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Etihad offers some of the best Business and First Class cabins in the skies and for a limited time, the airline’s latest promotion allows travelers to book those cabins for 30% less than they usually cost. With Amex and Citi both offering a currency that can be transferred into the Etihad Guest program, this could be a good opportunity to book on of Etihad’s premium cabins at a cost we don’t usually see.
I should point out that Etihad Guest is also allowing members to use their miles to save 30% off a host of other things that Etihad Guest Miles can buy (e.g. cars, hotels, etc…) but the best value for most will almost certainly be found by saving 30% on Etihad’s flight awards.
- Only Etihad GuestSeats (saver awards) are bookable using this promotion
- Offer applicable for GuestSeats on selected routes for Etihad Airways operated flights using Etihad Guest Miles booked between 13 – 27 August 2020 (23.59 GST) for travel 13 August 2020 – 31 May 2021*
- The offer can be availed on Etihad.com or via Etihad Guest call center
- Redemptions eligible for travel on Etihad Airways operated flights only
- Upgrades are not permitted on GuestSeats
- This offer is only applicable on the miles value or base fare, applicable taxes and surcharges will have to be paid at the time of ticket issuance and are excluded from the discount
- One-way tickets are permitted
- Stopovers & Open Jaws are not permitted
- Promotional GuestSeats booked within the sale period can be changed, however a fare difference in miles may apply.
- Etihad Guest reserves the right to change the routes and level of discount at any time without notice
- Redemptions on Etihad Guest Airline Partners are excluded from the offer
- Etihad Airways OpenSeats are excluded from the offer
*Etihad doesn’t appear to have published a list of routes that are valid for this promotion but I haven’t yet come across a route on which I’m not offered a 30% discount….although some routes have very limited availability.
Using This Sale
Most people reading this probably don’t have a significant balance of Etihad Guest miles and some may not even have an Etihad Guest account (they’re free) but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot take part in this sale. If you have access to Citi ThankYou Points or American Express Membership Rewards Points this sale is very much in play for you.
The prices below are quoted in Etihad Guest Miles but because Citi ThankYou Points and Amex Membership Rewards Points can be transferred over to Etihad Guest in a ratio of 1:1, the costs shown below will apply to those two currencies too.
Examples of One-Way Business Class Awards:
- New York – Abu Dhabi = 70,000 miles
- London – Abu Dhabi = 43,750 miles
- Paris – Abu Dhabi = 43,758 miles
Examples of One-Way First Class Awards:
- New York – Abu Dhabi: = 95,584 miles*
- London – Abu Dhabi = 61,483 miles
- Paris – Abu Dhabi = 59,527 miles
*I have not been able to find any award availability for this cabin on this route
The big news here is that Etihad’s cheapest awards just became 30% cheaper and that has to be seen as a great bonus to be offered. However, to temper any excitement, it’s only fair to point out that award availability on popular routes can be very limited (awards from New York to Abu Dhabi are incredibly hard to find) and that Etihad is running a very limited schedule right now so a lot of the airline’s usual routes are not currently available for bookings.
It’s also worth pointing out that American Airlines AAdvantage Miles and Aeroplan Miles can be used to book flights on Etihad (at different rates to the ones published by Etihad) so if you have access to either of those two currencies, it’s worth checking to see how much those awards cost compared to the price now being quoted by Etihad. Having said that, it’s probably true to say that a lot of TFM readers will probably have access to more Citi/Amex points than AAdvantage/Aeroplan miles so any differences in award costs may be moot.
Overall, this is a nice promotion to be offered but the reality that we’re facing right now means that the scope to use the 30% discount is greatly reduced. There’s no doubt that Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment is a wonderful way to travel (and a great way to socially-distance yourself on an aircraft!) and that the airline’s Business Class seats can be pretty fantastic too (more so on the A380s than on the 777s), but there are a lot of barriers to travel right now.
First, you have to decide if you’re even prepared to consider traveling abroad, then you’ll have to find a destination to which its safe to travel, which hasn’t imposed onerous entry conditions, which isn’t on your home country’s “do not fly to” list and to which Etihad offers a service. Then, if you manage to get past all of that, you will still need to find award availability on dates that work for you. That’s quite a lot of hurdles to clear and, to be frank, I don’t see many people managing to clear them very easily.
There’s a reason Etihad is offering a generous sale like this and it’s because the airline knows that international long-haul travel is simply not an option for most of us right now. Sure, 2021 may be a lot better than 2020 and travel may be easier next year…but that doesn’t get us past the fact that Etihad is not offering GuestSeat award space on a lot of its routes right now.
It’s great having a 30% discount on Etihad’s cheapest award seats but it would be better if we were being offered this when making the most of it didn’t look quite so daunting.