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This is part of the Around the World 2015 Mega Trip
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Washington DC
- Etihad Business Studio – IAD to AUH
- Review: Etihad Arrivals lounge and Etihad Chauffeur experience
- Grand Hyatt Dubai
- Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Business and First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi, AUH
- Etihad Pearl Business Class – AUH to JNB
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers
- Blue Train Johannesburg to Cape Town
- Queen Victoria Cape Town
- Chitwa Chitwa Sabi Sands Luxury Game Reserve Kruger National Park
- Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge – Victoria Falls
- Intercontinental Johannesburg Airport
- Review: S(h)ongololo Lounge JNB
- Cathay Pacific Business Class – JNB to HKG to HND
- Ritz Carlton Tokyo
- Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo, NRT
- American Air Flagship First Class – NRT to LAX
Review: Etihad Arrivals lounge and Etihad Chauffeur experience
Not only does Etihad offer a truly incredible air experience from take-off to touch-down, they also continue that experience post-flight in the arrivals lounge. In case you haven’t been to an arrivals lounge it essentially offers some of the amenities of a departures lounge, but usually with an area to freshen up. Showers, spa, etc. I had heard that this particular arrivals lounge had a shave experience, but alas, it wasn’t open when we came through. Along with food and a shower, this is where you arrange for your complimentary chauffeur service to anywhere in the U.A.E. How ridiculous is that?!
After you use your fast track pass ( which was pretty much moot and we got the crazy evil eye from immigration – HEY! we’re biz class here!!!! 😉 ) you just follow the signs, lots and lots of signs.
Abu Dhabi is not an airport, it’s a monsterport and it’s getting bigger.
We taxied for 10 minutes A little sidenote – we found out later on in this trip that it’s pretty imperative you pre-book the chauffeur service. With that being said, I had read on other blogs that Etihad was no longer offering this service to award tickets, and specifically those redeemed on partners like AA, but we had absolutely no problem at all.
A little trick for doing this and also selecting seats is when booking the ticket ask the AA agent for the Etihad Record Locator as well. Once you have this, call Etihad at 1 888 8Etihad, get your seats set and ask to book a chauffeur. You can do this on any leg of the trip, pickup and drop off. We used it in Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and in Johannesburg to the Intercontinental Sandton Towers.
The arrivals lounge is small. Much smaller than I thought it would be and it is super duper staffed. I felt in a way super awkward photographing everything cause there were so many staff around. But, Miles, the show off that he is, brazenly clicked off a few. Here is his work:
The Arrivals lounge suits its purpose, and most of the people there were just checking in to then be escorted to their chauffeured cars. But, if you needed to freshen up, it would do the trick.
When you’re ready to go you basically just stand up and are carried to the car. Ok, not really, but it’s so well staffed that by the time Miles was packed up, and we made a lean towards the door, we had a porter taking us to the chauffeur desk – which is a short walk away. It’s just like back in the States where people really do bend over backwards to provide great customer service. Especially over the phone. And at the post office. And the DMV.
Respect the Left Lane
The highway is a race track and we literally drafted 75% of our way to Dubai and it was glorious. Pretty sure Miles lost a few years off his life, but Dave and I were filled with adrenaline by the time we got to the Grand Hyatt Dubai. Which being nearly 10 at night was slightly problematic. But that’s neither here, nor there.
The chauffeur probably saved us over $100. Being the first time to the U.A.E. we wouldn’t have felt comfortable using a taxi (which after being there, was totally safe, cheap, and reliable) straight out of the airport, and the Etihad bus wasn’t running at the time we made it through Immigration so we would have booked a Blacklane, most likely. It was a sweet way to arrive stress free at our destination, and in style.