Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Airplane food used to be a downside of flying, but Etihad Airways has made it a highlight with their newly introduced First Class Chefs program. As if a 23-inch TV, personal mini-bar and wardrobe, doors that slide closed and a leather seat (made by the suppliers of Ferrari’s interiors) that flattens fully to a roomy six feet, eight inches—which flight attendants will cover with a Dupion silk and cotton duvet for bedtime, no less—weren’t enough, they’ve revamped the first-class menu and hired 110 classically trained international chefs to execute it on board. Passengers can choose from around five proteins, five sides and four sauces for their meal (try the beef tenderloin with veal jus), along with à la carte options, an Arabic tasting menu and “kitchen anytime” snacks. Everything is completely customizable—just name your request during the personal in-flight consultation—and made to order by the onboard chef (just like restaurant dining). Though it was unveiled on a few routes to start, the service is now offered on all flights with first-class availability. Typical round-trip New York to Abu Dhabi Diamond First Class seats are about $15,000 apiece.