Do you hate flying? Good news: the Etihad Airways luxury suite might go a considerable way towards easing your pain — for the right price, of course. Would you pay an astronomical amount to take to the skies in your very own three-room, VIP quarters? Because thanks to “The Residence,” that is now an option.
Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi-based national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, unveiled their newly redesigned Airbus A380 cabins over the weekend, and believe you me, they are truly something to behold. “The Residence,” AKA the ultimate in luxury air travel, features a private living room, bathroom, and bedroom spread out over 125 square feet — with all the bells and whistles you'd expect to go along with it. Here’s all the bang you get for your buck:
The living room seen up top, which also doubles as a dining area, boasts seating made of the same type of leather you’d find in a Ferrari. The table can be set for one or for two, and there’s a 32-inch television to keep you entertained. Feeling peckish? There’s a chef on board who will make you anything you like, whether it’s on the menu or not. Oh, and did I mention that you get your very own personal butler? Because you do. Trained at London’s Savoy Butler Academy, he’ll get you anything you could possibly need while you’re in the air, as well as take care of any arrangements necessary on the ground for your arrival.
The bathroom is, of course, private — so, no sharing with that guy who ate three burritos before coming aboard or the exhausted parent traveling with a very small child who needs to go potty every five minutes. It’s even got a shower, so you can make sure you’re looking your best before you land.
And then there’s the bedroom. How does this sound to you?: Double bed. Egyptian cotton sheets. Lots of cushy pillows. Proper mattress. And breakfast in bed, brought to you by your butler, upon waking. It’s like Downton Abbey in the sky. Just, y’know… cross your fingers that you don’t hit turbulence when you’re sipping your tea.
The downside? There may be three rooms, but they’re all tiny. This is perhaps not unsurprising — you can only fit so much luxury on one airplane — but if you’re at all claustrophobic, the tight quarters might do more harm than good. The same goes for the smaller “First Apartments,” "First Suites," and “Business Studios” Etihad is also launching along with “The Residence.” Flights will begin taking off in 2015.
Although CNN initially reported that there’s no word yet on what tickets for “The Residence” might cost, Business Insider estimated that a trip between Abu Dhabi and London is likely to weigh in somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000. Engadget, however, took it upon themselves to price out some flights once bookings opened up, and their results are a little bit horrifying: $43,000 for a seven-hour flight, or more than a lot of people make in an entire year. Is such excess a sign of the impending apocalypse? I'm inclined to say yes, but, well... at least we’ll go down in style. Or something.
Want to see more? Kylie Minogue’s sister, Dannii, got to take a tour of “The Residence” — and lucky us, she caught it on camera. Here, take a peek:
Images: Etihad Airways