Etihad Award Space Still Not Bookable With AAdvantage Miles

Filed Under: American, Awards

American AAdvantage has many airline partners. Most of them belong to oneworld, while they also have some non-oneworld partner airlines.

One of my favorite non-oneworld partner airlines is Etihad Airways, thanks to the fact that they have great first class and business class products, and generally release a good amount of award space.

While Qatar Airways is now also part of oneworld, they don’t offer a first class product on their longhaul routes, and their business class isn’t as good as Etihad’s either.

Etihad Airways first class

However, since late May, American hasn’t had access to Etihad award space, due to direct access availability issues. I’ve received quite a few questions as to whether or not this has been fixed, and unfortunately it hasn’t been. American AAdvantage miles still can’t be redeemed for travel on Etihad Airways.

JonNYC shared the following update on TravelingBetter a few days ago:

Etihad Airways Award Availability

Update 1255CT/10JUN HDQMJ0

We continue to have Direct Access availability issues with Etihad Airways (EY). For example, when displaying availability for EY flights, you may receive availability for Jet Airways (9W* operated by Etihad Airways) instead. This issue continues to be investigated. Once resolved and until further notice, please offer our apologies to customers wanting to book award flights on EY and advise to call back.

So unfortunately Etihad Airways award space continues to not be bookable using American AAdvantage miles.

My understanding is that the issue is on Etihad’s end and not American’s, so apparently there’s not much American can do. Still, this is quite disappointing, given what a key partner they are for travel to the Middle East/India.

While I’m far from an IT expert, I don’t get how it can take over two weeks to “fix” this issue.

Though I suppose in reality it’s not that it’s taking over two weeks to fix it, but rather that it’s taking them over two weeks to even get to it…

  1. At what point do we stop believing it’s an IT glitch and start suspecting that Etihad is chastising AA for simultaneously partnering with Etihad and Qatar?

  2. I think I asked this before but can AA manually request Etihad for space? This is odd since it was working before.

  3. Is this a systemwide problem or a potluck problem? i.e. is it that AA is seeing absolutely no EY space for any flight, or is it more “random” in that AA can see some space but not others?

  4. Lucky.
    Could it be that some one at ey saw that a large portion of award ticks were allotted to aa flyers. And they want give others like Ana a chance at their guest ticks?

  5. As an IT project manager, I can tell you that this should most definitely not take more than a few days to fix if they WANTED to. If EY rolled out an update (to add some type of new functionality) previously which CAUSED the blocking issue, standard practice would be to backout the code that broke the original functionality and revert to the old code (which still allowed AA to see EY space). Then, once they’ve fixed the new code which originally broke the functionality, they would put the new code back into production and without issue. So something makes me believe this is intentional.

  6. This is 100% true and I have been trying to change tix I have for July for several weeks. There is no “work around” which if frustrating as hell…
    I’m going to have to start a tweet to AA and Etihad to see if someone wants to start doing there job…

  7. @ Lucky – are we going to get a statement from Etihad’s CEO how their new IT back-end systems have been a smashing success and that AA management couldn’t be any more happier? šŸ˜‰

  8. Hmm I wonder whether Etihad Guest members can book award redemptions on AA metal so in this case it would be both ways.
    In addition, can other Etihad partner airlines book award flights on EY metal?

  9. I’ll take a possibly contrarian non-conspiracy view and assume that it really is an IT ‘glitch’.

    There’ same reason that my company’s ‘IT’ group is more commonly referred to as ‘WP’ – for ‘work prevention’.

  10. @ Joey — There doesn’t seem to be a mechanism by which they can do that, unfortunately.

  11. @ Chris S. — I highly doubt it. Etihad has several joint ventures and partnerships which span all alliances, so I can’t imagine that’s the case.

  12. @ Nick — For now I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s a legit tech glitch. I could be wrong, though.

  13. “and their business class is not as good as Etihad’s either”

    Does the 787/A380 biz product change that?

  14. @ hkairlinenews — Yes, I’d say that’s superior, but ultimately it’s not available to the US yet.

  15. As an IT person, I’m with Graham on this. Something like this is reasonably easily fixable IF there is a will to do so, and prioritise the fix. The question to be asked here is, why isn’t this a priority for the two parties involved (EY & AA), and what does that say about the nature of their relationship at the moment?

  16. Last summer I tryed in vein to book the reverse (AA travel using EY miles), and EY was unable to find me any availability on any AA flight from May13 to Dec13.

    I gave up in the end and bought the tickets. I haven’t checked since, but Im starting to suspect, that AA is not seeing EY availability because the reverse maybe true as well.

  17. Just to clarify my earlier statement

    “and EY was unable to find me any availability on any AA flight from May13 to Dec13” between IAD and LAX

  18. @DL writes,

    “The question to be asked here is, why isnā€™t this a priority for the two parties involved (EY & AA)…?”

    Pure conjecture, but because the queue at AA is pretty long at the moment with the integration and while this is a huge deal to us it may not seem as high a priority up in the C-suite as some of the hundreds of other systems that need work between legacy US and AA.

  19. I guess it could simply be an IT glitch which is deemed low-priority but it seems like some people view it as a sign of possible AA-EY partnership dissolution.

  20. Latest update courtesy of JonNYC on flyertalk/Travelingbetter

    Etihad Direct Access ā€¢
    Update 1230CT/17JUN HDQMM6

    We understand that members are expressing a desire to book redemptions on Etihad Airways and are frustrated that Direct Access is not currently working. The problem has been identified and a solution is currently being tested. Once all testing is completed, we will be able to book award seats on Etihad Airways again. Please apologize for the delay and encourage members to call back for award bookings.

  21. Hi Ben-have you heard of any recent issues? I see plenty of F award space at the low mileage level on EY’s website and AA is saying nothing available.

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