Airport Lounges Reviews

Review: Etihad Arrivals lounge and Etihad Chauffeur experience

a group of people in an airport

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 CreditCards.com 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. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more 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

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?!

IMG_5500

 

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:

IMG_5501
Straight ahead to the shower and shave, to the right is the biz center. The left – a team of porters
IMG_5505
It was tough just finding a place to sit

IMG_5504

 

IMG_5502
The spread
IMG_5503
The spread part 2

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.

IMG_5506
He’s always got that damn grin. But this time, SO did Dave and I
IMG_5507
A free A6 to Dubai? Ok, yeah sure.
He obviously took the middle seat
He obviously took the middle seat
Not bad
Not bad
Then almost got us in trouble trying to drive
Then almost got us in trouble trying to drive

 

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.




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


4.8
4.8/5
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

$95

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.

7 Comments

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.