Deal Alert: Fantastic Etihad Biz and First Award Space Between the US and Abu Dhabi

Here’s your chance to fly one of the best first-class
products in the sky — the Etihad
Apartments
. Aside from having your own mini “apartment,”
when flying this luxurious product, you’ll be treated to
champagne, access to Etihad’s amazing lounge in Abu Dhabi and
even a shower 30,000 feet in the sky (when flying the Airbus
A380).

Being such a coveted product, it typically isn’t very easy to
come across award availability, let alone on some of the
airline’s longest routes, between the US and Abu Dhabi (AUH). But
that isn’t the case today. Etihad is currently offering a
plethora of first class award space on flights between major US
cities and Abu Dhabi. Even better, you can book these awards using
American Airlines miles and you can
do so online
.

We first saw availability on Etihad’s Abu Dhabi to New York
(JFK) route reported on Spencer Howard’s Straight to the
Points newsletter
and then shared by Spencer on
God Save the Points
. The Straight to the
Points newsletter
is a good resource if you’re looking for
alerts when multiple premium cabin award seats become
available.

However, upon digging a little deeper, TPG has discovered that
availability is a lot more widespread than it may have first
appeared. For instance, there’s practically wide open award space
on Etihad’s Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles (LAX) route, also operated
by an A380 with the first class apartments.

If you don’t mind flying Etihad’s first class suite product,
as opposed to The Apartment, there’s also a ton of award space on
the Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles (LAX) route operated by the 787-9
Dreamliner
.

Alternatively, you can book business class on many of these
routes. Most routes have at least two award seats available in
first class and four in business.

Etihad’s business class products on the
A380
and B787
have both received high marks from the TPG team.

(Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)Etihad’s
business class on the Boeing 787-9. (Photo by Javier Rodriguez /
The Points Guy)

The one bummer about this deal is that the availability is only
for flights to the US, and not the other way around. So, to get to
Abu Dhabi in first class, you’ll need to fly American Airlines or
British Airways with a connection in a city like London (LHR) or
Paris (CDG). Just note that British Airways tacks on high
fuel surcharges
. Additionally, you won’t want to make the
mistake of booking a mixed-cabin
award
.

The one exception to this is Etihad’s Chicago (ORD) to Abu
Dhabi (AUH) flights. We’re seeing plenty of business class award
availability on this route.

If you’re fine with flying — dare I say — coach,
there’s plenty nonstop economy availability on Etihad. This is
just
another example
of how it’s much easier to book great awards,
or crazy cheap first class flights, when originating overseas.

To book head over to AA.com, plug in Abu Dhabi
(AUH) as your origin or destination airport and use the calendar
search function to easily find your preferred flight dates. Award
availability is most prevalent from February through May
2020.
Fuel surcharges and taxes on the Abu Dhabi to US
routes are quite reasonable at about $69 when originating in Abu
Dhabi.  You’ll want to use a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Card
or Chase Sapphire Reserve
to pay for the taxes so that you’re covered by the the cards’

excellent travel protections
.

If you don’t have any American miles you can transfer Marriott
Rewards to the American at a 3:1 ratio (with a 5,000 mile bonus for
every 60,000 points transferred). You can also book this flight
with Etihad Guest miles, starting from 136,460 miles between JFK
and AUH, although taxes and fees will be around $250.  You can
transfer Amex, Capital One and Citi points to the Etihad Guest
program.

Additionally, just the sign-up bonus along on one of these

American Airlines credit cards
could get you almost enough
miles for an Etihad business class flight:

  • Citi / AAdvantage
    Executive World Elite Mastercard
    : Earn 50,000 bonus
    miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of
    account opening. Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airlines
    purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. ($450 annual fee)
  • Citi / AAdvantage Platinum
    Select World Elite Mastercard
    : Earn 50,000 miles after
    making $2,500 in purchases within the first three months of account
    opening. Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on gas station, restaurant and
    American Airlines purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. ($99 annual fee,
    waived for the first year)

  • CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World
    Mastercard
    : Earn 60,000 bonus miles after making
    $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.
    Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on telecommunications, cable/satellite
    providers, car rental merchants, gas station and American Airlines
    purchases and 1 mile elsewhere. ($99 annual fee, waived for the
    first year)
  • Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite
    Mastercard
    : Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after
    making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99
    annual fee. Earn 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airlines
    purchases, and 1 mile elsewhere.

Photos by JT Genter / The Points Guy

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Deal Alert: Fantastic Etihad Biz and First Award Space Between the US and Abu Dhabi