Frequent Miler reports on something that’s pretty exciting. I’d recommend acting fast if interested.
Redeem Aeroplan points for Etihad A380 first class
Etihad Airways will be putting its Airbus A380s back into service as of July 2023. The planes will initially fly exclusively between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and London (LHR). These planes have an amazing first class product, known as First Class Apartments. I rank this as one of the world’s best first class products.
Up until now there hasn’t been much first class award availability, but that has finally changed. Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Airways have a partnership, and Etihad is showing wide open first class award availability from London to Abu Dhabi on many dates.
There’s a lot more space from London than to London, and what’s most amazing is the number of seats available on some flights. We’re not just talking one or two seats, but in some cases you could book the whole first class cabin for yourself using points.
At first I wondered if this was phantom availability, but the same award space is showing through Etihad’s website at the saver level, though at a much higher cost (which is 140,000 miles one-way).
So I can’t personally guarantee that every seat that shows as available will be bookable, but I feel pretty confident that this isn’t all a fluke (I’m sure Etihad isn’t intending to make this many award seats available, but I do believe it’s bookable). Still, acquire points at your own risk.
I can’t imagine that this will last for very long, so I’d recommend booking ASAP if interested. While American AAdvantage is also partners with Etihad, unfortunately AAdvantage only has access to a subset of award availability, and I’m not seeing a whole lot of space here.
Aeroplan points are easy to come by
Aeroplan points are easy to come by, as the program is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. On top of that, there’s the Aeroplan® Credit Card (review) in the United States, which is phenomenal.
There are so many amazing uses of Aeroplan points, and you can even add a stopover to an itinerary for just 5,000 points. Aeroplan also lets you mix and match its partners, and the program has more airline partners than any other global airline loyalty program.
If you’ve ever wanted to fly Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartments, this is your chance. The airline will be putting A380s back into service as of July 2023, and there’s wide open first class award availability from London to Abu Dhabi. Hopefully lots of people can snag these seats!
Anyone plan on booking an Etihad A380 first class award?
I booked MLE to LHR with the Apartment on EY19 for end of September with 90.000 Aeroplan points yesterday. I got my booking confirmation from Aeroplan and I also picked the seats on Etihad website.
Reading the earlier comments I am worried that Etihad also cancels my flight. Any new experiences since the new Aeroplan bonus sale since April 19I?
@ben also had our flights (EY20) cancelled overnight by EY that were booked back in March. Was first alerted by an Expertflyer alert on alternative seat availability. When I clicked through, the entire cabin was suddenly available (not the case when we booked, and very suspicious). He. Went to AA and my itinerary had disappeared from the AA site, although the tickets were still listed as “ticketed”. Got the runaround from EY on the phone...
@ben also had our flights (EY20) cancelled overnight by EY that were booked back in March. Was first alerted by an Expertflyer alert on alternative seat availability. When I clicked through, the entire cabin was suddenly available (not the case when we booked, and very suspicious). He. Went to AA and my itinerary had disappeared from the AA site, although the tickets were still listed as “ticketed”. Got the runaround from EY on the phone who said to “call back tomorrow”. Any advice for those of us who are having previously confirmed and ticketed bookings cancelled? Have you seen more reports of the same?
@ben. Spoke to AA this morning. According to them the flight (EY20) was cancelled on April 12. It’s clearly not cancelled. Etihad simply cancelled all award bookings, and are no longer making any awards available to partners. Additionally, I can only get a refund of my miles and taxes by going to an airport! Apparently the reservation has the code “ATO” on it, which I have never encountered in my 30 years of flying. Also...
@ben. Spoke to AA this morning. According to them the flight (EY20) was cancelled on April 12. It’s clearly not cancelled. Etihad simply cancelled all award bookings, and are no longer making any awards available to partners. Additionally, I can only get a refund of my miles and taxes by going to an airport! Apparently the reservation has the code “ATO” on it, which I have never encountered in my 30 years of flying. Also spoke to Etihad and got a complete runaround on why the tickets had been “auto cancelled”. I’ve dealt with a lot of airline problems in my years, but this one takes the cake. I guess I will never get the chance to fly the Apartment. Talk about a disloyalty building program. Any other reports out there, and has anyone had success with refunds? #neveretihad.
Bad news- I had booked EY 17 in January and just got an email from Etihad that it’s cancelled. EF still shows 388 but F inventory is not appearing.
I also got a cancelation email and am not sure what to do. I stupidly booked other connecting flights already. Is there any chance they will rebook on a different flight or will they just refund the points and taxes and I am stuck with trying to find an alternative flight?
Exact same boat here for EY20. I see F inventory when I go to etihad.com, but not aeroplan. Anyone found a resolution/cause for this yet by any chance?
Hi ben, I have been trying to search for award flights on air canada for the past 3 months out of Delhi, India but it always shows no seats available to any part of the world apart from the US/Canada. I tried calling them up but there is no response. Do you have any idea what the issue might be?
I checked again this morning and I am seeing EY F in Aeroplan again. Just booked 2 seats on the A380 in September.
Seems that Etihad has no more flights in Aeroplan? Anyone else?
They must have pulled the plug.
Had decent availabilty few days ago, now zero.
Even with etihadguest no more "cheap" reward F flights available.
For anyone in Australia I've found all the same award space for A380 First using Velocity points!
78,000 points plus $916 AUD in taxes one way from LHR to AUH
I'm stoked. Snagged a booking for end of May =)
this is gone...
a first class column does not even show up when I search does this mean no availabiliy?
Good Luck with online or in person help!
Aeroplan doesn't pick up the phone, good luck indeed!
Aeroplan 'stopover' means a stopover in the same region? I could go LHR AUH (stopover) MLE, for example. But I couldn't go LHR AUH (stopover) MNL? Or does the miles just price differently? Thanks for the notice on this.
Hope folks find seats and have fun.
I’m pretty booked for the summer but did check to change DOH LHR but I’d have to wait a day and miss my two nights in London at the Shard
It’s a lovely product. The DreamLiner First is also lovely. A different scale but my favorite plane.
Perhaps next year
Wear are you seeing the A380? Almost every date I've seen, in the details section of the itinerary it says 787-9?
Ahh... totally skipped the part wear seats are open from LHR to AUH and not the other way around
I don't care about the A380 really, I care more about first availability, any chance of any Asian routes getting first class with 77W/789/388?
Ben, while Etihad has updated its partner award chart, it appears partner awards still require a call . . . they can't be booked online as was reported. Any update? Thanks.
Any updates on the Residence?
Side note, JFK is now 2x daily on the B787-9.
Seems like JFK lost the A350-1000 whilst BKK and CDG gained the A350-1000.
"I can’t imagine that this will last for very long, so I’d recommend booking ASAP if interested."
Especially now, lol.
Any speculation if they will operate the A380 on other routes in the future?
@ Stuart -- So far Etihad has just announced plans to bring back four A380s, and to fly them exclusively between London and Abu Dhabi. While I wouldn't be surprised to see the strategy shift over time (as we've seen with other A380 operators), so far there don't seem to be any further plans.
Ben, I personaly know the General Manager of Etihad for Belgium and the Netherlands and she told me that it will in the future be deployed to more destinations. FRA will be one of them but no dates are yet available.
Thanks, Ben and Nelson!
Etihad apartments still my fav flight. Surprised that some people rate lh first over it :)