Etihad first and business class passengers receive complimentary car service both on departure and on arrival in most major cities. This is even offered on award tickets.
We were staying at the Andaz 5th Avenue, and Etihad’s driver (contracted through Empire CLS) was right on time for the ride to New York JFK.
We checked in with Etihad, and went through security on our way to Etihad’s gorgeous New York JFK lounge.
Back in December Etihad opened a new dedicated lounge at New York JFK. It’s much better than the old Oasis lounge which I used three years ago taking the New York JFK – Abu Dhabi flight. Chris Guillebeau had aptly described that lounge as “the Star Wars galaxy bar of middle-cabin travelers.”
Etihad’s new lounge is just past security. It’s even before you’d take the escalator down to the concourse for departure gates.
The lounge has an attractive and distinctive entryway.
When you enter you face a reception desk. The only passengers with access to this lounge are either premium cabin or elite Etihad customers (and elites in equity partner frequent flyer programs) or similar passengers for Air Serbia’s new flight.
Etihad has two flights a day from New York. One is operated by an Airbus A380 and the other by a 777, though starting June of next year both will be A380s. The Airbus A380 has a special three room cabin for up to two people called “The Residence” on its A380s. And there’s a special room just for Residence passengers in this lounge.
Residence passengers are escorted to the lounge from check-in through security so there’s no reason for them to check in at the lounge, and instead of entering with everyone else there’s a separate door off to the right where they’ll go into their private space. There’s no signage for it. If it isn’t meant for you, you wouldn’t otherwise know that it exists. I reviewed the New York JFK Etihad Residence lounge back in March.
The lounge is gorgeous with tarmac views, a full bar, and comfortable seating.
The lounge offers both buffet and a la carte dining.
There are restrooms inside the lounge, and shower rooms. There’s also a prayer room for the airline’s Muslim guests.
Lounge staff come around with dates and Arabic coffee, just like they offer prior to departure onboard in first class.
The lounge is a reasonable distance walk from the gate, since you head downstairs and then down the concourse. It’s not like you just walk out and onto the plane. But this space, not more than 5 or 6 minutes away, is well work it for the relaxation, service, and food — and for its gorgeous design.
As a lounge that combines business and first class passengers, it’s not going to be one of the top lounges in the world or rival Etihad’s first class offerings in their home market, but it’s a solid space and truly fantastic for JFK — and such an improvement over when they used a contract lounge before.