Etihad Airways offers one of my all around favorite first class products on their A380s.
However, Etihad still doesn’t have a first class lounge at their home airport. In 2014 Etihad opened the Premium Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 3, which is their “flagship” business class lounge. And they’ve also been using that for first class passengers, as they proceed with first class lounge renovations.
Etihad’s premium lounge Abu Dhabi first class section
However, the opening of the first class lounge has been delayed considerably, as it was originally supposed to open in late 2014.
Last May I shared an update on the opening of the new Etihad lounge. I was told that the lounge should open in the second quarter of 2015, though shortly thereafter was told the opening was delayed until October. Then last August we received an update that the new lounge was supposed to open in early 2016. Then last November we received an update that the new lounge will supposedly open in mid to late 2016 at the earliest.
We finally had some good news this February, when Etihad announced that the first class lounge is scheduled to open in May 2016. They even shared a picture of the entrance to the new lounge on Instagram:
Etihad’s first class lounge Abu Dhabi
May is quickly approaching, so jclasstravel.net reached out to Etihad to ask when the new lounge would open, and was told the following:
I’m still not especially confident that Etihad will stick to that exact timeline, though we can certainly hope!
The opening of Etihad’s new lounge in Abu Dhabi could be just over a week away. If it reflects the rebranding they’ve done on their new planes, this has the potential to be one of the world’s best lounges. Etihad recently opened a new lounge in New York, which is great. If the new lounge is an even more premium version of that, then I think we’re in for a real treat. I’m especially curious to see what they do for passengers in The Residence!
Anyone passing through Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks in Etihad first class?
(Tip of the hat to @jclasstravel)
Here's hoping it opens before too long, we are passing through on June 22nd so I really really hope it's open by then as we have a 4 hour layover which would be nice to luxuriate in. Will be keeping an eye on this one!!!
Travelled back last night. Still not open, holding to 22may advised earlier. The MEL lounge just opened. It is very sweet. Better than SYD, LHR, FRA.. Watch out for the bartender Aziz. He will get you drunk on the signature cocktails. Very good.
I'll be passing through on May 24th. Hopefully they stick to the timeline quoted by Navi75 if not sooner.
I went through AUH last night. Was told May 22. Bummer, will miss out on the return. Upside was I am only PAX in F on the way to Brisbane..
I asked about the opening date of the first class lounge when I checked into the Terminal 3 premium lounge just a few hours ago, and was told end of May. Looks like Lucky was right to be skeptical.
Not opening until Mid-May apparently...
Ugh I'm flying on April 30 (May 1 AUH-JFK but it's a 3am departure so unless they open it at midnight I'm SOL)
I tweeted @Etihad Airways this evening as follows:
I will be arriving First Class to Abu Dhabi on 7 May. Will the New First Class Lounge be open by then?
Reply from Etihad Airways - Hi Paul, its scheduled to open on 1 May! See you soon! *MD
Sounds like good news!!!
Not gonna happen. Called it.
Passing through AUH on the 27th of April.
Looks like I may miss out on the F Lounge by only a few days (sigh!)
Flying F on AUH-SYD on May 1st and really hoping they stick to this opening date! I asked them on Instagram but just got a "We'll kee you posted with details" response...
When I tried to use the premium lounge on arrival, I was told I could only go in if I had a connection on another Etihad flight. I was connecting with Royal Jordanian (Business) and had to go to the Al Dhabi lounge. Also, the Etihad arrivals lounge is OK and smaller than I expected.
I'll be passing through in June. Landing in AUH in F Apartments, continuing on the same ticket after a 20 hour layover to MLE in J. Does anyone know if we'll have access to the F lounge the following morning, or are we relegated to business lounge?
Flying in F on May 21st, really hoping to experience the lounge given that I have a 5hr layover :) www.airwaysandtravels.com
and then flying to JFK... let me know if you want pics / review info.
Sweet, I'm flying apartments on the inaugural BOM-AUH on the 1st. Looking forward to checking out the new lounge!
hey Lucky -- can you use the new F lounge on arrival? i'm flying F from JFK-AUH.
Headed to London on May 6th... Hopefully they'll open it.
I have a flight from AUH-JFK on May 4. Another blogger said the lounge would opening May 3.
May 01st is also the launch of A380 between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.
I'll be there in November so here's to hoping that everything is up and running by then...
Flying in early June on A380 F... let's see if it's open by then!
I was just told on Facebook to stay tuned for updates as they don't have an exact date yet?
Hi Lucky, am flying SYD -> AUH -> LHR F on Etihad on 16th May... REALLY hoping the new lounge is open by then! 777 SYD -> AUH, then Apartment AUH -> LHR
I'm arriving on May 7 in first class but departing in Busienss class. Think I will be able to use it?
im flying through on the 8th of May, will report back if its open and what its like
If I arrive in Syd-auh F and connect to auh-hyd C (no F this route) can I access F lounge?
Also I have 20 hour layover but single ticket AA award. So will this prevent from F lounge access due to date change?
30 April evening so just miss out :( Return 11 May. Also First time in a 787 in F !
Has Etihad hinted at all about what may be unique to the First Class lounge?
I'm actually connecting in Abu Dhabi on EY in F, arriving the evening of Apr 30 and departing 2am the morning of May 1. Wondering whether there's any chance the new lounge will be open then.
Flying AUH-JFK in F earlly June, so I hope the F lounge is open by then
I have a long layover in AUH on the 27th of June. If it's open, I'll be heading straight to the F lounge.
Their new First & Business Class Lounge in Melbourne is also only a few days away from opening, it has the updated JFK-style design too.
This was their response when I reached out to them less then 2 weeks ago:
"We cannot confirm as advised earlier. You can check with us later in May. *ES".
Looks like *DP and *ES have other sources :-) .
So like you said I wouldn't be confident at all.
Flying in the end of May, so....
Facebook and Twitter confirmed this over a week ago to me cuz I will be flying May 5th. Both said not to worry and that May 1 was the opening day
I wont be passing by AUH until October. Hopefully lounge will have opened and ironed out any kinks by then!
June 2nd. Hopes are getting high, missed it last flight
I am! Keeping fingers crossed it opens!