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Etihad’s First Class lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is one of the most luxurious lounges around, and definitely one of my favorites. I stopped in to check it out before hopping on the A380 to try the first-class Apartment on a recent trip from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK).



This is no typical airline lounge — you know, those with cheese cubes and generic office furniture. Glitz and glamour are the name of the game here — you see that right away when you pass under a giant sparking chandelier as you walk in.

The space features a spa where you can pamper yourself with body, nail or facial treatments (each guest gets a FREE massage upon entry, and mine was fantastic) and even a gym where you can break a sweat before a long flight. Afterwards, you can take a hot shower — and yep, they pass the TPG shower test. There’s even a nap room where you can catch some shut eye before your flight.

If you’re hungry, there’s a great spread of food for you to choose from. The lounge has everything — there are healthy items like fresh fruit and salads, delectable desserts or hot plates for breakfast (I indulged in the savory eggs Benedict), lunch and dinner. Even though I was there in the morning for breakfast, I had to have a glass of champagne, too. The list of beer, wine and spirits is expansive.

The lounge even features a cigar room, where I was able to puff away on a special cigar made for the UAE, the Bolivar Emirati.

Although I don’t normally travel with children, I noticed the lounge was family-friendly. Anyone with kids can send them off to the colorful and enticing children’s playroom filled with games and toys.

But not just anyone can get into this exclusive lounge. You’ll have to be flying Etihad’s first class to gain access to the lounge, or have Etihad Guest Platinum status (or top-tier status with select partner airlines) to get in. You can also pay to get in, but it’s not cheap.

Here are all the details on how who can get in:

  • Passengers departing Abu Dhabi on a first class Etihad flight
  • Passengers arriving in first class and continuing in business class
  • Passengers holding Etihad Guest Platinum Status (and one guest)
  • Passengers (and one guest) in the following Etihad Airways Partner loyalty programs with top-tier status: Alitalia (Mille Miglia – Freccia Alata Plus Club), Jet Airways (JetPrivilege – Platinum), Air Serbia (fully integrated into Etihad Guest), Air Seychelles (fully integrated into Etihad Guest)
  • If you want to pay using miles or cash, rates are below:

A previous version of this story mentioned a hair salon in the lounge, which has since been closed. The story has been amended to reflect the closure of the salon.

Know before you go.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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