Back in June I wrote about Etihad Airways being added as an American AAdvantage partner, with limited reciprocal benefits at the time. Well, the relationship was just taken to the next level, as American miles can now be redeemed on all Etihad Airways flights, even those between the US and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad is frequently recognized as one of the world’s best airlines (I’m flying them in a couple of weeks from New York to Abu Dhabi in first class, so should be able to report back firsthand then), and given the other restrictions in place for American award travel, this is huge news. While American has a lot of partners through OneWorld, a lot of them are of limited use. You have Cathay Pacific, which is a great partner, though Qantas doesn’t release all that much award space and American imposes fuel surcharges for redemptions on British Airways.
To search for Etihad Airways award space you should sign up for their Etihad Guest frequent flyer program, which is free.
Once you’re logged into your account, click on “Your Miles” and then “How to Redeem” in the tab on the left.
On the next page click the link that reads “Click here to book flight.”
On the next page enter your travel details and click “Search flights.”
Then on the final page click the box right under “GuestSeat” availability at the top of the page. If you click it and the flights aren’t greyed out, they should be available. If they’re greyed out, the flights aren’t available. In my limited experience thus far the award availability American has access to mirror’s what Etihad displays for their own members.
(Tip of the hat to Abdou)