Free upgrades from business to first class on Etihad for OCBC Voyage cardholders

This current promo by OCBC Voyage allows you to pay business class rates for first class tickets to selected destinations. Is it worth checking out?

Sometime last week a most intriguing email ended up in my inbox:

Full terms and conditions can be viewed here, but in a nutshell, it offers the chance for you to fly on Etihad first class while paying for business class fares.

The eligible routes:

  • ABU DHABI/DUBAI all-in from S$3,418
  • PARIS all-in from S$4,538
  • MILAN all-in from S$4,778
  • MUNICH all-in from S$5,048
  • NEW YORK all-in from S$6,258
  • WASHINGTON all-in from S$6,378
  • LOS ANGELES all-in from S$6,648

I was rather nervous about that repeated ‘from’ in every line, especially there’s no way to search for rates on your own, so I dropped an email to enquire about the rates for flights to Paris or New York.

I asked for quotations flying 8/22 Dec 2018 to Paris and New York. The prices were surprisingly close to the advertised rates, and are also about half of what the first class revenue tickets are going for.

Etihad Apartments

Why Paris and New York? Well, Etihad operates the A380 on the AUH-CDG and AUH-JFK routes, where first class tickets get you into Apartments (pretty much the equivalent of SQ’s Suites). Unfortunately, the Milelion has yet to review Etihad products, but The Point Guy’s review does make it look pretty sweet!

Image via TPG

Given that we don’t get many avenues of transferring to Etihad Guest in Singapore (Citi has them as a transfer partner), this offers an additional avenue of access for those of us based here.


I must say that I was rather tempted (as were others in the Milelion team) by the offer, but in the end I decided that I simply don’t have that kind of money to throw around right now.

For the rest of you (especially those of you who were previously eyeing the OCBC Premier (and above) versions of the card that earn 1.6mpd), this might be something worth checking out. You only need to book by 30 April (for travel period up to 31 Dec 2018), so there’s probably some time to apply for that OCBC Voyage card, if you haven’t already yet…

Louis Tan
Louis Tan
Louis believes he caught the premium travel bug after attaining KrisFlyer Elite Gold and occasionally being upgraded while shuttling between the UK, Singapore and Japan (in economy class). These travels have led to a wonderful marriage, as well as a burning desire to avoid flying long-haul economy. He previously travelled with a gryphon plush toy, Griffles, which often stood in for him in vacation photos. Griffles is mostly busy with entertaining a toddler these days, but still manages to continues amusing (and confusing) air stewardesses, hotel staff (and just about everybody else) all around the world.

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I think this is a great promotion! One with real benefits, not like some of the frankly quite bogus ones that are written about. Here’s why: – like you I was freaked out by the “from” but the rates seem to be close to the advertised ones. – the fares are actually pretty reasonable for premium travel. To put into context, SQ charges up to 9k for a business class return to London. CDG is less, 5-6 maybe. – i don’t know if you can compare The Apartment with SQ suites. On Etihad there is a shower!!!! This is something… Read more »

Aaron Wong

“wet with longing”


I’m longing to get wet too.

Somehow that didn’t come out right…


I took Etihad Apartment SYD-AUH, using AA miles before their chart devaluation. It was awesome!