Introduction: New Years In The Maldives, Summer In New Zealand
Review: Etihad Airways Lounge New York JFK
Review: Etihad First Class A380 New York To Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways Arrivals Lounge Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Business Class A340 Abu Dhabi To Male
Review: Returning To The Park Hyatt Maldives
This Is What A $570 Per Person New Year’s Eve Hotel Gala Is Like
Review: Etihad First Class A380 Abu Dhabi To Sydney
Review: Park Hyatt Sydney
Review: Qantas Business Class 737 Sydney To Auckland
Review: Hilton Auckland
Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland
Review: Hilton Queenstown
Review: American First Class 777-300ER Sydney To Los Angeles
Our flight from Miami landed at JFK at around 10AM, while our connection to Abu Dhabi was departing at 2:30PM. This required switching terminals, as we landed in American’s Terminal 8, while Etihad operates out of Terminal 4. Taking the train system between terminals was pretty quick, though then we found ourselves in the mess which is the security screening checkpoint at Terminal 4.
While there is a premium line, it tends to be really long, and I also find the passengers at this terminal to be the least familiar with the security screening process. So it’s not just that there are a ton of people trying to get through the checkpoint, but every second bag seems to require a secondary inspection, etc. I wish they made airside connections between terminals possible at JFK.
While other lounges are deeper into the terminal, Etihad’s lounge is just past the security checkpoint, before you even take the escalator down to the concours level. The exterior of the lounge is gorgeous. You don’t often see airline lounge exteriors which are this unique.
Once inside the lounge we were welcomed by a friendly associate dressed in Etihad’s stunning uniform, who informed us that boarding would be called when the flight was ready.
We were the very first guests in the lounge. I would note that Etihad doesn’t contract this lounge out to any other airlines, so it’s only open for a few hours a day leading up to the departure of the Etihad flight. That’s quite an investment they’re making in their product, as I imagine the lounge isn’t cheap to operate.
The lounge itself is even more beautiful on the inside than on the outside. The general layout of the lounge is that there’s a bar area, then traditional leather seats for lounging near the entrance and along the window, and then a separate dining area with a buffet.
The centerpiece of the lounge was the bar, which had a distinctive design, with great tarmac views in the background.
Past the bar was tons more seating, including some individual leather chairs facing the windows, and then sets of four seats along the opposite wall.
Then back towards the entrance was the dining area, where there were plenty of dining tables each seating two to four people. There were a few tables in the main part of the lounge.
Then there was a partitioned off dining area in a long and narrow room, with about a dozen tables.
The lounge had great views of Terminal 4 (which is home to a nice variety of airlines), and of the taxiways in the distance, so there was no shortage of plane spotting.
In the far corner of the lounge were the bathrooms and prayer rooms.
The bathroom was nice, though I’d note that the shower room is located inside the main bathroom, which I found a bit odd. Fortunately it was still completely private, and it was plenty spacious.
After finishing exploring the lounge we decided to settle into one of the sets of four seats. Our friend Matt was joining us for the flight to Abu Dhabi, though he only made it to the lounge about an hour after we did.
As soon as we settled in we were welcomed by the friendly servers, who offered us beverages and warm towels. It’s not often you get that kind of service in an airline lounge in the US! We stuck with ice water for the time being, as we figured we’d wait until Matt arrived before having a drink.
The buffet finished being set up shortly after we arrived in the lounge, and the food looked great.
There was a selection of soft drinks, water (including Pellegrino, yay!), an espresso machine, tea, Arabic coffee, etc.
In that same area there were delicious looking cookies and brownies.
The food spread itself looked great, and featured salad, cheese, fresh fruit, hummus, etc.
There were also a few hot dishes.
However, the above selection was only intended to supplement the lounge’s incredible menu. The lounge had both an a la carte dining menu, as well as one of the most impressive (and travel themed) cocktail lists I’ve ever seen.
The menu read as follows:
Here was the description of the buffet items:
The beverage list read as follows:
Once Matt arrived we ordered our first round of cocktails. They were simply incredible — they tasted great, the presentation was gorgeous, and I loved that each cocktail was named after a city.
We asked if they had some mixed nuts to snack on, and sure enough we were quickly brought out a ramekin with nuts.
We then decided to order food off the menu. They gladly served it to us where we were seated, so we didn’t have to go the dining area. Ford had the vegetable chorba, which he enjoyed.
Matt and I split the Arabic mezze, which was simple but excellent.
For the main, Matt had the lamb biryani.
I had the Indian spiced pan seared salmon, which was incredible.
We ordered another round of drinks…
And then another round of drinks…
Then we split the chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream, which was also tasty.
By around 1PM the lounge was a bit more full, though by no means crowded. I overheard that there were a total of 67 premium passengers on the flight (out of a total of 79 first & business class seats), so that’s a pretty good load.
Around 1PM the lounge staff came around with Arabic coffee & dates, which was a nice, authentic touch.
We headed to our departure gate at around 1:45PM. It was a five minute walk away, and boarding finally started at around 2:05PM, just 25 minutes before departure.
Etihad Lounge JFK bottom line
I was very pleasantly surprised by the Etihad Lounge New York. It’s physically a beautiful space with attentive service, creative cocktails, and a delicious menu off of which you can order. This lounge would easily rank on my list of the top five airline lounges in the US.
If you’ve visited the Etihad Lounge in New York, what was your experience like?