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.
A6-EYI cruising high above the Australian Outback Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
Following my experience flying Etihad first class it was time for me to give their economy product a go. Etihad Airways (airline code: EY) had by far the cheapest available ticket from Brisbane to Singapore by about $250, and given my prior experiences with them in their premium cabin it was the perfect choice for me.
As I was traveling in economy, I decided to arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure to be able to get a better seat then the one I selected at the time of booking. The counters were practically deserted, and I was served without delay. I was able to secure a bulkhead seat (15A) at the front of the economy cabin. With the added bonus of having the aisle seat blocked next to me, this was shaping up to be a very good flight, even in economy.
Etihad Airbus A340-600 taking off – Photo: Jacob Pfleger
Recently, Etihad Airways had a very attractive sale on business class fares between its European gateways and Australia, including codeshares with Czech Airlines from Prague. This was simply too good an offer to pass up, being the AvGeek I am.
Gear retraction on Etihad A340 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger
As I booked via the Etihad website, I was able to partake in the online upgrade auction system. This program is a fairly recent initiative introduced by Etihad Airways, along with other carriers. The program sends out an email approximately a week before the flight, inviting business class passengers to bid on unsold seats in the first class cabin, as well as business class seats for those in economy. Bids for a first class upgrade ranged from $600-$1500 (USD) for the Abu Dhabi-Sydney flight. I bid $1000, as I was celebrating my birthday and thought it would make a nice present. Bidders are advised of the outcome 48 hours prior to the flight. The system is still in the trial stage; I only got an email T-24 hours, advising that my bid had been accepted.
Upon arriving at the combined first and business class terminal at Abu Dhabi, I was greeted by a porter who took care of my luggage and escorted me to the first class check-in area. Unlike conventional check-in desks, the first class area is set up like a classy hotel, where you take a seat at a desk with an agent who processes your booking. The whole process took no more than five minutes and I was on my way to the first class lounge.
Etihad’s new Flying Nanny Program – Photo: Etihad
As the only AirlineReporter.com staffer with small children, I’m fascinated by the the newly-announced Flying Nanny program from Etihad Airways.
While I love traveling, particularly internationally, having two kids under the age of four dictates that I either fly solo (as with my 77-hour trip to Singapore) or with my wife, while grandma takes the kids.
Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, currently serves four destinations in the U.S. and Canada as part of their worldwide network. As a fast-growing airline, Etihad is looking to differentiate themselves in the competitive overseas market.
While most long-haul carriers offer bassinets or other physical accommodations for small children, and some offer kiddy amenity kits (like Ethiopian), Etihad’s program goes way beyond that.