Economy, Business, First Class...And Soon, Residence Class

Etihad Airways plans to offer a private multi-room cabin -- complete with living room, shower and butler service -- on its Airbus A380 passenger planes. Cost for a flight from Abu Dhabi to London: about US$20,000.

What's the Latest Development?

This December, the official airline of the United Arab Emirates will begin offering a new flight class for those who don't want to pull their private jet out of its hangar but who find first class terribly cramped. "The Residence," to be built into the upper deck of Etihad Airways' Airbus A380 fleet, is a 125-square-foot cabin that will contain a living room, bedroom, and shower. Available to one or two passengers at a time, the "flying apartment" will have full wi-fi, two TVs, and a Panasonic eX3 entertainment system. As if that's not enough, it will also come with a dedicated butler who's received special training from London's prestigious Savoy Butler Academy.

What's the Big Idea?

Etihad says it's the first airline to take commercial passenger travel to this kind of level. According to COO Peter Baumgartner, "This is the culmination of five years of intensive effort and research into how Etihad Airways can provide an unparalleled VIP experience." The service will begin with the Abu Dhabi-London route, and travelers who want to try it out should be prepared to cough up about US$20,000.

Photo Credit: Etihad Airways

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