Fly One Way in Etihad’s A380 Residence for Less Than $5,000
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Etihad’s three-room Residence and its flagship A380 flights are typically reserved for the airline’s longer and most exclusive routes, such as London to Abu Dhabi — where the carrier’s ultra-first-class suite comes with a tremendously expensive price tag. By the end of 2015, the Residence will service only a handful of long-haul flights, including the forthcoming New York-Abu Dhabi route. However, Etihad will be debuting the A380 and the Residence on a much shorter route when it begins flying to Mumbai next May.
This route is significantly shorter than others the A380 flies — just 3.5 hours or so, depending on which direction you’re flying. The shorter duration might eliminate the need for some of the plane’s headline features, like a bed or shower, but you’ll still be able to enjoy a few hours in extreme luxury.
The flights originating in Abu Dhabi seem to cost about $4,950 each way, while the flights from Mumbai are about $5,250 — much less than what Etihad charges for The Residence on other routes, which sometimes exceed $32,000 each way. Of course, with the Residence’s sky-high price tag, you’ll also get a ton of additional perks, such as airport chauffeur service, a private shower, an in-flight butler and chef, four checked bags, a second passenger for the same price and much more.
Here’s a sample booking:
Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Mumbai (BOM) for $4,924 on Etihad:
Mumbai (BOM) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) for $5,242 on Etihad:
Ultimately, the flight departing from Abu Dhabi will end up costing a tad less than the return if you’re planning on flying the Residence. With that said, you’re still paying quite a high premium for the flight. Etihad’s first-class Apartment product on this route costs less than $1,500 round-trip (!), with business starting at $722 and economy tickets priced as low as $223! Regardless, if you want to fly to India in unparalleled luxury, this is certainly the way to do it.
Otherwise, if you’re still looking for a bit more than your normal flight but aren’t too keen on the Residence’s price tag, you can’t beat redeeming miles for Etihad’s Apartment between Sydney and Abu Dhabi, where you’ll pay just 60,000 American AAdvantage miles each way — the equivalent of the sign-up bonus for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, which is currently offering 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.