Etihad Is Starting To Price The Residence More Reasonably

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.

Etihad-A380-Apartment - 1

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.

Etihad-A380-First-Class-24

Etihad-A380-First-Class-25

As you’d expect, The Residence is bloody expensive. For example, a one-way ticket from New York to Abu Dhabi will set you back over $29,000.

Recently I wrote about how not all tickets in The Residence are too insanely priced. For example, a ticket from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai costs ~$3,000. That’s still a lot of money for a three hour flight, and you certainly won’t be able to get the full experience, but you will get the full ground product, etc.

However, what’s interesting is that there’s even a bit of variability in pricing for The Residence on longhaul flights.

Specifically, originally it wasn’t really possible to get a “deal” on The Residence. I’ve written in the past about how it can be a better deal to book a first or business class ticket out of Cairo, Egypt or Colombo, Sri Lanka. For example, a Cairo to Dubai to Los Angeles first class ticket on Emirates might cost ~$2,000, while a first class ticket just from Dubai to Los Angeles might cost ~$20,000.

So with The Residence, there haven’t really been fares lower than just the nonstop cost of a ticket. However, that doesn’t seem to consistently be the case anymore. Now, don’t get too excited, it’s still expensive, but it is an interesting trend.

As stated above, a one-way ticket in The Residence from New York to Abu Dhabi costs $29,000+.

Etihad-Residence-5

Meanwhile a one-way ticket from Abu Dhabi to New York in The Residence costs ~$19,000.

Etihad-Residence-4

That’s already significantly cheaper. However, if you book a ticket from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to New York in The Residence the entire way, that will cost you under $13,000. That’s still a lot of money, but it’s less than half of the cost of a one-way ticket from New York to Abu Dhabi, and you get two flights in The Residence.

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Typically you can take an extra passenger in The Residence for only marginally more, though in the case of the above ticket, the price jumps to ~$17,000.

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Since this blog is primarily about miles & points, I feel like I should also mention that the discounted revenue ticket cost also lowers the award ticket cost for The Residence. Redemptions in The Residence are roughly revenue based, meaning each Etihad Guest mile gets you about a cent towards the cost of a ticket. So rather than paying over two million miles for The Residence, a ticket from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to New York will cost you just 1,347,612 miles… a steal, really. 😉

EY-Residence

Bottom line

Ultimately $13,000 is still a lot to pay for two segments in The Residence, though it is significantly less than paying $29,000 for one segment. This type of pricing matches revenue pricing you’ll often see, where originating in one market could save you money.

Up until recently that’s just not how Etihad priced The Residence, as they chose to largely have additive pricing rather than market-based pricing. In other words, you couldn’t save money by adding on a segment. While I haven’t found bigger discounts out of other markets, it is at least interesting that it’s now possible to snag a longhaul in The Residence for ~$13,000 (again, that’s still a lot of money, but a lot less than ~$20,000+).

Comments

  1. Flew J last week with EY – since my last flight with them 7 months ago I vowed not not fly again. Gave them another shot and they impressed. Thank you.

    Four sectors, two in J and two short ones in Y.

  2. Ben, I know this is still involves the same time on the residence, but you could book the CAI-BOM via AUH travelling on EY’s Residence for approx. $2200 ow, or $3500 rt.

  3. @ pete — VERY nice find — much more tempting than just booking Abu Dhabi to Mumbai. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. @ Dennis Singh — Yes and no. In many markets the price is the same for two people, but not in all markets. You have to search the fare for two people if you want to see if it’s different.

  5. @Lucky – Any news of Etihad expanding the A380 to other markets? It’s very strange they haven’t provided this product to the east asian market

  6. Seems like it’s almost a 50% discount compared to 2 years ago. I just checked BOM-AUH-LHR on Residence and for 1 person it’s roughly $8000.

  7. @MattJ
    Im in a similar boat – did 2 x EY F sectors last year (77W + A380) and wasn’t particularly impressed with the service on either.
    Just did 2 J legs (A330 + B787) and they were much, much better. EY really redeemed themselves.
    Im happy with J on EY – F wasn’t worth the extra bother once you’ve done the Apartments once.

  8. @Lucky – will you now finally book and review the residence without crowdfunding?

    It must be less than you spend dragging Ford around.

  9. It’s crazy how The Residence isn’t that much more than First on JFK-AUH (well… it’s a lot of dollars more, but only 10% more). Who can afford a $26,500 flight wouldn’t go all the way for the $29,000 residence?

  10. Clearly an indulgence but not one that–if you split between two people–is obscene on the face of it….could be a justifiable splurge for a consequential birthday or anniversary.

    Still, I wonder if I could feel comfortable in the Residence….There seems something vaguely creepy about that kind of opulence in the air…?

  11. Why did people have such beef with the crowdfunding? I thought it was brilliant. He raised like 70% of the money, if I recall. He should have just paid the rest out of pocket.

  12. @Lucky Please review the Residence Ben! You have done every premium cabin review of the A380 but this one!! Do it for your loyal followers!!

  13. @Lucky : I’ve been banking AAdvantage miles for nearly two years to eventually redeem for Etihad Residence on a one-way Abu Dhabi to NYC flight, based upon a six-figure (not seven-figure) miles required value, given in another travel blog. This has been a lifetime dream for me to return to the States that way after touring the Arab Gulf states. Please tell me that I’ve not been mislead on the necessary miles!

  14. @ Ed — Sorry, not sure where you read that, but there’s no way to redeem American miles for The Residence. 🙁

  15. @ Lucky — I went back and searched, but my mistake: it’s actually First Class on Etihad (which I just confused with The Residence). Still high-end experience. Can that not be booked with American miles?

  16. What is the ticket cost for 2 people to fly in the same suite? is it double or partially discounted, or the same as one person?

  17. @ PB — It all depends on the type of fare you book. In some cases it’s about 50% extra, while other times you just have to pay the taxes for the second passenger.

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