Etihad now offers paid entry to its Abu Dhabi first class lounge

By David Flynn, May 2 2017
Etihad now offers paid entry to its Abu Dhabi first class lounge

Etihad has opened the doors of its flagship Abu Dhabi first class lounge to any passenger with US$200 (A$266) to spare, or just US$100 (A$133) if you hold Etihad Guest Gold membership and are travelling in business class.

The Gulf airline's move follows its decision earlier this year to allow paid entry to most of its business class or 'premium' airport lounges, and mirrors that of competitor Emirates – although with higher pricing based on how much time is spent in the lounge.

Economy and business class travellers can buy their way into Etihad's luxurious Abu Dhabi first class lounge for US$200 for two hours, with more expensive options for four- and six-hour stays.

Gold-grade members of the Etihad Guest frequent flyer program travelling in business class enjoy a "preferential upgrade rate" of US$100; and if you're already flying in first class, you can bring in a guest for the same price.

As with the Emirates lounges, the realised value of these pay-to-stay schemes mainly hinges on how long you've got between flights and what's on offer at the lounge. 

Also read: Is Emirates' Dubai business class lounge worth $100 to visit? 

For example, at just US$200 for two hours if you're in economy, one would hope that free treatments at the lounge's Style & Shave area – such as a wet shave for the men, a manicure or blow-dry for the women – and a massage at the Six Senses Spa are included.

Other upmarket ways to while away your preflight time include working your way through the dining room's five-course Emirati tasting menu...

... sampling some of the "75 premium spirits, champagne and aperitifs" and bespoke cocktails at the stylish bar...

... or heading for the cigar lounge, which stocks premium brands including Hoyo de Monterray, Cohiba, Bolivar, Montecristo, Arturo Fuente and Romeo Y Julieta and matches each cigar matched with a number of whiskies and cognacs.

Located at Etihad Airways' Terminal 3 hub, the first class lounge takes its design cues from "prestigious hotels, private members' clubs and fine dining establishments" according to the airline, with and is spread across 1,700m² with expansive views of the airport. 


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

Pricey! Probably better spending that money on gaining status!

Have 1 massage or spa treatment or manicure, eat the 5 course Emirati tasting menu, drink a few high-end cognacs or swill a few cocktails... you've already got your value for money out of the entry price!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 Mar 2015

Total posts 52

Keep Y class out!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 169

Pricey? If you have time to kill it's a no brainer really. EY do it in style.

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