My 5 Etihad Residence Requests Have Been Submitted

Filed Under: Etihad

I’ve been talking a lot about my upcoming flight in the Etihad Residence from Abu Dhabi to Sydney, and in case you guys haven’t noticed, I’m really flipping excited.


While I’m looking forward to the experience as such, one thing I’ve been putting a lot of thought into is what special requests to make. Since this is supposedly the most exclusive product in commercial aviation, you can customize the experience a bit.

I wrote a post sharing some of the hilarious suggestions you guys made for what I should request, and then a few days ago I wrote a post sharing the three requests I was planning on making. However, I asked you guys for your last minute thoughts on them, and based on feedback, revised them a bit.

So below are the five requests I made for my flight in the Etihad Residence, along with the reasons why. Let me also add that when I submitted these requests I said that I understand if they can’t fulfill any of them, but was rather just sharing some preferences. I also said that if there was a charge for any of the items that’s fine, and they should let me know. In no particular order:

Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc

Originally I was going to request a different champagne, though I’m actually intrigued by the 2004 Billecart-Salmon they serve in the Residence, which I’ve never had before. So I’d rather try something new that’s potentially good, than go with my usual favorite, Krug.


So I went with my favorite sauvignon blanc, given that I plan on having fish to eat. It’s only a $20 bottle at retail, and I submitted this request both to see if they’ll charge me for it, and also to see how easily they can source it.

A lobster roll

My original plan was to request any lobster dish. But reader Nick left the following comment:

Note from a foodie: Lobster, if that is what you are hankering for, is not that hard to over cook and cover in too much rich creamy sauce like Singapore Airlines does with their Thermidor. If you want to present a challenge I’d ask for a lobster roll on a toasted brioche. Specifically you’d like the lobster to be tender, without mayonnaise, just drawn butter, lemon juice and Bay seasoning, served with a side of crispy hot, salty, shoestring fries. Even on the ground this is a challenge to get just right. And it’s the perfect food to wash down with some fancy bubbles of your choosing. And sure get some really good cole slaw on the side. It’s always the “easy” things that are so hard to get right, especially at 30,000 feet. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you choose and what they say!

Brilliant! So I asked if it would be possible to have a lobster roll as a mid-flight snack, which seems easy enough to source, but fairly challenging to actually execute well in the air.

Laduree macarons

This is another request I made to see just how good they are. There’s a Laduree in Dubai, and who doesn’t love their macarons? I’m curious to see if they can get some fresh Laduree macarons on the flight.

An Etihad A380 model airplane

I left this one pretty open. I just said I’m an aviation geek, and that I’d love an Etihad A380 model airplane. Let’s see how they do.

A walkaround with the pilot

This is something I would have never thought of myself, but so many of you requested this. I was incredibly sheepish in making this request and said that I totally understand if it’s not possible for “security reasons.” However, as a plane nerd, this would be a dream come true. I asked if it would be possible to do the walkaround of the plane before the flight with one of the pilots. I’ve certainly done this before, though never with an A380. If there’s some UAE aviation law preventing this, or if they pilot isn’t onboard with the idea, I totally understand.

Let’s see how they do!

I’ve found Etihad’s Residence concierge to be highly responsive in terms of how quickly they get back to you. Within 30 minutes of me sending the above email, I received a response saying that they were working on the requests and will get back to me. While they have the speed down, let’s see how they execute.

Any predictions on which of these they’ll be able to fulfill, and which they won’t?

  1. This is awesome. Of course, the possibilities that Etihad knows who are are, knows you write this blog and have probably read this and other posts you have read about your upcoming trip are quite high. I’m not saying they wouldn’t do this for every passenger but the odds they will go the extra mile for you knowing who you are and that you will write about your experience after the flight are, as well, quite high and could have an affect on just how much effort they put into meeting your requests. I mean, they’d be dumb not to bend over backwards in this case.

  2. @Lucky – Nothing in UAE law that prevents you doing the walkaround. We hosted a bunch of school children at our airport last month and they got to walk around (in small groups) with the flight crew of an A320 before departure. You may require a visitor pass and security clearance but those shouldn’t take longer than a days advance notice to set up if they are really serious about getting it done.

  3. Zero chance their team isn’t following your posts. I expect all to be fulfilled sans the walk around if there is a strict rule against it, but since its you and not us I think there is a good chance they bend the rule.

  4. Request can be made only for the Residence or also for the First Class Apartment ?


  5. Not sure if I’ve had the 04 but Billecart-Salmon is very good. Don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  6. There is a Nobu in Dubai. I’d ask them for Blow fish (Fugu in Japanese) sashimi as a starter course. It’s the most distinctive fish know to be poisonous, it takes a certified Fugu chef to prepare it and remove the poisonous elements. it is prized in Japan as the most delicious fish sashimi style. Lets see if they can fulfill that one.

  7. Cloudy Bay Sav Blanc is about the cheapest Sav Blanc you could possibly ask for and I would be disappointed if I was served this in J class. So much better Sav Blancs you could have asked for.

    Regardless I suspect their Head of Social Media is reading this post right now and ensuring all 5 are done, free of charge. Wish you’d waited until after the flight to post all this stuff.

  8. So since it was my idea for the model airplane, will you give it to me after you get it?


  9. @Alvin Pre-boarding can be arranged at the airport, there’s no need to make a advance request for that.

  10. That’s a nice list of requests, and I’m onboard with all of them, except for the wine (since I don’t drink), but I love a good lobster roll!

    It will be interesting to see how your requests are handled.

  11. Love you Ben, but I have to say, I am SO bemused that Cloudy Bay is your favorite Sauvignon Blanc? I’m not a fan of Sauvignon Blanc in general (yes, I know you are), and then even further I am not a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (to me it smells like urine on grass, and I say this as someone who has been training for competitive blind wine tasting), and to take it even further Cloudy Bay isn’t even that nice! But no doubt they will fulfill this request. I would expect them to do all of this.

  12. Surprised you chose the Laduree because it’s pretty easy to source and I’m surprised you haven’t got them yourself. They have plenty of locations worldwide. On the subject give Pierre Herme a try if you haven’t yet. Getting excited for the report!

  13. @kg747 I agree that Pierre Herme is better than Laduree but Ben’s point was the Laduree seemed like it would be an easy enough thing for Etihad to accomplish. I think it’s a more fair test. He’s got some easy ones, some harder ones.

  14. Who gives a damn if its not expensive wine…. ben needs to drink what he likes… not what some ridiculously classless commentator has told him to do. Typical of people who don’t know anything about food or drink…. they know the price of everythjng but the value of nothing.
    Thats the problem with so many flight reviews…. people think an airline’s first class is inferior just because there is no caviar, or the wine didn’t retail for over 100 bucks… so stupid.

  15. So lets start a betting pool to see the result:
    Pool1- 1 request fulfilled
    Pool2- 2 requests fulfilled
    Pool3- 3 requests fulfilled
    Pool4- 4 requests fulfilled
    Pool5- 5 requests fulfilled
    Pool6- 0 requests fulfilled
    Pool7- Lucky gets beaten up and dragged off the plane.

  16. To be fair to Lucky, he is picking a bottle of wine that he is willing to pay, and Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc is really a good Sau Blanc; in fact it is my personal top choice Sau Blanc in the New World producers.

    If I am Cloudy Bay, I may send not just a Sau Blanc, but a special edition one to Lucky via EY for publicity purpose. Lol. Afterall, Lucky could have chosen anything, and he just chose a Cloudy Bay Sau Blanc? That is big endorsement.

    Now, if Cloudy Bay team reads this blog too..

  17. Unlike Ben (commenter) above, I don’t think Cloudy Bay is about the cheapest SB one could possibly ask for (although maybe cheap in terms of value, i.e., overpriced, yes).

    Lucky, you need to tell me where you get your wine, because I don’t think I’ve seen Cloudy Bay for under $25 (and usually I see it closer to $30). Have you tried Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko SB? Not sure it holds up well in the air but I’ve enjoyed it for special occasions.

    Enjoy your Residence experience! I’m looking forward to following along 🙂

  18. French fries on a plane are probably impossible. It’s the one thing that’s nearly impossible to do. Oven-baked fries are simply.. not the same.

  19. Please humor this poor old Imp and order the Truffle Chicken off the menu. I am so very curious as to how well this delicate dish survives the harsh conditions of an airliner.

  20. Billecart Salmon Brut Rose is my favorite champagne. It has a great nose, refreshing and delicious. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Bon Voyage!

  21. You should also ask for your favourite show or film to be on the inflight entertainment system and see if they can handle that

  22. Given your wide publication of these requests, I wouldn’t be surprised if all (or most) are satisfied. But of what use is that for the “common” traveler who might make similar requests? But of course this isn’t a “common” product, approachable for anyone but the 1%. Wasn’t this blog supposed to appeal to those trying to earn some extra points for a vacation or save money on travel, not travel on multi-thousand dollar tickets? Seems lately, it’s a lot of “first world problems.”

  23. Ben – what is the date of your flight? I’m slumming it in the Apartments AUH-SYD May 25 and was wondering if we’re on the same one?

  24. I always find it amusing that people have zero comprehension of the workload a pilot has before take off. They don’t just sit there twiddling their thumbs. Just hope that your bags turn up. I certainly know of one residence “guest” who flew 15 hours for their bags to not turn up. Good luck

  25. @Ben – I’m not a fan of wine, but I generally prefer cheap boxed wine to the average-priced bottles I’ve had. If you choose to drink a wine you like less because it’s more expensive, is that not pretty much the definition of a (wine) snob?

  26. @Lucky – loving the anticipation you are creating with the build-up to this trip. Can’t wait to read the review/s. Like most, I can only dream of travelling like this and will be interested to know if it is worth the extra cost over F.

  27. Looking forward to reports from Sydney. I’m sure us locals can give you some great tips so your stay is amazing. By the way Cloudy Bay Sav Blanc currently retails for
    around $27 US and would be very easy for Emirates to purchase as would the Laduree macarons – there’s a shop at Westfield Mall, Sydney.

  28. Ugh. Lucky has gotten as bad as The Points Guy. The whole point of reviewing an airline should be receiving an authentic experience. That’s why so many restaurant critics use pen names. Lucky publicize this stuff pre-departure. I also wish he’d be more transparent with how flights or hotels were paid. Sometimes he says he paid points or cash. Or times it’s a mystery.

  29. Cloudy Bay is not in BWS or liquorland in the shops I looked in Australia Today, it won’t be that easy to source.

  30. There’s a full week until May 13th, so I think they will take care of all your requests. A week should be plenty of time.

  31. Regarding the pre-flight inspection, back in 1985, I was flying Concorde LHR-JFK, and there was a delay in departure because of some labor dispute. The co-pilot was, as I recall, coming off the plane, and we started talking. He mentioned that he was going around the plane to check something out, and said it would be fine for me to accompany him. This of course is long before current security conditions came into being.

    Underneath Concorde, one came to realize that the aircraft was incredibly beautiful, sensuous, sort of a gigantic, horizontal version of a Brancusi “Bird in Space”. The fuselage and wing has numerous complex curves.

  32. On writing the report of your trip in the residence , include as many pics as possible.
    Eagerly waiting for the report here
    at kenya

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