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Our business class ticket on Lufthansa came with complimentary access to Al Dhabi lounge. After hanging out at the Park Inn at Yas Island all day, we were itching to get on the move, but not quite sure how to approach a 3am departure. The AUH-FRA flight was the earliest/latest flight I’ve ever taken. So, we left the hotel around 11pm, propelled by cabin fever after being sequestered in all day, and figured we could grab some food and drinks in the airport lounge and kill an hour or two.
The Al Dhabi lounge is located just outside security, which was a breeze by the way. We showed the agent our tickets and invitation from Lufthansa and were easily admitted. And then we walked into the space behind the checkin counter.
The place was PACKED. I normally complain about lounges being crowded if every other seat is taken and if people are hogging seat with their luggage. No – this was beyond that. In this lounge, every single available seat was filled. Children were running around everywhere. People were standing, confused at how to approach the situation. I quickly realized I was, too. Talk about being filled to capacity. Not a single seat was open in the main seating area, and I’m not exaggerating (although I never do that anyway). 😉
And at nearly midnight, I was more tired than willing to battle the crowd. I pondered another lounge. I had my Priority Pass on me, after all, and wasn’t bound to one lounge. But then, we walked into the bar area in the back. It was equally as dire with the seating situation. All the bar stools were occupied. My partner noticed two seats open right at the edge of the bar, and we ran to them like this:
And proceeded to plant ourselves for the next two hours.
With seats secured, we went and perused the food selections. I have to say: it was amazing.
They had REAL food. Real prepared dishes, with flavor and substance and not just filler lounge food. They had fruit, sliced meats, desserts, and an array of Middle Eastern dishes. I grabbed a plate and loaded up. Then I checked in on Foursquare and read the tips about how good the food was while I proceeded to stuff my face. The bartender came around and offered us drinks. I picked up my fork, ordered a rum and coke, and chowed down. Then went for seconds.
And maybe thirds. Crowded and competitive, it was. But it was worth it for the food and the wifi.
I didn’t come away from the lounge and into the boarding area feeling relaxed. I was actually a bit harried by the crowd and all the noise that comes with it. But I was full of good food and was grateful for that.
Now, I gotta say. I don’t know if that time of day at the airport has more flights departing or what. But the Al Dhabi lounge gets damn crowded. If you go, head straight for the back, sit anywhere back there, then go grab a plate and eat. Go there hungry and fill up. Tune out the crowd, give yourself an hour in there, no more. Go to your flight full and not as annoyed as I was. The bartenders are kind. Sit at the bar if you can. Avoid all other areas other than the back room and the food area. The rest is a giant bleep-show (or at least it was the one time I was there).
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