Etihad to shut out Silver frequent flyers from airport lounges

By Chris Chamberlin, October 5 2016
Etihad to shut out Silver frequent flyers from airport lounges

Etihad Guest Silver members will no longer enjoy worldwide airport lounge access from next year under the airline’s latest round of revamps to its frequent flyer program.

Silver-tier flyers can currently use Etihad airport lounges around the globe when travelling on an Etihad Airways flight – but as of January 15 2017, lounge access will be offered to Silver members only in Abu Dhabi (Al Reem Lounge), Mahé (Seychelles) and in Belgrade.

That puts all other Etihad Airways-operated lounges – including those at Sydney, Melbourne (pictured) and London – out of reach of the airline's Silver frequent flyers unless they're booked in business class or first class.

The same restrictions will apply to partner and contract lounges at airports where Etihad doesn’t run its own lounge (such as Brisbane and Perth).

Etihad Guest Silver members will gain the use of priority check-in counters when travelling with selected Etihad Airways partner airlines – including Airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Niki – although we're sure most travellers would trade faster check-in for lounge access.

The Etihad Guest scheme was substantially overhauled in July 2015 to introduce new ‘carrier charges’ on reward bookings and new mileage earning rates, among other tweaks.

More recently, however, the airline made it easier for all members to use Etihad Guest miles to book Virgin Australia flights: now possible up until 24 hours before departure as opposed to 14 days in advance under the previous system.

Also read: Etihad Airways goes double-daily on Sydney-Abu Dhabi route

Connect with other business travellers in our Etihad Airways discussion group

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 34

Really sucks how Gold Velocity Frequent Flyers are chucked in the Al Reem lounge too.

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 8

This is really going to hit Etihad members hard. This is such a bad move - although seeing how busy the Sydney lounge gets, I can understand why this is happening!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

Hardly, golds in almost every other program don't get lounge access so hardly a "bad move" just coming into line with most others.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 339

I think you mean silvers..

sgb
sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

This will cut down on the number of snouts in the trough.

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

To be fair to Etihad, how many other airlines allow their equivalent 'Silver' grade members unlimited lounge access? Definitely not Qantas, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines or Emirates. I think Cathay Pacific has also moved to giving that grade of members a limited number of lounge visits? It's a big change for Etihad Guest, no doubt about that, so maybe Etihad should give Silver members 3 or 4 lounge passes each year to soften the blow.

CX

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 125

" think Cathay Pacific has also moved to giving that grade of members a limited number of lounge visits?"


Wrong.  Silver Marco Polo Club members are entitled to lounge access on any CX or KA flights

British Airways - Executive Club

28 Mar 2014

Total posts 75

BA Silver get lounge access but their silver is the equivalent to QF Gold.


Very confusing when different airlines in the same alliance have different tier colours!

EY is institutionalising it's programme across all EY guest member airlines. This marks the birth of a proper fourth global alliance. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 34

I understand the argument for making lounges a bit more exclusive. Air New Zealand need to do something with their airpoints scheme too because it is very easy to become a gold member. The Koru lounge in Auckland feels like a Bus Station, people everywhere.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Etihad to shut out Silver frequent flyers from airport lounges