Etihad Guest is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest, and I tend to think it’s the all around most valuable loyalty program offered by a Gulf carrier, thanks to their mostly reasonable redemption rates.
Beyond that, they had some great partner redemption opportunities. No doubt the single best partner redemption value they had, and arguably the best award prices offered by any loyalty program, were for travel on Brussels Airlines.
There’s one partner award opportunity which is outrageously generous. Specifically, redeeming Etihad Guest miles on Brussels Airlines is an incredible deal. The rates are so low that it almost doesn’t make sense. Here’s the Etihad Guest award chart for redemptions on Brussels Airlines, quoting roundtrip redemption rates:
Well, I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Etihad Guest has devalued award redemptions on Brussels Airlines, unfortunately without notice. Here’s the new Etihad Guest award chart for redemptions on Brussels Airlines, which reflects one-way redemption costs:
Ouch! To give a few before and after examples of roundtrip redemption rates:
- Brussels to Paris in economy used to cost 930 miles, and now costs 10,000 miles
- Brussels to New York in economy used to cost 21,972 miles, and now costs 54,000 miles
- Brussels to New York in business used to cost 36,620 miles, and now costs 88,000 miles
- Brussels to Tel Aviv in business class used to cost 20,160 miles, and now costs 64,000 miles
One benefit — if you can even call it that — is that one-way redemptions are now allowed. That’s not of much benefit when you consider that almost across the board one-way tickets are now more expensive than roundtrip tickets.
The only other positive change is that Etihad has added more cities to the Brussels Airlines chart. Previously not all Brussels Airlines destinations were listed on the chart, while now they seem to be.
This devaluation was inevitable. Anytime you seem award prices that seem too good to be true, they usually are. This value had been around for years, so it’s not surprising to see that they finally changed it. However, I am very disappointed that they chose to make this change without any sort of advance notice, and without really acknowledging the change, other than updating the PDF with award prices.
Did you ever have the chance to redeem Etihad miles on Brussels?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)