Etihad lit billions of dollars on fire investing in airlines around the world with a goal of building Abu Dhabi as a global connecting hub. And the Al Nahyan family has clearly had enough. They stopped subsidizing air berlin and Alitalia, walking away from those money losers.
They’ve also cut many amenities out of premium cabins, and have been
pulling the cushions off of its couches looking for loose change looking to monetize what premium amenities remain. For instance they’ll now even sell first class lounge access and not merely access to their business class lounge.
Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi
They’ve been selling access to their business class lounge in Melbourne, Australia for AU$99. However Australian Business Traveller reports that they’ve dropped the price for economy passengers to use the lounge down to AU$75.
And anyone inside the lounge can now reserve the private Residence lounge for just AU$40 additional. Etihad no longer serves Melbourne with an Airbus A380, so no longer offers The Residence, the airline’s three room suite from that city.
The Residence Bedroom
I’ve toured Etihad’s Residence Lounge at New York JFK. It’s a separate area accessed either from inside the lounge or directly behind reception (so that Residence guests didn’t have to interact with or be seen by others inside the lounge). It has its own restroom and shower as well as prayer room.
Etihad Residence Lounge New York JFK
Without a Residence guest they won’t be preparing special menus in the lounge. However it’s a truly private space in the airport. I’d personally be happy to fork over ~ US$31 prior to my Melbourne – Abu Dhabi flight for the private space which is available on a first-come first-served basis.