Etihad arguably offers the world’s best first class hard product on their A380s, which feature the First Class Apartments. I had the good fortunate to be on the inaugural Etihad A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to London last year, and then again on the inaugural Etihad A380 flight from Abu Dhabi to New York last month.
Etihad’s A380 first class product is simply incredible, and visually the most stunning in the world.
Etihad has generally been quite generous with making first class awards available, though less so on their New York route than the other A380 routes. When the new A380 flight to New York was first announced they made a ton of first class space available, though since then they’ve (understandably) been less generous with making awards available in advance.
Obviously there’s quite a bit of demand for the product, and with just nine first class seats on the A380, availability is limited. However, they’ve been fairly good about making first class awards available shortly before departure, which is how I scored availability for my flight a few days ago.
Via View from the Wing, the good news is that Etihad is making up to three A380 first class seats available in advance on their Abu Dhabi to New York route. The availability doesn’t seem to be available in the other direction, as I don’t see much space in advance from New York to Abu Dhabi.
While there’s not availability every day, there’s a good amount of space between now and the end of the schedule, so you’ll want to use Etihad’s award search tool to find space (here’s a primer on how to use it). If there’s “Guest First” space, it should also be bookable through American AAdvantage. American doesn’t show Etihad award space online, so you’ll have to call American in order to book.
Also make sure you book the A380 frequency. Etihad flies twice a day between Abu Dhabi and New York, and the other flight is operated by a leased Jet Airways 777-300ER, which isn’t nearly as nice as the Etihad A380.
American AAdvantage charges 90,000 miles for one-way first class between the Middle East/India and the US, though the price will go up to 115,000 miles one-way for awards booked as of March 22, 2016.
Keep in mind Etihad is launching A380 flights between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi as of May 1, 2016, so for the same 90,000 miles you could get two A380 flights — from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi to New York.
Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment product is incredible, so I highly recommend snagging some space if you can, especially before American’s upcoming devaluation. Having just flown Eithad’s A380 First Class Apartment with two others, I can assure you it’ll be the flight of a lifetime…
Until about halfway through the flight, when… well, I’ll let the below picture speak for itself.
This space won’t last, so if you’re interested I’d recommend booking as soon as possible. This availability is especially awesome in light of American’s upcoming devaluation, making this a great option for redeeming miles at pre-devaluation levels. Being able to redeem up to three seats per flight is the icing on the cake.
Were you able to snag some Etihad A380 first class award seats from Abu Dhabi to New York?