Etihad Lounge New York JFK Is Now Open

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

Bottom line

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?


  1. I’m very excited for this Ben – do you know the hours of operation? I’ll be in transit via JFK en route back to Abu Dhabi January 21. I land on AA at 5:30am and Etihad flight is not until 2:30pm. Excited to visit the lounge and as always, Etihad is impressive and love their rebrand.

  2. If I’m arriving in JFK from AUH in first, would I have access to the lounge as an arrivals passenger?

  3. The EY lounge at IAD is used by Saudia flights and I saw that there were lots of Virgin people in there while we were there.

  4. @GoldenMile, that’s a very interesting question actually since EY pax arrive JFK as domestic passengers (due to CBP in AUH) so they could access it. If EY allows this is another question, would be awesome to have an arrivals lounge type thing with this but I don’t think they’ll allow it.

  5. I doubt EY will contract this lounge out to other airlines’ passengers. The JFK Emirates lounge has been there for several years now and EK never contracted it out to other airlines; not even Etihad! 😉
    I’m curious though if the EY lounge is similar to the JFK Emirates lounge where there’s a gate door that directly boards passengers to the upper deck of the A380.

  6. thats all good and well – when will the first class lounge opne in auh. imaging paying $30K to travel in the residence only to be ushered into the current lounge will hundreds of people – not good.

  7. I visited the Lounge on Dec 1. Although there is no spa, they have complete food service (both buffet and table service). It is located more or less directly after security, so it will be a bit of a walk to board. They came around with Arabic coffee and dates prior to boarding, which I found to be a nice touch.
    To the champagne connoisseurs amongst us: they have Taittinger. 🙂

  8. Similar to John Carter and Cam, also curious about their operating hours—can’t seem to find it via google.

  9. @GoldenMile, I have the same question. I just booked 2 tickets AUH-JFK in First/Apartments. Wondering if I can use the lounge upon arrival in JFK??

  10. Regarding opening hours, annoying that Etihad doesn’t publish them. At the lounge now – they told me opening time was 11 am, but they let me in around 10.15 am. Check in area was not staffed so you need to be connecting to get in before 11.

    I arrived into JFK around 6.30 am from San Diego and called Etihad who told me I couldn’t get access until 4 hrs before my 2.30 pm departure (which is 30 mins before actual opening time…). Luckily I was able to hang out in the Admirals Club in T4 for a few hours, but you need to be a member as Etihad business/first doesn’t get you entry.

    Lastly, if you arrive early, the menu is not breakfast, but they offered to cook me some!

  11. @Lucky, can this lounge be accessed by arriving First Apartments customers (AUH-JFK)? I have a 7 hour layover at JFK and wouldn’t mind if I could access this lounge. Otherwise, I may try to connect to an earlier flight. Thanks!

  12. Just thought I would follow up now that I’ve completed my trip. The JFK Etihad lounge is for departures only, no arrivals are allowed, even if traveling in the First Apartment from AUH-JFK. I recently flew AUH-JFK and had a 7 hour layover before my JFK-AUS flight. They denied me entry – said it was because they only cater enough for departing passengers. For anyone wondering, probably the best alternative is the Wing Tips lounge on the other side of the terminal, which can be accessed with Priority Pass. We went there for a little while before moving on to the Admirals Club. Hopefully Etihad will make it an arrivals lounge too one day, at the very least for connecting First Apartment passengers.

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