Check-in was open when I arrived at about 2 hours before departure. One other passengers was in line but as he was having an argument about his free baggage allowance, a member of staff opened a desk to give me my boarding passes. Directing me to the priority security line, I was in line for security after a five minute walk. The boarding pass scanned properly to let me through the priority gates. However, the queue was moving very slowly and it took 20-25 minutes to clear security and in to the Duty Free area.
Following the signs took me through passport control en-route to the lounge.
Etihad uses the Casa Alitalia Lounge at Milan Malpensa and after check-in I made my way to the very end of the airport for my pre-departure visit.
The lounge was empty when I arrived and the two members of staff took me on a nice tour of the offerings. There was plenty of food and drink out, hot and cold. There were a number of distinct seating areas as well as tables laid for those having breakfast. There was a show kitchen but this was only open at lunchtimes and evenings I was told.
The seats were comfortable and there were plenty of power sockets located in the tables near most of the chairs. The WiFi was free and fast.
You have to love a lounge that has block of chocolate AND bacon out at 8am! There was a good range of breakfast items and it was all self service.
One of the novel aspects of the lounge is that you board your Etihad flight directly from the lounge. When it came time to board the staff roamed the lounge advising people how to find the gate and after a passport and boarding pass check, we rode down in the lift to join the queue to board.
The Etihad A330 was full and it took a few minutes to get on board.