Etihad has one of the very best first class products in the world on their A380, a product they call the First Class Apartment. While the product has some downsides, it’s easily the most jaw-dropping first class product in the sky.
For a long time the best way to book the Etihad First Class Apartment was using American AAdvantage miles, though unfortunately the cost of such awards has increased significantly since American’s March 22 devaluation:
- The cost of first class tickets between North America and the Middle East increased from 90,000 miles to 115,000 miles
- The cost of first class tickets between Europe and the Middle East increased from 40,000 miles to 62,500 miles
- The cost of first class tickets between Australia and the Middle East increased from 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles
Between that and American greatly decreasing the number of miles the average person earns through flying, this is becoming a considerably less good deal on miles.
Anyway, while the cost of many award tickets is increasing, one other trend we’re seeing is that the cost of many premium cabin revenue tickets is decreasing. This is true across the board, though in particular we consistently see incredible premium cabin fares out of markets like Colombo, Cairo, Casablanca, etc., which I take advantage of all the time.
That brings us to a legitimately good Etihad first class fare that’s published at the moment, which will get you a long flight in the Etihad Apartment.
You can fly roundtrip first class on Etihad between Colombo and Melbourne via Abu Dhabi for ~$3,900:
Etihad operates the A380 between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, so this is a great way to experience the Apartment on a super long flight.
While discounted premium cabin fares out of Colombo are common, I find it especially funny that Etihad published this first class fare, given the amount of backtracking required to take advantage of it. Going through Abu Dhabi enroute from Colombo to Melbourne is 80% further than the direct distance between the cities.
As a point of comparison, booking those same exact flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne without the positioning flight from Colombo would cost more than double as much.
A while ago View from the Wing wrote about a fairly cheap Etihad roundtrip first class fare between Pakistan and New York, though I suspect a lot more people would be happy traveling through Colombo than Lahore (even if just from a visa standpoint). Sri Lanka is a gorgeous country, so it could be fun to position to Sri Lanka, spend some time there, and then continue to Australia. On the return you should have no trouble finding a cheap fare out of Colombo either.
Of course this is only for the die-hard premium airfare fans out there.
While this won’t be useful to most people, I’m always intrigued by the ever increasing number of good first class fares we’re seeing. ~$3,900 is still a lot of money, though is about as good as I’ve seen for a roundtrip Etihad A380 first class ticket.
The whole basis of the fare to begin with fascinates me, given the amount of backtracking involved.
It’s nice to see that there are some ways to fly Etihad’s first class product for a fraction of the full fare cost without redeeming miles.
Is anyone considering taking advantage of this great Etihad first class fare?
(Tip of the hat to zoqfotpik on FlyerTalk)