ETIHAD: A380 back in the sky! Upgrade to The Residence
From Tuesday, 25 July, Etihad has an A380 Jumbo back in the sky on the 7-hour London to Abu Dhabi route (EY11/EY12). By December, it expects to have more of its A380 fleet in the sky, servicing all but one of its flights between London and Abu Dhabi. If you are booking, then these are the flights to look for:
That will leave only one service on the route using B787 Dreamliner.
Etihad, like Qatar, had sworn during the pandemic that it would not be putting the Superjumbos back in the air. But with high demand, the thought of the cash that can be generated by a full A380 and its premium cabins including The Residence, seems to have become irresistible to Etihad.
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One of the best First Class Suites & The Residence!
Etihad is one of the best First Class Apartment suites according to OMAAT, and you may be offered a paid upgrade to The Residence. On the downside, Etihad no longer has a specified butler to service the suite and no The Residence specific catering. You’ll just have to slum it with First Class food, beverage and service.
The First Class Suites are a whopping 3.6m2 (39ft2) 3.6m2, with both a leather lounge. The ottoman converts to a 2 m (80 inches) bed. Plus, you get your own chilled minibar.
They also come at a cost. That ‘AED’ United Arab Emirates Dirham cost of AED 14,510, converts to AU$ 5,820.
How to upgrade to The Residence
If your first-class ticket is eligible, and it’s available, you will be offered the upgrade to The Residence during the seat selection process. But it won’t be cheap. Expect to pay around AU$ 4,00 (UK£ 4,000) one way, on top of the roughly (depending on dates). There are also some reports that you won’t be able to upgrade to The Residence if you are redeeming points for the fare.
Oh, this would be so much fun! However, the thought of parting with more than AU$ 14,000 for a 7-hour flight is making me forget my banking password. The only upside is that you can pay for the upgrade, and it will cover two passengers.
I will have to put my avgeek fantasy back in la la land for the moment. Once they roll out a few more A380s onto the Tarmac, that price might change. Although even at half the price, I’m not sure it would make the idea any more real.