a man in a robe sitting at a table in a plane
My Most Luxurious Flight - Etihad Airways The Residence

My Most Luxurious Flight – $20,000 Residence in the Sky!

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After my first amazing experience of flying Etihad Airways A380 The Residence to Mumbai, I knew I wanted to do it again. What could be better to be onboard The Residence again on the inaugural Etihad A380 flight to Paris!

This review is a simple photo report. There are multiple photos in each section.

Detail review of The Residence Lounge inside First Class Lounge is covered here.


Cocktail, Caviar, Fine Dining, Shave, Massage, Cigar and Cognac before flight. The exclusive own lounge of yours is truly a sanctuary! It is like a hotel. There's also a private bathroom with shower facilities!


Wonderful Service inside the Residence Lounge with my own butler, Arsha.(from Kenya)


Before you fly The Residence, a dedicated concierge team will check with your butler preference, dietary requirement and onward travel assistance such as limousine and luggage transfer. They work hard to make sure your experience is a bespoke and seamless one.

I chose Leanne to be my butler again as we were in touch prior to the flight and I am excited to be her Residence passenger again!

The Residence passenger can choose to board first or last. You will get a personal escort you to the gate while your in-flight butler await to greet you and escort you to your Residence. In my case, I was given a full cabin tour and introduced to the pilot inside the cockpit.

  Knowing that I am an AvGeek, I was further invited to check out the crew rest area, where there are 10 (i think) crew bunks located below the main deck access via staircase.        

After take-off at 2:30am, it is time to hit the bed quickly but Leanne suggested to try out some Masala Chai (Tea) and we have a celebration cake as dessert before going to sleep. The cake was huge and very rich chocolate. I invited other crew and passengers to join me in "The Lobby" lounge area on the A380.

The double size bed in the bedroom of The Residence is a real bed, not one of those converted chair-bed in other First Class. My bed was turned down already after the dessert and it is definitely the most comfortable bed in the sky!

I have a wonderful rest and asked Leanne to wake me up about 2 hours before landing. I took a shower in my own private bathroom inside The Residence. To my surprise, a very soft bathrobe with my initial is hanged and ready to use!

a white robe on a door  

I have my breakfast (Caviar!!) in bed while watching the A380 tail camera in the sky but chose to dine in the lounge area on the 2nd course (steak and eggs) while wearing the bathrobe. The privacy is excellent in the Residence that you simply do not feel like sharing with any other passengers on the same plane!

I was also able to invite fellow passengers to my Residence for a casual chat. Before landing, Leanne have laid out all my clothes (Royal Valeting) on the bed ready for me to change. a man in a robe sitting at a table in a plane
a man lying in bed with a tv
My Most Luxurious Flight - Etihad Airways The Residence

We landed early in Paris CDG on Runway 27 with the traditional water cannon salute welcoming Etihad 1st A380 in Paris.

I have more wonderful opportunity to have my photo taken with the crew after landing.

  There was a reception after landing inside the Etihad Airways Premium Lounge in Paris CDG. I was honored to meet the Ambassador of UAE to France, the CEO of ADP which operate Paris CDG and several senior management of Etihad Airways among other journalists and invited guests.   After the event, my assistants were already have my bags waiting ready to take me to my hotel in Paris.  

Looking back, the flight was like a fairy tale and I was the main character! Etihad have deployed a camera man to follow my journey inside The Residence to film every little details of my experience. It is a definitely one of a kind experience. Is the money worth it? Yes given the exclusive and luxurious flying experience and there's only one inaugural flight every time! It is really hard to come back to reality and fly in other standard seats on a plane now!

Looking for a more affordable The Residence airfare? Read here.

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Sam’s Travel Hacks

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As a frequent flier, I recommend book flights and compare prices on Skyscanner and JustFly for the best deals on the internet. We have put together many useful travel tips and airfare promotions in my Smart Travel section to guide you travel in more luxury with lower price!