I had the opportunity to review Etihad Airways award winning service at their innovative mobile exhibition in Croke Park recently.
There is nothing worse than finally nodding off to sleep only to be woken by a flight attendant asking if you want dinner. Etihad Airways novel eye masks which come with ‘do not disturb’ on one side and ‘wake me up to eat’ on the other are a simple yet very effective idea!
Their new economy smart seats also come with a headrest which acts as a shoulder to lean on. They offer adjustable back support and a generous 32-inch seat pitch. The 11 inch touch screen TV comes with hundreds of movies and there are plenty of connection ports to charge your portable devices.
As a mum of two, I was listening attentively to the services provided by their flying nannies. All of Etihad Airways nannies were trained in Norland College (William and Kate’s nanny was trained there!). Kids receive a welcome back with colouring pencils, puzzles when they board, and during the flight, nannies will treat them to face painting and fun games while you get some chill time – nice for Mum and Dad!
Their first and business class cabins vary depending on which aircraft type you are on. I would suggest to anyone who is travelling in these classes to check this before booking. Personally I thought the A380 first class cabins were superior, well at least more spacious than the Boeing 787 dreamliner aircraft. One thing that doesn’t change is the excellent service. Etihad offer all day menus with boutique wine lists and award winning cuisine. The A380 aircraft also has a lobby where you can have business meetings, socialise or watch a live sporting event on their widescreen.
For most of us, travelling business class is not an option, unless you happen to be travelling for business. However, we all hope that at some stage in our lives, perhaps a special occasion, that we will get to experience it some day. The residence however, lets face it, unless you win the lotto or happen to be the next tech billionaire in the making, is only for the rich and famous.
$33k will get you a one way ticket from Abu Dhabi to New York and the residence, which incidentally holds three people. This three roomed, 126 square foot cabin consists of a spacious lounge with luxurious leather sofa ( the same leather that ferrai use), two dining tables and a 32 inch flat screen TV. The bathroom has a full height shower, bathrobes and a hairdryer. The bedroom has a 6ft 10 inch double bed covered with luxurious designer italian bed linen! You can enjoy breakfast in bed while watching the second 27 inch flat screen TV!
If you are forking out that kind of money I’m guessing you will have a few demands! No need to worry – Etihad will have them covered! You will have a private lounge in the airport where you can complete any pre clearance necessary. You can decide if you want to board and disembark first or last, get your suitcase packed and unpacked and even have a turndown service before bed! Your Savoy trained private butler is almost like a concierge in a deluxe hotel, he will get tickets to sold out shows and organise dinner reservations from the air. Before you board you will receive a phone call from your butler asking what type of flowers you would like in the lounge and if you have any special food requests – beluga caviar perhaps? Incidentally you can enjoy your bespoke menu with their 24 carat gold plated Christian Lacroix cutlery!
I had seen the Nicola Kidman advert and thought it looked impressive then, but seeing it first hand and meeting Michael, our butler, took it to another level. Did I mention the mobile exhibition is actually 20% smaller than what is on board? The attention to detail is incredible and is something that must be almost impossible to replicate, even in some of the best hotels in the world. At $33k a pop it’s unlikely I will ever get to actually fly in it, but I can always dream…
For more details visit Etihad.com or your local travel agent.