An Asian Holiday: Part 2 – Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC

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Emily Jablon:  Daraius and I celebrated Christmas in Macau and Hong Kong with his family for ~8 days.  It was our 1st time to Macau and Hong Kong and we were very excited to visit!

Etihad Washington DC

Emily and Daraius at the New Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC

An Asian Holiday – Trip Report Index:

How You Can Do It Too!

You can enter the Etihad lounge if you are traveling First or Business Class with Etihad.

We redeemed 90,000 American Airlines miles for a 1-way flight in First Class (plus fees) from the US to Mumbai, India.  Coach costs ~$950, Business Class costs ~$6,000, and First Class costs ~$8,000.

So you are getting a lot of value for your American Airlines miles!

How Many Miles You Need:

  • Coach Class: 45,000 American Airlines miles
  • Business Class: 67,500 American Airline miles
  • First Class: 90,000 American Airlines miles

But you can’t find Etihad award seats on the American Airlines website.  You have to check for award seats on Etihad’s website and then call American Airlines to book your ticket.  I’ll have a series of posts on this soon.

How to Get the Miles:

1.   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

You get 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 within 3 months using the Citi American Airlines Executive card.   So this is the easiest way to get the points to fly First Class on Etihad.

Here are 40+ Ways to Complete Minimum Spending to help with the high minimum spending requirement.

2.   Citi American Airlines Cards

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® each get you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within 3 months.

Note: You are allowed 2 Citi Personal cards within 65 days.  But you can NOT get more than 1 Citi card at a time.  Wait 8 days to apply for a 2nd Citi card.

3.   American Express Starwood Hotel Cards

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express each get you 25,000 Starwood points when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.  Starwood points transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.  And you’ll also get a 5,000 point bonus each time you transfer 20,000 points to American Airlines.

If you earn the bonus on both cards you will have 60,000 Starwood points (50,000 points from the sign-up bonus + 10,000 points from completing the minimum spending).  You can transfer Starwood hotel points to American Airlines.  60,000 Starwood hotel points transfers to 75,000 American Airlines miles (60,000 miles + 15,000 transfer bonus).

That gets you enough for a 1-way Business Class ticket on Etihad.

Christmas in Hong Kong – Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC

Emily Jablon:   Daraius and I were flying  from Austin to Dallas to Washington, DC on American Airlines.  And connecting to Etihad from Washington, DC to Mumbai, India via Abu Dhabi.

Dallas was having a bad winter storm, and flights had been canceled the previous 4 days.  Daraius decided it was not worth the risk of having our flight canceled, too, so he called American Airlines and asked them to cancel our segments from Austin to Dallas and Dallas to Washington, DC.

He had already booked a back-up reservation on Southwest (remember that you don’t pay change fees with Southwest and if you book a flight with points and cancel, the points go back into your account!).  This was expensive at ~21,000 Southwest points, but we really didn’t want to miss our international flight from Washington, DC.  And the cash price of a last minute ticket cost a LOT of money!

American Airlines was reluctant to cancel those flights, because the flights weren’t officially cancelled as yet.  But he managed to coax them to cancel those segments for free.

He then booked us on a Southwest flight to Washington, DC and added me as his companion.  

The worst part was getting up at 3:00 am for our 6:00 am flight.  Ouch!  But the best part was getting to see my friend Kristen during our long layover.  Oh, and both our American Airlines flights from Austin to Dallas and Dallas to Washington, DC were eventually cancelled, so this worked out pretty well!

As we were checking-in, we noticed someone with more luggage than ourselves.

Etihad Washington DC

Someone’s Going to Be Paying Extra Bag Fees (Not Us!)

The luggage belonged to a family of 5 traveling together.

Etihad Washington DC

Emily Checking-in at the Etihad Counter

It was a long day or 2 of traveling, but pampered accommodations on the flights (and between flights) made it an enjoyable experience.

Inside the Etihad Airways Lounge

We checked in a few hours prior to our departure at Washington, DC, and made our way to the lounge.  Because we had First Class award tickets, we could enter the lounge for free.

We got in to Washington, DC early in the morning and our flight on Etihad wasn’t until the evening.  Daraius and I found a comfortable couch on which to relax and charge our electronics for the rest of the journey.

That’s when Daraius realized that he had left his laptop at security and ran to get it back!

Etihad Washington DC

Daraius Was Relaxed…Until He Realized He Left His Laptop at Security!

The lounge was fairly spacious and modern.

Etihad Washington DC

The Etihad Lounge Was Bright and Airy

Etihad Washington DC

We Loved the Brown Colors in the Etihad Lounge

There was a TV with newspapers and magazines.

Etihad Washington DC

We Didn’t Use the Sitting Area, But Would Have If We Wanted to Watch CNN!

There were a lot of magazines to choose from…

Etihad Washington DC

I Peeked at a Few of the Fashion Magazines

…as well as books to read.

Etihad Washington DC

Books About Art and Design

There were lots of sofas.

Etihad Washington DC

Plenty of Comfortable Sofas and Chairs in Pretty Colors, and Nobody to Sit in Them!  The Lounge Was Almost Empty

There was a separate dining space with modern tables and chairs.

Etihad Washington DC

I Liked the Dining Area Design Very Much.  The Lounge Is Less Than a Year Old So Everything Still Sparkles

The dining area extended into the bar, which had additional seating.

Etihad Washington DC

You Can Choose to Eat in the Dining Area or at the Bar

Lots of Food Choices

We enjoyed delicious dates, chocolate covered strawberries, baklava, and chocolate chip cookies.

Etihad Washington DC

I Loved the Selection of Sweet Treats

The food was delicious!

In addition to the dessert buffet, we had a selection of Mediterranean appetizers on the savory buffet.

Etihad Washington DC

I’m Surprised Daraius Is Smiling.  Does He Know There Are Vegetables Behind Him?

It looked and tasted very fresh.

Etihad Washington DC

The Dips, Veggies, Cheese, and Olives Were Tasty, but the Pita Was Stale

I liked the cheese and hummus a lot, though the pita bread was a bit stale!

Etihad Washington DC

The Strawberries and Baklava Were Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Etihad Washington DC

Daraius Tried Out the Assortment of Fresh and Dried Fruit

Selection of fruits

Etihad Washington DC

Everything Was Elegantly Laid Out

…dates and yummy chocolate chip cookies.  The dates were delicious!

Etihad Washington DC

Which Do You Think Daraius Chose?

In the lounge was a kids’ play room…

Etihad Washington DC

Lots of Toys and Activities to Keep the Little Ones Entertained

…and office.

Etihad Washington DC

A Quiet Space to Write More Blog Posts!

There were also showers in the lounge.

Etihad Washington DC

The Bathroom and Shower

Everything looked so nice.

Etihad Washington DC

I Almost Didn’t Want to Use a Towel and Ruin the Nice Presentation

Before our flight, we decided to have a snack.  Here is the menu:

Etihad Washington DC

You Can Order Appetizers, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Drinks From the Menu

We sat down to eat.

Etihad Washington DC

Emily and Daraius Enjoying a Pre-Flight Snack

Daraius had the Moroccan lamb tagine with couscous.

Etihad Washington DC

Daraius Really Enjoyed His “Snack” :)

It was tasty.

Etihad Washington DC

The Lamb Tagine Was Fragrant and Tender

Soon enough, it was time for boarding.  You can board the plane directly from the lounge without having to go to the gate!  That was kind neat.

How You Can Do It Too!

You can access the lounge if you are traveling First or Business Class with Etihad.

We redeemed 90,000 American Airlines miles for a 1-way flight in First Class (plus fees).   Coach costs ~$950, Business Class costs ~$6,000, and First Class costs ~$8,000.  So you are getting a lot of value for your points!

How Many Miles You Need:

  • Coach Class: 45,000 American Airlines miles
  • Business Class: 67,500 American Airline miles
  • First Class: 90,000 American Airlines miles

But you can’t find Etihad award seats on the American Airlines website.  You have to check for award seats on Etihad’s website and then call American Airlines to book your ticket.

How to Get the Miles:

1.   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

You get 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 within 3 months using the Citi American Airlines Executive card.   So this is the easiest way to get the points to fly First Class on Etihad.

Here are 40+ Ways to Complete Minimum Spending to help with the high minimum spending requirement.

2.   Citi American Airlines Cards

The Citi American Airlines Personal card and Citi American Airlines Business card each get you 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within 3 months.

Note: You are allowed 2 Citi Personal cards within 65 days.  But you can NOT get more than 1 Citi card at a time.  Wait 8 days to apply for a 2nd Citi card.

3.   American Express Starwood Hotel Cards

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express each get you 25,000 Starwood points when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.  Starwood points transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio.  You’ll also get a 5,000 point bonus each time you transfer 20,000 points to American Airlines.

If you earn the bonus on both cards you will have 60,000 Starwood points (50,000 bonus points + 10,000 points from completing the minimum spending).  You can transfer Starwood hotel points to American Airlines.  60,000 Starwood hotel points transfers to 75,000 American Airlines miles (60,000 miles + 15,000 transfer bonus).

That gets you most of the way to a First Class ticket on Etihad.

Bottom Line

The Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC was a great place to stop for a snack and get some work done before our flights.  It isn’t very big, but we were impressed!

But we were even more impressed once we got on the plane and settled into Etihad First Class!

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27 responses to “An Asian Holiday: Part 2 – Etihad Lounge in Washington, DC

  1. You have the “how to get miles” section in the begining and the same text at the end. Not sure if that was by design? Lucky AA didnt charge a change fee!! 🙂

    • @Troy – It is intentional!

      @Jason – Glad you’re enjoying it!

      @Steve | Live Smart Not Hard – Of course, you’re right. It is referring to Dulles and not Reagan airport!

      @choi – It dropped me to where I wanted to go in Mumbai straight from the airport.

      @ chris – I’m traveling, but will get to the comments soon. The “How You Can Do It Too” section shows you how each person can get more than 200K American Airlines miles.

  2. Is Etihad a oneworld partner? Couldn’t verify it. Also, how much was the fees for each leg?

  3. Loving this trip series of posts, can’t wait to read the rest.

  4. I wanna getaway to Aruba!

  5. @ Ankur: No, Etihad is not one world partner and you cannot use them in AA explorer awards.

    I am booked on Etihad AUB-LAX in December. They fly 777-200 but I cannot see their seat map anywhere. Not even in their own web site. Can anyone tell me where to look for the seat map

  6. Emily/Daraius,

    Really helpful walkthrough! When you say, “Washington DC,” by the story you relate I assume you mean Dulles airport, as opposed to Reagan, since Dulles is much bigger and could house this fantastic lounge. It was Dulles, is that right?

  7. Can you access this lounge if you arrive IAD on Etihad F for a domestic AA connection?

  8. does Ethiad have Chaufeur door to door service ?

  9. any chance of addressing the numerous questions regarding the boatload of AA miles used in your first post on your asian holiday around christmas?

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  16. Just to clarify about the Citi 100K offer, the 8 day rule is still working however, the 65 day rule is not. just to give you some insight, I’m working on my 4th Citi 100K card, it’s been a challenge to get the spend but well worth it. This was the first and only blog I read for a year, your blog makes it easy to understand, I have since graduated and just want to thank you for it. My partner and I are working on our RTW trip, of course with miles and points.

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