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February 16, 2015 / oneworld82

Etihad Airways Premium Lounge at AUH

Etihad Airways old First Class lounge was good, but not great. Service was outstanding, cigar lounge was good, food was great. But reality is: it was getting way too small for the fast-growing EY network. And so it was closed down, and work to expand it and refurbish it started.

So, for the time being, all qualified passengers can access the new Etihad premium lounge.

Before jumping there, let me tell you that checking in at the dedicated first class desks was relatively painless; the area was rather busy at the time of my visit, and so it did take a while to go through check in and them immigration. Overall, I like the open layout of the first class check-in area – it’s classy and sophisticated to the point. I also like how porters can help with luggage once you leave your limo, and how attendants distribute juice and water while you wait to be helped. It’s not quite as nice as ANA’s first class check-in area at NRT, but it’s really nice nonetheless.

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Back to the lounge: the premium lounge is extensive, with two buffet areas, a big bar, and nice sitting down dining tables. Contrarily to the First Class lounge, only limited service to the tables is offered (like drinks, for instance). Since I needed breakfast I headed to the buffet, which was particularly well-catered to every taste. I had some Middle Eastern food, including my all-time favorite foul madames. Everything was very tasty and well-prepared. The orange juice was freshly squeezed, but the cappuccino was made from a machine (and so the quality wasn’t the best).

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The lounge, like I said, was ample and well laid-out. There were seating areas aplenty, as well as a business center and a kids room.

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The lounge had a nice salon as well, where haircuts and other services were offered at a nominal fee. First class customers had also access to a complimentary 15 minutes massage in the lounge spa, just like in the old F lounge. I opted for a back and shoulder massage, which was short but restorative.

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The lounge had a nice and well-stocked bar area as well – but as it was only 9am I decided against taking advantage of it.

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Overall, this was a solid product and, while I look forward to the opening of the new First Class lounge, I wouldn’t mind spending here a couple of hours during my next visit to Abu Dhabi.

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One Comment

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  1. Moritz / Feb 16 2015 4:34 pm

    The Premium Lounge is absolutely amazing. I had the chance to check both lounges (in T1 and T3) last November. I loved the back massage. Really enjoyable, especially when having a stop-over!

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