Good Things about Etihad
Luxurious Premium Classes– Etihad has a top 5 business and first class product. They even have a class higher than first class, which is the Residence, which is essentially a small apartment on a plane.
New Planes: Etihad was founded in 2003 and has rapidly expanded, which has resulted in an average plane age of 6 years. They also have 10 very new A380s and 19 787 Dreamliners.
Flying Nanny: On most long-haul flights, Etihad has a flight attendant who was trained by Norland College (where the British Royals nannies study) to help parents with their children. They call them a “Flying Nanny” and it seems like the flight attendants like the program.
Stopover Program– If you have a long layover, Etihad allows you to go play a round of golf or access to the pool for only $40. If you have an overnight layover or booked a stopover, Business Class customers get one free hotel night and First Class customers get two free nights, unless you booked with points, unfortunately. Economy customers get discounted hotels and activities.
Partner Awards- Etihad has an award chart for each partner and several of the award charts offer a great value, especially for American Airlines and Royal Air Maroc.
Bad Things About Etihad
24-Month Points Expiration– Your Etihad points will expire 24 months from earning or transferring the points. There is no way to extend them, so don’t transfer unless you have an exact award confirmed. Luckily, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards instantly.
Points on Etihad Flights– Using Etihad’s own points on their owns flights is fairly expensive compared to using them with their partner airlines. Etihad should adopt a points chart similar to United in which awards on Etihad are slightly cheaper than similar flights on partner airlines.
Poorly Managed– Etihad can deliver a fantastic onboard experience because they are heavily subsidized by their government. However, without that help, Etihad could have been in financial distress due to several bad investments in Air Berlin and Alitalia, which both went bankrupt. This resulted in a huge net loss of $1.87 billion in 2016.
Cost Cutting- Due to Etihad’s poor management, investment in failing airlines, and strong competition from Qatar Airways and Emirates, Etihad has suffered billions of dollars in losses each year. Etihad cut: some long-haul flights (DFW and SFO), chauffeur service, pajamas in business class (but selling them on-board for a price), and cut amenities and food in lounges.
Hub: Abu Dhabi (AUH), United Arab Emirates (all flights go to or from AUH)
Routes: Route Map
North America to Abu Dhabi: Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Toronto, and Washington D.C. (IAD).
Aircraft: Fleet, Deliveries, and Average Age
Seat Maps by Plane: SeatGuru
Seat Maps: Seat Guru
A380 Apartments– Etihad’s first class apartment is one of the top airline products in the world. However, you can only fly the Apartment on one of Etihad’s ten A380s, plus you have access to an onboard shower.
- Routes from Abu Dhabi: New York (EY 101 and 100); London (EY 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, and 20), Paris (EY 31, 32, 37, and 38), and Sydney (EY 450, 451, 454, and 455).
- Award Booking:
- American Airlines: The United States to the Middle East for 115,000 points; Europe to the Middle East for 62,500 points; and Australia to the Middle East for 100,000 points.
- Asiana: The United States to the Middle East for 80,000 points; Europe to the Middle East for 40,000 points; and Australia to the Middle East for 110,000 points.
- Korean: The United States to the Middle East roundtrip for 210,000 (roundtrip) points; Europe to the Middle East roundtrip for 120,000 points; and Australia to the Middle East roundtrip for 210,000 points.
Award Hold: You can ask for a 24-hour hold on an award on an Etihad flight, but not on a partner flight.
Points Expiration: 24 months from earning with no way to extend.