Review: Etihad Lounge Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

Filed Under: Etihad

Our flight was departing Paris at 9:55PM. We had to check out of our hotel at 4PM and decided to head to the airport at around 5PM, and arrived around 6PM. Air Seychelles departs from Terminal 2. We had already checked in online, so didn’t need to stop by the check-in desk.

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport check-in hall

The check-in desk hadn’t even opened yet, though we still passed it, and I eyed the Air Madagascar sign right next to it. I really want to fly Air Madagascar next… they have just one A340!

Air Seychelles check-in Charles De Gaulle Airport

We headed towards the gates, which first required going through passport control and then security. The process was painless, as there wasn’t much of a queue.

Charles De Gaulle Airport

Security at Paris CDG

The security checkpoint is on the ground level, and we had a great view of an Etihad 777 before taking an escalator up to the airside concourse. This Etihad 777 would be flying to Abu Dhabi around the same time as our flight to the Seychelles.

Etihad 777 CDG Airport

Escalator to terminal CDG Airport

One level up we followed the signage to the lounges.

CDG terminal

The American Admirals Club, Cathay Pacific Lounge, Emirates Lounge, and Etihad Lounge are all located in the same area.

Paris Airport lounges

Paris Airport lounges

They’re one level up from the concourse, so we took the elevator up.

Elevator to Paris Airport lounges

The Etihad Lounge has a striking exterior, though perhaps that’s largely thanks to the airport’s lighting fixtures in the atrium around the lounges.

Etihad Lounge Paris exterior

The entrance itself looks identical to just about all of Etihad’s other “old style” lounges.

Etihad Lounge Paris exterior

Etihad has two styles of lounges — there’s the old style of lounges, like the one at Washington Dulles, and then they have the updated look for their lounges, like the ones in Los Angeles and New York JFK.

The lady who checked us in was friendly, and advised us there would be a boarding call for our flight.

The lounge seemed pretty big to me, when you consider this isn’t a huge station for Etihad — while they fly A380s to Paris, there’s typically only one flight departing from the airport at a time.

Inside the entrance of the lounge and to the left was most of the seating. The seats were configured in rows facing one another, with bookshelves along the walls that had TVs and some other decorative pieces.

Etihad Lounge CDG seating

Etihad Lounge CDG seating

Along the central hallway of the lounge was the buffet and dining area, which I’ll talk more about in a bit.

Etihad Lounge Paris

Then further into the lounge was the largest room, which had a couple of dozen seats.

Etihad Lounge Paris seating

Etihad Lounge Paris seating

Etihad Lounge Paris seating

In the very back corner of the lounge was a small partitioned off area. I imagine this is the private area for the passenger traveling in The Residence.

Etihad Residence Lounge Paris

Etihad Residence Lounge Paris

The lounge had views of the apron and the runway in the distance. It’s too bad the roof obstructed much of the views.

Etihad Lounge Paris view

The dining area was the other major part of the lounge, as it featured several tables with two seats each, as well as some high-top seating, both overlooking the windows and along the bar.

Etihad Lounge Paris dining area

Etihad Lounge Paris dining area

Etihad Lounge Paris dining area

Etihad Lounge Paris bar

The lounge had a buffet area, which had a small but high quality selection.

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

This included a couple of types of salad, fresh fruit, some mezze, and a couple of types of dessert.

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

There was a selection of cheese and bread.

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

Then there were a few hot dishes, includingĀ grilled salmon with fennel and lemon sauce, spring vegetables, roast chicken with honey, mujadarrah, and ricotta & spinach ravioli.

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

Etihad Lounge Paris buffet

The lounge had a self serve espresso coffee machine, as well as some soft drinks and bottled water. I saw that there was also an espresso machine behind the bar, so I asked the server if I could have a cappuccino from that machine. She said “it’ll be the same thing, but I can make it if you want.” Surely we can all agree there’s a difference in quality between a cappuccino from one of these machines and one that’s made by a person?

Etihad Lounge Paris coffee machine

Etihad Lounge Paris drinks

There was also a selection of self serve wine (champagne was only available from one of the servers).

Etihad Lounge Paris wine selection

Interestingly this seems to be one of the few remaining Etihad business lounges that still has an a la carte menu. Etihad has been doing a lot of cost cutting, and as part of that they’ve eliminated a la carte dining in many of their lounges, as well as their drink menu with signature cocktails. While this lounge didn’t have a cocktail menu, it did still have a small a la carte menu, which read as follows:

We decided to have dinner, since we had an early lunch that day. I decided to start with a glass of champagne.

Etihad Lounge Paris champagne

Then as my starter I ordered a pea and mint soup, which I enjoyed.

Etihad Lounge Paris dinner — pea and mint soup

For my main course I ordered the marinated beef skewers. I saw the server in the lounge take away a nearly untouched plate of these from someone else, and thought that was strange. But as soon as I was served it, I figured out why — it was disgusting. The meat was so chewy and low quality and just plain nasty. I hate “wasting” meat, but I sent it back as well. I can’t figure out why they’d even bother serving this.

Etihad Lounge Paris dinner — marinated beef skewer

Ford had the chicken, which he said was just okay.

Etihad Lounge Paris dinner — roast chicken breast

In terms of other features in the lounge, there’s a selection of magazines and newspapers.

Etihad Lounge Paris newspapers & magazines

Then there’s a small business center with two iMacs and a printer.

Etihad Lounge CDG business center

There’s also a play area for kids.

Etihad Lounge CDG play area

Then at the far right of the lounge is a hallway leading to the prayer room and bathrooms.

Etihad Lounge Paris hallway to bathrooms

The prayer room is a standard feature in all Etihad lounges.

Etihad Lounge Paris prayer room

As usual, the bathrooms were spotless. As much as Etihad has done a lot of cost cutting, they still seem to have full time bathroom attendants who always check to make sure that the towel triangle is perfect. šŸ˜‰

Etihad Lounge Paris bathroom

Inside the bathroom was a shower room, which was large.

Etihad Lounge Paris shower room

Etihad Lounge Paris shower room

We were the first guests in the lounge when we arrived, though over the next couple of hours the lounge filled up quite nicely, with guests traveling to both Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles, since the two flights leave around the same time. Still, the lounge never really got full.

My one complaint about the lounge is that the Wi-Fi is slow. Not unusably so, but when you’re in a lounge you expect fast Wi-Fi, and that’s not something this lounge had.

Boarding was scheduled from gate A40 at 9:10PM, so we headed to the gate shortly before 9PM. The gate was only a short walk from the lounge.

CDG Airport departure gates

What’s funny is that Etihad would be operating our Air Seychelles flight, yet up until this point there was still no indication that we wouldn’t be flying an Air Seychelles plane — we had never been notified, and all the other signage was still for Air Seychelles.

CDG Airport departure gates

Air Seychelles boarding signage

Boarding started at 9:15PM, with business class boarding on the right, and everyone else on the left.

Etihad Lounge Paris bottom line

While the lounge’s design was Etihad’s older style lounge, I still liked the decor. I won’t go so far as to say that their design is timeless, but rather that I don’t think it looks outdated yet, so that’s good.

The lounge is spacious, has several different areas to relax, and had nice views. Furthermore, while a la carte dining has been cut from most Etihad lounges, this one still has it. It’s just a shame that the beef was disgusting.

Anyway, all things considered this is a solid lounge, even with the cuts Etihad has made.Ā  The Etihad Lounge Paris is far from the top of the best airport lounges in the world, but I’d gladly spend time here before a flight.

  1. @Abidjan

    Nothing at all. I think we can safely assume that Susan is a bigot, and that the only prayer rooms which she is comfortable viewing images of are Christian prayer rooms (aka churches).

  2. Unrelated, but Dow Jones is reporting Apple & Goldman Sachs to issue a joint credit card.

    Goldman has recently talked about shifting into retail lending so this isn’t entirely shocking, although I’m guessing it’ll be of the boring Starbucks/Uber kind of cards instead of something worth acquiring. We will see.

  3. It seems the a la carte menu items are kept in a warmer and plated instead of cooked to order. What sparkling brand was served?

  4. “I really want to fly Air Madagascar nextā€¦ they have just one A340!”

    I pretty sure this A340 was previously part of the Air France fleet.

    It may not have been refurbished and still have the old NEV seats in business class, the same as the ones in the AF A 380.

    To be checked again of course.

  5. @ Bob — That’s my understanding as well. Hard product doesn’t look good at all, but curious about the soft product.

  6. >Surely we can all agree thereā€™s a difference in quality between a cappuccino from one of these machines and one thatā€™s made by a person?

    Depends upon the person making the cappuccino…

  7. I mean, it is rather insensitive to take a picture inside a room which is dedicated to worship. The room isnt there to be photographed. People go there to worship. The room has nothing of noteworthy status which is worth taking a picture of, so why take a picture?

  8. @ Susan — Aren’t churches dedicated to worship, and don’t people take pictures in churches all the time for all kinds of reasons? A bit confused…

    It’s one thing if I were disturbing someone, but there was no one in there. And the purpose is pretty clear — I’m showing the features of the lounge, including a prayer room, which someone might appreciate if they do want to worship.

  9. Lucky donā€™t feed the troll. Utterly hilarious that someone demands respect for a piece of commercial airport space. Its not a church itā€™s a space for those who wish to pray. Susan please have some respect for others by not being pathetic. Anywhere can be used for prayer, should we therefore blanket ban photos globally?

  10. @Lucky

    Traditional places of worship are ornate and decorative by their very nature. This is a plain prayer room, devoted purrly for worship. Someone may have wanted to use it and then noticed you snooping around with a camera…

  11. @Lucky

    You could have taken a picture of the Prayer Room sign, or a picture of the door – or simply mentioned in the review that the lounge has a prayer room.

  12. I remember one time you took a picture within a prayer space on an airline, which seemed even more distasteful what with the clientele on board.

    It smacks of ‘heyyy this looks different, i should take a pic of this because you don’t see it every day’.

  13. @ Susan — I was literally the only guest in the lounge at the time I took the picture (it’s one of the reasons I arrive to lounges early, so I can take pictures without disturbing people). Is it okay now?

  14. Having justifiably sent the beef skewers back, did you order a replacement dish?
    There are 2 posts above which are about unrelated things (the posters acknowledges such); why don’t you simply delete these? There is no censorship dilemma there, just keeping things on topic.

  15. Well if they make the food from the dine in menu bad enough, then no one will miss that menu when they get rid of it!

  16. @Susan: Your objections to Lucky taking a photo of an empty prayer room in an empty lounge do not make any rational sense. There is no rule, convention, norm or guidance against taking a photo of a non-denominational prayer space- as others have mentioned, it is literally a commercial space set aside for prayer purposes. Even if it were an actual consecrated church/temple/synagogue/mosque there are also no such norms against taking photos in these spaces. You might have a point if there was someone actually in the prayer room… but Lucky has always been pretty sensitive and good about not taking photos of people without their permission.

  17. Thanks for this review Lucky. It looks very similar to their lounge in Dublin, which I also found to be oddly large for an outstation with little traffic. Lovely, though, with excellent service as well. I wish they’d get their own lounge in Toronto as the Plaza Premium international lounge is no great shakes, but given their financial straits and frequency, that seems unlikely.

  18. @susan LOL please, go wash some dishes and stop criticising Lucky over something so small as a picture. If youre THIS concerned go petition to churches stop allowing people and tourists to take pictures inside them.

  19. Before that lounge was opened, some 2 years ago, Etihad used the AA lounge which was very badly located in the A satellite under gates 37-39, especially when one had to go back to gates 40-50, quite a walk. The AA lounge was OK but not grand as far as food went. During Etihad flights periods, EY had their own attendants passing on much better food on trays, targeting of course EY passengers when they were identifiable but pretty much serving whomever approached them or extended their plate. It was a fun sport for us “just AA” passengers.

  20. There was nothing wrong with Ben taking a picture of the prayer room, even if god is fake. I don’t see why anyone would be “concerned.”

    The lounge doesn’t seem great, but nice considering they aren’t huge at Roissy. I find the AA lounge to be pretty decent for an AA out station.

  21. In the Etihad lounge now abcvagree withbtjd review comments … however in this day and age getting 1mb/1mb wifi is very ordinary. We travelled for 22 days through France Italy and Switzerland abc the Etihad lounge had by far the slowest internet. We stayed at s farm 5kms outside of Tirano and it had 5mb/5mb so yo get1mb in yhebusiness class lounge of a major international airport is really ordinary.

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