Review: Etihad Airways First and Business Class Lounge Washington Dulles

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YOUTUBE: Air France: Washington DC to Paris CDG
YOUTUBE: Air France JOON: Paris CDG to Rome
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The Etihad Lounge in Washington Dulles is at the far end of the A concourse right before the building ends and by gates A14 and A16.

IMG_1510 2

Now here is an interesting story about my access to this lounge. Typically this lounge is used by Etihad and Royal Air Maroc Premium passengers, however, I was flying Air France, so how am I using this lounge?

Air France actually has it’s own lounge at IAD that it and all of it’s fellow SkyTeam members also use that lounge. But the lounge was being expanded during the time I was using the lounge, so all AF business class passengers and elite members flying economy were sent to the Etihad lounge. Meanwhile, La Premiere Passengers were sent to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

So when you have your boarding pass scanned by the agent and walk into the lounge, you enter a small area branching off into a couple different directions. Here below is looking back at the lounge entrance.

IMG_3213 2

To the right will be a blue-lit room and this room is the children’s playroom.

play room

This is what the playroom looked like.


Beyond that, there were business stations with with Macs.


To the left after that, there was a room separated by dividers and there was a large family with kids situated here while I was in and around the lounge.

seating area

Now after passing through a couple dividers, you are in the main area of the lounge and the picture below pretty much sums up the rest of the lounge area.

lounge view

There were ample seats throughout and I liked the style of the seats as well generally. Though if I do have one complaint, it’s the lack of availability of power ports across the board in this lounge.


There were seats facing the window and these seats also did not have any power ports. If you also see below there is a door and a desk at the end of the photo. You can directly board the aircraft from there and it’s a cool setup that all of the international lounges at Washington have. For the time I was there, the Etihad 787 pulled up at the gate right next to the lounge, and my flight, an Air France 777, parked at the next gate over and the lounge was connected to that as well. I think this is a really nice set-up to avoid a super congested boarding area, and allow a nice ground to flight experience transition for premium cabin/elite status travelers.

sofas and boarding door

Next to the stairs in the center of the lounge was a drinks stand which had water, sparkling water, some soft drinks, and some alcoholic drinks. For those even more curious, in the chiller, the lounge had Laurent Perrier. Keep in mind besides the champagne, none of the other drinks on the stand were chilled. Also, these aren’t the only drinks in the lounge. There was also a fully staffed bar that I will show you in a bit.


Next to the drinks was also a coffee machine with different options for between caffeine drinks, hot water, and there were some tea bags as well.

hot drinks

Next to that and adjacent to the food spread were dining tables. Etihad used to offer a la carte dining in this lounge a few years ago, though, with heavy cost-cutting, that has also gone as a consequence.

dining table

Now let’s check out the food they had during the afternoon hours.


FIrs there were some breads and crackers.


Then there was an ample amount of dips and cheeses to go with that. There was also fruits, desserts, and some salad here.

dips and cold foods

Then some salt and pepper and some other cilantro based sauce.


Now here are the main dishes.



I had some of the chicken and while it had some flavor, it wasn’t super flavorful.

chicken and cous cous

Meanwhile, the lamb curry was much better and with rice went well.

lamb curry and rice

Overall, the food spread and quality wasn’t as impressive as what was there in the Turkish Lounge, however it was decent enough.

Behind the food was another seating area and a fully staffed bar.

seating and bar

There were also some seats facing the window. Again no power ports.


One thing that I did notice though and I’m sure even you can from the photos, there is a long of natural light entering the lounge. That’s always a plus for me.

Now let’s go to the quieter and more private upstairs. I’m not sure whether for Etihad flights this area is reserved for first class only or what but for some reason nobody was really sitting up here.


There was a TV room and couches lined up all around with side tables. But again, not a single power port.


THen there was another set of sofas lined up across two separate areas with outdoor views as well. The door at the end was where lounge attendants could come from, collect any used plates or trash, and send it down an elevator kind of mechanism to the kitchen downstairs.

more seats

Upstairs there were also bathrooms and a prayer room of kind.

other rooms


prayer room

The bathroom was a little cool. The door was a sliding one and could only be opened/closed with pressing this pad. There was one on the inside and outside. If someone pressed the pad and closed the door from the inside, then you couldn’t open it using the pad from the outside. So in the picture below, the red dot in the lower right meant the bathroom door wouldn’t open because someone had closed it from the inside.


Once I was in, this was what the bathroom looked like. There were also shower rooms downstairs, though I didn’t get pictures or use the showers given that I had already showered in the Turkish Lounge.


I tried a little bit of as much as I could without compromising too much stomach space for the onboard meal.

cold food


hot food

While I was sitting and eating, and charging my phone on a charger I found next to a magazine rack far away from the seats and out of reach, Etihad’s 787 pulled in to the jetway and gate right next to the lounge.


Etihad 787-9
Etihad 787-9

Soon enough the lounge attendants started coming around and telling Air France passengers to line up at the door for boarding which was cool.

Overall, I think this lounge is decent but not as good as what it used to be. It’s a nice set up with lots of different seating areas, good seats, and friendly staff, but the food was just alright, the drinks were the same, and mainly there was a serious lack of power ports which I wasn’t too happy with. I feel like Etihad could have done a little better here. I’m not sure if this lounge is going to disappear given that Etihad’s lounges around the world have slowly come under the control of No.1 lounges, and I would sure hate to see that happen, but it seems like they’ve seriously cut the lounge quality.

All I can really say at the end of this is that I’m happy Air France provided us with a lounge rather than just restaurant vouchers for the time that their Washington Lounge is being upgraded.

Stay tuned for the next post, a review of Air France’s 777-300ER business class.

Happy New Years and Cheers!


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