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Why Etihad Airways Is Charging $32,000 for a One-Way Ticket

A new offering from the Abu Dhabi-based airline puts traditional First Class cabins to shame

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Consider the first-class arms race officially over. Etihad’s new fleet of A380 double-decker planes—appropriately nicknamed “superjumbo” aircrafts—promise passengers unparalleled comfort at 30,000 feet. The planes are outfitted with a “First Apartment” (Etihad’s version of First Class) and an even more exclusive option: “The Residence.” Snag a seat in latter cabin, and you’ll fly in a three-room suite, complete with a living room, bedroom and en-suite bathroom, plus a personal butler and an in-flight chef. The A380 currently operates out of Heathrow and Sydney, and it recently launched a new route from JFK to Abu Dhabi, with one-way tickets in The Residence costing $32,000 for two passengers.

As for Etihad’s First Apartments? The next-level private living spaces feature furniture upholstered with Poltrona Frau leather, including an ottoman that transforms into an 81-inch lay-flat bed. There’s also a vanity for primping, a 24-inch flat screen television and ample room for entertaining, should you decide to host your neighbors. Flying commercial has never been more appealing.

Click through the gallery for a virtual tour of the cabins, plus photos of Etihad’s newly unveiled First Class Lounge at JFK.