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Etihad Guest cuts the cost of First Class flight redemptions, but ….

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The relaunch of Etihad’s frequent flyer programme last week was met with a wall of criticism from across the frequent flyer world. If you felt our piece was critical, you should see some of the other commentary.

What do you expect, of course, when you introduce a 25% to 75% cancellation fee for reward tickets? Or when you change your expiry rules so that a flight – not just activity – is required every 18 months to keep your miles alive?

Etihad cuts some First Class redemption pricing

Some more information about the changes was emailed to members on Thursday. The only new news, for us, was that the cost of some First Class redemptions has been reduced.

We were led to believe that there were no changes to First Class, so this may have been a late tweak. It also comes with a catch.

Etihad’s First Class service, which we last reviewed in 2017, now starts at 120,000 Etihad Guest miles one way between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi. This is down from 140,000 miles.

However …. as far as I can see, only the Boeing 787-9 First Class flights are reduced to 120,000 miles. If you want the full First Class Apartment experience, you don’t want this flight. You want one of the A380 flights, where First Class bears no resemblance to the very standard 1-2-1 First Class seating on the 787-9. It is the A380 First Class Apartment which is pictured below.

My advice is to hand over the extra 20,000 miles and fly on the A380 if Etihad First Class is on your bucket list.


How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (April 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:

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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