As I was planning my trip back home from Sri Lanka, I was desperately curious to find a way to fly on Etihad’s A380 first class product. Although that meant taking the long way home, I wanted to experience it for myself.
Etihad’s first class lounge in Abu Dhabi in Terminal 3 is nice. Although it isn’t as impressive as it’s rival airline in Dubai, it still offers a wide range of amenities and a la carte dining that rivals most first class lounges.
The first class lounge is located immediately past the security checkpoint. If you’re looking for the entrance and you’ve passed the rows of watch vendors and the duty free shop, you’ve gone too far. I didn’t think it would be so immediately past security so I walked right past it.
As you walk in, you’ll see an agent check your boarding pass and you’ll be ushered right in. Make sure you know what time boarding is since they don’t make announcements in the lounge. Also, know that you can’t board the aircraft from the lounge so you’ll need to make sure you give yourself enough time to walk to your gate.
After you check in, you go upstairs and you’ll see a little foyer and past that is the massive dining room to one side and the spa, children’s area, and bathrooms on the other.
The dining room seems to take up the bulk of the lounge and offers a la carte dining. If you’re not in the mood for food, you can easily take a seat at the numerous seating areas. There are countless staff who also roam the lounge and will be quick to offer drinks and anything you need.
In the back, there is also a relaxation room. I don’t know how much relaxing can be done in there but it’s pretty cool to just sit there and watch the graphics. I didn’t spend too much time there since I was afraid I’d fall sleep and do something stupid like miss my flight.
You can also get a spa treatment if you like but I didn’t get one. I didn’t bother asking about it since it didn’t interest me but I know it’s a popular perk for many.
I thought the lounge was great. It has everything that you would expect to see and find at first class lounge. I really enjoy a lounge that has an a la carte menu and I can really recommend the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. I thought the relaxation room was a nice touch but it would have been nicer to have actual beds or areas to fully nap if needed.