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Luxury airline travel is in its prime with many airlines offering over the top bookings on select flights. We can only imagine the main objective is to lure ultra wealthy people into flying commercial vs the outsized luxury of flying private.
With this strategy, few airlines have come up with over the top options that can be booked for astronomical prices. This includes everything from pre-departure perks such as transport and private lounges, to airplane seats that literally have their own personal bedrooms and bathrooms.
Now its not often these spaces can be booked for points and miles but its certainly possible for a select few of them
We will break down the absolute best airlines seats that money can buy.
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There is no question that the Etihad Residence is the most luxurious flying experience available on a commercial aircraft. The seat is only flown on 4 routes worldwide on the Etihad A380, with New York to Abu Dhabi being one of them. This is no surprise given the United Arab Emirates is a fantastic tourist and business destination.
Guests will have a total of 3 completely private rooms: a double bedroom, a private shower suite, and a living room that features the main seat. You will also enjoy additional services like a private butler and pretty much anything you can imagine in terms of pre-customized meals.
This seat costs a whopping $30,000 – $40,000 one way when purchasing in cash making it arguably the most expensive airline ticket.
Surprisingly, this seat is actually available on points but will cost you around 2,000,000points one way from New York to Abu Dhabi.
Etihad is known for their opulence and fantastic food but The Residence is on an entirely new level of luxury.
On their A380, the company offers a spacious 50-square-foot first-class cabins with fully reclinable chairs and separate stowaway beds are quite likely on the bucket list for most aviation enthusiasts. A huge plus is these beds can be combined with the seat next to you making a full double bed for couples.
A one way ticket on this seat will set you back $8,600 but this seat is no stranger to being affordable on points. We’ve seen it as cheap as 86,000 Singapore Miles from New York to Frankfurt but typically this can be much higher.
Etihad The Apartment
Once again Etihad has not only The Residence on this list but also their next best offering The Apartment. This offering is also only available on the carriers A380, the same plane that flies to/from New York City (JFK) and Abu Dhabi (AUH).
Even though it’s a step down from The Residence, The Apartment is still one of the best experiences you can have on an airplane. You’ll have an entire “living room” that features an armchair as well as a separate bed (that you can transform into a double bed if you’re traveling with a companion in the next seat).
There is a total of 9 First Class Apartments with the A/C and H/K seat pairs connected. The seat is 29.5″ wide and the bed is 80″ long — making it comfortable for everyone up to 6’8!
The Apartment is much more affordable compared to The Residence with travelers mentioned cash rates between $6,000 – $8,000 one way or even only 60,000 AA miles (pre devaluation). That’s an insane deal for the amount of space you are offered but availability is most likely tough to come by.
Emirates First Class
Onboard its 777’s Emirates flies arguable its most luxurious offering, The First Class Suite. These suits feature a full floor to ceiling door making it one of the most private in the sky.
Some great perks that come with flying this is the amount of routes, ultra privacy, three unique screens, award availability, and believe it or not virtual windows in the middle seats with a live view making it appear you are facing outside.
We’ve seen this suite offered for 120,000 Emirates Miles on multiple routes making it a rather attainable deal. Travelers have also reported an upgrade offer from business for only 500 Euro, making it a well worth it expense.
Unlike the A380 that features an onboard shower and bar, the 777 is a smaller plane but offering well more privacy than First Class on the A380. If you can snag one of these seats you will surely have no regrets as the best way to fly to Dubai.
Etihad First Class Suite
Etihad has another luxury first class offering on its 787 and 777 known as the First Class Suite. This features a large seat and sliding doors that enclose your suite — but the seat will also be your bed.
While these are generally the same product they are not exactly created equally with the 777 suite offering a bit more space than the 787.
These seats also offering more award availability and are priced about 80,000 AA miles each way when you find availability. Another bonus is it adds more routes to experience Etihad servicing Los Angeles and Washington DC.
Air France La Premier
Air France La Premiere is one of the most coveted bookings on a European carrier. The class is notoriously difficult to find availability in and often flies empty on many routes.
Starting tickets go for about $8,000 – $12,000 one way with extremely limited award availability. However, the seats feature large amounts of space and a full length curtain to provide privacy in air.
The way Air France differentiates itself is in the pre-departure perks that feature a private lounge and direct car transfer to the airplane. This is also on top of both a luxurious lounge dining room and on air dining that features caviar and some of the best champagne money can buy.
Summary & Takeaways
Airlines have taken an over the top approach to luxury travel with Etihad clearly leading the way. The unfortunate news is due to the COVID 19 pandemic many airlines are rethinking their strategy and parking their A380s.
It’s to be determined if we will see these offerings come back in service but just the fact that they were once flying has set the bar on the most luxuries way to travel.
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