The Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold lounge is the carrier’s most popular lounge at Addis Ababa Bole International airport. The club welcomes all ShebaMiles and Star Alliance Gold passengers traveling on Star Alliance, and is conveniently located just across the Star Alliance Gold security checkpoint.
Note that Business Class passengers may use the vastly superior Cloud Nine Lounge, which is located just behind the Sheba Miles Gold lounge.
Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold Lounge ADD design
Visiting the Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold lounge at Addis Ababa Bole International airport is akin to entering a time capsule. The space looks frozen in the past, with an uninspired décor, tired and worn out furniture, and a dubious bathroom. And there’s the oddities – the hallway beyond the bathroom that’s used as a storage space, the staff offices at the very center of lounge, and the constant static noise and humming from the PA system.
We could gloss over the unlikely alliance of colors – brown and green walls and red chairs – or the mismatched furniture. It’s just unfortunate that Ethiopian Airlines doesn’t attempt to spruce up the space simply by aligning the furniture and polishing the marble floor. The lounge feels somewhat in disarray, and reflects poorly on an airline that is otherwise known for friendly service, and all round solid onboard product, and swanky new airplanes. Stepping off an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 and visiting the ShebaMiles Gold lounge makes for a jarring contrast.
The lounge benefits from ample natural light during the day, thanks to the terminal building’s glass roof. Come the evening though, and it is soon apparent that the club has little to no lighting, and thus suffers from an oddly dim and depressing vibe. Given its location at the center of the terminal building, the lounge also lacks windows and can feel somewhat claustrophobic.
Despite their age, the seats are comfortable. Many come with a coffee tables or side console, including some with built-in power and USB outlets, though the number of seats far outweighs the number of outlets, and finding a plug in working order might be a challenge.
The seating layout is relatively dense and uninspired, with rows of seats facing each other, though a few nooks offer slightly enhanced privacy.
Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold Lounge ADD amenities
The Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold lounge offers a simple but generous hot buffet, with a variety of international and local dishes, snacks, and sandwiches. The drink selection is pretty modest, with water, juices, and the occasional local wine. An espresso machine is available.
A spacious relaxation room is outfitted with recliners. The space is dilapidated, with furniture in a state of disrepair. That said, the room is quiet, and the few regular seats may be a great place to work, with plenty of private space and power outlets nearby.
Other amenities include a smoking room, a selection of newspapers and magazines, and three small work carrousels with PCs.
Ethiopian Airlines does not offer a dedicated Wi-Fi access point. Fortunately, the airport operate a complimentary network which comes in handy, but the signal can be weak, especially at peak times.
The bathroom is nowhere near pleasant, but functional. The absence of showers is unfortunate given the sweltering heat in Addis Ababa in the summer and the reach of Ethiopian Airlines’ network, with destinations as far as Los Angeles, twenty hours away. Then again, given the overall state of the plumbing, showers are not a realistic option.
Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold Lounge ADD bottom line
The Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold lounge at Addis Ababa airport disappoints. The club offers comfortable seating away from the bustling terminal, an enjoyable hot buffet, and access to friendly and helpful staff. But the physical space is grim, depressing, and exceedingly dark at nights. The lounge can be crowded at peak times, and the lack of a dedicated Wi-Fi access point is a major challenge for business travelers.
Business Class passengers benefit from a far superior lounge, the Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine Lounge. The customer hierarchy is inconsistent within the Star Alliance network: while carriers such as Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian, and EVA reserve their best lounges for Star Alliance Gold members, Ethiopian joins the ranks of Singapore Airlines, and soon United, who dedicate their best lounges to business class passengers regardless of their status.
Note that all Ethiopian Airlines lounges are located before security. Be sure to leave early in order to make it to your gate on time, even though the Star Alliance Gold checkpoint is typically relatively speedy.
You may have access to Ethiopian Airlines ShebaMiles Gold Lounge as a premium customer of one of the following airlines, or as an elite member of their frequent flyer program. Check the Access rules tab for more details.
Access for eligible customers traveling on any Star Alliance member airline.
ANA (NH) Aegean (A3) Air Canada (AC) Air China (CA) Air India (AI) Air New Zealand (NZ) Asiana (OZ) Austrian (OS) Avianca (AV) Brussels Airlines (SN) Copa Airlines (CM) Croatia Airlines (OU) EVA Air (BR) Egyptair (MS) Ethiopian Airlines (ET) LOT Polish Airlines (LO) Lufthansa (LH) SAS (SK) SWISS (LX) Shenzhen Airlines (ZH) Singapore Airlines (SQ) South African Air (SA) TAP Air Portugal (TP) Thai Airways (TG) Turkish Airlines (TK) United (UA)
The following passengers have access:
- Ethiopian Cloud Nine passengers, departing on a same-day flight (no guests.)
- Ethiopian ShebaMiles Gold Card holders, departing on a same-day flight operated by Ethiopian or a Star Alliance carrier (no guests.)
- Star Alliance Gold members, departing on a same-day flight operated by Ethiopian or a Star Alliance carrier (+1 guest.)
When flying Star Alliance
When flying Star Alliance. Worldwide membership only.