Last week Etihad commenced A380 service between Abu Dhabi and New York, making it the third destination to get service from the plane, after London and Sydney. I had the opportunity to be on the inaugural flight, which was fantastic. Etihad’s A380 first class hard product is unparalleled.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment
That wasn’t the only exciting development for Etihad in New York that week. As I wrote about in June, Etihad was planning on opening their own lounge in New York by the end of 2015. The great news is that the Etihad Lounge New York JFK is now open for both of Etihad’s daily flights between New York and Abu Dhabi.
While the lounge has been open for almost two weeks now, Etihad had the grand opening yesterday, which Etihad’s CEO, James Hogan, was in attendance for.
James Hogan at opening of Etihad Lounge JFK
Here’s how the lounge is described:
The airline’s new JFK lounge – which enhances its global lounge facilities in Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Manchester, Dublin, Paris, Sydney and Washington, D.C. – is designed with the “Facets of Abu Dhabi” brand theme and exclusively offers guests of Etihad Airways a series of signature moments of discovery and relaxation throughout the space. The lounge is adorned with the brand’s geometric design concept and uses a color palette that reflects the varying hues of the landscape of the UAE, from the darker sands of Liwa to the lighter colors seen in the Northern Emirates, designed by Chicago-based architect firm Gensler and global brand consultants Landor Associates. The new JFK lounge opening expands upon the airline’s strategic lounge development plans.
Amenities in the JFK lounge include a sculptural showcase bar and lounge with an extensive and bespoke cocktail and mocktail offering developed in partnership with a leading London-based beverage consultancy, Fluid Movement – underpinning Etihad’s commitment to culinary innovation and world class food and beverage. In the lounge’s dining area, guests can select from a choice of a la carte and international buffet options.
The lounge is appointed in custom furnishings by Boss, offering a range of distinct seating styles throughout the extensive seating areas available within thelounge. Further features include luxurious restrooms with showers and changing rooms, dedicated male and female ablution and prayer rooms, a library and luggage storage.
Etihad Airways guests travelling in The Residence by Etihad™, First Apartments or Business Studios have access to the lounge pre-flight. A private lounge is accessible exclusively to guests travelling The Residence by Etihad™, complementing the private luxury offered with this service in-flight.
Etihad Lounge JFK
It’s interesting that Etihad is coming up with a new lounge design to complement their new branding, as I thought they only recently refreshed the interiors of most of their lounges.
Etihad Lounge LHR
As is the norm for Etihad, the lounge is shared between first and business class passengers, though those traveling in The Residence have a separate, private room.
This lounge is a huge improvement over The Wingtips Lounge Etihad used to send their passengers to in New York, which was a rather embarrassing contract lounge.
Overall I’ve been very impressed by the Etihad lounges I’ve visited, in Abu Dhabi and London. I wonder if Etihad will contract the lounge out to other airlines for the hours it’s empty. I suspect it won’t, as the Middle Eastern carriers seem content keeping their lounges “exclusive,” even if the lounges are only open a few hours per day for their own passengers. Emirates has their own lounge at LAX, which they exclusively use for their once daily flight to Dubai.
Emirates Lounge LAX
I’m thrilled the new Etihad Lounge New York is open, as it nicely complements their onboard product. The Wingtips Lounge they used to send their passengers to was terrible, so it’s nice that they’re dedicated to providing a better experience on the ground as well. This makes flying the Etihad A380 out of New York even better.
I hope to check out the lounge soon.
Do you have plans to fly Etihad out of New York anytime soon?