Some amazing redemptions on Etihad partners – eg 36,000 miles return Europe to New York in Business!

On July 8th, Etihad Guest devalues its reward chart sharply – by over 50% in some cases.  This came as a major shock to members when it was announced last month.

You can read details of the devaluation and comments from HFP readers here.

What is NOT changing, allegedly, is the cost of redemptions with Etihad partner airlines.  The online Q&A regarding the devaluation states:

“No. The changes to earning rates only affect Etihad Airways’ marketed flights. The changes to GuestSeats, OpenSeats and Upgrades affect Etihad Airways’ marketed and operated flights.”

You should that with a pinch of salt, especially as a new redemption chart for Jet Airways, Etihad’s Indian partner, was released this week with no notice whatsoever.

Brussels Airlines

Photo credit:  Bart Lapers / bart.la

Etihad Guest offers some fantastic redemption deals via its airline partners

If you don’t want to, or can no longer afford to, redeem on Etihad itself, there are some great opportunities elsewhere.  It is impossible to highlight them all but I have picked out one from each partner airline.

All partner redemptions must be booked by telephone.

Availability cannot be checked online.  If an airline is offering a reward seats in its own programme to its own members (ie if American Airlines has a saver level reward seat available for its own members when you look at aa.com) there is a decent chance that Etihad can book it for you.

The full list of earning and spending airline partners with Etihad Guest miles is here.

Here are some highlights (to see details, click the link above and then select the relevant airline)

Air Serbia – found under the ‘Preferred Airline Partners’ tab, 13,429 miles for a one-way in Business Class from London to Belgrade

Air Seychelles – found under the ‘Preferred Airline Partners’ tab, 125,672 miles for a return Business Class flight from Paris (they do not fly to London)

airberlin – 49,000 miles one-way Berlin to New York in Business Class

Air New Zealand – seems pricey, eg 273,000 miles one-way London to Auckland in Business Class

Alitalia – 12,000 miles return in Economy and 24,000 return in Business from the UK to Italy.  You can also book Alitalia partner airlines with miles, interestingly.

American Airlines – confusing chart but looks like 50,000 miles one-way in Business and 62,500 one-way in First from the UK to North America.  These would not incur fuel surcharges unlike identical AA redemptions made using Avios points.

ANA – 15,000 to 23,000 miles return for domestic redemptions in Japan

Asiana – 138,000 miles return from London to Seoul in Business Class

Bangkok Airways – economy redemptions look poor value but 20,000 miles for domestic flights, return, in Business Class is a better deal

Brussels Airways – the jackpot!  36,620 miles for a return Business Class flight from Brussels to New York (seat pictured below)

Brussels Airlines business class seat

Czech Airlines – more crazy figures – 13,900 miles for a one-way flight in Business Class from Prague to Abu Dhabi, or 25,610 miles one-way in Business Class from Prague to Seoul

Etihad Regional – based in Geneva, nothing costs more than 6,343 miles one-way in Economy and 8,991 miles one-way in Business

FlyBe – it looks as if Etihad can book any revenue ticket that is for sale.  The rates are poor but flexibility could be fantastic if this were correct.

Garuda Indonesia – 7,000 miles one-way for Business Class between Gatwick and Amsterdam, as I reviewed recently (and you get a flat bed seat!)

GOL / Varig – Latin American airlines, pricing looks reasonable given mileage covered

Hainan Airlines – a Chinese airline, pricing looks reasonable especially for First Class

Jet Airways – not sure what domestic Indian flights cost for cash but Business Class redemptions appear good value compared to economy

Korean Air – there is no information on redemption rates on the website although there are some terms and conditions!

Malaysia Airlines – London to Kuala Lumpur on an A380 would be 190,000 miles return in Business Class

Oman Air – 44,000 miles one-way from Muscat to London in Business Class looks interesting.  First Class is expensive at 80,000 miles one-way.

Philippine Airlines – expensive at 124,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London

Royal Air Maroc – similar to BA at 20,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Marrakech

South African Airways – pricier than BA at 80,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Johannesburg

SriLankan Airlines – 76,000 miles one-way in Business Class from London to Colombo

Ukranian International Airlines – 25,000 miles for a one-way First Class flight from London to Kiev looks interesting

Virgin Australia – from 13,000 miles for a one-way domestic Business Class flight

As you can see, there are some very interesting prices in the chart above.  If you have some Etihad Guest miles to burn – and you can still get 25,000 miles by taking out their FREE credit card – you should spend some time looking at your options.  Those miles may be more flexible than you thought.

20% bonus on Starwood Preferred Guest conversions to American Airlines
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Comments

  1. Follow-up to my previous post on 2 Jul at 1.31pm:

    It’s becoming comical dealing with Etihad.

    Spoke to their call centre in Al Ain (UAE). First person said “impossible to book on partner”. Hung up and called again and got her again. She was adamant that they cannot book on partner airlines. Wow. After telling her she didn’t know her own programme, hung up and called again.

    Yet another person said “can’t do it”. Asked their supervisor and came back with the same response.

    Called again. Spoke to someone else who said “my system is showing no AA availability on any routes that you are asking for”. She said “call AA, check the availability, call us again and we will make the booking”. But what if your system is still showing no availability? She responds “well, we can figure something out”. Wow again. Doesn’t provide any confidence.

    Asked her how many miles and taxes it would cost. Her response “it will take me time to find that out.”

    Just for my amusement while watching Wimbledon, am going to continue to see if I can get any success and will post a response.

    Maybe just my bad luck, but so far, very very unimpressive.

    • Pogonation says:

      There’s a whole thread about this on FT. Essentially no-one has been able to book a partner award for at least a year or so. Therefore I suggest that people don’t trabsfer points into etihad with the hope of booking with partners as their amex/SPG etc. will just become worthless. If you have EY points now then get something booked on EY ASAP ahead of the devaluation.

  2. Hey guys,

    On the topic of Etihad, I signed up for the Amex 25,000 points offer but the card has come and there’s no mention of the 25,000 points just 5,000 offer, could someone please give me some guidance should I phone MBNA to query?

    Thanks

    • James67 says:

      It’s fine, standard paperwork but you will get the 25k if you signed up via 25k link. If worried just send them secure online message asking them to confirm in writing.

  3. Update from my previous post on 3 Jul at 3.04pm: Booking hints in the main body of the message.

    Briefly: had success in booking AA partner awards. Not completely ideal in terms of miles required (had to use an extra 67,000 miles but that’s for another story!).

    The details:
    Called Etihad several more times and finally got to speak to someone who did know their program and what to do. Very very helpful lady out of the Manchester call center. I find that it someone from the Al Ain (in the UAE) call centre answers, they only know the basics of their programme.

    In any case, was looking to book an AA partner reward. After some questioning, I found out the following and would suggest that if you want to make AA bookings, you do the work of Etihad simply to make your life easier;

    How to book – and make your life easier by doing Etihad’s work for them!

    Go on to aa.com and under the “Advantage” link, find the book awards link. Here for your info:
    http://www.aa.com/reservation/awardFlightSearchAccess.do

    Search for your routing and at the bottom under the “What are your carrier preferences?”, make sure you select the “American Airlines and American Eagle”. Otherwise other partner carriers availability will show up which Etihad don’t allow.

    Look for the “Mile SAAver” award (light green box for economy and light blue box for Business/First”

    Once you’ve clicked on Continue at the bottom, the next screen will provide the selected flights. Click on the “flight details” and more info will appear. Make sure the booking code is “T”. If “T” is available, call Etihad and give them the flight details and tell them that “T” is available.

    Good luck!

  4. ” Make sure the booking code is “T”. If “T” is available, call Etihad and give them the flight details and tell them that “T” is available.”

    Well done for being able to book an award flight. Was the booking for a direct flight and do the taxes match the taxes on Americans booking page.

    Re; Booking code T. T is a code used for economy seats, T will not show as a booking code for First or Business.

    • Codes used on AA rewards Economy mile saver T Economy anytime Y
      Business ” U Business ” J
      First ” Z First ” F

  5. Apologies – yes…T is for economy mile sAAver and business is U and First is F.

    Our routing in economy (5 pax and that’s all that was available) is:
    Outbound:
    Chicago – Los Angeles- Honolulu (ORD-LAX-HNL). The LAX-HNL is a 1 hour connection.
    Miles+ tax: 17,500 Etihad + US$31.53 per passenger

    Return: more expensive to book as even though the separate segments of HNL-LAX and LAX-ORD are available, they are not available as a “through-fare” (meaning HNL-ORD with a connection in LAX). Supposedly, AA did not allow that routing for Etihad. So had to book 2 segments

    HNL-LAX: 17,500 Miles + US$23 taxes
    LAX-ORD: 12,500 Miles + US$14.18 taxes

    Total: 47,500 Miles + US$68.71 taxes. Although this could have been cheaper had the return been only 1 segment…likely 35,000 Miles + appx $50 taxes.

    • Brendan says:

      Interesting. It was hinted previously that all redemptions were segment based so its good that you were able to redeem the outward journey as a single redemption. I wonder what is the differentiator to the return as to why the 2 legs needed to be booked seperately. As with all things Etihad, a complete mystery it seems!

  6. Believe the “all redemptions are segment based” is for Etihad flights only not partner flights. The Etihad miles required for redeeming on AA were exactly what was shown on the AA website.

    Etihad said that AA provides the routings and the through-routing of HNL-LAX-ORD was not available in “T” class (or any redemption class). So even for AA members, they would not be able to book a through-fare. Only when I played around abit and split the segment up into 2, did I see that I could actually get us all back on the through-routing…but it had to be on 2 separate PNR’s / bookings.

    A note on this…if one of your travel routings are on 2 separate bookings – even on the same airline – make sure there is enough time between the flights as you’ll have to check-in again rather than check-in at the point of departure. I asked Etihad who confirmed this. Not believing them, I called AA 3 times and was told the same thing 3 times.

    Another point: Etihad confirmed that as of now, the devaluation is only on Etihad redemptions. Partner redemptions are untouched. But who knows for how long!

    • Jet Airways partner redemptions were sharply devalued last week, with no notice, so whilst they will not automatically devalue on the 8th you shouldn’t assume they are set in stone.

      That said, Jet was very generous – some flights were under 1,000 miles!

      • I think all the airlines in which Etihad has stakes will “fall in line” with Etihad (ie more devaluations). Air Berlin will be the interesting one as they are part of OneWorld.

        Just used up all my miles (save for 100,000) for bookings before the devaluation.

        At times, when booking, there was a rectangular box that came up saying something along the lines of: “Important Message – you cannot book flights using miles. Mileage redemptions are not available. Please book cash tickets”.

        • I just used nearly 200k miles. At very last minute it was very stressful with site crashing on me.

  7. Hi

    I was interested in the Czech Airlines redemption to AUH from PRG and obviously can see how attractive it would be….but came across this on-line

    http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/232031/csa-czech-airlines-cancels-abu-dhabi-service-from-mid-jan-2014/

    so does this mean that Etihad simplly forgot to update the pdf otherwise I am struggling even to see any cash booking from the Czech airlines website for PRG to AUH, or am I doing something wrong?

    Regards