Etihad opening up FOUR business class studios on the A380’s ex-London

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My main article today looks at Etihad’s hugely impressive First Class Apartment on its A380 aircraft.

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to try out the Business Class Studio on the same plane.  It is probably the best business class seat in the sky, especially with the excellent on-board bar as well.

You can check out my review of the Etihad A380 business class studio here.

My biggest issue with Etihad has always been their refusal to open up more than two reward seats per flight in First Class or Business Class.  I always assumed that, with the A380 aircraft having 70 studios in them, Etihad would relax its policy.  And now, it seems, it has.

The screenshot below shows four Business Class Studio seats for a random date in February:


If you look at the menu bar you will see that there are also four Studio seats available on most days that week.

You can only find four seats on the A380 departures.  This is very convenient, as it is the flight you want to be on anyway!

Of course, at 270,000 Etihad miles for four people – one way – you will need a substantial Etihad or American Express Membership Rewards balance to book this.

With American Airlines miles, however, you would only need 120,000 AA miles for 4 x one-way tickets to Abu Dhabi.  The taxes would also be lower as AA does not add any fuel surcharge.  This assumes that you book, but not necessarily fly, before the American Airlines devaluation kicks in during March.

My review of Etihad's A380 First Class Apartment - the best First Class product in the sky
AirPortr launches at Heathrow - but with a snag
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  1. I’ve gotten the chauffeur on an AA booking. Not sure where you got that information from?

    • Yep. You do get the chauffeur service. Only exception is if you transit in Abu Dhabi then you won’t get the chauffeur service in the UAE.

      • OK. Removed, I will stop spreading this misinformation! – and I will try to remember where I read that it was the case.

        • IIRC there was a period when they were either threatening or did indeed temporarily remove it on AA awards, but then brought it back – am sure I read something about it on OMAAT.

        • Some months ago they withdrew chauffeur service on the cheapest biz paid tickets

  2. Note 1: if looking for award inventory you want to look out for the seats in the first “Guest” column on Ignore the cost if you’ll be using AA miles.

    Note 2: beware: booking with AA miles is sometimes non trivial as the Etihad award availability doesn’t seem to sync as consistently well with AA’s systems as you’d hope. Etihad isn’t a Oneworld partner after all. E.g. recently AA agents in the US or Europe have not been able to see much Etihad award inventory. Calling AA in Australia was the hack unearthed on flyertalk.

  3. Oh, and the other gotcha that might surprise someone new to Etihad bookings with AA miles: Etihad regularly fly three different aircraft types between London and Abu Dhabi (A380, A340, 777) and whilst still uncommon aircraft change happens more often than with most airlines of most routes.

  4. They’re flying from Melbourne for next summer – booked a seat for a friend on Melbourne – Abu Dhabi – London, was totally painless via AA Oz call centre.

  5. It seems to come and go. A few weeks ago there were up to SIX business seats on some of the 77W flights ex LHR. That seems to have dried up now.
    Also up to SIX first seats on some routes (NOT A380).

    It varies massively.

  6. There were 8 seats available Auh to Lhr on the 28th October as I had booked 4 and there were still 4 available.
    However having seen Rob’s Instagram photos decided to book 2 in F, and 2 in J, as we did outbound. I note passengers from others cabins can’t join us, however I will ask.
    Unfortunately etihad’s miles don’t post quickly enough when you cancel seats and their current bonus points aren’t posting particularly quickly in their current offer so I ended up missing one F Seat as it sold whilst i was waiting for the points to re-appear.
    That meant I moved all 4 seats to the same flight a day later on both outbound and inbound. That should have been relatively simple but Etihad did make it a long drawn out process due to a problem with their booking process however it got sorted satisfactorily in the end 🙂

  7. Amtexfly says:

    Does guest availability also mean that there is space to upgrade from economy to business or are these two separate entities?

  8. Dannyrado says:

    Now all they need to do is apply a bit of Etihad logic to airberlin, and release a few more seats on the txl-Auh route…

  9. Im rather new to this so apologies if its a simple question. In order to redeem Etihad reward availability through AA, can this only be done via AA call centres or can it also be done on AA online?

  10. *using

  11. It’s just a shame that AA is not an AMEX MR partner …

    • That’s why we are so happy about the return of the bonus on the SPG card for us lucky elected targetedpeople!i been approved on the spot when i re applied on Sunday. So happy!
      Otherwise try to get AA Mbna as long it exists and if there is a decent bonus

  12. For a similar price what would you choose? Etihad or Qatar in business to Asia? Also what would be better as a stopover between Abu Dhabi and Doha? Never tried any of them

    • Etihad A380 business is hugely impressive. It is all down to aircraft type – see who is flying their flagship aircraft on the route you want. If you can’t get Etihad A380 business then I’d put Qatar 787 / A380 / A350 business on a par with Etihad 777 business. Doha and Abu Dhabi are equally dull (compared to Dubai) for a stopover!

      The Qatar mega-lounge at Hamad – indeed the whole of Hamad International Airport – is more interesting than AUH but, again, you will be perfectly happy with either.

  13. Lostantipod says:

    I too booked the impressive A380 business studio for my flight next month. Now the flight is on one of the old 777’s, not nearly as impressive, and circumstances are that I can’t change it. Don’t say you weren’t warned ….

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