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Review: Etihad VIP Room Abu Dhabi Airport

Review: Etihad VIP Room Abu Dhabi Airport

Introduction: The World’s Longest Flight, By way of Ahmedabad
Assessment: Etihad First Class 787 Washington To Abu Dhabi
Evaluate: Etihad VIP Room Abu Dhabi Airport
Evaluate: Etihad Enterprise Class A320 Abu Dhabi To Ahmedabad
Assessment: Hyatt Ahmedabad
Assessment: Plaza Premium Lounge Ahmedabad Airport
Evaluation: Singapore Airways Enterprise Class A330 Ahmedabad To Singapore
Evaluate: Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Evaluation: Singapore Airways Enterprise Class A350-900ULR Singapore To Newark

I had a roughly 4 hour layover in Abu Dhabi, as my flight from Washington arrived round 7PM, whereas my connecting flight to Ahmedabad was departing at 11PM.

As often appears to be the case, our flight arrived at a distant stand. I didn’t thoughts this an excessive amount of, since earlier this yr Etihad introduced that they’d begin providing Mercedes S-Class transfers to top notch passengers who arrive at distant stands.

Etihad 787 upon arrival from Washington

Once I arrived I noticed a Mercedes ready, so I figured “great.” However nope, that was only for the three locals in top notch, apparently.

Etihad 787 upon arrival from Washington

Until the S-Class was just lately redesigned to be extra spacious, I don’t assume I received a Mercedes switch. 😉

Etihad bus from distant stand to terminal

Etihad bus from distant stand to terminal

Whereas Doha and Dubai are usually lovely airports and principally good hubs for transfers, Abu Dhabi isn’t. The airport is meant to have a brand new terminal opening quickly, however at this level it appears to me like they could have simply given up on ending development on it.

The transit safety checkpoint was outrageously backed up, although thankfully there was a precedence line for enterprise class, so I used to be by means of in about 10 minutes. For many who didn’t have entry to the precedence line, I think about the road should have been no less than an hour lengthy.

At that time I headed to the Etihad First Class Lounge, which I’ve reviewed earlier than.

Etihad Airways first-class lounge Abu Dhabi exterior

On the entrance my boarding cross was scanned, after which I took the elevator as much as the lounge degree, because it’s one flooring above the primary concourse.

Etihad Airways top notch lounge Abu Dhabi entrance

The lounge is sort of lovely and was good and empty once I arrived.

Etihad Airways top notch lounge Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways first-class lounge Abu Dhabi

Whereas this might be greater than adequate for my brief layover, I made a decision to attempt one thing particular this time.

As a way to generate extra income, Etihad started promoting entry to a few of their “Residence” lounges around the globe once they’re empty. They began doing so earlier this yr in Abu Dhabi.

The Residence is Etihad’s three room suite with butler service on A380s, which I reviewed final yr between Abu Dhabi and Sydney:

If you purchase entry to that lounge you don’t obtain all the enhanced service, although it’s nonetheless a reasonably superior expertise.

To be able to pay for this I went to the customer support desk contained in the lounge, and requested about shopping for entry to the “VIP room” (which is what they name it whenever you’re not within the Residence). The attendant went to examine on the fee as she wasn’t positive.

The place to purchase entry to the Etihad VIP room

Inside a minute she returned and swiped my bank card for $100.

Receipt for purchasing entry to Etihad VIP room

She then escorted me to my personal room. Once I flew the Residence I obtained the primary Residence room, which is a bit greater, however in actuality the room I obtained was additionally a room meant for the Residence, since they often have two individuals flying the Residence on the similar time.

Was this completely pointless? Sure. Was it completely superior and introduced again reminiscences of my superb flight within the Residence final yr? YES!

The room featured a eating desk with 4 seats.

Etihad VIP room Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad VIP room Abu Dhabi Airport

Then on the opposite aspect have been two snug couches in addition to a wall-mounted TV.

Etihad VIP room Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad VIP room Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad VIP room Abu Dhabi Airport

The lounge additionally featured a personal rest room and bathe, which is a pleasant factor to have.

Etihad VIP room personal toilet Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad VIP room personal bathe Abu Dhabi Airport

In case you have been flying the Residence you’d get a full time butler taking care of you. In the meantime for those who’re paying for entry to the VIP room, you have got a lounge attendant who checks on you now and again. So whereas it’s not as attentive, you’re nonetheless getting particular remedy.

Inside a couple of minutes an attendant got here by to current me with the menu and drink record.

Etihad top notch lounge menu & drink listing

The menu learn as follows:

The drink listing learn as follows:

To start out I ordered a glowing water and cappuccino, which was promptly delivered to me on a tray.

Etihad top notch lounge — cappuccino and water

At round 8PM I made a decision to go to the spa for a remedy. Whereas Etihad just lately closed their Fashion & Shave Salon, their Six Senses Spa continues to be open, and first-class passengers obtain a complimentary 15 minute remedy.

The spa menu learn as follows:

I made a decision on a 15 minute again therapeutic massage, and there was instant availability. The therapeutic massage was wonderful.

Etihad top notch lounge therapeutic massage chair

As soon as again in my personal room I made a decision it was dinner time. I ordered a glass of Italian sauvignon blanc to start out.

Etihad Airways first-class lounge — glass of white wine

For dinner I ordered the mezze with hummus, fattoush, moutabel with lamb sambousek, and potato kibbeh, in addition to the tandoori paneer with naan, yellow lentil masala, and cucumber-mint raita. Your complete meal was delivered to me directly by two attendants.

Etihad Airways firstclass lounge — dinner

The mezze was good, although for my part there’s not that a lot variance when it comes to the standard.

Etihad Airways top notch lounge — dinner

Etihad Airways first-class lounge — dinner

In the meantime the tandoori paneer was distinctive. It was spicy and so flavorful. Mmmmm…

Etihad Airways firstclass lounge — dinner

The one basic problem to concentrate on with the VIP room is that the personal room has a sliding frosted glass door, and solely a lounge attendant can open the door for you utilizing a keycard. You’re not given one your self, so if you determine to go away your personal room (whether or not to go to the bar, to the spa, and so forth.) you’ll have to ask an attendant to open it once more.

That’s not an enormous deal, however I additionally received a number of skeptical seems to be once I requested individuals to open it, since clearly they weren’t conscious somebody had paid to make use of that room.

Moreover, there’s not a name button for an attendant, so whereas they attempt to examine on you now and again, if you need to truly order you could have to go away the personal room and go into the lounge.

Anyway, my personal room had a departure monitor, which was handy. The boarding move indicated my flight was scheduled to board at 10:10PM, and my flight was departing from gate 28.

Etihad Airways departures board

So at round 10PM I made a decision to go within the path of gate 28, which was solely a brief stroll away.

Strolling to Etihad departure gate Abu Dhabi

Sadly gate 28 is definitely a distant stand, so I took the escalator down a degree.

Strolling to Etihad departure gate Abu Dhabi

Strolling to a distant stand gate

Positive sufficient boarding did begin at 10:10PM, although it was pure chaos. The gate space was small, and on prime of that everybody determined they have been going to be the primary individual on the bus.

Departure gate to Ahmedabad

Whereas there was a precedence line, there was no enforcement to make sure it was getting used appropriately, however moderately everybody simply assumed you may board by way of both lane.

Departure gate to Ahmedabad

It obtained considerably extra dramatic as soon as on the bus, which was crammed to the brim. As soon as the bus door closed, a man realized he had forgotten one thing within the terminal. He started banging on the window of the bus and inflicting a commotion. Then that brought about an rebellion amongst different individuals, who didn’t need to return to the terminal, in order that they advised him to be quiet.

“We are on the runway, we can’t go back. We will miss the flight. Be quiet. Stop!”

That solely made him bang on the home windows more durable.

It was an extended drive to the gate, and by 10:25PM we arrived on the aircraft.

Etihad A320 Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad VIP room backside line

Whereas Etihad’s First Class Lounge generally is sort of good, getting a VIP room was a particular deal with. It was completely pointless, although.

So, was it value it? That is utterly pointless, in fact, although it did convey again nice reminiscences of flying the Residence final yr. Since I used to be touring alone, being within the room all on my own was an isolating expertise (which I fairly like, particularly between flights), although I think about this could possibly be much more helpful in case you’re touring with associates or household, or have calls to make.

Sadly the remainder of the Abu Dhabi floor expertise leaves quite a bit to be desired, from the distant stands, to transit safety, to Etihad’s incapability to ship on their premium cabin guarantees (together with a personal switch when flying firstclass, and precedence boarding when flying enterprise class).


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