Etihad has launched a new long haul sale which it is calling its ‘biggest sale of the year’. Given it is only mid-January this is probably true ….
Prices are decent albeit not jaw-dropping. Economy lead-in fares are from £299 whilst business class flights from London start at £1,499.
You must book by the 23rd January for travel until 31st August. The Etihad sale page is here and we will run through some of the deals below.
Etihad sale deals from London
Here are the business class flight deals from London:
- Dubai from £1,499 (via the connecting bus – more on that below)
- Abu Dhabi from £1,699
- Bengaluru from £1,499
- Hyderabad from £1,699
- Islamabad from £1,499
- Kuala Lumpur from £1,999
- Male from £1,999
- Mumbai from £1,499
- Seychelles from £1,999
- Singapore from £1,999
- Tokyo from £1,999
Despite flying to Abu Dhabi, the cheapest fares are to Dubai via the connecting bus service. You can save between £100 and £200 depending on what class you are in.
Could you book the Dubai fare for a cheap trip to Abu Dhabi?
Let’s put it this way. Under no circumstances can you drop a leg of a flight and keep your ticket intact. If Etihad flew between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and you didn’t turn up for the last leg to Dubai, your return flight would immediately be cancelled.
Similarly, if you failed to turn up at Dubai for the first leg of the flight home, your Abu Dhabi to London flight would be cancelled.
Will bad things happen if you don’t get on the bus? I’ve honestly got no idea, but for total safety you should take the ride – even if it means turning around in Dubai and getting a taxi straight back to Abu Dhabi. Online feedback we’ve seen says that you’ll be totally fine, however.
Before booking, look at the details of the Dubai bus service on this page of the Etihad website.
Try starting in another European city
Flights are even cheaper if you are willing to start your journey from outside the UK. You can easily get fares from €1,199 from Frankfurt, Dublin, Vienna etc.
Here are some examples. From Vienna:
- Abu Dhabi from €1,499
- Bangkok from €1,299
- Bengaluru from €1,199
- Dubai from €1,399
- Kuala Lumpur from €1,699
- Lahore from €1,199
- Male from €1,999
- Singapore from €1,849
- Kuala Lumpur from €1,489
- Male from €1,599
- Mumbai from €1,199
- Seychelles from €1,599
- Singapore from €1,399
- Sydney from €2,399
- Colombo from €1,199
- Doha from €1,199
- Dubai from €1,199
- Melbourne from €2,199
- Seoul from €1,499
- Tokyo from €1,499
Fares vary across the Eurozone – for example, return flights in business class to Male (Maldives) are €1,999 from Vienna but €1,599 from Frankfurt. It is worth shopping around to find the best deals.
What is Etihad like?
The review is six years old, but Rob flew the seat on holiday with his family in 2018 and 2019. Little has changed, except for the new Etihad amenity kits and the fact that you will be on a Boeing 787, rather than A380, from London.
It is light years ahead of British Airways Club World, although Club Suite is a different story. (In fact, Etihad has just selected the Collins Super Diamond seat – the basis for Club Suite – as its business class seat on its A350s.)
What about my miles?
Etihad is not in an airline alliance. It does, however, have a lot of airline partners with whom you can redeem.
Your main options are:
- credit to an Etihad Guest account, top it up with American Express Membership Rewards points and redeem for a flight on Etihad or one of its partners
- credit to an Etihad Guest account and turn your miles into cash (on a virtual Visa gift card) via an Etihad Guest Reward Card
- credit to an American Airlines account (AA is an Etihad partner) which gets you access to oneworld redemptions including British Airways
- credit to Air Europa – this one is now risky, since IAG’s deal to buy the airline seems to be off. However, if BA’s parent company does still buy Air Europa, its frequent flyer scheme will swich to Avios when the takeover is complete.
How to pay for your ticket
If you are paying in Sterling or don’t have a credit card with 0% foreign exchange fees, your best option for paying is American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.
Amex Gold offers double points on all flight bookings and 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. Our review of Amex Gold is here.
The main Etihad sale page is here. You need to book by 23rd January.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (February 2024)
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:
- 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 four free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 40,000 Etihad Guest miles.
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 10,000 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.