Etihad’s The Residence Now Comes With Concierge Servce

Etihad’s The Residence, available exclusively on their A380s, is already the most over the top product available in commercial aviation.

The Residence measures ~125 square feet and features a three room suite (living room, bedroom, and bathroom equipped with shower), along with private butler service from a Savoy-trained butler.

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It’s a crazy concept, given that one-way fares between Abu Dhabi and New York, for example, will set you back ~$32,000 one-way. Is there a big enough “gap” in the market between those who fly first class commercial and those who would otherwise take a private jet? Time will tell, I suppose.

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Anyway, in case the current suite of benefits for passengers of The Residence wasn’t enough, they’ve introduced yet another feature. Etihad will now be offering passengers of The Residence concierge service. The service will be provided through Ten Group Lifestyle Concierge, which contracts out their concierge services to luxury brands and financial institutions.

What should you expect from the “Etihad Lifestyle Concierge?” Via Skift:

The Etihad Lifestyle Concierge team will provide traditional concierge services, including dining reservations, entertainment bookings, special events, destination information and lifestyle services in “a highly personalized and discreet” manner, the airline pledges.

“We are taking luxury airline travel to levels never experienced before,” says Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer. “Whether it is for a last-minute booking at a top London restaurant, tickets for a Broadway show, or even the purchase of a rare blue diamond, our fully connected fleet will enable us to assist guests staying in the Residence by Etihad with their requirements immediately, 24 hours a day, at 35,000 feet, and with the most professional levels of service.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I have very low expectations of concierge services nowadays. It’s so easy to “self service” arrangements online, which didn’t used to be the case. So a concierge adds the most value when they can get you a reservation at a sold out restaurant/show/whatever. And while they can do that sometimes, the reality is that a majority of the time they won’t be able to.

I do think this becomes a bit of a challenge in terms of managing expectations. If I bought a $32,000 ticket and they advertised a concierge service, I’d expect they could do just about anything. Hopefully they can!

Bottom line

Ultimately I don’t think this is a game changer for The Residence, though it’s certainly something which is nice for Etihad to be able to market, if nothing else. I’d be curious to hear if the concierges for The Residence are any better than your “run of the mill” concierge services.

Do you see any value in Etihad adding concierge service as a benefit of The Residence?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. Lucky, have you heard about AA mistake fare from GRU to HKG? They’re (or were) selling Y roundtrip for ~USD 150, and J for ~USD 500. I dunno if it’s just on the brazilian website, but it might be still working.

  2. Lucky – I know it is summer and a bit of a slow time, and I hope you have been able to to relax, but I have to concur with others who have noted that there are really a lot of “fluff” posts lately on your site. FWIW who of your readers is ever going to pay for or be able to take advantage of the residence? Concierge service with the Residence. Gee, that’s great. I’ll keep that in mind.

    I genuinely hope that come September, we will be able to read more relevant material like some new business class or premium economy trip reviews in order to test a new product that most of us may relate to! That would be much more appreciated by your average reader I suspect. Just my 2 cents…
    cheers

  3. @Stephan – while The Residence isn’t something 99.9% of us will ever even be able to think about, it’s still interesting to read about, in the same vein as watching Clarkson put a supercar through its paces on Top Gear. (Well, no more of that until next year and the debut of “PrimeGear”, but you get my point.) And when you consider the ongoing debate about the Gulf carriers and whether or not they receive subsidies that hurt other carriers, discussion of their business models is interesting. The site has always had more about the industry than just product reviews (although those are my favourite posts!)

    That said, I do really have trouble picturing anyone getting $32k of value from The Residence, concierge or not, as I think anyone who could afford to drop $32k on this flight probably has access to resources that can get them pretty much anything they might want already.

  4. “If I bought a $32,000 ticket and they advertised a concierge service, I’d expect they could do just about anything. Hopefully they can!”

    This. Too many companies over-promise and under-deliver.

  5. Concierge service is a non-starter. No need to raise hopes up.

    @Stephan. First Class & sometimes J reviews is what I & most others come to THIS blog for. If anyone else wants to read Premium Economy or worse, Y offerings, please do us an enormous favor & find another blog.

    Yes, these are First World/1% problems. Nobody forced you to read it.

  6. Al said “Too many companies over-promise and under-deliver.”

    @Al Couldn’t agree more Al. Put the EY A380 Apartment through it’s paces this week, and sadly the hype was more than the reality. That bench seat is way too firm, even with mattress pad and doona, to have a comfortable face up sleep on. Didn’t help that one of my suite doors was U/S and unable to latch, thus spent most of the flight sliding back and forth. The experience wasn’t a total disaster, and there were some good points, but missed opportunities abounded (and service was pretty much the same as experienced in the Business Studio – acceptable mostly, but not great). I have a few more First Apartment flights ahead, which no longer have a shine, but at least it’ll get me to Platinum Guest so that’s something.

    Over-promising always ends badly.

  7. I think you have the pricing wrong; According to what Etihad told me at the NY Travel Expo, the $16 K ticket covers -two- people.

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