Planning a trip to Abu Dhabi? Forget first class and book Etihad Airways’ new “Residence” option for a mere $32,000, only 26 times the economy saver price.
Scoff at the price all you want, Average Joe, but apparently the Residence is a hit. After six years of development, Etihad sold their first ticket within hours after announcing this new option in March. It will be available on New York-Abu Dhabi flights starting December 1, when they switch from Boeing 777 to the larger Airbus A380. The ticket provides a three room suite located in the nose on the upper level of the double-decker jet, separating the Residents from regular passengers.
Aside from four years of tuition at a state college, $32,000 will get you a living room, private bathroom, two-person bedroom, and a butler to provide you with the best air travel experience you could possibly imagine without taking anxiety pills.
Competitors are responding with enhanced luxury class options on their own flights. Emirates, the UAE’s largest airline, plans on adding a bedroom concept to their first class option while Qatar Airways works on a double-bed cabin. These sound fairly lavish but, despite their efforts, Etihad CEO James Hogan says he isn’t worried about having to make changes to the Residence. “There’s nothing like it,” he said.