One of the most aspirational first class products in the world is Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment, which I’d argue is the single best first class hard product in the world.
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment cabin
Etihad A380 First Class Apartment seat
Etihad First Class Apartment bed
Etihad launched the A380 on their Abu Dhabi to London route this past December, and has announced upcoming service on the A380 from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and Abu Dhabi to New York. The Abu Dhabi to Sydney flight will launch in about a month, while Etihad’s A380 Abu Dhabi to New York flight is scheduled to launch as of December 1, 2015.
So far Etihad has been great about releasing A380 First Class Apartment award space on their flights to London and Sydney, though award space to New York has been limited. For a short while Etihad was releasing a limited amount of first class award space on the A380 to New York, though I haven’t seen much space lately.
Well, the good news is that Etihad A380 First Class Apartment award space between Abu Dhabi and New York is wide open at the moment. I see two first class award seats available on a vast majority of flights between Abu Dhabi and New York between December 1, 2015, and March 18, 2016, as of now..
This applies both on the flight from Abu Dhabi to New York:
As well as the flight from New York to Abu Dhabi:
Etihad has two flights a day between Abu Dhabi and New York, so you’ll want to be sure you book the frequency which is operated by the A380. That flight operates with the following schedule:
EY103 Abu Dhabi to New York departing 2:55AM arriving 8:40AM
EY102 New York to Abu Dhabi departing 3:00PM arriving 12:30PM (+1 day)
As a reminder, American charges 90,000 AAdvantage miles for one-way first class between the US and Middle East/India.
To maximize this award, consider booking the following in addition to the flight between New York and Abu Dhabi:
- Cathay Pacific first class between New York and Vancouver on the same award, as no additional miles are required, assuming you can find a connection within 24 hours
- American’s A321 first class between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco on one end of the award
- Etihad first class between Abu Dhabi and Delhi/Mumbai, which doesn’t require any additional miles
Lastly, here’s a primer for searching Etihad award space directly through their website. Once you’ve found “GuestSeat” availability you’ll want to call American AAdvantage to actually ticket the reservation (it can’t be booked directly on American’s website). American does allow five day courtesy holds on award tickets.
Etihad A380 lobby
I loved my flight in Etihad’s A380 First Apartment, though couldn’t help but feel like the flight between Abu Dhabi and London wasn’t really enough time to experience the product. I can’t wait to experience their first class on a nearly 15 hour flight to New York. This is a fantastic use of AAdvantage miles.
Do you plan on redeeming American AAdvantage miles for travel in Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment?
(Thanks to Lantean in the “Ask Lucky” forum for pointing this out)