Etihad’s A380 is in many ways revolutionary, especially when it comes to their premium cabin product. Their first class product is simply stunning, with just nine “Apartments” in a 1-1 configuration. Etihad is the only airline to have a single-aisle cabin on the A380.
However, perhaps the aspect of Etihad’s A380 that has gotten them the most publicity is The Residence, which is their private three room suite with butler service. It’s located at the front of the first class cabin, and features a living room, bedroom, and even a private bathroom with shower.
There’s only one slight problem with The Residence — it’s bloody expensive. For example, a one-way ticket from New York to Abu Dhabi will set you back over $29,000 (in fairness, that’s only marginally more than the full fare first class ticket cost). Perhaps the benefit of The Residence is that it seats up to two people, and you can add a second passenger for a small amount.
While I’ve now reviewed all the world’s best first class products (my Garuda Indonesia first class review will be out in the coming days, as they deserve a place on the list), this seems next level, and I need to review it.
So it looks like there’s a way to try The Residence without completely breaking the bank. Specifically, Etihad’s shortest A380 flight is between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai, and a one-way ticket in The Residence costs ~$3,000.
That’s still an outrageous amount of money for flying on a 3hr30min flight. An outrageous amount. But I still think it could be worth it to try the world’s most exclusive product, especially since you get all the ground services that a passenger of The Residence usually gets. This is just ~10% the cost you’d pay on one of the longer routes.
My friend Sam Chui just flew The Residence on this route, and created an awesome video about his experience, which is well worth a watch:
Between the incredible ground service, caviar in bed, shower on a short flight, etc., I feel like this is something I need to try.
And don’t worry, I won’t try a Kickstarter to fund the ticket cost… 😉