Updated on May 16, 2016
Etihad Airways U.S. Pre-Clearance Lounge AUH
After a long night in Abu Dhabi, and a fantastic stay at the Hyatt Capital Gate, it was time to start our journey home. Time to head to the airport!
Our flight back to the states was just after 11 a.m. We scheduled our chauffeur ride to the airport for 7:30 so we’d wouldn’t be rushed at all and we’d have time to take in the pre-clearance lounge!
As with all flights flying from Abu Dhabi to the U.S., we flew out of Terminal 3 and had to/were able to use the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Pre-Clearance facility!
Now, while a pre-clearance facility probably seems like a great idea to most people, when you have Global Entry, it’s actually more of a hindrance. The facility basically makes you go through U.S. Customs before you get on the plane, whereas usually you would do that upon landing in the U.S.
This is an added convenience for a lot of travelers as it lets you just get your bags and leave after a long flight to the other side of the world. But if you have Global Entry, you would have done that anyway
Arriving at the airport just before 8 a.m., we zipped through the business-class check in, security and the pre-clearance facility! This gave us probably almost an hour and a half in the lounge.
The lounge was probably about 50% full – we were fortunate because the flight to IAD was the only one leaving at that time.
The lounge was fairly large for what it was. There were stacks, drinks, TVs with American stations and a bunch of couches. Oh, and a HUGE business center!
The lounge was well-appointed and came with a lot of barstool seating.
There were multiple departure boards throughout the lounge and the lounge agents were great about making announcements. Although your phone or boards might say one thing, the agents insisted we ignore them and listen to what they said as far as boarding went because they would know when it really started! Seeing that everyone was on the same flight, it made it pretty easy.
Pat and I snagged a few seats in the front-right corner of the lounge to set up camp for the next ~1.5 hours.
There were a couple large families that made up about half the population of the lounge, while the other half were solo business travelers…then two hungover/drunk american dudes.
The lounge had all the basic necessities you’d need for a pre-clearance lounge. The normal lounge for premium travelers, the Etihad Premium Lounge, can give you the fancier parts of life if you want to spend time there first.
Next up: The best business class flight of my life!