Filed Under: Etihad, Travel

Well, tomorrow is the big day, and I can’t wait! I sort of have the same level of excitement that I had when flying in premium cabins was still a total novelty for me, a bit over a decade ago (while I still appreciate and enjoy premium cabins, I’m happy that the excitement isn’t quite to the same level anymore, or else I probably wouldn’t ever sleep). 😉

As I first wrote about just under a month ago, I’ll be flying the Etihad Residence from Abu Dhabi to Sydney. This is Etihad’s private three room suite with butler service at the front of the A380 upper deck. I. Am. So. Excited.


My flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney departs at around 10PM local time (2PM ET), though I’ll be getting to the airport many hours before that, at around 4PM local time (8AM ET). I hope to make this as fun and interactive as possible, so if you’re interested in following along, be sure you visit the blog tomorrow. You can expect that I’ll be sharing the play-by-play throughout the day on social media, and will also be publishing several blog posts “live,” both on the ground and in the air. If you’re not doing so yet, be sure you’re following along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest updates. As much as I’m someone who is resistant to change, I’ll even try to do my first ever Facebook Live (I’ll try to give a bit of advance notice of that, though).

Thanks to you guys for all the support and for making this possible, and also for all the great ideas you’ve had leading up to the experience. I’m curious to see how Etihad does — it’s showtime! Akram, draw me like one of your buildings!

Any last minute requests, suggestions, predictions, etc.? 😉

  1. Make an unexpected but reasonable request at check in that throws them off base a bit. Like a bowl your favourite candy at your seat.

  2. It would be nice uf you say you dont manage the english well and you want everithing to be un german, that would be difficult

  3. Wait, I thought you were going to review Emirates First Class? Haven’t seen one of those in over a year!

  4. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since the abortive kickstarter campaign! Bon voyage!!

  5. Ben,

    Why are you heading to the residence lounge so late?!! If it was me I would be checking at 6am for my 10pm flight.

    By the way it was very nice to meet you at the St regis Maldives, I’m the guy who welcomed you off the sea plane.

  6. Maybe see if they can load a special type of bread that you like for the “breakfast in bed service”! Or at least try the breakfast in bed

  7. Enjoy! I still get excited about International first class, so I would be absolutely giddy if I were flying the Residence.

    How long will you be in Sydney, and where are you staying? I would be interested to hear about the ground experience in Sydney once you land.

  8. “I sort of have the same level of excitement that I had when flying in premium cabins was still a total novelty for me, a bit over a decade ago”

    That’s where I’m at right now. I’ll be flying LAX-NRT on Singapore next month in business thanks to that $2000 fare deal from a few months ago. It’s definitely nowhere near the level of the Residence, but it’ll be my first time flying long-haul premium cabin and I am anxiously counting down the days. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like for me the night before.

    On another note, I’m happy for you that you are able to feel this giddy excitement again. I’ve been reading your blog daily for maybe about 2 years now, and am finally able to follow in your steps now that I am 18 (nearly 19) and have a few credit cards as well as some more income available to me.

  9. Weymar,

    As someone who has been saving up miles for the “perfect” trip (Thinking honeymoon to maldives on CX F), I know what you mean. Most of us don’t ever get to partake in longhaul business class. I hope it’s a blast for you.

  10. @Weymar. It is very nice to hear about your enthusiasm. You will love the premium class. For me, the difference between international coach and business class was that in coach I could not wait for the 8 hour trip to be over, whilst in business I was like: “oh crap, it is over” 🙂

  11. Test them real hard. Change your flight to next day and see if all your requests stick.

  12. Good Luck on your flight on (in?) Residences tomorrow – do they have playing cards in the Residence?
    Am v curious to see how your Lobster Roll midnight snack will be..
    Your friend in Shanghai

  13. @Charles As far as I know, they have two decks of playing cards in first. I managed to get one on my flight to Sydney last summer where me and a friend where the only guests in F 🙂

    We also managed to get a private Residence tour, incl. trying the bed. Not that anyone ask for sharing this information, but I am still thinking back and am still excited about the flight.

  14. @Cristoffer Cedergren it’d be better that you stopped telling people what to do with their own money…

  15. I think you will enjoy it, but note that there have been cutbacks, even for The Residence guests, so don’t expect everything you might have seen blogged about before.

    The heyday was really last year. It’s come a bit more down to earth since.

    Emirates The Palace Dining Menu gone (even for The Residence), a little less being carried on board, only small differences between First and The Residence menus etc.

    They are not massive changes, but not insignificant either.

    But if you go in with no expectations, you won’t be disappointed

  16. @ Cristoffer Cedergren
    At my “old” age, I’m so tired of people that think they have a better way of spending other people’s money. You must be a career government employee or politician making a throw-away comment.
    @ Steve
    To easy to tag on to that.

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