I took the liberty of sending a link to this discussion to James Hogan the CEO of Etihad for his take on it.
I have just received this from his Guest Relations Manager.
Dear Mr XXX
Thank you for your correspondence. We certainly appreciate the time you have taken from your busy schedule to share the link posted in Business Traveller magazine.
I would like to assure you that we value our guests’ feedback and whenever their concerns are brought to our attention, we strive to address them in a prompt manner. The concerns raised by “blend69” with respect to the opening of our First class Lounge in Abu Dhabi were addressed by us on 17 November 2015.
Please allow me to take this opportunity to also share with you that the construction of our new First Class Lounge is well underway. However, we have been addressing some issues which took longer than expected to rectify. I can assure you we are not looking to cut costs, but instead we are developing a lounge which will deliver a remarkable experience to our First Class guests, with new and exciting features over and above those of the previous lounge, and with significantly more space. This is taking time to build, but we are currently working very hard to open the new lounge in early 2016. I am sure you will understand that such delays are solely due to our insistence on the very best standards.
Mr xxx, we certainly appreciate how important a dedicated lounge is for our First Class guests’ comfort and convenience. In the interim period, a dedicated area for our First Class guests has been made available at the Premium Lounge, which opened in September 2014. This area is cordoned off and staffed by a team member to verify eligibility and to ensure each and every First Class guest is offered a superior and remarkable First Class experience.
As you may have seen with the recent introduction of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft to our fleet, we have invested heavily in product and service onboard. We aim to match that with our service on the ground. The First Class Lounge, which as previously mentioned will be opening in early 2016, will offer upgraded facilities to our First Class guests. We are also investing heavily in the guest experience at our new home, the spectacular Midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport, due to open in 2017.
We appreciate your loyalty to us and trust you will enjoy great travel experiences with us in the future.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Manager, Guest Relations