Is Etihad’s Meet & Greet Service Worth It?

A couple of days ago a reader left a comment asking me about Etihad’s meet & greet service. I was genuinely confused, since I hadn’t heard of that before.

I mean, as a first class passenger I’ve been picked up planeside when arriving at a remote stand and driven to the terminal, but that’s about the extent of any meet & greet service which I’ve experienced.

Etihad-First-Class-A340-79

But as it turns out, there is in fact a paid Etihad meet & greet service, which I hadn’t previously heard about.

Etihad-Meet-Greet

Etihad’s meet & greet service is open to all Etihad Airways passengers traveling through Abu Dhabi Airport, and has to be booked at least 48 hours in advance. So what does Etihad’s meet & greet service entail, and how much does it cost?

They have three types of services, depending on whether you’re arriving, departing, or transiting Abu Dhabi Airport.

Etihad’s Departure Meet & Greet Service

Departure Meet & Greet – Gold Service
(AED 250, $68 / per person)

  • Personal welcome on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport (1 staff for every guest or couple traveling together).
  • Staff will meet you at the airport Business Class check-in Terminal 1.
  • Assistance throughout the departure process, including escort from Business Class check-in desk Terminal 1 to Etihad Airways Premium Class Lounge Terminal 1.

Etihad-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi-01

Etihad’s Transit Meet & Greet Service

Transit Meet & Greet – Gold Service
(AED 325, US$89 / per person)

  • Personal welcome on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport (1 staff for every guest or couple traveling together).
  • Staff will meet you at the arrival gate lounge or bus disembarkation point.
  • Assistance throughout the arrival process, including escort from arrival gate to Etihad Airways Premium Lounge Terminal 1 and escort from Etihad Airways Premium Lounge Terminal 1 to the departure gate.
  • Available for guests who has up to 5 hours transit in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi-33

Etihad Arrivals Meet & Greet Service

Arrivals Meet & Greet – Gold Service
(AED 200, US$55 / per person)

  • Personal welcome on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport (1 staff for every guest or couple traveling together).
  • Staff will meet you at the arrival gate lounge or bus disembarkation point.
  • Assistance throughout the arrival process and immigration fast track.
  • Complimentary porter service from the baggage belt to the curbside.

Arrivals Meet & Greet – Silver Service
(AED 100, US$27 / per person)

  • Personal welcome on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport (1 staff for 2 to 5 guests).
  • Staff will meet you at the arrival gate lounge or bus disembarkation point.
  • Assistance throughout the arrival process and immigration fast track.

Etihad-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi-31

My Thoughts On Etihad’s Meet & Greet Service

There are a few things that stand out to me about these offerings:

  • The prices don’t actually seem half bad for such a service, compared to what you’d pay for something similar at another airport.
  • In my experience immigration queues at Abu Dhabi Airport can be highly variable, so this could be worth it upon arrival in order to cut the line, if nothing else.
  • Best I can tell, using the meet & greet service actually gets you access to Etihad’s Premium Lounge Terminal 1, so as far as I know that’s the only way to purchase lounge access with Etihad Airways. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t get you access to Etihad’s Premium Lounge Terminal 3.

Etihad-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi-09
Etihad Lounge Terminal 1 Abu Dhabi Airport

To expand on the last point, the departure meet & greet service costs $68, while the transit meet & greet service costs $89, both of which seem quite reasonable. I’d say it’s an especially good deal if you’re in economy, since you’re gaining lounge access as part of the package.

When I first read about the meet & greet service I wasn’t sure whether it included lounge access or not, but the old website about the meet & greet service makes it pretty apparent (bolding mine):

What’s more, our valued guests are accompanied at every stage of the airport process, with unique benefits such as fast-track immigration, assistance with baggage collection, lounge access and guidance to the airport exit, depending on which product you select. So now your arrival, departure or transit can be as comfortable as your flight.

Bottom line

I’ll probably give Etihad’s meet & greet service a try the next time I transit Abu Dhabi Airport, just for giggles. If you’re already in first or business class then there’s probably not that much value to be had with the service, but then again the prices aren’t horrible.

But this is potentially worthwhile if you’re an economy passenger, since Etihad’s meet & greet service gets you business class check-in, fast track security/immigration, and lounge access. At a price of $68-89, that’s a pretty good value.

Have you ever used Etihad’s meet & greet service, or would you consider using it at the above prices?

Comments

  1. While living in Abu Dhabi for a few years I would often book the service for arriving guests that I had coming into town. For the savvy traveler, it’s not necessary but for ones who aren’t seasoned travelers and therefore a bit nervous about where to go, what to do, it’s a huge help.

  2. Given that Etihad are set up for this, they should consider offering this as a service for first class passengers. As it is, when traveling first class you seem guaranteed to hit a massive line somewhere at AUH…

  3. Be great if you could use a card that reimburses airline fees/services, such as the R-C Visa. Will depend on how the charge shows up on the card…

  4. Hi Ben,

    I know you’ve painted a pretty compelling picture to fly Etihad’s A380 with the First Class Apartments, but would you dissuade us from taking one of their wet-leased Jet Airways 777’s if that was the only plane that had award availability? It seems that a lot of people have complained that the Jet Airways first class cabin experience is below par. Thanks!

  5. Craig, if you have options, it’s better not to use the Jet Airways wet lease aircrafts.

    This service is great for first timers to AUH.

  6. @ Craig — Ultimately the Etihad operated planes are going to be nicer, though the Jet Airways 777 will still be nicer than many of the alternatives. The planes aren’t in great shape, but ultimately you’re getting an enclosed first class suite. So if it’s the only reasonable option I’d still book it.

  7. Worth it? Duhhhhhh, of course not. Who’s gonna pay for it? You, the passenger, of course! Doesn’t take rocket science to figure that one out….

  8. From what I hear the US preclearance process is still a mess, the CBP lines are always long. This service may be a good value if your outbound flight is to the US.

  9. Keep in mind that the departure M&G meets you at the T1 Premium Checkin DESK (and not the T1 Premium Checkin ENTRANCE). To access the T1 checkin desk if you are in Economy Class (even if you have access via status, M&G, or whatever), you still have to go through the long lines at the general entrance and walk 200 meters back and forth inside. It’s an assinine layout, but then most of Abu Dhabi airport is that way.

  10. Hey Ben,
    I live in Abu Dhabi and have used the service for my grandparents it’s great for arrivals as they help you if filling out the immigration forms and you also get a porter service.
    But I recommend pearl Assist Meet And Greet more than the Etihad service as Pearl Assist has more options in the case of Etihad it’s just fast track and nothing else but in the case of pearl assist it’s a lot more.
    I’ve used both,honestly speaking of you’re a first class passenger there are no perks in the Etihad M&G. Etihad meet and greet is mostly meant for economy passengers!

  11. Hi Ben
    Nice article. However, is $68+ worth it for lounge access? Priority Pass, where you pay for access to one or two of the Abu D lounges (as well as others around the world), seems much cheaper. Perhaps the Etihad lounge is vastly superior to what the pass gets you, though?

  12. What happens when majority of economy passengers pay for M&G service and make line for fast track security/immigration longer than regular one, not to mention crowded lounges!?

  13. @ neo74 — Etihad’s lounge in Abu Dhabi is *substantially* nicer than the Priority Pass lounge, for what it’s worth. But everyone has a different valuation of that.

  14. Hey,

    My mom is travelling for the first time to UAE alone… Which service do you recommend??

    Pearl assist or Etihad meet and greet??

  15. @ Anish — It might not be necessary to get a service. What are you hoping to accomplish by having a service for her, I guess?

  16. Hello my wife travelling from Hyderabad to London Heathrow . which service meet and greet need

    Please let me know

  17. I read your post and it was excellent experience of Meet & Greet Service.It was all duty of staff they meet their passenger or guest with their welcome to their International Airport.Thanks for sharing.

  18. I booked for meet & greet on my travel to US. Now that i am returning back, i am not able to book again.Does that mean my initial booking holds good for my return travel also? Can anyone confirm?

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