Without a doubt, my favourite product I’ve flown is Etihad’s first class apartments on their A380. I’ve done the product 4 times now, and I thought I’d share how you can fly this amazing product.
What points to use?
Despite the devaluation this year American Airlines AAdvantage miles are still very valuable. American charge 100,000 points one-way from Australia. It used only to be 60,000.. oh how I miss those days.
Velocity charges a massive 203,000 points one-way for Etihad first class. On top of that, they now charge a $300USD seating fee. Sadly Velocity points aren’t the best value for Etihad redemptions anymore.
Etihad’s own program ‘Guest’ charge 103,521 points one-way for first class. They also charge a $285AUD booking fee.
Searching for Availability
To search for Etihad first class availability, it’s best to use the Etihad availability search.
Etihad is very unpredictable with availability, however, most of the time you’ll see space generally from 24 hours before departure up to 5 days out. Although sometimes they do release space a few weeks or even months out so it’s worth keeping and eye on.
You want to make sure you find “Guest First” seats as these are at a saver level. AA and VA can only book Guest First however if you’re using Etihad Guest you can book normal “First.”
The 777 will often have a lot more availability than the A380 as it’s not in high demand and nowhere near as popular as the A380.
To book these redemptions you have to ring AAdvantage and Velocity but if you’re using Etihad Guest, you can book online. Note: The AAdvanatge Australia centre often can get more Etihad awards than the others for some strange reason.
AAdvantage – 02 9101 1948
Velocity – 136 789
Once you book your tickets, you’ll receive both an AA and EY reservation code or record locator. The AA one will let you change or cancel your ticket and the EY one will enable you to select seats, meals, etc. Sadly award tickets can not use the chauffeur service anymore.
And once you’ve booked your ticket now you have to do the hard part, Wait 😉 The excitement is incredible.
And if you’re flying out of Abu Dhabi you can enjoy the new stunning first class lounge!
Etihad apartments are fantastic, It is worth every point you spend on the redemption. The whole experience Is great from the moment you check-in to the arrival at your destination.