Introduction: Maldives an Ocean Paradise
Etihad First Class Lounge JKF Airport
Etihad First Class Apartments New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) A380
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Etihad Regional Business Class Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE)
Conrad Maldives Arrival Lounge and Maldivian Seaplane
Around Rangali Island
Maldivian Sea Plane
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Emirates Business Class Male (MLE) to Dubai (DXB) B777
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates First Class Dubai (DXB) to Dallas (DFW) B777
Etihad First Class Lounge JFK Airport
We booked transportation from LaGuardia to JFK via Legends Limousine as they had infant seating for the ride to JFK. We arrived at the airport (JFK) from Chicago very early around 9:45 am. Our flight wasn’t scheduled to depart until 3 pm and the Etihad ticket desk wasn’t scheduled to open until around 11 am at the earliest. We decided to camp out in the airport for a bit. After about 30-45 minutes of waiting a lovely Etihad rep appeared to get the counters ready. As she approached the separate cashiers desk near where we were waiting I asked her what time would they be opening for ticketing and mentioned that we were first class ticket holders. Once she heard we were first class she advised she would check us in right away and opened up the line dividers for us to get to the counter.
She was wonderful and super nice in assisting us. I asked if she could swap out our ugly AA boarding passes for some on Etihad stock instead. She gladly printed them for us. She wasn’t used to checking in guests as she worked at the cashier desk most recently in which she handled escalated issues, etc. There was a line forming in anticipation of the ticketing desk opening and a few people decided to line up directly behind us bypassing the roped off area only to be turned away and told they don’t open until 11 am. After a few moments we were directed to the security lines and given directions to the Etihad Lounge.
After a quick jaunt through TSA we quickly found our way to the Etihad Lounge. Since we were the first ones checked in we had the lounge to ourselves for a long time before the next guests arrived.
We found a semi-private area in the back of the lounge in which we were seated and plopped our bags down. We wanted to stay out of the way and secluded as possible with the baby in hopes he would have a nice quiet place to nap and that he wouldn’t disturb other guests. We were asked if we would like a beverage to start and shortly thereafter given menus. We were told we could dine in the formal dining area or they would be happy to bring out anything we needed.
We decided to take a peek at the buffet and made our baby a plate of food to snack on.
Once back to our seating area we selected some food since it was so early and we weren’t going to be on the plane for another 3-4 hours.
Our Bollinger champagne and water was brought out.
Our son had fun crawling around the lounge while there were no guests. The lounge was fairly large considering there are only two flights a day leaving from JFK. I thought the lounge was aesthetically pleasing and stylish. It was super clean and offered nice views of the tarmac.
The bar had lots of formal dining areas and a large and long bar area with a nice selection.
All the tables had built in power ports for charging computers and cell phones which was handy.
My wife fed the baby some food from his plate and then my wife and I nibbled on the mezze plate.
I decided to have the braised beef brisket for my “main” which was super succulent and flavorful! It was plated nicely too.
My wife went with the risotto which she didn’t love so she left a few bites for me to finish it off in the end. I thought it was quite good although my palate isn’t quite as discriminatory as my better half’s.
Just past where we were camped out in the corner of the lounge was a male and female prayer room. I was sort of fascinated by that as I have never seen it before in an airport or airport lounge. I took a peek in there and it was immaculate and I’m fairly certain it was pointed towards Mecca as the Muslim religion dictates. What a comfortable and stylish room to worship in, I thought.
After our meal they came over to offer some arabic coffee and dates. My wife is the coffee drinker between us and I decided to have a go at it as well. We weren’t the biggest fan of either but it wasn’t bad.
My wife was really hoping our little guy would get tired and go down for his afternoon nap so she decided to put him back on a play mat and try to tire him out by playing.
We decided to have some dessert and frankly all three options sounded so good we couldn’t decided so naturally we chose all three options! We split them so we could each taste them. The stand out was the banana cake in my opinion but all were quite nice. My wife had the pistachio option coming in third place.
After our meal and chasing our kid around the lounge a few guests started to arrive and I thought it might be a good idea to try a shower. I asked the lounge attendant/ waitress that was helping us and she advised it was open for use. I went ahead and went into the men’s restroom, off to the side but within the restroom is an entire separate room which you can close and lock the door. Inside the room there is of course a sink and toilet.
There is also a towel and washcloth provided. The downside to the shower room is there is no door for the actual shower and you guessed it, water gets out onto the floor! Also there is no exhaust fan so if you like to take a hot shower for more than 5 minutes expect to have some steam and have the room fog up on you. It’s sort of disappointing to be sweating as your toweling off after your shower.
Overall however the room was immaculate and very modern and nice. The soap and shampoo was to my liking as well.
After nearly four hours of lounge time we decided to head down to our gate. They did mention that they would get us for boarding but I wanted to get down there early.
All in all the lounge was a wonderful way to kill time before our flight. The checkin agents and lounge attendants were all great and loved our baby. They all wanted to play with him and talk to him. They were very attentive and proactive, for example one offered to change the TV near us to a more kid friendly channel. The lounge is a great way to kick off the Etihad experience.