A private jet beating double bed will be part of Etihad's A380 Residence. Rendering - Etihad Airways

A private jet beating double bed will be part of Etihad’s A380 Residence. Rendering – Etihad Airways

When I awoke yesterday to news that Etihad had launched a single cabin “residence” aboard their A380, I was suspicious. A lot of airlines have said that their A380 suite product was a class above first.

I’ll let Dannii Minouge explain

If that wasn’t enough, the residence comes with a butler trained by the Savoy Butler Academy in London. Of course, it also comes with a private en suite shower facility.

Don’t have a spare $42,000 USD lying around? That’s okay. Because Etihad has managed to blow first class out of the water on their A380s as well.

In a true, 1-1 layout. Etihad brings you the First Class Apartment, because suites are old hat.

Etihad Airways has an innovative 1-1 configuration for their First Class Apartment. Rendering - Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has an innovative 1-1 configuration for their First Class Apartment. Rendering – Etihad Airways

This is a pivot in the industry. I feel like the video probably does not do it justice.

At the unveiling, Etihad’s CEO James Hogan reiterated that Etihad never wants to be the largest airline, they want to be the best. Not just the best in Residences and First, but the best in all cabins.

Their new business class is pretty amazing as well. Marketed as the Business Class Studio, this will make an appearance on not just the A380, but the 787, and the 777.

Etihad Airways' New Business Studio. Rendering - Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways’ New Business Studio. Rendering – Etihad Airways

Like more things, it is even better in video.

Some airlines do not even have a first class product this advanced and this is just their Business Class.  As product innovation goes, all three cabins we’ve looked at thus far are revolutionary, but what about economy?

Etihad's new economy class features an innovative head rest and Smart Seat. Rendering- Etihad Airways

Etihad’s new economy class features an innovative head rest and Smart Seat. Rendering- Etihad Airways

It’s great to see such a focus on comfort in Economy class. Even though it will be a 9Y layout on the 787s, it looks like there is a high degree of  focus on personal space.

Sadly, anything smaller than an A380 is too little an aircraft for not only the residence but the Apartment. The 787s will feature a new first class suite, which looks amazing- but just can’t compare (video of the 787 first class suite).

Etihad’s first A380 is in production as of this moment, their first 787s will be delivered later this year.

I can’t wait to fly on either.

CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email: [email protected].

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4 Comments
mark cassidy

I wonder if the apartments will be used all that often. Does the price point begin to encroach on private or at least jet rental? If you have this money are you flying scheduled?

MC

No Fly Zone

Thanks Bernie, for the fun report. I was going ask about the cost, but you nailed that as well. At $(US) 42k for some unknown, long distance run, those with that much cash available might consider private livery. For a cash customer or – God forbid, an award flyer, this is overkill at the extreme end; even those with the loose change would not (should not?) spend that much. Flying from A to B can be hell or it can be pleasant. Unless one has no focus beyond flying, the trip remains transportation. For those who enjoy the transportation, this is the Crown Jewel, I guess. But to what point? With genuine apologies to my reading colleagues and thanks to Bernie for this report, I guess I’m must be missing something – perhaps a lot. When transportation from A to B pegs at $3500 per hour for a 12-hour flight and an amazing $5250 for a simple 8-hour flight, butler included, my anterior parts cannot stand that much kissing. Is this a late April Fool’s Day joke from Etihad? I suspect that it is real, but I wonder who will buy the product. If/when you manage a freebie, ‘evaluation’ trip in this class, please send us a complete report. Forty-two thousand dollars for a nice chair, at 42k feet for 12 hours does not score well in my book. With if you are making a commission on booking these flights, you will not become wealthy anytime soon. . $42K? Do they really expect to sell any of these seats? -NFZ

I think its more about the Gulf carriers and their fight for market share. Emirates has the cache of Dubai to help in its marketing. Etihad still has space to grow. The thinking probably is that the buzz this generates would help. And while I do agree that its a ridiculous cost, if I had that kind of money to spare, I would go for it.

Careful travellers!!!! Today was the worst experience I have ever had in my life with an airliner. It’s my first time to do business with this company. I had book a return ticket for my younger brother to visit me in Hong Kong. He lives in Alexandria/Egypt. He was supposed to be travelling today from Cairo to Hong Kong where I have been preparing and getting ready for his arrival. He didn’t sleep all night and took a taxi from Alexandria to Cairo more than three and a half hours. He left Alexandra at 7am and arrived at Cairo airport at around 10:45 am. His flight was scheduled at 1:30 pm. When he got to the etched counter, they denied to check him in and just told him there no way and he should go back home!!! What a shame!! They said he should get a signature or permission from an officer who is on a dayoff and not at the airport. They have been sending us email almost every day begging us to upgrade to a business class. They have NEVER told us anything about such weird regulation. I called them all the way from Hong Kong but they refused to talk to me. I called their UAE hotline and they gave me no details. They put me on hold for 20 minutes and after that told me a manager would be calling me in an hour. After 4 hours nobody has ever called me.

They only contacted me when I posted my story on their Facebook page. After long wait they came back telling me that the check-in was denied due to incomplete document (what a liar). That was NOT true as everything was furnished with care. They said there was an article published in a newspaper in Cairo back in March. My God, they risk the ppl travel depending on an article in a newspaper. I asked them to email me a copy of the newspaper. They never came back to me and never emailed me anything . Finally I asked them what could be done. They said an approval letter is required and it could be obtained at somewhere in Cairo. I sent my poor younger brother to the address they gave me and their was the SURPRISE. The officer told him they have given no such instructions for travellers to Hong Kong. Now they want me to pay for a new ticket. Be careful of those scammers. Don’t risk you travels with those shameless rude swindlers.

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