Etihad A380 First Class Awards Wide Open

Etihad A380 First Class Awards Wide Open

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In the summer of 2023, Etihad Airways brought back its Airbus A380s. Since then, the plane has been flying exclusively between Abu Dhabi and London. However, as of April 22, 2024, the whale jet will also resume flights between Abu Dhabi and New York, which is an exciting development.

I wanted to post a heads up that Etihad first class award availability between Abu Dhabi and New York is exceptional within 30 days of departure, so this is a fantastic use of American AAdvantage miles. You can even book multiple first class seats on the same flight, with availability almost every day.

Etihad first class award space is plentiful

Nowadays Etihad only makes premium cabin award seats available to partner frequent flyer programs at most 30 days in advance. The good news is that within that timeframe, first class award availability is readily available.

Just for some context on New York service, as of April 22, 2024, Etihad will operate two daily flights between Abu Dhabi and New York with first class:

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment seat

These flights have award space almost every day, and this is even bookable with American AAdvantage miles, at the cost of 115,000 miles one-way, without carrier imposed surcharges (unfortunately it’s not bookable through Air Canada Aeroplan, which doesn’t seem to have access to premium cabin Etihad award space anymore).

For example, below is a calendar showing the days in early May where there’s first class award availability from New York to Abu Dhabi (as each day passes, another day of availability opens up).

Etihad award availability through American AAdvantage

In some cases, these flights even have four or more first class award seats.

Etihad award availability through America AAdvantage

What’s so awesome is how much better of a deal it is to book through American AAdvantage rather than Etihad Guest:

Etihad award availability through Etihad Guest

If you have time in your schedule to plan an adventure to Abu Dhabi or beyond, this could be a fun opportunity. This will also allow you to check out the new terminal at Abu Dhabi Airport, including the new Etihad First Lounge and Etihad Business Lounge.

Etihad A380 First Class Apartment cabin

These redemptions highlight the value of AAdvantage

Using American AAdvantage miles for premium cabin redemptions has become tougher over time. That’s largely not even American’s fault, as airlines like Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways, have all changed how they release award space.

However, there’s no denying that when you find a good redemption with AAdvantage, it’s in a completely different league than what one could book with Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus.

Etihad’s A380 first class is one of the world’s best first class products, and experiencing this on a long haul flight is such a fun opportunity.

Etihad Airbus A380

Bottom line

Etihad has wide open first class award availability within 30 days of departure when booking through American AAdvantage. This is not only available on the carrier’s Abu Dhabi to London route, but also on the Abu Dhabi to New York route, which will be restored within the next week.

If you’d like to fly Etihad’s A380 between Abu Dhabi and New York in late April or early May, availability is excellent. Hopefully this trend continues, as I see more seats open each day (at the 30 day mark).

Anyone snagging some Etihad first class award availability?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Matthew Switzer Guest

    Has anyone managed to book an EY F award (A380 specifically) with AA miles online recently? Lots of talk not being able to and it errors out? Don’t want to transfer lots of points over and end up unable to book…

    1. perfusionist1982 New Member

      I did. Apr 25th. AUH-JFK-LAX

    2. Omar Guest

      Yes, I booked one today.

  2. Pierre Diamond

    "American doesn't have any carrier-imposed surcharges" ????
    Ben, your illustration of Etihad via AA includes both surcharges at $ 700.
    So !!!!,

    I just noticed that the American redemptions in Business Class to Europe have reached never-attained astronomical levels like 475,000 miles per seat (For JFK-LHR? Bitte schoen....." Equivalent or higher than Delta which does not seem to have these high surcharges ADDED to their equally obscene miles-rates.

    This actually not a smart...

    "American doesn't have any carrier-imposed surcharges" ????
    Ben, your illustration of Etihad via AA includes both surcharges at $ 700.
    So !!!!,

    I just noticed that the American redemptions in Business Class to Europe have reached never-attained astronomical levels like 475,000 miles per seat (For JFK-LHR? Bitte schoen....." Equivalent or higher than Delta which does not seem to have these high surcharges ADDED to their equally obscene miles-rates.

    This actually not a smart move by AA:

    Up to now, I (and thousands of AA clients, I am sure) was willing to trade American's extremely mediocre International Business Class and domestic First, against its reasonable redemption levels. Delta awards are expensive but they usually have an excellent service, something that American not only doesn't have but also does not want. They might as well be Frontier with a few long range international destinations.

    Where is there, at this point, ANY incentive to remain with AA? I see none.

    Add to this that, after 16 years or so as AA "Executive Platinum", I am only a very devalued "Platinum for life". On Delta or United I would since long have become a top-level member for life, I really do not see any reason not to leave AA and its now very unattractive program.

    With many Skyteam airlines offering a status match (e.g. Virgin), I do not see ANY reason to remain in AAdvantage. Even if you plan to stay in Oneworld, Ben's BA strategy is an excellent Modus Operandi.

    1. Kyle0727 New Member

      $7.00, not $700

  3. Points Adventure Guest

    "That’s largely not even American’s fault..."

    IDK, taking away saver space by packaging them into "web specials" only available to your own members doesn't exactly send a goodwill signal to your partners.

  4. DT Guest

    Nah - that was a miscue. No 380 awards - all on 787 or the others are long gone.

  5. DT Guest

    Booked. We are going to Morocco and had booked Qatar business. That was great too but this is EPIC. It’s our 30th anniversary and this is incredible. Ben - thank you! Brilliant.

  6. Richard Guest

    Hello to all,

    Do you know that if you get a first class ticket with points, can you upgrade to the residence with cash? Thanks

    1. Mike Guest

      I flew EY F LHR-AUH last fall and while the front desk manager wanted to sell the upgrade to residence, it was technically impossible because I was on an award (it was an AA award). Hopefully that changes, but that was my experience.

    2. zz Guest

      No, not even with their own miles.
      And on a related scenario, if you book 1 cash and 1 award. You can only upgrade the cash to residence and the award guy can only visit the residence but not staying (sleep, shower)

    1. Derek H Guest

      Oh no, you mean to tell me that rug-pull of a rewards program doesn't have all the bells and whistles they promised us? Shocked--shocked, I tell ya'!

      But on a serious note, not surprised at all. It's such a terrible program that lies through its teeth and everyone--including bloggers--eat it up without question as being the best of the best.

      Ben, please write a blog about the shortcomings of Aeroplan with all their promises of...

      Oh no, you mean to tell me that rug-pull of a rewards program doesn't have all the bells and whistles they promised us? Shocked--shocked, I tell ya'!

      But on a serious note, not surprised at all. It's such a terrible program that lies through its teeth and everyone--including bloggers--eat it up without question as being the best of the best.

      Ben, please write a blog about the shortcomings of Aeroplan with all their promises of having the most partner airlines, when you can't book most of them or have limited access/no access to premium classes.

    2. NFSF Diamond

      Unless you're trying to plan a trip w/o consideration for dates (like Ben does), Aeroplan is pretty useless

    3. Gregsdc Member

      I sometimes wonder whether commenters have actually made a bona fide effort to use the mileage programs they bash in these forums (fora?). Off the top of my head, in the past three years, I have used Aeroplan points to book J tickets on (a) at least 2 widebody transcons (YUL-YVR) for myself, (b) two trips to Europe (IAD-BRU) for two on Brussels Airlines, and (c) ICN-JFK for *four* on Asiana. The latter was by...

      I sometimes wonder whether commenters have actually made a bona fide effort to use the mileage programs they bash in these forums (fora?). Off the top of my head, in the past three years, I have used Aeroplan points to book J tickets on (a) at least 2 widebody transcons (YUL-YVR) for myself, (b) two trips to Europe (IAD-BRU) for two on Brussels Airlines, and (c) ICN-JFK for *four* on Asiana. The latter was by far the most "expensive" redemption, at 90k per ticket. Great value all around.

    4. Anish Guest

      Same. Booked JFK-CDG for 60k, 2 x CDG-MRU at 60k each, 2 x MRU-BOM-GOI at 45k each in the last month. Aeroplan is an incredible plan, award availability is just not the same across the board now with so many tools and people sitting on points.

    5. Sonny Member

      unfortunatly since more than a year EY does not share premium seats with AC anymore.

  7. Willem Guest

    Time to fly JFK => AUH => Kuwait perhaps, to connect to The Final First Class Product? ;)

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Paul Car New Member

Aeroplan strikes out again !

2
Matthew Switzer Guest

Has anyone managed to book an EY F award (A380 specifically) with AA miles online recently? Lots of talk not being able to and it errors out? Don’t want to transfer lots of points over and end up unable to book…

1
Derek H Guest

Oh no, you mean to tell me that rug-pull of a rewards program doesn't have all the bells and whistles they promised us? Shocked--shocked, I tell ya'! But on a serious note, not surprised at all. It's such a terrible program that lies through its teeth and everyone--including bloggers--eat it up without question as being the best of the best. Ben, please write a blog about the shortcomings of Aeroplan with all their promises of having the most partner airlines, when you can't book most of them or have limited access/no access to premium classes.

1
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