✅ Trip Verified
| Sydney to Rome via Abu Dhabi. I booked my tickets over the phone with a call centre and the experience was excellent. I was assured as a Velocity Gold Member I would have lounge access in Abu Dhabi both ways, in Sydney and in Rome. I was told only that my changed booking from Bangkok to Danang would not be with Etihad but with Bangkok Airways. I gave the call centre staff member all 3 Velocity membership numbers as we are a family pooler. They were recorded duly. So, all good. I then also, as a precaution, emailed Velocity and Etihad again to confirm lounge access and received a response from both airways advising of lounge access details. Everything was great at Sydney except I was told they could not print off my boarding pass for Abu Dhabi to Rome as there was a problem with their software. Never mind, these things happen. We experienced the lounge in Sydney and it was, it has to be said, pretty solid. Food and drink were on the mark, and service was good. On arrival in Abu Dhabi, however, things started to unravel. We were shuffled to 3 different places before I was able to be issued my boarding pass. Then off we went to the lounge. On arrival at Al Rheim lounge we were advised we could not access as our forward journey to Rome was operated by Alitalia. Despite the emails I had from both airlines, no go, as it was a codeshare flight. I was advised to write a complaint to Etihad once we were back. So, we wiped our losses and paid for another lounge. On the way back, no lounge in Rome, but we were allowed access to the Al Rheim lounge in Abu Dhabi. However, when we arrived back, things grew worse. I lodged a complaint with the details and evidence. Then we waited for our points and waited. And waited some more. Finally we lodged a request with Velocity and waited the 2 months. We then contacted Velocity again and they said they would need to escalate the issue with Etihad. We were also told by the attendant at Velocity Gold member inquiries that Etihad were "known" for this type of behaviour and often allocated points and status credits incorrectly. It has been a lot of work to try and get this mess sorted out. Since January when we wrote a complaint to Etihad we haven't even had a response. It has to be said that for the 3 of us, it was our first and last experience with Etihad. What a disappointment.