Etihad Guest Sweet Spots for award tickets in business class or economy

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Etihad Guest sweet spots are among some of the most interesting values with some of the cheapest partner award pricing (in very specific situations) for flights to Europe and Africa. They also have some very unique partnerships that enable those looking to travel extensively outside of the United States to get some great values in niche situations. This post is meant to highlight the best of its sweet spots for flights to/from North America.

Etihad Guest Sweet Spots
Ironically, you aren’t going to get great value flying Etihad with Etihad Guest miles, but they do have some terrific sweet spots with their partners.

A note about additional Etihad Guest Sweet Spots

Below we note Etihad Guest sweet spots for flights to/from North America as that is likely to be of greatest interest to the majority of readers. However, it is worth noting that some of Etihad Guest’s sweetest spots are connecting other regions on its various partners. The most famous example is the Czech Airways route from Prague to Seoul, which (at least before it stopped operating) has featured lie-flat business class in a former Korean Airways plane for 25,610 miles one-way. Ten hours in business class for less than 26K miles was an amazing deal for those who were able to take advantage (here’s hoping the route comes back some day!).

Etihad Guest Sweet Spots
ANA business class within Asia can be a decent value via Etihad Guest thanks to a distance-based chart with competitive pricing on short to medium length routes.

There are other strong points in their chart like short flights within Brazil on GOL or Oman Air from Muscat to Bangkok (6hr+ flight time) in business class for 34K miles or first class for 63K miles, or things that might be useful in the right situation like Bangkok Airways business class from Samui to Singapore for 20K miles each way. Here is a link to the full list of Etihad partner award charts.

Collecting miles

Transfer points

Etihad Guest is an Amex transfer partner, Citi transfer partner, Marriott transfer partner, and Capital One transfer partner, so it is easy to accumulate miles from transfers. We sometimes see transfer bonuses to Etihad Guest from hotel programs, so you may be able to stretch your Marriott points a bit further. Standard point transfer ratios are as follows:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer RatioChase Transfer RatioCiti Transfer RatioMarriott Transfer RatioCapital One Transfer RatioBrex Transfer Ratio
Etihad Guest1 to 11 to 1
(~1 week)
60K to 25K1 to 1

Etihad Guest Sweet Spot Awards (Economy Class)

Africa from 22K miles each way

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers a good value for flying on Royal Air Maroc between the US and Casablanca.
  • Miles required: 22K miles each way in economy class plus about $120 in fuel surcharges one-way between North America and Casablanca.
  • How to find awards: Search for award space at RoyalAirMaroc.com or AA.com. (You’ll need to create a free Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer account to search at the Royal Air Maroc website).
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Note that Etihad Guest adds fuel surcharges. The best way to find the total in taxes & fuel surcharges is to check ITA Matrix.
  • Transfer from: Amex, Citi

Asia from 25K each way

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers excellent value for flying on American Airlines in premium cabins, using rates known by long-time hobbyists as AA's "old award chart" for its own flights, though AA is not known for releasing plentiful award space. They also offer decent value for flying in economy class from the West Coast on ANA or Asiana.
  • Miles required: On American, there is off-peak pricing between the US and Japan or Korea from October 1st to April 30th. At that time, economy class is 25K each way. During the rest of the year, it is 32.5K to Asia 1 and awards to Asia 2 are 35K all year long. There are no fuel surcharges on AA.Etihad uses distance-based award charts for ANA and Asiana. Fuel surcharges are mild on Asiana and nearly-nonexistent on ANA to/from Japan. Here are the sweet spots:
    • Seattle to Tokyo on ANA for 30K miles
    • Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles to Seoul on Asiana for 35K miles
  • How to find awards: Search for award space at United.com.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again). Note also that Etihad Guest does add fuel surcharges. The best way to find the total in taxes & fuel surcharges is to check ITA Matrix.
  • Transfer from: Amex, Citi, Capital One, Marriott

Europe from 20K each way

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers a good value for flying on American Airlines between the US and Europe during off-peak dates (October 15 - May 15).
  • Miles required: 20K each way in economy class on American Airlines during off-peak dates (October 15 - May 15). Peak pricing is 30K each way. Note that in either instance, you will need to see saver space available via American Airlines in order to book with Etihad. If your travel is during peak dates, also consider Brussels Airlines from New York JFK or Washington IAD, which would be 27K each way in economy class (search for space on Brussels via United.com).
  • How to find awards: Search for American Airlines award space at Qantas.com. Note that you could also use the British Airways site, but it is known to sometimes show phantom AA availability.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again).
  • Transfer from: Amex Membership Rewards, Capital OneCiti Thank You, Marriott

South America from 17.5K each way

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers AA's "old" award chart prices, including an excellent price to northern South America and decent pricing to southern South America, (particularly good during off-peak dates).
  • Miles required: 17.5K each way in economy class to/from South America 1 (Bolivia, Ecuador, Manaus (Brazil), Colombia, Guyana, and Peru). 20K off-peak or 30K peak to/from South America 2 (the rest of South America). Note that Etihad also partners with Gol, so you can alternatively fly from Orlando or Miami to Brasilia for 23K miles each way in economy class.
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at BritishAirways.com or Qantas.com.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Note that the British Airways site sometimes fails to show AA availability, so using Qantas to search for availability may be your best bet.
  • Transfer from: Amex, Citi, Capital One, Marriott

Etihad Guest Sweet Spot Awards (Premium Cabins)

Africa from 44K each way in business class

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers a good value for flying on Royal Air Maroc between the US and Casablanca.
  • Miles required: 44K miles each way in business class between North America and Casablanca plus about $170 in fuel surcharges one-way. Additional segments are priced individually.
  • How to find awards: Search for award space at RoyalAirMaroc.com. You’ll need to create a free Royal Air Maroc Safar Flyer account to search.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again). Note also that Etihad Guest does add fuel surcharges. The best way to find the total in taxes & fuel surcharges is to check ITA Matrix.
  • Transfer from: Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points.

Asia for from 50K each way in business class, from 62.5K in first

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers excellent value for flying on American Airlines in premium cabins, using rates known by long-time hobbyists as AA's "old award chart" for its own flights, though AA is not known for releasing plentiful award space. Etihad also very good value for flying in business class from the West Coast on ANA or Asiana.
  • Miles required: Pricing on American Airlines is 50K business class to Asia 1 (Japa/Korea) or 55K to Asia 2. First class is 62.5K Asia 1 / 67.5K Asia 2.There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American Airlines. Etihad uses distance-based award charts for ANA and Asiana. The sweet spot on ANA is Seattle to Tokyo for 54K miles in business class. pm Asiana, you can fly from Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles to Seoul for 59K miles in business class. I believe that Etihad collects fuel surcharges on both ANA and Asiana, but those surcharges are known to be mild on Asiana (likely ~$100 one-way) and nearly-nonexistent on ANA (less than $10 from the US to Tokyo).
  • How to find awards: Search for award space at United.com.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again). Note also that Etihad Guest does add fuel surcharges. The best way to find the total in taxes & fuel surcharges is to check ITA Matrix.
  • Transfer from: Amex, Citi, Capital One, Marriott

Europe for 44K each way

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers a good value for flying on American Airlines, Brussels Airlines, or Royal Air Maroc between the US and Europe.
  • Miles required: 44K each way in business class on Brussels Airlines or 44K to Casablanca on Royal Air Maroc (connections to Europe will add additional miles now, fuel surcharges around $170 each way) or 50K each way in business class on American Airlines (no fuel surcharges). First class on AA is only 62.5K miles one-way, but AA only operates 3-cabin first class on a couple of routes and award space may be hard to come by.
  • How to find awards: Search for Brussels award space on United.com or American award space on AA.com (you may want to double-check availability at Qantas.com)
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again).
  • Transfer from: Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You Marriott Bonvoy

South America for 30K or 50K each way in business class

  • The short story: Etihad's award chart for American Airlines flights is very competitive. The struggle is finding award space in premium cabins on AA flights.
  • Miles required: Etihad offers zone-based pricing on American Airlines flights, with business class to South America Zone 1 for 30K miles each way (includes Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Belize, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela). Business class to South America Zone 2 is 50K miles each way (includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile (excludes Easter Island), Paraguay, and Uruguay).
  • How to find awards: Search BritishAirways.com or Qantas.com for American Airlines award space, then call Etihad Guest.
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Finding premium cabin space on AA is generally very difficult.
  • Transfer from: Capital OneCiti, Marriott

Oceania for 62.5K in business or 72.5K in first class, but tough to find

  • The short story: Etihad Guest offers flights on American Airlines based on the old American Airlines chart (which itself devalued several years ago).
  • Miles required: 62.5K each way in business class, 72.5K each way in first class
  • How to find awards: Search for American saver award space on AA.com (you may want to double-check availability at Qantas.com)
  • How to book awards: Call Etihad Guest at 1-877-690-0767.
  • Key warnings: Etihad phone agents have historically had trouble booking partner awards, though the new call center in Serbia appears to be quite competent. If your agent appears to be having trouble, you might want to HUCA (hang up, call again). Note that finding saver premium cabin availability on American Airlines is only slightly more likely than getting struck by lightning.

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