In this trip report, I review the Etihad Airways Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi airport terminal 3, which is allocated to Etihad passengers flying in business class. In this case I was about to board a flight in Etihad business class Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow. I have also reviewed Etihad A330 Business Class from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives which also uses this lounge.
After a long walk from the Hong Kong arrival gate to Terminal 3 (good exercise), we arrived at the Etihad Premium Lounge, where there was briefly a queue to get in, although the concierge was efficient and friendly.
There were business stations and an area with individual TV pods, again too busy to get a terminal. Toward the rear, there was a very smart, complimentary Sixth sense Spa and adjacent to this a notably secluded area of blissfully quiet bathrooms and showers with a helpful attendant.
After checking into the lounge, it is worth stopping in at the Six Senses Spa to add yourself to the waiting list for a treatment before the next flight (lounge guests are entitled to complimentary, 15-minute spa treatments). When I was there, the treatments were fully booked.
The lounge itself was very busy with people sprawling across the sofas, so it wasn’t easy to find a seat. Several had their feet or their luggage on the other half of the sofa! The Etihad hostesses were very busy asking people not to hog seats, but it was continuous work. The food was plentiful (see photos of the breakfast buffet below), and the food was of good quality, but it was so busy it was difficult to get near the buffets, so we just had orange juice and a banana. There was a proper bar, but again, many people were trying to get served. There was a small area cordoned off, which appeared to be the First Class Lounge area! The décor was Arabic and pleasant, with comfy sofas in browns and creams, but no windows or views.
Overall, I was impressed by the wealth of services and facilities on offer in the lounge, including shower rooms, a champagne bar, a cigar lounge, children’s play area staffed with qualified nannies, work and relaxation areas. I found the staff accommodating, but it was terribly crowded and not a pleasant experience. This was 1 am – 2:30 am, with many certainly waiting on our big Airbus A380 flight to London (which has so many business class seats).
I have read reports about this lounge at other times, and the experience has been much better, but my experience made me feel hassled and fed up partly due to watching all the seat-hogging before we went for our flight.