As reported by View from the Wing, Etihad Airways awards for dates within about a month of departure are now bookable on the American Airlines website (aa.com). As it has been notoriously difficult to find and book these awards (you had to book over the phone and US phone agents often do not see space available even when it is), it is very surprising to see them bookable online (though note that One Mile at a Time reports that the website is not showing all availability — see under “Quick Thoughts” below). It’s hard to know whether this is a permanent change or something temporary (we have previously seen some partners come online and then disappear from the online engine — though AA eventually resorted online booking in most of those instances). Long story short, if you’re interested in booking Etihad Airways awards, including first class apartments out of New York or Washington DC, make your move now.
- Book Etihad award tickets on AA.com: First class from USA to the Middle East for 115K one-way, business class for 70K (or other routes around the world)
- Direct link to aa.com
Note that One Mile at a Time reports that the space now shown on AA.com doesn’t paint the whole picture. According to Ben, the space shown on AA.com at the moment is what US call center agents would see when you call in — typically only seats within a month of departure. If you’re looking to book farther in advance, you may still need to call the Australian call center.
Availability isn’t amazing, but you can search direct routes, like New York JFK to Abu Dhabi (AUH), and then filter to nonstop only. I just see a few days in May right now for first class apartments.
However, business class is at least a little more plentiful close to departure.
However, I do notice some glitchiness on the AA site, with some searches showing me the old calendar view shown above and others bringing me to the new interface. One of my favorite sweet-spot redemptions ever was flying Etihad first class from Cairo to Tokyo (with a connection in Abu Dhabi). It wasn’t the famed Etihad apartments, but the award was terrificly priced in my opinion. At the time, I paid 45K American Airlines miles one-way. That award (Middle East to Asia 1) has since increased to 50K miles one-way, but that’s still a steal in my opinion. However, I’m not sure how many routes Etihad still operates with first class in that part of the world, so you’ll have to hunt around if you’re looking for that type of redemption.
Overall, this is exciting news in terms of getting good value out of American Airlines miles, and it may not last — so make your move sooner rather than later if interested.
H/T: View from the Wing