Etihad has now loaded award space on their new Los Angeles route — two first and business class award seats on most flights!

Okay, ordinarily the announcement of a single new route doesn’t warrant three posts, but I actually think this is a pretty “special” route. As I wrote about yesterday, Etihad will be launching daily service between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles as of June 1, 2014. Initially we weren’t sure if the route would be operated by an aircraft with first class or not, so this morning I posted a confirmation that the route would in fact feature a first class cabin. Instead of being operated by a 777-300ER (as was initially displayed in the GDS) it’ll be operated by a 777-200LR that Etihad is acquiring from Air India.

Anyway, the reason for yet another post is that award space has finally opened on the route, and Etihad has two first and business class award seats available just about every day, and usually at least five economy class award seats. The weird thing is that the award availability doesn’t actually show up on Etihad’s website yet, but American seems to be able to book it over the phone.

This route is awesome for several reasons, including:

  • American doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on Etihad
  • This is a new practical option for redeeming AAdvantage miles to the Maldives and India with just one stop from Los Angeles without paying any fuel surcharges
  • Etihad has a pretty awesome first class cabin with fully enclosed suites, and the 777-200LRs will feature just eight seats, so it’s surprising that they’re releasing two first class award seats per flight


Book ’em while they’re hot available!

Filed Under: Advice, Awards
  1. they’re going to rip out the air india cabin right? should we not wait until they confirm this via a press release?

  2. @ AJ — It has already been confirmed. They’ll have the same cabins as the rest of their longhaul fleet. šŸ™‚

  3. @ Lantean — Looking more closely, in theory MLE *could* work. MLE-AUH-LAX-JFK is 12,740 miles, and the MPM plus 25% for MLE-JFK is 13,252. So it probably depends on the agent you get and how they interpret the “passenger must take most direct routing” rule.

  4. I’m just happy for the new option to use on the distanced based trip I’ve been brainstorming for late 2014. Intending to include Africa mostly, mixing in some *A hops within the continent.

  5. @ AZTravelGuy — If you’re referring to an AAdvantage distance based award, just keep in mind those are only valid on OneWorld airlines, and Etihad isn’t a OneWorld member.


  7. @ Apu — Sorry, still not seeing the significance of this? What am I missing? šŸ™‚

    My guess is transatlantic in theory, but not sure how it would be applied.

  8. @ MARINA — In theory that would be fine. Etihad publishes a fare between Cleveland and Delhi, and that routing is (slightly) less than 25% over the MPM. There’s also a rule about taking the most direct routing possible, but that’s open to interpretation and differs on an agent by agent basis.

  9. Isn’t an ANA redemption at 115k Roundtrip in business class a better redemption? Even with the taxes?

  10. @Luis, you will need two awards to fly to Europe. LAX-AUH for 90K and AUB-Europe for another 40K so one way is 130K for First.

  11. @ AC. thanks, in other words, not even close to being worth it. I know Lucky covered this yesterday, but AA really does suck for travel to Europe.

  12. @Chris, it should be 90K/67.5K. It’s less than before when there was no LAX-MLE through fare. It used to be 90K + 25K to get to MLE from LAX.

  13. @Ben – the significance of TATL / TPAC is that if you see the AA award chart, for India as an example, if this route is TPAC – then we need 2 awards (LAX-AUH and AUH-BOM), whereas if this is considered as TATL, then the LAX-AUH-BOM is one single award.

    Does that make sense? Can you now find out what it is :)?

  14. @ Jim — In business class it would be 115,000 ANA miles vs. 135,000 American miles. Fuel surcharges through ANA would be roughly $900, so I’d say that if you value ANA and American miles equally you’re much better off paying an extra 20,000 miles than spending $900.

  15. @ Luis — It does if you want to book two separate awards, but you can’t route from the US to Europe via the Middle East, so not on a single award.

  16. @ Apu — Ah, sorry, the only reason that’s significant is because travel via a third region is required in most instances. In this case you’re not transiting a third region so the lower price would apply.

  17. I am going to the Maldives in Feb. 2024.

    Maybe for my next trip.

    I also think this could be great for safari in Africa. Do they fly to Mauritius?

  18. @Beachfan – you are planning waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy in advance! I do not know what I will be doing next year, but you plan a decade in advance šŸ™‚

  19. @ Apu — Unfortunately American doesn’t let you route from the US to Africa via Middle East on a partner award (as ridiculous as it is), so you’d have to book two separate awards to do that.

  20. @Ben, great… so they will allow F with 100K only if its through Europe or direct, is it? Touch Middle East and you lose that privilege? That ridiculous?

  21. @ Beacnfan — For your sake hoping you get a vacation before 2024. šŸ˜‰

    They don’t fly to Mauritius, unfortunately, though they do fly to the Seychelles.

  22. On Expertflyer Etihad shows 6 seats available for every flight – is that the right bucket or is EF looking for the wrong seats?

  23. @ Torsten Jacobi — Nope, that’s showing “promotional upgrade” space, which is different than award space. You can only search Etihad award space on Etihad’s website.

  24. I just put on hold LAX – AUH – MLE in August 2014, round trip and it’s still giving 90K + 25k X2 for a total of 230000 miles round trip. They say no published dare between any US city and Male yet. I called twice and got the same response. FYI.

  25. @ Kris — Yep, they still haven’t published a fare between Los Angeles and Male. Hopefully that changes soon.

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