Introduction: The Flight Of A Lifetime
Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Washington Dulles Airport
Review: Etihad Lounge Washington Dulles Airport
Review: Etihad Business Class 787 Washington To Abu Dhabi
Review: Shangri-La Abu Dhabi
Review: Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Residence Lounge Abu Dhabi Airport
Review: Etihad Residence A380 Abu Dhabi To Sydney
Review: Hyatt Regency Sydney
Review: Virgin Australia Lounge Sydney Airport
Review: Virgin Australia Business Class 737 Sydney To Melbourne
Review: Etihad Lounge Melbourne Airport
Review: Virgin Australia Business Class 777 Melbourne To Los Angeles
After my brief visit to the Turkish Lounge, I headed over towards the Etihad Lounge at around 6:30PM, right as it opened. The Etihad Lounge is located at the far end of the A Concourse, right by gate A14.
The lounge is quite literally at the end of the concourse, next to the escalators that passengers originating at Dulles Airport would take.
Etihad has a total of three US lounges, with the other locations being in Los Angeles and New York. The Washington location was their very first lounge in the US, as it opened in 2013. It doesn’t have their newest lounge design, unlike their other two US lounges.
I arrived right as the doors to the lounge opened, and explained to the associate at the front desk that I didn’t yet have a boarding pass. She asked for my passport, and then invited me to enjoy the lounge, and said she’d come find me (which isn’t too tough to do when you’re the only guest).
Even though the lounge doesn’t have Etihad’s newest design, it’s a stunning space. There’s a second level for part of the lounge, so the ceilings throughout most of the lounge are quite high, which is nice.
The lounge apparently has seating for about 65 people, though I doubt it often fills up all the way.
The lounge has tons of great seating options, mostly consisting of leather chairs in a variety of configurations. I especially liked the pairs of chairs along the windows, though do wish they had more conveniently placed power outlets, which seems like a bit of a design flaw.
All the seating areas were cozy, and I’m generally a fan of Etihad’s “living room style” lounge design.
In the center area of the lounge was the dining area, which had almost a dozen tables seating two people each.
This is also where the buffet was located.
Then past that was the bar area, which had four high-top seats.
There was a solid liquor selection, and perhaps more importantly, they had a legit espresso machine, which I appreciated.
The lounge also had a small business center with three iMacs and a printer, back near the entrance.
There was also a play area for kids.
Towards the back of the lounge near the bar were the bathrooms, showers, and prayer room.
The bathroom itself was nice, and I’m always impressed by how Etihad seems to have a full time bathroom attendant at all their lounges, who makes sure that the towel triangle always stays perfect.
The lounge also had a shower room located inside the main bathroom. While I far prefer a fully private shower room, Etihad seems to have the shower rooms inside bathrooms at most of their lounges.
Fortunately the shower room itself was nice, and it had great toiletries from The White Company.
Not only are the bathroom attendants at Etihad lounges on point, but I found everyone working in the lounge to be friendly and proactive. It’s just a totally different culture than you’ll find at most other airline lounges in the US.
In terms of the food & drinks, the buffet was back in the center of the lounge, and was in an “L” shape. On one side was a coffee machine, tea, and Arabic coffee. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting a coffee here — instead have them make you a legit one using the espresso machine behind the bar.
Then there was also a limited food spread.
Cold options included hummus, tabouleh, cheese, fruit, salad, and two types of small desserts.
Then there were three hot plates, which had a total of six hot options. These included paneer tikka masala with pulao rice, chicken breast with mushroom sauce and roasted vegetables, and lamb kofte with tomato sauce.
Frankly the quality of the food looked fine, but not that great.
In terms of drinks, there was a selection of self serve wine, including Louis Roederer champagne.
Then there were soft drinks just standing on the table, which I found a bit odd. You’d think they’d be refrigerated — the way it was set up felt sort of like what you’d expect at a birthday party being held in a rec room. On the plus side, I was happy to see that they had San Pellegrino.
Overall the food & drink selection was the most disappointing part of the lounge, and where it was apparent that Etihad has been doing a lot of cost cutting. They used to have an a la carte selection in the lounge, though apparently they eliminated that a while back. Not only that, but I didn’t consider the buffet selection to be especially exceptional.
I can’t imagine how much money Etihad is investing in the lounge, so it seems sort of silly to spend so much on a lounge, but then have a mediocre food selection, as they have here.
Furthermore, their other lounges have an incredible selection of city-themed cocktails, though they don’t have that in this lounge either. Don’t get me wrong, the selection overall is still decent, it’s just sad when you know what they used to offer…
As I mentioned earlier, the Etihad Lounge also has an upper level, which I’ve heard is typically roped off. It wasn’t in use when I was there either, though I asked if I could go upstairs and take pictures, which was gladly accommodated. Apparently this is used as an overflow area and/or for VIPs, though it doesn’t seem like they need the capacity nowadays.
The upstairs area had a few areas with a similar design to the downstairs area, though the seating areas had a bit more privacy than downstairs.
There was also a buffet area, though there was nothing to eat or drink.
The lounge also had fantastic views of the Etihad 787-9 that would be taking me to Abu Dhabi.
One of the other awesome things about the lounge is that you can board the flight directly through it. There’s a door at the far end of the lounge that lets you straight onto the jet bridge.
Interestingly the lounge can also be used by Royal Air Maroc passengers, and that seems to be the only other airline they contract out to (which is strange since I don’t think they have an especially close partnership otherwise).
I saved my appetite for onboard, and just had a cappuccino and sparkling water in the lounge.
Then shortly before boarding I had some Arabic coffee and a date.
Boarding was scheduled for 9:10PM, a full hour before departure. Typically Etihad doesn’t board anywhere close to the posted boarding time, though to my surprise, boarding did in fact start at 9:15PM.
Etihad Lounge Dulles bottom line
Overall I thought the Etihad Lounge Washington was beautiful. While it doesn’t have Etihad’s newest lounge design, I think their classic design is great as well. The staff in the lounge were great and it’s impressive that Etihad operates their own lounge when they have just one daily flight. Furthermore, I love the ability to board directly through the lounge.
However, I was disappointed by the cost cutting. This lounge used to have a menu off of which you can order, while now it just has a small buffet, which is pretty mediocre.