Etihad has jumped on the bandwagon of airlines offering aggressive Business Class discounts out of Scandinavia.
If you have been looking to head to Australia or New Zealand this year, this might work for you.
Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland.
The best departure points seem to be Stockholm or Copenhagen.
Here’s the good news:
There are few black-out dates. Amazingly I was even able to find seats over Christmas at these prices although you need to be flexible.
Here’s the bad news:
The routing is not fun. Typically you will be sent ‘Scandinavia to Western Europe to Abu Dhabi to Australasia’. And you need to get to Stockholm or Copenhagen in the first place!
For the money, though, this is not bad.
Here is a typical Christmas itinerary:
11th December – Stockholm to Amsterdam (SAS), Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Melbourne
30th December – Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Athens, Athens to Stockholm (SAS)
Total cost in Business Class: SEK 21308 (£1903)
If you want to go in the UK Summer, it is cheaper:
8th August – Copenhagen to Munich (Lufthansa), Munich to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Perth
21st August – Perth to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Copenhagen (Lufthansa)
Total cost in Business Class: DKK 19364 (£1731)
The Etihad home page is here. Look for flights from both Stockholm and Copenhagen to your preferred destination.
Whilst the picture above is an A380, most of these routes are using new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. These use the same Business Class Studio seat as the A380s and which I reviewed – very positively – here. You can learn more about the Business Class Studio on the Etihad site here. In addition, if you are not already an Etihad Guest member, you can sign up here and receive 500 bonus miles.
If you don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold which offers triple points – 3 per £1 – when you book flight tickets in a foreign currency. This is because the transaction triggers the ‘double points for airline spend’ and the ‘double points for foreign spend’ bonuses.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (June 2021)
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. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
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.
Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).