Etihad First Class: The Residence
Over the past few years airline cabins have become increasingly extravagant – at least for those in first class. First British Airways introduced its own private wardrobes for each customer, then Emirates raised the bar with its on-board showers, and then Singapore Air stepped in, installing chairs with permanent beds situated next to them. All this has led to high expectations in first class, where enormous flat screen TVs and private minibars can now be expected as standard, and where you’re probably going to be sat in something that more resembles a suite than a seat.
However, Etihad Airways has come up with something to completely surpass even its most luxurious of rivals. Called Etihad ‘The Residence’, this new suite is quite ridiculous and extravagant enough to make even an BA first class seat look like a park bench in comparison.
The first clue as to the awesomeness of this new suite is its name: ‘The Residence’. It really is like a house, and even contains three separate rooms. There’s an en suite shower room, a bedroom with its own fixed double bed, and a sitting room (which, it goes without saying, includes its own 32-inch TV, leather seats, and a minibar).
“Sure,” critics may say, “the minibar sounds good, but am I expected to pour my own drinks or something?” Well, you could pour the drink yourself, or you could always assign the task to you own butler who comes included. Yes, the suite really are going to include your own actual butler. And not just any old ones, either – these butlers are set to be trained at the internationally recognised Savoy Butler Academy.
Other perks include two dining tables, a full length wardrobe, customised menus, breakfast in bed, and limousine transfers before and after the flight. You can even invite up to one other person along for the price. Furthermore, as each A380 will be fitted with only one Residence suite, you’ll be the envy of the entire plane (pilots included).
The first Residence will take to the air towards the end of December once Etihad receives delivery of the first of its 10 expected A380s, and will be flying from London to Abu Dhabi (where the airline is based). Prices, of course, are going to be sky high at around £25,000 for some flights (to put this into perspective, you can charter a Learjet from Heathrow to JFK for that price) although not even a private jet can necessarily boast its own butler.
It seems that with The Residence, then, Etihad have created something that will leave even first class passengers yearning for a free upgrade.