As if they are not already setting the standards for commercial aviation, the award winning airline Etihad is upping up the stakes this time with a bold move only the Emirati carrier could pull: Your personal Butler!
Now this is mind blowing yes, but it’s not for everyone as you might have expected. To have your own assistant serving you champaign, getting your bed ready or forwarding your preferences to the chef, you’ll have to be flying their A380 between Abu Dhabi and London, and this will set you back a good $20,000!
The crew of Butlers, 13 to start with, has been trained at the renowned Savoy Butler Academy in London. The crew is mostly male, with 11 male butlers and only 2 females as a starting batch. The team will be introduced to London-Abu Dhabi A380 flights starting December 2014.
The 13 men and women, all In-Flight Chefs or Food & Beverage Managers, were carefully chosen to fulfil the coveted role of Butler, which combines the skills of both Concierge and Maître d’hôtel to provide superior service to the discerning guests of The Residence by Etihad. This revolutionary three-room cabin featuring a living room, private shower-room and double bedroom is being introduced on Etihad Airways’ fleet of 10 Airbus A380s, the first of which is due for delivery in December this year. – Etihad
The Etihad butlers will be exclusively operating on the upper deck of the A380, serving VIP guests for whom 20 grands is just pocket change. The service will complement the newly announced residence cabin featuring three-rooms with double bed, living area and shower cubicle.
These last years have been dominated by Gulf carriers, from Etihad to Emirates and Qatar airline, thanks to the flush of petrodollars and visionary management at the head of the carriers. Etihad has been topping the list of the best airline for years, and piling up award after award for the past 8 years. With a fierce competition, stepping up the game is the only way forward for Gulf carriers who are already heading the global race and competing for the top spot.
“The flying butlers will provide a level of service that no traveller has ever experienced in commercial aviation,” – Aubrey Tiedt, Vice president for guest services at Etihad
If you didn’t have a chance to look at the Etihad Residence promotional video, then enjoy at your own risk this new level of luxury that will make you curse every time you end up on an economy seat!
Photo Credit: Etihad