Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Etihad is now selling Economy passengers empty seats on its flights!

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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!

Etihad is now selling Economy passengers empty seats!

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own 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 – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, HSBC Premier Mastercard reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard reviewed here).