Etihad’s New First Class Lounge Could Open May 1

Etihad’s New First Class Lounge Could Open May 1

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Etihad Airways offers one of my all around favorite first class products on their A380s.


Etihad-A380-Apartment - 1Etihad A380 first class cabin

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-First-Class-Lounge
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-First-Class-LoungeEtihad’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:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 11.16.19 pm

I’m still not especially confident that Etihad will stick to that exact timeline, though we can certainly hope!

Bottom line

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 loungesEtihad 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!


Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetEtihad’s lounge New York

Anyone passing through Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks in Etihad first class?

(Tip of the hat to @jclasstravel)

Conversations (38)
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  1. Carolynn Guest

    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!!!

  2. Navi75 Guest

    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.

  3. ehm_jae Guest

    I'll be passing through on May 24th. Hopefully they stick to the timeline quoted by Navi75 if not sooner.

  4. Navi75 Guest

    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..

  5. 02nz Guest

    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.

  6. Papa Wemba Guest

    Not opening until Mid-May apparently...

    https://www.first-class-and-more.de/blog/etihads-neue-first-class-lounge-in-abu-dhabi-kurz-vor-der-eroffnung/

  7. Amol Member

    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)

  8. Paul Guest

    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!!!

  9. emercycrite Guest

    Not gonna happen. Called it.

  10. Mike S Guest

    Passing through AUH on the 27th of April.

    Looks like I may miss out on the F Lounge by only a few days (sigh!)

  11. Jazzman82 Guest

    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...

  12. Joel Guest

    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.

  13. John Guest

    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?

  14. Roberto Guest

    Flying in F on May 21st, really hoping to experience the lounge given that I have a 5hr layover :) www.airwaysandtravels.com

  15. jj Guest

    and then flying to JFK... let me know if you want pics / review info.

  16. jj Guest

    Sweet, I'm flying apartments on the inaugural BOM-AUH on the 1st. Looking forward to checking out the new lounge!

  17. gc New Member

    hey Lucky -- can you use the new F lounge on arrival? i'm flying F from JFK-AUH.

  18. Mateusz New Member

    Headed to London on May 6th... Hopefully they'll open it.

  19. Joel Guest

    I have a flight from AUH-JFK on May 4. Another blogger said the lounge would opening May 3.

  20. ven New Member

    May 01st is also the launch of A380 between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.

  21. Eric Guest

    I'll be there in November so here's to hoping that everything is up and running by then...

  22. Alex Guest

    Flying in early June on A380 F... let's see if it's open by then!

  23. Scott Guest

    I was just told on Facebook to stay tuned for updates as they don't have an exact date yet?

  24. MP Guest

    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

  25. Chad Guest

    I'm arriving on May 7 in first class but departing in Busienss class. Think I will be able to use it?

  26. Adam Guest

    im flying through on the 8th of May, will report back if its open and what its like

  27. Sam Guest

    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?

  28. Navi75 Guest

    30 April evening so just miss out :( Return 11 May. Also First time in a 787 in F !

  29. Joey Guest

    Has Etihad hinted at all about what may be unique to the First Class lounge?

  30. 02nz Guest

    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.

  31. R B Guest

    Flying AUH-JFK in F earlly June, so I hope the F lounge is open by then

  32. Scott Guest

    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.

  33. Frank K Guest

    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.

  34. Max Guest

    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....

  35. Jonathan Guest

    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

  36. David W Community Ambassador

    I wont be passing by AUH until October. Hopefully lounge will have opened and ironed out any kinks by then!

  37. Westin Guest

    June 2nd. Hopes are getting high, missed it last flight

  38. stacey Guest

    I am! Keeping fingers crossed it opens!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Carolynn Guest

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!!!

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Navi75 Guest

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.

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ehm_jae Guest

I'll be passing through on May 24th. Hopefully they stick to the timeline quoted by Navi75 if not sooner.

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