During this holiday time of year many of us are making travel plans to see our family, friends, and loved ones - although not necessarily in that order. I'm hoping and praying, of course, that my nutty employer will be making travel plans as well.
It's no big secret that the rich travel differently from the rest of us, is it? If they don't have their own jets and are forced to fly on commercial airlines, you can bet you won't see them sitting back there in coach along with the rest of us, with their legs going numb from crowded seats and crying babies all around.
Instead, they'll be up there in first class with plenty of space, peace and quiet, and seats that recline all the way into beds for overnight flights. Some airlines even have private cubicles for the rich and famous, and of course their crying babies are left at home with their nannies.
You won't see them in the airports either, huddled in the crowded waiting rooms at each gate. They have their own luxurious first-class lounges complete with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and when all the riffraff have boarded the plane they're escorted to their first class seats just moments before the plane takes off. Nice, right? Champagne and lobster will be on their dinner trays, complete with linen napkins and silverware, as opposed to plastic knives and forks back there in coach.
But now there's something quite extraordinary I want to tell you about - a whole new way for the super rich to travel. It seems that Etihad Airways from United Arab Emirates is installing private rooms on their Airbus A380 Superjumbos for the discerning traveler. Designed for only two people, it's called "The Residence" and consists of a private three-room suite.
The living room has a big flat-screen TV, a chilled-drink bar, luxurious leather furnishings and a dining table; the separate bedroom has a double bed with fine Egyptian cotton sheets; and the bathroom not only has a shower but also high-dollar toiletries and bathrobes like you might expect in any five-star hotel.
But it doesn't stop there. There's also an on-board gourmet chef available to them and a personal assistant from the Savoy Butler Academy to see after their needs - including their fancy dinner with vintage wine, hotel reservations, and a limousine to get them there.
At currents prices this private suite will cost between $43,000 to $48,000 round-trip to get you from here to there. Which is only about $24,000 per person after all, and considerably less than having your own private jet and pilot. In any case, no doubt you'll wake up refreshed with a nice shower before the plane lands.
Here's a link to "The Residence". See for yourself.
Thanks for dropping in tonight, and happy holiday travels,