I find there is nothing worse than waiting for hours in a foreign international terminal before a long-haul flight, especially one taking you home after a long holiday. However, my experience on a recent holiday to the United Arab Emirates was made much more enjoyable, thanks to Etihad Airways’ Premium Lounge service.
Arriving at Abu Dhabi airport an hour and a half after departing Dubai on Etihad’s complementary bus service for passengers, I have a few hours to spare at the terminal, well before my 10.30pm boarding time.
Feeling worn down and ready to relax, I make my way, along with my travel buddy Paul, to the Etihad Airways’ Premium Lounge, just a few metres from our departure gate. Upon arrival, we are greeted by the friendly Etihad Airways staff, who give us a quick tour of the lounge.
Feeling a little unkempt from our adventures, we decide to take full advantage of the ‘Style & Shave by Etihad Airways’ service that is on offer to all lounge guests. While Paul books himself in for a style cut, I take full advantage of the express beard trim and tidy.
As we wait for our booking, we help ourselves to the complementary food and beverage on offer, which includes a wide variety of foods you would hope to expect from a Premium Lounge.
After eating a little bit too much, we make our way over to the barber shop where we are given our requested treatments. My friend Paul doesn’t have the biggest head of hair in the world, so his stylist makes short work of cleaning up his minimal mane. His service is finished off with a hair wash that includes a head massage.
Having travelled for nearly two weeks, my beard is in desperate need of tender, loving care and that’s exactly what it receives with the express beard trim and tidy service. Not only does my stylist trim and tidy my beard, but he also offers a few tips to make it look more stylish. I come out of the service refreshed, but due to the improvements made to my beard, also feeling more confident about my look.
Now that our hair and beards are in order, there is just enough time before our flights to sneak in a 15-minute massage at the Six Senses Spa, also located inside the lounge. We had booked our treatments on arrival so that we can enjoy them immediately after our style treatments.
The quality of any massage delivered can vary widely based on where you receive the service. The Six Senses Spa provides me with one of the most relaxing massages I’ve ever had. It is delivered with just the right amount of pressure so that my muscles are relaxed, but not sore. It really is just the type of experience I’m looking for before heading off on a long-haul flight.
Once we are done with the massage, we gather our things and rush off to board our flight. Time has well and truly flown, since the majority of passengers are already on the flight. We are greeted onboard with the greatest gift of all: a half-empty flight and a full row of seats to ourselves!
Etihad Airways’ Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi is available to First Class and Business Class guests, as well as eligible top-tier frequent flyers. The Style & Shave by Etihad Airways service is available free of charge to First Class passengers, while Business class and top-tier frequent flyers can access the services for a nominal fee. The 15-minute massage service at the Six Senses Spa is complimentary to First and Business Classes, and top-tier frequent flyers who visit the lounge.
Drew and Paul received complimentary entry to Etihad Airways’ Premium Lounge, and received free Style & Shave by Etihad Airways and Six Senses Spa treatments.