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Etihad is now selling Economy passengers empty seats on its flights

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A friend of mine who is about to fly Etihad sent me an interesting offer he had received.

Etihad is offering him the ability to bid to ‘buy’ empty seats around him.  The minimum bid, for an Abu Dhabi to Heathrow sector, was:

  • £50 to get an empty seat next to him
  • £100 to be seated alone on a row of three economy seats
  • £150 to be seated alone on a centre row of four economy seat

Here is a screenshot (click to enlarge):

Etihad charging for empty economy seats next to you

This is not as bad a deal for Etihad as you might think.  An empty seat pays no Air Passenger Duty (although none was due in this case) or airport taxes, does not eat or drink and does not bring any luggage.

It does, however, send a message about Etihad’s anticipated economy load factors.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (January 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.

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