Etihad Guest Miles No Longer Expire (With Activity)

Filed Under: Etihad

Etihad has just revealed some changes to their loyalty program, including a positive change to their mileage expiration policy.

Etihad Mileage Expiration Policy Change

Different loyalty programs have different policies on mileage expiration. Generally speaking mileage expiration policies fall into one of three camps:

  • Miles never expire
  • Miles don’t expire as long as you have at least some qualifying activity every so often
  • Miles expire a certain amount of time after they’re earned, regardless of whether or not you have any activity

Historically Etihad Guest has fallen into that last category, as Etihad Guest miles expired after 24 months, regardless of whether you had any qualifying activity. Going forward, Etihad Guest miles won’t expire as long as you have some qualifying activity at least once every 18 months.

Having had some number of Etihad Guest miles expire in the past (since you’re rarely going to redeem exactly the right number before expiration), I’m a huge fan of this policy change. Going forward, even just transferring 1,000 points from a credit card should extend the expiration of your Etihad miles.

Etihad A380

Other Etihad Guest Changes

Etihad has also announced some other changes to their loyalty program, which impact their Gold and Platinum members. These include the following:

  • Etihad Guest Platinum members will receive free inflight wifi
  • Etihad Guest Gold members will receive 75% off inflight wifi
  • Etihad Guest Platinum and Gold members will receive a free one-way chauffeur service in Abu Dhabi on award tickets (otherwise award tickets are excluded from the chauffeur service)
  • Etihad Guest Platinum members will get a dedicated contact center

Etihad A380 first class

Bottom Line

I’d say the biggest news here is Etihad’s better mileage expiration policy, which is much more reasonable. I find it ridiculous when airline miles expire even with activity, since it means even loyal members can have their miles expire.

The changes to Etihad Guest Gold & Platinum benefits are nice as well, though I wouldn’t say any of them are a game changer.

Will you be positively impacted by any of these changes?

Comments
  1. I always hated this policy with Emirates. Back before I was into the world of maximizing points and knowing the system, we would always fly Emirates from the US for trips to visit family. Though they were a bit infrequent and once we went in 2013 and again a year later, allowing us to redeem 15,000 of their miles to upgrade to Business on a one-way leg from Islamabad, Pakistan to Dubai (These points were earned through a round trip from Tampa to JFK to DXB to ISB and another one way from the same routing – therefore making these 3 hours very hard earned). But, at check in, it turned out 2 people out of our 4 had all of their miles expire literally the day before, meaning we could only upgrade 2 tickets. That same routing on Qatar now gets me 16,000 AA miles roundtrip being an Executive Platinum.

  2. This is great since average people who regularly fly Etihad can actually save up EY miles and redeem for the Residence! Yes it may take more than 2 years to save those miles up but at least it’s possible. With the previous policy, it’s practically impossible for the average Joe to earn enough miles to redeem for the Residence (even if you’re a frequent and loyal EY flyer) since miles expired within 24 months.

  3. There are a lot of unhappy campers at Etihad Guest with all the cutbacks recently. Many many have bailed over to EK because of their cheapness. The largest change that seemed to affect many was the inability of elites to choose economy seating without paying. There are also complaints regarding lounge access policies.

    For me, after Alaska gutted the Qantas 100% earn rate, Etihad is actually a real alternative as they still award 100% earn rate with Air New Zealand (no status tier bonus) or 50-100% earn rate on Virgin Australia depending on status. Redemption between Australia and the USA is still 62,500 miles one way business class using EY miles (as compared to AS 50K).

    In this regard, a much underated programme.

  4. @ Lucky,

    Any reason I can no longer click on the icon stating how many comments an article has received and be directly taken to the comments section? I really miss not always having to scroll through the entire article to get to the comments section

  5. Just booked two business class flights from Seoul to Prague with Czech Airline for June next year using 52k Etihad Guest Miles. What a bargain!

  6. Also, they have added a new tier to the program. I received an email a couple of days ago announcing I was now Bronze level, with some added perks.

  7. They also added free seat selection for Platinum and discounted for Gold.

    Bronze level is replacing previous basic status tier, I forgot how it was called 🙂

    Additionally, in table with tier benefits I see something called “Earn & use miles on Partner Airlines” which is limited to Platinum members, this might be a downside if it means what it looks like it means…

  8. I have always been against reduction of earned miles. I have written many time to Etihad airways regarding the subject but no answer.
    I have reached gold membership which was reduced to nothing because of the policy of milage reduction. Now it is years since I booked an Etihad ticket.

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