and US$150 or 20,000 Etihad Visitor Miles to entry the lounge for as much as eight hours.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day. If it occurs to be closed earlier than your flight, for upkeep or no matter motive (and also you in any other case have entry), you’ll be granted 3,000 bonus Etihad Visitor miles.
Transiting By Abu Dhabi Airport
I used to be connecting from my flight onboard an Etihad 787 from Bangkok, and we arrived at a distant stand. The bus pulled as much as gate 19A, a part of the airport’s Terminal 1. Transit safety took round 10-Quarter-hour, and whereas pleasant, the workers manning safety have been definitely fairly drained right now of hour – it was round midnight. I used to be equally drained, and even forgot my watch in one of many buckets – I returned to get it, and the safety workers have been good sufficient to present it again to me.
At this level I adopted the airport’s antiquated however efficient signage in direction of Terminal 3. There was very clear signage to the Etihad lounge.
Transit Corridor at Abu Dhabi Airport
After strolling previous a hall and getting via an obligation free maze, I made it to Terminal 3. Terminal 3 is the present latest terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport, however it definitely doesn’t really feel it. The whole airport simply feels prefer it was constructed within the Nineties – in truth, it sort of jogged my memory of Heathrow’s Terminal 3.
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3
It was an hour or two earlier than “peak” departures time at Abu Dhabi Airport, and I couldn’t assist however discover the queues to among the loos in the principle space of the terminal. Abu Dhabi actually must open their new terminal, which can drastically enhance the passenger expertise – I can’t think about coming off a longhaul economic system flight connecting to a different, solely to should queue for the toilet on the airport. The airport clearly isn’t sufficiently big to accommodate the quantity of passengers that Etihad is presently carrying.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Location
Whereas the airport itself felt very antiquated, at the very least signage was very clear – that is in stark distinction to Doha Hamad Airport, a huge and stunningly designed airport with horrible signage. I had no challenge discovering the Etihad lounge, which was positioned by gate 36.
Signage to Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport
As soon as I acquired to gate 36, there was a picket wall of types, signalling individuals in direction of the lounge.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entrance Signage
I turned left and walked previous a slim hallway, the place the Etihad enterprise class lounge was on my left.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Entrance
There was a brief queue to enter, however I used to be in pretty rapidly.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating and Ambiance
I’ll be pretty easy – Etihad’s lounge feels a bit like how transiting Doha Airport felt like in 2019, however the lounge was smaller and fewer good. The lounge itself was truly an honest measurement, laid out as an extended room with a number of partitions, and was pretty effectively appointed and effectively stored, although the pastel and shiny orange color tones didn’t age significantly effectively.
The photographs beneath have been taken at about 11:45 PM – the lounge crammed up fairly considerably after this. Nearer to the door was some restaurant type seating with tables, in addition to quantity of high-top seating.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating
There was even a reasonably interesting-looking Breitling branded space.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating
Additional into the lounge have been some extra enjoyable armchairs and sofas, which appeared to be consistently occupied in the course of the entirety of my keep (you’ll see a few empty chairs beneath, however there have been luggage subsequent to them, presumably belonging to individuals who needed to “reserve” these seats).
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Chill out Seating
Close to the again was a quiet room with armchairs, which was additionally packed all through my keep within the lounge.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Seating
I didn’t even get sufficient of an opportunity to take a seat to take a look at energy ports, although you must be capable to discover these significantly near partitions – not all seats have entry to energy ports, although.
The lounge is giant, although it’s simply not the dimensions it must be at peak hours. Hopefully the upcoming new Terminal A lounge will deal with this, as I struggled to discover a seat in any respect right now.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Enterprise Heart and Den
Situated close to the again of the lounge is a clearly signaged enterprise heart, consisting with a couple of desks with iMacs and a printer.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Enterprise Heart
Tucked away was The Den, a bit personal cubicle with an armchair positioned half a meter away from a TV. I can’t think about that is probably configuration to look at TV, although they have been totally occupied throughout my keep, so I suppose some would possibly disagree. Since I couldn’t take an image (the area felt pretty intimate, and all cubicles have been taken), right here’s a photograph taken by Factors With A Crew.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Den (credit score: Factors With A Crew)
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Bathe
Primarily based on the quantity of individuals within the lounge I knew there’d be a await the bathe, and I actually needed to get refreshed, as I used to be spending fairly a little bit of time within the air. So after getting into the lounge I made a beeline for the showers, realizing that I’d in all probability should get a buzzer and wait within the lounge for my flip.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Hallway to Bathe
Positive sufficient, I used to be given a buzzer, and upon asking for an ETA was given a “I don’t know, possibly 45 minutes, possibly an hour…”
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Buzzer
To the bathe agent’s credit score, my buzzer did go off after round 45 minutes. I can’t lie, the bathe room felt fairly heat, stuffy and poorly ventilated, and the unmarked toiletries didn’t really feel significantly premium. That being stated, it did really feel good to be refreshed right now of hour.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Bathe Room
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Meals Unfold
Etihad’s enterprise class lounges now not characteristic a la carte eating or something tremendous fancy, although I did discover the meals unfold to be in depth. There have been some kitschy quirks comparable to individually wrapped bread rolls, although meals was typically pretty prime quality.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Chilly Meals Unfold
I couldn’t abdomen most of the sizzling choices at this hour, although they did look fairly tasty.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Sizzling Meals Unfold
In the end this can be a small unfold in comparison with what Emirates provides, and a far cry from Qatar Airways’ a-la-carte menu, although you received’t go hungry in the event you’re on the lookout for one thing to eat.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Bar and Drinks
The bar is positioned by one of many lounge’s sides, and appeared pretty fairly, with orange seats and triangular patterning.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Bar
Etihad does present a full cocktail choice right here, although they do ID fairly rigorously for anybody who appears to be like younger (the minimal age restrict right here is 21). I couldn’t actually abdomen a cocktail right now, although did have an espresso – there’s barista espresso right here, which is a plus. The espresso was good and powerful.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Espresso
The bar additionally crammed up all through the night, although this can be a good method to spend a while throughout a layover at Abu Dhabi Airport.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Service
A lot of the interactions I had with workers on the lounge have been pleasant, and the bartenders have been significantly desirous to please. Nonetheless, I did really feel that there was a common sense of tiredness from the workers members at peak hour, and the lounge felt fairly understaffed, because it took some time to be served on the bar, have cups/plates cleared, and so forth..
This isn’t a criticism in any respect for a hub lounge of a big Center Japanese airline at peak hours shortly after midnight, although I’m hoping to see higher staffing ranges at Etihad’s new lounge within the new terminal (and higher morale too, since this isn’t in any other case a lounge to be pleased with).
Etihad did use to supply a salon (which might’ve been paid for enterprise class passengers, and free for firstclass passengers), although that characteristic is lengthy gone.
Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi WiFi
WiFi at this lounge was simple to connect with, however not significantly quick, presumably because of the stretched bandwidth. It was positively usable, although maybe don’t plan to obtain giant work recordsdata earlier than your flight right here.
Backside Line: Etihad Enterprise Class Lounge Abu Dhabi
I’d say that this is able to be fairly a nifty little lounge if Etihad have been a smaller airline, although Etihad’s post-COVID comeback has come on the expense of the standard of the lounge. Now that Etihad now not provides ultra-premium facilities comparable to a-la-carte eating and a salon (which have been pointless, although did give the Etihad floor expertise an X-factor), what’s left of the lounge isn’t very spectacular; my principal criticism is that it’s overcrowded at peak hours to the purpose the place you’d battle to discover a place to take a seat. There are some redeeming qualities comparable to bar and barista espresso, although even among the fundamentals aren’t well-executed, such because the poorly ventilated showers, poorly thought out relaxation space (The Den), and underwhelming web for a hub lounge for a top-tier Center Japanese airline. I’d even have hoped for a extra thrilling meals unfold for an airline comparable to Etihad.
Till Abu Dhabi opens their new airport terminal (which can presumably include a model new Etihad lounge), the bottom expertise is the Achilles heel within the Etihad enterprise class expertise.
Have you ever been to Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi earlier than?
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