Airport Lounges Reviews

Etihad Business/First Lounge Washington D.C. (IAD) Review

a stuffed animal from a sign

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as and CardRatings. This relationship may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

This is part of the Around the World 2015 Mega Trip

For anyone who travels domestically let’s put a hand up and say:


There are exceptions, of course, the series of Centurion Lounges being rolled out for Amex Platinum and Black Card customers are quite nice, but nothing compares to foreign carrier lounges. The thing is, unless you frequent the foreign lounges you don’t even know what you’re missing.

We are so accustomed to the old and dull, the “I’m gonna have to search for an outlet”, the make-d0 with pretzels, seltzer, and a weird slightly dried hummus mound – that when faced with an Etihad lounge it’s as though a mirage has appeared in the desert.

What is this glorious oasis of indulgence and plentitude? It’s all so beautiful and free. I’m not sure I’m supposed to feel so welcomed and catered to. This isn’t the “premium”feeling I’m accustomed to in my everyday domestic lounge premium experience.

That’s cause Etihad actually makes you feel “premium”


I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Jay Z started rapping and a little fairy dropped out of the sky and brushed my shoulders off when I entered the lounge. In fact, it reminded of the time I was looking to get my first nice car, and my mom landed one of her many adages on me: “You’ll never know you needed a heated seat, until you have one, and then without one, you will be very cold and lonely.” Ok maybe she didn’t quite say that, but let’s pretend she did.

Ain’t that the truth mom, Ain’t that the truth. Once you go foreign you don’t go back. That’s the saying, right? 

It’s like once you go business class you can’t really fly coach again, well, technically you can but you’ll just be overcome with envy, jealousy and I’m pretty sure the other 5 deadly sins in no specific order.

I know, I digress, but that is what this lounge did to me.

It made me not want to go back! I’m experiencing the heated seats of lounge experience!

IMG_5345IMG_5353IMG_5343 IMG_5342 IMG_5341

It’s not that it was so overwhelmingly large, or tricked out with huge soaking tubs, masseurs, or was I delivered here in a Porsche,( To all of you who are unaware of such luxuries…they do exist, I’ve yet to experience them, but Miles is dead set on having some knots worked out post TSA screening – what can I say….Monkey see, Monkey want), but…

The thing that made my jaw drop was the fact that once we left the normal troubles of travel at the door, we escaped, never to look back again. Yes that is right. We never set foot again in the termainl. B-YAH

They served us food. You could use the buffet, but they also served us food. Waiter style. Yessir.


IMG_5337IMG_5339IMG_5347 IMG_5348IMG_5350

The food was great. But the best part was yet to come

I’d mentioned earlier that all your worries are left at the door. This is true. Typically once you’ve filled your belly, had a couple drinks, and relaxed you must lose that ‘premium’ luster and file back out into the herd. Not here, not here. You actually board from the lounge yes –

You board straight from the lounge. Mic Dropped.



Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

a blue credit card with blue lines and white text

Learn More

Affiliate LInk

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex®  and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.