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November 13, 2014 / oneworld82

Etihad First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi T3 – September 2014

After meeting up with a friend at the Shangri-La Hotel for dinner and drinks, I made my way back to the airport. It was about 11.30pm, and the Premium Etihad check-in area was rather empty. As I already had my boarding pass I proceeded through immigration, which took extremely long because the agents were having a lot of system issues. Once through I made my way to the First Class lounge.

I really think that the lounge, while a good lounge overall, is a bit on the weaker side (compared to the rest of EY offerings that is).That’s mostly because the lounge is somewhat small, and as most long haul flights tend to leave around the same time, the lounge can get pretty crowded. Etihad is working on a new lounge, which should fix the problem (planned capacity will be a stunning 500 people!).

I was greeted at the entrance by no less than 4 attendants, all women and all good looking, of course. The first thing I asked for was a shower room, and a nice attendant from Burma escorted me to the Six Senses spa where I proceeded to book a back massage and where I could take a shower. There are only two shower rooms in the lounge, and they are rather small compared to, say, the Lufthansa ones; yet they have all the amenities needed to freshen up.

I had about 45 minutes to kill before my massage, and so I went to the main lounging area, which was rather crowded. As the dining area was the only one with enough room to sit dow and relax, I decided to sin in gluttony and check out the menu.

I ended up – incredibly, given how much I had eaten already – having a glass of Billecart-Salmon with some French onion soup (which was good, although the emmental-crusted crostino was nothing special) and a chicken Caesar salad, which was served with a poached egg on top (and which was very good). The service is probably more attentive than at the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt, and the food of comparable quality. This lounge though lacks the variety of the Do&Co buffet, as you can only order a-la-carte.

After my “snack” I went back to the spa for my back massage, which I enjoyed a lot. After 10 rough days of traveling through Central Asia, this is just what I needed! I then proceeded to the cigar lounge, and asked one of the attendants for a Montecristo. Unfortunately, while she offered to cut the cigar for me she didn’t do a proper job, and so the cigar was pretty much un-smokable. Probably that wasn’t too bad after all, as I had smoked two cigars already during this trip.

I left the lounge a little early to go shopping for some camel milk chocolate (delicious and made only in Abu Dhabi) before proceeding to my gate. To my dismal, the gate had a long line and there was no dedicated line for premium customers. That made the whole boarding experience less than ideal, and overall it was around 30 minutes before I was able to get to the plane.

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