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Etihad Just Changed the Date of its A380 Inaugural from JFK

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Earlier this year, Etihad announced plans to launch daily service from JFK to Abu Dhabi on its gorgeous A380. Which is fantastic news. Up until a few months ago there was even decent availability to book the plane’s industry-leading first-class suite, called The Apartment, for just 90,000 American AAdvantage miles each way. The plane also offers The Residence, which is a class above first class, with its own private shower and bedroom (with a real bed).

Etihad's new A380 launch date.
Etihad’s new A380 launch date.

Well, apparently due to overwhelming popularity, Etihad has moved up the date for the first flight. Rather than December 1, A380 service will begin on November 23, which is just three days before Thanksgiving. Now don’t get too excited — both The Residence and The Apartment are not available to book on the “new” inaugural. You can book a seat in the business-class cabin, but you’ll need to shell out about $8,800 round-trip, since it isn’t available with miles.

In bed on Etihad's A380.
In bed on Etihad’s A380.

Of course, The Residence is the highlight on this plane, though at $32,000 one-way, you’ll pay dearly to book it. You can bring a guest for free, if that’s any consolation, but if you’re traveling with a partner or friend, you’ll probably be more comfortable booking two Apartments instead.

Ultimately, this date change isn’t bad news, unless of course you were planning to fly the inaugural on December 1. If the new date doesn’t work for you (which it quite likely will not, since it’ll likely interfere with your Thanksgiving plans), you may be able to contact Etihad for a refund.

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