The one genuinely interesting thing I found at World Travel Market last week was the Etihad stand. Etihad is about to start its first A380 services and London will be the first route to receive it.
Press coverage of the A380 has focussed on ‘The Residence’ which will set a new benchmark for luxury on a commercial airliner.
It is a (admittedly tiny) private apartment for two people. It will only be available on the A380 and there will only be one per aircraft. It contains a ‘proper’ bedroom, a sitting room and a private en-suite bathroom complete with shower and bathrobes.
There was a full-size mock-up, albeit without the bathroom, of The Residence at World Travel Market and I was lucky enough to get access.
Here is the bed:
And the teapot (!) :
And the sitting room and the legs of a female Residence butler, apologies for the angle of the picture but it was impossible to fit it in otherwise:
Of more practical use were the new First Class and Business Class products on display. This is the new Etihad First Class Apartment product which will feature on the A380. As you can see, it has the option of forming a pseudo-double bed with the adjoining seat if the partition is dropped as in these images.
There is also a proper guest seat for visitors:
Finally, there is the new A380 business class product called the Business Suite. This is, as you can see, in a totally different class to the British Airways Club World seat:
I am taking advantage of the current 20% transfer bonus on American Express Membership Rewards points to Etihad Guest to build up an Etihad balance, and I hope to give the A380 and Boeing 777 a go early in the New Year.
Do note, though, that the Etihad lounge at Heathrow is closed until December and that the First Class lounge in Abu Dhabi will be closed until April.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (January 2021)
Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.