While the Etihad upgrade is in a class of its own, it highlights a broader trend in the airline industry. The last few years have seen a growing number of carriers, mostly international, making significant upgrades to their first and business class cabins. It’s like they’re trying to out-do one another. Or maybe they know the wealthy traveler will go to where the leather is most supple, the thread-count the highest, and the Champagne Demilly de Baere Carte d'Or Brut the most free-flowing.
A lot gets said about how air travel isn’t what it used to be. That’s certainly true. For a select group of travelers who are willing to pay a lot extra, it’s never been better.