About a month ago I wrote about how Etihad seemed to be restricting partner award redemptions for travel in premium cabins to & from the US. This meant that it was only possible to redeem American AAdvantage miles for Etihad first & business class to & from the US within 30 days of departure, regardless of whether or not Etihad showed saver level award availability through their own program.
Interestingly this restriction seemed to be on Etihad’s end, rather than on American’s end, since Etihad’s other partner airlines couldn’t see those seats either.
Prior to that American already sometimes couldn’t see Etihad award availability, though that didn’t seem to be correlated to how close to departure the travel date was. However, there was a workaround at the time, which was that American’s Australia & New Zealand call centers could see Etihad premium cabin award space when the US call center couldn’t. That largely stopped working a few month ago, though.
Well, there’s good news on this front, as reported by Straight To The Points. It appears like you can once again redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in Etihad first & business class in advance by calling American’s New Zealand call center. The space they see should match the “Guest” space that shows directly through the Etihad Guest program, which you can easily search online.
So if you’ve been wanting to redeem miles for Etihad first or business class out of the US more than a month out, this is a great opportunity to do so. You can phone up American’s New Zealand call center at 09-308-4014.