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Opulence. I has it. It looks like we have a new winner for most over-the-top first class cabin on the planet. This weekend Etihad, the flag carrier for the United Arab Emirates unveiled the design of their upcoming A380 and 787 first class cabins. In short: it’s ridiculous. The highest tier of their first class offering is a three-room residence complete with its own bathroom (with shower) and butler. Your move Singapore.
In case you’re interested in booking one of these flying status symbols, Etihad partners with American Airlines (it’s not a full OneWorld member) so you may be able to find reward inventory using AAdvantage. Or you can pay cash. According to Engadget’s Zach Honig, revenue tickets are priced at around $43,000.
Dallas is at the center of an airline battle this week as Virgin America continues its campaign to capture a few landing slots up for grabs. The capacity, which just opened up at Love Field, would give Virgin America a toe-hold in the region traditionally dominated by American and Southwest, but as you can imagine, the competitors are making a stink.
Regardless of what you feel about Virgin America or who’s giving you the most campaign contributions, competition is almost always healthy for the consumer, so hopefully Virgin America gets a fair shake. In the meantime, they’ve set up a (one-sided) website to solicit support.
I love @SouthwestAir & they DOMINATE Love Field. But no one should be blocking @VirginAmerica from flying from there. Competition is good!
Airlines, travelers need luggage etiquette: Yes, the overhead bins are way too small. And yes, airlines want to check your bags because it speeds up boarding, and they earn billions in luggage fees. But there’s a lot more to the luggage conflict. Read more at USA Today
Korean Air’s Nonstop Flights Between Houston, Seoul Start This Week: Korean Air‘s first nonstop flight between Houston and Seoul took off Friday morning. The nonstop daily flight from Bush Intercontinental Airport is slated to arrive at Incheon International Airport this afternoon. The return flight will leave Seoul at 9:10 a.m. and return at 8:40 a.m. Read more at Skift
A Closer Look at Etihad’s New Multi-Room Private Cabin Suite: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has unveiled the world’s first private multi-room cabin on a commercial passenger aircraft. Read more at Skift
American Air and Dallas Don’t Agree About Giving Love Field Slots to Virgin America: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said Thursday that the carrier is making its “best efforts” to ensure that Virgin America gets control of two gates at Dallas Love Field that American is required to divest as part of its merger settlement with the Justice Department. Read more at Skift
Pilot Shortage Is Having a Grave Impact on Service at Small Midwest Airports: Flight cancellations have become common at Nebraska’s smaller airports, jeopardizing federal funding and forcing residents to drive hundreds of miles to catch a flight. Read more at Skift
The New High-Tech Convention Center That’s the Future of the Meetings Industry: You have to be a hardcore meetings and convention industry fan to get super excited about high-tech, ultra-fashionable convention centers, although there are a lot of us in the industry out there. Read more at Skift
To make a car, Audi had to blow one up: Before releasing any car, Audi’s engineers set up giant test rigs containing every single electronic component. The rig is enormous — three walls of speakers, displays, headlamps, controls, electric window motors, controls, and switches. The mess of components that surrounds me constitues literally *everything* electronic in the car. Read more at The Verge
The 4 Apps Aimed at Business Travelers at TechCrunch Disrupt: How many times have you taken a trip for work, landed in a city you didn’t know and wondered how to get the most bang out of that sweet, sweet expense account buck? Thanks to Disrupt, there are now a few apps for that. Read more at Skift
The 10 Most Highly Compensated Hotels CEOs of 2013: Perhaps for Steve Wynn’s next Wynn Resorts’ commercial he’ll begin with his trademark, “Hello, I’m Steve Wynn,” and then add, “I made $19.6 million in total compensation in 2013 as chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts.” Read more at Skift
Accor Outlines Plan to Have 100 Hotels in the Middle East by 2017: Accor Middle East is set to unveil its Middle East expansion plans, which will bring the group’s regional portfolio to 100 hotels by 2017. Read more at Skift
Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn at LA Live Should Open Soon: Last summer we saw the hybrid Marriott hotel rising in downtown Los Angeles from the 10 Freeway. This month, we’ve got a closer look at the hotel which sits across from The Staples Center and the LA Live entertainment district and which will host 174 Courtyard by Marriott rooms and 218 Residence Inn suites. Read more at HotelChatter
Barb Delollis, USA Today Travel’s former hotel writer has a new blog in which she takes an underground look at the hotel industry. Also worth noting, Wendy Perrin‘s new blog is picking up steam with plenty of interesting updates. Check them both out.