Concierge team to assist Etihad's Residence flyers

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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

When it comes to luxury and flying, it’s no secret that American airlines lag those from much of the rest of the world, particularly those based in Asia and the Middle East.

Etihad Airways, which introduced flying apartments, is raising the bar yet again.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier is adding a concierge service to help its travelers when they are on the ground.

The airline is teaming up with global concierge service provider Ten Group to aide “guests” (not just fliers) traveling in the Residence by Etihad class, which offers three-room suites on the forward upper-deck cabin of its Airbus A380 aircraft.

Those cabins already come with a butler. But now Residence passengers will also have access to a concierge team that the airline says “will deliver a highly personalized and discreet experience, providing access to a range of services including dining reservations, entertainment bookings, special events, destination information and lifestyle services.”

“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 .... with their requirements immediately, 24 hours a day, at 35,000 feet, and with the most professional levels of service,” said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ chief commercial officer.

Ten Group will train the Etihad Lifestyle Concierge team, and the airline said they will work closely with the airline’s London Savoy-trained Residence butlers.

Baumgartner said the airline chose Ten Group because of its global reach and expertise.

Ten Group’s niche is in serving the needs of the affluent in 22 languages from its offices located in major commercial hubs around the world, including New York, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Cape Town, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Melbourne and Dubai.

Toby Gauvain, managing director international at Ten Group, promised that Etihad Residence passengers will get “lifestyle solutions, delivered with the utmost discretion, convenience and sophistication no matter where they are flying in the world.”

That certainly beats early boarding.

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