Earlier in the week Etihad commenced daily A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and New York, which was a pretty exciting development. I had the opportunity to be on the inaugural flight, and suffice to say it was a fantastic experience.
Etihad has what I’d consider to be the world’s best first class hard product, with their First Class Apartments. Given that the A380 has a single aisle in first class with only two seats per row, it’s outrageously spacious.
Etihad first announced that they’d be flying the A380 between Abu Dhabi in New York back in March, and initially they didn’t release much first class award space.
Then in May Etihad suddenly opened up two first class award seats on most A380 flights between Abu Dhabi and New York, which allowed hundreds to snag awards to try the product. This matches Etihad’s general trend for releasing award availability, which can best be summed up as wildly inconsistent.
However, since the huge amount of award space we saw in May, we haven’t really seen much A380 first class award space between Abu Dhabi and New York. Now that Etihad has launched the A380 flights to New York, are they making any last minute awards available?
It looks like Etihad is making some last minute A380 first class awards available between New York and Abu Dhabi. For example, tomorrow’s New York to Abu Dhabi flight has two first class award seats:
Meanwhile the flight the following day has first class award space as well:
As a reminder, here’s a primer on how you can search Etihad award space using Etihad’s website.
Etihad first class is a fantastic use of American AAdvantage miles. A one-way first class ticket between the US and Middle East/India will cost you 90,000 miles. After the AAdvantage devaluation of March 22, 2016, the cost will increase by 25,000 miles each way, to 115,000 miles.
For the past several months it has looked like Etihad has been blocking A380 first class award space between Abu Dhabi and New York, in anticipation of the launch. While award space is far from wide open, the good news is that it looks like Etihad isn’t in fact blocking the space.
If you want to redeem AAdvantage miles for the Etihad A380 to/from New York you’ll want to keep an eye on award space, in particular last minute. There’s definitely a shot of that space opening up.
Have you managed to snag an award seat on the Etihad A380 between Abu Dhabi and New York?