Etihad First Class Review AUH-LAX
We landed with about three hours to spare in AUH. The issue came when we tried to find a gate. Apparently our gate was still occupied and we would have to wait about 15 more minutes before we could deplane. After a 10 minute wait, we arrived at the gate. We deplaned pretty quickly and proceeded to the Etihad Premium AUH. When we visited, the new First Class lounge was still not opened (it had a soft opening two days later, according to an agent in the current lounge).
My dad and I realized we were in a sort of a time crunch, given that in Abu Dhabi you need to clear US Customs before getting on the plane. My dad decided to have breakfast while I went ahead and tried the spa facilities. As soon as we entered the lounge we saw how overcrowded it was. Even the area cordoned off for first class passengers had no more than four empty seats. Finding a power outlet was nearly impossible. There was no point in photographing it given the amount of people there.
My dad proceeded to have breakfast, and took photos of the buffet. He said it had all the basics for an English Breakfast, as well as some Arabic pastries. There was also a section with fresh fruit (that were surprisingly actually fresh). Across from that was a section with a salad bar and the hot entrees. There was a large bar that was also all occupied. When I tried to photograph it, a lounge agent told me to refrain from photographing people. I decided to not photograph as much after this.
I went over to the Style and Shave, and as a First Class passenger, I had a chance to get a shave. I had never had professional shave, so I decided on that one. After the shave, which I must say was a cool experience, I went to the Spa. Given that my back was still sore from the massage at BOM, I opted for the scalp massage. I love scalp massages and this one was wonderful.
US Customs Pre-Clearance
When there was about 90 minutes before departure, we proceeded to the US CBP pre-clearance. There was no line for First Class passengers, so we went in with the “premium” line. The agents that work the station sounded American, so I can only imagine they are stationed there. The process was quick, and in a matter of minutes we were out.
US Pre-Clearance Lounge
After the CBP checkpoint, there is a small lounge for premium passengers heading to the US. This lounge was slightly less crowded than the main Premium Lounge, but crowded still. They had a continental breakfast spread, as well as chilled juices. Across the breakfast food, they had finger sandwiches which were pretty tasty. There was only one computer, however, and the wifi was rather slow.
The Etihad Premium Lounge AUH is incredibly overcrowded. I can only imagine this improved when the new First Class lounge opened. The lounge is a normal business class lounge, and it doesn’t make much a distinction for First Class passengers. It is unfortunate that there isn’t more space for First class passenger. When the new lounge opened, they changed the policies regarding spa and styling treatments. Now, you have to pick between a Style and Shave treatment or a Spa treatment. The US CBP Lounge is pretty average, but ideally you would spend there less than 30 minutes before your flight boards.
What do you think? Have you visited the Etihad Premium Lounge AUH? Have you visited the new First Class lounge at AUH? What are your thoughts?