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Exclusive: Etihad Heathrow Terminal 4 lounge takeover by No1 Lounges confirmed

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The Etihad Airways lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 is to become a No1 Lounges facility.  The move is imminent, with the opening date potentially as early as Saturday.

Rumours of a switch were circulating over the weekend.  Etihad contacts of mine in Abu Dhabi have now exclusively confirmed that it is going ahead.

The switch is part of Etihad’s attempts to reduce its cost base in the face of recent losses.  The Heathrow Terminal 4 lounge has already seen the Six Senses spa removed and ‘pay to enter’ options for Economy Class passengers.

Etihad lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 to close

More recently, the Etihad lounge in Manchester Terminal 1 was handed back to the airport.  It is now being run as a premium ‘1903’ lounge – we covered that story here.

My understanding is that the Heathrow changes will go like this:

Etihad will continue to be the core user of the lounge, with Business Class, First Class and status passengers guaranteed access

No1 Lounges will admit additional guests for cash as capacity allows

It is not clear yet if the lounge will be open for Priority Pass or Lounge Club guests, and if so whether it will be included in the list of No1 Lounges where you can pay £5 to guarantee entry

Priority Pass cardholders (free with American Express Platinum, or buy one here) already have access to the impressive two-level SkyTeam Lounge in Terminal 4.  There is little benefit in using the Etihad facility instead unless flying with them, with the lounge is literally 30 seconds from the Etihad gates.  We reviewed the SkyTeam lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 here.

Both Priority Pass and Lounge Club (two free visits with the free American Express Preferred Rewards Gold) cardholders can also access the impressive Plaza Premium lounge in Terminal 4.  I reviewed the Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal 4 lounge here.  To be honest, it is a nicer space than the Etihad lounge and I don’t see any reason to switch even if you can.

Etihad lounge Heathrow Terminal 4 to switch to No 1 Lounges

What do I think?

I liked the Etihad Heathrow Terminal 4 lounge – my last review is here – but it was never as good as the Qatar Airways facility.  I imagine that the waiter-service dining will go.  My biggest concern is how passengers in the First Class Apartments or even The Residence private suite will be treated, since a No1 Lounge running at full capacity is rarely a premium experience.

I think this move is disappointing and one which Etihad may, in time, regret.  It only takes a very small number of premium customers to move from Etihad to Qatar Airways or Emirates because they have a better Heathrow lounge to make the ‘savings’ from this switch disappear.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

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 (35)

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

  • Jovanna says:

    Who bases their travel plans on the lounge?

    • BSI1978 says:

      It’s never the primary factor for me, but assuming a relatively LFL flight experience subject to carrier then it can sometimes make a difference. Particularly if travelling for holiday as the holiday begins at the airport!

    • Rob says:

      People who read HFP!

      That’s why I did an article on BA T3 routes last year, at reader request.

      • Genghis says:

        I wanted HKG inbound departure for my upcoming Asia holiday primarily to do some CX lounge hopping.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve got my first F next year so a little bit, yes!

    • the_real_a says:

      If you live a distance away from LHR it is very much a consideration. I often plan 3 hours of contingency for any travel drama… so provided the cost of flight was similar the lounge would definitely sway me.

  • Mike P says:

    Bit of a shame. I quite liked the Etihad lounge and I do worry that No1 will struggle to compare in comparison. It feels to me like a bit of a false economy.

  • Dominic says:

    The lounge itself closing isn’t the end of the world. It is very concerning to see the airline seemingly forced into a position where it has to make these kinds of cuts, however.

  • Pete says:

    I’ve just booked 2x Business to Male with Etihad ( non flexible ) for next month. I for one will be switching airlines in future if this is still in place next time I head east! Awful decision effecting it’s premium passengers! What are they thinking?

    I will vote with my feet!

    • Evan says:

      What because you have to rub shoulders with No1 clientele? Wouldn’t it be wise to see what happens to “standards” first?

  • Andrew says:

    Preparation for their merger with EK no doubt.

  • Lumma says:

    Not a bad result if you’re flying from terminal 4, otherwise have no lounge access and they do the bargain cheap entry plus virgin miles deal in this lounge

  • Tom W says:

    O/T. Is there still a bonus for a supplementary cardholder on Amex Gold? I read there was but haven’t had it arrive several weeks later. Thanks

    • John says:

      Other commenters said there was when I asked 1-2 months ago, but I didn’t get one.

    • Sean says:

      I got a pop up last night when I logged in offering 3000 MR points

  • Denis says:

    OT: What is the bonus referring from Gold Amex to Plat? Is it the same 9000 points? Thank you.

    • Peter K says:

      Yes. The bonus gained by the person referring. is based on the card they refer from, not the card subsequently applied for.

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

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