Most travellers may find flying an unpleasant experience, especially when they have to face long lines, terminals, old and dirty planes. But today, we are going to share with you unbelievable ways of air travel that will make you wish to fly and never leave. Meet the most luxurious suite in the sky: The Residence by Etihad.
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Emirates Airlines, based in Dubai, is regarded by many as the most luxurious carrier in the world. Founded in 1985, it is also one of the largest airlines both by passengers carried and by revenue, as well as the largest operator of the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest passenger airliner. Meanwhile, Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, is one of the newest operators of the Airbus A380, but sent shockwaves through the industry when details of their new premium class designs on the flagship Airbus were released. Their top tier product, The Residence by Etihad, is perhaps the most luxurious and over-the-top product in commercial aviation today.
Let’s start the tour with the seats. It’s clear that the most important aspect of international First Class is the seat. Etihad decided to configure their cabin with only two First Class suites per row. Both are equipped with shoulder-height privacy doors that can easily be used to block out other meddlesome First Class passengers, making it feel like you truly have your own private room in the sky. No more having to deal with unnecessary human contact.
The Etihad Suite is equipped with Poltrona Frau leather, the same material found on high-end automobiles such as Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. With both a seat and an ottoman as wide as a park bench, it’s easy to throw a party in your suite with other First Class passengers. In the event of turbulence, there’s no need to stop as both seating surfaces are equipped with seat belts.
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In terms of beds, Etihad takes it to the next level by creating an entirely separate bed using the ottoman in your suite, allowing the bed to be made without having to leave.
If you have a special company travelling with you, certain rows of the First Class cabin allow you to lower the divider located between suites. The one thing you can’t do is create a full double bed, as the partition retracts only near the head. If you truly desire a double bed, you’ll need to upgrade to The Residence by Etihad for only an extra $10,000 USD (€9 428.05).
Etihad uses refined Arabic decor to subtly include their heritage, while also incorporating the most modern Western design elements.
When it comes to airline food, few of us would say they enjoy pre-cooked meals served on plastic trays. Etihad offer meals like you would find in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Caviar and Arabic mezze are staples of the Emirates menu, in addition to a list of items stretching as long as the menu at the Cheesecake Factory (but with edible food instead). You won’t find prices or any number signs listed beside the menu descriptions either. Everything is complimentary, as expected in First Class.
Etihad takes the concept of airplane food even further by having a dedicated chef on board. Imagine a gourmet meal, customised to your liking, presented on fine bone china, served with premium alcohol, on a plane, in the sky, rocketing at 550 miles per hour. Truly mind-boggling, to say the least.
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Considering showers, Etihad has everything you need for the complete shower experience, including toiletries and a hair dryer.
With ornate seating situated about a round table, you can chat with friends or plug in your headphones and watch in-flight entertainment from your seat in an onboard lounge. The Etihad Bar takes a page out of luxury hotel lobbies. Hence, its designation as “The Lobby”.
If having a gourmet meal, socialising at the onboard bar, and having a shower isn’t enough, First Class passengers also have fantastic entertainment options to whittle down the hours of their flight. If you just want to disconnect from the online world, Etihad has the superior entertainment system. The screen not only pulls back to let you watch TV in bed, but it also has split-screen capabilities if you want to mix both work and pleasure by streaming two kinds of content at once.
On top of that, Etihad has two touchscreen controllers for the in-flight entertainment, allowing you to choose your next selection while still watching your current movie. With the other controller, you can also watch the skies with the tail camera, or track your position with the interactive flight map.
Luckily, Etihad is a partner of American Airlines, and AAdvantage miles can be redeemed directly for Etihad First Class flights. With Middle East to Europe awards in First Class starting at just 40,000 AAdvantage miles one-way, it doesn’t get much cheaper to experience your own private suite in the sky. The best ways to obtain AAdvantage miles are by flying AA or a one world partner, through signing up for and receiving credit card bonuses, or by transferring them from the Starwood Preferred Guest program.
Besides Etihad and Emirates, which other airlines have an over-the-top experience in First Class? Please give us your opinion or experience, by leaving a comment above or sending us a message.
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Source: www.loungebuddy.com and www.etihad.com