Competition among airlines for premium customers has reached dizzying heights in recent years. From Michelin-starred chefs and chauffeur services to in-flight showers and cocktail bars, airlines are doing – and spending – whatever it takes to attract travelers for whom price is no obstacle.
Etihad Airways is raising the stakes significantly with what it claims to be the first three-room suite onboard a commercial aircraft. The 125-square-foot cabin, dubbed “The Residence”, will reportedly cost a staggering $43,000 for two passengers – or about $6,000 per hour of the flight between Abu Dhabi and London.
For that outlay, travelers get a living room, a double bed, a shower, a personal butler and a concierge team to deal with travel nuisances such as arranging ground transport on arrival. The suite will be in the Abu Dhabi airline’s new A380 superjumbos, which start flying between Abu Dhabi and London in December.
First published in 2014 in The Financialist.
JENS ERIK GOULD
Jens Erik Gould is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News.