Etihad Guest has always been a difficult frequent flyer programme to comprehend, thanks to its many, many award charts.
Etihad has more than 20 different airline partners, and each of them has their own unique chart. To further complicate matters, some charts are based on distance, others on routes. It’s just way too much for the average user to navigate, although it should be said that it also creates some lucrative sweet spot opportunities for those willing to dig.
For better or worse, Etihad Guest will soon be simplifying its programme dramatically.
Etihad Guest introducing “simplified redemption table”
Per an email sent out to members, Etihad Guest will be introducing a “simplified redemption table” from 10 March 2023.
The rates will be based on zones across Etihad Airways and our airline partners.
You’ll also have the option to book a redemption flight on American Airlines and Virgin Australia using your miles directly through Etihad.com. Any other partner bookings can still be done through our call centre
On one hand, this is great news. Etihad is introducing a single award chart that applies to travel on Etihad Airways and all its partners, which will eliminate a lot of confusion.
On the other, it’s almost certain that this will lead to the loss of sweet spots with partners like American Airlines and Air Serbia, as all prices gravitate towards a median point. We’ll know for sure on 10 March, but in the meantime I’d highly advise that those with Etihad Guest miles consider cashing out on redemptions like:
- American Airlines: Hong Kong to USA in Business Class for 55,000 miles
- ANA: Japan to Seattle in Business Class for 54,000 miles (or San Francisco/Los Angeles for 63,000 miles)
- Air Serbia: Short-haul flights from 5,000 miles in Economy
- Oman Air: Muscat to London in Business Class for 44,000 miles
- Virgin Australia: Pacific Island flights from 6,900 miles in Economy
Other sweet spot ideas can be found here.
Don’t forget that with Etihad Guest, adding an infant lap child only incurs 10% of the adult mileage cost.
Partner bookings will be available online
Another gripe about the Etihad Guest programme is they don’t make partner redemptions easy. You need to call up and book over the phone, which can either be a mild inconvenience or a cause for loss of faith in humanity.
Fortunately, Etihad Guest will be adding online booking functionality for American Airlines and Virgin Australia come 10 March 2023. I really, really hope this represents a willingness to invest in IT, and that other partners will also be bookable online soon.
Which programmes partner with Etihad Guest?
In Singapore, both Citibank and Standard Chartered offer points transfers to Etihad Guest.
|(S$27 fee applies)
|10,000 Citi Miles
|25,000 ThankYou Points
|(S$27 fee applies)
|3,000 360° Rewards Points
You can also convert Marriott Bonvoy points into Etihad Guest miles at a 3:1 ratio, with a bonus of 5,000 miles for every 60,000 points transferred.
On top of this, Etihad Guest does offer periodic miles sales, should you need to top off your account.
From 10 March 2023,Etihad Guest will be introducing a single zone-based award chart for its own flights and partners. This will make the programme much simpler to use, although it will almost certainly mean the loss of sweet spots that lurk amongst the 20+ award charts now.
Partner bookings for American Airlines and Virgin Australia awards will also be available online, although it remains to be seen if/when the rest of the stable follows.
Any other Etihad Guest sweet spots to cash out on now?