Brand new Etihad Lounge in Abu Dhabi

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  alistairNicoll 11 Nov 2014
at 11:40
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • Anonymous

    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Flew through Business to Sydney two eve’s ago, and the huge new lounge by gate 35, has now 4x or more capacity and is a Palace amongst lounges worldwide. They had become desperate at peak times, with a small and over-congested lounge, but showing their growth and choice now by many Airlines Customers worldwide. they seem to announce further investment, routes, cabins, expansions every week via here, an Airline turned into a great success.

    http://www.etihad.com/en-gb/experience-etihad/lounges/business-class-lounge/

    Some of the photos show the colour scheme and contemporary style, Marble, various woods, types of seating areas, spa, Business area with Apple Pc’s, and a TV watching private cabins, concierge, and various food stations and areas spread around to dine at. Also much nearer the gate areas, walking out in the middle, than from the area after the Premium Terminal security where you entry tyhe main airport.

    The old closed area, is being refurbished also, and the previous two First and Business Lounges, are to be made into one First Class Facility

    Same style as in CDG where i started from, and Etihad invested $ Millions to develop. I just missed the opening of the Sydney Lounge but will experience it when returning First Class in a months time.
    The LHR one is not as luxurious as CDG, but of the same style, so it seems a successful model they are rolling out.

    Etihad are doing very well, with European and Australian flights running very full in First, Business and Economy, several Managers have informed me. This is set to increase with the A380 and new Business Studios, First Apartment, and “The residence”, forging a new style of hotel guest philosophy, taken a step further into the future. A world leader, far ahead of European Airlines, and only on par with SQ with my view.
    However, their ground services for Chauffeur car transfers, complimentary 5 star stopovers choice of hotels in Abu Dhabi or Dubai (again with transfers), double and triple miles promotions from LHR at present, and lounges, beat even SQ.

    Excellent to see an Airline growing so quickly, Profitable, in demand, way ahead of others worldwide, and adding to excellent facilities. So unique compared to the Airlines in Europe.


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    One can only hope that they can persuade the authorities at Abu Dhabi to provide a proper premium security screening service to the terminal so that transferring passengers can enjoy the new facilities and not spend their time queuing to be screened.

    Last time I was there it took more than 30 minutes and it would have been quicker to use the economy queues as only one scanner was in use.

    A great shame because the lounges and service on board are great


    TerryMcManus24
    Participant

    Going through in 2 weeks time so must have a look. Just read that Etis T4 London Lounge is getting a refurb and will be closed until December Guests are invited/instructed to use the Gulf Air lounge until then.


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    One of the reasons I gave up Gulf air was the lounge at Heathrow. Decided to have breakfast there but when I turned up in the lounge at 06.45 (for 09.30 flight) what a disappointment.. There was no hot food available and I was told I would have to wait until after 07.00 but in fact it was 07.25 by the time most of the help your self hot buffet was ready. I found the range to be poor and apart from the omelet the hot food was only warm and the plates cold.I fully understand why no bacon and cold hams are served. I would have liked for instance some scrambled egg with smoked salmon on toast but there was neither smoked salmon or toast available. Later I notice that the scrambled eggs had been left under the warmers and were unappetising


    TerryMcManus24
    Participant

    Sounds grim…Must be 30 plus years since I flew with Gulf so not missing much. Heading back in December via LCY from Heathrow T6 so will have to force myself into the KLM Royal Crown Lounge (Etis Dam base)and miss the Gulf offering this time….suit me/us…Wife wants a new computer …apple of course..and always find that Schiphol has the best offers with only KL being slighty cheaper.


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    30 years ago Gulf were great but now I am afraid they have gone into (terminal) decline


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    I used to take Gulf Air down to Australia, but then once Etihad started , they kicked Gulf Air out of AUH and took over their base, pushing them back to Bahrain.

    What has come out of it- Etihad, is quite superb though…


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    marcusGB – I agree Etihad are great far far superior to Gulf and I only wish they could sort out the problems at Abu Dhabi airport I mentioned above – the Qatar model with a separate business terminal would be the icing on the cake but I do not see that happening


    TerryMcManus24
    Participant

    Abu Dhabi New Midfield Terminal on track to open in 2017.

    The New Midfield Terminal Building that will more than double capacity at Abu Dhabi International Airport is on track to open in the summer of 2017, the airport’s operator said recently..

    More than 18,000 workers, 42 tower cranes and 35 mobile cranes are currently on site to keep the project on time.

    “Absolutely .. we will open on 17 July 2017. Everything is on schedule,” according to Ali Majed Al Mansoori, the chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports.

    The airport is built to cater to 30 Million Passengers per year, with 156 standard check-in counters and 48 self-service kiosks, plus provision for up to eight Airline Lounges. Its baggage handling system will be more than 22 kilometres long, with capacity to handle 19,000 bags per hour.

    The terminal building will also feature a museum to highlight the emirate’s cultural attractions such as The Louvre Abu Dhabi.

    The current capacity at the airport is 12.5 million passenger per year.
    and has reported a 15.1 per cent increase in passenger traffic during the first quarter of this year. . Passenger traffic forecasts show a 30 per cent increase in passenger numbers by the time the Midfield terminal is scheduled to open in 2017.

    Abu Dhabi International is undergoing rapid growth,driven by the route expansion of Etihad Airways which plans to have more than 160 aircraft and nine fleet types that include 10 Airbus A380s and 41 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by then.

    At Midfield, there will be eight gates that will accommodate the new premium guests who will be able to go directly from the lounge onto their Flights.

    The company also confirmed works under way to build links to the 1,200km Etihad Rail network.

    “We will build the infrastructure for Etihad Rail but It will open a couple of years later. However we are thinking ahead by providing the infrastructure,” said Mr Al Mansoori.

    An automated passenger mobility system – a set of trams – will also connect passengers from the new terminal to other future terminals

    A southern runway tunnel will also be installed via existing terminals.

    Abu Dhabi Duty Free is already working to attract global bidders to move into the terminal building, which will have a total of 28,000 square metres of space available, comprising 18,000 sq metres of retail and 10,000 sq metres for food and beverage outlets.

    So lots of DF to come…2017


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    Yes i was aware of this:

    BUT it does not solve the problem of premium passengers queuing longer than economy to get through the screening for transfer passengers to get into T3 because of unused scanners for the next 3 years.

    30 minutes is just unacceptable


    CrazyCanuck
    Participant

    The issue of waiting to be screened, when travelling in a premium cabin, also exists in Dubai.

    Between Dubai transit and that of Abu Dhabi….i kind of like the AUD experience.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Midfield is certainly something epic, and you can see the frame structures of the terminals already in place.

    Alistair, Etihad Premium First and Business class and Gold FF Guest members, have their own terminal This

    On checking in, i have been deal with immediately for First and Business, and immigration and security were 5 minutes each. No belts shoes or computers out either.
    F or arrival where you access the arrivals lounge and also the chauffeur car service. Departures are also completely separated with a Premium Departure terminal entrance.

    Transfers and gate security are also separated for premium travellers, so i have not seen this problem there either two months aso where i stopped over en route to The far East, and also on return to Europe . This meant many exits and departures.

    Since that time, the new lounge complex 4-5 times the size of the previous has opened at gate 31.
    However, as with everything if you check in later, it gets busy and you will get caught up in crowds. Enhanced security for Australian flights is in operation, so every carry on bag is physically x rayed and manually gone through. Again ,priority is kept for this with separate seating areas to board at the gate also.

    I really see no mass screening, and at every stage Premium lanes are always open throughout. I travelled through only 10 days ago, again with 2 nights complimentary stop overs, and all went very smoothly with multiple exits and entrances at the airport. I find it very efficient.


    alistairNicoll
    Participant

    Marcus, my experience is transferring at Abu Dhabi and I can only report on my last trip where the screening for transfer was a complete mess. There were two queues for economy and one for premium. It took me 30+ minutes in the premium and both economy queues were quicker. On complaining I was told that this was not an isolated incident and a regular occurrence at peak times.

    There was one business scanner not being used and two of the economy ones not in use. I duly complained to the airport who 2 months later have not responded and to Etihad who responded very quickly.

    I am hoping that this is not repeated on my next visit because I do like Etihad


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Hi Alistair.

    I cannot doubt your experience, as i was not there with you at the time, and respect that is what you did experience and see.

    I can only reflect what my very recent experience has been in the last 10 weeks, going through with a return CDG to KUL, and one way to Sydney 10 days ago.
    i will also return in the next two weeks with stopovers, and can reflect only what i observe. I also like certain Airlines, but am objective enough to write only what i see good or bad.

    i know the Lounge nr gate 31 is a vast improvement, and spans a huge very beautiful area, thoroughly well planned and clearly a lot of investment, as is the new Arrivals lounge.
    I would only say it is buty later eve and early morning, but not to the level where you could not get a seat only weeks ago in the Business lounge..
    The old combined lounges, are being converted into a First onl.

    I think Etihad in all fairness, has expanded at phenomenal speed, and in some ways they re catching up with their own success, gates also a problem for their arrivals and departures, we even arrived at a cargo terminal and were bussed out on premium coaches, to an arrivals area.

    i can only say on talking to Lounge staff and crews, that they are relieved that the resources are their, and time is putting them in place, and they have a limited operational area currently for gates.

    Streamlining all food and beverage orders on board before you take off in Premium cabins is excellent, swift and individual service after take off. Equally, bids for upgrading mean the cabins are full on the day, no messy upgrades at the gate, on BT i heard a horror story of 87 BA people being upgraded at the gate, and etihad maximise revenue in this regard now. All their flights are full in premium cabins, great fare promotions, and all the ground services no other Airlines expect EK, come near.

    It does not address your issue, nut with the A380 coming soon also, I hope that you can see they are really doing everything they can at the moment to improve things.

    If you wrote to Etihad Guest Relations, they would outline this and genuinely try to correct it.

    We had enhanced screening as i boarded the &&30ER to Sydney a few weeks ago, this being at the gate. Every bag was manually searched, yet it appeared messy but was done with time enough to board, settle, plave food and drink requests, and we left on time.

    All i would say, is that enormous efforts from every staff member at etihad is being made, and they know the deficits. I think you have every right to make a point at the time to an Etihad Manager and have your experience recognised and deal with.
    For my, i fly through everywhere with priority for Premium Lanes and as a Gold member.

    I really hope you will fly next time and see the changes for all our benefits.

    With their new Cabins on stream and the A380 in two months time, they are to be way ahead of others again.

    i wish you well for future trios, and like you, will say where i find fault honestly.
    Thanks for your points, i shall keep an eye open.

    Meanwhile, the Sydney Lounge need s report also which i shall try to summarise on my return.

    All the best.

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