The best way to fly, besides flying private (and Lufthansa First Class), is The Etihad Residence on the Airbus A380. The Residence is a three-room suite in the sky – featuring a living room, a bathroom with a shower, and a bedroom. Two people can fly in the Residence – however, there isn’t really a good way to redeem miles for the experience.. which only leaves paying using cash for the flight.

The Residence isn’t cheap, however, it is cheaper than flying private. On the other hand, a Residence ticket earns a ton of miles – and if you pay for the flight with a card like the AMEX Platinum Card, you’ll earn 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. Therefore, the return you receive in terms of miles can significantly lower the actual cost of flying the Residence.

The Etihad Residence A380

The Etihad Residence A380

What’s not to love about the Etihad Residence? The experience includes a Savoy-trained butler who looks after you from take-off to landing, VIP travel concierge service, priority airport services including your own private lounge, customised food to your preference, etc, etc.

My favourite part of the Etihad Residence isn’t necessarily the living room (pictured here), but rather the actual bedroom – which has a separate door and connected bathroom. However, the living room and the bathroom of the Etihad Residence are already in many ways similar to the current First Class Apartment on the A380, which has a similar design like the living room (though it isn’t as spacious) and also has a bathroom with a shower.

The Etihad Residence A380

The Etihad Residence A380

So… I’m flying the Etihad Residence this year! I’m super excited as I was able to find a “cheap” (ok.. maybe not that cheap) fare departing out of a certain Middle Eastern city to London via Abu Dhabi. The first flight is simply in Business Class as it is a 2-cabin aircraft, but the second I land in Abu Dhabi, I am a Residence passenger.

I don’t think I’ve been more excited about a flight… ever. As much as I love Lufthansa First Class, The Etihad Residence is really the best way to fly. However, I really hope that Etihad’s cost-cutting hasn’t affected the Residence.. because if it has, the experience won’t be worth it.

Be sure to check out some of the awesome Travel Rewards Credit Cards, Hotel Rewards Credit Cards, and Point Rewards Credit Cards that are available and will earn you lots of miles and great travel benefits!