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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.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (August 2022)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (25)

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  • Robbie says:

    I’ve gotten the chauffeur on an AA booking. Not sure where you got that information from?

    • Manar says:

      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.

      • Rob says:

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

        • Alan says:

          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.

  • Manar says:

    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.

  • Manar says:

    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.

  • Alan says:

    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.

  • James says:

    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.

  • Jason says:

    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 🙂

  • Amtexfly says:

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

  • 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…

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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