Travel News

When Is Premium Airline Travel Too Much?

Written by Charlie

Many people are interested in miles and points because of the opportunity that they afford to travel in more premium conditions for the same cost as economy – or for almost nothing at all! Because of miles and points, I have had the opportunity to travel in some very nice airplane cabins – First Class on Cathay Pacific, First Class on Emirates A380 (with the shower – best post-race flight ever!), and (my favorite) Suites Class on Singapore Airlines A380, to name a few. These travel experiences were certainly special but are certainly not required by me in order to travel. 🙂 I honestly feel more at home in coach than on some of those flights (I kept asking a couple of the flight attendants on Singapore if they wanted to eat with me because I was bored during meal service :).

Premium Cabins Constantly Change

As airlines change and work to conform to the ever-changing landscape of their passengers, they continue to modify and order planes that fit with their business plan. Some airlines have found they are better off removing their international first class cabins altogether. However, there are other airlines that are just raising the bar even higher. Of course, the airlines that are working that end are the big Middle Eastern airlines.

If you have traveled on Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, or Qatar Airways, you have undoubtedly noticed that there are many passengers who are doing quite well in business (or inheritance). Because of all the money that is present in that region and the amount of upscale passengers, it is no wonder that these airlines are trying to make their premium cabins even better.

Welcome to the Etihad Residence

The first introduction of over-the-top in-flight opulence is by Etihad Airways. They announced earlier this week that their upcoming Airbus A380 jets will be coming in with the most upscale cabins ever. That is because they are releasing Apartments and, in case your own apartment on a plane is not big enough, Residences.

These Residences will be available as a three room suite that measures 125 sq ft. It will come with its own butler and have a bedroom, sitting area, and private bath. The first route will be Abu Dhabi – London and will cost $20,000 one-way. Yes, that is actually for two people, since the Residences will accommodate two passengers for a reservation, but that is still a lot of money! However, there are passengers that pay $11,000 for a one-way flight from the US to Frankfurt in first class, so getting two passengers for $20,000 will still find many willing buyers.

Premium Airline Travel

Some people pay that amount already for the same time for one person

So, when is premium airline travel too much? This is taking comfort to a whole different level – and that price will only get you 7 hours in it! Sure, there will be people who will pay it, but it certainly seems like a lot to pay! If you are interested in reading a review of it, Ben at One Mile At A Time has a unique program in place to help him be one of the first to review this unbelievable product! Who knows, with a product like this, you may forget you were even flying!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I’ve seen mention of the “Residences” non-sense on several sites and blogs. One writer pointed out that the basic fare works out to about $1.25 (US) Per Second. My thoughts include: 1) for those with the bucks, why not. I don’t want them and their habits in my cabin anyway. 2) If the flight is safe, we all arrive alive and in once piece, regardless of fare paid, if not, we die, again regardless of fare paid. 3) If these silly amenities sell well, it may help to offset the prices charged in the back of the airplane. 4) why is is that most of the airlines offering this silliness are the ones that produce the expensive fuel necessary to operate big airplanes – in all markets and on all routes? Is there a little connection here? 5) Just a guess, but I’d venture that the majority of the “residence” occupants are probably not paying real money for their airfare in the first place. Most are probably flying under some kind of complimentary exchange of this or than, perhaps trying to out-impress each other with their hospitality. As noted above, I’d prefer not to have those folks in my cabin.

    In far more simple terms, this is balderdash!

  • At the price of an airline suite you could just charter a private jet in my opinion which would be better from a schedule, airport and security issue. Seems like a no brain’er

  • There is no logic to luxury. Trying to deduce one is a fallacy. Article missung the point, we live in a greatly inequal world where 1 in 3 humans lives on below $1.25 a day. Giving is the real first class.