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The Etihad Guest devaluation turns out not to be much of a devaluation after all

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Etihad Guest had its long-awaited ‘devaluation’ yesterday.  Expectations were low, especially as Etihad had refused to tell anyone what the changes were going to be.

And yet it isn’t bad.  For UK residents redemptions in Business Class have got cheaper, albeit with a minor uptick in taxes of about £30.

A one-way in Business Class from London to Abu Dhabi drops from circa 66,000 to 62,000

A one-way in Business Class from Dublin to Abu Dhabi drops from circa 71,000 to 62,000

Etihad Guest changes live

Some routes have gone up a little, others are flat, others are down.  Taxes are only modestly up.  We really can’t complain.  There is some evidence that flight upgrade costs and some economy routes have gone up more sharply but without access to the historical data I can’t be sure.

If you ever redeem on Emirates you will know that taxes and charges are out of control.  And I say that as a man who redeem a lot of Avios!  I was worried that Etihad Guest would go the same way, but it hasn’t. If you are not already an Etihad Guest member, you can sign up here and receive 500 bonus miles.

This table makes interesting reading:

Cost of a one-way Business Class redemption from Dubai / Abu Dhabi to London:

British Airways (no chauffeur service) from Dubai:

50,000 Avios off-peak or 60,000 Avios peak + £183

Virgin Atlantic (no chauffeur service) from Dubai:

37,500 miles off-peak or 47,500 miles peak + £180

Emirates (chauffeur service at arrival and departure airport) from Dubai:

62,500 miles + £330 (Note that an Emirates Saver reward is 90,000 miles return – so effectively 45,000 miles each way – in Business Class but you can only book it as a return and availability is restricted.)

Etihad (chauffeur service in UAE) from Abu Dhabi:

62,632 miles + £134

Etihad is looking pretty good compared with peak date BA or Virgin when you factor in the great seat.  £50 less tax than Avios or Virgin Flying Club, car service in Abu Dhabi to anywhere in the UAE and minimal mileage difference on peak dates.  Remember that Abu Dhabi is only a very short drive to Dubai – it took us 65 minutes to get from the airport to Jumeirah Beach in October.

From London, Etihad runs an ‘all A380’ fleet.  I rate the A380 Business Class Studio seat very highly indeed.  I know that Etihad seems to have cut back on food, drink, amenity kits and quite a lot else in the past 18 months, so I am wary of being too gushing, but the seat itself is excellent.

My review of the A380 seat is here.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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:

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 (21)

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  • Talay says:

    Miles / points required for LHR-BKK return were jacked up ahead of the “devaluation” then dropped in the last week but post devaluation jumped up about 15%. This is of particular interest to me as I am sitting on what was enough to get a 75% cash and points option but today I’m sitting on under 70%.

    I have options if the cash price falls or goes into a sale but no ticketing options if prices don’t fall a similar 15% or so. However, they did run a 30% of sale last year around this time so fingers crossed.

  • shd says:

    We really really like the EY J and F products (EY F is my wife’s all-time favourite) – even on the older A340 aircraft – if only transferring at AUH weren’t such a royal pain!

    Last but one time we flew EY we arrived s/h from Muscat in business on a badly-delayed flight, connecting to onward flight in EY F, with the kids (aged 5 and 1) and were told by the EY gate agent “your onward flight is from gate XX at the other terminal – Run!” (and run we did, carrying our bags and the crying kids, including a farcical security check where we just kept setting off the x-ray and eventually they waved us all through anyway…)

    We were the last passengers to board the onward flight, where they shut the door immediately behind us.

    So much for premium!

  • Westers says:

    I know you have mentioned the Abu Dhabi transfer to dubai before, do you have a particular taxi/limousine company you use? Flying BA into AUH, would also need a good infant seat in the car.

    • Rob says:

      Etihad gives us a car so its not an issue. If you need a car seat just get your hotel to send a car to the airport for you. For everyone else just grab a cab at the airport, you won’t have any bother and they are dirt cheap.

  • Nick Burch says:

    I’m looking for flights to Bangalore for later this year, so figured I’d check to see what Qatar were offering in the sale. Given that their Indian flights arrive in the middle of the night, changing somewhere in India for a domestic flight isn’t fun, so really needs to be a BLR arrival. Checking various ex-EU options, the cheapest OneWorld option I can find isn’t actually Qatar in the sale, it’s BA from Madrid or Barcelona! Seat isn’t as good, but earns more avios, and quite a bit cheaper…

    (I managed to price up some decent LHR to Goa flights, but the 3am arrival into Goa then later domestic flight to Bangalore ruled that out. Goa and Delhi seem the cheapest Indian options for people who actually want to go to one of those cities on Qatar!)

    • Intentionally Blank says:

      Flew via Delhi to bengaluru with VS / Jet in October. Got a £800 upgrade from Economy to UC with Virgin and a £100 holiday special upgrade with Jet at delhi airport. Overnighted in Delhi, as most of the european flights get in at ridiculous times into Bengaluru. Colleagues flew with LH

  • Nathan says:

    Finding it hard to get a BKK flight for that price now!

    • Rob says:

      Garuda has Bangkok out of Heathrow for £1100 at the moment, credit to SkyTeam.

  • S***o says:

    OT/ BA 2-4-1

    I have flights booked using a 2-4-1 (LGW-TPA // MIA-LHR) – both in Club
    I’ve seen a flight come up strangely for LHR-DFW in First, is it easy enough to swap over? I take it, it would need to be a call centre job? – Assuming they would charge the £35 change fee per person.

    If not – Anybody have experience of getting from LHR to LGW with luggage? Car hire easiest?
    Debating whether to park at LGW or LHR.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, call centre and £35.

      National Express bus is the cheapest way. A taxi is 2nd cheapest at about £70. Car hire would be crazy and a massive waste of time.

      • shd says:

        Unless you rent from Sixt, in which case you’d collect your car from the Sofitel T5 underground car park and return it right outside the South terminal at LGW…

      • Nick says:

        Rubbish analysis again… not quite true :p

        The cheapest way is train to Croydon and the X26. But don’t do that if you value your sanity.
        Next is the train (via Clapham) to feltham and then a bus to Heathrow.
        Easiest way is National Express or megabus, who occasionally have good advance fares so do check them out. Otherwise a standard ticket is £25.

        • Rob says:

          I doubt anyone is realistically going to do it your way! I certainly wouldn’t.

    • mark2 says:

      Try for a one way hire here
      the website is clunky and only seems to work near date, but worth a try

  • giggle says:

    Hi, so we were thinking of going to Tokyo and saw the Helsinki price. I would never normally afford to go in business (also don’t have the miles balances as you guys have). Would any one know the if the wait in Doha is covered with a free hotel stay? At the moment Helsinkin to Tokyo out is a 6 hour wait, which is fine. On the way back it’s 30 hours and not sure if I ring Qatar airlines and ask them or book using the finland page (however I can’t see how I can break the journey in doha on return to put in an overnight stay). Does the sale close at midnight ourtime?

    • Rob says:

      How can it be a 30 hour wait? The Helsinki and Tokyo services must be at least daily? If it is over 8 hours with no possible way to reduce it to 8 hours by taking different flights that day then will get a hotel.

      • giggle says:

        Thank you Rob for super fast reply and of course you are right. The 30 hours came from reading the posts and I then tried the google flights option for the first time to find the promo fares. When I tried the Finland page after the first search it would stop researching at the “promo rate” unless I clicked back to the original offer page and put in exact dates. Google flights gave me all the available dates for the month for the promo fares (including the 30 hours stop over according to google). In the end we paid to put a booking on hold for 24 hours, with much shorter stop over!

    • Talay says:

      I’ve seen these as well and I have heard conflicting stories on accommodating passengers on long layovers. At best, if a delay is extended then you may get assistance but not if it is a scheduled delay.

      Even on the Helsinki one, seriously, preserve your sanity and get one with 3 hours or less.

      Sort Qatar by duration and drop everything over around 17 hours. You won’t find any ultra special fares on date you want this late in the day but when you can fly Finnair for circa £1350/1400 why go searching out ex EU starting places and end up carting bags back and forth through airports ?

      • giggle says:

        Thanks Talay.
        We don’t mind carting the bags around as have the time to make use of multi stop flights and sightsee. I have put a hold on the Ex Eu and will look up your suggestions of finnar options tomorrow.

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