Etihad Awards Now Bookable On American’s Website

Filed Under: American, Awards

There are lots of things that contribute towards a great frequent flyer program. Obviously award redemption rates and award availability are both important, but there’s also something to be said for the ease with which you can search and book award seats.

American’s website is fairly good when it comes to searching award availability. Their website is my favorite for searching space for the airlines that they do display, given that you can search nonstop award availability on any partner that they display for a month at a time (at least this is the case when you’re using the old version of their website).

The catch is that American doesn’t display all partner airlines online. Fortunately this is something they’ve been working on, and they’ve now added another partner airline to aa.com.

You can now book Etihad awards on aa.com

American Airlines has just added award redemptions on Etihad to aa.com.

That’s quite a positive development, and means there are only a few airlines remaining that they don’t display availability for online.

Etihad is one of my favorite AAdvantage partners, so I’d consider this to be good news.

American’s website doesn’t show all Etihad awards

The bad news — or good news, depending on how you look at it — is that aa.com is only showing a subset of Etihad award availability.

More accurately, American’s website is just showing the award availability that American’s call center agents in the US can see. What this means is that they can generally see premium award availability to & from the US within a month of departure, but often not further out than that.

For example, here you can see Etihad shows business class award space from Abu Dhabi to New York at the “Guest Business” level, which is their lowest award cost that is also usually bookable through American:

American’s website doesn’t show that space, however.

Fortunately there continues to be a workaround. Calling American’s call center in Australia should give you access to all of the “Guest” space that Etihad’s own program has access to.

The double edged sword of online award bookings

Now, while I’m generally excited about this development, I do think it’s worth mentioning that making award availability easier to search makes the research process easier for everyone, though it’s arguably not good for savvy consumers.

That’s because it means that these limited award seats can more easily be found by more people, and that increases the competition for these seats.

A vast majority of people don’t even realize you can redeem American miles on Etihad, and for that matter wouldn’t even know how to search space themselves.

I guess the good news is that the real “trick” to getting Etihad awards using American miles — which requires calling American Airlines’ call center in Australia — remains intact.

Bottom line

It’s great to see American AAdvantage add Etihad redemptions to aa.com. This is a positive development, though it seems only a subset of award availability is showing up there. As before, if you want access to all of Etihad’s “Guest” award availability you’ll have to phone up American’s call center in Australia.

Are you happy to see American add Etihad redemptions online?

(Tip of the hat to @xJonNYC)

Comments

  1. Congrats on being the only blogger to actually dive into the details and see the issues vs. the generic reporting that they are available.

  2. yep, funny to see the ThoughtlessLeader ™ at SightlessFromTheWing puke up some lazy, sloppy report without even bothering to do any work

  3. Thank you for mentioning both sides. I agree that it’s a double edged sword since it’ll be easier to redeem EY awards but same time harder given how thousands of aadvantage members will now see EY as an option.
    I still hope EY will enable AAdvantage members to redeem the EY Residence someday.

  4. I have to differ. Perhaps the one month rule is for routes to and from the USA.

    If you search AUH-ICN, AUH-MEL, AUH-SYD etc.. You will find plenty of Y/J/F award space for many months in advance.

  5. @ Izz — It is indeed mostly specific to the US. As I stated in the post:
    “What this means is that they can generally see premium award availability to & from the US within a month of departure”

  6. Seems to have disappeared.. I saw multiple EY flights available from AUH to LHR but now none. A bit strange.

  7. @Ben (Lucky)

    You are right I read over that way too quickly, I am sorry! I came here to comment when I saw other blogs – namely GSTP – copy and paste your article but without writing that it is only to and from the US for that restriction.

  8. Am I reading too much into this, or if Etihad was to join *A anytime soon they wouldn’t have bothered to take the time to add this to the website?

  9. Regarding *A: AA already had the data about EY awards available to them; AA’s crack IT team just had to figure out how put this on aa.com. So it didn’t involve EY, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what EY is planning to do. Maybe EY is in discussions with AA about ending their partnership, but AA’s IT would be among the last to know.

  10. It’s not just one month in advance; availability shown on etihad.com 330 days in advance is easily bookable via AAdvantage. In between those two time periods, there’s often a problem.

  11. A word of caution about the ‘workaround’ ringing the Australian call center for all Etihad premium flights. You will frequently be auto-redirected to a bog standard US AA call center when you ring the number, which is of course self-defeating.
    The so-called Australian call center is not in fact located in Australia, but in far off Fiji. Getting any sense out of them can sometimes be a challenge as their level of experience varies wildly.
    So, curb your enthusiasm, as Larry David might say!

  12. As a point of reference, I booked an ORD-JNB flight in biz a few months ago via the Australia call center for travel in September. They priced it out by segment, thus costing me 125k each way. I called when I saw that the website was showing 75k each way and they reissued the ticket and refunded my 50k without a fee. I was happy to say the least.

  13. Searchable on AA but…. when it shows J/F available, when you dive into the details most of the flying is in economy. I hate this about AA’s website!
    MCO-AUH in November yields

  14. I just booked MIA-AUD via AA online for December. First leg on BA, second on Etihad. Been waiting years for AA to open these up.

  15. Well.. I couldn’t see EY availability for route am looking though noticed that coach is showing 70k on some dates (normal is 40k one way). Dynamic partner Award also?

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