Can You Make Special Requests If Flying In The Etihad Residence?

As I wrote about yesterday, I’ll soon be flying in the Etihad Residence from Abu Dhabi to Sydney, which is supposedly the pinnacle of commercial aviation. The Residence is a three room private suite with butler service, located at the front left of the A380 upper deck. I can’t even begin to say how excited I am about the experience.

As I explained yesterday, I’d like to think I scored a “deal” on the ticket, at least compared to the retail cost. It was still a lot of money, but only a fraction of the original retail cost. Even though I didn’t pay $25,000+ for the ticket, I’m still coming in with high expectations, given how Etihad markets the product.

You can bet I’ll be documenting every aspect of the experience here, starting with the pre-trip service.

Etihad Residence pre-flight service

Just hours after confirming my booking yesterday I received the following email:

Dear Mr. Benjamin Schlappig,

Thank you for choosing Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Residence by Etihad, the world’s most exclusive and luxurious cabin, available only on Etihad’s A380 aircraft. Experience the ultimate in service, hospitality and privacy.

The VIP Travel Concierge will manage all the details for your flight in The Residence. Our experienced team can be reached at any time to provide personal assistance for your travel, from coordinating the details of the luxury chauffeur transfers to handling any special requests. You can also access the exclusive services of the Etihad Lifestyle Concierge, in partnership with leading lifestyle company, Ten Group, offering access to a wide range of services including dining reservations, entertainment bookings, special events and destination information.

Please note that there are rules for taking liquids, aerosols and gels onto flights to Australia, and you may be subject to boarding gate checks prior to boarding at Abu Dhabi. You will not be permitted to carry on-board, duty-free items purchased at point of origin or on-board our flights. For further information, please refer to the attached brief or visit  travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au

Please call us at any time on the telephone number below or email us at viptravelconcierge@etihad.ae. In any event, a member of the VIP Travel Concierge team will be in touch one day before your flight to confirm all the details for your stay in The Residence.

Etihad-A380-First-Class-24

About 20 minutes after getting that email I received a phone call from the UAE, though wasn’t able to answer. A few minutes later I received this follow-up email:

Dear Mr. Schlappig,

We tried calling you on ________ however got no response.

As part of our arrangements for your travel in The Residence, we would appreciate if you could provide us with the below:

  • Your clear passport and visa copies and of your travel companions(If any),
  • Any Dietary requirements with regards to meals and beverages,
  • The travel companions booking reference(If Any),
  • The number of luggage that You and your travel companions(If Any) will carry, both check-In and hand carry,
  • If you would like to avail the Chauffeur service in UAE and in Sydney, we will need the Full pick up/Drop-off address in UAE and Sydney and the preferred pickup time for the chauffeur service for your departure flight from Abu Dhabi.
  • In addition, if you have have any connecting flights before or after your flight with us, please send us the flight details.
  • We would encourage you to join Etihad Guest(Our frequent Flier Programme).

*All personal information and documents shared with us will be used solely for the purpose of the reservation only.*

Etihad-A380-First-Class-25

It’s my understanding that they ask for all this information upfront because when you arrive at the airport, you have someone waiting for you with your boarding pass already printed out, and you’re taken straight to the lounge.

How much can you customize the Etihad Residence experience?

I was a bit surprised that they didn’t suggest more opportunities to customize the experience. For example, the second email said to let them know of any dietary requirements related to food and beverages. For such an exclusive product you’d think they’d also ask for any preferences you may have in terms of food, etc. They didn’t ask me for any preferences, aside from saying that their team will help with “handling any special requests.”

I had heard in the past of people being able to select their butler (unless Shawn Mendes has a career change, I can’t say I have a strong preference), request what food and drinks they prefer, etc. So while it’s possible that I’m supposed to just ask for these things, it would be nice if they clarified upfront. So I sent a follow-up email:

In the first email it was mentioned that any special requests could be made via the concierge. Since this is my first time in The Residence, could you give me an idea of what kind of requests can be made? I’m not sure how much the experience can be customized.

Their response read as follows:

With regards to special requests, you can inform us if you would like to have any special meals or beverages onboard and we will do our best to arrange the same.

Some requests might incur a charge (based on the items that you may request) and we will inform you the same.

We can also arrange dining reservations, entertainment bookings, special events and destination information through TEN GROUP (A leading lifestyle company).

Again, I think the experience will be great as is, but I want to make sure I fully “test” the experience, so I feel like I should try to make some requests, and also feel like I should try their concierge service, and put them head-to-head with a credit card concierge service, to see if they’re any better.

They say that some special requests “may incur a charge,” so I wonder where they draw the line on that. Yes, it makes sense that there would be an extra charge for 1995 Krug, but what about “regular” Krug, or 2006 Dom Perignon, which other airlines serve in first class?

Anyway, I know a lot of people are interested in the overall experience, which is why I’m sharing a play by play (well, and also because I paid for it, so I better damn get some content out of this). 😉

Bottom line

Let me once again emphasize that my goal here isn’t to be difficult, but rather I’m just trying to be thorough. I’ve reviewed all of the world’s best first class products, and The Residence claims to be in a different league. I have no doubt that I’ll be like a kid in a candy store the day of the trip, and that I won’t be able to sleep the night before. I think the last time I was this excited to get on a plane was when I flew Singapore first class for the first time, about a decade ago. However, that won’t stop me from being objective and critical.

My hope isn’t to come out of the trip just saying “OMG I FLEW IN A THREE ROOM SUITE WITH A BUTLER AND IT WAS AMAZING” (though I’m sure in many ways that’s how I’ll feel), but rather to answer the question “is The Residence worth the price premium?”

Do you interpret the email they send as being open to special requests, or no? If so, any thoughts on what requests to make, either with the Etihad concierge or their lifestyle concierge service? I’m thinking of requesting a type of champagne, a specific type of sparkling water, etc., but would love to hear what ideas you guys have.

Comments

  1. Ben, TPG had an entire Turkey dinner catered onto his flight over the holiday… I’m not sure if you wanna go that crazy but I can be done!

  2. I think the Points Guy got a bottle of his favorite vodka engraved with his name and flight number. Not sure it there was a surcharge for that.

  3. maybe see how exotic they’re willing to entertain pre-booked dining requests, like whale steak, horse carpaccio, shark fin soup / snake soup, or even kangaroo tapas

    (and yes, I’ve sampled all of those on land before)

  4. I think the email is actually being quite open. Because they can probably provide you with literally anything, Inthink you just have to ask.

    If I were you, I would ask for smokething really odd and specific, such as almond milk or quail eggs. It would be interesting to see if they charge you, how much they charge you, and if they are fen able to deliver it.

    Also, you could possibly request another thing (maybe less specific) quote close to the departure date, like the night before. It could be interesting to see if they can deliver something last minute.

  5. I think the email is actually being quite open. Because they can probably provide you with literally anything, Inthink you just have to ask.

    If I were you, I would ask for smokething really odd and specific, such as almond milk or quail eggs. It would be interesting to see if they charge you, how much they charge you, and if they are fen able to deliver it.

    Also, you could possibly request another thing (maybe less specific) quote close to the departure date, like the night before. It could be interesting to see if they can deliver something last minute.

  6. @ Lucky — Start with asking for Beluga caviar, “regular” Krug, and a bottle of your preferred fragrance. Would be interested in their response.

    —JRL

  7. What about some Hermes toiletries? One of the butlers told me you could request specific toiletries.
    Specialized china for your food?

  8. Everyone here is going for the “usual” premium experience of going over the top with expensive food ingredients. They will expect that.

    I’d say throw a curve ball at them by requesting the following: (1) a Big Mac, no tomatoes; (2) a 7-11 Slurpee with half Coke and half cherry flavors; (3) a pack of your favorite chewing gum; (4) a copy of the day’s New York Post to read.

  9. Ben,

    Stoked to hear your thoughts on this. For sure want an objective review of “Is It Worth It?” vs “This Is SO Cool!”

    I doubt many of us who read this blog would actually pay in cash for this but rather use points. Trust your reviews as they tend to be pretty spot on with my experiences (although not sure i’ll ever get to experience this one unless someone wants to bring me along).

  10. I would definitely pick something inexpensive, but obscure, to see if they can deliver (a particular brand of gum is a good example).

  11. Ben since you enjoy coffee, ask for some special offerings there. I’m assuming they already have a real espresso machine, so maybe asking for Kopi luwak would push the boundaries a bit. Or would they willing to bring aboard a cold-brew nitrogen-pressurized keg for you?

  12. Ben,
    if you’re traveling solo, as I understand, start off with a particular car request.
    Ask to be chauffeured to your destination is SYD in a supercar, like a Ferrari.

    Once onboard, have them ready with customized PJs and slippers with your initials and book-the-cook for a Lobster Thermidor to see if it matches the one on Singapore.

  13. “Have a 1/100 scale model of the A380 Etihad airplane that you are flying, to take home??”

    Yes, but have the whole thing made out of Lubecker Marzipan

  14. A framed photograph of both an EY and QR A380 to be hung in the Residence for the duration of the flight

  15. @Terence

    Ditto to Terence above…the Residence needs to be decked out in Hello Kitty, including toiletries and bedding.

  16. I like @Jason’s suggestion; asking for a unique coffee would, indeed, be a good and practical test.

  17. I think you have to ask for Shawn Mendes! 😉

    But seriously, this is exciting, and fun to watch the play-by-play. Good story!

  18. I would ask for a very local newspaper dated on the day of the flight, not in English preferably, such as La Dépêche du Midi from France, and see whether they can deliver it or not.
    Also, to make fun you could tell them you wanna eat some dodo and look at their answer to this odd and impossible request :p

  19. Ben, if you want to assess whether it’s worth the premium, compare it to what you would get in Paris at the Ritz or George V for the either the cost of the Residence (or at a minimum the difference between residence and business class).

  20. wow! I have never more excited for one of your trips! You should request one of everything that has been suggested above!

  21. Just as a part to get to know how far they’ll go, you could ask for an absurd item like a predeparture Big Mac. Would be funny to see I think.

  22. This is easy – request your gown for the Shower have “The Residence” embroidered on the top pocket….

  23. A giant bowl of ONLY your favorite color of Skittles 🙂

    Really though, this is your experience, so while it’s worth going a bit off the wall to test things out, stick with things you really think will make the flight extra enjoyable for you. Maybe make a list of your favorite things from previous flights, then bump them up a notch.

    I don’t know your feelings about dogs and cats, but I bet they could do excellent service for an in-flight pet as well.

    I wonder what percentage of people who book The Residence have a staff that takes care of all these details for them?

  24. I found it interesting that they asked for your companion’s booking reference (if any). If you are travelling with a passenger in First, Business, or even Economy class, would they be able to get the same privileges as you on the ground like priority check-in, lounge access, etc.?

  25. Just be careful since it will be a matter of time until they figure out you are the famous blogger (they have your full name on your reservation). Now there is nothing you can do but it would have been better if you had not shared at all you were taking this trip so the chances they would know would be minimum. Although most of us will never fly on The Residence it would be good to have an unbiased review rather than maybe something “special” just because they knew you were the one traveling.

  26. Does Etihad usually order caviar in first, I would request that if possible. Also it would be interesting to see if an not too expensive request for a bottle of wine is handled, like o know if you asked for Domaine de la Romanee Conti may be hard to get included in your ticket (~$1300 a bottle) it would be interesting to see how much they charge for it, ie “would I be able to have DRC on board?” If they say yes see the price then when they respond $X you can do $1300-$X to see how much they are willing to spend on your wine and then request that bottle, if they say it will be $1200 for the bottle then ask if you can get Napa Valley Silver Oak (~$100) on board and see if they still charge.

    Also things you could request
    -Certian brand of PJs
    -Bottle of cologne
    -Extra blankets (to see how many they load for you)
    -Brand of bottled water
    -Egyptian cotton towels for the shower
    -Beer not available in UAE, like Sierra Nevada
    -Coke or Pepsi (whichever one they don’t normally serve)

    For fun I would compare something to EK F “I had 2002 Dom on EK, do you offer that?”

  27. Ask for access to a Bloomberg Terminal or the duration of your flight. During the electronics ban, Etihad is already providing devices, but see if they’ll go above and beyond and give you access to the subscription as well.

  28. I do agree that it’s odd that they didn’t give you some idea of how customisable the experience can be – and perhaps sounds a bit more inviting !

    How about telling them more about what you like – steak / burgers / raw fish / etc – and let them create a menu for you.

    I like the idea of requesting a Ferrari – they’re common in UAE, so that part should be easy for them.

    And how about mentioning your AvGeek predilection – see if they can do something special for you on that front (might be worth letting them know if you’ve been to the ATC tower / operations centre in AUH) ?

    Enjoy.

  29. Actually, i see this as a possible “design your dream air travel experience”.

    What do u hope or wish could be in the air?

    Like some have mentioned, pick your own toiletries, own wine n champagne (ace of spades?), caviar, bedding (hello kitty?), bathrobe/towel n PJ brands, specify pillow menu (tempur pillow?), special tea (royal blue tea anyone?), coffee (luwak? Blue mountain? Special cold brew?), even favourite still and sparkling water brands? Try even.. Ordering something unique from a Etihad destination for u to pick up on your Residence flight. Some special egg tarts from HKG etc. Kobe beef from Japan as steak for your meal in the air. Hello kitty cultery for dining that can be kept as souvenirs after the flight. Special movies request.

    Also, what u hope to enjoy during your transit? And your airport transfer (Porche? Ferrari?) to hotel?

    I am sure u can think of a lot more. Do tell us your final request that u made to EY.

    I am sure how creative ur requests will only help them up their game.

  30. Hey Ben,

    honestly I think you should not overdo it just for doing it but stick to things you really like. After all it is your money.
    As I have probably read all Articles your Blog has on offer, I would recommend asking for the whole series of Ethiad Teddy Bears. Might be an interesting task and something you personally can benefit from. I have seen at least three different ones.
    Additionally, if I remember correctly, you were quite keen on a blanket on one airline which was provided by a hotel chain or had their label, so there are hotel quality blankets which hold a FAA clearance. Maybe something in that area might improve your sleep while being a task for the airline.
    Another thought would be a request for some noise cancelling headphones that match the quality standard of the residence and see what they come up with.

    Just my two cents….

  31. Oh and of course, real Fanta and Bretzels to german standard are not expensive but a logistical challenge.

  32. @Lucky – “but rather to answer the question “is The Residence worth the price premium?”

    Not sure how you can answer this question, as I don’t think there is a generic answer to it. It all depends on how much money one has and hence how much the extra money is worth to them.

    A better way to put it is – you will provide all the factual details about the experience and readers can decide whether it is worth the premium for them or not.

    I’m also eagerly waiting for your report, though I already know the answer to this question for myself :-).

  33. – Ask to have a framed photo of Donald Trump hanging from the bedroom area.
    – I heard someone asking for only red skittles.

  34. Ask for a bowl of only marshmallows from Lucky charms. You should also ask for an in n out or some other fast food chain that’s is only available in a specific part of the world to see if they would be able to get it to you through some magic.

  35. Frank – The ‘autographed’ framed photo of Donald Trump hanging in the bedroom had me cracking up!
    Lucky – Ask for a wheelchair, so you don’ t have to ‘walk’ to the bedroom.
    Jokes aside, Lucky, enjoy the trip, your review of the Residence is the only one I have been looking forward to. Thanks for having us along for the ride.

  36. You’ve obviously not flown charter too often — this sort of service is standard with that type of flying. As far as requests go, just about anything legal/reasonable will be accommodated. Charter flights often contain high-maintenance types, so they’re used to pulling off the impossible. Trust me, their concierges have probably seen and heard it all. DO expect additional cost for many things though. The assumption is that if you’re flying charter/Residence, you’re not too concerned about the cost. I’ve managed to get an entire Mercedes dealership (sales & service) opened in the middle of the night with about a one hour notice for a client. They wanted their car repaired (which broke at 8pm) and wanted to look at new cars while they were at it. Cost be damned.

    I like the suggestion of seeing if you can get a tour of operations / ATC or similar.

  37. Building on what @henry LAX said…

    Request a panda burger! DO IT! DOOOO IIIIIIIIIT!!!!!

    But seriously, I like what @NerdbirdSD suggest: Request Hermès toiletries. Because they are seriously the best toiletries on the market, anywhere, I mean it. I’ll bet Etihad honors that one.

  38. Hi Ben,

    After a couple of years of regularly reading your articles, I feel compelled by this announcement to post for the first time. Making requests at top hotels and on luxury liners is something I enjoy doing and from what I hear, many a concierge service enjoys the challenge. I’ve been very impressed by what can be achieved and so always look to up the ante a little each time.

    A few suggestions for your upcoming Residence experience:

    – Ask for the massage from the Abu Dhabi lounge spa to take place in your private VIP lounge room.
    – Ask for a photographer to take some professional shots at the airport and to video document the boarding for you
    – Request the softness or hardness of your pillows and enquire about them loading linen to your desired thread count
    – Ask for bedding embroidered, and china and cutlery engraved, with your initials (and a monogrammed Etihad tote to carry it off the plane)
    – Don’t just ask for your favourite toiletries. See if they will create a signature scent (perhaps ‘Lucky’ by Etihad?) based on your general preferences you would naturally email through prior
    – Ask for the number of ply for your toilet paper in the private bathroom as well as the brand
    – Ask for a book about the airline’s history (assuming there is one) that has been signed by the CEO, pilot, etc.
    – See if they will add some artwork of your choosing for the wall alongside the bed (within reason, I doubt they’d get their hands on a Rembrandt, but maybe a reproduction).
    – Request a particular colour loofah for the shower.
    – Ask for your favourite television shows and a small selection of favourite movies to be loaded onto the IFE (other passengers may also benefit then)

    Now, a few other things that might be a little harder to arrange, but could be fun for the heck of it:

    – Ask for a butler’s uniform to be made for you and you get a chance to see what it is like to wait on someone (why not learn a new skill on your 15 odd hour flight? – certainly add something unique for your special blog post, or even make it a separate post)
    – Ask for a helicopter transfer instead of town car service (as you will know, Emirates now does this for those travelling from Nice to Monaco)
    – Make a request for the cabin temperature during the flight (it can be done, just a matter of whether they will do it for you)
    – Ask that you get 10-15 minutes of water for your shower so you can take more than one shower or have an extra long one

    I was fortunate enough to get a quick walk through of the Residence last I flew the Apartments. It’s certainly nice, but I’m glad you didn’t pay full price (so to speak). Unless there are some major perks offered and they accomodate your every whim (within reason), I think the regular Apartment is terrific enough. Besides, Etihad always goes above and beyond. I thoroughly enjoy being greeted on sitting down with my favourite drink to exact specifications noted on their database (down to the number of ice cubes), and I’ve yet to experience another airline that organises complimentary limo transfers and a suite at a 5 star hotel (with dinner) for a 10 hour layover in Abu Dhabi without charging a cent more (I was just going to book a room at the airport hotel, but the transit desk staff said it wouldn’t be necessary).

    I cannot wait to read your Residence review! Hopefully you get some time to enjoy Sydney again. Perhaps you should aim for one of the grander suites at the Park Hyatt this time and write a double luxury feature?

  39. Ask them to cater the food from a specific restaurant or ask them for something crazy like flying over Abu Dhabi and Dubai before heading on course to Sydney. Or ask them if you can be processed through the VIP terminal (pearl lounge) or the terminal handling presidential flights.

  40. Ask them how poor a Westerner has to be in order to be flogged for alcohol consumption or premarital sex in the UAE.

    Then ask whether one can pay to be flogged.

    Then ask whether travel insurance will cover any injuries sustained during the flogging.

  41. Ben,
    Request framed pictures of Delta airplanes, along with news reports of Delta’s profitable quarterly reports, personally signed by the CEO of Etihad.

    A model of Delta’s new A350 would be thoughtful, too.

  42. Request a full afternoon tea catered by the Burj Al Arab. And a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds if you really want to toss them a curve ball.

  43. Ask them for pork bacon. I can only imagine the reactions you might get. Not that I’m being insensitive but they did say anything, even if it’s with charge here.

  44. This is gold 😀 I hope that Etihad is reading this thread (of course they are) and taking notes and then delivering (or having on stand by ready) everything mentioned in the comments section wether you requested it or not, just to show that they can.

    On a side note, are pets in cabin still not allowed in the residence?

  45. I would go on the other end of the spectrum and request some really inexpensive, lame things. Like boxed Franzia wine, a Big Mac, and Dove toiletries. I would also request a group photo of the crew working the flight with a personalized message signed by all of them. Then when they follow through with your requests and have everything ready for you, I’d complain really obnoxiously that the Residence is pathetic and subpar to Emirates. Then I’d go in the bathroom and barf all over it.

  46. How about some strippers?

    Oh, never mind!

    You can ask them for a whole lamb on rice, local style. It costs USD300-400 so its not very cheap and see if they will cater it! I’m sure they do on charter flights out of GCC – seen some pictures!

    BTW, pork should not be an issue it is sold in the UAE.

  47. Forgot to mention, for the whole lamb, tell them you want everything ther, including head and testicles.

  48. BEN GO CRAZY ON THIS TRIP!!!!! YOU DESERVE IT AND IT WILL BE SO FUN!!!
    -Get EVERYTHING embroidered with your name
    -For the chaffeur ride ask for an exotic convertible car
    -Request all of the china to have your name engraved on it and made in Switzerland
    -Professional photographer/videographer for the whole thing
    -Ask to get a tour of the aircraft given by the captain, and ask for a captain’s hat with your name engraved on it
    -Ask for a specific kind of candy you like in a specific color
    -A framed picture of your family in the bedroom
    -A bluetooth stereo in the shower so you can sing along to Shawn Mendes
    -Ask for a butler of a specific height & language speaking
    -Make everyone refer to you as Prince Schlappig
    -Whatever your gut tells you…

  49. This is incredible!!!

    Typically EY serves Bollinger La Grande Annee in F and the Residence, which I have to say, I enjoy just about as much as Krug Grande Cuvée, and WAY more than Dom Perignon 2006, about which I just don’t get the fuss!

    Maybe see if they can do Krug 2002 at no extra charge? Or Bollinger RD 2002? Would be good to have a top-end Rose option too, like Cristal Rose.

    I echo other comments about requesting high thread count bedding/linens, as well as a particular fragrance you enjoy. Maybe just try and ask if you can have Shawn Mendes as a butler and see what they say? Ha! I would very much enjoy that as well. 😉

  50. Fastest wifi that they can serve up for free. Win-win for all. If it’s good enough, you can do live updates or live streaming/video (is that even possible?)

    Anyway, super excited like everyone else. And real happy for you Ben.

  51. It will be fascinating to read how they met each of your (legal) requests even if they know who you are by now. That will be the test of an unbeatable commercial airline’s customer service…or not.

  52. Ben has lost all credibility for the review by posting all this crap before the flight. Of course Etihad is reading this thread.

  53. Ham roast, bacon wrapped Digby scallops, Blue Mountain or Kona Coffee, a favourite movie that is not on the inflight entertainment system.
    Anyways, really looking forward to reading the upcoming review.
    CHEERS!

  54. Why not see if they’ll match the best of First Class from all other airlines, even if they don’t usually offer it? Like a Thai Airways style buggy ride through AUH (assuming that’s even possible given AUH overcrowding), limo transfers at the terminal a la LH/ AF, in-seat (in-residence?) massage like Virgin Upper Class AND the best champagne/ coffees/ cuisines you’ve seen on other carriers.

    Also, what about a guided tour of the entire aircraft before anyone else boards, including a visit to the cockpit?

  55. To me the Residence is the home away from home and office where I can be productive all combined. So it should provide the comfort of home, and productivity and efficiency of an office. At best it should provide almost all the items used in your daily routine (as if you’re not flying) within the confines of a plane. So I’d ask for the following.

    Pre-flight:
    Full body massage, spa treatment, haircut, and shave.
    Specific breakfast.
    Specific make/model car to take you to your plane.

    Flight:
    A specific ethnic cuisine, condiment, and beverage for your meals. Like maybe a typical German wurst or a gourmet Burmese curry prepared by their chef, Mango-Habanero sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings, and your favorite local coffee, beer, or Mexican hot chocolate.
    A pair of Etihad branded workout outfit. And a healthy athlete-inspired meal and protein shake/coconut water prepared by their chef for post workout.
    A color matching blankets, duvets, bedding, etc.
    Specific type of shampoo, bodywash, etc.
    A painting to be hung in your Residence like someone mentioned above.
    Specific movie, song. Better yet, LIVE-STREAM to a paid channel to watch your favorite TV show. Wall Street Journal access.
    Printer, to print out a copy of an article you just found during flight to read.
    Stock an extra mouse. (I like using a mouse even with my giant Mac’s touchpad so in case I forgot mine at home I’d want to have one handy.)

    Test:
    Internet connectivity speed. Can you get more bandwidth because you fly premium?
    Is there enough space to do basic exercises like push ups, plank, sit-ups. I try to work in a push up at least if I fly long-haul J/F. If you want to go all the way ask if they’d install a treadmill in your residence!

    Happy flying. Been reading your blogs for a while. First time commenting tho.

  56. Actually, an idea. I know you have extensive pictures of the first class cabin, but can’t you email them to enquire about boarding way early so you can take pictures of business class and economy class, and review their seats as well? As a fellow aviation and travel blogger that’s the best thing you could ask for.

  57. I love Terence suggestion about hello kitty. Ask for like special hello kitty themed paintings or crockery or maybe HK stamped bathrobe/towels for your shower and to add your initials to these items so they have both. Similar to the recently released Jeff Koons x LV grandmaster collection of leather goods.

    Another is to ask for like facial or massage treatment onboard instead of pre departure and see if they can arrange that on board. That will top the shower experience in the air.

    Can’t wait for your full trip report as I have enjoyed other reviews so far.

  58. The fact that you have to send in a copy of your passport I find incredibly common. Sending a scan or picture of your passport via email is very insecure. To be honest your extraordinary request should be for one of their agents come visit you wherever you are and scan the details. Otherwise we’ll be hearing about another ‘Ben Schlappig’ being involved in some Mossad kill plot in a shady Dubai hotel. 🙂

  59. I love the suggestions proposed with regard to ‘testing’ Etihad ‘powers – some are absolute gold – but having considered the overall greater good ….. I would prefer a review of the Residence without any outrageous demands. Most premium flyers do not demand but rather anticipate an expected level of service and as a frequent F flyer, I would very much appreciate Ben’s experienced review rather than a review based on ‘gimmicks’. I very much look forward to the review especially given SQ appears to have decreed the end of the first suite ‘double bed’.

  60. If you get Erin the butler or Gupreet the chef, you are in for a real treat! Absolutely amazing service e.g. hand mixing mint leaves with melted chocolate and straing that through a bag, just because I said I liked mint chocolate.

  61. Could your companion (if any..) join you in your residence cabin? what fare should he or she buy?

  62. Ask them to certify that all your food is certified sustainable raised, fair trade, Kosher, non-GMO, organic plus pesticide, antibiotic, cage, cruelty and nut free. Ask for Voss water which comes in glass bottles to wash with. Require only Kopi Luwak coffee be served, that stuff made from civet cat poop served in a new crystal coffee cup at exactly 201 F with one teaspoon of Adult Milk from Tokyo-based Nakazawa Foods which gets its milk from cows just once a week at the break of dawn and bottled within 6 hours of milking. The chocolate placed on your pillow before bed should be To’ak chocolate from Ecuador, made from 100 year old Arriba cacao trees taking 2 years to make each bar ($260 for 1.5 ounce bar). Don’t forget to get a special air filter too.

  63. I’m so interested in reading your trip once it happens. But my suggestion for special request is ask for a coordinated dancing routines by the air crew just when you board!

  64. @Ben
    Even though I have read so many reviews about this product, I think your articulation and approach towards this review is refreshing!!
    Haven’t been more excited for a review in a long time. Looking forward to it.

    And off course, let lose and have fun as well!

  65. I think EVA Airlines would attest to the ‘Hello Kitty’ bedding idea but seriously, consider requesting a signed jersey from Pep or current MCFC footballer, like Aguero.

  66. I think it’s worth making a special request and I’m enjoying chuckling at the outlandish ones but I would think more along the lines of what would make it truly special and amazing.

    for me…

    fresh flowers in cabin. fresias and peonies and magnolia.
    real non uht Irish milk and butter.
    A copy of that days FT and NYT (easy) but presumably the test is that they would be ironed.
    specific model car transfer is a maybe. also for some specific sweets and brand of water to be in the car.
    definitely as a few said specific bedlinens including cool gel pillows.
    slippers in your shoe size.
    photos of any loved ones and pets in living room area of cabin.
    aveda tea
    your favourite organic spa toiletries and a specific length of shower time.
    a massage on the ground with your favourite specific essential oils in a blend.
    an authentic Arabic meal with accompaniments AND separately an authentic European meal with wine pairings.
    tasting of australian leading coffees made with v60 or similar pourover filter.
    none of that’s even outlandish but it’s all measurable.

  67. Get the photos/videos of your boarding as suggested above, and then ask that the photos be tattooed on your body by a professional tattoo artist whilst in the residence.

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