Reader Question: Etihad Airways Guest Platinum Lounge Access On Partners?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email about lounge access issues when flying on Etihad coded flights on partner airlines being Platinum Guest member.

Reader Question Etihad Airways Guest Platinum Lounge Access On Partners

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You can access Etihad’s web page for partner airlines here where you can check the service and other benefits offered for Guest frequent fliers.

Here’s the email from the reader:

Thanks for your website, very informative and I consult it daily.

I’m Etihad platinum based in AUH.  Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m being denied lounge access at Etihad and Etihad Partner lounges when I’m flying on a codeshare with an EY flight number.

For instance, last week I was on EY 7004 LHR-FCO in Y cabin and was denied access to both the Alitalia Lounge and the Etihad lounge at LHR T4 on the basis that Etihad was not the operating carrier.

I’ve been in touch with Platinum Desk service at Etihad Guest and they just cut and paste the same excuse about the operating carrier.  I’m trying to make contact with the Abu Dhabi product manager for lounge and Partners in order to have the policy clarified once and for all.  The Etihad website provides vague and conflicting statements.

I won’t book Etihad code share if there is no Platinum recognition, it doesn’t make sense.

Lounge access based on status, code shares and operating carrier.

The problem is that you need to consult the Etihad’s web page (access here) that lists all the partners to see what benefits you get as being Platinum Guest member if flying on let’s say Alitalia.

Here’s the info:

Etihad Guest Lounge Access Platinum Alitalia

Alitalia doesn’t operate lounge in London and thus they can deny your access.

Conclusion

The lounge access, benefits and earning miles are often convoluted in case of codeshares. My recent two Etihad flights in business class that were marketed by Alitalia posted as EY flights to my surprise.

The key to understand is that the lounge access policy of the operating carrier applies and not the codeshare one. There are very few exceptions to this.

I have received lounge access on Jet Airways both in Bangkok and Ho Chi Ming city based on my Etihad Guest Gold status. Also, I wasn’t yet platinum when I did get access to the lounges used by Philippine Airlines in Narita and Manila.

For both of these airlines it states on Etihad’s website:

  • Lounge Access, only where service is offered. Subject to Jet Airways terms and conditions.

I would assume that this means that whenever they offer lounge access to business class customer and their elites they would offer for Guest Gold and Platinums too.

The lounge access for Etihad Guest Gold and Platinum members when flying on Alitalia economy is simply bad. The New York lounge is the only one outside of Italy that Guest members can get access to based on their status. Seems that they don’t give you access to third party lounges.

This is surprising considering that Etihad Airways is now minority shareholder of the airline and majority own the frequent flier program.

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