It’s now been 13 days since Etihad Airways opened their brand new first class lounge and spa, but not everyone is happy with the opening. The review can be found here: Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge.

Many guests have been denied access even though holding partner elite status. one airline that really surprised me is Virgin Australia.

Guests that can access the lounge are listed below:

Etihad’s Abu Dhabi First Class Lounge is open to First Class and The Residence travellers, Etihad Guest Exclusive and Guest Platinum members; and passengers in first class on Etihad Airways Partner airlines (such as Alitalia) and top-tier frequent flyers in those airline’s ‘Invitation only’ and Platinum-equivalent levels.


After hearing many reports of people being rejected from the lounge  I thought I’d ask both airlines directly and see what they say.



However Virgin Australia’s website says differently.

Screenshot 2016-06-11 17.27.09

The answers I got confirmed that guests can actually use the lounge. The only reasoning I can think of for this is that because of how new the lounge is they may not know every entry policy or which elites can access. I’am also thinking the social media team aren’t providing correct information. If it correct Virgin will have to update their website.

Another bizarre rule the new lounge has is guests connecting from a first class flight to a 2 class or business class flight can NOT access the lounge. I also found this very strange as a lot of airlines do allow you access.

While I was checking in for my flight home I asked if Velocity Platinum members can access and how many guests I could take with me. I was told both at check-in and entry to the lounge that they definitely can use the lounge.

Screenshot 2016-06-11 17.28.39Considering EY hold a 21.5 per cent stake in VA and both airlines seem to love the partnership and I would think for sure that elites can access the lounge.

I am still quite confused with the situation and a lot of guests have also not been very happy with either airline for not providing information on their website.

Has this happened to you or what would you do in this situation?