First class for superrich high flyers

With so many things to worry about in our world, I'm glad that one of my big concerns has finally been resolved.

With so many things to worry about in our world, I’m glad that one of my big concerns has finally been resolved.

My worry was that, as a global society, we haven’t been doing enough to meet the basic needs of the superrich. I’m talking about the 1-percent-of-the-1-percent. They have extra-special needs that we commoners never think about. Like first-class air travel. Sure, they can buy a first-class ticket, but come on – how special is that, really?

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Luckily, Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi has stepped up to meet the crying need to upgrade first-class flying for the upper-uppiest of elites. Their new A-380 superjumbo jets include a three-room suite for super-swells who want to fly without having to be among us riff-raff.

New York Times travel writer Joe Sharkey reports that the 125-square-foot suite (which is tastefully named “The Residence”) has a living room with two couches, a bedroom with a double bed, and a bathroom with a shower. Plus, you get your own refrigerator and a 32-inch flat-screen TV. Oh – and a butler, who doubles as your private chef. Now that’s class!

This is not a joke. As Etihad’s vice president for guest services puts it, “It’s not just some wacky idea. There’s a market for this.”

Well, yes, albeit a teeny-tiny market. Booking “The Residence” for the flight from Abu Dhabi to London will set you back about $20,000. One way. Double that if you want to return in style (and who wouldn’t?).

The only problem is that the flight to London is only six-and-a-half hours – so little time to watch TV, have chef do up a gourmet dinner, sack out, shower, and… well, chances are you won’t have time to enjoy both of those couches.

Still, it’s the sense of being treated in the pampered manner you deserve that makes it all worthwhile. So, at least that’s one thing we can scratch off our list of worries.

“Better than First Class, an Entire Suite in the Air,” The New York Times, August 12, 2014.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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