I returned to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport about 90 minutes before my flight to Bangkok, giving me about 20 minutes in the lounge prior to boarding.
As you pass exit immigration and proceed upstairs, you’ll come to a Sheba Miles Platinum Lounge. Unless you have platinum status with Ethiopian, this is NOT your lounge. You’ll note there is no Star Alliance Gold sign at the door.
Keep walking and you’ll come to the Cloud Nine Business Class Lounge, available to all business class travelers and Star Alliance Gold members traveling in any class of service.
A smiling agent will verify your boarding pass at the front desk.
As I walked into the lounge, I was struck at how crowded it was. There were still seats available, but the lounge was very full.
Not 15 minutes later, however, it emptied out. Ethiopian Airlines operates departures in banks and as the late evening bank departed, the lounge goes from crowded to not crowded.
If you find the lounge is quite crowded, proceed to the “Quiet Room” in the back of the lounge. That room was empty and contained not just a pair of massage chairs, but additional chairs. Just remember, though, that this is not the place for cell phone conversations.
I found the lounge food picked over and not particularly appetizing. I passed on having anything to eat or drink from the buffet, still full from a large dinner at the Hilton Addis Ababa.
> Read More: Hilton Addis Ababa Review
Food included Ethiopian dishes like you’d find onboard plus international dishes from the East and West.
A bar offered a limited selection of beer, wine, and spirits.
I did sit down for one more cup of traditional Ethiopian coffee and a bowl of Kolo, a delicious, crunchy grain full of protein.
Crowded bathrooms meant no pictures. Shower facilities are available.
I’d say this lounge is not one you’d deliberately show up early for, but a far better place to wait for your flight than in the gate area.