Flight to history. Gion Bertuccio, who will fly on Etihad’s The Residence on December 27, has flown 22 inaugural and final flights in premium class cabins over the last 25 years Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A ‘compulsive’ premium class air traveller from the US has bought what could be the most expensive air ticket in civil aviation history by booking a three-bedroom suite on an Etihad A380 flight on December 27.

Gion Bertuccio, a Miami-based businessman who has flown 22 inaugural and final flights in premium class cabins over the last 25 years, is all set to fly to London’s Heathrow from Abu Dhabi on The Residence, the world’s only private multi-room cabin on a commercial passenger aircraft introduced by Etihad Airways.

Although the airline has not disclosed the price of the ticket, an online check by XPRESS revealed that the return fare on the route may cost Dh155,345.

According to Etihad, The Residence features a first-of-its-kind three-room private cabin, including a living room, double bedroom and ensuite shower room, which will be available on all of the airline’s incoming fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft. 

Dedicated concierge

As part of the premium experience, Bertuccio will receive utmost personal attention and care from a dedicated concierge team well before he takes off. He will also have a dedicated Savoy Academy-trained butler on call throughout the flight.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bertuccio on board The Residence by Etihad. On December 27 he will become part of aviation history as the first member of an elite group of Etihad Airways guests to enjoy the world’s most luxurious and exclusive hospitality and service experience in the air.”

Bertuccio, who runs Ligi Import Corp, said: “I have followed Etihad Airways and I have always admired the products the airline has launched. There are going to be many firsts on this inaugural flight – new amenities, services and other innovations to try. I am excited to experience them all, though I am particularly fascinated by the butler concept.”

Bertuccio, who booked the inaugural flight on etihad.com, is a passionate flier and an avid collector of airline memorabilia with nearly 2,000 model airplanes, as well as albums filled with boarding passes, certificates and photos from past flights. “For the first time in my flying experience, I really don’t know what to expect but I do know that flying in the Residence by Etihad will be a truly unique adventure, the top of luxury. I have huge expectations. My only wish is that the flight was longer,” said Bertuccio. 

Know the Residence

  • World’s first private multi-room (living room, double bedroom and ensuite shower) cabin on a commercial passenger aircraft
  • World’s first cabin to have a dedicated trainer butler
  • Measures 125 square feet, on forward upper deck of of Airbus A380
  • Available for single or double occupancy
  • Savoy Butler Academy-trained butler whose uniform has been designed by Rome-based fashion designer, Ettore Bilotta
  • Dedicated VIP concierge team
  • Living room has two-seat reclining sofa upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, dual marquetry dining tables and a chilled mini-bar
  • Bedroom has a Poltrona Frau upholstered 82 inch long double bed with custom-made mattress, bedside unit, wardrobe, and under-bed stowage for hand luggage.
  • Both rooms have LCD TVs. Broadband with internet mobile and data capability, Live TV, HDMI, AC outlet and USB ports available
  • Wi-Fi enabled and equipped with the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, controlled by video touch screen and handset