There are several airlines out there which offer their business class passengers complimentary spa treatments in the lounge. While I doubt it’s a reason anyone chooses to fly with a specific airline, it certainly adds to the overall experience. I find a quick 15 minute chair massage before a flight to really help with circulation.
Etihad has one of my favorite spa setups of any airline. The Etihad Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi has a Six Senses Spa, which offers 15 minute treatments, like back massages.
At the same lounge, Etihad also has a Style & Shave Salon, which offers treatments like shaves, haircuts, manicures, etc.
Historically the pricing structure for these services has been as follows:
- First class passengers receive a complimentary treatment at the Six Senses Spa AND a complimentary treatment at the Style & Shave Salon
- Business class passengers receive a complimentary treatment at the Six Senses Spa, while they have to pay for treatments at the Style & Shave Salon
Unfortunately Etihad has adjusted their lounge spa treatment policy in recent days for both first & business class passengers, as follows:
- Etihad first class passengers and Etihad Guest Platinum members receive a complimentary treatment in the Six Senses Spa OR a complimentary treatment in the Style & Shave Salon (previously first class passengers received both for free)
- Etihad business class passengers no longer receive complimentary treatments in the Six Senses Spa, and as before, must pay for treatments at the Style & Shave Salon
This change comes around the same time that Etihad’s first class lounge is opening (though the official opening date still hasn’t been announced). As far as I know the lounge will have both a Six Senses Spa as well as Style & Shave Salon. I find that a weird time to make this change, since I imagine once the first class lounge opens, the facilities in the business class lounge will be quite empty — there just aren’t that many people who pay for this stuff (even most passengers don’t take advantage of their complimentary treatment, and even fewer will if they have to pay).
If it’s any consolation, the paid rates for treatments tend to be quite reasonable with Etihad, unlike the Qatar Airways Al Safwa Lounge in Doha, where a 30 minute foot massage costs almost $100.
It’s disappointing to see these changes, as the spa was always one of the nice features of Etihad’s lounge. They’ve cut the benefits received by both first and business class passengers, which is unfortunate. Cost cutting in the Middle East seems to be very real right now, given where oil prices are. Historically it seems counterintuitive for an airline to cut back when oil prices are low, but when you’re government owned and the government’s primary revenue is oil, it’s a different story…
Now I’m curious to see when the new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi finally opens, and what it’s like.