Etihad x 4 – double miles, A380 to Heathrow, Alitalia and Marriott link-ups

Four interesting bits of Etihad news have popped up in recent days which I have popped together in this post.

Double A380 service to Heathrow from March

Etihad has 10 A380’s on order.  Earlier in the year they announced that the first one, due in December, will fly to Heathrow.

This week it was announced that a 2nd A380 will be coming to Heathrow from March 1st.  This means that 2 of the 3 daily flights to Abu Dhabi will be A380s with the other one remaining as a Boeing 777.

This is not necessarily good news for reward flights, unfortunately.  According to One Mile At A Time, Etihad has blocked out standard level First Class reward availability on these services.  This means that you only have one flight option now if you want to snag a First Class Suite.

(Remember that you can book Etihad seats with American Airlines miles, even though they are not a oneworld alliance member.  They are even cheaper than a BA redemption – business class to Abu Dhabi would be 80,000 Avios return on BA whilst Etihad is 60,000 American Airlines miles.  The tax is £300 cheaper as well.)

For people who find the Etihad First Class suites too downmarket, the Etihad A380 will also feature ‘The Residence’, a private apartment at the front of the upper deck which will feature this double bed:

Etihad A380 residence

There is more on ‘The Residence’ on the Etihad website here.

Double or triple miles promotion

Etihad is currently offering double Etihad Guest miles for business class travel and triple miles for First Class travel.

Travel dates are restrictive so this is only likely to be useful if you are planning business travel.  You need to book by August 25th and travel by September 25th.  You MUST register for this promotion via the Etihad website here.

Remember that you can redeem Etihad Guest miles for cash via PointsPay at 0.4p per miles so you don’t have to worry about finding a good use for the miles.

Etihad and Alitalia partnership announced

Etihad recently took a 49% stake in Alitalia.  This is the latest of their equity partnerships (see airberlin, Virgin America, Darwin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus etc) which Etihad sees as a more valuable way of boosting its network than joining an alliance.

The first fruits of this latest investment are now showing.

Etihad Alitalia

As per this page, you can now earn Etihad Guest miles when flying Alitalia.  You can also earn Alitalia miles when flying on Etihad.

Reciprocal lounge access does not yet appear to be a feature (I guess it may be in place for Italy – Abu Dhabi flights) although I would expect this to appear in due course.

New Marriott Rewards partnership

Finally, Etihad Guest is now a Marriott Rewards partner and you can transfer your points to the airline. To be honest, I was surprised to learn that they were not already working together.

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Comments

  1. Regarding availability, the same happened when the first A380 was announced and soon after, First Class re-opened. I doubt it’s a permanent thing. I was surprised to see they were actually releasing First class seats of which there were two on each EY11/12 flight at some point. I find Etihad actively manage their reward flight inventory so if someone is interested, it’s worth checking back at a later stage.

  2. Felix Flyer says:

    What is the expiry policy for Etihad as it looked a little unclear to me? Is it expiry after 2/3 years and no flights or 2/3 years with no activity? Just weighing up whether to open an account.

    • Unfortunately you can’t extend the validity of Etihad Guest miles, so not ideal for accumulating for the long term. Etihad Guest is better for short term goals:

      Validity of Etihad Guest Miles is associated to the Tier level of the member. Etihad Guest Miles will have a validity period of 2 years for Etihad Guest members, 2.5 years for Etihad Guest Silver members and 3 years for Etihad Guest Gold and Etihad Guest Gold Elite members. Unused Etihad Guest Miles will expire on the last date of the month in which they were earned.

      Essentially, it is expiry after 2/2.5/3 years regardless of activity or flights!

  3. Hingeless says:

    Raffles – add a 5th item to the list, Etihad are offering a status match for gold members that reside in Australia, some may find a use for this! Some may find they live in oz !

  4. I flew Alitalia last week and connected through Linate. I presented my Etihad Gold card at the Skyteam lounge and was allowed in after a bit of head scratching from the agent!

Trackbacks

  1. […] mentioned in an article on Saturday that Marriott Rewards is now an Etihad Guest partner.  This means that you can convert Marriott Rewards points to Etihad and credit future stays […]