Etihad has been unveiling a steady drip drip of cuts to its Business Class service over the last year or so, in what will clearly end up being a failed attempt to improve its financial position.
Some of these decisions have been bordering on the bizarre. Etihad scrapped free pyjamas in Business Class, but then started letting Economy Class passengers pay for them. But not Business Class passengers ….
Data caps have been tightened on in-flight internet. The spa in the Heathrow lounge was closed, but only after free treatments had already been removed for most passengers. Paid-for lounge access was introduced at its First Class and Business Class facilities. Baggage limits were recently tweaked – not entirely for the worst, admittedly, but primarily so.
The chauffeur service has been cut four times. Back in 2016 they removed chauffeur cars on reward tickets booked using miles from partner airlines such as American. Cars were removed from the cheapest cash Business Saver tickets. Last year, more importantly, they scrapped the chauffeur service outside the UAE for all passengers.
In the latest development, from 1st April First and Business Class reward tickets will no longer qualify for free chauffeur car trips in the UAE. Cash tickets, except Business Saver, will continue to count. This new rule applies irrespective of when you booked your ticket.
Full details are on this page of the Etihad website.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (August 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).