Flying In The World’s Most Expensive Plane Seat

When settling into your economy seat on a long-haul flight, have you ever wondered what exactly the chosen few heading down to First Class are getting treated to? If it’s on Ethiad Airways – labelled the most expensive airline in the world – it’s probably more than a complimentary coffee.

The Middle Eastern airline boasts the most luxurious First Class experience on the planet with  ‘The Residence’, a 125-square-foot, three-room private suite that boasts its own private butler, costing an eye-watering $16,000 for a one-way flight.

But what exactly is it like to travel in the most expensive seat in the world?

the residence Etihad Airways
Welcome to luxury travel

Travel writer Daniel Gillaspia recently gave an envy-inducing insight into the life of luxury after enjoying a $10,000 flight from Abu Dhabi to New York in one of Etihad’s finest First Class cabins.

After amassing over one million air miles, he paid just $52.80 for the opulent journey, which began with a chauffeur-driven limo taking him to Abu Dhabi airport’s private First Class entrance. With his bags whisked away in the blink of an eye, Daniel had the chance to relax ahead of takeoff.

Say goodbye to no legroom

Even before getting off the ground, guests are pampered to within an inch of their lives in the First Class Lounge and Spa, which boasts world-class dining, complimentary haircuts and massage experiences.

There’s even a whisky and cigar room to relax in.

After boarding the flight Daniel admitted the luxury setting was hard to beat and on entering his apartment and spying his “thrown” and spacious private lounge, felt there was so much space he “didn’t know what to do with it”. A complaint you rarely hear on a flight.


When it times came to sleeping there’s no balancing a pillow on the window or your unsuspecting neighbour either. The luxurious bedroom is decorated with “ultra-soft” bedding, scattered cushions and ornate lamps and of course that all-important widescreen TV to watch the in-flight entertainment.

bathroom residence ethiad airways
The spacious bathroom

Daniel, who documented the flight on his travel blog, said the real luxury moment that put the experience over the top was not the enormous bathroom with its own toilet, but the chance to wash 40,000miles in the sky in his fully functioning shower.

Landing refreshed, clean and relaxed after hours in the sky may seem like a dream-come-true, but with that price tag we’ll have to stick to economy, for now.




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