Gee, where to begin!

I love Etihad First Apartment, but I wouldn’t use Etihad miles for booking that flight. The value of Etihad Guest is in flying on some of its partner airlines. So unless you’re flush with Etihad miles, do this: use American miles for flying on Etihad and use Etihad miles to fly on other partners.  

Etihad redemption scheme

Etihad has a separate award redemption chart for every partner airline. Some of them are region-based, many more are distance-based, but only a few precious charts provide a considerable value. 

Etihad airline partners

  • Air Canada
  • Air Europa
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Serbia
  • Alitalia
  • American Airlines.
  • ANA
  • Asiana Airways
  • Bangkok Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Gulf Air
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Malaysian Airlines
  • Oman Air
  • Royal Air Moroc
  • Saudia
  • SAS
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Virgin Australia 

Etihad sweet spots

  • Spend Etihad miles on American Airlines with the old AA award chart 

Back in 2015, American devalued its awesome award chart, but Etihad has never gotten around to follow. We’ve been waiting and waiting… for years, but our fears have yet to materialize. Thank you Etihad, because that old chart had a lot of friends. 🙂

There is also a 17,500-miles Off-peak rate for travel between the Continental U.S. and Hawaii. Not a mind-blowing value, but still.

With this addition, I think the screenshot above should be self-explanatory. 

Here are the Economy off-peak dates.

  • Between North America and Europe: October 15 – May 15
  • Between North America and Asia Zone 1 (China and Japan): October 1 – April 30
  • Between North America and South America Zone 2: March 1 – May 31 and August 16 – November 30
  • Between North America and Hawaii: January 12 – March 8 and August 22 – December 15
  • Fly to Europe for 44,000 miles in Business on Brussels Airlines

I’m a big fan of a “foot in the door” technique when it comes to long-haul international travel. It’s more important to cross the ocean than to get to a specific country you want to visit. If you agree, then Brussels Airlines can take you, well, to Brussels for only 44,000 Etihad miles in Business Class. And getting from Brussels a major European transportation hub to another place in Europe is a piece of cake! 

I believe Etihad doesn’t add surcharges to Brussels (at least, they didn’t use to).

Brussels flies to New York (JFK) and seasonally to Washington, DC (Dulles).

  • Fly to North Africa for 44,000 miles in Business on Royal Air Maroc

You can fly to Casablanca, Morocco for 44,000 Etihad miles in Business Class on Royal Air Maroc. Note that Etihad adds a fuel surcharge of about $170 each way. Royal Air Maroc flies between Casablanca and Miami, New York (JFK), Washington, DC (Dulles) and Montreal in Canada.

  • Use Etihad miles for cheap flights on GOL in Brazil

Once again, this guide is US-centric, so I mainly focus on travel from and to the U.S. But it would be a mistake not to include some excellent options should the need arise for a local flight. GOL flights on Etihad start at 3,000 miles, so for a really short flight in Brazil nothing can beat Etihad. Having said that, if your flight costs more than 6,000 Etihad miles (for the distance over 1,000 miles), remember that the AA chart has a flat, 7,500-mile redemption rate across Brazil. 

However (all the above notwithstanding), remember to always check cash rates on GOL before redeeming miles because they can be dirt-cheap sometimes.

  • Use Bangkok Airways for cheap flights in Thailand and Asia

Bangkok Airways is a great airline. They serve food even on short routes and offer a decent lounge in BKK even for their Economy Class passengers.

On the downside, their flights – including short hauls – can be ridiculously expensive, so you know where all that great service and free snacks are coming from. 🙂

Well, Etihad miles can help. Its Bangkok Airways chart is quite good and can save you some serious dough, especially on domestic routes where you don’t have a lot of choices. The prices below are per round trip, but one-way tickets are permitted.

Tip: Keep in mind that Etihad miles are good for nonstop travel only as you’ll pay more for connecting flights. Any segment you add to your journey will increase the cost of your ticket. 

How to book

You must call 877-690-0767 to book all Etihad partner awards.

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