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Review: the Etihad lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 4

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This is second of my reviews following my recent trip to Abu Dhabi.  Other articles cover the Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 4 hotel, the Business Class Studio on the new Etihad A380, the Jumeirah At Etihad Towers hotel in Abu Dhabi, the Etihad Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi and the First Class Suite on the Boeing 777.

This article is my review of the Etihad business and first class lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

This is part of our series of reviews of airport lounges across the UK.  You see all of the reviews here.

I was in Terminal 4 for 6.15am and it was almost deserted.  My brain had not yet engaged, however, and I managed to both forget to remove the liquids from my baggage and remove the coins from my trouser pockets, which is impressive.

The Etihad lounge is opposite Gate 10.  It is directly above the hugely impressive SkyTeam (and Priority Pass) lounge which means you need to take a lift to get to it.  This always makes me think of the BA lounges at Gatwick which is never a good sign.

The lounge was closed over Christmas for a makeover as Etihad looked to upgrade its facilities before the start of the A380 services.

Etihad lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 review

It is not a huge lounge but, given the number of passengers it serves, it is more than adequate.  I would guess it is a bit smaller than the Qatar lounge at the other end of the terminal.  There is no separation between what is offered to First Class and Business Class passengers.

To be honest, things didn’t start well.  Keen for breakfast, I went into the dining area:

Restaurant Etihad lounge Heathrow review

…. and found myself facing one of the most dismal buffets ever seen.  Slightly thrown by this, I grabbed a yoghurt and headed to a table.

Buffet Etihad lounge Heathrow review

Only then did a staff member pounce on me and give me a menu.  This had a substantial selection of dishes on it, all cooked to order, and my mood improved substantially!  I have no idea why they don’t leave the menus on the table in the first place.

I was immediately offered a smoothie, and an eggs benedict was promptly delivered:

Food Etihad lounge Heathrow review

Whilst eating, I was approached by a therapist from the Six Senses Spa.  I hadn’t noticed that the lounge even had a spa.  Unlike the British Airways spa, where it is basically impossible to get a treatment unless you are flying in First Class and pre-book, Etihad had plenty of capacity and were keen that I indulged.

It turns out that they have three therapists working at a time so, with relatively few premium passengers per day and 10-15 minute treatments, you should have little trouble being seen.  An hour later I turned up for my appointment and had a neck and back massage.

Post massage, I retreated to a chair and the newspapers.  It is worth saying that I have never experienced such a high level of service in an airport lounge.  Every 10 minutes someone  would come along to see if I would like another drink or some more food, and this was on top of the pro-active efforts by the spa staff to get you along.  The picture below was taken when I arrived – it got busier as departure approached.

Seating area Etihad lounge London Heathrow Terminal 4 review

I should also add that if you have kids, the Etihad lounge has a super little kids room which is far better than the one British Airways can muster in Galleries Club:

Childrens playroom Etihad lounge Heathrow review

There is also a decent bar, with the level of custom you would expect at 6.30am!

Bar Etihad lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 London review

My overall impression is that this is a very well run lounge where the staff will take good care of you.

I didn’t get the sense that it offers the same gourmet dining or high end drinks that the Qatar Airways Premium Lounge offers (see my review) – that remains the classiest lounge at Heathrow in my view.

This could be an unfair criticism, of course, since I was there for breakfast which is not necessarily representative of what is available for lunch or dinner.  The Etihad lounge is a massive improvement on the Emirates lounge in Terminal 3 (review) which has little to recommend it apart from direct boarding to your aircraft.

Etihad planes appear to depart from Gate 10, directly opposite the lounge, so when it was time to board it was a quick trot down in the lift and a 30 second walk to the gate.

Annoyingly, because of the way the windows and the airbridges are laid out, it was impossible to get a photo of the one-and-only brand-new Etihad A380.  Here is a photo taken by a HfP reader on the inaugural day in December – my review is on the way.

Etihad A380

Click here for the next review in this series – the Business Class Studio on the new Etihad A380.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (October 2022)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (17)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sharon says:

    Nice review, thank you. I tend to use the Etihad lounge whenever I fly with Royal Brunei airlines on business out to Brunei and haven’t used it since they were in their old lounge UNDERNEATH the Sky Team one. Will be looking forward to the continuing excellent service and fabulous Sis Senses Spa once again in the new location.

  • Etihad status match - get Etihad Gold from any Gold says:

    […] The key Etihad benefit is lounge access for you and a guest whenever you fly them. In Abu Dhabi you need to use the Al Reem lounge, but at other airports you are allowed into the main Pearl Business Class lounge.  I reviewed the impressive Etihad lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 earlier in the week. […]

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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