A Behind-the-Curtains Look at an Over-the-Top New $20,000 (One Way!) Airplane Cabin

Laura Begley Bloom
May 5, 2014

(Courtesy: Sex & the City 2)

In “Sex & the City 2,” Carrie Bradshaw and the girls flew Emirates First Class to Abu Dhabi and taunted moviegoers everywhere with the airplane’s sky-high luxury: private cabins, in-air showers, and an onboard bar.

They’ll need to make another “Sex & the City” sequel now that Etihad Airways has unveiled an ultra-elite new class of service that includes The Residence—a lavish seven-star cabin on the A380—scheduled to launch in December in addition to First Apartments (which are exactly what they sound like).

The Residence contains three rooms (living room, bedroom, and bathroom), a butler trained by the Savoy in London, and a dedicated VIP concierge team. Oh, and did we mention that the rates for a flight from Abu Dhabi to London start at $20,000 one way? No, that wasn’t a typo.

I don’t know about you, but we here at Yahoo Travel doubt we’ll ever be lucky enough to fly in such excessive opulence. Still, we were dying to see what you get for that kind of money, so we took a sneak peek at the Residence, along with Etihad’s new First Apartments.

Check it out. 

Is this an airplane or a suite at the Burj Al Arab? The Residence is tucked away on the upper level of the double-decker A380. The living room has a leather couch, a dining table, a mini-bar, and a flat-screen LCD television—one of two in the Residence.

Sweet dreams, indeed. The bedroom has a double bed. Our only question—how do you wear a seatbelt when you’re sleeping? And: does the Louis Vuitton notebook come with the $20,000 pricetag? 

The Residence’s private bathroom comes complete with its own shower. Call me picky, but I was expecting gold faucets in the bathroom. Isn’t that what Elvis had on the Lisa Marie? Hey, if it was good enough for the King, it’s good enough for sheiks everywhere.

The hallway that leads to the nine First Apartments looks more like a Four Seasons spa.

Each of the First Apartments has a full-length bed and a mini-bar (to chill your bottles of Dom Perignon, surely). 

The downside to the First Apartments: there’s just one shower, to be shared by all. Then again, there’s no better in-flight experience than bathing as you soar through the clouds. 

A view of the upper-class lounge. Imagine the conversations you’d have over coffee here.