New Acqua Di Parma Amenity Kits for Etihad

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From August, Etihad will introduce a range of exclusive Acqua Di Parma amenity kits and toiletries for its customers travelling in The Residence on its Airbus A380 as well as on their long-haul First Class and Business Class services.

The new amenity kits feature the iconic yellow of the luxury Italian fragrance brand. First Class unisex kits will host an array of luxury items including a miniature bottle of Colonia, a 40ml body lotion and lip balm. whislt toiletries include Colonia hand wash and hand cream. Shower gel, body lotion, hair shampoo, and hair conditioner will also appear as part of the Colonia bathroom amenity kits.

It won’t be business as usual for Business Class with the premium cabin also set to get a flashy unisex wallet bag, which can be buttoned to create a stylish and useful valet tray. They will feature a Colonia sampler and hand cream, which will also be dispensed in the Business Class washrooms.

And the Acqua Di Parma doesn’t just stop on the plane, with the Italian brand also set to feature in the airline’s flagship First Class Lounge & Spa in Abu Dhabi.

The announcement comes after Etihad announced earlier this month the introduction of caviar and sleepwear to the First Class cabin. For an airline that’s been doing a lot of cut backs of late this announcement is a welcome change. I personally love the Acqua Di Parma brand. and view the new partnership between the airline and the Italian fragrance giant as a  huge step up on the current Luxe kits that are handed out in the Etihad cabin.

Like anything in life time will tell if the product matches the hype and look of the promo product that Etihad is spruiking.

CHINA EASTERN SHANGHAI BUSINESS LOUNGE: REVIEW

Lounge: China Eastern Business Lounge

Alliance: Skyteam

Location: Shanghai Pudong International Airport

Lounge Rating: 4/5 Stars

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China Eastern has a shocking reputation for doing a whole lot of nothing. No customer service, no decent aircraft, etc.  With no prior experience or exposure to their product a lot of stories I had heard were tales that until now were for me unproven and wanted to give the airline the benefit of the doubt.

Using the China Eastern lounge for the first time in its Shanghai hub, The Australian Traveler was eager to check in and see if it would be wowed or not surprised by the lack of ‘premium’ about the lounge.

 

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Lounge access options

  • Business and first class passengers.
  • Eastern Miles Gold and Platinum members (SkyTeam Elite Plus) departing on a SkyTeam carrier.
  • Associated third party lounges may be available in certain locations where a SkyTeam partner lounge is not available. Due to its partnership with Qantas, certain Qantas elite status members may be eligible for lounge access at China Eastern locations when flying with China Eastern.

Lounge location and opening hours

Once you have cleared security turn left inside the International terminal and the lounge is there. The China Eastern Shanghai Pudong Business Lounge is open daily from first to last departure.

 

Ambience

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Upon walking into the lounge I was surprised by how sparse it was. Whilst there wasn’t any natural lighting in sight, the lounge still managed to have a buzz about it, even at 11pm at night. The seating arrangements were comfortable but I found that the number of chairs on the floor made the lounge feel crowded. Bathroom were also well maintained and appointed, offering shower facilities for those going between work meetings.

 

A bonus (which may seem tacky for some) is the massage chairs. Yes there is some debate on whether the chairs work or not but at the end of the day if you want to simple recline especially after a days work or a transfer between airports than these big ‘sofas’ do the job to unwind and ease into the evening.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

A number of food and drink stations scattered toward the back of the lounge. Despite the number of stations there wasn’t a lot of food options on offer (ie. salad and a handful instant packaged food like sandwiches). There seemed to be more of a focus on desserts with a number of sections stocked with weird and wonderful delights for this with a sweet tooth.

 

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Drinks wise there was a couple of decent drops there to be enjoyed but again the range was limited in terms of wine and spirits. Coffee, tea and soft drinks were also available.

 

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The wow factor however has to go to the noodle station where a chef is on site to make noodles to your liking. The noodles are tasty and quite filling with your choice of spicy beef or pork. The only downside was the weird cafeteria tray that was handed to you whilst lining up for a bowl of noodles. I felt the experience made it feel more primary school canteen than premium lounge.

 

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Verdict

I was expecting to write a negative review around this lounge based on previous experiences with some Chinese lounges but was more than pleasantly surprised with what I experienced. Sure it isn’t up there to the lofty standards of Qantas or JALs lounges but it did provide a decent space for those wanting to work or unwind.

The downside was the limited food and drink range. If it weren’t for its outstanding noodle bar this section would have been extremely disappointing.

Overall this lounge is by far one of the best in China (not difficult considering some of the shoeboxes they call lounges littered through Chinese airports) and a hopeful sign of things to come for other lounges across China in the future.

 

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Comments

Have you experienced China Eastern Business Lounge at Shanghai Pudong International? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – was it outstanding or did the lounge fail to take off on your expectations?

QANTAS MELBOURNE DOMESTIC BUSINESS LOUNGE: REVIEW

Lounge: Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

Alliance: Oneworld

Location: Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Lounge Rating: 4/5 Stars

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The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge is a hub where Qantas’ top end and affiliated Oneworld equivalents as well as domestic business class travelers can whittle away the time whilst enjoying views of a few plane tails making their tracks in and out of the airport. For an avgeek this spot is fantastic and coupled with a drink and good food, the place is a airport sanctuary.

The Australian Traveler checked in to find out if the lounge stacked up on its ‘premium’ experience.

 

Lounge access options

  • Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members
  • First and Business class passengers (travelling on Qantas Domestic Business class or connecting to/from a Qantas or Emirates international flight)
  • Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members (travelling on flights marketed and operated by Qantas or a Oneworld airline)
  • Emirates Platinum Skyward Members
  • Platinum Eastern Miles Members when travelling on a Qantas operated domestic flight

Lounge location & opening hours

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Finding this lounge can be a tad tricky as its location is hidden away within the Qantas Club lounge. Once you have cleared security in Qantas’ T1 domestic terminal, head right until you come across the combined lounge entrance. Enter the Qantas Club and keep walking towards the back of the lounge to some doors marked ‘Business’. The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge is open daily from 5am – 11pm.

 

Ambience

The lounge was fairly quiet when I first arrived but quickly picked up in people traffic within half an hour of me being there.

First impressions were generally good. Compared to the Perth and Brisbane Business Class lounges, the lounge was starting to show its age but when compared to the Qantas Club next door it still felt premium in quality. Break out areas and plenty of natural lighting helped give the lounge a sense of harmony.

The bathrooms were a step up from the Qantas Club with quality handtowels and ASPAR skincare products provided rather than the typical generic dispenser variety.

Wifi worked well in the lounge which is great for business types wanting to get a bit of extra work in before their flight.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

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This is where the lounge shines. My flight was in the morning and aptly a breakfast buffet selection was served. The buffet had a decent variety of hot and cold dishes from eggs and bacon to salads and fruit bowls. Old faithful the pancake machine was my go to and as usual they were a delight.

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Qantas has an excellent barista service on hand and the almond latte I ordered was quite smooth in quality. If you don’t want barista made or are in a hurry there are two coffee and tea stations available.

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The drinks selection was also strong with a number of wine, beer and spirits on display. Considering the time of the day I did not get to sample any but the juice station where one can make their own juice was a nice touch for those wanting a healthy alternative.

 

Verdict

The lounge despite showing its age did not lack in quality. The space is tranquil, quiet and a great spot to either get some work done or a chance to unwind from a long day at work.

Food and drink offerings are extensive and of good quality. The bonus of a proper barista at hand serving coffee unlike the machine only option in US lounges gives the lounge x-factor.

With the lounge set to undergo a complete overhaul this year I will be keen to see what new added extras the new lounge will offer premium flyers . Until then the current lounge is more than ample to meet the needs of even the most discerning frequent flyer.

 

Comments

Have you experienced the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Melbourne? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – was it outstanding or did the lounge fail to take off on your expectations?

VIP treatment at Melb Etihad Lounge now more than a pipe dream for economy flyers

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For many infrequent flyers the dream of sipping champagne and escaping the noises and smells of the terminal whilst waiting for your flight overseas is often just a dream. More often or not the bag of warmed up sweets or an overpriced beer in the food court is all that can suffice.

For those flying on Etihad out of Melbourne however this could be your lucky day with the UAE giant slashing the price of its lounge entry for those with champagne tastes on a (premium) beer budget.

Etihad Guest frequent flyer scheme members will now be charged $75 per person (previously $99) to visit the lounge if they’re not flying in business class or first class, whilst Silver Etihad Guest members will fork out $65 for the privilege.

Additionally, with Etihad switching from the A380 to the B787, the private VIP room (previously reserved for those fortunate jet setters flying the A380 three-room Residence suite) has been made available for a token $40 fee.

Understandably the move has left some frequent flyers feathers ruffled with the space exclusivity being lost during a quick buck but the question is how many of those flying economy would pay up for the privilege of a couple of hours lounging around? I for one would but then again I like being pampered before flying 22 hours of hell to London if I had to be stowed away in cattle class.

For more information on the new entry fees visit the Etihad website.

Qantas masters the art of lounging with new London lounge

It’s not quite British, it’s not quite Aussie but it sure screams Commonwealth. Not sure if that is what Qantas wanted to capture but whatever the case I will admit its first dedicated Qantas London Lounge does look like it brings the bangers to the mash. Continue reading “Qantas masters the art of lounging with new London lounge”