Review: Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow Airport

Introduction
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I was excited to check out the brand new Etihad Lounge London Heathrow, which only reopened after a renovation in late December 2014 (the opening coincided with the introduction of Etihad’s A380 service to London Heathrow).

Etihad flies out of Terminal 4 at London Heathrow, which is certainly one of the more “exotic” terminals in terms of airlines.

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London Heathrow Terminal 4

Etihad’s Heathrow Lounge is located near gate 10, in the same general area as the SkyTeam Lounge.

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Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow signage

When you’re in front of the SkyTeam Lounge you can either take the elevator or a staircase down to the Etihad Lounge, which is one level below the main concourse.

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SkyTeam/Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow signage

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Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow signage

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Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow staircase

I didn’t actually have my boarding pass when I got to the lounge, so I asked the agents if they could check me in and print it for me. They were a bit puzzled, as if they had never been asked to do that before. One agent asked the other if that was possible, and after a couple of phone calls they said they could do it.

I had to wait there for about 10 minutes while they checked me in. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen as many people denied lounge access back-to-back as during that period.

One guy was flying Air Serbia and wanted lounge access. The agent said the lounge was only for Etihad passengers.

One passenger was on a staff ticket in business class and insisted he was entitled to lounge access.

One person in economy said the person at check-in told him he could use the lounge.

After about 10 minutes the agent realized I was the least of their problems, and invited me into the lounge while they processed my check-in.

The Etihad Heathrow Lounge is a shared first & business class facility, so there are no special services for first class passengers. It’s a beautiful lounge, though, and designed in a similar manner to the flagship Etihad Airways Business Class Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport.

A majority of the seating was located past the entrance and to the right.

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Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow seating

There was seating along the wall, as well as several sets of seats facing one another in the middle of the room.

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Etihad Airways Lounge London Heathrow seating

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

Etihad is so consistent with their lounge decor, down to the “bookshelf” (of sorts) with artifacts on it.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

There was more seating in the corner of the lounge.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

Then there was a TV area right in front of the Six Senses Spa (more on that later).

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

Back towards the entrance and to the left was the dining and bar area. There was another long couch there, right by the entrance.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

And also a much smaller couch.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow seating

The bar featured table-top seating

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow bar

The dining area was designed similarly to how it is in Abu Dhabi, with plenty of two and four person tables at which you can enjoy a meal.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow dining area

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow dining area

There was even more seating by the window (unfortunately the tarmac views weren’t great, since you were almost at tarmac “level” due to the lounge basically being in the basement of the airport).

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow dining area

Then past the dining area were more comfortable lounge chairs, which is also where the buffet was located.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow buffet area

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow buffet area

After touring the lounge I settled in and ordered a glass of champagne. There are servers roaming the lounge, so you don’t even have to leave your seat to get a drink or something to eat. I was quickly served a glass of Lanson, which is quite nice for a business class lounge.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow champagne

I was also offered a breakfast menu, which seemed a bit odd given that it was around 11:45AM. The breakfast buffet wasn’t available and it was just an a la carte menu at this point. I asked when lunch would be available, and the server said “soon.”

I decided to wait until lunch was available, though for what it’s worth the breakfast menu read as follows:

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Then I decided to go to the Six Senses Spa to inquire about a treatment. These treatments are complimentary for first and business class passengers. Kudos to Etihad for offering a spa even at an outstation.

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Etihad Lounge London Heathrow Six Senses Spa

I asked about making an appointment, though they said appointments could only be made 20 minutes in advance. So I made an appointment about 15 minutes in advance (I was surprised there was availability).

The spa menu read as follows:

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I came back 15 minutes later and had to fill out a health form, and then the therapist took me down to the hallway to a treatment room for my 15 minute back support massage.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow Six Senses Spa hallway

As is the norm, the treatment took place in a face-down massage chair. The treatment was fantastic — I felt amazing when it was done.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow Six Senses Spa massage chair

The only odd part of the spa treatment was that I’m used to their being relaxing spa music during the treatment, but instead there was a Tiesto remix of John Legend’s “All Of Me,” which doesn’t strike me as being very spa-like.

By the time I was done with my spa treatment the lunch buffet was set up. Usually I far prefer a la carte menus to buffets, but the buffet was exceptionally good for a business class airline lounge.

Not just in terms of variety, but also in terms of quality.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch buffet

They had several kinds of finger sandwiches, wraps, tartlets, skewers, etc.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch buffet

Then there were several types of salad, hummus, etc.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch buffet

There were three hot options, including penne arabiatta, roasted cod with a walnut, lemon, and parmesan crust, and cumin rice.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch buffet

There was also a dessert spread, including cheese, baklava, etc.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch buffet

I hadn’t eaten breakfast, so sort of went to town…

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow lunch

I ordered a cappuccino to finish off the meal, which was served on a similar tray to how they serve it aboard.

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Etihad Lounge Heathrow cappuccino

The flight was scheduled to depart at 2:05PM, but due to the aircraft having a delayed arrival, it was announced that boarding would be delayed by about 30 minutes. At 2:10PM boarding was announced in the lounge, and from there it was an easy two minute walk to gate 10.

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Etihad Heathrow departure gate

Boarding began with first & business class, so I was aboard within a minute.

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Etihad Heathrow departure gate

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Etihad 777-300ER Heathrow

While I’ve flown Etihad first class many times before I’m always excited when I board, since I never quite know what to expect. While Cathay Pacific is consistent (almost) to a fault, Etihad is all over the place.

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Etihad 777-300ER Heathrow

Etihad Heathrow Lounge bottom line

Keeping in mind that this is a business class lounge and there are no separate services for first class passengers, I was really impressed. The lounge is spacious, has a great variety of seating options, has a Six Senses Spa with complimentary treatments, and has a great food spread. It really doesn’t get much better than that, if you ask me.

It’s definitely one of the best outstation lounges offered by any airline, in my opinion.

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Comments

  1. I am wondering why Emirates , Qatar and Eithad do not have any destination in Israel, even Royal Jordanian and EgyptAir fly to Tel Aviv . This could be a huge inconvenience for people in Australia travel to Israel.

  2. Why would they? They don’t have peace treaties with Israel (though there are many under-the-table business dealings…ah, Gulf monarchs, their one true religion is money money money) the way Jordan and Egypt do.

  3. That are 2 well used passports.

    I know you have said that you save a lot page by have both EU and US passport Lucky, but how often do you need to renew your passports because all the pages are used up?

  4. @Jaoaos

    I think you take the price for today’s brain fart.

    Before commenting on what is in reality middle eastern politics you might want to read up a bit!

    Begin by googling “List of diplomatic missions of Israel”

    You do know that Qatar is where the top leadership of Hamas hangs out after Syria became a bit unfriendly?

    UAE might do a deal with Israel one day, but don’t hold your breath hoping it will happen anytime soon

  5. @No Name
    Just because their governments do not like Israel doesn’t because they can’t. I know both UAE and Qatar are not gay friendly countries, but my gay friends are warmly welcomed and served just like any other passenger, even after he told flight attendants he is homosexual.
    I see no problem flying to Israel for these companies. American government doesn’t like Cuba, Venzulala, but we still have flights going there as long as it is profitable for airlines.

  6. @Jaoaos – This is exactly why the EgyptAir flight to Israel goes out full every day, although it’s not sold online (on the phone or at the office), not advertised and not even on the departures board! 😉

  7. @Jaoaos It would be better to fly Thai/El Al to Israel. They codeshare. I think Thai also flies from the majority of Australian cities

  8. Thai is a little bit far… I wonder why Qantas does not any direct flight to Israel. SYD to TLV should take no more than 16 hours of fly directly… Now, it almost takes one day to fly this route with layovers…

  9. @ No Name — I don’t get stamped when entering the EU and US and have extra pages in them, so am still good as of now. 🙂

  10. @Jaoaos

    What F”#¤%c does the airlines being gay friendly have anything to do with it?

    It’s not gay rights that are contended issue between Israel and the gulf nations.

    The government of Qatar is the main backer of Hamas when it comes to political and money support.
    Hamas is the terrorist group that commits suicide bombings and fires rockets again Israel.
    Qatar Airways is owned by the government of Qatar

    If governments of Cuba and Venezuela sponsored a group sending suicide bombers and rockets into American cities, and getting JFK closed because danger of rockets attack you can be sure it would be a lot of flights going from the US to Cuba and Venezuela.

    Of course it would be that small airline called US Airforce doing most of flying with planes whose name start with F, A and B. Probably with some help from that small cruise line called the US Navy if they have one of their floating airfield available.

    Let me spell this out for you; Israel and Qatar is in practice in a proxy WAR!

    Chance are great that we will see Saudia flying to Tel Aviv before Qatar.

    And the UAE airlines will probably not starting flying to Israel anytime soon since that would risk loosing a lot more traffic in Gulf region from locals boycotting them than what they will gain on the routes to Israel.

  11. @No Name Russia is basically doing the same thing towards Ukraine, yet the state-owned Aeroloft still have flights to Kiev. Same for Ukraine International Airlines.
    As far as I know, Israel government never said anything about ME3 entering Israel market. As a democratic country, Israel government is actually quite open on this issue. It’s ME3 decisions to not to enter the Israel market. Which seems to me, is unreasonable, because business is business and politic is politic.

  12. @Jaoaos

    Small question does the Israel and the Gulf nations have an opens skies treaty or mutual traffic rights? Kind of hard to set up something like that if you have diplomatic relations?

    Seems to remember that US-Cuba flights was under the agreement from before Castro took over? Getting that agreement updated is probably one of the first thing a new US ambassador will have to arrange.

    Venezuela still have diplomatic relations with US don’t they? And until shale oil the US was the biggest customer for Venezuela oil.

    Since you mention Russia, want to take a wild guess whose Nazi Germany biggest trading partner was in 1941? When shooting starts business often becomes one of the first victims of politics.

    The problem for Ukraine in the present is that they can not tell Putin and the Russians (including Aeroflot) to go F”#¤%ck them self with a big dildo since they are totally dependent on Russian gas to avoid freezing and being able to cook food.

    And remember that the ME3 are government owned and instruments used to carry out political goals when it comes to developing their home bases, and NOT pure commercial enterprises.

    It just mean that they are not run by purely commercial reasons, but are vehicles for carrying out political goals and profit comes seconded.

    And you seems to have forgotten another of President Scrub’s Axis of Evil, Iran? How many direct flight are there between Iran and the US these days?

    Qatar Airlines applying for a license to fly to Israel is kind of like a airline owned by the Taliban applying for traffic rights to JFK in October 2001.

  13. Turkish is the way to go for Israel connections (which has an awesome lounge that I’d consider only slightly worse than this Etihad one reviewed here and probably superior if you prefer more plain food), though that won’t help you with Australia. I also hope that we’ll see flights to ME countries, maybe the election this week will help.

  14. @ Miles Down Under — I’d say the food in the Qatar Lounge might be a bit nicer, but the Etihad Lounge has the spa, which I really like.

  15. @No Name
    you know , you sound a lot like Delta’s CEO
    “Qatar Airlines applying for a license to fly to Israel is kind of like a airline owned by the Taliban applying for traffic rights to JFK in October 2001.”

    “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian peninsula talk about that given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11 which came from terrorists from the Arabian peninsula that caused us to go through a massive restructuring.” Said Delta CEO.

    Israel government is actually really open minded, given it is a democratic country respect opinions of their citizens. It is really up to ME3 airlines decide whether or not to launch flights between Israel and their hubs.

  16. Looks pretty good! Am at the biz class side of the Wing at HKG right now and it’s a little disappointing after having only done the first class side before. I mean no ice? Really? Also food selection is a little spare.

  17. The ME3 countries not flying to Israel isn’t a matter of economy, it’s a matter of principle (for now).

    “The government of Qatar is the main backer of Hamas when it comes to political and money support.
    Hamas is the terrorist group that commits suicide bombings and fires rockets again Israel.
    Qatar Airways is owned by the government of Qatar”

    Well, Qatar wasn’t flying there long before they had close ties to Hamas. And terrorist group to you, freedom fighters and liberators to others. El-Al flies to the UK, despite all the British people killed by Haganah, the Irgun, Lehi, etc…

  18. @Jaoaos Among the 58 or so Islamic countries, Israel is only recognized by Egypt, Jordan and Turkey and all three fly to Israel. For other countries, its never going to happen, not alteast in the next decade or so- there will be riots on the streets if governments/airlines decide to fly there.

  19. @Jaoaos and others:

    As a gay Australian jew I believe i’m well qualified to answer your questions. The ME3 don’t fly to TLV because they don’t want to fly to Tel Aviv. Pure and simple. Likely a mixture of political issues (non recognition of each other’s countried diplomatically, or even potentially considered an enemy state), blowback from any of their local passengers because they fly to TLV, and whether they’d make money on it. Would passengers on Israeli passports be allowed to transit the ME3, let alone enter the country? If most passengers at a destination country can’t fly your airline, who is going to buy tickets? Just tourists? Forget about that.

    I don’t see the fact that your gay friends were not lynched by the flight attendants upon revealing themself to be a homosexual to be relevant to the question. Are you saying now all gays should fly them to Israel because it’s safe?

    Similarly with Qantas, the fact that it’d be convenient for you to fly quicker to Israel with QF doesn’t make it a viable flight. Do you really see them making money with such a route? How many people actually travel to TLV every day from SYD?

    SG

  20. Nice review as ever. The lounge has a similar look to the relatively new Syd lounge, which is great, all al a carte dining etc, for business and first passengers. The Aussie lounges seem to beat anything in Europe into the dust! Lucky, I’m looking forward to your review of the EY 1st lounge in Abu Dhabi when it eventually opens

  21. @Lucky. Nice review and pics as usual. Was the lounge overly busy? I read another review where the guy said the lounge is small and close to departure it was full and he couldn’t find a seat. I think he was on EY12 though. Thanks.

  22. Can i use Etihad Lounge in LHR by paying and not First or Business traveler, if answer positive how much per pax ?

  23. You can use the lounge at Heathrow if you are flying economy and have Silver Guest or above.

    I am looking forward to using it again on Thursday

  24. Do you know whether this can be used as arrival lounge? We arrive in Heathrow on Etihad First then after 3 hours transit we’ll fly to Barcelona in economy. Thanks heaps

  25. Thank you for this very detailed report, I would really appreciate it if you try Qatar airways new lounges in Hamad airport, which are the business and the first class lounges.. and give your report and opinion about it..

  26. I am flying Economy to Abu Dhabi from LHR T 4 on 4 September and would like to know
    if I can pay to enter the Etihad Lounge before my flight. I am a mature single female passenger.
    Please advise via email.
    Regards Jacqui.

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