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Using Etihad points
I’m beginning to think a standard response when calling Etihad to use their points on partner flights is “we don’t see any availability”. I’ve had 3 occasions to call in the last couple weeks:
1. For a South African Airways flight from JNB-CPT. SA runs this hourly and if you do a United search you will always find availability. The day I was looking for Expert Flyer had 3 flights open. Etihad’s response was they didn’t see any availability.
2. Malaysia Airlines from HKG-KUL. Found space on BA.com and Asia Miles. Called Etihad, could not see space.
3. Garuda Indonesia. The particular date I was looking for showed 4 flights with SIX or more seats available. They claimed no availability. Then I asked for a different date. I pulled up Delta and it showed availability on TEN flights for SIX people for that day. Etihad’s response, we don’t see any availability.
Of course they recently blocked viewing of partner charts if you connect from a US based server blaming DOT regulations. My guess is it’s more Etihad not wanting to have their points used on partner awards. Buyer beware.
Oh yes, their call center is horrible! I generally plan to call 6-7 times in order to find a competent agent. I also only talk to Manchester accents, but that isn’t even foolproof. Grrr