About a week ago, Etihad launched regular scheduled operations of their luxurious A380 to Mumbai, making it the fourth destination, amongst the 5 currently scheduled locations of their plane. If you’ve missed the glory of this plane, here is the post I wrote when the product first got revealed.
One of the most ground-breaking aspects of this new plane from Etihad was the almost 6-years long research and development of the on-board product and experience from Etihad. One of the outcome of this was the birth of Etihad’s The Residence, a full suite in the air with a bedroom, a living room, and a shower thrown in for good measure. Here is the video of this product:
Here are some images of Etihad’s The Residence, from earlier this year when I flew the Etihad A380:
Now, some journalist in India dreamt up a story, that Etihad’s The Residence ticket between Mumbai and New York, which costs US Dollar 36,000 one-way is the most expensive commercial flight ticket in the world. This story got picked up by the whole media around the world, and sort of went viral. The likes of Travel + Leisure, Daily Mail and so on picked this story and stuffed it on their websites as well, without a factcheck!
I was surprised, very surprised that with a product as groundbreaking as “The Residence”, the only plank the journalist could put it out on was the one about it’s price. Hey, they conveniently forgot that even when two people travel, the price remains the same, apart from some additional taxes. So literally, the price halves on that account when you have two passengers in occupation.
How much does it cost to fly The Residence?
Anyhow, being a numbers guy, I thought I’d check it out if that is actually true. And No, New York – Mumbai is not the most expensive flight on “The Residence”. Here is a list of all the flight pairs published on “The Residence”, which you can actually fly. Mind you, these are one-way fares. Data is courtesy, Etihad Airways.
Etihad "The Residence" Published Fares
|From||To||City Pair||Price in USD (one-way)|
|Abu Dhabi||New York||AUH-JFK||32000|
Now, it is indeed very clear that the most expensive route to fly on the Residence is the Kangaroo route, which entails flying from London to Abu Dhabi, and onwards to Sydney on the Etihad A380. And it costs approximately USD 38,000 one-way which is the most amount of money it would cost in a commercial airliner.
Having said that, Etihad also publishes fares between New York and Sydney on “The Residence” which costs an eyepopping US Dollar 52000 one-way. However, they don’t sell that route because the timings of the connection don’t work, and if someone could fly trans-Pacific between the USA and Australia, then why would they go all around the world? Except if they were an avgeek or something.
Don’t believe everything you read! Do your own research, or come and read Live From A Lounge (shameless plug!)
Are you saving up for this flight? I am going to start now… 😉