First Review Of Etihad’s A380 The Residence

Over the weekend I had the chance to be on Etihad’s inaugural A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to London, where I flew in one of their First Apartments. I was absolutely blown away by the product.

Etihad’s A380 First Apartment

In theory the most exciting thing about Etihad’s new A380 was The Residence, which is the three room suite with butler service that Etihad will sell you for the low price of $20,000+ on a one-way flight.

Etihad’s A380 The Residence

Etihad’s A380 The Residence

The first passenger to book The Residence was Gino Bertuccio, who’s a really cool guy that I know from some past inaugural flights.

Etihad even made a video with him before the trip:

Anyway, for those of you wondering how Gino’s flight was, he just published a short trip report about his experience flying The Residence on Airways News.

I guess I’ll see him again in a couple of weeks on the Qatar Airways A350 inaugural! And thanks to Gino for being so kind and letting us lowly first class passengers get a glimpse of The Residence as well! šŸ˜‰


  1. the question is… how long did the food last? did he have to go beg coach passenger for scraps? šŸ˜‰

  2. Thanks for the link to the other article. It’s truly fascinating reading about Etihad’s new products. Can’t wait to see what all the fuss about the A350 will be about in the coming weeks šŸ˜‰

  3. Thanks for the link Lucky.
    Now I’m impatiently waiting for your trip report on the First Apartment class. šŸ™‚

  4. Wow what a great review by Gino. That economy passenger for breakfast must have been absolutely stoked to eat in the residence

  5. Ben, in your opinion, does the First Butler really offer any value to the Etihad first class experience? Reading Gino’s review, it struck me that the butler really didn’t do anything different from what a first class flight attendant would normally do. Was the service Gino received really significantly better or different then the service you received?

  6. Thanks for the link lucky. Very thoughtful of Gino to invite a pax from Economy for breakfast with him at the Residence. Shows his humility and down to earth personality!

    Just wondering how the Residence is doing on the subsequent flights In terms of occupancy? In case it’s not sold out for a particular flight whether Etihad would do an operational upgrade for the First Apartment Guests in the scenario that the First Apartment/Busness/Economy are running full.

  7. Imperator, remember that the Butler is there to serve only the guest(s) of The Residence and nobody else. Daily Mail has published several articles about the Etihad Butlers, I have a feeling The Residence guests might not notice all that their Butlers do, not because the guests aren’t paying attention but because the Butlers are all so adept. Examples: “knowing whether someone is left or right handed, so we always know where to put their drink down”, “As a crew we ask how far can we wow people on flights and create memorable moments”, “We can provide their favourite flowers and even the soft furnishings can be personalised”.

  8. Thanks for the link, Lucky. While passing by the Residence after using the restroom, I saw Gino eating breakfast with the economy passenger (who shall remain nameless.) That passenger was so excited — at times I think the passenger was more excited than Gino! What a treat that must have been for the economy passenger!

  9. @ SS — Highly doubt they would. Even if they were oversold, doubt they’d upgrade someone to The Residence. But I could be wrong.

  10. @ YBZ — The cost is actually the same for one or two people. If you bring a second person you just have to pay taxes for them.

  11. @ Imperator — You’d have to ask Gino. šŸ˜‰

    There is definitely something unique about having a private butler that looks after you and no one else, though.

  12. @ VJ — The ground experience was exceptional, though that may have been more a function of it being the inaugural flight than the cabin itself. First Apartment gets the same ground experience as every other first class passenger, in theory.

  13. Ben, is your Kickstarter thing still active? Honestly, I’d donate $25 just to get you into The Residence so you can write a full report. I would expect 10 pages. How many people would need to donate $25? Just 800. Do you have 800 people who follow your blog?

  14. @Lucky, do you think the Residence experience, in terms of butler service, is very very similar to the service one would get from Singapore Suites or Emirates First or Cathay First or Lufthansa First (or any top 10 airline) if you’re lucky enough to be the only passenger in the entire cabin of that flight?

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