Fly Etihad’s A380 First Class For Just 50K American Miles

Filed Under: AAdvantage, American
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Etihad first class award redemptions are one of the most popular uses of American AAdvantage miles for those looking to maximize miles & points. In particular, redeeming miles for Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment is a rite of passage in the miles & points world.

Etihad has a fairly small fleet of A380s, and they fly these planes from Abu Dhabi to London, New York, Paris, Sydney, and as of July 1, 2019, Seoul Incheon.

Generally speaking the best way to redeem for travel on Etihad is using AAdvantage miles. However, over the years American has certainly devalued redemption rates on partner airlines, including Etihad.

Nowadays you can expect to pay the following for a one-way first class award ticket:

  • New York to Abu Dhabi — 115,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Sydney to Abu Dhabi — 100,000 AAdvantage miles
  • London or Paris to Abu Dhabi — 62,500 AAdvantage miles
  • Seoul Incheon to Abu Dhabi — 50,000 AAdvantage miles

Current American AAdvantage Offers

Anyway, that last redemption value is worth highlighting, as redeeming just 50,000 AAdvantage miles for a ticket between Seoul and Abu Dhabi is a spectacular value. The flight is longer than Europe to Abu Dhabi, but is priced lower.

In general American’s redemption rates between the Middle East and both regions of Asia (Asia 1 and Asia 2, per American’s award chart) are a real sweet spot.

For what it’s worth, Etihad’s ~4,250 mile Incheon service operates with the following schedule:

EY876 Abu Dhabi to Seoul Incheon departing 10:05PM arriving 11:35AM (+1 day)
EY873 Seoul Incheon to Abu Dhabi departing 1:00AM arriving 5:45AM

The other thing that makes this such a great option is that award availability in the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment is wide open between Abu Dhabi and Incheon, which isn’t the case on most of Etihad’s other routes.

You can book this directly on American’s website, and the calendar should give you a sense of just how much availability there is.

Bottom line

There’s nothing actually new here, but sometimes it’s useful to call out specific award redemptions that represent a good value. Obviously this won’t be ideal for everyone, but for those based in Asia or the Middle East, or someone constructing a round the world trip, this could be a fun flight to take.

See this post for a full sense of what you can expect from Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment.

(Tip of the hat to Thrifty Traveler)

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Comments
  1. Ben, maybe this is hair-splitting, but why do you mention Incheon but in the same line don’t specify LHR, JFK/EWR, CDG etc…? Just a matter of consistancy…

  2. Thanks for the reminder, an Asian expat lady here in Riyadh whose family lives in Seoul, so am flying regularly on RUH-AUH-ICN EY biz. Good redemption opportunity indeed, but personally I would just prefer current B788-1000 biz class (two class) and rather wish Qatar could fly its QSuite to ICN like HND.

  3. Great update Ben! I was looking to experience on a Abu Dhabi > Europe route, but this is way more fun!

  4. Hi Ben, I love reading OMAAT and have been an avid follower for several years now; however, I have one very small piece of grammar feedback. I see that you consistently put the indefinite article (“a”) before the word “value”, when you’re referring to it as money or worth, and I’m pretty sure that’s not grammatically correct. You can refer to “a value” in the sense of a principle (E.g.: “Not taking free flights from airlines is a value of mine.”), but you would say “this flight is great value”, not “this flight is a great value.” I apologise for my pedantry, and please keep up the great work!

  5. There seems to be zero availability in F class on ICN to AUH route. Nothing showed up in F from ICN to AUH on both aa.com and etihad.com

  6. Oliver I am guessing you are British. British and American English have some differences on when it is grammatical to use articles, e.g. in hospital / in the hospital. “A great value” is perfectly correct in AE.

  7. Thanks Ben. Although we flew in Etihad’s First Class apts to JFK a few times now, as well as to syd, but actually planning to book Abu Dhabi to Seoul in order to connect to Hawaii on Korean from there. Very good article. Short and sweet. Thanks.

  8. I’m having trouble with AA. Won’t price icn-mle as single ticket on etihad. Last January 2018 we traveled mnl—auth-mle all on single business class 30k each. Now all are pricing as Asia 1-mid east and Mid East to India sub. 70k for two business segments Has routing rules changed ? AA can’t explain.

  9. @Boro
    I believe you are 100% correct. Routing rules have changed and NO SINGLE PERSON at AA can explain or understand your exact scenario, which I encountered flying from NRT – MLE as 1 award F. Now it is 2 awards as you can no longer transit through ME to go to Maldives from Asia. Kills what used to be a great deal and can’t believe none of the bloggers are alerting readers to this change. Regardless, Etihad has killed any availability ICN to AUH (Might find it going the other way, but it has been blocked for some time). Probably figured AA redemptions would gobble it up. Too bad.

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