This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Etihad’s A380 Residence may be the best way to travel on a commercial plane. The Points Guy was the first Residence passenger on Etihad’s inaugural flight from New York’s JFK to Abu Dhabi (AUH). With three rooms — including a shower and a full sized bed — and a private butler, The Residence is certainly an over-the-top experience:
However, since Etihad’s grand introduction of the product, the airline has learned that there aren’t that many passengers willing to shell out the $32,000 price to book the experience. And, once it opened the Residence to mileage booking, it also found there are not enough mileage collectors with over 2 million Etihad miles available to book it.
Now it seems that Etihad is trying to score a little bit of revenue wherever it can. After cutting Residence service to Melbourne, the airline started offering access to its Residence lounge there for just A$40 (US$32). Now, Etihad is doing the same at JFK.
When Etihad doesn’t have a Residence passenger, the private Etihad Residence Lounge becomes a “VIP Room” available for purchase. The purchase price? Just $40! According to a statement obtained by View From The Wing — but not yet reflected on Etihad’s website — here’s how it’s going to work:
You can also upgrade to our VIP Room for an additional $40 for you and your family. This is a completely private area, where you can have a bite to eat, rest or simply enjoy time together before your flight. Our New York lounge opens three hours prior to flight departures. Lounge access and use of the VIP Room are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can pay at the lounge on the day by using credit card or Etihad Guest Miles.
That’s right, the VIP Room will be available on a “first-come, first-served basis” with the lounge opening three hours to departure. Considering the cheap price, I assume that Etihad will be able to fill this room at three hours prior to departure most days it doesn’t have a Residence passenger. Before you schedule your airport arrival too early for the chance at getting access, you’re obviously going to want to make sure that the Residence hasn’t already been sold.
The $40 payment will score you and your traveling companions a private space, which includes a restroom and shower as well as a private prayer room.
Unfortunately, the experience won’t come with the special menu — which included black caviar during TPG’s experience — that’s normally prepared for a Residence guest.
H/T: View From the Wing
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees