Etihad Airways recently announced promotion on purchasing miles (ends on 6/19/20. From 6,000 miles to 20,000 miles, 20% bonus will be given; from 21,000 miles to 40,000 miles, 40% bonus will be given; from 40,000 miles to 100,000 miles (or 150,000 miles if you are Etihad Guest Platinum member). Originally, Etihad Guest miles are sold at 2.00 cents per miles (cpm) but with this promotion, miles can be purchased at 1.67 cpm (with 20% bonus), 1.43 cpm (with 40% bonus) or 1.25 cpm (with 60% bonus). This is the second lowest sale that Etihad ever had (with up to 40% discount, you were able to purchase at 1.2 cpm when purchased 100,000 miles), so this is definitely a great opportunity to purchase Etihad Guest miles. However, should you purchase Etihad Guest miles, even with this bonus?
1. Award Booking on American Airlines with Etihad Guest miles
For some reason, Etihad Guest’s award chart for American Airlines flights are exactly the same as older version of award chart of AAdvantage, which was devalued back in 2016. With this, you can book United States to Asia 1 (Japan, South Korea) with only 50,000 Etihad Guest miles for business class and 62,500 Etihad Guest miles for first class (if available). This is very generous redemption rate, as same flights would cost 60,000 AAdvantage miles and 80,000 AAdvantage miles, respectively. Also, for other Asian destinations (Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai), business class would cost 55,000 Etihad Guest miles and first class would cost 67,500 Etihad Guest miles, while same would cost 70,000 AAdvantage miles and 110,000 AAdvantage miles.
2. Availability of Award
Even great thing is that, due to COVID-19 pandemic, saver award availability, which is necessary to book American Airlines flight with Etihad Guest flights, has been great. For example, business class availability for flight between United States and Seoul, South Korea (ICN) can be found in almost any given date, besides around Christmas and New Years Day. Other destinations, like Tokyo (TYO), Hong Kong (HKG), Beijing (PEK), and Shanghai (PVG) has some availability (definitely more than last year), but not as many as flight to Seoul (ICN).
Like flights to Asia, other destinations have plentiful availability. While it is not the best time to travel, if you need to travel overseas, for any reason, American Airlines flights using Etihad Guest miles can be the cost-effective option.
3. Things to note
If you would like to use Etihad Guest miles to book American Airlines flight, you would need to call Etihad Guest Service Center (USA: +1 877-690-0767) to make a booking. To find the availability of American flights, it is recommended to use American Airlines’s partner airlines’ websites (e.g. Alaska Airlines, Japan Airlines, Qantas Airways etc.). If you can find availability on those websites with American Airlines (note that whole journey needs to be consisted of American Airlines flights only). Also American Airlines are known to use married-segment logic so you may not find any availability for non-stop flights. In addition, if you need more Etihad Guest miles, you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One, and Marriott Bonvoy. And if you do not have any immediate plan for booking, I would not suggest you to hoard on Etihad Guest miles, as it expires after 2 years. If you have any other questions on booking American Airlines flights using Etihad Guest miles, feel free to leave a comment.
Because of COVID-19 pandemic, it has been extremely difficult to make a travel arrangement, but it has created numerous opportunities for awesome award redemption. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic, Etihad Guest miles weren’t too great, as American Airlines restricted saver availability greatly, but with plethora of availability on many long-haul routes, now would be the best time to utilize Etihad Guest miles to book American Airlines flights. So if you have any plans to travel where American Airlines fly to, you may consider to purchase Etihad Guest miles, as low as 1.25 cpm or even transfer points to Etihad Guest and make a booking. If you are considering to make a booking, make sure to check availability first.